10 Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant!

A few people told me they got pregnant after long periods of trying unsuccessfully to do so after following the advice from a book called The Fertility Diet.  So I got curious and have been reading it this week, and thought I’d share with you their top tips.  

The Fertility Diet, by Jeorge E. Chavarro, MD, ScD and Walter C. Willet, MD, DrPH, both professors at Harvard Medical School, presents the results of the Nurses’ Health Study, broken down into their top 10 simple lifestyle and diet changes that can improve your chances of getting pregnant.  This study examined the effects of diet and lifestyle on fertility among almost 20,000 female nurses.  (At nearly 20,000 people studied, I felt the info was worth a look!)  The recommendations below are aimed at preventing and reversing ovulatory infertility.  The authors state that it may also help other types of infertility, but they need more data to explore specifically those connections.

The book goes into greater detail about these 10 tips, and also has more specific advice on how to accomplish putting them into action, including recipes and meal plans, to help make it easy to do.

And now, the top 10 tips:

(straight from the book, page 4)

1.  Avoid trans fats, the artery-clogging fats found in many commercially prepared products and fast foods.

2.  Use more unsaturated vegetable oils, such as olive or canola oil.

3.  Eat more vegetable protein, like beans and nuts, and less animal protein.

4.  Choose whole grains and other sources of carbohydrate that have lower, slowereffects on blood sugar and insulin rather than highly refined carbohydrates that quickly boost blood sugar and insulin.

5.  Drink a glass of whole milk or have a small dish of ice cream or full-fat yogurt every day; temporarily trade in skim milk and low- or no-fat dairy products like cottage cheese and frozen yogurt for their full-fat cousins.

6.  Take a multivitamin that contains folic acid and other B vitamins.

7.  Get plenty of iron from fruits, vegetables, beans, and supplements but not from red meat.

8.  Beverages matter:  water is great; coffee, tea, and alcohol are ok in moderation; leave sugared sodas unopened.

9.  Aim for a healthy weight.  If you are overweight, losing between 5 and 10 percent of your weight can jump-start ovulation.

10.  If you aren’t physically active, start a daily exercise plan.  If you already exercise, pick up the pace of your workouts.  But don’t overdo it, especially if you are quite lean- too much exercise can work against conception.

And… 11.  If you smoke, stop.   (Such a small number of the nurses smoked that the effects could not be measured, however they said that there are already so many studies that show women that smoke take longer to get pregnant and are more likely to miscarry that they wanted to add that to the list too!)

Always feel free to discuss diet with us as well!  We can help you get even more fine tuned with choices that are specific to you.  For example, if a person is running cold or has a weaker digestive system (very common), I would advise choosing the yogurt over the colder options of ice cream or frozen yogurt… remember the Fertility Foodie guide?  The TCM understanding of foods adds an extra dimension of knowing how the foods we eat can be used to address our individual health needs:  is our body showing us needs more or less warming/ cooling/ moving/ nourishing etc.?  We can help our bodies out with our choices and habits!