It is estimated that 1 in 7 couples in Ireland experience difficulties conceiving and a quarter of all pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Infertility is defined by the World Health Organisation as the inability of a couple to conceive after a 12 month period of unprotected intercourse.
Medical conditions which affect female fertility include endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, polycystic ovaries and ovulatory damage, and male fertility issues is mainly due to low sperm count. However the most common cause of infertility is ‘unexplained infertiilty’ which affects up to 30% of couples. This means that after following thorough medical tests, doctors can find no medical condition at the root of the problem.
In the clinic one of my areas of expertise is Fertility and Pre-conceptual care and I have designed a specific programme called the Creation Fertility Programme For the majority of couples it is naturally presumed that this is not something that need concern them, but unfortunately infertility is on the increase in Ireland. The good news is by enhancing your overall health, assessing hormone health, identifying food intolerances, correcting nutrient deficiencies and following a nutrient-dense diet, hormones can be balanced, fertility can be enhanced and pregnancy can be achieved.
At Helen Kenny Nutrition we find that fertility is multi-factorial – that there are many elements which can be at the root of your fertility problems. A study conducted by the University of Surrey showed that couples with a previous history of infertility who made changes to their lifestyle, diet and took nutritional supplements had an 80% success rate. Given that the success rate for IVF is around 25% it really is worth considering your options.
Life is truly a miracle and in order to have a healthy baby, a healthy egg and healthy sperm, (that is healthy parents) is essential. It takes 3 months for immature eggs (oocytes) to mature enough to be released during ovulation. It also takes three months for sperm cells to develop. This means that when you are trying to enhance fertility both partners need to allow at least 3 months on a balanced diet and supplement programme before conceiving. This is called ‘pre-conceptual care’ and it is as important to nourish the body during this time as during the pregnancy itself.