How to Increase Fertility at Home – The TCM Guide on Diet & Lifestyle
It’s well-known that fertility and nutrition are tightly linked. Specifically, a high intake of folic acid, polyunsaturated fats, and plant-based foods are strongly associated with higher fertility. But a particular study published in Front Public Health noted a gap in fertility science for people with diverse BMIs, racial and ethnic minorities, and low-income or low-education groups.
Luckily, Traditional Chinese Medicine can help bridge the gap between Western medicine and the health outcomes people want. There are plenty of TCM-approved home remedies for fertility. Here’s what you need to know to Increase fertility at home.
The Menstrual Cycle from a TCM Perspective
According to TCM wisdom, during this phase you may find your energy turning inward. This is because your body is going through a cleansing period. You may not want to be as active as you normally are; this is generally when your energy levels are at their lowest.
Take this time to rest and eat blood-nourishing foods. Indulge in gentle exercise like walking and yoga to keep your blood pumping without depleting your energy levels.
- Comfort foods (except those that fall under the “foods to avoid” umbrella below)
- Warming, slow-cooked foods like casseroles, stews, soups, and bone broth
- Whole grains
- Root vegetables
- Blood-nourishing foods to replenish lost iron
- Grass-fed meat
- Leafy greens
- Vitamin C-rich foods to facilitate iron absorption
- Citrus fruits
- Refined sugars
- Stimulants, including caffeine
Hydrogenated fats and dairy, as they can make you feel more sluggish and tired
As the endometrial lining builds in the uterus, continue to eat blood-nourishing foods that support follicle and uterine lining growth. In your diet, incorporate plenty of protein, folic acid, and vitamin B12. These are all crucial to building blood flow and yin.
- Cooked leafy greens, especially spinach (to help replenish your body after your period)
- Seeds, especially flax and black sesame
- Sweet fruits like berries
- Sweet vegetables (beets, carrots, sweet potatoes)
- Whole grains
During this phase the follicle is released from the ovary. You’re at your most fertile at this point. Enjoy gentle exercise and focus on warming foods that support digestion and nourish the kidneys. Eat small meals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Your liver qi should be flowing freely. Stagnant liver energy can cause fertility issues, as the liver regulates blood flow and energy throughout the body (including during menstruation). Proper diet at this point is crucial to facilitate this energy flow.
- Warming, spicy foods
- Cloves, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger
- Organic pineapple (if you’re actively trying to conceive)
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Cooling foods
As progesterone thickens the uterine lining and warms the uterus, the egg travels through the fallopian tube. The egg is fertilized and an embryo begins to form. At this time, avoid strenuous exercise and focus on including warming foods in your diet. The most important thing is to support and nourish your body so it can create the hormones it needs to support a pregnancy.
- Plenty of water
- Seeds (especially flax, chia, hemp, sesame, and pumpkin)
- Bone broth
- Dark, leafy greens (especially spinach)
- Refined sugars. Instead, opt for complex carbohydrates. They’ll satisfy your cravings while giving you lasting energy.
- Caffeine, which is known to decrease blood flow to the uterus. It can also increase anxiety and stress levels, which can interfere with fertility.
The cervical phase is when you may start knowing you’re pregnant; key fertility indicators tend to pop up at this phase. This is a great time to fit Kegel exercises into your routine. Continue a balanced diet, avoiding refined sugars, alcohol, and excessive caffeine.
Other Factors That Can Impact Fertility
Stress and Yin
Support your yin levels to facilitate follicle growth and development. Stress is one of the biggest factors that can disturb yin, so when trying to conceive, stay apprised of your stress levels.
Other factors that can be overly taxing on yin:
- Working too much
- An over-abundance of hot and spicy foods
- Staying up too late
- Over-exertion in general
Too Much Strenuous Exercise
While exercise is crucial for overall health and peak fertility, overly-intense exercise can actually decrease fertility. If you’re used to giving it 110% at the gym, experiment with dialing it back, especially during your period. Let exercise be a relaxing activity. Yoga, Pilates, and walking are all excellent options.
Supplements to Add to Your Routine
Taking care of your diet and overall health are by far the most important actions you can take to improve your fertility. Way to go! You’ve already taken the biggest step. But there are plenty of supplements used in TCM as well. Here are a few:
Chaste Tree Berry
Thought to act on the pituitary gland, chaste tree berry strengthens ovulation hormones, balances the menstrual cycle, and helps prevent PMS.
Cinnamon nourishes yang energy, which is essential for fertility. It also warms the body and helps balance blood sugar.
An excellent aid for irregular ovulation, especially in people with PCOS, Tribulus helps make ovulation more predictable and increases conception rates. It’s also an effective fertility aid in both sexes.
Trying to conceive can be stressful and, at times, frustrating. But with proper diet and lifestyle choices, you can make it that much easier on yourself. The best part is that most of these changes will improve not only your fertility, but also your overall health, giving you double the returns for your efforts.
Vitex Agnus Castus (Chaste Tree Berry)
Vitex Agnus Castus is a popular herbal supplement used to treat a variety of health problems related to the Menstrual Cycle such as Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). This traditional Vitex Agnus Castus Chasteberry herb is primarily used to support women who are transitioning through menopause and relieve PMS symptoms such as menstrual cramps, breast tenderness, bloating, irritability and mood swings.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.