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The 5 Pillars of Fertility

Let’s be real – when the topic is fertility, so much is completely out of our hands. Between genetics and that unknowable, sometimes unsolvable X factor, we don’t have control of everything. But there’s no question that the elements we can control go a very long way to support and nourish our fertility. In many instances, improving your chances of conception goes hand in hand with a lifestyle that just makes you feel better. That lifestyle is the cumulative effect of all the things we already know we should be doing – eating well, sleeping well, meditating, exercising, and just generally supporting our bodies and minds. 

It’s an interesting truth that many people trying so hard to conceive are willing to try just about anything – special herbs and teas, medications, you name it – but have often jumped straight past the fundamentals of plain ol’ good health. In other words, they aren’t prioritizing sleep or managing stress or eating a nourishing diet or staying consistently active, all of which can be a factor in infertility. In the interest of keeping things simple, we’re sharing five pillars of fertility. And spoiler – there are no secret teas or herbs on this list.

beli-baby-prenatals-five-pillars-fertility

Mindset & Sleep

Sounds almost too simple, doesn’t it? And while, obviously, you can’t think yourself pregnant, there’s something to be said for keeping a positive mindset. After all, our mental health directly affects our physical health – studies have associated a more positive mindset with stronger immune systems, healthier bodies, and reduced stress, all of which benefit fertility.

The real secret about maintaining a positive mindset is the influence it has on our behavior. When we’re feeling good, we’re more likely to do all the things we know benefit us – sticking to that bedtime, eating nutritiously, exercising, meditating. All of these small, daily decisions add up.

Prioritizing sleep is a prime example. Intellectually, we know sleeping is how we recover and recharge. But for many of us, sleep is the first thing we sacrifice when our schedules get busy and our responsibilities pile up. We burn the midnight oil and then we’re up at the crack of dawn, and maybe we try to “catch up” on missed sleep on the weekends. But messing with our circadian rhythm takes its toll. This is the system that directly affects hormonal homeostasis, and balance is exactly what you want when you’re trying for a baby.

Make a point of getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. Be mindful about creating a calming sleep environment that is quiet, dark, and cool. Be consistent about bedtime, and remember that timing sunlight exposure and darkness directly dictate your circadian rhythm. In the morning, try to get some sunshine or at the very least artificial light to stimulate cortisol production. In the evenings, do your best to avoid screen time at least an hour before bed so you don’t interfere with melatonin production.

Food & Drink

We all know that it’s important to eat well, but what about eating for fertility? Surprise – it’s largely the same thing. Reach for whole foods that are naturally high in nutrients. Aim for colorful fruits and vegetables and be mindful about balancing protein, carbohydrates, and high quality fats.

One of the best ways of fueling your body is to eat larger meals earlier in the day – the ol’ eating like a king for breakfast, a queen for lunch, and a pauper for dinner expression. This gives you sustained energy as you need it. Remember the importance of including adequate amounts of protein in the morning to help balance insulin levels, and keeping refined carbs to a minimum. These empty calories are notorious for negatively affecting ovulation and triggering cycle irregularities.

And don’t forget to drink up. Far too many of us walk around all day chronically dehydrated – and completely unaware. That’s an issue itself, but in terms of fertility, poor hydration can affect everything from egg health to cervical mucus secretion to sperm quality and quantity. What’s more, dehydration is stressful on the body and circulatory system – another pitfall to optimal fertility.

The key isn't necessarily drinking more water, but hydrating better. Look for hydration packs that are low in sugar and high in electrolytes and minerals, and get in the habit of toting around a reusable water bottle if you aren’t doing so already. 

Environment

It’s settled science that environmental toxins impact fertility. And the thing about these toxins is that they’re everywhere. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) affect both male and female fertility, in addition to triggering the development of diseases like obesity, diabetes, and certain cancers. EDCs are also, unfortunately, found in everything from industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals to foods, household goods, and beauty products. This stuff can be found in your tea, your water bottle, your favorite laundry detergent, and your go-to lipstick.

