Thinking About Taking Ozempic to Get Pregnant in 2024? Why You Might Want to Reconsider

If you’re looking into ways to boost your fertility, you might have come across Ozempic as an out-of-the-box method to help with getting pregnant. For those struggling to conceive, the desire to try any option that might offer even the slightest chance of falling pregnant is understandable. However, when you’re delving into the complex and sensitive world of fertility treatments, it’s crucial to approach each option with a balanced perspective. Taking the time to evaluate the benefits and potential risks of treatments like Ozempic is crucial for a well-informed decision, helping manage expectations and prepare for possible outcomes.

This post focuses on Ozempic, traditionally used for diabetes management, and its emerging role in fertility discussions. We’ll examine why considering Ozempic to fall pregnant requires careful consideration, aiming to equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions for your health and future family.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic, also known as semaglutide, is an injectable medication mainly used to treat Type 2 diabetes. It’s part of a group of drugs called GLP-1 antagonists that work by acting like the GLP-1 hormone in our body, which plays a key role in controlling blood sugar levels.

Here’s how it works:

First, it boosts insulin release when you eat, helping lower blood sugar by moving glucose from the blood into cells. Second, it slows down how quickly your stomach empties, meaning sugar enters your bloodstream more slowly after meals, helping avoid sudden blood sugar spikes, which makes managing diabetes easier. On top of these, GLP-1 reduces your appetite by affecting the brain, leading to less food intake. By imitating GLP-1, Ozempic helps control blood sugar and supports weight loss for those with Type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of Blood Sugar Imbalance

 

  • You often have a strong desire for sweets or carbohydrates.
  • Consuming sweets doesn’t satisfy your sugar cravings – they may actually intensify.
  • Missing a meal leads to irritability and intense hunger.
  • You rely on caffeine to help you stay awake during the day.
  • Skipping a meal causes you to feel dizzy.
  • After eating, you feel so tired that you need to sleep.
  • Losing weight seems to be a struggle for you.
  • You frequently feel weak, shaky, or nervous.
  • You find yourself needing to urinate often.
  • You become easily agitated, upset, or anxious for little reason.
  • Your memory isn’t as good as it once was.
  • You experience periods of blurry vision.
  • Your waist size is as big as or bigger than your hips.
  • Your interest in sexual activities is lower than usual.
  • You have a constant feeling of thirst.
The Link Between Ozempic and Fertility

The intricate relationship between managing insulin levels and reducing weight is profoundly connected to fertility, as these factors play significant roles in reproductive health.For women, high insulin levels can cause hormonal imbalances that negatively impact ovulation, making it harder to get pregnant. These hormonal disturbances can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, which further complicates conception efforts. Moreover, obesity, a condition closely linked to insulin resistance, has been identified as a contributing factor to fertility challenges in both men and women. Excess body fat not only disrupts the normal production of reproductive hormones but also heightens the risk of developing polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a prevalent cause of infertility.

Ozempic & PCOS

PCOS is not only the most common endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age but also a significant factor in fertility challenges due to its association with insulin resistance, obesity, irregular menstrual cycles, and anovulation (lack of ovulation). Managing weight can lead to improvements in the hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance seen in PCOS, subsequently enhancing ovulatory function and increasing the chances of conception. The theory suggests that by improving insulin sensitivity and promoting weight loss, Ozempic could indirectly enhance fertility, particularly in individuals with insulin resistance-related fertility issues. However, it’s crucial to approach this topic with understanding and caution. While the potential benefits on fertility parameters such as ovulatory function and hormonal balance are appealing, definitive research specifically investigating Ozempic’s direct effects on fertility is still evolving.

Potential Risks of Using Ozempic for Getting Pregnant

Ozempic’s effects on fertility and pregnancy carry potential risks that are crucial for women trying to conceive to understand. Ozempic is associated with a range of side effects, from mild to severe, including gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, and constipation. These side effects, particularly if severe, could impact a woman’s general health and nutritional status during preconception.

Individuals considering Ozempic must be free from conditions such as pancreatitis, kidney problems, and thyroid tumours due to the serious risk these issues pose to both maternal health and foetal development.

Ozempic is not advised for use during pregnancy due to insufficient research on its effects on developing foetuses. It is categorised under Pregnancy Category C, which means animal studies have shown adverse effects, but human studies are lacking. Animal research indicates risks like foetal death, birth defects, and growth issues with semaglutide (Ozempic’s active ingredient). Therefore, expectant parents should avoid it, as significant weight loss during pregnancy could harm both the pregnant mother and the baby, potentially leading to smaller than average babies.

