In the news recently was the advice that women should think about having babies before they are 30, by fertility specialist, Dr Geeta Nargund. She is suggesting that children are taught in schools about their fertility so they understand the consequences of leaving it too late.
Although this is all perfectly sensible advise, unfortunately its not always practical or possible for a woman to start a family before she hits 30. Surely the best time to have a child is when you are ready for that child to come into your life? Most women I know, understand their chances of getting pregnant may be reduced the longer they leave it (we were actually taught that in school), but that’s the decision they take. I had my second child at 42 and the psychological battle of staying positive about our chances of conceiving and carrying that baby to full term was tough as I was bombarded with information telling me it wasn’t possible. Being well past my prime apparently, at 41, and with a husband who ‘would most likely be sterile’ after undergoing 4 months of chemotherapy, we were advised to have IVF. The IVF clinic were so amazed that we got pregnant naturally, they asked me to do a talk for their doctors to tell them how we did it.
I believe that women can get pregnant naturally even if they are in their 40s. If you and your partner are in good health – then you have every chance of conceiving.
So why do so many people experience fertility issues?
Well, quite a lot of people aren’t in good reproductive health, they are nutritionally deficient, they drink too much alcohol, don’t do enough exercise, and most importantly, they are highly stressed from busy careers and generally high achieving expectations synonymous with modern life. All these things can impact your ability to get pregnant.
For people who have recurrent miscarriages, you have to ask why is this happening? Is there some imbalance in the body which is preventing the embryo / foetus to develop? Some of the biological reasons behind miscarriage could be nutritional deficiencies, immune function imbalance or hormonal imbalance.
So what can you do about it? Well, first of all, take a good look at your health and lifestyle. Are you the healthiest you can be? Do you have any underlying health issues that could be affecting your ability to get pregnant? Are you overweight? Could your diet be improved? Do you have emotional issues you aren’t addressing?
Here are some things you can do to give your body a helping hand:
1. Reduce stress
Stress hormones are made by the same gland that produces the sex hormones which help sustain pregnancy. When you are stressed, the body favours producing stress hormones over sex hormones which could cause problems with conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy. Take up yoga, meditation, and try reiki. If there are emotional issues that need addressing, book in for some therapy with a psychotherapist or find an outlet thats right for you.
2. Establish your nutrient status
Consider getting some nutritional tests done, to identify where you are low in nutrients. These can be done through private laboratories via a nutritional therapist and are often a good place to start when addressing long term fertility issues.
3. Keep hydrated
Drink more water and reduce alcohol consumption, or even better cut it out completely.
4. ‘Eat the rainbow’ every day
Increase your consumption of brightly coloured vegetables, especially green vegetables which are anti-inflammatory and high in B vitamins that are essential to reproduction.
5. Increase protein consumption
Eat good quality protein with each meal, such as organic chicken, fish, grassfed meat and plant protein such as beans and pulses, nuts and seeds.
6. Eat nutrient dense & ‘living’ foods
Include seaweed in your diet and eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir which help optimise gut health.
7. Balance your hormones
Eat phytoestrogens such as wholegrains, seeds, nuts, broccoli, cauliflower, organic tempeh and tofu.
8. Eat organic where possible
Pesticides and environmental toxins are endocrine disruptors and may affect hormone balance.
9. Have regular sex!
Make sure you have sex 2-3 times per week, not just at fertile times.
10. Stay positive
I know this is the hardest part, but good things really do come to those that wait.
Working on fertility issues with clients is definitely one of the most rewarding areas of my job, so please do get in touch if you would like a consultation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.