Offering an alternative to products loaded with worrisome ingredients is how all the various “clean” movements got their start. These days, you can shop clean beauty, clean skincare, clean nail care, clean household products, and ahem, clean prenatal vitamins. And the companies that are doing this well really are offering an alternative that’s not only better for you and your health, but the planet.

Make simple swaps in your personal care and home good products – use glass and silicone storage containers instead of plastic bags. Switch to a metal water bottle. Avoid parabens, phthalates, and PEG. Buy organic whenever possible. Don’t panic about making a clean sweep all at once, just make gradual changes over time to limit your exposure and create a safer environment.

Supplements

Since even the best diet may be lacking in nutrients shown to support reproductive processes in men and women, include a high-quality prenatal vitamin in your daily routine. Experts recommend starting prenatals ideally six months before conception to build up nutrient stores and prepare for all the hard work to come.

Beli for Men and Beli for Women are science-aligned formulas with bioavailable forms of all the vitamins and minerals you both need to support fertility health. They’re a great addition to a healthy lifestyle as you prepare for impending parenthood.

Physical activity

Healthy reproductive system function is dependent on overall health for both men and women. In men, regular exercise helps reduce inflammation and supports better sperm function. Research suggests that ovulatory infertility in women may be avoided with consistent moderate exercise when combined with other healthy lifestyle choices, like nutrition.

Regular exercise is also a key stress buster. Research shows that mitigating stress levels is associated with a significant increase in pregnancy rates. And you don’t have to go nuts to benefit. Even small amounts of movement – a short walk after meals, some weight lifting a few times a week, weekend hikes – can help boost energy, improve circulation, and generally clear your mind.

Exercise is also an often-overlooked part of self-care, a concept that has become unfortunately synonymous with things like face masks and manicures and massages. But true self care is about more than your skin or nails – it’s about doing the things that support our mental, emotional, and physical health. That includes regular exercise, nutritious meals, and time spent reflecting. A daily meditation practice can be as minimal as five to ten minutes of focused intention, and it will pay off in spades.

The takeaway

It’s one of nature’s neatest tricks – all the things that keep you healthy and nourished in general also directly support your fertility. These five pillars of fertility can be considered the low-hanging fruit in the hierarchy of “things to do to get pregnant,” so make a point of covering these bases first.

Additional Resources

The summer heat really can have a temporary effect on male fertility, so doing what you can to keep cool, especially if the goal is becoming a dad, is really important. Here are tips to keep you and the boys cool this summer.

Read More

If you’re no stranger to the telltale signs of seasonal allergies—sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, irritated eyes, the works—you’re likely familiar with antihistamines. When you’re actively trying to conceive, there’s more to understand about histamines, seasonal allergies and how it affects your fertility.

Read More

When the plan is a baby, but you’re having a hard time conceiving, it’s normal to start wondering why. While there can be a number of issues in play, one tends to be overlooked: sleep quality. Specifically, men who have the sleep disorder sleep apnea could be at greater risk of fertility issues. Now, new research is drawing a more definitive link between sleep apnea and male fertility. Let’s review.

Read More

Fact: You can’t look at a guy—or eyeball his semen sample, for that matter—and determine his fertility. It just doesn’t work that way. The only way to truly assess sperm health is with a semen analysis. But there are a few lifestyle choices and truths that may indicate whether a man’s sperm is healthy and happy. 

Read More

While PCOS can be a challenging condition to manage, natural supplements like inositol that are included in Beli Preconception Boost offer a beacon of hope. Inositol's ability to improve insulin sensitivity, hormone balance, and ovulatory function makes it a valuable tool in the PCOS management toolkit. 

Read More

The concern that hormonal contraception affects future fertility is making the rounds on social media again. But research continues to show that all that worry is for naught. While birth control doesn’t cause long-term fertility issues, it can mask them by creating an artificial cycle—something that’s important to understand.

