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Six Top Fertility Tips

The fertility journey can often be a confusing road with a complex information to make sense of. The process can sometimes be difficult because it’s hard to know what the right action is for you and your partner.

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You fertility journey can often be a confusing road with a complex but we have six top fertility tips to help you make sense of the information. The process can sometimes be difficult because it’s hard to know what the right action is for you and your partner.

1. Eliminate and Reduce Stress

The number one contributing factor to infertility is stress according to trials carried out by researchers at Emory University in Atlanta.The results showed that stress increased the release of stress hormones in your body, which significantly reduces ovulation and your chances of successful conception. Many other clinical trials have shown similar results, with imbalances in hormones such as Cortisol (a stress related hormone), which hinders your ability to conceive.

Women with hectic jobs are most at risk and are often most in denial about the stress in their lives, but it dramatically affects men too. Spend some time thinking about how your day-to-day life is constructed and see if you can make some changes to reduce any stressful areas. It is helpful to differentiate between external stress and internal stress; Internal stress arises when you are not able to achieve the goals you set yourself while external stress is created by relatives, friends, and work pressures.

Treat yourself and take some time out for a change of scenery or why not go away with your friends. It is well known that you relax more when you go away. Search the internet for little trips away and weekend breaks. It will give you something to look forward to, and of course it will do you the world of good.

2. Quit Smoking

We all know that smoking is bad for us but when it comes to fertility issues its negative effects are even more profound. Smoking may result in underdeveloped eggs or sperm and it may also affect the genetic makeup of the unborn baby if you do conceive whilst smoking. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine found that the prevalence of infertility is higher, and the time it takes to conceive is longer, in smokers compared to non-smokers. Active smoking by either partner has adverse effects, and the impact of passive cigarette smoke exposure is only slightly smaller than for active smoking.

Research indicates that cigarette smoking is harmful to a woman’s ovaries, and the degree of harm is dependent upon the amount and the period of time a woman smokes. Smoking appears to accelerate the loss of eggs and reproductive function and may also advance the time of menopause by several years.

It was also shown that men who smoke have a lower sperm count and motility and increased abnormalities in sperm shape and function. The advice is that smoking should be discouraged for both male and female partners in couples with a history of infertility or recurrent miscarriage.

3. Stop Caffeine

As nice as it may be to sit down for a cup of tea or coffee, it isn’t helping your fertility. Caffeine has a negative effect on fertility and should be avoided where possible according to recent research. Common sources of caffeine are: tea (green, white and black), coffee, fi zzy drinks and some other products. Always check the back of the product label if you are unsure. Try to replace these products with other natural drinks that are free from caffeine. Try to also avoid decaffeinated tea and coffee as they contain other unpleasant ingredients.

Research published in the British Medical Journal shows that even one cup of coffee a day causes an imbalance in sex hormones, which compromises sperm and egg health. In women, the uterine lining is also affected, which may stop implantation of a fertilised egg and may also be a cause of early miscarriage.

Caffeine consumption during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of fetal growth restriction and this continues throughout pregnancy. Sensible advice would be to reduce caffeine intake before conception and throughout pregnancy.

My personal recommendation to my clients is to stop consuming caffeine completely whilst trying to conceive, and not to start again until they stop breast-feeding.

4. More animal, fish and plant fats in your diet

Evidence from studies as far back as the 1940’s shows that animal and plant fats (if not refi ned) are good for us and are a vital source of nutrients and cholesterol, which we need to keep our own cholesterol in check. The idea that eating fat makes you fat and gives you high cholesterol is a myth, but you must avoid hydrogenated oils and refined fats and oils.

Low fat diets are detrimental to health and will affect your fertility and chances of having a baby. The reason lies in the effect that fats have on your cholesterol level and having no fats in your diet causes a defi ciency and imbalance of the cholesterol, which is connected to poor hormone production and release. This can cause problems with ovulation as discovered by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health.

Their study showed that women who ate more than two portions a day of low fat foods were 85 per cent more likely to be infertile, due to ovulatory disorders, than those who only ate it less than once a week. They also discovered a variety of other issues relating to a lack of fats in the diet.

The advice is to have a little natural plant oil or animal fat in your diet every day to increase your fertility health.

Consumption of alcohol can reduce your fertility by as much as 50%. To give yourself the best chance, you should ideally stop consuming alcohol at least three months before you start trying for a baby.

