2018 Fertility Tips
Well 2018 is here, how many of us have made resolutions? What were they? Get fit, get organised, learn a new hobby, or a healthy lifestyle.
If your trying for a baby let’s start with the healthy lifestyle because research has proven that if you are trying to conceive then it is very important for a woman and a man to maintain a healthy lifestyle and being physically and mentally fit is of utmost importance.
Let’s think about what we eat and when:
Too many of us are eating too late in the day or when we go to bed at night, eating at the right time is as important as what we eat. It is very important for a woman to have a balanced diet which is full of multi vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is very important for women who are planning a baby as it significantly increases the pregnancy rate; Protein in your diet is very important for your fertility as it helps to maintain blood sugar balance also include more salads and fruits in your diet.
I’m not keen on the gym, but a good way of keeping fit is walking, walking is an ideal pre-conception exercise. It is a great cardiovascular exercise especially if you step to a reasonable pace and it also helps to tone your legs, back and tummy. All these are very important in treating infertility as being fit is the most integral part of your conception plan. So, go for a regular walk in the morning and evening.
Your mental is also very important, finding time out for yourself will allow you to clear you mind and allow you to focus better. Just a tip is to find a quiet area, focus on your breathing for at least 10 to 20 minutes. Try to do it daily, so you give your body a physical and mental rest. Listening to some soothing sounds like sea movement, waterfalls and rain forest noises, can also eliminate stress.
Things we do can all impact on our fertility, but significantly it’s often how stress impacts on our sex drive that increases the time it takes us to conceive. It stands to reason as when we’re stressed we don’t tend to be in the mood for intercourse.
Let’s help ourselves:
Sandra tips are to take time to relax, eat healthy, regular walking/exercise and enjoy making love regular, every two or three days.
Family Nutrition Coach
Optimum Nutrition and Health
Before, During, and After Pregnancy
Nutrition For Successful Fertility Treatment
Most dietitians and nutritional therapist will confirm that the best results are when you start about 3 months before beginning any ART. When you are just thinking about starting a family.
The quality of the egg and sperm can be improved, and it helps to reduce the physical and emotional impact of the hormone treatments. Many of my clients find that good nutrition therapy at this stage is sufficient to help them conceive naturally.
Once you have successfully conceived, a nutrition therapist or dietitian can help to ensure that the baby develops well by helping you to have optimum nutrition and health during the pregnancy.
Those first few weeks, even before you know you are pregnant, is when the most important structures and organs are being formed in the baby.
Nutritional Therapy should help clients to achieve fertility success by using strategies personalised to their individual and unique circumstances.
First, we clean up the diet. What I mean by this is that dietitians and therapists will guide clients through a process whereby they systematically eliminate or reduce Harmful Substances that could be interfering with fertility. For example removing endocrine disruptors, phytoestrogens, pesticides, alcohol and caffeine. The food safety rules for pregnancy to help women avoid harmful bacteria is also important from the time egg is implanted to prevent miscarriage in the early stage of pregnancy. So I will also cover this aspect with my clients.
Then dietitians and nutritional therapists will correct nutritional deficiencies through a healthy balanced diet that is rich in those nutrients that help to support healthy sperm and eggs. For example minerals such as iodine, zinc, iron, and selenium; the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, the right amount of good quality protein (vegetarians or non-vegetarians); B-vitamins like B6, B12, and folate. A little-known fact is that B-vitamin deficiency in the fathers’ diet can produce sperm look normal but have an increase the risk of causing miscarriages.
Clients should be helped to switch from high glycaemic index foods, the kind of carbs that bound your blood sugar around and throw your metabolism out of whack. And helped to replace them with low glycaemic index foods, the healthy carbs that help to regulate your metabolism. Because some of the hormones that are important for fertility need carbs, so if you only just cut out the carbs you might actually be harming your fertility.
For many of my clients, they find that their weight tends to naturally move to a healthy level as they make the changes in stages 1 and 2. However, for some clients, they need additional support to either lose or gain weight in a way that does not compromise fertility. Achieving a weight before starting fertility treatment can significantly improve its success. We need a certain amount of body fat to support healthy hormone levels, good quality sperm and eggs, and mother need it to support the healthy development of the baby during pregnancy. However, too much body fat increases the number of inflammatory chemicals in the body, causes insulin resistance, and excess oestrogen levels. These changes reduce fertility and increase the risk of something going wrong during pregnancy.
The process of cleaning up the diet to clear out harmful substances from your body, correcting nutritional deficiencies, and achieving a healthy weight can take about 2-3 months.
So most Dietitians and Nutritional Therapists will recommend that if you are planning to have fertility treatment, you should begin a nutrition program about 3 months before you start treatment.
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What are the chances of getting pregnant?
An egg is released from the ovary once in a menstrual cycle. If it meets with sperm while it is travelling down the fallopian tube then fertilisation and then pregnancy can start. If a sperm meets an egg at this stage then there is a 33% chance of fertilisation. Fertilised eggs then need to stick to the lining of the womb in order for a pregnancy to start. The egg dies around 20 hours after being released. After that it is not possible to get pregnant until the next egg is released in the next cycle.
So, as you can see, it’s harder than you might think to get pregnant.
Also there’s is a time of the month when you can’t get pregnant. How to work that out though? Well it’s very difficult because it’s all about the menstrual cycle.
How the menstrual cycle works.
Day one of a menstrual cycle is the first day of a period. Periods last for a few days and this varies. Eggs are released from the ovary (ovulation) around half way through the cycle. In order for pregnancy to start, an egg has to be fertilised within a 20 hour time slot when the egg is alive. As sperm can live inside someone for 5 – 7 day a good time for sperm getting into the vagina is from day 9 to 15. Once the egg has died it’s not possible to get pregnant until another egg is released which happens after the next period.
Can Stress affect getting pregnant?
Stress can interfere with conception. In fact, if you are having a hard time getting pregnant, people may have already said to you, “Just relax and it will happen.” This may feel not helpful at all, however because stress can affect the functioning of the hypothalamus the gland in the brain that regulates your appetite and emotions, as well as the hormones that tell your ovaries to release eggs. If you’re stressed out, you may ovulate later in your cycle or not at all. So if you’re only having sex around day 14, thinking that you’re about to ovulate, you may miss your opportunity to conceive. While stress itself doesn’t cause infertility although if can cause you to miss periods, you won’t be ovulating it is associated with behaviours which can impact on your chances of conceiving – such as eating badly, weight gain (or loss) and insomnia.
Sandra says getting the right Support for your mental health while trying to get pregnant, is as important as getting the right medical help.