Read More

While it’s lumped into the “bodily fluid” category, semen is a complex cocktail of compounds designed to support fertility. Like sperm quality, semen health can be influenced by lifestyle factors—an important realization for couples trying to conceive. From color to consistency, here’s what healthy semen looks like.

Read More

There’s a lot of chatter when it comes to male masturbation and what it says about a man’s fertility or whether it’s an issue when a couple is actively trying to conceive. And in the interest of clearing up the confusion, we’re taking a facts-based approach to the topic of men, masturbation and fertility.

Read More

For many of us, our twenties and even thirties are a time when the focus is on pregnancy prevention. And that’s okay! But even when the idea of motherhood is miles away there is tremendous value in understanding your fertility health and what you can do to support it during these young, carefree days.

Read More

We’re thrilled to introduce Beli Women Preconception, a complementary fertility supplement designed to support fertility health by promoting egg quality, supporting ovulation, balancing hormones, regulating your cycle and helping to manage symptoms of both PCOS and PMS.

Read More

Once a month, PMS symptoms make their unpleasant presence known. And while knowing what’s happening won’t make PMS magically disappear, it can help you manage symptoms by balancing hormones and supporting your reproductive health. Let’s review.

Read More

Raise your hand if you already know that you have a biological clock. From age 35 and beyond, there is a natural decline in testosterone and sperm quality. Just as people lose muscle strength, flexibility and endurance with age, sperm also tend to lose their "fitness" over the life cycle. But what does that mean—and does it really matter?

Read More

It’s an easy assumption, but you’re much better off thinking that every prenatal vitamin is wildly different in terms of composition, nutrient quality and, importantly, nutrient amount. Not only is that actually true, it puts you in the smart consumer mindset of understanding what matters in a prenatal vitamin—and why.

Read More

If you have endometriosis, you can already recite its lengthy list of pretty terrible symptoms. And the standard options for managing those symptoms — medications, hormone therapy, hormonal birth control, estrogen blockers, surgery —  aren’t always great. But there is evidence that a so-called “endometriosis diet” can help.

Read More

Men really do benefit from specialized nutrition in the form of a prenatal vitamin that’s formulated to support sperm health. Here’s what that looks like, and how specific nutrients can impact a man’s fertility health before fatherhood.

Read More

Shilajit is finally getting the credit it’s due, and we’re proud to point out that our proprietary formula was the very first to include this powerful Ayurvedic compound. Here’s why shilajit is rapidly becoming the darling of the male fertility world–and what you’re missing if you’re skipping it.

Read More

Ever wondered why men produce so much darn sperm, especially if only one of them will ultimately fertilize the egg? There are millions of sperm in normal ejaculate because it increases the likelihood that one will reach the egg and seal the deal. It begs the question, what exactly happens on the journey to the egg?

Read More

Optimal nutrition plays a pivotal role in enhancing fertility and supporting a healthy pregnancy. A diet rich in essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats, lays the foundation for reproductive health.

Read More

Is there anything unsexier than scheduled, pressure-ridden, trying-like-hell-to-conceive sex? But good news. We’ve found handy workarounds and tricks of the trade, so forget the basal temperature chart for a second and read on for four ways to keep things hot when you’re TTC.

Read More

Just as women’s bodies need to be prepared for pregnancy, men’s bodies need to be ready to contribute healthy sperm for conception. Nutrients are the foundation that support the normal structure and function of sperm and men's fertility health. Taking Beli’s male prenatal supplement is a proactive way to strategically fuel your body to optimize fertility contributing to your overall chances of conceiving and supporting a healthy pregnancy.  

Read More

Diet has been suggested to have an influence on the quality and function of human sperm. More specifically, the results of a randomised trial have shown that including nuts as a component of a regular diet improved the quality and function of human sperm.