5. The Effects of Alcohol

Consumption of alcohol can reduce your fertility by as much as 50% as proven in clinical trials and revealed in a Danish study. To give yourself the best chance, you should ideally stop consuming alcohol at least three months before you start trying for a baby. If you have already started trying then aim to stop drinking alcohol as soon as possible. You will instantly start to increase your possibilities of success.

The Danish study showed that women who drank less than 5 standard glasses of wine per week (approximately 5 units) were twice as likely to conceive within six months, compared to women who drank more alcohol.

Alcohol consumption affects both partners causing damage to egg and sperm quality. In men it can increase abnormal sperm, decrease sperm count and reduce the motility (movement) and also volume of the sperm.

Alcohol exhausts your body’s energy, as it’s a very toxic substance that requires a large consumption of energy to remove it efficiently, and also to counterbalance the negative effects it causes on your body. Where possible both partners should avoid it for 3-4 months in advance of trying for a baby, and most definitely throughout pregnancy and breast-feeding.

6. Avoid Pain Relief

A study at Oxford University has shown that pain relief drugs interfere with ovulation and may even stop it completely in some women. This would be sufficient to cause what looks like infertility. Once the drugs are stopped your body will balance itself over a few cycles and ovulation should begin again. In some cases Progesterone levels can also be negatively affected when using these drugs. This could and has been shown to lead to miscarriage and also problems with implantation after the egg is fertilised.

If you can, try to avoid taking pain relief if you are trying to conceive. If you suffer with pain during your period or at other times of your cycle, you may fi nd that using another treatment such as acupuncture will be much more conducive. Period pain is generally due to a lack of circulation of the menstrual blood and once it starts to fl ow efficiently, the pain will stop. Acupuncture is known to increase blood fl ow through the uterus and this will stop the pain. My clients report less pain within one menstrual cycle, and no pain by about three to six cycles depending on the severity they first experienced. No painkillers are used after the cycle has been balanced.

  • What to do next

If after reading these tips you feel a bit overwhelmed, just remember that this is only for a time period and it will most definitely help towards your goal of having a baby. Some of my clients struggle with making the necessary lifestyle changes at the beginning of their treatment, but the ones that manage it generally conceive within six months of starting the programme.

My suggestion to you is to stop any of the above that you may be doing, and focus on the long-term outcome. You’ll also experience much better health.

  • Case study – unexplained infertility

After one miscarriage and several years of trying to conceive, resulting in a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, I started to work with this couple at my clinic. They were fully onboard with the programme and made all of the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes that were suggested to them. They didn’t smoke but liked to have a drink at times and there was also room for improving their diet. After just six weeks of following the above advice along with the other components of the treatment programme, they conceived. Nine months later they delivered a healthy happy little girl.

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Fertility 360

Do This ONE Thing to Improve Your Fertility Immediately

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Do This ONE Thing to Improve Your Fertility Immediately

Why is Earth the only planet in our solar system that supports life forms?

Quite simply…water.  No other planet has it.

Drinking water is essential for optimal health.  And you probably think you get plenty of fluids every day.

Yet, up to 75 percent of Americans may be in a chronic state of dehydration, according to research.

Many people understand the importance of drinking enough water but they don’t overcome the perceived inconvenience to make it part of their routine.

The problem is that allowing yourself to become dehydrated causes more inconvenience because it can be a significant contributing factor to your fertility issues.  Something as simple as drinking enough water can be the turning point for you.

Staying hydrated is critical when trying to get pregnant.  You can survive weeks without food. But as little as a few hours without water.  For example, a child left in a hot car or an athlete exercising hard in hot weather can dehydrate, overheat and die in a period of a few hours.

50-70% of your body weight is water.  Your blood is 85% water, your muscles 80%, your brain 75% and even your bones are 25% water, which indicates how important water is for your health.

Water keeps all of your organs and cells functioning properly including the reproductive cells (egg, sperm) and reproductive organs (brain, ovaries, uterus, testes, thyroid).  It also naturally flushes out toxins in the body.

For men, semen production and semen volume can be reduced by not drinking enough water.   If semen is thicker due to dehydration, sperm may have trouble swimming.

For the fetus, staying hydrated is critical for fetal development.  Water helps carry nutrients to the placenta and is an important part of all aspects of development from the time of fertilization. Without water, a developing baby cannot survive, increasing the risk of miscarriage.

