An average 40-year-old woman has about a 4-5% chance of becoming pregnant naturally each month. Getting pregnant after 40 can be more challenging due to the natural decline in fertility that occurs as you age. However, it is still possible to get pregnant at this age, and there are some lifestyle changes you can make to increase your fertility naturally. According to the CDC, in 2020, the birth rate for women aged 40-44 was 11.9 per 1,000 women. This is compared to a birth rate of 64.6 per 1,000 women for women aged 20-24.

To increase fertility during your 40s, Paying attention to your lifestyle, including your diet, exercise, and stress levels, is important. So, let’s understand the lifestyle modifications you can incorporate into your routine to achieve pregnancy.

Ten natural ways to boost fertility 

If you are over 40 and trying to get pregnant, here are a few tips to help increase your fertility naturally:

Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight or underweight can affect the levels of hormones in the body that are involved in ovulation and fertility, such as estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight can help regulate these hormone levels and enhance the likelihood of ovulation. Moreover, keeping your BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 can help you achieve pregnancy.

Eat a fertility-focused, healthy diet

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can provide the necessary nutrients for your healthy pregnancy. Vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, iron, and calcium are particularly important while trying to conceive, as well as essential fatty acids, specifically omega-3 fatty acids.

A healthy diet can also help you regulate the hormones involved in ovulation and fertility, such as estrogen and progesterone. Eating a diet high in processed and fried foods, sugary foods and drinks, and saturated fats can increase inflammation, which hinders your fertility. 

Get enough sleep 

Your sleep cycle regulates the hormones involved in ovulation and fertility, such as estrogen, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Getting adequate sleep can help you keep these hormones at healthy levels.

Poor sleep can increase stress levels and is linked with weight gain, which can negatively impact your fertility. Having enough sleep can help preserve your mental peace and enhance overall reproductive well-being.

Reduce stress

Stress can affect the levels of hormones in the body that are involved in ovulation and fertility, such as cortisol and progesterone. Moreover, it disrupts your menstrual cycle, which again affects ovulation and lowers your odds of getting pregnant. Reducing stress can help you regulate hormone levels and menstrual cycles, ultimately improving your conception.

You can find relaxing techniques to manage stress, such as exercising, meditation, getting enough sleep, and talking to your close one or therapist.

Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption

An addictive substance called nicotine is found in cigarettes that can decrease ovulation by affecting the levels of your hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. Smoking can also damage the eggs in your ovaries, which can reduce the chances of fertilization and increase the risk of miscarriage. 

On the other hand, heavy alcohol consumption can also adversely impact your egg quality and ovulation. Therefore, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake can help regulate the menstrual cycle, which further helps in conceiving. 

Take prenatal supplements

Certain supplements can be beneficial when trying to conceive in your 40s. Some supplements could be Folic acids, omega-3, and Vitamin D. 

Anaemia, which can have a detrimental effect on fertility, can result from an iron deficiency. Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps improve blood count and is essential for the healthy development of a baby. 

Women who have vitamin D deficiency have been shown to have a lower fertility rate, and taking vitamin D can help improve your chances of getting pregnant. It also helps regulate hormones, which can play a role in ovulation and fertilization.

Before taking any supplement, it’s always best to consult a doctor or nutritionist to ensure they are safe and appropriate for you and determine the right dosage.

Exercise regularly

As previously mentioned, regular exercise can help maintain a healthy body weight and is important for your fertility. It can also help regulate the hormones involved in ovulation and fertility, such as estrogen and progesterone. 

ACOG recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, or a combination of both.

Get intimate during the ovulation period

Having intercourse with ovulation can increase your chances of conception because it maximizes the chance of sperm meeting and fertilizing your egg. You can track ovulation in 3 ways:

  • Ovulation predictor kits (OPKs): These kits detect the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH) in the urine, which surges just before ovulation. When the test is positive, ovulation will likely occur within the next 12-36 hours.
  • Basal body temperature (BBT) tracking involves taking your temperature every day first thing in the morning before getting out of bed and tracking it on a chart. Your basal body temperature rises slightly after ovulation, which indicates that ovulation has already occurred.
  • Cervical mucus monitoring: This involves noting the changes in cervical mucus throughout the menstrual cycle. During ovulation, cervical mucus becomes clear and stretchy, resembling an egg white, which indicates the fertile window.

Manage other chronic conditions

Chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and thyroid problems can disrupt hormone levels, affecting ovulation and fertility. Other conditions, such as PCOS or endometriosis, might also hurt your fertility.

You can increase the likelihood of ovulation and pregnancy by treating these conditions as needed. Also, appropriate treatment and lifestyle changes can help regulate hormone levels and improve the odds of ovulation.


Dehydration can cause hormonal imbalances and cervical mucus to become dry and hostile to sperm, disrupting ovulation.

Therefore, remaining hydrated can help regulate the menstrual cycle and improve your chances of ovulation. It can also help you improve the quality of cervical mucus, which is necessary for sperm to survive and reach your egg for fertilization. 

Furthermore, staying hydrated can help improve blood flow to your reproductive organs, which boosts fertilization. According to NASEM, an adequate daily fluid intake is about 2.7 liters for women. 

Final take

While getting pregnant after 40 can be more difficult than at a younger age, it’s still possible to conceive naturally. You can take steps to increase your fertility naturally, such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. If you have been trying to get pregnant for a year or more without success, it’s time to seek medical help.