Read More

A shot to the balls may be played for laughs on screen, but testicular impacts really aren’t a joke. Worse case scenario, getting hit in the balls can affect fertility thanks to complications like sexual dysfunction, low testosterone and other issues. Let's discuss.

Read More

With the New Year upon us, there are all kinds of articles and videos making the rounds with predictions of the Zodiac signs most likely to get pregnant in 2024. But here at Beli, we take a much more scientific approach to conception. Here are the top eight things people will do to get pregnant in 2024.

Read More

Research shows that the overall health of both biological parents during the preconception window plays a huge role in everything from conception to pregnancy health to the lifetime health of their baby. Luckily, there are simple steps you can both take to improve your health together.

Read More

When it comes to becoming parents, good habits really will take you where you want to go. Now, new science is giving us insight into exactly how long it takes to form those good habits. We're breaking down all the ways you can build healthy habits to boost your chances of conception. Think of it as life-hacking, but for grown-ups.

Read More

Preparing for a baby means doing everything in your power to nourish your fertility health. If you’re totally on board but wondering what that actually means, we’re breaking down the do’s and don’ts for planning a pregnancy.

Read More

Somewhere between the “let’s have a baby!” conversation and seeing those two pink lines, you’re going to end up researching prenatal vitamins. And trust us when we say you’re going to have a ton of options to wade through. Consider this your handy guide to the best prenatal vitamins for men and women in 2024.

Read More

Here at Beli, we’re working hard to raise awareness of the important role men play in the baby-making equation, which brings us to today’s topic of men’s preconception health and specifically, sperm health. Knowing what you’re working with can save you a lot of time, but is at-home sperm testing considered an important part of men’s preconception health? Let’s break it down.

Read More

Most births occur between June and early November. Count back nine months, and you’ll see that places most conceptions in the fall and winter. So what’s the deal? Is it the cold weather, all the festivities, or something else driving us between the sheets? That ugly sweater is pretty cute, but you can chalk this up to reproductive seasonality. Here’s what that means, why it matters, and what to do to use it to your advantage.

Read More

There’s a certain magic to the holiday season, whether you’re all-in on the decorations and the family time or a self-proclaimed Scrooge from mid-November to the New Year. But when you’re trying to conceive, it can be a challenging time.  We’re sharing five tips for managing the holidays when you’re trying to conceive.

Read More

Everyone knows that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix. But what about before you’re pregnant, during the trying-to-conceive stage? There’s no evidence that the occasional drink—i.e. one or two a week—is going to torpedo your chances of parenthood. But it is true that the more you drink, the greater the likelihood it will have an effect on your health. Here’s what the research says about alcohol and your fertility.

Read More

The summer heat really can have a temporary effect on male fertility, so doing what you can to keep cool, especially if the goal is becoming a dad, is really important. Here are tips to keep you and the boys cool this summer.

Read More

If you’re no stranger to the telltale signs of seasonal allergies—sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, irritated eyes, the works—you’re likely familiar with antihistamines. When you’re actively trying to conceive, there’s more to understand about histamines, seasonal allergies and how it affects your fertility.

Read More

When the plan is a baby, but you’re having a hard time conceiving, it’s normal to start wondering why. While there can be a number of issues in play, one tends to be overlooked: sleep quality. Specifically, men who have the sleep disorder sleep apnea could be at greater risk of fertility issues. Now, new research is drawing a more definitive link between sleep apnea and male fertility. Let’s review.

Read More

Fact: You can’t look at a guy—or eyeball his semen sample, for that matter—and determine his fertility. It just doesn’t work that way. The only way to truly assess sperm health is with a semen analysis. But there are a few lifestyle choices and truths that may indicate whether a man’s sperm is healthy and happy. 

Read More

While it’s lumped into the “bodily fluid” category, semen is a complex cocktail of compounds designed to support fertility. Like sperm quality, semen health can be influenced by lifestyle factors—an important realization for couples trying to conceive. From color to consistency, here’s what healthy semen looks like.

