- Fertility & Reproductive Systems
How to Take Control of Your Fertility
The art of getting pregnant
Many people spend most of their adult life trying to avoid getting pregnant but when you do want to get pregnant, it may not be as easy as you have hoped. About 80 percent of couples get pregnant within a year, and approximately 90% percent get pregnant within two years.
But what if something is wrong, and you don’t get pregnant, what can you do to help the baby making process.
What is fertility?
There are any things which can affect your ability to conceive, and they may not all be medical. Finding the cause of fertility problems can be tricky, and the best way forward is to look at all aspects of your health and lifestyle.
From a medical point of view common problems include:
- Unexplained – 30 percent
- Tube damage – 15 percent
- Endometriosis – 5 percent
- Male problems – 26 percent
- Ovulatory failure – 20 per cent
Sometimes couples can experience more than one problem. Endometriosis may affect the female partner, and the male partner may experience low sperm count. Interestingly the most common cause of infertility is unexplained which means that even after medical investigations doctors cannot find anything medically wrong. This is where the natural approach to getting pregnant becomes important, and looking at lifestyle comes into play.
The Fertility Question
Do you think modern life styles play a role when it comes to infertility?
When are you most fertile?
The majority of women are born with two million egg follicles. By the time a girl hits puberty there are around 750,000 left and by the age of 45 there may be only 10,000 left. According to statistics women are most fertile up to the age of 35.
Women’s fertility seems to hit the headlines more ,and men's fertility is less spoken about but they do have a body clock to which starts ticking around the age of 35.
Research shows men over the age of 35 has a lower sperm count and their sperm is less mobile.
However, the good news is that both men and women can take steps to improve their fertility.
A few quick facts
Women are born with 750,000 egg follicles.
Men also have a biological clock.
30% of infertility cases are unexplained.
A third of couples struggle to conceive.
Planning to improve your fertility
Making changes to your lifestyle such as dietary changes and reducing the exposure to toxins can help to boost fertility for both sexes, and even reduce the risk of miscarriages.
If you are planning to start a family, it might be a good idea to start a more fertility boosting lifestyle a couple of months before trying for a baby. It is important to realize that you are a couple, and both need to participate and take on board lifestyle changes.
Eat for fertility
A healthy diet is one of the factors which can help you to conceive. Many people are still unaware how important a well balanced diet is to an overall healthy lifestyle but when it comes to trying to conceive, a good diet is of prime importance.
Trying to include more natural and energy producing foods are very important, and here are some recommendations:
· Make sure you are getting plenty of fruit and vegetables
· Wholegrains such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and oats
· Organic food if possible.
· Omega 3 essential fatty acids found in coldwater fish, nuts and seeds
· Increased intake of fiber
Some additives such as artificial sweeteners are better avoided, and also watch out for hidden sugar in food.
Ready made food is also full of additives including parabens which do have a direct result on fertility in humans. It is also rich in saturated fats, salt and sugar which can all have an adverse affect on a healthy lifestyle and the chance of conceiving.
Alcohol can reduce fertility by reducing sperm count and the quality of the sperm. Don’t forget alcohol is also a diuretic which can cause vital fertility nutrients such as zinc and folic acid to be excessively excreted from the body.
Caffeine is another factor which can affect sperm quality. We consume a lot more caffeine that we used to, and it is present in sports drinks and, of course, in regular coffee.
If you are trying for a baby it might be a good idea to watch your caffeine intake.
Smoking affects the fertility of both men and women. Women who do not smoke are twice as likely to get pregnant as women who do smoke. Once again, smoking has a negative impact on sperm count and it can also affect egg quality by making them age faster.
It also depletes vitamin C and raises the level of cadmium in the body. Cadmium is a toxin which stops the body from using zinc. Zinc, a micro mineral, is a vital importance for the reproductive system.
Food supplements for better fertility
It might even be a good idea to consider a dietary supplement when trying to conceive, and research shows the following are very important:
Zinc is a component of genetic material, and scientists now know that a lack of zinc can cause chromosome changes in men and women. Zinc is found in high concentrations in sperm and is used by the body to make sperm. Both partners should supplement their diet with 25 mg per day.
Folic Acid – without folic acid your body cannot produce DNA. It helps to protect unborn born babies from Spina bifida. It is available as part of all good quality vitamin B group complex supplements and works together with vitamin B6 and B12. A minimum amount of 400 mcg is required per day.
Selenium helps to protect the body from free radicals and stops our chromosomes from breaking. Breaks in the chromosome chain can cause birth defects, and lack of selenium can damage both egg and sperm. Try supplementing your diet with 100 ucg per day.
A herb to support fertility
There are many different herbs which claim to boost fertility but Agnus Castus has been proven to be a safe and effective choice. It can help to encourage hormonal balance, ease problems with periods and it can also balance excess estrogen by increasing progesterone.
A difficult time
Having difficulty conceiving a baby is often the most difficult time in any couple's life. Recognizing it is a shared goal is a very important factor, and realizing that you are both in the same situation will also help.
Always remember, it takes two.