11th April 2012 by SevenSeasLife | 0 Comments
There has been a well documented rise in the number of couples struggling to conceive, in the UK is it estimated to be as high as one in six1. Unsuccessfully trying for a baby can be a heart breaking, frustrating and increasingly desperate experience which often results in medical intervention. Improving our overall health and wellbeing including your nutritional status to increase chances of success is a great place to start without any risk to our health or real financial cost – and with scientific research demonstrating its success. Really, if you want to conceive – why wouldn’t you want to follow a healthy food guide and make sure that all of the changes you can? Some medical conditions prevent conception or implantation, but improving your overall health can enable the body to adapt well to medical interventions. Where to start?
Sort out testing as soon as possible
Insist on immediate referral for full fertility testing as soon after your local health trust rule book allows – you might as well get on to this. Avoid delay and go through the process at the same time – a small problem in each of you could be contributing to your combined much bigger problem – and you can support each other on the journey. In addition:
Although it is sometimes daunting to get all this done, you will feel better if you identify any problems and get on to fixing them.
Have enough sex at the right time!
It sounds ridiculous but make sure you are having enough sex at the right time. There are several ovulation testing kits on the market, if you want to investigate this any good chemist can advise you. The more natural version is to get to know what fertile vaginal mucus looks and feels like, identify when it is present – then have as much sex as possible. When vaginal discharge becomes the consistency of a raw egg-white (stringy and slippery) this is an indication that a woman is about to ovulate. Sperm is most likely to survive in these conditions – it is ‘fertile mucus’. Prioritise this time and make every effort to be in the right location and mindset to maximise your chances of success – it has been scientifically proven that when a woman experiences an orgasm, she retains more sperm6!
Eliminating ‘unhelpful’ health, lifestyle and dietary factors that can lower chances of conception
Feed both of your bodies with the best nutrients to encourage healthy conception:
It takes approximately three months to develop eggs to be released (at ovulation) and a similar amount of time for sperm cells to mature to be ejaculated. So, during the three months before ‘trying’, as much care should be taken with diet and lifestyle as during a pregnancy for women.
The broad principles of eating well and healthily offer the best advice to achieve the maximum number of nutrients from your diet. There are some specific modifications that are particularly vital if you are taking longer that you would like to become pregnant:
It is important to recognise that it has been repeatedly proven in research that changes in lifestyle and diet can increase chances of conception and having a healthy baby. The changes here require dedication, discipline and energy but once they are incorporated into your everyday lifestyle, they are actually very simple. Nutrient status is a significant factor in successful conception, changes to diet can go a long way to fixing these but taking a daily supplement that has been designed for preconception and pregnancy has been scientifically proven to improve natural conception rate and increase chances of success in IVF22.
1 Irvin DS, 1998, Epidemiology and aetiology of male infertility, Human Reproduction, 13:33-44
2 Rodríguez R, Hernández R, Fuster F, Torres A, Prieto P, Alberto J., 2001, Genital Infection and Infertility, Enfermedades Infecciosas Microbiologia Clinica, 19:261-266
3 Pellati D, Mylonakis I, Bertoloni G, Fiore C, Ambrosini G, Armanini D, 2008, Genital Tract infections and Infertility, European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 140:3-11
4 Wilson JD, Ralph SG, Rutherford AJ, 2002, Rates of bacterial vaginosis in women undergoing in vitro fertilisation for different types of infertility, BJOG. 109:714-717.
5 Ambrosini G, Andrisani A, Fiore C, Faggian D, D’Antona D, Ragazzi E, Plebani M, Armanini D, 2011, Anti-Helicobacter pylori antibodies in cervical mucus: a new cause of infertility, European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 155:157-160
6 Baker R, Bellis M, 1993 (2006), Human Sperm Competition: ejaculate manipulation by females and the function for the female orgasm, Sperm Competition in Humans, 2:177-210
7 Clark AM, Thornley B, Tomlinson L, Galletley C, Norman RJ, 1998, Weight loss in obese infertile women results in improvement in reproductive outcome for all forms of fertility treatment., Human Reproduction, 13:1502-1505
8 Lintsen AME, Pasker-de Jong PCM, de Boer EJ, Jansen CAM, Braat DDM, van Leeuwen FE and the OMEGA project group, 2005, Effects of subfertility cause, smoking and body weight on the success rate of IVF, Human Reproduction, 20:1867-1875
9 Drinking in Pregnancy Guidelines, 2008, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, NHS Choices, http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/03March/Pages/Pregnancydrinkinglimits.aspx retrieved 29.09.11
10 Bolumar F, Olsen J, Rebagliato M, Bisanti L and European Study Group on Infertility and Subfecundity, 1997, Caffeine Intake and Delayed Conception: A European Multicenter Study on Infertility and Subfecundity, American Journal of Epidemiology, 145:324-334
11 Ramlau CH, Thulstrup AM, Aggerholm AS, Jensen MS, Toft G, Bonde JP, 2007, Is smoking a risk factor for decreased semen quality? A cross-sectional analysis, Human Reproduction, 22:188-196
12 Bolumar F, Olsen J, Boldsen J and the European Study Group on Infertility and Subfecundity, 1996, Smoking Reduces Fecundity: A European Multicenter Study on Infertility and Subfecundity, American Journal of Epidemiology, 143:578-587
13 C Augood, Duckitt K, Templeton AA, 1998, Smoking and female infertility: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Human Reproduction, 13:1532-1539
14 Hammoud A, Carrell DT, Gibson M, Sanderson BS, Parker-Jones K, Peterson M, 2008, Decreased sperm motility is associated with air pollution in Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Fertility and Sterility, 93:1875-1879
15 Andersen K, Nisenblat V, Norman R, 2010, Lifestyle factors in people seeking infertility treatment – A review, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 50:8-20
16 Bovin J, Schmidt L, 2004, Infertility-related stress in men and women predicts treatment outcome 1 year later, Fertility and Sterility, 83:1745-1752
17 Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner BA, Willett WC, 2007, Diet and lifestyle in the prevention of ovulatory disorder infertility. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 110: 1050–1058
18 Saldeen P, Saldeen T, 2004, Women and Omega 3 fatty acids, Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey, 59:722-730
19 Safarinejad MR, Hosseini SY, Dadkah F, Asgari MA, 2010, Relationship of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids with semen characteristics, and anti-oxidant status of seminal plasma: A comparison between fertile and infertile men, Clinical Nutrition, 29:100-105
20 Agarwal A, Sharma RK, Desai NR, Prabakaran S, Tarrares A, Sabenenegh E, 2009, Oxidative stress in Pathogenesis of Varicocele and Infertility, Urology, 73:461-469
21 Tremellen K, 2008, Oxidative stress and male infertility – a clinical perspective, Human Reproduction, 14:243–258.
22 Comhaire F, 2010, The role of food supplementation in the treatment of the infertile couple and for assisted reproduction, Andrologia, 42:331-340
Disclaimer: Seven Seas Life is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The articles are based on peer reviewed research, and discoveries/products mentioned in the articles may not be approved by our regulatory bodies, you will find no mention of Seven Seas products within the pages of the Seven Seas Life Section..Read more
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