How to Boost Fertility Naturally in Your 30s-image

How to Boost Fertility Naturally in Your 30s

Despite misconceptions, you can likely have a healthy pregnancy and baby in your 30s, but it’s worth bearing in mind that as you get older, it becomes more difficult to get pregnant and to keep the pregnancy.

This is why many have to turn to fertility treatments to freeze their eggs and start IVF cycles in their 30s.

When you’re trying to conceive (TTC) in your 30s, whether you’re using fertility treatments or trying to get pregnant naturally, every little helps. Your lifestyle choices, nutrition, menstrual cycle awareness and mental health can play a crucial role in your fertility journey in your 30s, and at any age.

Lifestyle Changes to Boost Fertility

Despite what we’ve been led to believe, your fertility is not something that’s left to chance and depends on luck only. While some aspects of fertility are out of our control, there are actions you can take to improve your chances of getting pregnant in your 30s, with and without fertility treatments.

Lifestyle changes can help to optimise your fertility naturally. Choosing a well-balanced and nutritionally rich diet, doing regular physical exercise, managing your stress and getting enough sleep can all support your fertility.

Physical Exercise To Boost Fertility

Getting at least 150 minutes of physical exercise a week is important to help you manage your weight and boost overall health.

Broken down, that’s 30-minute workouts, five days a week. 30-60 minutes of physical exercise per day was shown to reduce the risk of anovulatory infertility (infertility due to an ovulation disorder). Exercise not only balances your hormones, but it can boost your mood, help you manage stress and support your energy.

However, be careful because, underweight, or doing vigorous physical exercise (more than 60 minutes a day) combined with eating a calorie deficit, can negatively impact your fertility since it usually has a knock-on effect on your hormones, which can lead to irregular periods and ovulation.

Your menstrual cycle relies on a delicate hormone balance, and if your weight is too low or too high can throw them out of sync affecting your chance of conceiving.

Stress Management Strategies For Fertility

Stress can also throw off the balance of hormones causing irregular periods and ovulation. It might also affect your desire to get intimate / libido which is not ideal when you are TTC. 

Manage stress to boost fertility in your 30s by identifying coping strategies that work for you. You could try relaxation techniques like breathwork, yoga, meditation and mindfulness to help you relax. If you find that self help measures are not helping out, you can always consider seeking out professional help. 

The Connection Between Sleep and Fertility

It’s recommended to get between 7-10 hours of sleep every night, depending on how much you need, since getting enough sleep is associated with better reproductive health. 

So, how does sleep affect our fertility? A lack of sleep can cause your circadian rhythm (responsible for your sleep-wake cycle) to become dysregulated, and this can affect your hormones, and in turn your menstrual cycle, and fertility. One study revealed that in a survey of nurses of reproductive age, 53% reported menstrual cycle changes while engaging in shift work.

Your hormones being balanced is key to your fertility.

To get a healthy sleep routine, try switching all screens off two hours before bedtime, and have a wind-down routine which could include a hot bath, calming tea, stretching or bedtime yoga. Try to stick to a schedule by going to bed and waking up around the same time each day, so your sleep-wake cycle is regulated.

It’s usually easier to fall asleep when it’s quiet, dark and cool, but test different sleep environments to see which works best for you.

Morning sunlight is proven to improve your ability to sleep too. Exposure to sunlight in the first hour of waking for 10-30 minutes a day, and in the afternoon as the sun is setting, will help to regulate your body’s inner sleep-wake cycle clock.

Getting more physical exercise and having a well-balanced diet will also support your mood and energy levels which will make managing stress and getting enough sleep easier.

Medical Considerations and Check-ups

Boosting fertility naturally in your 30s begins with a proactive understanding of your reproductive health. Regular medical check-ups, including a hormone and fertility test, are crucial in providing timely insights and addressing potential hurdles to pregnancy.

Lots of healthcare providers recommend only visiting a fertility specialist if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year without success, but you don’t need to wait that long. 

