Natural ways to boost fertility

By Aaron Kandola 

Reviewed by Valinda Riggins Nwadike

Methods for women | Methods for
men | Fertility and age | Medical therapy | Summary

Many genetic and environmental
factors can affect fertility in men and women. However, it is possible to
increase the chances of having a successful pregnancy using natural methods.

This article will discuss
evidence-based, natural methods for increasing fertility in both men and women.
In women, reducing stress and
exercising often can boost fertility. In men, fertility-boosting actions
include limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking.
There are also several
fertility treatments available for both men and women.

Methods for women

There are many things a woman
can do to increase the chance of becoming pregnant. Below, we look at some of
these methods.

Reducing stress

Stress can reduce fertility in
Alpha-amylase is a biological
marker of stress that scientists can measure in saliva samples. A study from
2011 showed that women with higher alpha-amylase levels may have a lower chance
of conceiving naturally.
Engaging in stress reduction
activities can increase fertility in women. For example, those who receive
support and counseling for depression and anxiety have a higher chance of
becoming pregnant than those who do not.

Quitting smoking

Smoking tobacco can disrupt
hormone levels and cause menopause to occur at an earlier age.
A systematic review of 11
studies showed that smoking has significant links with an earlier age of
menopause. Giving up tobacco may boost fertility in women.

Staying a healthy weight

Being either overweight or
underweight can reduce fertility in women.
Some research suggests that
being overweight might disrupt a range of reproductive processes. This includes
the development and quality of the fertilization process and embryo growth.
Losing weight could help
people overcome some of these difficulties. A 2014 systematic review suggested
that women who are overweight or obese can increase the success of their
fertility treatment by losing weight.
However, it is important to
maintain a healthy weight. Being underweight can also impact fertility. Some
research shows that women who are underweight have a higher risk of ovarian
dysfunction, infertility, and preterm birth.

Increasing physical activity

Being physically active can
also increase fertility in women.
A study of 50,678 women found
that regular, strenuous exercise may lead to later menopause.
Some research has suggested
that moderate levels of exercise also have positive effects on fertility.
However, excessive exercise without a sufficient calorie intake can cause
abnormal menstrual cycles and restrict fertility.

Methods for men

There are many steps a man can
take to boost his fertility. We cover some of these below.

Maintaining a healthy weight

Being either overweight or
underweight also reduces fertility in men.
A 2015 systematic review
examined fertility data from 115,158 participants. The researchers found that
men with obesity may be significantly more likely to experience infertility.
They may also be less likely
to respond to certain types of fertility treatment when not at a healthy
The data also suggest that men
have a 10 percent greater chance of experiencing a nonviable pregnancy. The
term “nonviable pregnancy” refers to a pregnancy that does not lead
to a live birth.
Being underweight can also
increase the risk of infertility in men.

Giving up smoking

Smoking tobacco can impact
fertility in men as well as women.
Some research suggests that
smoking tobacco can have a negative impact on semen quality and reduce the
chances of reproductive success.
Therefore, not using tobacco
could increase fertility in men.

Reducing alcohol use

Drinking alcohol can
negatively affect a man’s semen.
A systematic review involving
29,914 men suggested that greater alcohol use may lead to lower semen volume.
Reducing alcohol consumption could therefore help increase semen quality.

Fertility and age

For most women, fertility
generally starts to decline in their mid-30s. During this period, ovary
functioning steadily declines until menopause. While it is still possible to
conceive during this period, the chances of success are much lower.
There are currently no natural
ways to counteract this fertility decline in women. It is possible that
maintaining a healthy lifestyle could help delay the onset of the menopause.
This will increase the window
of fertility. However, doctors do not know whether or not this would increase
the rate of fertility within this window.

Medical therapy

There are several medical
therapies available for people having persistent issues with becoming pregnant.
Healthcare professionals use these medical therapies to treat about 85–90
percent of fertility cases.
Many treatments are available
for both men and women. These include medication and surgery.
If other therapies are
unsuccessful, assisted reproductive technology (ART) is another option.
These treatments manually
fertilize a woman’s egg using a man’s sperm. In some cases, these can be donor
eggs or sperm. The most common form of ART is in vitro fertilization treatment.


In general, maintaining a
healthy lifestyle is the most effective way to boost fertility for both men and
Although it is unclear whether
this can counteract the natural decline in fertility with age, it may delay the
onset of menopause.
There are also many effective
medical therapies available that can increase the chance of a successful

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.