Main Office: Nutri Vive Nutrition Consultancy, No. 49 John St, Kilkenny, Ireland
087 680 2248(Secretary)

Nutrition Tips for Improved Fertility

Infertility unfortunately affects about 10%  – 15% of couples.  Infertility testing and treatments are a costly and emotional route and may be avoided by taking a proactive approach when planning for pregnancy.  Fertility is affected by factors such as age, body weight, nutrition status, smoking, alcohol, exercise, environmental chemicals, medications, and narcotics.  There is a good chance that by adopting a healthier lifestyle, it could improve fertility rates.

Weight Matters
One of the most important factors affecting fertility is weight. Conceiving is more difficult if underweight or overweight and linked with 12% of infertility cases.   Fat cells make oestrogen and having an excess body fat levels or very low fat levels affects the amount of oestrogen in the body, therefore effecting fertility.  By being a healthy weight, it can also reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and of the baby having an unhealthy weight.

For women, excess body fat can affect the amount and types of circulating hormones, which influence fertility and it’s estimated that 25% of ovulatory infertility can be attributed to being overweight.

It is know that even losing just 5% to 10% of total body weight can dramatically improve ovulation and pregnancy rates.  In one small study, losing just 14 lbs drastically improved ovulation and pregnancy rates.  Research shows that being underweight increases the chances of delivering a low birth weight infant or having a baby born preterm.

It has been found that an unhealthy waistline can also affect a man’s fertility. Overweight men tend to have lower testosterone and increased oestrogen levels, whilst obese gentlemen are more likely to have a lower sperm count and higher numbers of sperm with DNA damage compared with those of a healthy weight.
PCOS affects as many as 10% of women, who often experience more difficulty conceiving.  PCOS is caused by an imbalance of hormones which can lead to small benign cysts on the ovaries.  The good news is that there are many dietary strategies which can help manage the symptoms and the latest research shows certain nutritional supplements may be beneficial also.
Free radicals are molecules which arise from the environment, pollution and as a natural by product of metabolism in the body.   Free radicals can virtually effect every step in the reproductive process i.e. from egg maturation, sperm motility to conception.  It’s widely accepted that antioxidants help “mop up” free radicals in the body.  Therefore, a diet rich in antioxidants is essential for all individuals of a child bearing age.  Examples of antioxidants include vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and minerals such as zinc, selenium and copper.
Excellent sources of antioxidants include;
Fruits: blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, pineapples and plums.
Vegetables: spinach, olives, asparagus, radish, beetroot, broccoli, artichokes and peppers
Drinks: grape, prune, and cranberry juices (coffee, green and black teas also contain antioxidants but should be consumed in moderation.)

Nuts, seeds and grains: walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, peanuts, pistachios, buckwheat, millet and barley

Contact the clinic for personalised nutrition advice for optimal fertility

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