Infertility is a common medical issue experienced by most women, one out of every six women has this problem and it is behind the high rate of divorce this days. Female infertility accounts for one-third of all fertility cases.
The main symptom of this condition is the inability of a woman to get pregnant or stay pregnant and it is diagnosed and confirmed infertility after a full year of trying to get pregnant without success if the lady is less than 35 years of age and 6 months if the lady is above 35 years of age.
Causes of infertility in women
The most common causes of infertility are:
- Ovulation problems: When the normal process is obstructed, it can lead to problems ovulating and a woman can’t get pregnant without ovulation. Conditions that can lead to ovulations problems are hormonal imbalance, tumors or cysts, eating disorders, drug abuse, alcohol, stress, thyroid gland problems, obesity, extremely brief menstrual cycles and strenuous exercises.
- Premature ovarian failure also known as ovarian insufficiency can cause female infertility, the ovaries are unable to produce eggs in this condition; it is usually caused by an autoimmune response or it can also be caused by premature loss of eggs from the ovaries.It is mostly genetic but it can also be caused by chemotherapy. Other ovarian disorders that can cause infertility in females are polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hypothalamic dysfunction and excess prolactin which can be caused by prescription drugs.
- Damage to the uterus and fallopian tubes: Injuries or damage to these vital organs can lead to infertility; damages can be caused by pelvic inflammatory disease, infection, polyps in the uterus, fibroids, adhesions or scar tissues, chronic sickness, a previous ectopic pregnancy, birth defect and some medications like DES which is given to women to prevent miscarriage or premature birth, this drug causes fertility problems for their children.
- Problems with the cervix like abnormal cervical mucus can cause infertility. This mucus helps the sperm to reach the eggs; when there is an abnormal level of this mucus, it will be difficult for the sperm to reach and penetrate the egg.
- Age: as a woman advances the number of eggs she produces declines in number and reproduction is impossible when a woman reaches menopause which is around 60 years of age.
- Smoking, this unhealthy habit is dangerous to the female reproductive organs; it damages the cervix and fallopian tubes, it also increases the risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. It makes the ovaries to age quickly and rapidly reduces the number of eggs a woman has. This habit is highly discouraged for women because it makes them infertile; if you want to be a mother in the future, then try and quit this unhealthy habit.
- Obesity is another leading cause of infertility in women because it affects the normal ovulation process; it leads to ovulation problems and this can affect one’s chances of getting pregnant.
- Heavy intake of alcohol can damage the reproductive organs.
- Promiscuous lifestyle is bad for females because it affects their reproduction. Too many sexual partners increases the risk of cervical cancer and sexually transmitted infections while unprotected sex puts a lady at risk of sexually transmitted diseases and infections like herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia which can damage the fallopian tubes. A woman with damaged fallopian tubes will find it difficult to take in.
- Stress can even affect the production and secretion of hormones; it can affect ovulation and the menstrual cycle. This also includes emotional and psychological stress.
- Strenuous or excessive exercise can also affect a woman’s ability to take in.
- Malnutrition is another cause of infertility; it deprives the body and organs of vital nutrients which can help in reproduction. Not getting enough nutrients and eating disorders like anorexia can even put a stop to menstrual cycles by affecting the levels of hormones in the body. .
- Research has confirmed that too much of caffeine can make a woman unable to get pregnant.
How to prevent fertility problems
Fertility problems can be prevented by avoiding the risk factors; below are what to avoid if you want to have your own babies in the future.
- Avoid a promiscuous lifestyle because you can be infected with a sexually transmitted disease which is a risk factor for female infertility.
- Avoid stress or reduce it because it can affect the ability to conceive by impairing many vital functions of the body.
- Maintain a healthy weight because being both underweight and overweight can increase the risk of ovulation disorders. Use moderate exercises to lose weight because strenuous exercises can decrease ovulation.
- Avoid use of illicit drugs, they can damage vital reproductive organ of the female reproductive system.
- Avoid heavy drinking it can damage the reproductive organs
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle and make sure you practice good personal hygiene because dirt can lead to infection which can lead to infertility.
- Don’t smoke and don’t expose yourself to second hand smoke.
Natural remedies for female infertility
Eat healthy foods: Eat healthy foods to improve the nutrient levels of your body and boost the metabolic functions of the body and to improve fertility. Most naturalists recommend healthy eating to women who want to take in; this is one of the most important treatment options.
A proper and healthy diet that includes healing foods and boost fertility should be eaten every day; healing and fertility boosting foods includes wild fish, they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which helps to regulate ovulation, improve the quality of eggs and even delay aging of the ovaries. These fatty acids also fight inflammation and they enhance fertilization and implantation.
Eat foods rich in vitamin E; this vitamin is vital for the production and secretion of many hormones and it ensure proper functioning of the endocrine system. Vitamin C is also needed for fertility and reproduction. It enhances normal ovulation in women and helps the body absorb and utilize iron which is essential for women who want to take in. Take lots of citrus fruits, red peppers and dark green vegetables like kale.
