Exercise and Fertility Massage

In this section of the 100 tips for getting pregnant, I’m going to focus on Exercise and Fertility Massage.

Previous articles can be accessed from the links on the right. Remember, your body and in particular its inner workings, are a fragile thing. If you have not exercised for some time, are over the age of 35 years, or are heavily overweight, and are considering taking up one of the exercises mentioned in this article, it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor first. He is likely to take your blood pressure and listen to your heart to ensure that you are fit enough to proceed.

41 – Yoga Exercise and Fertility Massage ideas

Generally exercise is good for those trying to get pregnant. However, it is important not to stress the body too much with over vigorous exercise (see Tip no. 44 below). Instead, try the meditative nature of yoga. The positions used in this form of exercise can provide improved circulation and strengthen the areas that support the organs in the reproductive area.

There are many DVDs on the market, and I particularly recommend Yoga Pregnancy: Pre and Post Natal Workouts which you can use before, during, and after pregnancy, all in the comfort of your own home. As an added benefit, you will learn the correct patterns of breathing when undertaking yoga – something that will become of great use during labor.

42 – Reiki

This is a form of massage and can improve your chances of conceiving. The Reiki specialist uses their hands on certain pressure points called chakras. From here, they aim to channel energy around the body to enhance health. There are books on Amazon.com, however if you are going to undertake this form of treatment then you would be better off going to a local practitioner. In the meantime, you can find out more information by visiting the Wikipedia page here : Reiki.

43 – What About Pilates ? Isn’t That Supposed To Be Good ?

Unfortunately, it’s not as good as yoga. There is no doubt that it relaxes the mind and does act as a good workout, but it can put too much strain on the body, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

44 – Do NOT over exercise

There is no doubting that exercise if good for you. However, when added to a low calorie diet, exercising too excess can reduce body fat levels which, in turn, can disturb a woman’s ability to produce estrogen. As a result, a potential mother might experience irregular periods, or maybe even none at all, in worse case scenarios.

A second effect of exercising too much might be to put undue stress on the body and this could also reduce fertility. That said, half an hour of mild cardio workouts per day is required to meet basic fitness levels and this shouldn’t have an adverse effect.

45 – ………But Don’t Be Lazy

It sounds as though I’m contradicting Tip 44, but you cannot just kick back and do nothing, whilst trying to get pregnant. Your height to body weight ratio, has to be in proportion, to help the fertility process. They key is to maintain a healthy ratio. Remember to check your BMI (Body Mass Index), and aim for that ideal weight zone.

46 – Have a Massage

Many people underestimate the benefits of massage for infertility. Put simply this will help reduce stress levels which, in turn, will improve your chances on conceiving. Better still, opt for a specific holistic fertility massage to help the flow of blood and to aid optimal uterine alignment. Go on, you know you’re worth it !!

47 – Self-Fertility Massage

Some people might not be able to afford the time or money to getting a full massage. And for the person undertaking the massage, it is quite hard work, so your partner might not be willing or able. If that is you, then you could always opt for a self massage. Done correctly, this can improve blood flow to the vital reproductive organs. It can also encourage hormonal balance. Fertility Massage

There are a few instruction books and DVDs on the market, but I recommend Self Fertility Massage DVD by Hethir Rodriguez, who is a Certified Massage Therapist. In the DVD, she also talks about castor oil packs (see Tip 48 below). There are some really positive customer reviews on Amazon for this (so don’t just take my word for its effectiveness), which you may want to read before taking the plunge.

If you want a ‘sneak peak’ at how this is done, watch the video below.

48 – Castor Oil Packs Natural Holistic Fertility Massage kit

I was never initially sure about this. However, when I started to hear lots of positive comments and a fair amount of success about the benefits of natural holistic fertility massage, I started to do a bit more research. Basically, this is a castor oil soaked cloth, which is strategically placed below the belly, increasing blood flow in the uterus region. It helps if you can also add warmth to the area, like a hot water bottle, or some other form of heat pad.

Baar Products, do a fantastic Castor Oil Starter Kit, containing everything you need (including a heat pad – see image).

