What are some natural ways I can try to get pregnant?
Real Mom Problem
“I've been trying to conceive for the past two years, and nothing. My husband doesn't want to go to fertility doctors so I hope there is something out there to boost our chances.”
- 1. CafeMom members recommend many natural methods, including herbs, supplements, charting your cycle, losing weight, and changing your diet
- 2. Although natural methods can be effective, some women find they need medical interventions, surgeries, or other procedures to help them conceive
- 3. If you've been trying to conceive for more than a year, you might consider visiting a specialist to diagnose and treat any underlying medical conditions
- 4. Always speak to your doctor before starting supplements, and make certain they don't interfere with any medications you're taking
Real Mom Solutions
The ladies of CafeMom's Trying to Conceive support group have shared their best ideas for increasing your chances at conception without prescriptions or procedures. Read on for their experiences and expertise.
Try Herbs & Supplements
I was terrified of trying red raspberry leaf tea because I was raised in the South and I like my sweet tea, but surprisingly I love it! The taste isn't bad at all! It's working great for me. I drink 3-5, 8 oz glasses a day from the first day of my period until ovulation. I normally get a period once a year MAX without medication, but after drinking this for three days, I started a cycle NATURALLY!!!
I will always recommend trying the natural route before attempting fertility medication. There are several herbs you can try. Vitex is one of the most popular for regulating your cycle. You need to start it on the first day of your cycle and it can take about three months to see effects. Evening primrose oil is good for increasing your fertile cervical fluid. You can use parsley to induce your period. In fact, I've read that parsley is good for regulating your cycle overall. It doesn't take much more than an internet search to find natural ways to regulate your cycle.
My husband and I were trying for almost two years and had two miscarriages within the first three months of trying for this baby. The second miscarriage was ectopic and I lost my right tube. After that I thought I wasn't going to get pregnant again. Next step was Clomid. I instead decided to try soy isoflavones as recommended by a few other women on CafeMom. I remember the day I ovulated because it was SO painful, I've never experienced ovulation pain like that, also my ovulation predictor test line was WAY darker than the control line. I also ate pineapple core for five days starting the day after ovulation. Eating pineapple core is supposed to help the baby implant. I can also remember the day of implantation, not only did I get a great temp dip but that was painful as well. It just seemed everything that month was magnified, I knew what was going on inside my body. I started having symptoms right away too. I really attribute this pregnancy to soy and pineapple core. They were the only things I did differently!
Prenatals should be taken by everyone who is trying to conceive. They help make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need to support your growing baby. Be especially sure to get folic acid. Vitex helps regulate your hormones, gets your cycles regular, helps you ovulate (can be found alone or as part of a fertility supplement). B6 can help your progesterone level - helpful to take if you have a luteal phase defect. Maca root helps improve fertility and sex drive (anyone with a thyroid issue should talk to their doctor before using it). Soy isoflavones can be used like Clomid to help you ovulate (may not be good to take if you are ovulating on your own). Raspberry leaf tea helps with irregular cycles and menstrual cramps.
I take prenatals, royal jelly, evening primrose oil, and will be starting serrapeptase. I also am starting castor oil packs and fertility massage. And I'm changing my diet to include more organic foods, especially meats! I just tried three rounds of Clomid but still no pregnancy. So, this is why I'm moving to natural methods.
Evening primrose oil increases the quality and quantity of your fertile cervical mucus! I use it! I use that until ovulation, and then I use cod liver oil for the remainder of my cycle (and will through pregnancy, my OB said fish oil is excellent for baby's brain development!). Another good helper if you are worried about your cervical mucus, is Pre-Seed. It is not super expensive and it is very nice to use. I have never used a lube before, but we tried this and I liked it a lot! You go in the bathroom before having sex and they have a little inserter tube, you put a bunch up in your vagina near your cervix, it acts just like fertile cervical mucus. You can also use some on the outside to help get things going for you and so he can go in you easier.
I ordered FertilAid for my husband and myself and FertiliTea and I'm thinking I'll start using Instead Softcups. We also use Pre-Seed. I cut out all caffeine, and my husband cut out all alcohol.