While some couples have no trouble conceiving, 1 in 6 couples face fertility struggles, and knowing your body from the inside means you can seek support and advice faster with all the facts if you need it.

When it comes to getting pregnant in your 30s, timing is everything. By taking charge of your reproductive health through regular check-ups and fertility screenings, you equip yourself with the knowledge needed to optimise your chances of a successful pregnancy. Start today, embrace a proactive approach, and navigate your fertility journey with confidence.

Nutritional Supplements and Diet

The right nutrition can help to support fertility by balancing your hormones, improving your egg quality and supporting a healthy reproductive environment for fertilised eggs, foetus and baby to thrive. While there are no specific guidelines for the best fertility diet, there are foods that can boost your fertility.

Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean diet—rich in whole grains, beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and unsaturated fats like olive oil and avocado—can boost fertility. Consider a fertility meal plan and use a fertility nutrition shopping list to make life easier. That’s one less thing to think about!

The abundance of fruits, vegetables and whole grains makes the Mediterranean diet rich in antioxidants, which have been shown to protect eggs from DNA damage and oxidative stress and support implantation and pregnancy.

Healthy Eating Tips To Boost Fertility In Your 30s

Some healthy eating tips if you’re trying to get pregnant are:

  • Opt for whole grains like wholemeal bread, brown rice, brown pasta, quinoa, oats and buckwheat.
  • Eat at least five different fruits and vegetables a day. Aim for as much variety in colour as possible.
  • Limit ultra-processed foods like ready meals, crisps, cakes and sweets, and focus on a wholefoods diet instead. Challenge yourself to make all your meals from scratch so you know exactly what’s in them.
  • Adequate protein is important for egg and sperm development, but plant-based proteins (chickpeas, lentils, beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds and quinoa) are proven to be better compared to animal protein, for fertility. In a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, infertility was more likely in 39% of women who ate a high intake of animal protein.

Some plant-based proteins are also high in fibre and iron. Both are important in preconception and during pregnancy. Low iron levels can add to your tiredness or cause iron deficiency anaemia, which can increase the risk of pregnancy complications.

  • Up your fibre intake. In a study in the US, couples who had a higher fibre intake had a 13% higher chance of conceiving, compared to those with a lower fibre intake. However, it’s important to note that your fibre-to-carbs ratio is important. More carbs-to-fibre can lead to reduced fertility.
  • Limit sugary foods like cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks, energy drinks and white rice. High sugar content can cause spikes in insulin which is associated with poor egg quality and sperm production, and could affect implantation.
  • Choose healthy fats like olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds and avocado over unhealthy saturated fats like bacon, sausage, butter, cheese, pastries and pies.

Diets opposed to this way of eating, including those poor in fruit, vegetables and dairy, but high in saturated fat, such as the ketogenic diet have been associated with a risk of spontaneous early miscarriage.

Prenatal Vitamins

If you’re trying to get pregnant in your 30s, adding some prenatal vitamins can support you too. Multivitamins (that don’t include vitamin A) may reduce the risk of ovulatory infertility (when infertility occurs because of an ovulation disorder).

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

If you don’t eat oily fish, supplementing omega-3 fatty acids like cod liver oil or supplements containing EPA and DHA supports sperm concentration, motility and quality in men, is anti-inflammatory, regulates hormones and improves the embryo’s ability to implant in the uterus.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is also particularly important to support fertility. It helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body which becomes vital when pregnant to ensure the baby is getting enough calcium to assist with bone and teeth growth.

This is especially true in the winter, between September and March when there’s less sunlight. Adequate levels of vitamin D have been associated with a more positive pregnancy test, clinical pregnancies and live births.

Folic Acid

Folic acid taken while you’re trying to conceive, and in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, supports early development, especially of the baby’s brain and spine, helping to reduce the risk of neural tube birth defects like spina bifida. 

Try to eat leafy green vegetables, which contain folate (the natural form of folic acid). It’s difficult to get the recommended amount of folate through food alone, which is why supplementing with folic acid can support healthy development.

