ARTWORK BY : www.helenabarker.com
I just turned 37 last week and I’m at a time in my life where most of my friends are either having children or trying really hard to have children. Infertility now affects 1 in 7 couples in the UK and I imagine we are not far behind here in Ireland. There are so many factors that affect our fertility including elements that we have no control over like toxic chemicals in the air, food, water and cosmetics we use.
But what we do have control over is our lifestyle and we now know that what we eat has a profound influence on our health and indeed our quality of life. The saying from ‘womb to tomb’ really does ring true but maybe in this case we should bring it back even further and focus on the prospective parents health before conception??
Improving nutrition and lifestyle can rapidly improve a couple’s health and in turn their fertility. We often focus just on the female but if you think of the sperm as a ‘seed’ and the egg as ‘soil’ its obvious we should be focusing on both. Show me a plant or tree that has ever been grown without a seed? Exactly
Voluntary poisons like smoking, alcohol and caffeine should definitely be stopped and replaced with filtered water and a healthy diet. The easiest way to explain a healthy diet nowadays is make sure you spend the majority of time in the fruit and veg aisle and if you eat meat buy high quality animals proteins. Lets get back to using knives instead of tin openers in the kitchen and very simply stay away from packaged processed foods and sugars.
The reproductive system does need specific nutrients though which is why recent a pilot study into a natural nutrient supplement called pre-conceive, is so exciting. It showed improvements in key fertility parameters for both men and women.
The 90 day clinical study into pre-Conceive, which is Irish owned and manufactured showed that incorporating a healthier diet and lifestyle alongside the supplement, provided optimistic results for the 20 infertile Irish couples who took part. The results, after careful independent analysis, indicates better fertility rates in men and women, boasting improvements in DNA and motility, to name but a few.
More than eight out of 10 Irish men showed improvements in their sperm motility and also reduced cellular damage to their sperm. The clinical study is Europe’s first ever examination of a nutritional supplement and the effect on both male and female fertility parameters. Progressive motility, which measures sperm cells swimming in the right direction, was also greatly improved and reduced cellular damage to sperm cells was also noticed.
According to independent medical expert, Dr David Smallbone. “This new study shows that pre-Conceive combined with nutritional and lifestyle advice improves the environment for healthy sperm cell and egg development”.
Pre-Conceive is designed specifically for couples finding it hard to conceive. It can also help couples who are preparing for Assisted Reproduction, those who are looking to support the health of the mother during and after pregnancy, plus the health of the embryo and women who have had a miscarriage, or recurrent miscarriages.
Dr Smallbone believes that the report favourably shows that providing adequate nutritional materials can and does influence the body systems and that it becomes apparent that important systems, such as the endocrine system, can be affected by correct nutrition. However it does need time and six months is not an unreasonable amount of time, especially when several years of nutritional abuse lie behind the problem. Unless the nutritional requirements of the body are specifically catered for, it is highly unlikely that full health can be expected.
Mark Whitney of Pillar healthcare plans to conduct further research in the coming months but if this study is anything to go by its an exciting time for couples struggling to conceive. This is a great way for any couple to start their journey into the world of fertility. It can lay down all the groundwork for the male to produce ‘strong sperm’, the expectant mum to develop a healthier egg and positively influence the baby’s health.
Pre-Conceive is available through pharmacies, health food stores and online. It is recommended that couples follow at the very least a 90-day programme. Each box contains one month’s supply, containing 30 sachets and the highest strength fish oil on the market. (90 capsules / 3per day). Each 30 day supply costs €170. www.pillarhealthcare.ie