Read More

There’s a lot of chatter when it comes to male masturbation and what it says about a man’s fertility or whether it’s an issue when a couple is actively trying to conceive. And in the interest of clearing up the confusion, we’re taking a facts-based approach to the topic of men, masturbation and fertility.

Read More

For many of us, our twenties and even thirties are a time when the focus is on pregnancy prevention. And that’s okay! But even when the idea of motherhood is miles away there is tremendous value in understanding your fertility health and what you can do to support it during these young, carefree days.

Read More

Raise your hand if you already know that you have a biological clock. From age 35 and beyond, there is a natural decline in testosterone and sperm quality. Just as people lose muscle strength, flexibility and endurance with age, sperm also tend to lose their "fitness" over the life cycle. But what does that mean—and does it really matter?

Read More

It’s an easy assumption, but you’re much better off thinking that every prenatal vitamin is wildly different in terms of composition, nutrient quality and, importantly, nutrient amount. Not only is that actually true, it puts you in the smart consumer mindset of understanding what matters in a prenatal vitamin—and why.

Read More

Men really do benefit from specialized nutrition in the form of a prenatal vitamin that’s formulated to support sperm health. Here’s what that looks like, and how specific nutrients can impact a man’s fertility health before fatherhood.

Read More

Shilajit is finally getting the credit it’s due, and we’re proud to point out that our proprietary formula was the very first to include this powerful Ayurvedic compound. Here’s why shilajit is rapidly becoming the darling of the male fertility world–and what you’re missing if you’re skipping it.

Read More

Ever wondered why men produce so much darn sperm, especially if only one of them will ultimately fertilize the egg? There are millions of sperm in normal ejaculate because it increases the likelihood that one will reach the egg and seal the deal. It begs the question, what exactly happens on the journey to the egg?

Read More

Just as women’s bodies need to be prepared for pregnancy, men’s bodies need to be ready to contribute healthy sperm for conception. Nutrients are the foundation that support the normal structure and function of sperm and men's fertility health. Taking Beli’s male prenatal supplement is a proactive way to strategically fuel your body to optimize fertility contributing to your overall chances of conceiving and supporting a healthy pregnancy.  

Read More

Diet has been suggested to have an influence on the quality and function of human sperm. More specifically, the results of a randomised trial have shown that including nuts as a component of a regular diet improved the quality and function of human sperm.

Read More

A shot to the balls may be played for laughs on screen, but testicular impacts really aren’t a joke. Worse case scenario, getting hit in the balls can affect fertility thanks to complications like sexual dysfunction, low testosterone and other issues. Let's discuss.

Read More

With the New Year upon us, there are all kinds of articles and videos making the rounds with predictions of the Zodiac signs most likely to get pregnant in 2024. But here at Beli, we take a much more scientific approach to conception. Here are the top eight things people will do to get pregnant in 2024.

Read More

Research shows that the overall health of both biological parents during the preconception window plays a huge role in everything from conception to pregnancy health to the lifetime health of their baby. Luckily, there are simple steps you can both take to improve your health together.

Read More

When it comes to becoming parents, good habits really will take you where you want to go. Now, new science is giving us insight into exactly how long it takes to form those good habits. We're breaking down all the ways you can build healthy habits to boost your chances of conception. Think of it as life-hacking, but for grown-ups.

Read More

Here at Beli, we’re working hard to raise awareness of the important role men play in the baby-making equation, which brings us to today’s topic of men’s preconception health and specifically, sperm health. Knowing what you’re working with can save you a lot of time, but is at-home sperm testing considered an important part of men’s preconception health? Let’s break it down.

Read More

There’s a certain magic to the holiday season, whether you’re all-in on the decorations and the family time or a self-proclaimed Scrooge from mid-November to the New Year. But when you’re trying to conceive, it can be a challenging time.  We’re sharing five tips for managing the holidays when you’re trying to conceive.