Impact on Women Trying to Conceive

The direct effects of Ozempic on fertility are not clearly recorded, and it’s not specifically recommended for enhancing fertility results. However, its role in weight management can lead to both beneficial and detrimental effects:

Semaglutide-induced weight loss can affect the menstrual cycle
Semaglutide aids in quick weight loss, potentially causing various hormonal changes that might impact the menstrual cycle. For instance, drastic weight reduction can disturb the equilibrium of estrogen and progesterone, causing irregularities in the menstrual cycle such as alterations in the timing, length, and severity of periods. Moreover, significant weight loss or a very low body weight can lead to amenorrhea, or the cessation of menstruation, because of hormonal imbalances that inhibit ovulation.

Changes You Might see When Taking Ozempic: 

  • Variations in Menstrual Flow: causing some individuals to experience either more intense or lighter bleeding than what they’re accustomed to
  • Irregular Menstrual Cycles:  leading to changes in the cycle’s length or unpredictable start of periods
  • Skipped Periods:  A decrease in the frequency of menstrual periods or a complete stop
  • Additional Symptoms: Besides alterations in menstrual bleeding, symptoms such as pain during menstruation , swelling, or shifts in mood may occur, with these effects varying in how severe and how long they last.

Alternatives to Ozempic For Enhancing Fertility: 

I understand it might feel like you’ve tried it all when it comes to losing weight and trying to conceive. With so much dietary advice, complex exercise tips, and wellness suggestions out there, Ozempic could seem like a tempting choice for your weight loss and fertility journey. With the rise in health issues such as PCOS and metabolic syndrome, primarily caused by insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalances, it’s no wonder that medications like Ozempic are associated with increased pregnancy rates. However, this raises an important question: if blood sugar imbalances are a central issue, what steps can we take to manage this without resorting to Ozempic?

Tips for Keeping Your Blood Sugar Balanced and Managing Insulin Resistance

Balanced Meals
When your blood sugar is high, the pancreas releases insulin to help move sugar into your cells for energy. If your blood sugar is often unbalanced, your body may start to ignore insulin, leading to insulin resistance. This means your blood sugar stays high, which can cause inflammation leading to conditions including PCOS & Obesity. It’s crucial to eat a balanced diet with the three main food groups to keep your blood sugar stable.

  • Fats are necessary not just for feeling full but also for producing cholesterol and hormones. Good sources include fatty fish and meat, full-fat cream, coconut and olive oils, and butter like Kerry’s gold.
  • Low GI carbohydrates, such as kale, spinach, broccoli, bok choy, and salads like romaine lettuce, celery, and bell peppers, are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre.
  • Low GI carbohydrates,Proteins are vital for building amino acids, breaking down food, cell growth and repair and boosting immunity. Protein rich foods include meat, fish and full-fat dairy.
Nutrients

Deficiencies in any nutrient can stall your biochemical machinery, knocking your blood sugar levels out of balance which make you more insulin resistant. The following nutrients are particularly important in the prevention and treatment of diabetes and are all necessary for the control and balance of insulin and blood sugar

Minerals and vitamins

Zinc
Vital for insulin production and blood sugar regulation, is found in red meat, fish, nuts, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, and yoghurt

Vanadium
Helps drive sugar into cells and is present in olive oil, olives, parsley, and spinach. Chromium, crucial for carbohydrate metabolism, comes from pork, beef, brazil nuts, and broccoli

Magnesium
Important for insulin effectiveness, is abundant in beef broth, leafy greens, quinoa, and brazil nuts

Vitamin D
Is essential for insulin production, best obtained from sunshine and foods like grass-fed butter, egg yolks, cheese, organ meats, whole fish, and animal fats

Vitamin A
Opt for organic raw butter, coconut oil, milk, and whole organic yogurt. It’s vital for diabetics, with carotene sources including dark-green leafy vegetables and carrots. Dietary fat is necessary for Vitamin A absorption, crucial for preventing diabetes complications

Vitamin E
Found in butter, organ meats, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and dark green leafy vegetables, helps control oxidative stress in diabetics, improving insulin action

Copper
Is vital, with liver being the best source. Opt for grass-fed animal products

Biotin (Vitamin B7)
Enhances insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, found in eggs, legumes, meats, oily fish, chicken, and liver

Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA)
Play critical roles in every cell, improving insulin sensitivity, reducing inflammation, and lowering heart attack risk. They’re essential for brain function and development. Main sources include fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, tofu, navy beans, brussels sprouts, avocados, and omega-3-enriched eggs. Fish oil enhances nerve function, crucial in diabetes prevention. Aim for a balanced omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, ideally 1:1, to avoid inflammation. Moderate omega-6-rich foods, prevalent in vegetable oils and processed foods.