For women, dehydration can affect…

  • …which leads to dehydration interfering with or preventing ovulation
  • The cervical mucus, which is important in transporting the sperm to the fallopian tubes for egg fertilization.  Having little to no cervical mucus can be an indication that you’re dehydrated. You should see 2-3 days of egg white, stretchy cervical mucus around ovulation.  Without enough water, the cervical mucus that balances vaginal pH also becomes too acidic, harming the sperm.
  • Implantation –  Water is necessary for cell division and metabolism. The cells of the uterine wall must be healthy for the embryo to implant.

 

How much water to drink?

Because people are busy throughout the day, using thirst as a guide is unreliable.

A general rule of thumb is to drink half your weight in ounces of water.

But more accurately, use your urine as a guide.

The color should be pale yellow like lemonade.  If it is a deep, dark yellow then you are probably not drinking enough water.  If it is colorless, you are drinking too much water which can cause salts & other electrolytes in your body to become too diluted.

A healthy person urinates on average about 7-8 times a day.  If you haven’t urinated in many hours, that’s an indication that you’re not drinking enough.  Time your water intake so that needing to go to the bathroom doesn’t cause you to wake up at night.

Make sure you start your day with a large glass of water to rehydrate.  You breathe out a small amount of water every time you exhale as you’re sleeping.  If you sweat at night, you’re also losing water.

Water bottles

Storing your water in the appropriate water containers is important.  Glass and stainless steel water containers are best.

DO NOT USE plastic bottles!  Even if they’re BPA-free.

BPA (bisphenol-A) mimics estrogen, and therefore can have estrogenic effects in the body causing infertility including low sperm quality.  BPA increases aneuploidy, a defect consisting of abnormal loss or gain of chromosomes, which could lead to miscarriages or disorders such as Down Syndrome.

Plastics, including BPA-free materials, leach chemicals that act like estrogen in our bodies.  Conditions that are known to release these harmful chemicals are heat, putting them in a microwave or dishwasher, or leaving a plastic water bottle in a hot car.  Microwaving the containers or placing hot liquids or food into them releases BPA 55 times more rapidly! But even normal contact with food or water was enough for these chemicals to leach into the food and the water because they are unstable.  Some of the chemicals that are in the BPA-free plastics actually have been found to have greater estrogenic activity than BPA itself.

Water quality

Many people rely on drinking bottled water regularly.  The problem is that you don’t know how long they’ve been in the plastic bottle and what conditions they have been stored in.

Instead, purify your tap water using the best water filtration system you can afford, preferably one with reverse osmosis (RO).

Unfortunately, an effective water filtration system also removes beneficial minerals (magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese).  Because RO water doesn’t have enough minerals, when it is consumed, it also leaches minerals from the body and your food if you cook with RO water. It’s because water wants to bind to everything, and it will take the minerals where it can — like from your body or your food.  This means that the minerals in food and vitamins are being urinated away.

Less minerals consumed plus more minerals being excreted equals serious negative side effects and big health problems, including fertility issues.

A simple solution is to add trace minerals to filtered water.

Here are some easy tips to ensure you’re drinking enough water

  • Have a bottle with you constantly and make it a habit to take a sip whenever you have down time.
  • Use an app to track your water intake.>
  • Set recurring water break reminders on your phone.
  • Buy a bottle with pre-marked timed intervals. You can also make your own stickers to add to your favorite clear bottle.  All you have to do is come up with your own timed drinking goals and write the times on the bottle.

Optimal fertility starts with the basics – water being the most critical ingredient to life.  Make it a daily habit to drink enough for your reproductive needs.

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Complementary Therapies

How to Rock Your Fertility Journey, Even if You’re Over 40

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Rick Your Fertility

This past weekend my son Charlie turned 5 years old.

I’ll be 49 in April.  You can do the math.

Charlie was conceived a month before my 43rd birthday, after a roller-coaster ride of miscarriage, doctors visits, testing, lots of negative pregnancy tests, and an emotional maelstrom during which I cursed myself for not trying to have a baby when I was younger.   

My doctor never said the words, “you’re too old” but it was implied when he explained that I didn’t have many eggs left because I was over 40.  When he said that the eggs that I did have were of “compromised quality” and that’s probably what led to my miscarriages. When he predicted that it was highly unlikely that I’d get pregnant with my own eggs and that donor egg IVF was my best chance of having a baby.

Conventional wisdom drives the doctor’s analysis and you’ve heard all this:  women are born with all the eggs that we’ll ever have and through 30+ years of having periods, as well as the natural aging process, cause our fertility to begin to decline in our early 30s, and take a big dive after age 35.  By the time we’re over 40, our fertility has practically fallen off a cliff. By the time we hit menopause, we may not have run out of eggs but the supply is scant and we’re no longer ovulating.

