Friday, July 22, 2011
Natural Remedies to Boost Fertility #1: The Basics
Note: I am not a doctor nor an herbalist, etc. These tips are those I discovered primarily by reading books on infertility (especially Making Babies by Sami S. David, MD and Jill Blakeway, LAc) and doing research elsewhere. Each person is unique and should combat infertility in a way that works best for them. The book Making Babies gives a plan that is meant to be a natural 'start' to approaching optimal health and restoring fertility. The plan can be used alongside ARTs (assistive reproductive technologies) or in place of them, depending on you personal journey.
See here for #2: Lifestyles of the Naturally Fertile and here for #3: Destressing.
Let's get started on the basics!
5 quick background tips that will increase your chance of conception:
1) Use foreplay- It will help relax and increase enjoyment for both parties. Sometimes we get too caught up in trying to make a baby that we forget to love on our partner in the process. Go ahead, make out with your husband like you did when you first started dating.
2) Missionary position is best- It will provide the sperm with the most direct route to and through the cervix.
3) Stay put 10-20 minutes after baby dancing- Relax and think happy baby thoughts.
4) If you use a lubricant, only use Pre-Seed- No water or saliva should be used, as they kill off the sperm.
5) Baby dance frequently- Make it a goal for every 1-2 days, especially around potential ovulation. If your husband has a low sperm count, 2-3 days is recommended.
Pop Quiz: When is conception most likely to occur in regards to when ovulation occurs?
Answer: Conception is most likely to occur when intercourse happens in the 3 days (up to 6) leading up to ovulation. Baby dancing on the day ovulation is about to occur is ideal.
How to know when you are most fertile:
1) Cervical mucus
*Early days: mucus will be dry or slightly moist
CD 7-9 might be thick, sticky, and white or yellowish
for a few day it will then be wet, opaque, and creamy
*Fertile days: thinner and transparent, stretchy like egg whites
clear and watery
lasts 3 days on average--peak fertility is the last day
*After ovulation: thick and cloudy
sometimes wet and watery just before your period
**Culprits that might throw off your mucus: diuretics, antihistamines, decongestants, and high- dose Vitamin C
2) Cervical position
*Before and after your period: cervix will be low, hard, and closed
*Most likely to conceive: soft, high, open, and wet
3) Basal body temperature
*Start on CD 1. Take first thing every morning, after at least 5 hours of sleep.
*Your temperature should be lower before you ovulate (97-97.5 degrees).
*Your temperature should be higher afterwards (97.6-98.6 degrees).
*Some women get a temp drop when LH surges just before ovulation.
*Your chart indicates ovulation when there is a jump of .4 degrees or more.
*Stress, waking up early or later than usual, etc. can bring about flukes in temperature.
**Free printable charts: http://makingbabiesprogram.com/BBTchart.html
**Free online charting: http://fertilityfriend.com
4) Ovulation predictor kits
*The test will show a baseline and urine will bring about the LH test line.
*When the test detects a rise in LH (test line darker than the base line), you are likely to ovulate within the next 24-48 hours.
*Baby dance every day-every other day when you see the faintest indication of LH
*Some women have false LH surges before the real thing (common with PCOS)
Coming soon: Lifestyles of the naturally fertile. Stay tuned!