Antioxidants
Counteract inflammation caused by high blood sugar. Incorporate herbs and spices like coriander, black pepper, ginger, garlic, rosemary, and oregano for blood sugar regulation. Foods rich in antioxidants include bell peppers, turmeric, chili peppers, cayenne peppers, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, kidney beans, and dark chocolate. Support liver and adrenals with dandelion, milk thistle, turmeric, and nettle

Polyphenols
Improve insulin sensitivity and combat oxidative stress. Found in berries, plums, pomegranates, acai, artichoke, spinach, and chicory, they’re crucial for managing glycemia and type 2 diabetes

Avoid Low fat products and sweeteners
Using artificial sweeteners instead of sugar may seem like a good idea, but most are derived from petroleum and paraffin. Sweeteners produce chemicals within the body which interfere with metabolism. Similarly, to sugar, this contributes to diabetes, weight gain, and disruption of the gut microbiome. It has been suggested that sweeteners, like sugar, may increase our cravings for sweet foods, as they are neuroexcitatory. Artificial sweeteners to avoid – Aspartame, Acesulfame, Sucralose, Sugar alcohols such as maltitol and xylitol. It’s best to eat low-sugar fruit like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

Improve your sleep

Sleep quality and blood sugar control are tightly connected. Bad sleep can really mess with your blood sugar, starting a tough cycle. Not sleeping well regularly can push up your blood sugar, and if your blood sugar is all over the place, it’s likely going to make sleeping well harder. That’s because our bodies respond to not enough sleep by increasing blood sugar levels, making the issue worse.

The best blood sugar labs

If you think your blood sugar might be a bit off, here are the labs I usually recommend to check on blood sugar levels and look out for insulin resistance

Other Functional Tests

Gut test
Individuals who are overweight or face challenges with weight loss resistance—a sign of deeper metabolic issues—often exhibit reduced microbiome diversity. Gut microbes have a complex relationship with insulin resistance, as they can influence metabolism, gut hormone release, and immune function. Studies have shown that individuals with a higher abundance of certain gut microbial species which can be identified through a gut test, tend to have higher levels of insulin resistance. In addition, gut microbes produce metabolites that trigger the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines that can increase insulin resistance.

Comprehensive hormone testing
The Dutch Plus Test is the gold standard for hormone testing and can help identify why someone might not be losing weight. For instance, high cortisol levels can lead to increased fat storage, particularly around the abdominal area. Elevated estrogen can cause the body to store more fat, while low progesterone, which helps burn fat and reduce water weight, can result in weight gain. Testosterone imbalances can also influence muscle mass and metabolic rate. By analyzing these hormones, the Dutch Plus Test can pinpoint hormonal imbalances that may be hindering weight loss efforts.

Key Takeaways:
  • Ozempic, primarily used for diabetes management, is being considered by some as a weight loss aid to boost fertility.
  • There are concerns about using Ozempic during pregnancy due to insufficient research on its safety for pregnant women.
  • Possible side effects and risks involve changes to menstrual cycles, nutritional deficiencies, gastrointestinal problems, and uncertain effects on foetal development.
  • Alternative methods for weight loss and fertility improvement, such as lifestyle changes and diet, are suggested.

While Ozempic may seem like a quick fix for weight loss, especially for those trying to conceive, it’s crucial to understand the potential risks and side effects. The journey toward parenthood is complex and delicate, requiring careful consideration of all factors that might impact fertility and overall health. 

If you are considering weight loss strategies before pregnancy, dealing with hormone imbalances, or thinking about tests mentioned in this blog, book a free call for personalised advice and support. I would love to support you 

Read More

Supporting the Nervous System Through Grief When Trying to Conceive

I get how heartbreaking it can be to face difficulties in conceiving a child. It feels like your dreams and hopes have come crashing down, and dealing with all those emotions can be overwhelming. It’s not just about accepting that your body isn’t doing what you expected, but also about managing the intense emotional rollercoaster during this tough time.

It’s important to remember that the mind and body are deeply interconnected, especially when it comes to grief. Recognising this connection is vital because emotional pain can manifest physically and affect your overall well-being.

So, in this blog post, we’ll dive into how gentle self-care practices and targeted nutrients can help support your nervous system as you grieve and continue trying to conceive.

 

The Nervous System’s Role in Grief and Trauma

Let’s face it … stress is pretty much inevitable when you’re trying to conceive. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings. In times of grief and fertility struggles, the nervous system plays a crucial role in managing stress and emotional pain.

Our complex nervous system regulates our body’s response to stressors, influencing everything from hormones to neurotransmitter activity. Prolonged stress can trigger a cascade of physiological reactions that impact fertility and overall well-being. Recognising this connection allows us to understand the significance of addressing the nervous system as a key part of self-care.

