I am writing this article first, because it’s what I imagine most people are interested in!
1 – Increase Protein Intake
In order to ovulate, your body needs sufficient of protein. In Japan, many kampo practitioners emphasize the importance of consuming high-quality animal protein as part of your meals 3 times a day. Ideally, each of the 3 daily meals should contain 2 sources of protein.
Your snack should also be protein-rich, like nuts or dried fish.
It is not so much about being on Paleo or keto diet (although ketogenic diet has been shown to help women with PCOS), as it is about attaining an optimal balance in your diet. High blood sugar is known to negatively impact fertility. Your meals should contain roughly 50% protein and 50% carbs by volume, plus plenty of vegetables. Absolutely no added sugar, and limit the amount of fruit you eat (fructose is also a sugar).
2 – Adequate, High-Quality Sleep
In a study conducted on female shift workers, sleep deprivation / sleeplessness has been shown to cause early pregnancy loss, failed embryo implantation, anovulation and amenorrhea.
Your body needs ample rest at night in order to nurture high-quality eggs. Ideally you should be in bed by 9pm, and asleep by 10pm.
For some people, falling and staying asleep may be a lot easier said than done. I myself suffered from severe insomnia following my miscarriage, and have been striving to address it for a while. I will cover some tips for better sleep in a separate post soon.
3 – Avoid Over-Exhaustion (Watch Your Exercise)
Your body needs to have a good amount of extra energy left over in order to procreate. Kampo practitioners advise that women who are ttc NOT to over-exercise to exhaustion.
I know, it is counter-intuitive in the modern world where most people believe the more exercise the better.
Moving around as part of your daily routine is good for you and your fertility. Gentle-to-moderate exercise such as yoga is also recommended. But you do not want to completely exhaust your body with high-intensity exercise on a daily basis.
Intense exercise causes oxidative stress. There are studies showing that oxidative stress leads to reduction in secretion of progesterone, and may compromise the vitality of a fetus if already pregnant.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fit-all exercise prescription for all women. Some women, especially those who have been athletic throughout their lives, have a much higher physical capacity than do others in the same age range. The rule of thumb for everyone is to listen to your body, and try not to push yourself beyond the point where your body is asking for rest.