Please note that some foods that are safe when you’re trying to get pregnant aren’t safe during pregnancy, so if you become pregnant, you should avoid vitamin A supplements, liver products, mercury-containing fish, raw or undercooked meat, dairy and eggs.

Lifestyle Habits To Avoid If You’re Trying To Conceive

When trying to conceive you should avoid alcohol and smoking and keep caffeine intake to less than 200mg a day (a small cup of coffee).

If you want a deeper understanding and to improve your nutrition to improve your chances of becoming pregnant, speak to a fertility nutritionist for personalised insights.

Understanding the Menstrual Cycle

To boost fertility in your 30s, tracking your menstrual cycle can help. Knowing when you’re ovulating means you’ll be able to pinpoint your fertile window typically a 6 day window including the 5 days leading up the day of ovulation and the day of ovulation.

Why is this window so critical? Well, it’s the opportune period when the likelihood of conception is at its peak. The initial step in the journey toward pregnancy involves the timely union of an egg with sperm. To achieve this, having sex within the fertile window is essential for pregnancy to occur. However, pinpointing exactly when you are ovulating can be difficult which is why it is recommended to have sex every 2-3 days through your cycle. 

The process of becoming pregnant contains lots of different steps that rely on everything going smoothly. Timing is everything.

For conception to occur, a healthy egg is released from your ovaries at a specific point in the month (ovulation), and meets a healthy sperm, usually in the fallopian tube. Your egg only has a lifespan of around 12-24 hours, whereas sperm can exist in your body for up to 5 days.

If all goes well, the sperm then fertilises the egg successfully. The fertilised egg (zygote) attaches to the uterine (womb) wall (implantation) where it grows into a foetus, and ultimately a baby.

Your menstrual cycle is key to your fertility awareness. You can track it via an app on your phone or a manual calendar or diary when you can mark down when you get your period along with other symptoms including your mood, vaginal discharge, sex drive, and more. 

You’ll track the first day of your period, which is also counted as the first day of your menstrual cycle. A normal menstrual cycle is anything that lasts from 21-35 days, anything falling out of this range would be considered as irregular, Now ovulation is usually thought to happen some where around the middle of the cycle.  For example, in a 28-day cycle, ovulation typically occurs around day 14.

Although most people think they will ovulate on day 14 it can usually happen at any point 10-16 days before your next period. 

Understanding your body’s signals provides valuable insights into its internal workings, especially the timing of ovulation and consequently your fertile window. It is also important to remember that using your menstrual cycle dates alone to predict the day of ovulation can be tricky if you have irregular periods, as that could be linked to irregular ovulation.

By tracking your menstrual cycle, you empower yourself with knowledge about your most fertile days, ensuring you and your partner can strategically plan intimate moments during the all-important timeframe.

The Role of Mental Health

To give yourself the best chance of getting pregnant in your 30s, managing any stress can help. We get it—it’s easier said than done. Trying to get pregnant can be a stressful time, and the lifestyle and behavioural choices you make when you’re stressed could negatively impact fertility.

Everyday stress isn’t likely to impact your fertility, but chronic stress might affect hormonal balance and disrupt the menstrual cycle, which could affect your chance to conceive.

Unsurprisingly, there are increased rates of depression in people struggling with infertility. When you’re feeling low or depressed, people frequently turn to alcohol, eat more or less, smoke more, struggle with sleeping, which could impact your fertility.

People with anxiety and depression also report a reduced sex drive. This drop in libido could affect your fertility if it means you’re not having sex in your fertile window.

You could also manage stress with coping strategies and relaxation techniques. Yoga, breathwork and mindfulness can help you to feel calmer, and force you to slow down—a welcome contrast to a time that’s often filled with worry and overthinking.

Talking therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or attending a support group are proven to help with managing stress. You could reach out to family, friends, colleagues or a fertility counsellor if you’re feeling low or worried. 

Stress itself hasn’t been proven to affect fertility, but the instances of stress among couples trying to conceive are higher compared to those who aren’t. The relationship between mental health and fertility is a complicated one. We’ll never know how one affects the other. Seeking support from fertility counsellors and advisors is crucial for those facing challenges.

