Secrets of Fertility

If your clock is ticking and you’re wondering the best way to get your fertility jump-started, read on.

Seasonal Timing is Everything

According to Chinese medicine, seasons really do affect fertility. Chinese medicine looks to the energetic cycles of the universe for health answers; the female and males energies--also known as yin and yang--rise and fall throughout the year. Male energy begins in the spring and peaks around June 21, the summer solstice. Female energy begins in autumn and peaks around December 21, the winter solstice. This means that the most fertile seasons for males are spring and summer; for women, autumn and winter.

Studies performed in China have confirmed that sperm production is generally more abundant and mobile during spring and summer. Conversely, the ovaries are more active and produce more follicles during fall and winter.

One possible explanation is that because men are more physically active during the spring and summer months, growth hormone and testicular functions correspondingly increase. As for women: because ovulation occurs ideally at a lowered body temperature, it makes sense that the cooler autumn and winter months equal increased fertility. Something to know: too high of a temperature is not conducive to fertility. It has been found that when environmental temperature is overly hot--and the body is above the ideal temperature of 98.6--there seems to be a drop in the testicular function for men and a delayed maturation of follicles in women.

Live Food Gives New Life

Mother nature has given us foods that naturally enhance fertility. The medical tradition of China—renowned as the country with the most populous people in the world—has long considered certain foods to be of particular value in increasing success with fertility. These foods that contain the potential for new life include eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and berries. Since these foods are themselves capable of propagation when hatched or sprouted, they are said to be abundant in life-giving energy. It is no wonder that modern science has confirmed them as a category unto themselves; they are complete foods providing essential amino acids and helping to form the building block of protein. They are also high in the essential fatty acids (EFAs) critical for hormonal health and chock full of the antioxidants that prevent a premature decline in function and aging.

Fertility Enhancement

Here are a few ways a woman can help prepare herself for pregnancy:

Some evidence indicates that a woman’s menstrual cycle and ovulation is affected by her amount of exposure to light. Less exposure to light corresponds to increased depression and a decrease in fertility. As part of her fertility enhancing strategy, a woman may want increase her exposure to natural or full spectrum light during the day.

However, at night, any light should be completely blocked for adequate sleep—that means at least 8 hours of sleep, and going to bed no later than 11PM.

Another measure a woman can take is to keep her body temperature slightly lower to create a more conducive environment for ovulation and maturation of follicles.

Moderate, low impact exercise can be of help--definitely avoid intense, high-impact physical workouts, which can actually inhibit fertility.

It is essential to keep stress low. Stress busters include meditation and tai chi.

I hope you can use this information to successfully prepare for pregnancy! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!


Dr. Maoshing Ni is a doctor of Chinese medicine and an authority in the field of Anti-Aging Medicine. A brush with near-death from an accident as a child left him determined to pursue health and healing. He was taught tai chi and qigong early on to help him rehabilitate and began his medical training with his father, a renowned physician of Chinese medicine and Taoist master. From this passionate youthful beginning, Dr. Mao, as many of his patients know him as, continued his training in schools of Chinese medicine in the U.S. and China.

A board certified anti-aging specialist with the American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners, Dr Mao is co-founder and currently in a group practice at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, California. In addition to his practice, Dr. Mao is co-founder and Chancellor of Yo San University in Los Angeles.

Dr. Mao has lectured internationally on various topics including women’s health, longevity medicine, diet and nutrition, herbal therapy, stress management, meditation, lifestyle enhancement, integrative cancer care, tai chi, qigong, Chinese yoga, spirituality and conducts longevity retreats throughout the world.

Dr. Mao has been featured on radio and television as well as on the pages of The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. He is the author of the bestselling book, Secrets of Longevity and the most recent Secrets of Self Healing. His other works include Ageless: Smooth Passages through Menopause, Chinese Herbology, Tao of Nutrition, The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine, and Harmony Tai Chi. He was also on the editorial board for the best selling book, Alternative Medicine: the Definitive Guide published by the Burton Goldberg Group.

He is currently featured as an expert on Yahoo Health, where he writes a blog about longevity.