The Natural Approach to Fertility

When it comes to fertility, I often get asked what are the best supplements to be on. Unfortunately, there is no magical supplement for every woman. The best supplements are chosen based on the individual. Below is a brief overview of some of the most common presentations I have seen and a natural approach to treatment. 

Short luteal phase

  • According to medical textbooks, a short luteal phase is when the second half of the cycle, from ovulation until the beginning of your menses, is under 10 days. During the luteal phase, your body is producing progesterone. Progesterone is the building block to prepare the uterus for implantation of an embryo. When the luteal phase is short, there is less progesterone created, your uterus is not prepared, and there is a negative effect on implantation. Since progesterone is such a key component to implantation, it is optimal to have at least a 12-13 day luteal phase. 
  • Ways to promote earlier ovulation leading to longer luteal phase:
    • Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
      • Maca is very highly nutritious and enhances fertility. Specifically, it promotes ovulation, increases cervical mucous, increase follicular size and is adaptogenic (meaning it supports both estrogen and progesterone pathways)
      • Maca does have some side effects. Most commonly reported is heightened anxiety. If this were to occur, consult with a doctor and adjust your dosing.
      • The type of Maca used is very important. Make sure you are consulting with a health practitioner trained in botanical medicine to ensure high quality products and proper dosing. 
    • Melatonin
      • Research has shown melatonin improves ovulation when taken daily. Typical dosing for fertility is 3mg of melatonin a night while trying to conceive. 


  • Inflammation is a very vague term, but is used to describe body inflammation that may be affecting a women's ability to conceive. 
  • Most commonly, inflammation occurs from diet and lifestyle. An inflammatory diet, disrupted sleep, lack of exercise, and a sedentary lifestyle can all lead to body inflammation.  
  • Other causes of inflammation include gut dysbiosis (very common), pelvic congestion, chronic infection, recurrent urinary or pelvic infections, improper management of chronic health issues, and others. 
  • Ways to decrease inflammation: 
    • Diet and lifestyle
      • Try an anti-inflammatory diet, such as Whole 30, exercise daily for 30-45 minutes a day, incorporate movement each hour of the day, and try and stick to a regular sleep schedule which allows you to get 7-8 hours per night.
    • Fish oil
      • Fish oil is great anti-inflammatory and also has great research showing improvement in cardiovascular health and lipid management.
      • Ideal dosing is 2000mg of combined EPA + DHA. Try Seroyal or Nordic Naturals
      • Drink water
        • Drinking water improves digestion, clears out toxins, hydrates the body, improves liver function, and reduces overall pain. Aim for at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces. (ex. If you weight 150 lbs, drink 75 ounces of water daily.)
      • There are MANY anti-inflammatory herbs, supplements, and treatments that can be done. It's important that you find a supplement that works best for you. Some great anti-inflammatory herbs are Boswellia serrata, Curcuma longa (tumeric), Matricaria recutita (chamomile).

Male Factor

  • It takes 2 to tango! It is very often that I see women come in after being worked up for infertility and there has been no work up of the partner. Men also play a huge role when it comes to getting pregnant. Just like poor diet and lifestyles can impact women, it can also impact a males semen. The best way to assess a males semen is to do a semen analysis. Luckily for the men, sperm mature quickly and they can have a whole new supply within 3-4 months. 
  • Ways to address male factor:
    • Diet and lifestyle
      • Follow the inflammation guidelines above. Drinking water is very important. A well hydrated sample will be less glutinous which will allow the sperm to swim more easily. 
    • PureCell
      • PureCell is a supplement which contains antioxidants and adaptogens which improve cellular function. Alpha-lipoic, NAC, CoQ10 are important nutraceuticals that promote cellular replication and function which allow for new sperm and semen to be created. 
      • Want to get this from food? Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, rich colored veggies are high in antioxidants, and avoidance of the dirty dozen is great for lowering toxicity. 
    • Male fertility hygiene
      • Avoid over heating of the testicles. There is a reason the testicles hang outside of the body. The core temperature is too warm for proper sperm production. While trying to conceive, avoid hot tubs and long hot baths.
      • Wear loose clothing. Lymphatic drainage is important to clear out debris. Tight boxers/briefs can inhibit this from happening. 
      • Avoid alcohol and nicotine.
      • Consider doing a semen analysis. Talk to your doctor if you have questions regarding this. 

Medicine is a rapidly evolving area. Every effort has been made to provide accurate, complete information at the time of publication. However, new information may become available leading to changes. Patients should always consult with their health care practitioner before making changes in their treatment programs because often there are complexities involved that no single source of information could explain sufficiently. Additionally, every individual is unique and applying general information without the informed opinion of multiple sources of information is unwise. Chloe Scheel is not responsible for the inappropriate application of any information on this website.