9 Best Fertility Herbs for Happy New Parents

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pregnant woman in the grass with best fertility herbdsEpisode 56-In the United States, about 12% of women aged 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant and/or carrying a baby to term. That percentage increases as couples wait longer to have children and is in addition to the 6% who can’t get pregnant at all. That means that nearly 20% of women or 1 in 5 experience fertility issues. On top of this, male infertility has been increasing over the past four decades. That’s because average sperm counts are down by 52% compared to the early 1970’s. Maybe you and your husband are among these folks. So, it’s time we talk about the best fertility herbs and other natural helps we can try before turning to drugs and expensive fertility treatments.

Let’s Talk About Fertility

Most people take fertility for granted. But, many, many things have to go right in order to conceive a child. In women, several organs have to be working optimally. In men, the quality and quantity of sperm has to be high, in addition to an optimally functioning organ. Very often, we assume that if a woman is having her period, she is fertile. That is not necessarily true. We make similar assumptions about a man’s virility, but he may have low sperm, dead sperm,  or the pH of the vaginal tract could be killing the sperm. If there is low or dead sperm, there could be a physiological reason, such as having only one testicle.

But, if there is no physiological reason, many times, infertility can be reversed with the best fertility herbs and other natural helps. After all, sperm is produced in response to hormones and hormone production is influenced by diet, exercise, lifestyle factors, and other things.

Fertility in Women and Men

Hormonal Imbalance in Women

Hormone imbalances that lead to painful periods and PMS can also impact fertility. Low progesterone levels can lead to a short luteal phase. This is the phase right after ovulation that encourages thickening of the uterine lining. The progesterone also helps support the early weeks of pregnancy until the placenta forms. So, low progesterone means that the uterus doesn’t thicken to support the embryo and there is an early miscarriage.

On the other hand, low estrogen levels affect the release of an egg. Low estrogen doesn’t always mean there is a problem with the ovaries. It can indicate an issue with the pituitary gland instead. That’s because it’s the pituitary gland that releases follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) that then triggers the rise in estrogen levels in the ovaries. Usually, it’s diabetes that can cause problems with the “master gland.”

Some other things that have been linked to hormone imbalances are birth control pills, weight issues, a very low-fat diet, excessive exercise, stress, and exposure to estrogen mimicking chemicals (endocrine disruptors), such as pesticides and certain plastics. All of these things don’t just affect women, though.  Lack of exercise, low-fat diets, and exposure to endocrine disruptors can cause fertility issues in men as well.

Special Note About Male Hormones

Endocrine disruptors and phytoestrogens such as soybeans interfere with the production of testosterone. Boys exposed to these chemicals for any length of time, especially in the first three months of life and/or during puberty, are at risk. Please, for the sake of your son’s masculine development, do not use endocrine disrupting chemicals! 

Do not use them during pregnancy, either, and eliminate them as much as possible from your home. It is difficult to get rid of all of them, but severely reducing them helps. And, if you are breastfeeding, be careful about your own exposure as these chemicals do find their way into breast milk. If you are unable to breastfeed, do not give your son soy-based formula.

Also of note is that high performance male athletes tend to have a higher sperm count than their sedentary peers. So, exercise has a significant impact on testosterone and sperm production. Men need to be active, but stay away from tight underwear. Sperm are temperature sensitive and a overly warm environment kills them.

Best Fertility Herbs, Lifestyle Tips, and Natural Helps

Easy Fixes

As I’ve already mentioned, a very low-fat diet and either excessive or no exercise can have a significant effect on hormones. Remember that being too thin also can render a woman temporarily infertile. Some key nutrients to pay attention to include vitamin B6, choline, arginine, zinc, and vitamin C. If you are eating a whole foods diet with a good variety of veggies and quality meats and eggs (both you and hubby),  you should be getting enough of these nutrients.

Listen to the podcast for more easy fixes!

When the Reason is More Challenging

Sometimes, it’s not as easy as some curtains, cream, or eating more fat. Sometimes other health issues such as abnormal thyroid function, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or diabetes affects a woman’s fertility.  Prolonged use of birth control or an undetected sexually transmitted infection (STI) can leave a woman sterile. STIs can destroy the fallopian tubes. So, if you were promiscuous before you were a married Christian and you didn’t have symptoms so you never got tested, now is the time! If you suspect that a health issue might be the root of your difficulty, please consult a qualified medical professional and discuss your challenges and concerns.

Best Fertility Herbs

Well, there are a lot of things that you can do to improve fertility! So, while you try to eat better, sleep better, and balance exercise with relaxation, learn more about the best fertility herbs that have traditionally helped many women conceive.

For Men

Panax Ginseng is the male herbal tonic of choice in Chinese medicine, much like Dang Quai is for women.

Damiana has long been known as an aphrodisiac herb and appears in herbals as a help for both men and women.

Horny Goat Weed is a specific for erectile dysfunction and was shown in a small study using rats to be effective in improving the condition.

Listen to the podcast for more fertility herbs for men!

For Women

A lot of the same herbs that help with irregular periods, PMS, and painful periods also help with female fertility as they are general tonics for the female reproductive system. So, you won’t find any surprises here.

Chasteberry/Vitex is a tonic for the whole female reproductive system and balances hormones as well as improves fertility.

Dang Quai is the female tonic favored by Chinese medicine to strengthen and vitalize women.

Raspberry is a delicious tea and overall tonic that includes vitamins and minerals needed for healthy fertility. It is traditionally advised for the length of pregnancy, but is just fine to add to a daily regimen.

Listen to the podcast to hear more fertility herbs for women!

Sign up to receive the FREE email series, 10 Herbs for Women’s Health, and learn more!

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