Eleven Ways to Improve Ovulation Naturally

Eleven Ways to Improve Ovulation Naturally

In my last blog post here, and my podcast here I discussed why you want to be ovulating every month of your menstrual cycle. This monthly event  has an incredible array of health benefits and it is definitely something you want to be optimising. In the following blog, I will be discussing ways for you to optimise your ovulation and support hormonal and reproductive health - a goal all women should be striving for.

Eat a Nutrient Dense Diet

A well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet is the foundation for optimal reproductive health. Research suggests that a diet high in trans fats, refined carbohydrates as well as added sugars can have a negative impact on ovulation and fertility. In contrast, a diet based on the Mediterranean dietary patterns, (which is rich in dietary fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and vitamins and minerals) has a positive impact on female fertility.  Incorporating leafy greens, whole grains, lean proteins, and fatty fish can provide the necessary vitamins and minerals to nourish the body and enhance fertility. 

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for hormonal balance and regular ovulation. Both underweight and overweight conditions can disrupt the delicate hormonal interplay required for the menstrual cycle. Achieving a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can improve fertility outcomes and support overall well-being. Having a BMI under 18.5 has been associated with impaired ovulation. To be honest, BMI is not a very accurate way to determine healthy body composition but it is something to take into account if you are trying to conceive or improve ovulation. Obesity also contributes to anovulatory and ovulatory infertility via altered imbalance between estrogen, androgen and SHBG.

Enjoy Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity is not only beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight but also plays a direct role in optimising ovulation. Exercise helps regulate insulin levels, reduce stress, and promote overall hormonal balance. However, excessive exercise (especially in those with a low BMI) can have the opposite effect, so it's important to strike a balance and avoid extreme workout routines. I work with a lot of clients who have impaired ovulation and I either see women who overexercise and undereat or underexercise and overeat. Trying to find the happy medium can be challenging but once we get it right, ovulation improves.

Get Adequate Sleep

Quality sleep is essential for reproductive health and hormonal balance. Lack of sleep can disrupt the body's circadian rhythm, affecting hormone production, including those crucial for ovulation. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to support a healthy reproductive cycle. 

Support Metabolic Health

Metabolic health plays a key role in influencing ovulation.  Poor blood sugar regulation and high insulin (hyperinsulinemia) may impact ovulation. Insulin directly affects the function of the ovaries; therefore, insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism may have a significant impact on ovulation and fertility in women. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a combination of metabolic and reproductive endocrine disorders and is of the main causes of anovulatory (lack of ovulation) infertility

Prioritise Stress Management

Stress can wreak havoc on hormonal balance, potentially impacting ovulation. The chemcials released when you are stressed (such as cortisol) can alter the release of reproductive hormones that affect ovulation meaning that you don't ovulate at all or have a delayed ovulation. Incorporating stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or even regular walks in nature can help reduce stress levels and create a conducive environment for regular ovulation.

Embrace Herbal Support

Several herbs have been traditionally used to support reproductive health including ovulation. Vitex (Chaste Tree), Maca root, and Red Clover are known for their potential to regulate hormones and improve fertility. 

Get Adequate Hydration

Proper hydration is often underestimated in its impact on reproductive health. Staying adequately hydrated supports overall bodily functions, including hormone production. Drinking enough water helps maintain a healthy cervical mucus consistency, which is crucial for sperm survival and transportation.

Limit Exposure to Toxins

Reducing exposure to environmental toxins is crucial for optimising ovulation. Certain chemicals found in pesticides, plastics, and household products can disrupt the endocrine system. Choosing organic produce, using glass or stainless-steel containers, and opting for natural cleaning products can contribute to a healthier hormonal environment.

Avoid Alcohol, Smoking and Recreational Drugs

Smoking affects nearly all domains of the female reproductive function. Smoking is associated to early menopause and reduced levels of ovarian reserve markers. Alcohol consumption is associated with irregular menstrual cycles and ovulatory dysfunction. In my opinion, any alcohol consumption can have a negative impact on ovulation.

Supplement When Needed

Nutrients like folate, zinc, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids contribute to hormonal balance and support the reproductive system. Antioxidants can also help to protect against oxidative stress which can have a negative impact on ovulation. Myo-inositol has been shown in reasearch to increase ovulation rates by a significant degree in women with oligomenorrhea (irregular and inconsistent menstrual blood flow) and PCOS

Optimising ovulation through natural methods is a holistic approach that involves nourishing the body, balancing hormones, and creating a supportive environment. While these lifestyle changes may not guarantee immediate results, they contribute to overall well-being and enhance the chances of successful ovulation. Embracing these natural methods empowers women to take control of their reproductive health, fostering a balanced and harmonious connection with their bodies. If you need some individualised support to help you reach your reproductive and hormonal health goals, you can make an appointment with me here 

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