Health news from AskDrManny
Getting pregnant isn't always easy, but there are ways to give yourself a fertility boost when trying to conceive.
I recently spoke with Dr. Pina LoGuidice from InnerSource Health on Long Island, N.Y.
It's important to become healthy the year before attempting to conceive. Don't worry if it doesn't happen right away -- six to eight months is typical.
"If that hasn't happened then, that's usually when I start recommending you try some of the botanicals," she said.
Couples trying to conceive need to get themselves into tip-top shape -- eating right, detoxing and quitting smoking, all crucial when thinking about conception.
LoGuidice said it's a good idea to "get on a good prenatal, take some essential fatty acids, like omega oils, and take a very good, high-quality probiatic.
Essential fatty acids help decrease any inflammation in the body, and research shows taking them after conception can help enhance your baby's brain development.
LoGuidice also recommended adding a chasteberry supplement to your diet as a fertility boost.
"It's actually an adaptogen, meaning if you don't have enough of a hormone, it will raise levels, or if you have too much, it will lower levels," she said. "It actually boosts just enough of the woman's progesterone so that when she tries to start conceiving, it helps hold the pregnancy more significantly," LoGuidice said. "You can find this herb in capsule form at any health food store. Taking 400 milligrams twice a day should do the trick."
Red raspberry leaf is another option; it helps to strengthen the uterus, and is available in pill form or as a tea or liquid. Also helpful is evening primrose, LoGuidice said.
"Why I like it regarding fertility is, it enhances ovulation, and it helps enhance egg quality," she said. "Capsule form is the best way to take this herb, twice a day."
Acupuncture can be helpful too, she added.
Stress Management as a Fertility Boost
"Once that stress management is down, your body doesn't release the hormone cortisol, which is our stress hormone. And for us to make that hormone, our body reduces progesterone, which is the most crucial hormone for pregnancy," LoGuidice said.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.