Again, the video above briefly shows the castor oil pack being applied, but the video below goes into a little more depth regarding the theory and application of this technique.

49 – Meditation

Meditation for infertility

I always was a big believer in meditation, even before I ever tried to get pregnant. And the feelings of relaxation I experienced when pregnant were amazing. Remember trying to conceive can be a stressful experience and that’s the last thing you want, as it will upset your body’s reproductive system. Meditation can certainly help completely calm you and give your body the best possible chance. If you are new to meditation, The Garden Of Now is one of the better up to date DVDs on the market.

Enjoy…… and relax.

50 – Light Therapy For Improved Circadian Rhythms

There is a school of thought, following research from the University of California San Diego Sleep Center, that suggests that therapy using lights can regularise menstrual cycles. It does this by improving the production of melatonin. To be honest, I have no personal experience with this one, but it might be worth considering if all else fails.

I hope you enjoyed Exercise and Fertility Massage and you will find something that you can take away and put into practice. Click on the link below for the next in the series :

Part 6 – 10 Practical Things You Can Do To Help Conception

Further Reading

Drugs to Take and Avoid for Conception

Welcome to Drugs to Take and Avoid for Conception – the fourth article in the series : 100 Tips For Getting Pregnant. The tips on this page, more than any of the others in the series, do require doctor consent. The idea is that I put forward ideas for you to go and explore further, seeking medical advice where appropriate.

In researching for this article, I actually learnt some new words, which you might also come across at some point :

  • Teratogens – These are substances found in food, drugs, or airborne particles which cause abnormal cell development in cells. Unfortunately, these can lead to undevelopment in fetuses. For example, Teratogen exposure can lead to : a cleft palate or lip, or missing or stunted growth of limbs.
  • Teratogenic – Basically the adjective to the above. So you might say that something that is teratogenic is something that has been subject to the harmful teratogen substances.
  • Teratology – This is the study of physiological development abnormalities, particularly birth defects in humans.

Okay, enough of the big words………… But I do want to high-light the importance of this page.

Of course, the general rule of thumb is that drugs and pregnancy do not mix. However there are occasions when drugs can be used to assist conception and even the course of pregnancy and birth itself.

31 – Consider A Low Dose Aspirin

Women who have been known to have miscarriages, might benefit from a low dose aspirin. The theory behind this is that moms who miscarry have thicker blood, due to a high instance of antiphospholipid antibodies. This results in potentially devastating blot clots around the placenta. It is already known that aspirin thins the blood and recommended for other ailments and therefore similar blood thinning benefits might be gained by pregnant moms. Don’t try without your doctor’s advice.

32 – Alcohol Is A Drug – Avoid It Moms Drugs to Take & Avoid for Conception - Drinking image

One medical study concluded that a woman’s fertility was cut by 50% for those drinking alcohol. It is believed that irregular periods can result as a consequence of excessive alcohol. Another study undertaken by the BMJ stated that even light drinkers showed higher degrees of infertility, compared with their tee-total counterparts.

33 – Is It Okay For My Man To Drink Then ?

Unfortunately, there can be fertility issues for the man as well. It not only damages sperm count, but also the quality of the sperm as well. Again the BMJ study concluded that there was a 50% less sperm in regular drinkers, compared with those that didn’t drink at all. Of course, in addition to those issues, there is even the more famous ‘brewers droop’, which prevents men from obtaining, and maintaining, an erection to enable love-making in the first place. On the positive side, these issues are only on-going if the man continues to drink

34 – I Suppose Smoking’s Out Of The Question Then ? No to Teratogens

My personal view is that no-one should smoke, regardless of whether they are trying to get pregnant or not. However, adults of course do, but women should definitely stop if they are planning to have a child. In addition to increasing the chances of cervical cancer, smoking can also increase the chances of miscarriage and the all-round effects on the blood vessels can have numerous consequences on the female reproductive system. This latter point could be a reason for female smokers suffering from an early menopause.

Once pregnant, it is widely known that the chemicals in cigarette smoke can affect the baby’s development. Ideally, you need to quit months in advance of trying to get pregnant.

