Fertility & Pregnancy Journeys
Fertility and pregnancy journeys are a very special time in our lives and carry many different emotions and journeys for each individual.
They can sometimes be met with fertility issues for both females and males, particularly as we as a society now start our families later in life and the prevalence of infertility rises as age increases.
Ensuring you are at the most optimum health before you start or during your journey will be beneficial for women and babies. Understanding the causes of infertility and how to ensure optimum health can help to make that journey a smoother journey
My passion in life has always been in health promotion and prevention. Despite living what I believed at the time on my own fertility and pregnancy journeys to be a healthy & balanced lifestyle, I now wish I fully understood the impact of certain medical conditions & how to best promote optimum health.
Causes of Infertility for Females include;
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Premature Ovarian Failure
- Cervical Stenosis
- Uterine Defects
- Ovarian Cysts
- Long term medication such as NSAIDS
- Toxic effects from tobacco/drugs
- Environmental causes such as exposure to xenoestrogens, heavy metals, radiation
Causes of Infertility in Males include;
- Testicular cancer
- Congenital Defects
- Infections for eg STI or post pubertal mumps
- Undescended Testes
- Scrotal Varices
- Hypogonadism – low testosterone
- Anabolic Steroids
- Excessive use of tobacco/drugs
- Environmental such as pesticide & endocrine disruptors, heavy metals, lubricants as these are spermatotoxic
Causes of Infertility in Females & Males
- Compulsive Exercise – associated with lack of embryo implantation & 1st trimester miscarriages and oligospermia.
- Stress reduces sperm parameters & causes longer periods of conceiving for women.
- Poor Methylation – MTHFR a folate metabolising enzyme leads to impaired folate metabolism and elevate homocysteine which can increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preeclampsia & gestational hypertension.
- Excessive oxidation caused by dietary, environmental, caffeine, smoking, alcohol increase risk of miscarriage, early rupture & pre-eclampsia.
There are many conventional treatments and fertility options individuals may want to explore. Whether you choose to use conventional methods or not, ensuring optimum health for your fertility journey and any pregnancy journey health for Mother and Baby is so important.]
- Reduce stress
- Good sleep hygiene
- Reduce/Eliminate alcohol consumption
- Reduce oxidative stress
- Diet should be high in
- Oily fish
- Lows in trans fat and animal protein
- High in fibre
- Low GI
- Rich in non-haem iron sources
- Organic foods to reduce xenoestrogens & pesticide exposure
There are many different food sources and/or supplements you should include to optimise your nutrition for your fertility/pregnancy/maternal journey
There are many worries that come with Pregnancy, being aware & understanding help us to understand where we can prevent conditions which impact on fertility and pregnancy.
Some Pregnancy Related Conditions
This is a pregnancy-induced hypertension associated with protein in your urine and oedema. It occurs after month 5/6 and is usually caused by a poorly-functioning placenta and oxidative stress
Risk factors associated with it;
- Multiple Pregnancy
- Increased Maternal Age
- Chronic autoimmune disease
- Increased BMI
- Low levels of calcium, magnesium and zinc have been shown to have an increased risk of pre-eclampsia – **Always ensure to discuss dietary/supplement sources of these with your HCP or Nutritional Therapist.
This happens in 2-5% of females. It occurs when pregnancy hormones interfere with the action of insulin and is associated with an increased chance of a larger birth weight and the mother & babies risk of developing diabetes.
A low glycaemic index diet would be recommended to balance blood sugar levels.
This is common towards the end of the pregnancy as the space for digestive organs reduces due to the enlarging uterus.
- Avoid trigger foods
- Eat smaller meals
- Don’t eat late at night
- Raise the head of your bed
What To Do
Seek support – through your GP, specialists, nutritional therapist, family, friends and support groups, but remember, every individual is different. What works for one may not work for you – it is always important to seek professional advice.
Be informed – listen to others, but remember every individual is different. It is important to seek help.
Be educated – look at the research shared through support groups, professionals, friends or family and use this to inform your choice of treatments when meeting specialists.
Balance and support your digestive, endocrine and reproductive systems to promote hormonal and overall health.
If you have any questions or concerns, or would just like further information about how you can balance your health, don’t hesitate to reach out and get in touch with us here at Health 4 U. Or you can book an appointment with Sinead through our online booking platform, and together we will help you understand and take control of your health.