Can You Reverse Fertility? Natural Ways to Prevent Pregnancy

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Most women go on the pill or use contraceptives during intercourse to prevent pregnancy. While those are generally safe practices, some women might opt for purely natural birth control. They’d rather abstain or stick to a diet or lifestyle that would curb their fertility. But is that possible? If so, how effective is it?

Exercising

Below, we’ll run through the contraceptive-free ways to prevent pregnancy and see what research has found:

1. Exercising

Women who want to increase their fertility often make lifestyle and diet changes. If they’re not as physically active, they will start exercising. Given that obesity can lower fertility, an obese woman should get back in shape to conceive easier. In addition, exercising reduces stress, another factor that affects fertility. But it turns out that it’s not that simple.

The research on exercise and fertility still contains some inconsistencies. Some studies have found that too much exercise can hinder fertility, while others haven’t found a link between the two. Certain studies also suggest that regular exercise can boost fertility, especially in overweight or obese women.

Since it’s impossible to test women in laboratories, studies often rely on self-reports from research participants. But when different research data are combined, the findings are as follows:

  • Seven or more hours of aerobic exercise per week may increase the risk of ovulation problems.
  • Moderate exercise (at least one hour but no more than five hours a week) can boost fertility in all women.
  • Four to five hours of strenuous exercises a week may reduce IVF success rates.
  • Vigorous exercises may boost the fertility of obese women.
  • Women with an average weight who exercise vigorously may experience decreased fertility.

Considering all of that, the effectiveness of exercise in preventing pregnancy depends on different factors. Exercising vigorously might naturally curb your fertility if you have an average weight. If you are otherwise overweight or obese, chances are your fertility is already low. But for the sake of your health, it’s still advisable that you exercise. Consult your OB-GYN if you want to prevent pregnancy while improving your health.

2. Having Intercourse During Your Menstruation

The chances of getting pregnant are low if you had intercourse on your period. Menstruation occurs because your egg cells weren’t fertilized, creating a uterine lining as a result. That lining will shed in the form of menstrual blood. Hence, the egg that was viable for fertilization gets flushed out along with the lining.

To ensure that your period intercourse won’t result in a baby, do it during the start of your period. Having it towards the end may increase your risk of pregnancy. In some cycles, ovulation begins soon after menstruation, allowing the sperm to fertilize the incoming egg cells.

3. Breastfeeding

If you are breastfeeding, and your period hasn’t returned yet after birth, you won’t likely get pregnant anytime soon. Breastfeeding suppresses the estrogen hormone, which is responsible for your monthly cycle. In addition, the hormone that produces breast milk, called prolactin, prevents ovulation.

It’s not impossible to get pregnant while breastfeeding, though. It’s still better to use contraceptives, to be sure.

4. Aging

Your fertility naturally declines as you age. The process could start as early as your 30s. If you don’t have enough egg cells anymore, you may not get pregnant even after unprotected intercourse. But again, conceiving isn’t impossible. The chances decrease, especially when you reach your 40s. Women over 44 years old have a less than 5% chance of getting pregnant each month.

5. Eating Processed and High-fat Food

If a healthy diet boosts fertility, then an unhealthy diet does the opposite. Eating a lot of processed and high-fat food, like fast food, refined carbs, and sweets, affect your weight, so it’s going to decrease your fertility as well. But it would also affect your overall health, so it’s not a recommended way to prevent pregnancy naturally.

6. Abortion

Women abort their unborn babies to end an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy as a last resort. Some women do it at home by drinking certain herbal teas, exercising strenuously, buying over-the-counter drugs, or injuring themselves. But these methods are ineffective at best, and those that might work are unsafe.

If you want to end your pregnancy, opt for a medical abortion. If you’re past your first trimester, your OB-GYN may recommend surgical abortion. It’s the safest way to end an early-term pregnancy.

While natural methods could work, they may not be as effective as birth control pills, IUDs, and other forms of contraceptives. If you’re unsure which one to use, talk to your doctor. Avoid listening to unverified information, gossip, and old wives’ tales. Preventing pregnancy shouldn’t come at the expense of your safety and health.