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5 Ways To Boost Fertility Naturally

Explore factors that can influence fertility, discover five foods to boost your fertility, and learn about supplements that can also help.

Updated June 4, 2024

by Ali Miller

Registered Dietitian RD, LD, CDE
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According to a 2023 World Health Organization (WHO) report, 1 in 6 people worldwide experience infertility.1 Infertility is big business — it’s a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry that includes synthetic hormones, harmful interventions, and often extended emotional timeframes for families.2 The expense and stress of infertility, along with the side effects of treatments, are driving health trends to discover alternatives that will boost fertility naturally.

Using functional integrative medicine, I always start with assessing the root cause of chronic conditions. To start, find a facility that can screen you for inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalance, and micronutrient deficiencies. You also want to immediately remove the primary inflammatory foods from your diet, including gluten, soy, refined sugar, and corn.3,4,5,6 Emphasize a low-glycemic diet with many whole, single-ingredient foods.7 I also recommend sourcing organic ingredients, as the role of glyphosate residue from pesticides and chemical fertilizers has a strong correlation with infertility.8 Now, let’s look at factors that can influence fertility and some foods and supplements to help boost your fertility naturally!

What Can Influence Fertility?

The following factors can influence fertility:

  • Being underweight or being overweight (especially when combined with insulin resistance)9,10
  • Exposure to toxins (which a medically-supported detox program can help)11
  • Stress (including elevated levels of androgens and cortisol)10,12,13
  • Hormonal imbalance (PCOS, endometriosis, low progesterone, estrogen dominance)14,15,16,17
  • Micronutrient deficiency (leading to insufficient hormonal response, cellular development, and DNA expression)18,19
  • Dysbiosis or imbalanced gut bacteria (often seen as bloating, IBS, recurring UTIs, and yeast infections)20,21,22,23

5 Foods To Boost Your Fertility

Focus on these five foods to help boost your fertility:

1. Folate

A fresh salad in a white bowl on a black plate features spinach leaves, sliced avocado, and whole almonds, all known to boost fertility. A halved avocado with a pit is visible on its side near the plate. The dish is placed on a wooden surface.

Folate (also called folic acid or vitamin B9) plays a role in DNA and RNA production, supports healthy fetal brain development, and prevents neural tube defects and miscarriage.24,25 You can find folate in foods like avocado and dark leafy greens.24

2. B-Vitamins

A slate with "Vitamin B" written on it is surrounded by foods rich in Vitamin B, known to help boost fertility, including cheese, eggs, salmon, nuts, milk, liver, spinach, tomatoes, shrimp, pork, and garlic—all arranged on a dark textured surface.

Birth control and synthetic estrogen deplete B vitamins.26 A diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar is another primary contributor to leaching B vitamins out of your system.27 Foods rich in B vitamins can support healthy estrogen metabolism, cellular health, and energy production.28,29 They also help support a healthy weight and optimal response to insulin levels.30,31 Try eating foods like liver and nuts/seeds for B vitamins.28

3. EPA/DHA

A variety of healthy foods known to boost fertility are arranged on a dark surface, including a raw salmon fillet, avocado, nuts, seeds, small fish, olive oil, spinach leaves, and carrots. Ingredients are presented in small dishes or placed directly on the surface.

These omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, making the uterus a more welcoming environment while aiding in hormonal expression.32,33 Egg yolks from pasture-raised eggs, quality fish oil, and flax seeds have EPA and DHA.34,35,36 Flax seeds can also help detoxify excess estrogen through their lignans, which can aid in removing excess estrogen, allowing for a healthy hormonal balance.37

4. Zinc

A wooden platter displays zinc-rich foods, including beef, salmon, cheese, shrimp, mushrooms, and parsley. Surrounding it are bowls of seeds, nuts, cocoa powder, and garlic. Wooden blocks spelling "ZINC" are at the top—perfect for those looking to boost fertility through their diet.

This mineral plays a role in PCOS — driving elevated insulin and imbalanced testosterone expression.38 Zinc also plays a role in fat metabolism and, ultimately, vitamin A status.39,40 This can lead to low antioxidant status, causing inflammation and unsuccessful fertilization or birth defects. Red meat, pumpkin seeds, and cacao are good sources of zinc.41,42

5. Maca Root (Stress Supporter)

People have long acknowledged this Peruvian root for its role in boosting libido and fertility in women and men, making the fertility process a lot more fun and removing the forced mechanical feel that can dampen the process!43 It tonifies the brain’s pituitary gland, which is often imbalanced from the stress response and leads to decreased progesterone production.44 When maca root stimulates the pituitary gland, this stimulates human growth hormone, oxytocin, and progesterone production. Progesterone aids in the healthy implantation of the fertilized egg and supports healthy placental production to prevent miscarriage.45

Supplements That May Help Boost Fertility

Here are three supplements that might help boost your fertility:

1. Quality Prenatal

A sound multivitamin is an important foundation for optimizing fertility and supporting healthy fetal development. Look for a product that’s free of dyes and fillers and is third-party-assessed for purity. I also recommend ensuring your multivitamin has methylated B vitamins; this is important, as about 40% of the population have a genetic mutation where they can’t process synthetic folate.46 A good-quality methylated form will be listed as “5-methyltetrahydrofolate” (also known as Nature Folate), and B-12 will be listed as “methylcobalamin.” Choline is another nutrient to look for in a quality multivitamin because it aids in fetal brain development and fertility.47,48

2. Quality Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy fetal brain development and maintaining an anti-inflammatory state in the maternal body, allowing for successful fertility and implantation.32,49,50 Look for a product that’s third-party-assessed for PCBs, mercury, toxins, and purity. Aim for at least 1 gram of EPA/DHA. (Some patients with high inflammatory markers may require a higher dosage.)

Note: Fish oil is a natural blood thinner.51 If you’re taking a therapeutic dosage of 2 grams or higher, you’ll need to reduce this about 10 days before giving birth to avoid hemorrhage.52

3. Bioidentical Progesterone

Bioidentical progesterone is often needed for infertility. This must be prescribed via consultation with your doctor following a hormonal assessment.

Chocolate Boost Smooth Recipe

Two glasses filled with a creamy chocolate mousse topped with sliced almonds and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. An avocado cut in half, known to boost fertility, is placed in the background on a brown cloth against a rustic wooden surface.

Here’s a yummy recipe for a chocolate smoothie that incorporates some of the foods and supplements listed in this article:

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz filtered water
  • ¼ cup raw almonds, soaked for 8 hours and strained
  • 1 tsp maca
  • ½ cup crushed ice
  • 2 dates
  • ½ avocado (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds, ground
  • 1 scoop of grass-fed whey protein

Instructions:

  1. Blend water with almonds, maca, and crushed ice for 30 seconds until smooth.
  2. Add dates, avocado, cacao, and flax seeds to the mix.
  3. Once mixed, whip in grass-fed whey protein for about 5 seconds just to incorporate, but not froth!

Hopefully, this article gave you a better sense of what influences fertility and how to potentially boost your fertility through your diet. If you’re trying to conceive or are having a difficult time conceiving, talk to your healthcare provider about how to proceed and discuss what foods to eat (and even avoid) to influence fertility.

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Ali Miller Registered Dietitian RD, LD, CDE
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Ali is a registered dietitian (RD), certified diabetes educator (CDE), certified weight management specialist, and therapeutic lifestyle healthcare practitioner. Integrative dietitian and founder of Naturally Nourished, a functional medicine private… Read more

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