What is natural fertility support for women and men?
Natural fertility support is the idea that there are things we can do at home to support a gentle and progressive improvement in our fertility.
It is based on the idea that – sometimes – the lifestyle we lead works against our best intents when we are preparing, or actively trying, to conceive a baby.
Broadly, natural fertility support involves simple, dietary and lifestyle changes which are easy to incorporate into our day-to-day lives.
Does natural fertility support replace standard medical care?
No, but the best thing about natural fertility support like that outlined in this blog, is that you can easily incorporate it into your day-to-day lifestyle without it working against anything your doctor or complementary health practitioner may recommend.
That said, it’s always a good idea to mention these changes to your physician just to make sure that what you’re doing fits into their treatment plan.
Anyway, who’s writing this blog and what makes you qualified to share these ideas with me?
My name is Peter Kington acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner. I work in my Brisbane acupuncture clinic in New Farm offering fertility acupuncture, IVF acupuncture and male fertility acupuncture.
I have been practising since 2005 and work closely with men and women seeking to conceive or who received a medical diagnosis of infertility.
My skill base includes acupuncture and Chinese medicine and I offer dietary and lifestyle advice based on my understanding of western and eastern reproductive physiology.
So what are your “Top 5 Take Home Tips” for natural fertility support?
1 A nourishing diet your grandmother would love
There was a time when we didn’t have take away food. There was also a time when we grew our own fruit and veggies, eggs and milk.
I’m not a food evangelist and am in no way suggesting we should all resume a lifestyle on the land.
But there probably is a place in our lives for cooking our food from scratch. Here are some tips:
- If possible, source quality, wholesome foods from the fresh fruit and veg markets (organic is great, but not essential). Or, if you’ve got a green thumb, grow some veggies in your back yard and enjoy the process of seeding, nurturing, harvesting and eating
- Slow cooking and stewing meats and veggies, so all the lovely richness is drawn from the ingredients, is a great way to eat your food (and often there’ll be left overs for lunches on the days which follow).
- Avoid adding packaged ingredients into your cooking – unless you like the idea of hidden sources of salt, sugar and bad fats infiltrating your food.
- In short, develop a fun relationship with food and prepare it with purposeful intent
2 Moderate, restorative exercise
Exercise is so important to good fertility and forms an essential part of any natural fertility support program you might undertake.
It’s pretty well known that too much exercise can cause disruption to a woman’s menstrual cycle, so getting the balance right is really important. Here are some tips:
- Moderate exercise is great for natural fertility support which can vary in length, but somewhere around 40-50 minutes each day
- undertake a variety of exercises: perhaps walk one day and swim the next; some gentle, manageable weights one day; some stretching and yoga the next. One weekend take a walk in the bush and another day wander the streets of your neighbourhood and sometimes exercise with your partner and sometimes exercise on your own.
- Always only exercise to your ability and if you’re unsure about what is good for you seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified expert.
- Joining a gym is not essential to being able to exercise – there is much you can do at home and in your neighbourhood
3 Avoid “Dr Google” and develop mindfulness
- The point here is try to avoid things which create stress and as much as possible, create space in your day where you can invest in your own well-being and happiness. This might include exercise (see above), catching up with friends (see below) or just doing something each day that is entirely and purposefully for you – meditation, listening to music, reading a book, walking the dog.
4 Embrace quality relationships and avoid drongos
- Good relationships are so important to human happiness. Choose who you hang out with wisely. Seek a supportive ear or a compassionate mind over a needy companion. Above all else, avoid internet “relationships” in fertility forums – or at least avoid the dark recesses of the internet where crazy ideas flourish and foster stress and angst in your mind.
5 Don’t close open doors, open closed doors…BE A DOOR
- while a bit cryptic, this one is actually really simple: never walk past an opportunity but even better than that, create the opportunity for yourself. Odds are, if you’re reading this blog you’re already doing that, so pat yourself on your back and have a great day!
What next in my quest for natural fertility support?
If you’re not sure what to do next, seek the guidance of someone in the know – a well qualified, experienced practitioner of natural medicine or complementary healthcare is a great place to start.