35 – Quit Smoking (The Male)

Many women do give up smoking when trying to conceive a child and this, of course, is a great idea. However, it is equally important for the male to give up the weed as well. It has been proven to lower male sperm count as well as damaging blood vessels, which could interfere with the man’s ability to create and maintain an erection. Click on the image to try Smoke Away.

36 – Acetaminophen

Be very careful with drugs that contain acetaminophen or Tylenol (also known as paracetamol in some countries). This is used in numerous over the counter drugs to treat a number of different conditions, such as headache tablets and cold and flu remedies. The concern for women who are trying to get pregnant is that it can reduce the amount of estrogen which can, in turn, restrict fertility.

37 – Eat Organically

Okay, this one isn’t really a drug, but pesticides and pollutants are a problem. Many people don’t realise that we live in such a toxic world. Those living in industrial regions are particularly at risk (even the exhaust smoke from your car can be a problem). It certainly can have an effect on your fertility issues. Studies have also found that sperm can be attacked by antibodies which have been stimulated from pesticides found in food. Where possible eat organically produced food.

38 – Say No To Recreational Drugs

So called soft drugs, like marijuana for example, can also dent your chances of conceiving. Like many other things mentioned on these pages, the taking of marijuana can not only disturb the menstrual cycle, but also interfere with sperm mortality in the virginal fluid. Cocaine can reduce blood supply to the reproductive organs, resulting in tissue and blood vessel damage. This will lead to problems when trying to get pregnant.

39 – Will Those Same Drugs Affect My Partner ?

Yes, marijuana can result in lower sperm counts in men. In addition, it is a contributory factor in producing unhealthy sperm, which result in them being less able to reach the egg. And any that do get as far as the egg stand less of a chance of penetrating it. Unfortunately, the effects of the drug on male fertility can last a little while after taking it as well

40 – What About Fertility Drugs ?

Many couples reap the benefits from fertility drugs, without having to go through expensive IVR, so this is well worth talking through with your doctor. I list below two types, which you might want to explore further :

  • Clomiphene Citrate – stimulates the hormone release of several eggs. Brand names include : Serophene,  Milophene,  and Clomid.
  • Gonadotropins – Usually taken if Clomiphene does not work for you. Brand names include : Pergonal, Pregnyl, and Fertinex.

BUT, there is an issue that the taking of these drugs could lead to twins, triplets, or even quads and any of these scenarios obviously come with their own risks, such as miscarriage and premature births.

I hope you found this article on Drugs to Take and Avoid for Conception informative. Please click the link below for the next in the series :

(Part 5 – Massage & Exercise Ideas)

Related Articles

Image (Drinking) : FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Natural Supplements for Pregnancy

Welcome to Natural Supplements for Pregnancy – part 3 of my 100 tips for getting pregnant. The previous two articles can be found at the links in the sidebar. As with all of my articles, if you are in any doubt you should, of course, speak to your doctor first.

21 – The Importance Of Folic Acid

Folic acid, which is also known as Vitamin B9 is very important for the healthy development of all humans – particularly those still in the womb – and there is a danger that not having enough folic acid in your diet can lead to stillborn births. Folic acid is known to be a must for already pregnant moms, but it is also a key ingredient for those trying to conceive.

In short, folic acid helps with DNA production and development. For younger people and babies, it is also important for the production of red blood cells. However, for people living in Western countries, folic acid deficiency is less of an issue than in other parts of the world. Leafy vegetables are a good source and, in addition, breads and cereals have folic acid added to them.

If you want to read more details, then please check out this Wikipedia page : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folic_acid#Reproduction

22 – Royal Jelly For Better Quality Eggs

This substance is high in vitamins, amino acids, proteins and sugars. It is actually produced by worker bees for the benefit of the bee larvae. This can be taken as a supplement or as an ingredient in personal care items. Either way, it is believed to enhance egg quality.

