Allerton Health Centre

Health & Wellbeing

Struggling with Fertility

Having a baby can be one of the most exciting times in a couple's life. From conception to birth, pregnancy is usually a happy and joyful journey. But if you are having difficulties conceiving, the pregnancy journey can become fraught with complications and worries.

If you and your partner are struggling with fertility issues, you may want to look into ways that you can help to improve your fertility naturally.

‘Fertility’ simply refers to a couple's chances of becoming pregnant. If you are fertile, then there is a good chance that you will become pregnant at some point in time.

Though being fertile may sound easy enough, it's actually quite complicated. This is because so many factors play a role in contributing to fertility. Things like diet, exercise, and overall health all have a huge impact on fertility. This is one of the reasons why so many couples in the UK face fertility problems. In the UK sperm counts have dropped by 50% in the last ten years, a quarter of all couples planning a baby have trouble conceiving and of the couples who seek help 30% are told they have ‘unexplained infertility’.1

It is important to not loose heart however. Nature is wonderfully clever and with a few tweeks and adjustments to everyday lifestyle habits, over a period of months your health can significantly improve which in turn puts you at a better chance of conceiving a healthy baby.

If you are interested in improving your fertility, one of the initial important steps is to monitor for when you are most fertile. Many couples have difficulty getting pregnant because they are having intercourse at times when the woman isn't ovulating. This can make it surprisingly difficult to conceive.

There are a number of different ways that you can monitor your fertility. Keeping track of your cervical mucus and monitoring your basal body temperature can help you to determine exactly when you are ovulating. You can also purchase Ovulation Kits from pharmacies.

Though you may not believe it, eating right plays an important role in your body's fertility. A balanced diet helps to regulate hormones and nourish your reproductive system. For example excess body fat can increase the amount of oestrogen in your body, throwing the female fertility cycle out of balance.

Nutrition is fundamental to preparing the body for successful conception and is vital for the developing baby. A National Food Survey found that the average person in Britain was deficient in 6 out of 8 vitamins surveyed. And fewer than 1 in 10 people received the recommended daily allowance of Zinc, one of the most important minerals for male and female fertility.2  In a comparative study provided by Foresight (the society for the promotion of preconception health), an improved diet, coupled with detoxing to remove residual toxins and waste, produced the following results: 78% of couples who were having difficulty conceiving had healthy babies after detoxing, compared to 22% who used IVF. Of the detox pregnancies 3.5% went on to miscarry as opposed to 25% of the NHS average. 3

Moderate exercise can also be a good natural fertility treatment. When combined with a balanced and nutritious diet, exercise can help you to maintain a healthy body weight. It is best not to overdo exercise though - over exercising and being underweight can actually impair fertility.

How else can you help?

Stress can be a huge factor in fertility, and not conceiving can in itself become a cause of stress. If stress is a factor for you or your partner then it can be worth considering some relaxation therapies.

Alongside lifestyle and dietary changes it may be helpful to try some complementary approaches.

When used in conjunction with other aids, Acupuncture can help regulate reproductive hormones and assist in the maturation of eggs. Symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances are particularly treatable. For example, monthly cycles that have been irregular can be helped into regularity with acupuncture. PMS symptoms and frustrations associated with trying-to-conceive can all be effectively addressed with the use of Acupuncture.

Women aren't the only ones to benefit from acupuncture when it comes to fertility issues. It can be used in some cases of male infertility when symptoms relate to sperm production and general health and wellness.

Of course Acupuncture is not necessarily for everyone. We do often recommend other treatments at the clinic such as Herbal Medicine and Reflexology. However we always advise that it is best to take a Holistic approach when treating fertility and work in conjunction with standard practice  offered by the NHS.

For example should there be a need to use assisted reproduction therapies such as IVF, acupuncture can be of good use as an effective support in these types of procedures. It can also be used indirectly to reduce anxiety and stress often experienced when undergoing assisted reproduction treatment. All of this support helps to improve conditions for successful fertilization.

If you would like to look into further information on issues discussed in this article please take a look at the following information sites:

1 Glenville ‘Natural Solutions to Infertility’ Piatkus 2000
2 Ibid
3 Hamilton, ‘Life Detox’ Piatkus, 2007


Article Info

  • Brief:

    Consider some natural ways to improve chances of conceiving.

  • Published on: 10th Jul 2011
  • Written by: Jennifer Green