How to Take Charge of Your Fertility
7 things you can do – starting today!
I’m assuming you’re reading this because you are having problems getting pregnant. Let me assure you, you are far from alone, even if it sometimes feels that way.
Other than pregnancy itself, fertility-related issues are the most common reason for British women aged 20-45 to visit their GP. It is estimated that 6 in 10 couples (approx 3.5m people) will be affected by infertility at some point. This could be due to many reasons: smoking, alcohol, poor diet, stress, to name but a few.
While IVF (In-Vitro Fertilisation) may offer some hope to couples who have failed to conceive over a period of one year or more, it’s an intrusive and expensive procedure, estimated by HEFA UK (the Human Embryo Fertilisation Authority) to cost anywhere between £4,000-£8,000 per cycle of treatment (including drugs). The success rate is about 20% per round of treatment where fresh embryos are used. Subsequent rounds of treatment usually involve the use of frozen embryos, which reduces a woman’s chance of having a baby to 12%.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is, where infertility is classed as “unexplained” (as in around 30% of cases), there’s plenty you can do about it.
Starting today . . . right now . . .
BroodyFoody's top 6 recommendations for boosting fertility:
1. If you smoke you must quit (but you knew that already, right?) Make a deal with yourself today. OK, so it isn’t that easy to simply stop any ingrained habit, but there is plenty of free help and advice available – use it.
2. Some “experts” will advise you not to drink alcohol at all whilst trying for a baby. BroodyFoody’s advice is, if you want a glass of wine once or twice a week then by all means have it. But I do mean a glass – not a vase!
3. Don’t touch diet drinks, or anything that contains the artificial sweetener aspartame. All the well known cola brands contain it (you know who I’m talking about). Aspartame (otherwise known as E951) has been linked with everything from lupus to brain tumours. Oh . . . and . . . infertility . . . big style! Google ‘aspartame’ – I guarantee you’ll be shocked.
Check your cupboards/ fridge now, and bin any diet drinks (or empty the contents down the loo and recycle the cans if you’re green-minded).
Unfortunately for us, aspartame isn’t confined only to diet drinks. This ‘poison’ is used in approximately 6,000 consumer foods and drinks worldwide, including sweeteners, jams & preserves, cakes, ice cream, frozen desserts, crisps, wines, chewing gum, toothpaste, mouthwash – even some medicines. From today you’re going to become an avid label-reader. You’ll thank me for it later.
4. Nutrition: Eat fresh seasonal food (organic where possible). As a minimum, make sure you get your 5 fruit & veggies a day. And you can replace those awful diet drinks with delicious home-made fruit smoothies or good old plain water.
5. Take a daily supplement of (400mcg) folic acid, available from health food shops and chemists.
6. Exercise every day. It can be as simple as a twenty minute walk at lunchtime, or whatever time of day suits you. If you haven’t jogged round a 400m track since you were in school, don’t for heaven’s sake over-exert yourself by trying to run the equivalent of a marathon. If in doubt, get yourself checked out by a medical professional first. Swimming, pilates and yoga are also excellent forms of pre-pregnancy activity.
7. Take extra special care of your mental health during this time. Trying for a baby can be a stressful business for you and your partner, so make sure you take time out to relax with a book, a long bath, or a massage: something that makes you feel content . . . and some special time out with each other.
This content was provided by one of our users, BroodyFoody