Boosting Your Fertility
Kate is a registered Foresight Practitioner, specialising in developing nutritional programmes for couples having problems conceiving. Foresight is a well-established organisation promoting pre-conceptual care through dietary and lifestyle changes.
I didn’t know nutrition could help me get pregnant…
What you eat and your lifestyle can have a huge impact on your ability to conceive and carry a healthy baby to term. One study at the University of Surrey involved several hundred couples with a history of unexplained infertility. They were given tailor-made dietary programmes, lifestyle advice and nutritional supplements aimed at boosting their fertility. A massive 81% of them had healthy babies!
The success rates for assisted conception IUI, IVF and ICSI at the London Fertility Centre – which claims to have among the highest success rates in the UK are:
- IUI – average 14.8% (9.7% – 24%)
- IVF – average 35% (14% – 52% depending on age)
- ICSI – average 40.4 %(24% – 52% depending on age)
Many couples spend huge sums of money on assisted conception techniques such as IVF. Following a nutritional programme prior to starting the treatment may improve the chances of success.
When to start a nutritional programme?
Eggs can take around 5 months to mature and sperm 3 to 4 months so it’s a good idea to start a pre-conception and fertility nutrition plan up to 6 months before planned conception – whether natural or assisted. This gives you time to get your body in the best condition possible to have a healthy body and to address any underlying imbalances.
It takes two to tango!
Many people assume the difficulty with fertility issues lies with the woman but in approximately 25% of cases the problem is linked to the man. Learning what nutrients are vital for sperm health and how to make sure you’re getting enough of them can lead to conception. Making sure the sperm is of optimal quality can also reduce the chances of miscarriage. According to the NHS around 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage but this figure could be higher as women may be miscarrying before they realize they are pregnant.
Being pregnant for 9 months and then giving birth is wonderful, but is also a strain on your body so making sure you’ve got all the nutrients you individually need helps allow this to happen and you to have a healthy, enjoyable pregnancy. We all know that things such as folic acid are vital in pregnancy but there are many others to make sure you have enough of beforehand.
I prefer to see both partners together, so both parties understand why certain dietary changes are being recommended and can fully support each other. However, I am also happy to see just the woman or man.
I may also advise testing to check for levels of minerals or toxic heavy metals, sex hormones, stress hormones or essential fats.
Your Pre-conceptual Consultation and Programme
You will be given a tailor-made dietary programme that is unique for you and based on boosting your fertility and chances of conception. There are certain nutrients that are beneficial to all those trying to conceive, but due to lifestyles, existing health issues and diet, some peoples’ needs for certain things are higher than others. A detailed questionnaire and discussion can highlight these areas and testing, if advised, can give further, more specific information. Included in your consultation is fertility nutritional advice, meal ideas and guidance, recipes and diet information sheets. Your fertility nutrition consultation can be in Edinburgh in person or if Edinburgh is inconvenient for you, it can also be done via Skype. Saturday consultations are available.
Follow-up consultations are advised after one month. You may also be recommended to see other Edinburgh-based complementary therapists who can support this plan and frequently work with fertility issues. For example: acupuncturist, herbalist, fertility counselor, reflexologist or cranial sacral therapist.
Once pregnant I can continue to support you and your growing baby throughout the 3 trimesters of pregnancy.
Fees (in Edinburgh and via Skype)
2 hours (partners together) – £110
90 mins individual – £75
1 hour together – £60
45 mins individual – £45