Vitamin D is also vital for fertility; deficiency in this vitamin can lead to infertility and miscarriage. Eat lots of eggs and poultry and enjoy sunshine. B vitamins are also needed to increase the levels of luteinizing hormones and follicle stimulating hormone and all these will help in improving fertility.
Folate another vitamin is a vital for fertility; it prevents birth defects and helps in the generation of new cells. It promotes a healthy ovulation and pregnancy; good sources of folate are green vegetables, citrus fruits, wheat germ and beans.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are rich in indole-3-carbinol; this compound helps the liver to metabolize estrogen which is needed for fertility. Steam these vegetables before eating to reduce the amount of goitrogens.
Zinc is also a vital mineral needed for ovulation and reproduction; take lots of pumpkin seeds, they are rich in zinc. Selenium protects the eggs and the body from free radicals; it helps cell division and prevents miscarriage.
Note that it is advisable to go for non-GMO and organic foods; pesticides used on non-organic crops can affect hormones and this can lead to infertility.
Avoid some foods: They are some foods that are bad for reproduction and they disrupt the processes necessary for reproduction to take place in the body. They include high fat processed meats, they contain additives which can obstruct metabolic processes and they increase inflammation in the body.
Grains increase the levels of cortisol and estrogens beyond normal and this can lead to fertility. Refined sugar should also be avoided; they deplete the levels of nutrients in the body and cause malnutrition which can affect reproduction. Excessive intake of sugar also leads to obesity which is one of the leading risk factors for infertility.
Alcohol is another bad food/drink that should be avoided, as seen from the causes above; it increases inflammation and also weakens or suppresses the immune system. Women who drink heavily have a higher risk of having ovulation disorders and fibroids than women who don’t. Caffeine should also be avoided because it interferes with fertility; it causes hormonal imbalance, mineral deficiencies and dehydration.
Illicit drugs like marijuana can affect ovulation and make ovulation difficult each month.
Quality hydration: Proper and quality hydration helps to lubricate the body; it aids in the transfer of nutrients to various vital organs and it also helps in the transport of hormones. It expels waste and toxins from the body and prevents infections. Take not less than 8 glasses of water daily; take lots of fruits, homemade fruit juices and smoothies and herbal teas.
Detoxify your body: Accumulated toxins, parasites and harmful chemicals can make conception difficult; so it will be a good move to detoxify your body while trying to take in. also remember that your body is the first home of your child, so you have to keep it clean. Accumulated toxins can affected the levels of hormones, impair digestion and absorption of food thereby leading to nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition, affects vital organs of the body, affects sleep, sex drive, appetite, and make one fat leading to obesity. So it will be wise to detoxify your body by using herbs, regular intake of water, fruit juices and green vegetable smoothies and fasting.
Decrease stress: If avoiding stress seems impossible then you can try to reduce stress while trying to get pregnant. This is an important treatment in infertility cases; stress disrupts the normal levels of hormones in the body. Look for ways you can reduce stress so that you can boost your chances of taking in.
Dandelion: It is very rich in trace minerals, vitamin A and C; it cleanses the body of toxins and harmful chemicals and boosts fertility.
Holy basil: This is a wonderful herb that is used to cure infertility in women; it treats menstrual disturbances and disorder and raises the chances of conception. Every day, try and chew four leaves of basil, you can also chew the seeds and follow this up by taking a glass of milk. This will improve your chances of conception and can make you get pregnant quick; it is also safe to take this remedy during your menses because it has no complications.
Indian ginseng: Also known as Ashwagandha; this powerful herb is used to help women who are unable to conceive by themselves. This herb ensures proper functioning of the reproductive organs and it maintains the proper levels of hormones. It also tones the uterus and prevents miscarriages and it is effective in reducing stress. Mix a tablespoon of ashwangandha in a glass of warm and take it twice daily.
Evening primrose oil: This herb is rich in high levels of gamma-linolenic acids (GLA); this essential fatty acid is needed to boost fertility, it increases cervical mucus and strengthens the functions of the uterus.
Pomegranate: This is effective in boosting fertility in women; it increases the flow of blood to the uterus and thickens the lining of the uterus to prevent miscarriage. It also promotes healthy development of the fetus. You can eat fresh pomegranate daily or drink the juice or you can mix equal amount of finely powdered pomegranate seeds and bark and store it in an airtight jar. Take ½ teaspoon of this mixture and add it to a glass of warm water and take it twice daily.
Alfalfa: Very rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K and 8 digestive enzymes; all these can boost fertility.
