8. Try Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been shown to increase rates of conception and live birth among women undergoing in-vitro fertilization; improve the thickness of uterine linings (a boost to fertility); and stimulate ovulation and improve the quality of eggs.
One of the primary ways that acupuncture works is by addressing and redistributing “chi,” or the body’s energy. If the quantity is low, or its distribution is blocked, organs begin to malfunction, Chinese-medicine expert Brandon Horn explains. There are specific meridians (energy pathways) leading into the various parts of the reproductive system. If any of these pathways develops blockages, then reproductive function is altered.
“Acupuncture is one of the most powerful techniques to increase chi production and to help remove anything that is preventing its smooth distribution,” Horn says. “Once the flow is restored, the body will begin the process of repair.”
Randine Lewis, PhD, a Chinese-medicine specialist and author of The Infertility Cure (Little, Brown and Company, 2005), also notes that there can be a “husband-wife” imbalance in women who are struggling to get pregnant. The impulse to force a pregnancy can create a dominance of “yang,” or controlling energy, in a woman’s body, when pregnancy requires “yin,” or receptive energy. Acupuncture works to unblock this energy and restore equilibrium.
9. Know Your Supplements
While a diet of nutrient-rich whole foods is essential in cultivating fertility, conventional and holistic practitioners agree that dietary supplements can also play an important role. Here are a few supplements commonly recommended by our experts (please consult your own health professional before altering your nutrition program):
- B-vitamin complex: Myo-inositol is a B vitamin that has been found to improve ovulation and fertility in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Folic acid (B9) is critical insurance against neural-tube-related birth defects, which usually occur in the first 28 days of pregnancy.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in coldwater fish and flax, for example, omega-3 fats can help control endometriosis and other hormonal conditions. At minimum, take a high-quality fish-oil capsule with your daily multivitamin.
- Coenzyme Q10: A 2009 study found that taking up to 600 milligrams of CoQ10 a day helped improve egg quality and fertilization rates in older women.