Nutrition and Lifestyle advice to improve your fertility
By making a few improvemnts to your lifestyle and diet you can make a really positive impact on your fertility. A study conducted by the University of Surrey showed that couples with a previous history of infertility who made changes in their lifestyle, diet and took nutritional supplements had an 80 percent success rate.
Stress has a major impact on the female menstrual cycle. It can cause irregularities in the menstrual cyle, difficulties with conception and can be a contributory factor in miscarriage. It is important to find ways to reduce your stress levels if you are trying to get pregnant. Here are some things you might find helpful:
- Fertility Reflexology - this is a specialised form of reflexology which aims to support couples having difficulties conceiving. It improves stress levels, aids sleep & helps relieve tension. It is a great way to help you to relax, during a time that may proove to be quite stressful.
- Aromatherapy Massage - a relaxing massage can help you on many different levels. On a physical level it can release built up tension and rebalance your body systems, helping to support you in stressful situations. On an emotional level, aromatherapy massage has many wonderful healing benefits. Aromatherapy essential oils can be specially blended to help balance the reproductive system. This can help you to feel rebalanced and restored.
- Yoga and Meditation - many people find these techniques really helpful at reducing their stress levels.
To make sure that your fertility health is at its optimum, it makes sense that your diet should be providing the best nutrition. If you want more details on nutrition for improving your fertility, Fertility Nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville, has a number of good books on the subject.
- Water - try to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, ideally mineral water or filtered water.
- Carbohydrates - try to include lots of unrefined complex carbohydrates, whole-grain bread, brown rice, whole-grain cereals. Also try to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, as these include fertility-boosting antioxidant vitamins and minerals.
- Protein - aim to eat some high quality protein with every meal. It is important for your fertility, as it helps to maintain your blood sugar and a healthy reproductive system. Try to include - organic fish, eggs, nuts, beans, lentils and seeds. Try to cut down on red meat and processed meat.
- Fat - Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) are really important to your fertility and to the development of a healthy baby. EFA's are vital to the health of the reproductive system and to optimum hormone functioning. They are found in nuts, seeds, flaxseed oil and oily fish such as mackeral and sardines. Try to cut down on saturated fats as they can cause high cholesterol and they interfere with your body's absorption of essential fatty acids.
- Choose organic foods where possible - organic foods often contain higher levels of nutrients and contain less chemical residue than non-organic.
- Try to reduce your consumption of caffeine, sugar, red meat, saturated fat, convenience foods, refined foods and foods high in additives and preservatives.
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption and avoid smoking.
- Fertility Nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville recommends taking the following supplements if you are trying for a baby: a good quality prenatal multi vitamin and mineral, Vitamin C and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. It is worth seeking the advice of a Fertilty Nutritionist if you are unsure what supplements to take or if you have more complex issues.
It is worth taking a balanced approach to exercise as too much exercise can impact upon fertility.
- Brisk walking, yoga or T'ai Chi are ideal. Try to choose something that you enjoy, then you are more likely to stick with it.
- Try to avoid strenous running and excessive gym workouts, as these can deplete your energy.