My test results bore this out.  My Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) was high at 16.4, indicating that my ovaries had to work harder to stimulate follicle growth (and egg maturation) than the ovaries of a younger woman.  My Anti-Mullerian Hormone, which measures ovarian reserve, was very low at 0.15 and indicated “undetectable” egg supply. My Antral Follicle Count, which counts resting follicles in the first few days of the cycle and indicates how many follicles may have the potential to grow that cycle, was never higher than 5 (a “normal” or “good” is between 15-25).

My doctor looked at all of these numbers, and that information is what drove his diagnosis of my condition, and his grim prognosis for my success.

The reality, though, is that we are about so much more than our numbers.   

If it were just about the numbers, all the women with strong numbers would have their babies, and the women like me with sub-optimal numbers wouldn’t.  And we just know this is not the case. Read more about how I overcame the odds to get pregnant with my own eggs and without IVF.

Here’s what we know: fertility does decline as we get older.   And that’s all we know.

Luckily, we “older” women can have some tools in our arsenal to help us get pregnant and have a baby, if that’s what we want.  

Here are some things to keep in mind, as well as some tools for your toolkit, if you’re trying to get pregnant at an “advanced age”:

You do have time.  While age is correlated with fertility, it’s not like the minute you turn 40, or 35, or another age, you all of a sudden aren’t able to get pregnant.  Fertility is more of a continuum. Time may be of the essence, and you may need to act quickly, but you do have time.

Fertility in your 40s is going to look different than it did in your 20s.  You are not the same woman, physically, emotionally or spiritually than you were in your 20s.  Like the rest of you, your fertility has changed too. For example, it’s common as we age to produce less cervical fluid than we do when we’re younger.  Cervical fluid is important when trying to get pregnant, especially when trying naturally, so it’s important to be aware of.

In any area related to your fertility, you need to be able to do your research and find ways to mitigate the situation to account for your age.  This is true regardless of your age, but especially if you’re over 40 and trying to conceive.

5th Birthday

The tools in your arsenal are even more important when you’re older.  On your fertility journey, you’ve probably heard that the following things are important:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Knowing how to track your fertility signs and your menstrual cycles
  • Stress reduction
  • Mind/body connection

These things are crucial for anyone on a fertility journey, regardless of age and whether trying to conceive naturally or through treatment.  Being the healthiest you can be will help you achieve optimal fertility. This is especially crucial for you if you’re at an advanced age.

If you’re trying naturally, it’s important to keep in mind that generally speaking, middle-aged couples tend to have intercourse with less frequency than younger couples.  In trying to conceive, you don’t have to have intercourse all the time, but you do need to have it at the right time, and knowing your cycles will help you pinpoint with laser accuracy when that time is.  

Managing your stress will help you endure the trials and tribulations of fertility treatment, and cultivating a mind-body connection will help you silence the negative self-talk that tells you you’re too old or that your time has passed.   

The fertility journey can really mess with your physical body and your mind, and it’s important to have the tools to fight back.  My Big Little Fertility Toolkit gives you the exact tools that I used on my own successful fertility journey.

Listen to your intuition.  When my doctor told me that I likely wouldn’t get pregnant with my own eggs and that donor egg IVF was my best option, I didn’t disbelieve him.  I knew my numbers; I knew the situation was bad. But I also knew deep down that donor egg IVF wasn’t the right path for me to become a mom. This wasn’t based on any hard facts; I just intuitively knew that intrauterine insemination would work for me.  I knew that I had a good egg somewhere in my dwindling supply and that it was up to me to find it.

I encourage you to learn how to listen to your own intuition.  You’ve been with yourself every second of your life. YOU know yourself better than anybody else.  The answers are already within you, and when you take the time to tune in to yourself and to listen to what your intuition is telling you, those answers will always come to you.

Always keep in mind the end goal.  In our quest to get pregnant we can sometimes lose sight of the ultimate goal, which is not necessarily to be pregnant, but to be a mother. Motherhood can come in many shapes and forms – donor egg, sperm or embryo; surrogacy; adoption. As we get older, it’s increasingly important to keep all of those options in mind if your own natural fertility is compromised and the wellness tools in your toolbox aren’t helping.  

It’s a process to work through your feelings and emotions around the other avenues to motherhood, and it may take some time to do that.  But it may become important to do so, if you need to let go of the idea of a traditional pregnancy. We’re fortunate to live in a time with so many options for parenthood!

