Unlocking the Path to Motherhood:

8 Powerful Ways Women Can Boost Fertility Naturally

Many women do not realize how much control they have over their ability to conceive.


If you have been trying to conceive or you plan to conceive in the near future and you want to increase your chances of a healthy conception without intervention, there are natural ways to boost your fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant. Natural fertility means that you are able to conceive without the assistance of reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intra-uterine insemination (IUI) or even egg or sperm donation. Many couples give up quickly and head to the reproductive specialist when they do not immediately conceive, they panic about whether they will ever be able to have a baby. But the good news is there is so much in your control to increase your fertility naturally.

More importantly, there are many tools available to you that an IVF specialist will not explore. The tools do not involve expensive or cutting-edge therapies - these tools focus on understanding your fertility and building your health at a foundational level. By addressing the foundation of your health you will remove the obstacles to getting pregnant and you’ll be healthier for it. Many women do not realize how much control they have over their ability to conceive, start with these simple suggestions and over time your chances of conception will become greater.


Fertility Diet: Naturally boost
your fertility
with food

Avoid table sugar and replace it with healthy sweeteners such as honey maple syrup or stevia.

If you are wanting to optimize your diet for your fertility there are dietary basics that apply to all women and men.

  • Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, the goal is approximately 7-9 servings per day. I know that sounds like a lot but it is actually easier than it sounds. Roughly 1 cup of raw and 1/2 cup of cooked veggies/fruits equal one serving. A large salad one time per day could have 4-5 servings of veggies and or fruits. Then add a piece of fruit, a smoothie and or a vegetable at dinner and you are there.

  • Eat protein which is the building block of healthy cells, aim for protein with every meal or snack. Add more if you exercise or are healing from an injury. Most of my patients think they eat enough protein but are not consuming enough to fuel important bodily functions. A basic guideline for a minimum daily intake of protein is to eat your weight in kilograms x 1.4 grams (e.g. 150 lbs /2.2= 68 kg x 1.4=95 grams per day for a 150 lb person).

  • Avoid table sugar and replace it with healthy sweeteners such as honey maple syrup or stevia.

  • Eliminate alcohol, marijuana and recreational drugs as they reduce sperm quality and quantity and have been linked to issues with conception. (1)

  • Avoid packaged convenience foods if you can and focus on whole foods, that is, eating the food in the package it was created in. (e.g corn instead of corn chips).

By transitioning to a natural fertility diet, you will:

  • Elevate nutritional levels through whole food consumption

  • Enhance intake of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other vital nutrients

  • Foster healthy fat consumption to maintain optimal cholesterol levels for hormonal equilibrium

  • Reduce the likelihood of infertility

  • Enhance reproductive well-being

  • Facilitate the body's healing processes

  • Assist in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight


Natural Fertility Cleanse: Detoxify before you Conceive

The topic of my book recently published, Pre-Conception Cleanse: Detoxify your Life Inside and Out for the Optimal Health of Your Baby is perfect for you if you would like to get pregnant soon or if you have already been attempting pregnancy. This book is your road map to understanding how your life’s exposures can impact hormonal balance, egg quality, sperm quality, adrenal and thyroid health and much more. My book will help you identify what lifestyle changes need to happen now to improve your chances of conception when you are ready, which lab tests to ask your doctor for, and how to detoxify safely prior to getting pregnant. Click here to purchase your copy of the PRE-CONCEPTION CLEANSE.

Fertility benefits from detoxifying before you conceive:

  • Improve your chances of having a healthy baby.

  • Improve your chances of conceiving.

  • Reduce your total toxic burden which reduces your risk of numerous chronic diseases.

  • Improved hormonal balance.

  • Improved energy and brain function for you and the baby.

  • Develop the behaviors to help you create a healthy family by avoiding toxin exposures and improving toxin elimination.

  • Learn easy and natural methods to increase fertility.


Herbal remedies to boost your fertility:

Learning to use herbs can be a supportive and a natural way to boost fertility. Herbs and plants have been used for thousands of years to promote reproductive health, heal, increase libido, and improve fertility. Herbs are safe to take prior to conception and are fantastic remedies to improve your fertility naturally. Herbs have numerous functions but the herbs that support the liver will promote hormonal balance as the liver is the site of hormone metabolism so keeping it healthy is a natural way to boost your fertility.

  • Burdock (Arctium Lappa): strengthens the uterus, purifies the liver and gallbladder which can help to reduce total toxic load and aid in the elimination of chemical exposures. A wonderful cleansing herb that is part of a good preconception detoxification plan.

  • Dandelion (Taraxacum): Dandelion leaves and roots have a bitter taste which stimulates the liver and gallbladder to produce bile which helps eliminate toxic waste. Dandelion root specifically supports the liver to encourage hormone balance.

  • Milk Thistle (Silymarin) :Milk thistle seeds are very beneficial to the liver. The seed combats oxidative stress, increases glutathione (our major detoxifier and most potent antioxidant) and major support to liver detoxification. Milk Thistle has been studied and is confirmed it can reverse liver damage.

  • Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus): this herb supports the liver in removal of toxins and when the liver is unburdened it can tend to its major activities of hormone metabolism and balance.

Adaptogenic herbs aid in regulating the endocrine system, shielding the body from stress-related harm, and bolstering immunity. These are important tools for balancing the adrenal health and helping you manage the damaging impact of stress.

  • Eleutherococcus (Eleutherococcus) This adaptogenic herb supports overall endocrine function which supports hormonal balance. It strengthens the immune system and can help mitigate the impact of stress on the endocrine system (e.g. adrenals, thyroid).

  • Rhodiola Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea) is a potent antioxidant, it can protect the body from environmental toxins which contribute to hormonal imbalance. Its adaptogenic actions aid the body in times of stress and change.

  • Ashwaganda (Withania Somnifera) Supports overall endocrine system function. Supports proper immune response. This potent player in the adaptogenic family aids in possible autoimmune fertility issues and supports the body with proper stress response.


The following herbs are known to enhance the proper functioning of the menstrual cycle, while others support optimal performance of the male reproductive organs.*

  • Chaste Berry (Vitex Agnus Castus) This powerhouse of an herb can inhibit FSH and increase LH both of which aid in regulating ovulation. It can stretch out a short luteal phase of your cycle if you have a short cycle and it can increase progesterone which is critical for ovulation and maintaining a pregnancy.

  • Wild Yam (Dioscorea Villosa) blocks cell growth and can limit tumor cell growth, has anti-inflammatory benefits, can help restore sperm motility and more. This herb has been erroneously described as converting to progesterone which it does not do but it is a big player in regulating hormone balance.

  • Saw Palmetto (Serenoa Repens) often thought of a male specific herb has benefits for both men and women: It can interfere with testosterone levels which can improve acne, hair growth, low sperm count, low libido, low cervical mucus and prostate problems.

  • Individual recommendations are best to target your specific needs, please reach out to me for guidance or seek help from your medical doctor for guidance on doses and combination of herbs.


The importance of vitamins and minerals for natural fertility

Learning to use herbs can be a supportive and a natural way to boost fertility. Herbs and plants have been used for thousands of years to promote reproductive health, heal, increase libido, and improve fertility.

Herbs are safe to take prior to conception and are fantastic remedies to improve your fertility naturally. Herbs have numerous functions but the herbs that support the liver will promote hormonal balance as the liver is the site of hormone metabolism so keeping it healthy is a natural way to boost your fertility.

Nutrients are the key building blocks and can help boost natural fertility. Often patients are nutrient deficient and are unaware that the addition of a missing vitamin or mineral could be the obstacle to conception. Our food is deficient and our soil is deficient and thus we are experiencing these deficiencies as well.

  • Antioxidants:Antioxidants help reduce free radical damage to cells which happens when we are exposed to toxins, have nutrient deficiencies, experience stressors and have a less than optimal diet. Examples of antioxidants that are important to boost your fertility include: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E.

  • EFAs:Essential Fatty Acids are found in fish, nuts, flax seeds, eggs, and olive oil. These fatty acids are vital to the formation of healthy cell membranes and brain development.

  • Vit D Maternal Vitamin D levels are essential for good immunity building bones and reducing future risk of disease for the fetus. It is important to supplement this nutrient before and after pregnancy.

  • Prenatal vitamins: A key recommendation for anyone who is interested in conception now or in the future. If you are regularly taking a prenatal multivitamin you will reduce the risk of both you and the baby having nutrient deficiencies.

  • Folate:Folate (the ideal form is “5 MTHF” or methylated folate) is a crucial nutrient for the brain development of a fetus. Taking this nutrient before you conceive is very important to the health of your baby and can reduce the risk of miscarriage (2).

  • Vit EStudies have shown the importance of Vitamin E in the protection of oxidative damage to the egg and sperm cells which reduces damage to them from environmental toxins, radiation and other daily exposures we encounter (3).

Both partners should optimize their nutritional and antioxidant status prior to conception for the optimal health of their baby.

Nutrients are the key building blocks and can help boost natural fertility.


How vital nutrients boost your fertility

  • Anemia, linked with low iron, vitamin B12, and B6 levels, can disrupt ovulation.

  • Folic acid is crucial for fetal development, particularly in the early stages of pregnancy before you know you are pregnant.

  • Zinc plays a vital role in the formation, function, and quality of male sperm.

  • Research indicates that Vitamin C can enhance hormonal balance and boost fertility among women with luteal phase defects.

  • Vitamin E serves as a crucial antioxidant, safeguarding the integrity of sperm and egg DNA.


