Regular monthly ovulation is a critical event that needs to happen each menstrual cycle in order for a woman to become pregnant. Sadly, ovulatory dysfunction or anovulation happens regularly for many women, making it one of the leading causes of infertility.
There are, however, five simple ways to promote healthy regular ovulation…
5 Ways to Promote Regular Ovulation
1. Eat a Clean, Whole Food, Nourishing Fertility Diet
The Fertility Diet is about supporting your body in its reproductive efforts, meaning eating real, whole foods, a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, moderate amounts of lean (organic/grass-fed/free-range) meats, seafood and dairy, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats.
Consistently, research has shown that following a Fertility Diet is one of the most influential ways to support regular ovulation. You might be surprised to know that consuming adequate amounts of Vitamins D, B12, Iron and Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) all can play a part in healthy ovulation. “Women who do not get sufficient amounts of iron may suffer anovulation (lack of ovulation) and possibly poor egg health, which can inhibit pregnancy at a rate 60% higher than those with sufficient iron stores in their blood,” share researchers from India in their 2014 report in the International Journal of Current Research and Academic Review.
2. Exercise Daily
Regular, moderate exercise helps maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI) or weight which, in turn, supports hormonal balance and healthy insulin levels both important for fertility and ovulation.
One study published in the 2002 journal of Epidemiology stated, “…data suggests that, among American women, more ovulatory infertility is attributable to overweight and a sedentary lifestyle than to underweight and overexertion.”
3. Create a Stress Reduction Plan
While a bit of positive stress can be healthy (known as eustress), stress due to infertility is typically experienced at higher than average levels which may quickly run the body down. Consistent, very high levels of stress can cause normal functioning systems of the body to “shut down” (even if temporarily). This “shut down” may affect the function of the heart, lungs, and nervous system, negatively impacting the overall health of the body. One of the body systems readily affected by stress is the reproductive system.
Stress is known to trigger the body to make excess stress hormones, one of which is cortisol. Cortisol inhibits the body’s main sex hormone, gonadotropin releasing hormone or GnRH. By inhibiting GnRH, some experience the loss of desire to participate in sexual activity, hormone balance, and even anovulation.
It is important to learn the relationship between stress and your fertility and then diligently work to lower stress levels every day.
4. Support Hormone Balance with Herbs
Several herbs have been found to encourage ovulation by having a positive influence on the hormone processes that regulate the menstrual cycle. Three of these herbs are…
- Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris) – Tribulus has an affinity for the ovaries and has been found to promote ovulation when used prior to ovulation.
- Vitex or Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex agnus-castus) – Vitex in part supports the body’s natural ability to produce luteinizing hormone (LH), which is the hormone that causes ovulation to occur.
- Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) – Saw Palmetto may stimulate suppressed ovulation. Dr. Jillian Stansbury, ND, BS, AHG, CMA shares that “…elevated prolactin can suppress follicle maturation, ovulation, and contribute to ovarian cysts. Animal studies show Saw Palmetto to inhibit prolactin receptors on ovarian cells and reduce the basal activity of K(+) channels and of protein kinase C involved with the transduction of prolactin signals,” which is a common problem for many women, including women who suffer from PCOS.
5. Consider Natural Therapies
When there is stagnation within or lack of circulation to the reproductive system, fertility is impacted. Lack of circulation can result in menstrual cycle irregularities anywhere from having a light period to not having a period at all, including disrupted ovulation.
Three effective natural therapies for increasing circulation – increasing the flow of fresh, oxygenated blood – to the reproductive system are Self Fertility Massage, Castor Oil Therapy, and Acupuncture.
- Self Fertility Massage combines Chi Nei Tsang, deep tissue massage, Myofascial release, acupressure and Reflexology and, when performed on the lower abdomen, impacts the function of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, liver, stomach, and intestines.
- Castor Oil Therapy stimulates the lymphatic and circulatory systems as well as the liver and, in doing so, supports the vitality and function of the organs and tissues beneath where the castor oil pack is applied.
- Acupuncture promotes the release of beta-endorphin which, in part, works to influence the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian) axis, which controls the female fertility hormones that regulate ovulation.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science concluded that “electroacupuncture can obtain better cure rates than oral Clomiphene Citrate Tablets for infertility via ovulation stimulation.”
In conclusion, eat well, exercise, manage stress, and consider herbs and natural therapies to support and promote regular ovulation. They are steps that are relatively easy to adhere to and important for anyone on their fertility journey.
Too learn more about related subjects covered in this article, please visit the following links:
- Barton-Schuster, D. (n.d.) Castor Oil Therapy for Reproductive Health. http://natural-fertility-info.com/castor-oil-therapy
- Campbell, L. (n.d.) Exercise and Infertility: The Goldilocks Conundrum. http://natural-fertility-info.com/exercise-and-infertility.html
- Orio F, Muscogiuri G, Ascione A, et al. (2013) Department of Endocrinology “Parthenope” University of Naples.Effects of physical exercise on the female reproductive system Minerva Endocrinologica [38(3):305-319]. Retrieved from: https://www.minervamedica.it/en/journals/minerva-endocrinologica/article.php?cod=R07Y2013N03A0305
- Rich-Edwards, J., Spiegleman, D., Garland, M, et al. (2002) Physical Activity, Body Mass Index, and Ovulatory Disorder Infertility. Epidemiology [13(2):184-190]. http://journals.lww.com/epidem/Abstract/2002/03000/Physical_Activity,_Body_Mass_Index,_and_Ovulatory.13.aspx
- Rodriguez, H. (n.d.) The Fertility Diet. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/fertility-diet
- S.Sasikumar, J.Shyam, Sundar, D.Dakshayani, R.Prabavathy, and M.KarthikaInt. (2014). A study on significant biochemical changes in the serum of infertile women. J. Curr. Res. Aca. Rev. 2(2): 96-115. Retrieved from: http://www.ijcrar.com/vol-2-2/S.Sasikumar,%20et%20al.pdf
- Stansbury, J. (Aug. 4, 2016). Saw Palmetto May Reduce Elevated Androgens and Prolactin in Women with PCOS – Restorative Medicine. Retrieved from https://restorativemedicine.org/digest/saw-palmetto-may-reduce-elevated-androgens-and-prolactin-in-women-with-pcos/
- Rodriguez, H. (n.d.) How Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture) Enhances Fertility, Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/how-traditional-chinese-medicine-acupuncture-enhances-fertility
- Rodriguez, H. (n.d.) How to Use Self Fertility Massage™ to Boost Your Chances of Conception. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/fertility-massage
- Rodriguez, H. (n.d.) Stress and Your Fertility. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/stress-and-your-fertility.html
- Teng, H., Liu, Y., Wang, J. et al. Therapeutic efficacy observation on electroacupuncture for ovulatory dysfunctional infertility. Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science [2012, 10( 2):81-84]. Retrieved from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11726-012-0576-y