Waiting on a positive pregnancy test can feel frustrating and discouraging, especially if you’re ready to take the plunge into parenthood. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say about 10% of women in the U.S. ages 15-44 will have trouble with infertility. If you’re looking for ways to boost your fertility or thinking about fertility treatment, here are some steps you can take to help.

1. Manage Stress

You may notice your anxiety levels rise as you attempt to get pregnant, but it’s important to mitigate stress where you can. Studies show stress can actually change your menstrual cycle and impact sperm production and maturation in men. Plus, everyone has probably experienced a time when stress reduced sexual desire. If you feel extra stressed while attempting to increase your fertility, try meditation, exercise or reading.

2. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

If you’ve been considering losing weight for some time, do it now to help boost fertility. Likewise, if you’re underweight, you should gain the necessary pounds to get your cycle back on track. Fat cells are connected to estrogen production, and not having the right amount can throw off the hormones involved in ovulation. Men may also need to lose weight to improve fertility, as obesity lowers testosterone levels and sperm quality.

3. Change Your Diet

Cutting out or eating more of certain foods can boost your fertility naturally. Start by eating foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. If you’re prone to skipping breakfast, try waking up a little earlier and sitting down to eat a hearty breakfast. One study showed eating a big breakfast could improve some of the hormonal effects of polycystic ovary syndrome (POCS) and help you ovulate more regularly.

4. Watch Your Cycle

You can increase your chances of getting pregnant simply paying more active attention to your cycle. Your typical cycle is 28 days and you ovulate about 14 days before you start your next period. However, this can change from person to person. Try tracking your basal body temperature and watch for a small dip then a spike as you ovulate. You can also use apps to find your best chance at conception.

5. Stop Smoking

There are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, and fertility is one of them. Cigarette toxins damage eggs, negatively interfere with the fertilization and implantation process and cause the ovaries to age. Luckily, you can get some of your ovarian function back by cutting out cigarettes as soon as possible.

6. Increase Your Vitamins and Minerals

Boosting your vitamin and mineral intake can also boost fertility. Start taking a multivitamin if you’re not already and check to see if you have any vitamin deficiencies. If you’re low in some areas, you can start taking vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin C and more to get your body back on track. Also, make sure you watch for iron deficiencies as it can decrease the quality of your eggs and even stop you from ovulating.

Contact Western Fertility Institute

When you still can’t increase your fertility through natural methods, it may be time to try a fertility treatment. Western Fertility Institute is here for you with a variety of options from in vitro fertilization (IVF) to Intrauterine insemination (IUI). Schedule an appointment today to figure out what’s best for you.

This content was medically reviewed by the Western Fertility Institute medical team on September 26, 2019.