Cinnamon: It boost proper functioning of the ovaries and make them healthy; it fights infertility and it is effective against polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which is one of the main causes of infertility in females. It improves menstrual cycle in women with PCOS; it also fights uterine fibroids, endometriosis, lack of menstruation in women and yeast infections. Include cinnamon in all your drinks and foods and you can add a teaspoon of cinnamon to a cup of hot water and take it once daily.
Red raspberry leaf: This powerful herb is popular for its ability to boost conception; it is nutritious, it is high in calcium and it serves as a natural tonic for the uterus. Use the leaf to make tea and you can take it either hot or cold and it is also available in capsule form.
Dates: These nuts are loaded with many vital nutrients that can help a woman to conceive; they are rich in vitamin A, B, E, iron and other essential minerals that are vital for conception and it also ensure a safe pregnancy. Eat lots of dates daily.
Red clover: This herb has high vitamin content and it is very rich in trace minerals; it restores fertility and balances the levels of hormones.
Olive oil: Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats that can improve the health and functions of the reproductive organ; it even fights against inflammation and treats underlying problems. Use this oil to cook, you can also add it to your salad dressings and take 2 tablespoons of olive oil daily.
Chasteberry: This herb helps to balance hormones and it is also effective in stimulating the ovaries. It lowers the levels of prolactin and raises the levels of progesterone.
Apple cider vinegar: This is effective in helping a woman get pregnant; it detoxifies the body, balances hormones and treats all problems preventing normal conception. It alkalizes the environment in the vagina which promotes conception and makes it easy to get pregnant. It also treats fungal infections that can make it difficult for a woman to take in. Add two tablespoons of ACV to a glass of warm water and take it twice daily, you can add honey for taste. You can also mix ACV in your regular bath water and soak in it for 20 to 30 minutes.
Maca: This herb is powerful in treating hormonal imbalance; it is popular across the globe for its fertility enhancing effects, it is available in both powder and capsule form and it should be taken only between menses and ovulation. It should not be taken during pregnancy.
Banyan roots: This is one of the most effective home remedies for female infertility; add two tablespoons of banyan root powder in a glass of milk and take it on an empty stomach, do this consecutively for 3 nights after you’re done with your period. Don’t eat anything for an hour after taking this mixture; continue for few months till you notice visible effects and make sure you don’t take it during your periods.
Nettle leaf: This leaf is high in vital minerals that can boost fertility; it is rich in chlorophyll, it reduces stress and it is a uterine tonic. It is rich in vitamin K which can prevent hemorrhage and it ensures a healthy pregnancy. Take nettle leaf tea regularly.
Fennel: This herb is effective in improving female fertility; it can even increase the chances of conception in overweight women. You can get the powdered form and take 6 grams daily, you can also mix it with 12 grams of pure butter and take this mixture every day for 3 months without stopping to improve your chances of taking in.
Sleep well: Getting adequate sleep helps to reduce stress and also improves fertility. Getting less of night hour’s sleep can negatively affect a woman’s ability to conceive. It balances the levels of hormones, it promotes normal ovulation and menstrual cycle, and it increases appetite and boosts conception. An adult female should have not less than 8 hours of sleep at night; if you are suffering from insomnia there are things you can do to restore back your sleep pattern.
Check your medications: Some medications like antidepressants and steroids can impair fertility; if you are on any medication and you are finding it hard to conceive, meet with your doctor so that he can change the drug for you and slowly take you off that drug.
Engage in moderate exercise: Engaging in moderate exercises regularly can help to relieve stress, improve appetite, sleep, and sexual urge and balance the levels of hormones. It releases serotonin the feel good hormone which does all these and improves mood. Weigh training and burst training exercises are the best ways to balance the hormones effectively. Engaging in these exercises regularly gives one a healthy waistline and enhances the chances of conception. These exercises need to be done moderately because research has shown that too much exercise can cause infertility and hormonal imbalance.
Chiropractic treatment: According to research, this treatment can make a difference for some women. Research shows that a little misalignment in the spinal column will impact nerve impulses; this can lead to blocked neurological signals which can affect fertility. It can also lead to hormonal imbalance. Go for this treatment so that you can have a healthy spine and a healthy reproductive system.
Limit your exposure to harmful chemicals: Household chemicals for cleaning, cosmetics and beauty products, body creams, plastic water bottles and so on contain harmful chemicals that can affect fertility. Use natural alternatives instead and in case there is no alternative then try to avoid the product at all.
Natural progesterone cream: You can use this to balance the levels of hormones and boost fertility; this is good for women who experience short menstrual cycles or short second phase of their cycle; that is, ovulation through the start of menstruation. These conditions listed can be caused by low levels of progesterone. Make sure the one you used is prescribed by a doctor and it is soy free and it should be used only during the second half of your cycle, that is, ovulation through menses.
To see more herbs that you can use to boost fertility please click here.
Please note that these herbs should not be taken along with fertility drugs hormone treatment or birth control to avoid complications. Consult a doctor or a qualified herbalist to know if it is safe to try a particular herb.