Read More

Everyone knows that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix. But what about before you’re pregnant, during the trying-to-conceive stage? There’s no evidence that the occasional drink—i.e. one or two a week—is going to torpedo your chances of parenthood. But it is true that the more you drink, the greater the likelihood it will have an effect on your health. Here’s what the research says about alcohol and your fertility.

Read More

If you’re no stranger to the telltale signs of seasonal allergies—sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, irritated eyes, the works—you’re likely familiar with antihistamines. When you’re actively trying to conceive, there’s more to understand about histamines, seasonal allergies and how it affects your fertility.

Read More

Choline is an overlooked essential nutrient in many prenatal vitamin formulas, and it's a major oversight. Here at Beli, we've been sounding the alarm for years and it's gratifying to see that the market is beginning to catch up. That's thanks in part to articles like "The 7 Best Choline Supplements for Pregnancy, According to a Prenatal Dietitian" from Parents. Spoiler: Beli for Women made the list.

Read More

While PCOS can be a challenging condition to manage, natural supplements like inositol that are included in Beli Preconception Boost offer a beacon of hope. Inositol's ability to improve insulin sensitivity, hormone balance, and ovulatory function makes it a valuable tool in the PCOS management toolkit. 

Read More

The concern that hormonal contraception affects future fertility is making the rounds on social media again. But research continues to show that all that worry is for naught. While birth control doesn’t cause long-term fertility issues, it can mask them by creating an artificial cycle—something that’s important to understand.

Read More

For many of us, our twenties and even thirties are a time when the focus is on pregnancy prevention. And that’s okay! But even when the idea of motherhood is miles away there is tremendous value in understanding your fertility health and what you can do to support it during these young, carefree days.

Read More

We’re thrilled to introduce Beli Women Preconception, a complementary fertility supplement designed to support fertility health by promoting egg quality, supporting ovulation, balancing hormones, regulating your cycle and helping to manage symptoms of both PCOS and PMS.

Read More

Once a month, PMS symptoms make their unpleasant presence known. And while knowing what’s happening won’t make PMS magically disappear, it can help you manage symptoms by balancing hormones and supporting your reproductive health. Let’s review.

Read More

It’s an easy assumption, but you’re much better off thinking that every prenatal vitamin is wildly different in terms of composition, nutrient quality and, importantly, nutrient amount. Not only is that actually true, it puts you in the smart consumer mindset of understanding what matters in a prenatal vitamin—and why.

Read More

If you have endometriosis, you can already recite its lengthy list of pretty terrible symptoms. And the standard options for managing those symptoms — medications, hormone therapy, hormonal birth control, estrogen blockers, surgery —  aren’t always great. But there is evidence that a so-called “endometriosis diet” can help.

Read More

With the New Year upon us, there are all kinds of articles and videos making the rounds with predictions of the Zodiac signs most likely to get pregnant in 2024. But here at Beli, we take a much more scientific approach to conception. Here are the top eight things people will do to get pregnant in 2024.

Read More

Research shows that the overall health of both biological parents during the preconception window plays a huge role in everything from conception to pregnancy health to the lifetime health of their baby. Luckily, there are simple steps you can both take to improve your health together.

Read More

Preparing for a baby means doing everything in your power to nourish your fertility health. If you’re totally on board but wondering what that actually means, we’re breaking down the do’s and don’ts for planning a pregnancy.

Read More

There’s a certain magic to the holiday season, whether you’re all-in on the decorations and the family time or a self-proclaimed Scrooge from mid-November to the New Year. But when you’re trying to conceive, it can be a challenging time.  We’re sharing five tips for managing the holidays when you’re trying to conceive.

Read More

Everyone knows that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix. But what about before you’re pregnant, during the trying-to-conceive stage? There’s no evidence that the occasional drink—i.e. one or two a week—is going to torpedo your chances of parenthood. But it is true that the more you drink, the greater the likelihood it will have an effect on your health. Here’s what the research says about alcohol and your fertility.

Read More