Boosting fertility through nutrition

Boosting fertility through nutrition

Dr Marilyn Glenville shows you how you can boost your fertility through nutrition

Getting pregnant is not as easy as we might think, with up to a third of couples struggling to conceive. One in four women will experience a miscarriage.

The most common cause of infertility is ‘unexplained’, which means that following thorough investigations, doctors can find no medical problem.  Fertility is multi-factorial so it is important to look at every aspect of your health, emotions and lifestyle.

Research has shown that making changes in your diet and lifestyle can boost fertility for both you and your partner and also reduce the risk of miscarriage.

As infertility rates continue to climb, more and more experts are looking at nutritional deficiencies as a potential cause of delayed conception.

Dr. Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health and fertility and former President of the Food and Health Forum at the Royal Society of Medicine, discusses how to boost fertility through nutrition, ahead of her seminar at the Fertility Show.

She has found that if a couple embarks upon a fertility-boosting diet and lifestyle plan for three months before trying for a baby, then their chances of conceiving naturally increase or it improves the success rate of IVF.

Why change your diet for three months?

It is advised that you make changes to your diet and lifetyle for three months because it takes approximately three months for the follicles on the ovaries to develop before one is mature enough to release an egg at ovulation.

Women are born with their entire store of eggs and so although it is not possible to change ovarian reserve, it is possible to change their quality.  By improving the quality of your eggs, you are giving yourself the best chance of conceiving naturally and also of preventing a miscarriage.

With men, it also takes at least three months for a new batch of sperm cells to mature, ready to be ejaculated. For men it is possible to change both the quantity and quality.

Fertility boosting action plan

Although it goes without saying that a healthy diet is crucial to a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby, many people are unaware of the fact that diet may affect your ability to conceive. The following are recommended:

  • Plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Complex carbohydrates – wholegrains like brown rice, oats and wholemeal bread
  • Organic foods where possible
  • Oily foods such as fish, nuts, seeds and oils
  • Reduced intake of saturated fats from dairy products etc.
  • Increased intake of fibre
  • Avoid additives, preservatives and chemicals, such as artificial sweeteners
  • Avoid sugar, both on its own and hidden in food

You should also avoid the three main fertility busters: Caffeine, alcohol and smoking as they have all been linked to an increased risk of infertility in men and women.

As well as looking at what you eat and drink, there is now a great deal of scientific knowledge about the use of nutritional supplements and their beneficial effects on boosting fertility.   The most important nutrients for fertility are zinc, folic acid, selenium, vitamin E, vitamin C, Omega 3 fatty acids for you and your partner plus two amino acids, arginine and carnitine specifically for boosting male fertility.

Read more about nutrition before and during pregnancy in our Nutrition section

Dr Glenville runs clinics in Harley Street and Kent

For more information, see Dr. Marilyn Glenville on stand G30 at The Fertility Show on 5th & 6th November

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