A huge factor in improving your chances of boosting your fertility and getting pregnant is undertaking preconception health care. Remembering that a healthy body is a fertile body. The good thing about preconception health care is that it is a one size fits all. What is meant by this is you don’t have to be experiencing infertility to reap the benefits of it. It is definitely suitable and highly recommended for everyone that is planning on having a baby, which is explained below.
Don’t just take it from me, the evidence shows the vast improvements in pregnancy success rates when preconception health care is undertaken. A Foresight Study illustrates that by the end of the study 89% of couples gave birth! This included individuals with no infertility history, a history of infertility, history of miscarriage, history of still-birth and those that had previously given birth to babies who were small for dates or had a malformation / birth defect www.foresight-preconception.org.uk
According to The Fertility Society of Australia 1 in 6 couples experience infertility. This can be for a number of different reasons. But it is definitely important to consider the impact of our lifestyle and environment today. Our current modern day living has a huge impact on fertility in men and women, so it is all about learning to minimise those toxic exposures in areas of our life that can be changed. Furthermore providing nutritional support to guard you from damage to your sperm and egg. As a result of environmental toxins, that are beyond your control.
So what are these elements that are impacting our chances of having a baby?
• Environmental Toxins – found around the home, workplace and outdoors
• Food and Beverages – what you are eating can impact fertility and affect the function of the egg and sperm if it is deficient in the nutrition that is needed
• Stress –Stress is a big one, there are many studies that show the connection between stress and the negative impact on our hormones. If you are stressed it results in delayed ovulation. Therefore, there are no sperm to greet the egg at the finish line and conception cannot take place.
• Nutritional Deficiencies – unfortunately it is not always a given that we reap the vitamins and minerals that we require from our food. Even if we eat really healthy there are factors at play that rob the mineral and vitamins out of our food.
– Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other chemicals sprayed on our fruit and vegetables
– Our soil is deficient in minerals therefore our fruit and vegetables will be also e.g. magnesium is a big one in Australia
– Processed foods lacking the vitamins and minerals our body needs
– Stressful life – our body then demands more vitamins and minerals to try to cope
– Medications and prescription drugs – these can impact our ability to absorb our nutrients
For these reasons it is vital that nutritional supplements are taken to provide the body with what it needs to develop, mature and protect the sperm and egg and therefore arise in a healthy baby. The couples in the foresight study did take nutritional supplements which improved fertility and birth outcomes.
• Known or Unknown Medical Conditions – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Polycystic Ovaries, Endometriosis, Uterine Fibroids, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism, Premature Ovarian Failure, Scarring and adhesions in fallopian tubes or the cervix, Testicular Varicocele, Poor Semen Analysis (Can include things like: Agglutination, Poor Sperm Count, Poor Motility, Sperm Abnormality, DNA Fragmentation, Sperm Antibodies) – these are only a few of many different reasons.
In this case, size does matter!
So what I am talking about here is sperm. I’m sure that you are all aware that the sperm is significantly smaller in size compared to an egg. Furthermore, eggs are the largest cell in the female body and sperm are the smallest cell in the human body. This means that the sperm is particularly vulnerable to toxic exposure and potential DNA damage. If DNA fragments (breaks into pieces) this can compromise implantation (the egg finding the perfect spot in the uterine lining to stick to) and the development of the embryo.
It takes two!
Remember that it takes 50% of the genetic material from the man and 50% of the genetic material from the woman to form an embryo. So making sure he is healthy too determines the health of the baby to be also.
So now you can see that it is really essential that both the man and woman undergo preconception health care together.
Why Preconception Health Care?
• Parenting starts from the moment that you decide to prepare for a baby, which is why the four months prior to conception is such a vital step. By undertaking preconception health care you are ensuring the best possible health outcome for your baby and who wouldn’t wish this for their baby.
• Benefits extend beyond the health of child from baby years through to their adulthood
• Preventative Medicine – the health of your sperm and egg can influence the health of three generations! Isn’t that exciting!
• Enhances your chances of healthy conception, pregnancy, labour and the post-partum period
Why is preconception health care four months in duration?
• It is simply reflecting our natural biology it takes approximately 100 days for the oocyte (developing egg) to mature and sperm takes approximately 80 days to develop. During those timeframes both the sperm and egg are vulnerable to toxin exposure and nutritional deficiencies. Their health and thus the health of your baby to be are dependent upon the environment in which they develop and grow in.
What is involved in preconception health care?
Four months prior to conceiving:
• Removing environmental toxins from the home and workplace
• Detoxifying toxins from your body to ensure optimum health of the sperm and egg
• Eating foods that support your fertility (a healthy body is a fertile body)
• Including nutritional supplements that provide the sperm and egg with the nutrition it needs for healthy development and protection against environmental toxins beyond our control that threaten the egg and sperm’s health and development
• Including stress management techniques for a healthy hormonal balance, fertility optimisation and wellbeing
• If applicable, Identifying (if not already found) causes for your infertility and treating them accordingly with herbal medicine and / or nutritional medicine where appropriate.
We can support and guide you through all these factors preventing you from having a baby and implement a plan specifically for you. Optimise your fertility! Call 0418 119 777 and speak to the Naturopath Michelle Cooke from Reproductive Wellness.