23 – Say ‘No’ To Aloe Natural Supplements for Pregnancy - No to Aloe

Surprisingly, this natural ingredient is NOT good for wannabe mothers. As you are probably aware, Aloe Vera is great for soothing the symptoms of sunburn, but is not to be taken in any format whilst trying to get pregnant – or during pregnancy itself. There is a possibility that it could bring on an abortion, especially if taken after ovulation.

24 – Nitric Oxide : Good And Bad

Nitric Oxide should be taken as part of your multivitamin supplement intake. A recent study in mice proved that in giving them nitric oxide, scientists were able to delay the signs of aging in their eggs.  This could be particularly useful for women in their 40’s whose eggs seem to die quicker. However, another study showed that Nitric Oxide can have a negative impact on male sperm.

25 – Clomid And Cough Medicine

Okay, this one really will need the consent of your doctor. Clomid is taken to stimulate the production of hormones required for ovulation. However, it should not be taken once pregnant as it can cause birth defects. Studies have shown that the active ingredient in some cough medications (guaifenesin) can produce better quality cervical mucus. This can be found in the product Robitussin. It is believed that 200mg a day is the optimum dose.

Again, I repeat, these tips are for informational purposes and you should consult your doctor first.

26 – Say No To Lubes

Over the counter lubricants tend to be acidic. This goes against the grain for alkaline-loving sperm. It follows, therefore, that placing sperm into an acidic environment will greatly reduce their chances of fertilizing the egg. Of course, some lubricants also contain spermicide, which would be another nail in the coffin of the ‘little swimmers’.

27 – Is Water Good As A Lubricant ?

No, it’s not actually a good lubricant and, in addition, it can damage sperm because they easily absorb the water, making it difficult for them to swim.

28 – What About Saliva As A Lubricant ?

You would think that saliva, being a human bodily fluid, would be perfectly safe to use as a lubricant – unfortunately not. Enzymes in the saliva affect the sperm , causing them to die prior to reaching the egg.

29 – Pre-Seed Lubrication Is Okay To Use

It’s not all bad for lubricants, however. Some women simply must have some form of lubrication. Fortunately these are available. It’s just a case of finding one which has the correct pH levels, which does not kill sperm. Pre-seed is one such product and is available from Amazon.com

30 – Try Progesterone Cream

Some women have been known to miscarry, due to a lack of progesterone in their bodies. Positive Cervical mucus changes occur, after the application of this cream, which effectively makes the mucus more sperm friendly. The cream also prepares the womb for the implementation of the egg. Your doctor will be able to confirm if you have a deficiency in progesterone and you can get the cream, which you take after you ovulate, from Amazon.com

I hope you found these third set of tips for getting pregnant useful. Please click the link below for the next in the series :

Part 4 – Drugs To Take & Avoid During Pregnancy

Please share these Natural Supplements for pregnancy with your friends using the links to Facebook, twitter etc below.

Related Articles

Vitamins, Herbs and Minerals for Pregnancy

Welcome to vitamins, herbs and minerals for pregnancy, the second instalment of my 100 tips for getting pregnant. If you missed the first 10, then please click Pregnancy Nutrition. In these articles, I’m aiming to dispel some of the common conception myths, whilst at the same time helping you in getting pregnant faster.

11 – Avoid herbs if you are taking fertility drugs

Whilst they are generally good for you, taking herbs for pregnancy is not recommended as they do not mix well with fertility drugs. Basically, some can contain substances which could adversely react with fertility drug’s active ingredients.

12 – Vitamin C – In Careful Doses Vitamins for pregnancy

This can be one of the best prenatal vitamins because it contains antioxidants which are useful for increasing fertility in men. In addition, it can also guard against sperm gelling together and protect against DNA damage. However, for the prospective mother, she should ensure that she does not take more than 1000mg as this could have a damaging effect on her cervical mucus (making it too acidic).

13 – At The Start Of Your Cycle Take Evening Primrose Oil

EPO is great for your health and in particular it has a beneficial effect on your cervical mucus. In some circumstances this mucus can attack male sperm – leading to issues in trying to get pregnant However, by taking EPO at the start of your cycle it can improve the mucus content and lead to an easier passage for the sperm to slip through.

