Thursday, January 14, 2016

Natural Ways to Increase Fertility and an Announcement


So, the reason this blog has been so quiet lately is apparently the same reason all Catholic moms blogs go quiet.  It's hard to blog when you can barely stay awake past 8 PM.  I don't really get morning sickness...just occasional mild nausea (don't hate me...I know it's terrible for people who have it), but I do feel quite a bit more tired. 

EDD Aug. 7, 2016.
Seeing as how my youngest is over 3....I think everyone was a bit surprised. 

I'm not a doctor or anything (obviously) but in my experience, fertility seems to run on a scale.  One the one end, you have people who are known as hyperfertile, people who seem to get pregnant super, super easily.  On the other end, you have people who are infertile. 

And then you have everyone else in the middle.  And lots of times people move on the scale....between fertility and infertility or subfertility. 

Lots of mothers (myself included) experience some form of breastfeeding infertility, which is completely normal and doesn't require anything more than time and patience because all babies cut back on their breastfeeding and wean....eventually.

However, even outside of breastfeeding infertility, many couples seem to experience something called subfertilty.   They don't get pregnant easily, but sometimes with a few changes, pregnancy is possible.  There may just one or two easily correctable issues preventing pregnancy.

I'm not a doctor, and a lot of these issues probably need a doctor's diagnosis (preferably one trained in NFP who can read charts).  However, I can share things I have read about or that have worked for me.   

Maybe they will help someone else. 

1.  Perfect Timing. This should be obvious to anyone using NFP, but timing really is everything.  EVERYTHING.  And the easiest and most accurate way to achieve perfect timing is to use an ovulation predictor test and when it's positive...THAT's the day. You can find them very inexpensively online..  I've been married 15 years, and have never had a viable pregnancy result from any relations outside of that one day (or possibly the day after). Which means that I really only have a 1-2 day window each month.  That's short, so if you don't want to miss it, an ovulation prediction test is key.  

They are also really useful is you are trying to avoid pregnancy as they can pinpoint when ovulation occurred.  Personally, I think cheap ovulation predictor tests are an important tool for anyone looking to chart or track their fertility closely. 

2. Evening Primose Oil.  Evening primrose oil is said to increase the quantity and quality of  mucous.  This is important because if there isn't enough mucous or if it is too hostile, the sperm can't survive.  The dose is 3-4 grams/day taken from day 1 though ovulation day of the cycle.  You aren't supposed to take it after ovulation has already occurred.   It does seem to work and for anyone having trouble conceiving, it seems like a simple enough thing to try.  

3. Vitex.  Also known as chasteberry.  This helps balance your hormones....especially estrogen and progesterone.  It does not contain hormones itself, it simply helps balance them.  Even outside of trying to conceive, vitex is frequently taken to help with things like PMS or irregular cycles. 

4. Zinc This is something that both the man and woman need to take.  Zinc is important for sperm quality and mobility and for egg quality.  It is said that zinc can help prevent miscarriages....I believe this is because zinc deficiency can cause low quality sperm/egg which can lead to miscarriage.  Also, it is said that zinc helps balance hormones.  Of course with zinc supplementation you need to be careful to balance it with copper since zinc depletes the body of copper, it's something you don't want to take too much of, so consult your doctor. 

5. Astaxanthin. This is a very powerful antioxidant and one study showed that men who take this had improved sperm motility and morphology. 

6. I also recommend the book Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition., written by Marilyn Shannon (who I know personally and have been to her house. :).  It's a good book with lots of very helpful information. 

I'm not a doctor and this is not medical advice. Please do your own research and consult your physician.  I'm hoping this post can merely start as a jumping point and give you some ideas of maybe things to research and consider.

There are obviously lots of issues that can cause infertility and subfertility and these suggestions only touch on on a few, but I thought I would share, because maybe someone else will find this information useful. 

*This post contains affiliate links. If you buy through my links (anything) I get a few pennies. 
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