Simple Ways to Maximize Fertility
Timing is Key!
A woman is fertile for 5 days leading up to ovulation. After that ovulation day, the likelihood of conceiving is minimal to non-existent. Tracking ovulation with basal body temperature, LH strips or mucus changes can be a great way to get to know your body and your cycle, but the day of ovulation marks the end of the fertile window. If you’re unsure when you ovulate, having intercourse every 2-3 days from the end of your period past the middle of your cycle can ensure you’re active during the right time.
Getting to know your cycle over many months can help you better predict when you will ovulate and help you maximize your chances of conception.
Physical Activity: Not Too Much
There is clear benefit with physical activity for fertility in both men and women. But too much activity can be as bad as not enough. High intensity exercise for more than 60 minutes at a time can increase your cortisol levels (stress hormone) which plays a role in hormone regulation. Too much cortisol can block sex hormones which are needed for fertility. For women, these hormones help the egg mature, release from the ovaries, and implant in the uterus. For men, they help with sperm maturation and make sure they are able to swim to the egg.
The ideal amount of exercise for both men and women is 30-60 minutes per day.
Keep your libido alive.
Some couples have very stringent baby making schedules which can make it feel like a chore. It’s better for both partners if it is fun and enjoyable, creating connection and pleasure. Everyone has accelerators and brakes when it comes to sexual desire. We all have triggers that get us going and others that stop our desire in its tracks. Knowing what your triggers are can help create the best opportunity to get in the mood.
The triggers that put on the brakes are widespread and can come from stressors at home, work, or anywhere. Anything that happens throughout the day or week that increase your stress response can dampen your libido. However, the extent to which this occurs is very individual. Some people’s brakes are mild, and some are very strong. Alternatively, everyone’s accelerators are also different. Some people get turned on easily, others need very specific environment and context.
Knowing your own, and your partners, brakes and accelerators can help you understand what you need to do to boost the accelerators and block the brakes.
Know your body.
There are some physical factors that can interfere with fertility. Thyroid concerns, nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, some chronic diseases, and lifestyle factors can impact your ability to conceive.
Dr Dawn has a special interest in helping men and women improve their energy and libido leading to increased health and vitality. She also works with women in pregnancy, postpartum care, and fertility, as well as children of all ages.