14 – Take Omega-3 Fats

In addition to being good for the human heart, Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oils for example, can lower the chances of blood clotting and improve blood flow to the uterus and other tissues. This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It has been said that the development of the foetal brain relies heavily on omega-3 fats and finally it helps in reducing the immune cell production which can attack sperm.

15 – Try an Alfalfa supplement

This has been used in herbal medicine for over 1500 years as it contains a good blend of vitamins (B group, C, E & K) and minerals (calcium and protein). It is particularly good as it contains plant estrogens (useful for a boost), which are less risky to take than artificial ones, which can cause problems if taken too excess.

16 – A New Look For Red Raspberries

In some cultures the leaf of red raspberries is used to reduce the chances of pregnancy complications and facilitate a smoother birth. Best taken as a tea infusion, let the leaves brew for eight minutes and then add your sweetener of choice (I prefer honey). However, as with all herbs, if you are undergoing IVF treatment then please, please consult your doctor first.

17 – Take Cinnamon Off The Menu Things to avoid while pregnant - cinnamon

Another on the list of things to avoid while pregnant (and even more so when trying to get pregnant) is cinnamon. Personally, I love the stuff (especially in my legendary apple pies), but it can mask your bodies sensitivity to insulin fluctuations and it is believed, in worse case scenarios, to be the reason behind some miscarriages (especially early in pregnancy). After ovulation it really should only be taken in very small quantities – or avoided altogether.

18 – Will Epimedium help my man ?

This is also known as : Bishop’s Hat, Barrenwort, Fairy Wings, Rowdy Lamb Herb and (I kid you not) Horny Goat Weed. This is alleged to have aphrodisiac properties and is said to have been found by a farmer, who noticed differences in his billy-goats ‘excitability’ when taking them to a certain part of a mountain that contained the epimedium (usually at high altitudes). Thankfully, you will not need to climb a mountain and chew on the leaves, because the herb is available as a tea infusion or a tablet.

19 –Licorice Isn’t Just A Child’s Sweet

This potent little herb can help control levels of estrogen in a woman’s body. It can also help stabilize issues which result from Polycystic ovary syndrome, such as irregular menstrual cycles. It can also regularize sugar levels in the blood. A further benefit is that licorice contains a chemical with a structure close to aldosterone. This helps your body expel potassium, but keep sodium – both of which will contribute to increases in blood pressure.

20 – Avoid St John’s Wort

This is one of the top herbs to avoid during pregnancy (and again before you even get that far). This supplement is well-known for keeping a smile on people’s faces, but that smile can quickly disappear if you combine the consumption of this when trying to get pregnant. A study undertaken in California revealed that St John’s Wort can damage the DNA in sperm and eggs, when taken in large amounts. Again, if you are feeling depressed when trying to conceive, discuss the situation with your doctor.

More Tips For Getting Pregnant

I hope you found these second set of tips useful. Please click on the link below for the next set of pregnancy tips :

Natural supplements & Creams to help pregnancy

Further Reading


Pregnancy Nutrition & Diet Advice

Thank you for visiting my pregnancy nutrition page.

Over the next few weeks I will be publishing a total of 100 tips for getting pregnant, to help prospective mothers increase their chances of conception.

I have deliberately not gone into too much detail with these tips (there are a lot of them !!). The last thing you want to do is to be sitting at your computer for hours reading loads of theories.

The idea is for me to give to you best practice pregnancy information and for you to work your way through all 100 tips. When you’ve done that you need to consider which would be the most workable for you to implement, whilst you are trying to conceive. Obviously the more tips you implement, the greater you chances of getting pregnant. Pick up the ideas and run with them……..

At the bottom of each page is the link for the next in the series. You can also navigate using the links in the column on the right.

Each article will have a theme, designated by the title of the article. The first of these (here) is based around what to eat to get pregnant (and also what not to eat !!). You are likely to have to make some small diet changes

Of course, if you are in any doubt about these pregnancy nutrition tips, then you should seek the guidance of your doctor.