Make Diet & Lifestyle Changes
Cigarettes reduce fertility. If you're actively trying to conceive you should quit cigs as they're not great for pregnancy.
I've stopped eating frozen meals (Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, etc.) for dinner and my husband and I have started cooking out of the "Clean Eating" magazines to make our diets healthier. I've started walking/riding the exercise bike three days a week. I've been taking prenatals since I had my IUD out, no more caffeine, lots more water, trying to wean myself off artificial sweeteners, no booze/sushi/soft cheeses/etc. after ovulation. We're also having sex more, even if it's not ovulation time, so my husband is happy.
We have sex every other day from the time my period stops to the time my period starts again.
There is no perfect answer. I suggest you take your prenatal vitamins and have daily sex as you get close to ovulation, maybe twice a day spaced 12 hours apart soon as your period stops - but don't make a chore out of it.
Try a natural fertility diet: organic, no red meat, no refined sugars or processed foods, and low dairy.
Giving up coffee and alcohol are great steps! Caffeinated tea is okay, just try to keep it minimal, like no more than two cups a day (and be careful about over-steeping which increases caffeine). Stop using tampons if you use them, pads are better when trying to conceive because they do not interfere with the environment in your vagina. Get hubby on a multi-vitamin if he is not already! It should be for men specifically to support prostate health and he too should be on fish oil daily. Get regular exercise too, very important for healthy hormone balance in your body! Also, try to avoid as much processed sugar and processed food as you can. The sugar is not good for body alkalinity which affects the chemistry in your uterus!
I was 130 lbs when I got pregnant. I had started trying to conceive 12 years earlier, but I was too overweight. I lost 140 pounds before I got pregnant.
I had just begun walking a mile to and from work every day. I had been doing it for about a month when I found out I was pregnant again. I had been pretty lazy and sedentary up to that point for quite a few years. So I think just the process of getting up and moving helped me conceive. I had been trying for seven years at that point and wasn't doing anything new or different other than walking, and I really believe that is what helped me conceive.
You'll read a lot of information about special fertility diets but the truth is that if you eat a wide range of healthy foods you'll be fine. The people I see having problems with their fertility due to diet usually are missing an important nutrient. For example people who follow a low-fat diet sometimes don't eat enough fat to make the reproductive hormones they need. So eat some lean protein, a wide range of colorful veggies, some healthy fats and a small amount of whole grain carbs. Apart from that, make sure you know when you are ovulating and try to time intercourse so that the sperm are hanging out ahead of time waiting for the egg.
Consider Alternative Methods
I am impressed with what acupuncture has achieved in a short time and after only one visit. My period pain was far more manageable, I didn't feel like a hormonal crazy lady the week before, in fact I felt quite calm! Most noticeably, I usually get pimples on my shoulders, back and jaw line the week before I'm due but this month, I didn't get any on my jaw line and only a couple of small ones on one shoulder. Clearly whatever she did has regulated my hormones so I have to say, I am a convert!
"Fertility Yoga" is a DVD you can get that has certain stress relief and fertility enhancing poses you do. Just like regular yoga only designed for women who are trying to conceive.
I'd try hypnosis! I've heard of lots of other things like that which can work so why not hypnosis? I think we are going to try massage therapy, and I've also heard acupuncture can be really good as well.
I tried acupuncture when we started trying to conceive our first child. I got pregnant the next cycle.
Limit Stress & Stop Worrying
Stress can delay and even suppress ovulation. Be sure to chart so that you know if and when you are ovulating.
Find a hobby! I make clothes and read to de-stress. Even when you're not trying to conceive, stress is really hard on your body. The stress hormones can wreak havoc on lots of your body systems. I was told by one of my docs it can even attack your connective tissue in your joints.
I've heard once a lot of women stop stressing and relax is when they end up pregnant because all the stress and worries can overbear your body, inhibiting pregnancy. Just stay strong, and if it's something you truly want, don't give up.
We tried for six months and decided to take a break from "trying" and then ended up getting pregnant that month.