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Lifestyle Changes for Fertility
A number of studies have shown that simple lifestyle changes have a positive effect on fertility. If you are having trouble conceiving, consider some of the following approaches.
Infertility rates are nearly three times higher among obese women, according to a 1994 Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, study. The reason? Thirty percent of estrogen comes from fat cells, so the more fat a woman carries, the more estrogen she creates. When estrogen levels are askew, all the cycles of fertility are negatively affected, from ovulation to menstruation to conception. Obesity may also lead to the body’s resistance to insulin, causing it to overcompensate and produce extra insulin, which, in turn, can halt ovulation.
Touch therapies like massage and acupuncture are said to increase fertility because they improve blood flow, balance the body’s energy flow, and reduce cortisol levels, which reduces stress. A 2004 study published in Medical Study News reviewed a new massage developed by a physical therapist and a massage therapist called the Wurn Technique showed 71 percent success in natural fertility within one year of the receiving the treatment. A 2008 review of randomized controlled trials from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore found acupuncture significantly improved pregnancy rates resulting from the embryo transfer process.
Flex and Bend
Studies found couples who practiced yoga were more likely to conceive during in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments than those who didn’t, and in 2000, Harvard Medical School researchers revealed women who participated in yoga and relaxation techniques were three times more likely to get pregnant.
Watch Your Diet
The Nurse’s Health Study of more than 116,000 women found women eating a half cup of ice cream two or more times a week dropped infertility levels 38 percent more than women eating ice cream just once a week. The same study found that women eating just a modest amount of trans fats (2 percent of calories) witnessed significant increases in infertility. Harvard School of Public Health in Boston also studied foods and fertility, creating “The Fertility Diet,” a full-fat, lowered carbohydrate, organic diet that produced noticeable increases in fertility.