Pregnancy Nutrition

Your body can only really react to the food that you put in it. So it’s important to consider what foods to eat to get pregnant, and equally the foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant. Basically, put good stuff in and you will get rewarded with a fit and healthy baby. If you don’t put good stuff in then your body might struggle to compensate. A lot of people fail to understand that pre-pregnancy nutrition is as important as your actual pregnancy diet.

1 – Refined Carbohydrates Should Be Limited

Refined foods of any type should be limited during pregnancy – none more so than carbohydrates (e.g. bread and pasta). Basically this can lead to increases in insulin which disturbs ovulation production. However, you will need some carbs before and during conception and these can be obtained more naturally through foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

2 – Reduce Sugar Consumption Tips for getting pregnant : Avoid sugar

Similar to the carbohydrates tip mentioned above, an excess of sugar can also artificially increase your insulin (as a result of increasing your glucose levels) – again upsetting ovulation. In addition, sugar that has been refined takes nutrients from your body, with the obvious consequences.

3 – Is Wheat Helpful When Trying To Get Pregnant ?

Whilst that morning bowl of cereal is good for you, it could well be hampering your chances of conceiving. Most cereals contain wheat and this, in turn has gluten in it. 10 % of Americans are gluten intolerant. Basically, this means that they have trouble digesting gluten, leaving it to clog up the small intestines wall, preventing nutrients being absorbed.

Celiacs are people who suffer with this condition and it might be worth you getting yourself checked out if you are struggling to get pregnant. If you are, then you will be put on a gluten-free diet.

4 – Say No To Saturated Fats

This, for me, is one of the key foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant. The types of fat that you eat can have a big impact on your chances of getting pregnant. It is good practice to reduce saturated fats from your diet whether or not you are trying to get pregnant. However, during this time it is particularly important as an abundance of saturated fats can impact on hormone secretion and general cell function. Put simply, cut out processed, fried and fast foods.

5 – Protein From Beans & Nuts

From one extreme to the other, I learnt very early on that beans and nuts are some best foods to eat when trying to get pregnant. Many people mistakenly assume that they must eat meat to get their recommended daily dose of protein. However, this is not the case. Protein is undoubtedly important, but to help with fertility it should ideally come from plants rather than animals.

A study done on nurses showed that women who got proteins from animals were 39% more likely to experience ovulation issues compared with their beans and nut eating counter-parts. Soy, peanuts and tofu added to a meal will all help increase your fertility chances.

6 – Black Sesame Seeds For Conception ?

There is a school of thought that says a lack of kidney essence can lead to issues with fertility. According to Chinese traditional methods, this essence can be replaced with black sesame seeds. But at the same time do not eat spicy food as this can affect the kidney essence.

7 – Pumpkin Seeds Secret Ingredient Pregnancy Nutrition - Pumpkin seed

Pumpkin seeds contain, amongst other things, the mineral Zinc. This is vital to form healthy semen and cervical mucus. Pumpkin seeds also contain strong anti-oxidants to help fertility.

8 – The Ice Cream Fallacy

It is widely published on the internet that eating ice cream can help you get pregnant. Whilst it’s true that full-fat milk can help with fertility (why not try cottage cheese or unsweetened yogurt), the added sugar in ice cream can actually increase insulin and this can damage you chances of conceiving.

9 – Bormelain : The Good & The Bad

Bromelain is a nutrient found in pineapples. It is argued that this can help with the implantation of embryos during the secretory phase. However you should not have it after ovulation as it is believed to result in contractions which, in some circumstances lead to miscarriage.

10 – Green Tea : Tastes Horrible, Does You Good

Ideally you need to reduce the amount of caffeine as this will help your fertility. However, if you really need caffeine to help you function, then it is obtainable from green tea – a much healthier option as it contains antioxidants. A cup per day will assist those moms trying to get pregnant.

Where Can I Find More Tips For Getting Pregnant ?

I hope you found these 10 tips on pregnancy nutrition useful. Please click on the link below for the next 10 tips in the series :-

Part 2 – Vitamins, Herbs & Spices

Further Reading