Medically reviewed by Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD on April 13, 2020. Written by Jordana White. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
When you’re trying to get pregnant, knowing how to boost fertility can make all the difference. Read on to discover what you can do to improve the likelihood of pregnancy, methods that don’t work, and more.
How to increase fertility in women
While there isn't any specific "fertility diet" a fertility specialist would recommend if you're trying to conceive, the food you eat can affect your fertility: following a healthy diet rich in key nutrients may help improve one's fertility. An in-depth study revealed that the best diet for fertility should include:
Obesity and being overweight are associated with infertility in women—but studies show that fertility can improve with a weight loss approach that emphasizes a reduced dietary intake of saturated fat and refined carbohydrates, plus regular aerobic exercise. So if you are trying to conceive, ask your healthcare provider or fertility specialist for advice on how you can maintain a healthy weight and follow a healthy diet.
You can increase the likelihood of conception and pregnancy by having sex about one or two days before ovulation—the part of the menstrual cycle that involves the release of an egg from your ovary. (Related: What are normal estradiol levels in women?)
Typically, ovulation takes place about 14 days before the start of the next period. But because menstrual cycles are different for every woman, it isn't always easy to know when you ovulate. Here are a couple tips that can help:
Also, it’s worth mentioning that there’s very little scientific evidence for the belief that specific positions during intercourse improves the odds of conception. Similarly, lying in bed for a while after intercourse—or deliberately not using the restroom—hasn’t been shown to improve pregnancy chances.
How to boost fertility in males
Studies show that healthy diets—like the Mediterranean diet—improve sperm quality in men, which has a positive effect on fertility. But sperm quality suffers if diets are high in saturated and trans fats.
Additionally, preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is important for keeping sperm healthy. (Routine testing is key for protecting yourself against STIs—something you can easily do from the privacy of home with the Everlywell at-home STD Test for men.)
Effectively managing stress is another way to support male fertility. Stress hormones like cortisol can not only interfere with sexual function, but also affect levels of hormones men need to produce sperm.
Here are a few other tips that can help boost fertility in males:
There are practical steps you can take—highlighted above—to increase the chances of pregnancy. One other step you can take? Check in on hormones that play key roles in fertility with the Everlywell at-home women’s Fertility Test. This test measures 5 hormones that can help reveal potential imbalances that may be contributing to fertility issues you’re experiencing. Taking the test is easy—you just collect a small blood sample with a simple finger prick and send your sample to the lab with the prepaid shipping label included with the kit.
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