Like every other relationship aspect, it takes two hands to clap when trying to get pregnant.
In the quest for a baby, both parties play an essential part in contributing to the success of pregnancy, lest you think one is more responsible than the other.
Improving female and male fertility doesn’t necessarily mean taking fertility-boosting drugs or signing up for expensive artificial insemination procedures. Instead, try these four natural ways that may help improve fertility for you and your significant other (S.O.) with positive lifestyle changes.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended as medical advice.
1. Engage in Moderate-Intensity Exercise
A sedentary lifestyle of Netflix and Haagen Dazs is definitely not the answer when Googling how to improve male and female fertility.
Instead, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. A more active lifestyle puts you in a healthy weight range, reduces stress, and encourages better fertility.
For scientific proof, a 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Translational Medicine echoed similar findings. It reviewed 12,580 cases involving more than 700,000 participants. It found that moderate to high levels of physical activity “were shown to reduce risk of infertility relative to low levels” for both men and women.
Another 2019 study discovered that exercising “may improve pregnancy rates in women with reproductive health problems,” like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
In other words, this is your sign to sign up for a gym membership with your partner! Just avoid high-intensity workouts, as the same 2022 study pointed out that could potentially inflate the risk of infertility.
2. Consume Fertility-Friendly Nutrients
Unsurprisingly, it would help to eat healthy when trying to conceive (TTC). Some micronutrients may help maximize your pregnancy success rates, such as:
Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 found in whole foods, while folic acid is its synthetic counterpart.
Research suggests supplementing with this B vitamin and zinc to improve fertility in sub-fertile men (read: guys with slightly to seriously reduced fertility levels). This potent duo may positively impact sperm concentration (the number of sperm per milliliter of semen) and sperm morphology (the size and shape of sperm). More studies are needed to confirm these findings.
For women, adequate vitamin B9 consumption is vital to protect you and your future baby from neural tube defects (significant defects of the child’s brain and spine during development).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every person who identifies as a female should “get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day, in addition to consuming food with folate from a varied diet.” This can help ward off neural tube defects early in the pregnancy, even if you aren’t actively trying for a kid now.
Did you know zinc plays a vital role in the male reproductive system, especially sperm production?
Indeed, science explained that infertile men with dietary deficiency in zinc can supplement with it to significantly increase their:
- Semen volume,
- Sperm motility (the ability of sperm to move efficiently), and
- Sperm morphology
Time to consume more zinc-rich foods like oysters (also thought to be a natural aphrodisiac) and red meat that may increase male fertility. But do remember not to over-consume them!
CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10)
CoQ10 (aka coenzyme Q10) is an antioxidant that could benefit both female and male fertility.
For starters, CoQ10 tackles oxidative stress, which at high levels, negatively affects female fertility. A 2020 study in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics showed that women who supplemented with CoQ10 during the assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures are more likely to become pregnant than those who did not. And it remained significant for people with a poor ovarian response and PCOS.
Men who suffer from low sperm motility may also find improved fertility levels with CoQ10. According to recent research published in 2020, CoQ10 enhanced sperm motility (although it didn’t have a significant effect on sperm count, morphology, or volume). The literature suggests taking CoQ10 “at higher doses” between 3 and 6 months. That said, consult your primary doctor on the exact dosage and frequency before consuming CoQ10.
TTC folks who are interested in a pre-pregnancy fertility diet meal plan may want to check out the twoplus Meals for Fertility. Designed by Australia’s leading fertility dietitian and a head chef certified in Precision Nutrition (best-in-class nutrition coaching globally), our fertility meals contain all the nutrients you need on your conception journey.
3. Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress is an inescapable part of modern-day life, regardless of your gender. That said, women are purportedly more stressed than men, which the New York Times eloquently called “the stress gap.”
At present, there’s mixed evidence on whether stress weakens one’s fertility levels. Still, stress can interfere with your ability to become pregnant. Chronically high stress could dampen your libido or promote unhealthy stress-relieving habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
What’s more, couples who have been trying to get pregnant may experience conception-related stress. This may manifest as performance anxiety in the bedroom, resulting in issues like premature ejaculation and tensed-up vaginal muscles (vaginismus).
As such, there’s value in exploring healthy stress management techniques to keep your emotional health in check. Take up yoga, meditate in the morning, spend time with loved ones, or sweat it out. Remember, it’s perfectly alright to seek professional help and prevent stress from becoming too overwhelming for you and your partner.
Those interested in at-home insemination kits to reduce the stress of scheduled sex may want to try the twoplus Applicator Extra. This self-insemination syringe deposits ejaculated semen higher up the vaginal tract to help boost your odds of conception. Plus, you can do it with a single hand without needing help from your partner.
4. Work Smart With the Frequency of Lovemaking
It’s a myth that more sex — and orgasms — increase one’s chances of pregnancy.
Instead of having intercourse 24/7 (a feat both impractical and impossible for many), work smart during the prime time of your cycle for babymaking.
Case in point: Make room for more sex during your fertile window. It’s the short span of time — about 5-6 days — in which you’re more likely to get pregnant during your cycle. During your fertile window, a mature egg is released from the ovary in what’s commonly known as the one-day phenomenon, ovulation.
Because your fertile window is unique to your biology, use an ovulation predictor kit like the twoplus Ovulation Test Kit to find out when you’re ovulating. Besides ovulation tracking, you can also consider at-home conception kits like the twoplus Sperm Guide to help minimize post-sex leakage and keep sperm in there.
Pro Tip: To get you in the mood, invest in ambient lighting, scented candles, and a stash of sex toys (*wink wink*).
Improve Your Fertility Levels Naturally Today
When answering the question, “How can I increase my sperm and egg health?”, you can take the all-natural route by tweaking your everyday routine. Take part in moderate-intensity workouts, prioritize fertility-friendly micronutrients, practice stress-reducing techniques, and have more sex during your fertile window.
To sum up, making fertility happen is a conscious (and constant) exercise in nailing your health, nutrition, and physical intimacy while keeping stress in check. Of course, our at-home conception kits and self-insemination tools can help you, so check them out!
Have you recently gotten pregnant with twoplus' products? If so, we would love to hear from you! Drop us a line via this form to share your story with the twoplus team and spread hope among the TTC community. Bonus: You'll be rewarded for your efforts!