When to Seek Professional Help

Catching hormonal imbalances and deficiencies early is important in improving the chance of getting pregnant. The earlier you can catch potential fertility issues, the earlier you can start intervention or treatment if necessary.

Taking the first step in your fertility journey by seeking professional help is so valuable. A hormone and fertility test serves as a window into your inner workings, uncovering any potential issues that may exist. This comprehensive examination evaluates your egg reserve, identifies warning signs of infertility, delves into hormonal imbalances, and screens for up to 18 health conditions.

If you know or suspect you have a reproductive health condition like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis or thyroid problems, you should contact a fertility advisor at the start of your journey as these can affect your fertility.

If you’re experiencing symptoms, take a hormone and fertility test for your peace of mind.

On average, it takes between 2-8 years to diagnose a reproductive health condition, but with a hormone and fertility test from Hertility, you’ll have personalised insights into your fertility within 10 days, so it makes sense to do it earlier rather than later.

While you can’t control everything when it comes to fertility, there are lots of natural ways to optimise fertility in your 30s whether or not you’re doing them alongside fertility treatments.

From tracking your menstrual cycle (especially your fertile window) to making healthy lifestyle choices, managing stress and seeking professional help, your path to parenthood in your 30s doesn’t have to be left to chance.

Take control of your reproductive health in your 30s with healthy choices and have complete body autonomy with knowledge from a hormone and fertility test and support from fertility advisors.

FAQs

How does age affect fertility?

Unfortunately, as you age, your eggs do too.

A woman or person AFAB is born with all of the eggs they’ll ever have throughout their lifetime. This is known as your ovarian reserve. Every menstrual cycle, an egg is released to become fertilised and potentially develop into a foetus and then a baby. Your ovarian reserve is limited so this monthly cycle of ovulation (when an egg is released from the ovaries) depletes the quantity of your eggs over time.

And it’s not just the quantity that reduces, the quality does too. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), people in their twenties and early 30s have about a 25% chance of getting pregnant in a single menstrual cycle.

By the time you reach your mid to late 30s, the chance of conception becomes less likely, and by age 40, your chance of getting pregnant in any monthly cycle is around 5%.

To put it into perspective, 1 in 5 people aged 30 to 39 have difficulty conceiving their first child compared to 1 in 8 people under 30, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The risk of pregnancy complications increases with age (for men and women) too. From age 35, the risk of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities (that can result in Down’s syndrome) increases.

Complications such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, caesarean section and stillbirth are more common among older women than younger women.

Are there specific fertility treatments recommended for those in their 30s?

There are various fertility treatments recommended for those in their 30s, including:

  • Egg freezing: For people not ready to conceive yet but might want to in the future, egg freezing allows for the preservation of the potential for having a baby later down the line.
  • Ovulation induction: For people suffering from an ovulation disorder, this involves the use of medications to stimulate the ovaries and enhance the production of eggs. This is usually recommended as a first line fertility treatment.
  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): IUI involves injecting sperm directly into the uterus to increase the chance of the sperm meeting the egg. This can either be done in sync with your natural cycle or doctors might prescribe medication to stimulate the ovaries.
  • In-vitro fertilisation (IVF): IVF is when eggs are retrieved from the ovaries, fertilised in a lab, and then implanted into the uterus.

Suitability for these treatments varies for each individual and couple. With all of them, early consultation is advised as fertility treatment can become more complicated and less successful with age. A detailed assessment by a fertility advisor can provide personalised guidance based on specific needs.

What lifestyle habits should I avoid to boost fertility?

Alcohol, smoking, substance use, and excess caffeine (more than 200mg a day) can negatively affect your fertility by impacting your hormones. Hormone balance is key to fertility.

What lifestyle changes can enhance fertility in my 30s?

Eating a well-balanced and nutritionally rich diet (like the Mediterranean diet), taking prenatal supplements, doing regular physical exercise (150 minutes of strenuous physical exercise split up over the week), managing your stress, and getting enough sleep can all support your fertility.

