- Avoid NSAIDS (Advil, Motrin, Aleve) – especially in the follicular phase of the cycle - as they can inhibit ovulation.
- Have intercourse every 2nd day (or about 3 times a week). There is no need to have intercourse every day, and in fact, sperm regenerates every 48 hours. Shoot for having intercourse on day 9, 11, 13 and 15 your cycle (but make adjustments for when you are actually ovulating). It’s important to have intercourse before ovulation. Sperm can live in the uterus for up to five days.
- Did you know that not all lubricant is baby-making friendly? Use a sperm friendly lubricant. Pre-Seed or Conceive Plus are options. The natural ingredients in Yes Baby Organic are my favorite. These lubricants actually help to keep sperm alive for longer in the vagina. This helps because when ovulation occurs, the sperm is there waiting.
- Limit caffeine. Excessive caffeine impacts cortisol levels, which can throw off the hormones necessary for fertility. One small (12 ounce) cup of coffee in the morning may be fine, though if you struggle with anxiety or insomnia I'd suggest cutting this out. Switching to green tea can be a good option for some women, as it has only a small amount of caffeine and also has a calming substance called L-Theanine. Men should watch caffeine consumption as well.
- Strictly limit alcohol consumption. There is a link between alcohol consumption and difficulty conceiving. Zero to 1 drink a week for women is probably fine. Men can probably have 1 to 2 drinks per week (men process alcohol more efficiently than women).
- Men: avoid heat from laptops and hot tubs/hot baths in the groin area. Heat can damage sperm. Do not keep your cell phone in your front pocket as there is some evidence that the transmissions from cell phones can damage sperm.
- Make stress management a priority. Again, the stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline can impact the balance of your female sex hormones. Avoid overwork and over-exercise (moderate exercise is good and recommended). Finding activities that you enjoy that are calming and rewarding such as yoga, painting, walking in nature, meditation, etc. are all great ideas. Treatments such as massage and acupuncture are of course supportive too.
- Avoid chemical exposures, including synthetic fragrances. Cigarette smoke, dry cleaning chemicals, plastics, new cars, air fresheners, scented personal care products or new household furniture or carpets are all common sources of toxins. These chemicals are known hormone disruptors.
- Another note on plastics--use glass or stainless steel containers for your food and water. Plastic containers can leach chemicals into your food and water. This is especially true if you are heating foods in plastic. If you occasionally can't avoid eating or drinking from plastic containers, look for BPA free labeling.
Getting the Most of Acupuncture for Fertility
- Consistency is key with acupuncture for fertility. You’ll need to come at least once a week, and in some cases, twice a week. Your acupuncturist will make a recommendation for you depending on your specific needs.
- Both partners should be treated if possible. It takes two the make a baby!
- Certain supplements for fertility are recommended. These are generally strong antioxidants that enhance egg quality. Ubiquinol, NAC and PQQ are some favorites. Making sure you're taking folate instead of folic acid is also recommended. We can give you more specific recommendations when you come in depending on your case. Chinese herbal medicine may be prescribed depending on your presentation.
- Implement Seed Cycling as recommended (see next page).
- Enhance your nutrition! Eating whole foods, fruits rich in antioxidants like berries, dark leafy greens, seeds are especially important: emphasize pumpkin and flax seeds, especially in the first half of the menstrual cycle. Another blog will come with more specifics on fertility nutrition.
- Practice stress reduction techniques: deep breathing, gratitude, massage, meditation/prayer, yoga, coloring, walking, etc.
We are pleased to serve the following communities in Florida with skilled and compassionate acupuncture care for fertility enhancement: Jacksonville, Orange Park, Fleming Island, Ponta Vedra, Nocatee, St. Johns, Jacksonville Beach and more.