A good mantra to keep in mind for your journey is:

“Somehow, some way, I will be a mother.”  

You have power over your journey.   I know it may not seem like it, but you do.  You may be acutely aware every day of your age, and, if you’ve already experienced some setbacks in your fertility path, these weigh on you.  

While there’s so much that’s out of your control – like age, biology, egg supply, there’s still so much you can control.  Things like –

  • How you eat
  • How you move your body
  • How much you sleep
  • How you choose to manage your stress
  • How you interact with others
  • How you show up in the world

These things impact your fertility, and your well-being.

Another good mantra to keep in mind for your journey, and to help you feel and own the power that you have is:

“I am more than my numbers.  Infertility does not define me.”

Because there’s a huge grey area.  And while there have been so many medical and scientific advancements in the areas or fertility, pregnancy and birth, the reality is that there is still so much that we don’t know.  

And it’s this grey area, this area of the unknown, where magic can happen.  

Baby dust to you! xo


Also published on Medium.

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Health & Fitness

Is Your Social Life Affecting Your Fertility?

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Is Your Social Life Affecting Your Fertility

One of my mantras is act pregnant to get pregnant.

That’s because the same risk factors in pregnancy are risk factors for fertility too. My preconception care programmes show couples what to eat, which supplement programmes are right for them and how their lifestyles need to change to fuel fertility, based on testing.

Yes, lifestyle.

I’m saying that our lifestyle choices can harm our health and fertility. At least 3-4 months before starting to try for a baby, it’s better for us AND the health of future children, to clean up our act.

Egg and sperm are products of prospective parent’s diet and lifestyle. It turns out we are really what we eat …and how we live.

And our children’s health is influenced by our health pre-conception and during pregnancy.

It takes about 3 months for follicles to develop before one is released as an egg. It takes about 3 months for sperm cells to mature too.

So, let’s look at how our social lives affect fertility and what can we do about it, without becoming a total bore.

It’s all a matter of choice. And taking some control over the path to parenthood.

Junk Food, Processed Food and TakeawaysProcessed Junk Food

Junk food, processed food and takeaway food can be a weekend ritual for some. A way of life for others. Or maybe the very occasional “treat” or fall-back for convenience. Sometimes they’re “party” food or “movie night” food.

They have no place in a fertility-friendly diet.

Generally, they are cheap, low quality and not organic.

They have little nutritional value. And we need foods packed with fertility firing nutrition when we’re planning a baby naturally or via IVF.

Refined foods can produce spikes in blood sugar and cause hormone havoc.

And these foods often contain, or are cooked in, trans fats (hydrogenated fats) which have been linked in some studies to ovulation issues in women.

Best avoided. Or eaten only very, very occasionally.

Eat real food!

In our home we enjoy pizza, curries and burgers occasionally. We make our own healthier versions from high quality, mostly organic ingredients and we find suitable alternatives. For example, experiment with pizza bases made from non-wheat flours or even veggies …. don’t knock home-made cauliflower pizza base until you tried it!

And with a little smart, it’s possible to choose a healthier meal from most menus … hold the sauce, take the dressing on the side, remove the worst ingredients, choose a mix of starters and sides instead of a gut busting main…

Alcohol

Many people enjoy a night out in a bar, maybe wine with dinner or to raise a glass …or three at a party, right?

It’s just not that fertility friendly.

Booze is diuretic meaning it makes us pee more…flushing valuable fertility friendly nutrients like zinc and folate down the toilet.

Alcohol is toxic to egg, sperm and a developing baby.

Women who drink heavily can stop ovulating, can stop having periods and can take longer to fall pregnant.

As with most aspects of health, you can find contradictory studies with differing conclusions.

Many countries advocate giving up alcohol totally. Others say there is a safe limit.

I think it’s fair to say that not drinking or limiting alcohol intake is a great idea as part of preconception care, when you’re trying to become pregnant and in pregnancy. For your fertility and your child’s development and health.

Guys, you too. Alcohol can cause abnormalities in sperm and reduce sperm making hormones.

It’s much better to give up the demon drink as part of preconception care.

If there’s just too much peer pressure or you want to avoid any awkward questions, give it up and get sponsorship for the charity of your choice. Your friends, family, neighbours and co-workers will applaud you.

Choose filtered water, diluted fresh juices and healthy soft drinks like kombucha (fermented tea) instead.

If you must choose alcohol, the very occasional glass of red wine or champagne are probably your best choices

Coffee (and Tea)

Coffee and tea

Are you a lady who likes to a latte with her friends?