You should also avoid alcohol, smoking and more than 200mg of caffeine a day—they can negatively affect fertility by causing a hormonal imbalance. 

When should I see a fertility specialist in my 30s?

Timing is everything considering your fertility declines with age. You can get a hormone and fertility test at any point in your fertility journey and get results within 10 days. Seeking a fertility specialist is especially important if you’re getting symptoms that you’re worried about, or if your menstrual cycle has changed.

Some healthcare professionals recommend contacting a fertility specialist if you’ve been trying for a year and haven’t become pregnant (this is when you’re officially considered suffering from infertility), but the earlier you do so, the better. If you’re 35 or above, it’s recommended you contact a fertility specialist if you’ve been trying for six months with no luck.

Ultimately, knowing what’s going on inside, you’re better knowing sooner rather than later so if there are any irregularities, you can start treatment to improve your fertility chances.

Can certain foods or supplements boost fertility?

A Mediterranean diet—rich in whole grain, beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and unsaturated fats like olive oil and avocado—can boost fertility. Consider a fertility meal plan and use a fertility nutrition shopping list to make life easier.

The abundance of fruits, vegetables and whole grains makes the Mediterranean diet rich in antioxidants, which have been shown to protect eggs from DNA damage and oxidative stress.

Diets opposed to this way of eating, including those poor in fruit, vegetables and dairy, but high in saturated fat, such as the ketogenic diet have been associated with a risk of spontaneous early miscarriage.

Vitamin D, fibre, plant-based protein, prenatal supplements, and omega-3 fatty acids can also boost fertility. Plus, folic acid supports healthy baby development preconception and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

What are common fertility misconceptions for those in their 30s?

Common fertility misconceptions for people in their 30s include:

  • Fertility declines abruptly at 35. While fertility does decline with age, the decline is gradual and varies among individuals. Some people in their mid-30s might still have no difficulty conceiving while others may experience challenges earlier or later.
  • Fertility testing can wait until you’re ready to conceive. A hormone and fertility test can provide valuable information about your reproductive health. Waiting until actively trying to conceive may delay addressing any potential issues. Testing earlier allows for proactive management of fertility concerns.
  • Men’s fertility doesn’t decline with age. While men can produce sperm throughout their lives, sperm quality and quantity may decline with age. Advanced paternal age has been linked to genetic disorders and developmental issues.
  • IVF provides a quick solution to age-related fertility decline. IVF is a viable option but not a guaranteed quick fix. Success rates can vary, especially for older women, and multiple IVF cycles may be needed, which may be costly, in both the literal, physical and emotional sense. 
  • If you’ve had a child before, future pregnancies will be easy. While a previous successful pregnancy is a positive indicator, fertility can change over time. Secondary infertility where couples struggle to conceive after one or more children is a real possibility.
  • A healthy lifestyle guarantees fertility. While a healthy lifestyle can positively impact fertility, it’s not guaranteed. Age remains a significant factor and fertility can be affected by various medical conditions regardless of lifestyle choices.

Individuals and couples should consult with healthcare professionals including fertility specialists to receive personalised information and guidance based on their unique circumstances.

Reference links

  1. https://www.evewell.com/support/fertility-supplements/#:~:text=Vitamins%20B1%2C%20B2%2C%20B3%2C,been%20linked%20to%20female%20infertility.
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/vitamins-supplements-and-nutrition/
  3. https://www.parents.com/getting-pregnant/trying-to-conceive/up-your-chances-of-getting-pregnant-at-every-age/
  4. https://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2393-12-100
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2729989/ 
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4418963/ 



Zoya Ali BSc, MSc

Zoya Ali BSc, MSc

Zoya is a scientific researcher with a Bachelor's degree in Biotechnology and a Masters in Prenatal Genetics & Foetal Medicine from University College London. Her research interests are reproductive genetics, fertility preservation, gynaecological health conditions and sexual health.

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