Dietary fat can boost your fertility naturally

Fat intake is vital to healthy fertility, in fact, fats are actually critical for healthy cell development- especially eggs and sperm. Several decades ago nutritional advice was to avoid fats and include more fat-free foods, even today sometimes that message is persistent. But that advice is dead wrong. We have learned how important fat is to everyone’s health. In fact, cholesterol plays a crucial role in crafting robust cell membranes and serves as a precursor to a spectrum of steroid hormones, including progesterone, estrogen, and FSH. Maintaining sufficient levels of various fats is essential for establishing optimal hormone balance and ensuring the production of high-quality eggs and sperm. (4) Ensure you consume quality sources of fats and opt for stable oils when cooking at high temperatures to avoid oxidation. Cooking with oils prone to burning at high heat, such as olive oil, can lead to the formation of trans fatty acids, causing harm to cellular health.

Fertility boosting fat tips:

  • Consume full-fat, unprocessed organic dairy products such as yogurt, butter, and cheese.

  • Coconut oil, being the most stable saturated fat and having a pleasant taste, is a better choice for cooking than olive or canola oil.

  • Cod Liver Oil is rich in essential acids, DHA and EPA, vital for brain, nervous system, and emotional health.

  • Fish, olive, and flax oil are excellent sources of Omega 3 Fatty acids.

  • Evening primrose oil and borage oil are excellent sources of Omega 6 EFAs.

  • Fresh seeds and nuts, avocado, and sunflower oil are excellent sources of Omega 9 EFAs.

  • Avoid cooking with olive oil, canola oil, or margarine as they are not heat stable.

  • Steer clear of fried foods, fast foods, prepackaged foods, pastries, cakes, and similar items, as they contain trans fatty acids that harm cellular health.


How to boost your fertility by managing your stress

Stress is a major obstacle to healthy conception. One of the most effective strategies for boosting fertility naturally is to take an honest look at your stress levels. We are accustomed to getting ourselves through our day on adrenaline and cortisol, the hormones produced with stress and we often do not realize until we make a change how significant those hormones are. These hormones directly impact adrenal health, egg and sperm quality, progesterone levels as well as all of the reproductive hormone levels (5) . In order to optimize your fertility some form of stress relief must be prioritized.
Examples include:



Breath work involves tuning into your breathing and ignoring the distractions of your thoughts and surroundings for a short period of time. Training yourself to just notice your breath and nothing else around you impacts your cortisol levels and over time can greatly reduce stress levels. Start with 10 minutes of breathing and attention to your breath. Not many of us are perfect at this initially but with time you will see great changes in your mind and stress levels.

Yoga is the ancient practice of certain physical poses paired with attention and focus on the breath is great for someone who likes to move and can manage their thoughts through movement. The poses each hold a specific tool for improving physical strength as well as turning inward to your thoughts.



Journaling is a simple, easy to do activity to manage stress. Start by writing down all of the thoughts that come to mind and why they are troubling you, solutions you see or what you have in your control to change. Daily journaling will help you unwind what might be confusing inside your mind and putting it on paper will help clarify your thoughts. Write 3 pages per day in the morning.

Meditation is an ancient tool used by many religions and cultures to tune into yourself and create a blank space in your mind temporarily. It is a practice that involves focusing and clearing your mind using physical techniques as well as mental strategies. There are many forms of meditation, some that are active and some that require your stillness. Start with 15 minutes per day, you will be transformed by this effective tool.

Commit to managing your stress as a natural way to boost your fertility. Stress management is simple but complex— we are used to stress and do not notice how much it impacts our life and thus it can be difficult to adopt changes to lower our stress levels. If you can do some form of stress relief every day for at least 10-15 minutes, you will experience a natural boost in your fertility.


How to track fertility naturally:
Track your ovulation

A recent study showed that many women calculate their most fertile times incorrectly. That is, they do not know when they ovulate and are missing their fertile window! Knowing your fertile window is key to knowing how to get pregnant. Missing your window of opportunity because of incorrect timing can easily be changed. The first day of your menstrual cycle is day 1 of bleeding. Ovulation happens at varied times for women but generally ranges between days 11-16. The day you ovulate is a 12-24 hour window- your egg is available for fertilization during this window. Tracking your ovulation day will reduce any missed opportunities for conception.

1) One key feature of your fertile window is the appearance of a stretchy egg-white like substance called “cervical mucus”. This allows the sperm to travel into the uterus through the cervix. When it is present you are fertile. Tracking this cervical mucus will help you learn when you ovulate.

2) Track the change in your temperature for the entire menstrual cycle. Your temperature should increase slightly by approximately 1 degree Fahrenheit after you ovulate and stay up for the rest of the month. If you are tracking your temperature for several cycles you will begin to see a pattern and this will help you confirm when you ovulate. Becoming familiar with your fertile window will help you narrow down the time of optimal fertilization in your cycle and improve your chances of a successful conception.

Hi, I am Dr. Mary Shackelton, Naturopathic Doctor, who practices integrative medicine with an emphasis on women’s health.

My current focus is on Environmental Medicine and the conditions that are associated with toxic exposures: auto-immune diseases, fatigue, cognitive decline, hormone imbalances, mitochondrial dysfunction, and neurologic conditions.

Schedule your one-on-one consultation to help you lay a strong foundation for successfully conceiving and to help you build an internal terrain that is capable of creating a vital child.



I can help you remove obstacles to healthy conception

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