Whether you’re actively trying to get pregnant, or you think you might like to at some stage, there are plenty of ways you can start supporting your body for a healthy conception and pregnancy.
Remember, falling pregnant is a journey that is different for everyone.
If you’re struggling to get (or stay) pregnant, it can be both an incredibly challenging and albeit distressing experience. Completely acknowledging this, it’s also important to soften the self blame. It does not mean you’re broken, wrong or any less of a woman. And there are some things you can do to naturally support your fertility.
Aside from addressing any underlying hormone imbalances (covered in our last blog), here are five quick tips for supporting your fertility.
1. Plan ahead
If bringing a baby into the world is on your agenda in the next few years, it’s never too soon to start thinking about your fertility.
When we opt for hormonal birth control (such as the pill, IUD or injections) we often assume that after coming off it, we will be able to fall pregnant straight away.
For some women this is the case, but for others it can take a lot longer the brain and ovaries to start talking again. For some members of the Eve team, this process has taken months and even years. Everyone is different in this respect and it is pretty much impossible to know how your body will respond until you ask it to start producing its own hormones again.
Even if you could fall pregnant the day you stop taking the pill, there are some reasons why you might not want to. The processing of the pill in your body is known to take a huge toll on key nutrients like magnesium, selenium zinc, B-vitamins and antioxidants, all of which are essential to both a mother and baby’s health.
The BePure Clinic team recommend nutrifying the body for 1-2 years before conception, to ensure optimal health for both the mother and baby, and minimise postnatal depletion as much as possible.
2. Know your body
Contrary to what we may have been taught in high school, women are actually only fertile for around 5-6 days each cycle; around the time of ovulation. It goes without saying that if you want to get pregnant, knowing when you are most fertile is helpful information to have.
By tracking your cycle and measuring your basal body temperature each morning, you can learn more about your individual cycle, including when you ovulate and when you are fertile.
You can also tell if you are in fact ovulating.
Anovulatory cycles occur for a range of reasons and can be a rare occasion or a regular occurrence. They are usually pretty symptomatic and can lead to heavier periods, with more pain, mood swings, insomnia and water retention. Not fun.
An Eve test can measure your progesterone levels to determine whether you are ovulating or not. It can also measure your oestrogen/progesterone ratio which, is a common reason for a lot of pesky PMS symptoms. This is something we fairly often in test results.
3. Nutrition matters
If we aren’t fuelling our bodies with the right food and nutrients, there’s no way we can expect to be happy, healthy and fertile.
Both macro and micro-nutrients are super important for ovulation, and ovulation is kind of a big deal when it comes to fertility.
Restrictive diets - whether you’re heavily restricting one food group (e.g. carbs) or all foods (e.g. going low calorie), is just not conducive with fertility. The keto diet can be great for some women, but many women simply needs good quality carb sources in their diets for their bodies to feel like the world is a safe place to reproduce. The time you are thinking about babies is not a time to cut calories or food groups, trust us.
Ovulation also requires a lot of essential nutrients. B vitamins, particularly B6, are hugely beneficial for ovarian function and ovulation, as well as magnesium, iodine, selenium and vitamin-D.
The Eve team all use BePure One as a daily multi to ensure we’ve got enough nutrients in our tanks. It is also safe and recommended to be continued taking throughout pregnancy.
4. Stress less
Cortisol is our stress hormone that priorities our survival over anything else and has a huge influence on our sex hormones; oestrogen, progesterone and androgens.
Simply put, if your cortisol is out of whack, your sex hormones will be too. This is why managing your stress is crucial for hormone balance and fertility.
When it comes to stress, whether it’s work, money, relationships, HIIT training, eating the wrong foods or overdoing coffee or alcohol, our body doesn’t know the difference.
To bring more chill into your life, try:
- Swapping the burpees and box jumps for more restorative movement such as yoga or pilates;
- Saying sayonara to your morning (and lunchtime) coffee;
- Prioritising sleep, at least 8 hours a night if possible;
- Opting for natural personal care and cleaning products;
- Practising diaphragmatic breathing and meditation.
5. Look after your microbiome
You probably already know that you have a gut microbiome, but did you know you also have an important ecosystem of bacteria, fungi and viruses in your reproductive tract as well?
Yes it’s a thing, both the vaginal and uterine microbiome play key roles in keeping women healthy.
The uterine microbiome can influence whether or not the environment is a safe place to grow and nurture a baby. If the uterine microbiome isn’t healthy, the result can be a miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy.
While science in the field of the uterine microbiota is in its infancy, we do know that it is closely linked to the gut microbiome, and good gut health is essential for almost every other area of health.
Some of the best ways to support great gut health are:
- Cut the sugar and focus on wholefoods.
- Chew your food to liquid! Great digestion starts in the mouth, people.
- Include gut-loving fermented foods in your diet such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yoghurt and kefir.
- Cut out foods that make you feel sleepy, bloated or ‘foggy’ after you eat them.
- Supplement with a quality probiotic, such as BePure Gut Renew
Looking for more information? Head over to our FAQs page where you can find out about Eve, what the Eve Hormone Balance Test measures, when the best time to test your hormones is, and more.
Don’t forget to check out our blog 5 Common Signs of Hormone Imbalances to see if those physical sensations you’re experiencing could be hormone related.