Optimizing fertility has been on your heart and mind, you’ve probably been perusing Dr. Google for some tips. And my guess is, it’s been a frustrating journey.
When it comes to working towards a desired fertility outcome, you want direction—not generic information that leaves you even more confused and overwhelmed. Not only that, but you need actionable measures based on the latest in health science—not advice from biased websites and opinionated blogs.
If that resonates with you, I’m glad you’re here. In this post, we will be covering four ways you can optimize your fertility—and these are tips you probably haven’t heard of yet.
These strategies are so valuable and yet so underrated. So being here is sort of like getting the inside scoop on supporting fertility.
Support Blood Flow to Your Reproductive Organs
Your blood is responsible for carrying vital nutrients and oxygen throughout your entire body. The more you can optimize systemic blood flow, the more nutrients that can be delivered, and that includes your reproductive organs like your uterus and ovaries.
Poor blood flow has been shown to correlate to lower hormone concentrations, for example, progesterone in the luteal phase, and often leads to a thinner endometrial lining. This has been shown to negatively impact implantation and egg quality, so it’s important to consciously promote healthy blood flow to your reproductive organs.
Here are some ways you can support blood flow:
Castor oil packs. These are effective in breaking up pelvic stagnation to get things moving, and they also work to decrease inflammation. You can find my favorite here.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries to aid in blood flow. It works in part by promoting blood vessel dilatation, which supports circulation. I love using my Prana Mat for a little at-home acupuncture as part of my evening wind-down routine. Find the discounted link here.
Epsom salt baths. The primary element found in Epsom salts is magnesium. One thing magnesium does particularly well is dilate blood vessels, which gets blood flowing more freely through the body, including to the reproductive organs. My go-to is available here.
Fertility massage. Massage also helps stimulate blood flow, but fertility massage is more targeted. It utilizes deep manual manipulation of your pelvic organs to encourage targeted blood flow.
Foods rich in nitric oxide. Pomegranates, beets, and arugula contain high levels of nitrates that convert to nitric oxide, which promotes blood flow. Leafy greens in particular also contain vitamin K, which is useful for blood thinning, making circulation that much easier.
Give Your Vaginal Microbiome Some TLC
You’ve probably heard of the gut microbiome before, but did you know your vagina has a microbiome too? It’s true, and imbalances in your vaginal microbiome have been correlated with fertility issues like failed IVF cycles, decreased rates of implantation, and pregnancy complications including recurrent loss and miscarriage.
So if you’ve been struggling with microbiome-related issues such as BV (Bacterial Vaginosis), yeast infections, or UTIs—especially when they're recurrent and you're trying to conceive— it's worth pursuing vaginal microbiome testing with a skilled practitioner.
If your vaginal microbiome needs some rebalancing, here’s what you can do about it:
Take a lactobacillus probiotic. While many probiotics aimed at improving gut health specifically contain tons of diverse strains, the best strain you can take for vaginal health is more specific: lactobacillus.
Avoiding tight clothing. Avoiding or limiting the use of clothing like tight underwear or yoga pants can reduce moisture and promote a healthier vaginal microbiome. Breathable cotton underwear is the way to go.
Avoiding vaginal cleaning systems. While these can seem well-intended, they can often do more harm than good—especially soaps with fragrances or lotions.
Limit your intake of sugar. Some bacteria strains, like the ones you don’t want to promote down there, thrive on sugar. Eating balanced meals and snacks and limiting added sugars can help reduce bacterial overgrowth and promote overall balance.
Eat for Blood Sugar Optimization
We just scraped the surface of this in the last tip, but let’s go deeper because there are so many reasons it’s important to eat with healthy blood sugar levels in mind. Perhaps most importantly, your blood sugar levels directly influence your hormones, including your sex hormones and stress hormones, which can significantly impact your fertility.
Here’s what eating a blood sugar-friendly diet looks like:
Non-starchy veg: 50% of your meal. Think broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, asparagus, celery, peppers, onions, cucumber, eggplant, and all other veggies you can think of besides the four starchy ones which are corn, peas, potatoes and winter squash
Protein: 25% of your meal. That includes chicken, beef, fish, tofu, tempeh, eggs, and other animal sources.
High-fiber carbohydrates: 25% of your meal. Many different foods contain fiber, especially lentils, chickpeas, apples, cabbage, berries, oats, quinoa, chia seeds, and whole grains.
Plus, healthy fats: Add an intentional amount at every meal. Consider grass-fed butter, olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
The golden rule to support blood sugar: When snacking, avoid eating carbohydrates all by themselves. Instead, pair them with fat or protein to slow absorption and stabilize your blood sugar.
Support a Parasympathetic State
Healing can only take place when you’re in a parasympathetic state—where your nervous system is in “rest and digest” mode. Unfortunately, in our modern-day lives, we have multiple stressors including physiological, psychological, and even physical that keep us stuck in our sympathetic or “fight or flight” mode.
The most common stressors I see among women in my practice are not eating enough, over-exercising, blood sugar dysregulation, hormone imbalances, gut dysbiosis, and more. Supporting your nervous system and leaning into the parasympathetic state more often can help you heal your body, improve your fertility, and just feel better overall.
Practices to get in (and stay in) parasympathetic mode:
Meditation. Meditation activates the parasympathetic nervous system by lowering heart rate, and blood pressure, and promoting deep breathing. Deep breathing patterns signal to your brain that you’re safe, and can therefore relax.
Vagus nerve stimulation, like gargling or humming. The vagus nerve is the primary nerve connecting the body and brain. By stimulating this nerve, you increase its tone, allowing for healthy communication between body and mind.
Practicing gratitude. A daily gratitude practice helps you maintain a positive mindset and focus on the good, reducing feelings of stress and overwhelm.
Spending time outside. Being outside, especially with exposure to sunlight during the day, helps regulate your circadian rhythm and lowers cortisol.
Dark exposure in the evening. We often spend time on our digital devices at night; however, it’s not the best practice if you want to prepare your body for rest. Try reading or other relaxing activities away from phones and TV right before bed.
Limiting phone time. Your phone (and the apps on it) can lead to increased feelings of stress. Moving away from relying on your phone for a dopamine boost encourages a sense of relaxation.
Take Elevating Your Fertility Into Your Hands
Hopefully, by reading these actionable tips you feel more empowered on your journey towards optimizing your fertility. Depending on your unique experiences, there is no guarantee every aspect will be in your hands—and you may need to seek the help of a practitioner.
But with that in mind, there are practices and strategies you can implement to make the most of your fertility and elevate it to its highest level: By supporting blood flow to your reproductive system, giving your vaginal microbiome some TLC, eating to optimize your blood sugar, and consciously spending more time in a parasympathetic state, you can dramatically improve your fertility and overall health.
Want to Take the First Step in Your Holistic Fertility Journey?
Are your fertility goals being fulfilled?
If your answer is “no” or “not sure,” it’s time to reflect on where you are in your fertility journey so you can finally start moving forward. 🙌
The perfect place to start? My quick and easy Fertility Analysis Quiz.