About 1 in 6 couples have trouble conceiving, and speaking with fertility doctors exclusively, we learned fertility issues affect ‘many’ women under 35 too! Here’s what you can do asap to increase fertility!
It’s always sounded so simple, right? You and your partner decide you want kids, you have sex, and BOOM — you’re pregnant — at most — a few months later. In nine months, your family has officially begun. But the truth is, having fertility issues isn’t limited to women in their 40s. Infertility can affect women of ANY age, and while it’s often frustrating and even devastating for the hopeful parents-to-be, there’s so many simple ways most people don’t even know about that can help combat infertility. Speaking with three fertility experts EXCLUSIVELY, HollywoodLife.com learned that for many women, increasing fertility is as easy as taking certain supplements or even regularly practicing yoga! Click here to see some of the cutest celeb babies in Hollywood.
“Much can be done to improve a woman’s chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby, but first one has to find out the possible causes if there are already major fertility issues,” Dr. Amos Grunebaum, director of clinical maternal-fetal medicine at the New York Hospital-Cornell Weill Medical College and co-author of Dr. Ruth’s Pregnancy Guide for Couples, told us. “There are three major causes of infertility, including abnormal sperm issues (50% of all known infertility causes are his), ovulation problems, and problems with the fallopian tubes like endometriosis or scarring.” Treating major problems, like fallopian tube issues, “as early as possible” is essential, according to Dr. Peter Rizk, a reproductive endocrinologist and OBGYN. If you don’t, you risk your fallopian tubes becoming permanently damaged.
But aside from major medical interventions — like surgery or IVF — there ARE certain health measures that can be taken to help women with infertility. For example, “alcohol can play a role,” Dr. Rizk explained. “If a woman has one or two glasses of wine a week, there is no harm whatsoever. But if she has two to three a DAY, that is detrimental.” Aside from cutting back on alcohol intake, women should also “avoid food high in saturated fat,” according to Dr. Rizk, and eat a well-balanced diet.
“Couples should be at their best health, their optimal weight, eat the right food, stay away from too much stress, and make sure they make love at the best time,” Dr. Amos said. “In addition, they can improve their fertility with the proper vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant supplements.” Dr. Rizk for example, gives his female patients trying to conceive, a supplement called FH Pro. FH Pro is a product made by Fairhaven Health that’s essentially “a group of antioxidants.” “Studies have show it does improve fertility,” Dr. Rizk said.
Dr. Amos regularly recommends supplements as well, swearing by one called Fertilaid. “Every woman should know that she must take a folic acid and vitamin supplement 2-3 months before conception, and the best is to take it all the time just in case she gets pregnant,” Dr. Amos explained. “Many couples take a fertility supplement like Fertilaid for women, which contains all the needed folic acid and vitamins too prepare for a healthy pregnancy. Fertilaid for women also contains several important all natural herbal supplements that can improve the woman’s ability to get pregnant.”
But women aren’t the only ones who should be taking supplements. “Because his sperms are equally important, he should take a fertility supplement such as Fertilaid for Men,” Dr. Amos said. “It has a potent blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals with the amino acid, L-Carnitine, which has been scientifically proven to improve sperm health.” Pretty amazing, right? Plus, Fertilaid for Women even helps prevent miscarriages!
Another thing you can do to help increase your own fertility is avoid smoking. “Even secondhand smoke can be harmful for both men and women’s fertility,” Dr. Rizk told us. And while holistic methods of increasing fertility, such as fertility massages, meditation, and yoga, aren’t for everyone, Dr. Rizk believes they can work wonders for some women. “I think any measure that helps a patient relax and achieve a good mental status is a positive thing. Yoga can be very useful depending on the woman,” he said, while warning that if you decide to try acupuncture, you should see an acupuncturist specifically trained in fertility.
“Having a healthy lifestyle is the most important thing a woman can do,” Dr. Rizk continued. “Be careful, pay attention to your family’s history, prevent obesity, and never wait a year or two if you’re having issues — seek help from your doctor right away. There could be simple things that can be fixed. Stress does increase infertility and infertility increases stress, so a system of support is good to have.”
But while taking supplements, engaging in stress-reducing practices, eating healthy, and staying active are all important when it comes to fertility, Dr. Joel Batzofin, Medical Director at New York Fertility Services, P.C. and author of One Step At A Time, A Climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, also recommends using technology — specifically fertility apps that track ovulatory windows. “There are now apps for smartphones that can help women know when their ‘fertile window’ is, and they should obviously be having intercourse during that time frame,” Dr. Batzofin said.
“For a regularly menstruating woman, the fertile window would be days 10 – 20 of the cycle (day 1 is the first day of full flow). Generally speaking, ovulation occurs on day 14 of a 28 day cycle. They should not get too stressed in the early months because this stress can start to work against them.” The expert also made sure to point out that the older a woman gets, the more fertility issues she may have. “[Women] should understand that egg quality actually starts to decline in their mid 30s,” Dr. Batzofin explained. “So much about a woman’s ability to conceive has to do with the quality of her eggs. They are at their best so to speak, when the woman is younger.”
At the same time, however, there’s still hope for older women — just look at Janet Jackson, 51, who gave birth to a healthy baby boy earlier this year. “In this day and age, there should be no individual or family who cannot achieve success,” Dr. Batzofin assured. “It may not always be with their own eggs or sperm, but there should be nobody who wants to achieve a pregnancy, who does not find success – we live in an age where treatments like Intracystoplasmic sperm injection, donor eggs or donor sperm, and gestational surrogacy can overcome even very significant problems.”
So what can women do to help prevent fertility issues down the line? “Younger women should exercise and be at their optimal health,” Dr. Amos advised. “Fertility decreases after age 30, so all women should be aware of this and prepare appropriately.” While Dr. Rizk, suggests careful prevention measures. “The most important thing is to prevent harm. Subjection to infection could immediately bring harm to fertility — if you have a bad infection in the fallopian tubes, then pregnancy might not happen at all,” he said. “You want to be careful and cautious to prevent sexually transmitted infections. If you suspect you have an STI, go early to your doctor and seek treatment.”
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — what do you think of these fertility tips? Did you realize that some of these simple things could really help couples start a family?