15 Factors that Affect Fertility

factors affecting fertilityInfertility is the inability of sexually active couples to conceive a baby after one year of unprotected sex.  Approximately 14% of couples are infertile and the percentage is climbing.  In a nutshell, our world is more toxic than ever before.  Nutrition affects all aspects of health, including fertility.  Please read on to learn about 15 factors that affect fertility; 5 that can negatively impact it, 5 factors that can increase it and 5 vitamins or minerals that can improve it!

Fertility can be compromised by exposure to the following 5 factors and can hurt fertility (not an all-inclusive list):

  • Chemicals i.e., pesticides in our foods, BPA in plastic water bottles and heavy metals i.e. tap water, flu vaccine.
  • Alcohol reduces sperm count in men and can prevent implantation of the fertilized egg in women.
  • Certain drugs inhibit conception, for example ulcer medications.
  • A diet high in fried foods, sugar, animal fats, junk food or caffeine.  Pumpkin seeds, bee pollen and royal jelly are specific foods that can prevent conception.
  • Stress, lack of exercise and obesity i.e. obese men are three times more likely to exhibit low sperm quality than men of a healthy weight and overweight men exhibit increased DNA damage to sperm.

The following 5 factors can increase fertility:

  • An organic diet with whole foods (lycopene-containing foods, such as tomatoes and watermelon are particularly helpful), fibre and filtered water.
  • A gluten-free diet.
  • Avoid the foods listed above, as well as, alcohol and drugs.
  • Certain herbs, for example, Astragalus stimulates sperm mobility; Yin-yang-huo, a male aphrodisiac, may increase sperm count and semen density; Ginseng is helpful for women.
  • Certain vitamins and minerals (please see below for examples).

The following 5 vitamins or minerals can increase fertility:

  • Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals.  One 2006 study found that administering Vitamin C every day for 2 months increased sperm count.
  • Zinc improves the functioning of the reproductive system.
  • Coenzyme Q10 protects the sperm against oxidative damage and helps with sperm motility.
  • Essential Fatty Acids (Fish oil) is vital for normal glandular function, especially the reproductive system.
  • Vitamin E is known as the “sex vitamin” as it carries oxygen to the sex organs and regulates cervical mucus production.

You can see that much can be done naturally to increase fertility.  Our ancestors did not experience the high rates of infertility that we experience today but then, they were consuming foods made in nutrient-rich soil and receiving all the vitamins and minerals they needed to reproduce.  Please pass this post onto those you know that are wanting children but have so far been unable to conceive.

Sources: “What About His Fertility?” article in March 2014 Alive Magazine and Prescription for Nutritional Healing Fourth Edition.

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Until next time,

Meredith

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