Caffeine (also found in tea, chocolate, some soft drinks and many over-the-counter drugs) impacts female fertility and increases risks of miscarriage and stillbirth.

Sperm health issues are also associated with caffeine intake.

Different studies draw different conclusions, so I advise playing it safe and giving up caffeine as part of preconception care.

Watch out for decaffeinated coffee or tea too. It’s often chemically processed so not an ideal choice for baby-making. You can find naturally decaffeinated brands.

Find fruit and herbal teas that you like. Choose rooibos tea (it has no caffeine). Try coffee tasting drinks made from barley and chicory found in Health Stores. There are some really tasty ones.

Sugar

Bright Candies

Blood sugar levels have a big impact on fertility. Fact!

So are you eating cake with your latte? Maybe your hobby is baking sweet treats at home like a Domestic Goddess or God and then scoffing them too? Perhaps you just eat a lot of sugary and processed foods? Then, you’re at greater risk of high blood sugar, haywire hormones (high insulin and risk of insulin resistance and even diabetes) and a rollercoaster of energy.

Balancing our blood sugar is important for general health, hormone health, ovulation and fertility.

Too much insulin can be a factor in some conditions that affect fertility, like PCOS, diabetes and obesity.

Insulin issues can also lead to higher levels of adrenaline (a stress hormone) which can cause high blood pressure and heart disease as well as interfering with the reproductive hormone, progesterone: progesterone is essential for maintaining pregnancy.

Quit or reduce sugar. Try small amounts of natural sweeteners raw honey or quality maple syrup instead. Or you could choose processed sweeteners stevia or xylitol in moderation only.

Choose unrefined carbs like brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, oats, veggies. For other fertility-fuelling reasons, it’s best not to choose wheat or wheat based foods as part of a preconception care diet.

To balance blood sugar and eat for maximum health, eat quality protein, healthy fats and fibre at every meal and snack.

Smoking

Smoking

If you’re a smoker – even a social one – quit.

Smoking is linked to reproductive health issues for men and women.

It’s thought that smoking harms egg quality in women, effectively ageing eggs. It also interferes with female hormone levels, which can lead to irregular cycles and early menopause. Smoking raises miscarriage risk.

It robs us of vital nutrients needed to support fertility too and increases toxic metals especially cadmium.

Women who smoke during pregnancy are passing on all those nasty chemicals via the placenta.

Smoking affects erectile function and sperm quality and quantity.

Just quit smoking. Please. Women and men.

And vaping is not a viable alternative. It’s a relatively new thing. But some early studies show it’s just as dangerous as smoking.

Quit. There is plenty of help to quit through conventional health practitioners and private therapists.

Recreational Drugs

Street drugs affect reproductive health in men and women.

Even if you see yourself as a social drug user, the advice is still to give up.

Cocaine can lower sperm count, lower testosterone and reduce sperm quality. Marijuana can lower the hormones needed for sperm production.

Cocaine is linked to infertility, miscarriage and birth defects when taken by women. Marijuana can cause irregular cycles and reduce ovulation in women

These are just examples.

Of course, babies born to mothers taking drugs can be addicted when born.

Stop taking recreational drugs at least 3-4 months before trying to conceive.

Exercise

Many people exercise in their spare time. It’s good for us, right?

This may seem surprising but exercise with caution when trying to fall pregnant. Too much exercise can cause low body fat percentage in women, which can lead to non-ovulatory and irregular cycles.

So, exercise, but gently and regularly. That’s 30 -60 minutes of moderate activity most days. And mix it up for stamina, strength and flexibility.

For guys, just be wary of any exercise that causes your testicles to overheat like cycling for long periods. Overheating your testicles is not great for baby-making.

Personally, I think it’s possible to change our social choices when we ‘re trying to get pregnant and still have fun times and enjoy life. It doesn’t all have to be about abstaining from everything but the baby-dance and eating kale. Honestly.

It does require some planning for success, some mutual support and sometimes support from experts. But it can be done.

And it doesn’t always have to be obvious to everyone you’re changing habits to boost your fertility and for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

It’s well worth it in pursuit of your goal of natural conception or IVF success.

Love, Kathy x

Kathy Payne is a Booster of Fertility and Harmoniser of Hormones using food, supplements, lifestyle choices and natural therapies with women and couples worldwide via Skype. She has lots of free resources on her website www.kathypayne.co.uk and has a free Facebook Group for fertility support called Footsteps to Fertility.

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