By nurturing our nervous system, we can ease the physical and emotional toll of grief and trauma, creating a more supportive environment for both mind and body throughout the challenging path of conception. 

 

Gentle and Compassionate Self-Care Practices


When life gets overwhelming, the idea of self-care can feel like just another task on an already long to-do list. We often associate self-love and self-care with practices like meditation, humming, walking barefoot, and even ice baths. While these activities can have their benefits, there are more practical techniques that are often overlooked: 

Approach Fertility Communities Online with Care
If you’re facing fertility challenges, joining an online fertility community can be a great resource. It provides a space to share experiences, seek advice, and find a sense of community. However, it’s important to be mindful of how you use these platforms. Spending too much time scrolling through fertility forums, especially during vulnerable moments, can lead to heightened anxiety. Exposure to a variety of stories, outcomes, and opinions can make the emotional burden of fertility struggles even more overwhelming.

You can still reap the benefits of online participation without becoming overwhelmed. Consider setting boundaries for yourself when it comes to these forums and online searches. Allocate specific time slots, like 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening, to engage with online communities and gather information. This way, you can maintain a healthy balance.

Clear Your Mind With Decluttering
Tired of feeling overwhelmed and mentally cluttered? Taking some time to declutter your physical space will provide you with a breath of fresh air for your mind as well. But this isn’t just about tidying up – it’s a powerful way to enhance mental clarity and boost your emotional well-being. Imagine creating a harmonious environment where your thoughts can flow freely, away from the chaos of a cluttered space. It’s amazing how much this simple act can impact your mental state. You’ll feel more focused, less stressed, and emotionally centered.

Create a Tech-Free Haven
Have you ever considered how much technology affects your mental well-being? By implementing a few simple practices, you can create a tech-free sanctuary and regain control over your peace of mind. Try putting your phone on “do not disturb” and setting limits on social media apps after a certain time in the evening until the next morning. Trust me, it’s a game changer. Who needs a flood of emails and messages in the morning or evening anyway? I personally set my phone on silent from 6 in the evening until 9 the next morning. Even small adjustments can make a world of difference. 

 

Targeted Nutrients for Nervous System Support

People often underestimate the role nutrition plays in the grieving process, but it’s actually quite significant. The nutrients found in certain foods play a crucial role in regulating our nervous system, especially during the challenging times of grief and while navigating the journey of trying to conceive. From the calming effects of magnesium to the natural inflammation regulators found in omegas. The following powerhouses are just some of the nutrients that help us manage stress, enhance mood, and ultimately boost emotional resilience: 

Vitamin C
Vitamin C supports our adrenal glands in times of stress. It’s the unsung hero that ensures our adrenals remain steady, essential for orchestrating a reliable stress defense. Beyond this immediate role, Vitamin C plays an unexpected backstage function, contributing to the production of Norepinephrine—the “get up and do” molecule—in the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). In times of stress, our bodies burn through more Vitamin C, potentially leading to depletion. To counteract this, it’s crucial to up our Vitamin C intake during prolonged periods of stress.
Food sources: Acerola, broccoli, baobab powder, bell peppers, kiwis

Omega Fatty Acids
Omegas play a pivotal role in balancing moods and hormones, providing wonderful support to our nervous system. During periods of grief and stress, the body’s inflammatory response can become heightened, impacting both physical and emotional well-being. Omega-3 fatty acids step in as natural inflammation regulators, helping to create a balanced environment within the body. By influencing neurotransmitter activity and promoting the production of anti-inflammatory compounds, omega-3s contribute to a more resilient nervous system.
Food sources: Fish including mackerel, salmon, herring, cod liver oil

Magnesium
Magnesium is our calming companion, offering relaxation to the nervous system. Both mental and physical stress can accelerate the elimination of magnesium from the body, potentially impacting the efficiency of the stress response system. Magnesium serves not only as a stress-relief aid but also as a calming agent, contributing to a harmonious mood balance.
Food sources: Raw cacao, eggs, pumpkin seeds, spinach, quinoa, dark chocolate

B Vitamins
B vitamins are known as the energy supporters. They’re crucial for maintaining energy levels and the production of stress hormones. Vitamins B1, B6, and B12 help in the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. Incorporating B vitamin-rich foods into our diet ensures our nervous system has the resources to handle stress and keep our energy up.
Food Sources: meat, organ meats, clams, oysters, sardines, leafy greens.

Creating a Supportive Path Forward

While we can’t always control life’s stressors, we can take charge of how we nourish our bodies. It is vital to provide yourself with tender care during your fertility journey and the grief that may follow. The combination of self-care practices, targeted nutrients, and understanding the impact of stress on our bodies are essential elements for navigating challenging times.

Remember self care isn’t just about grand gestures; it’s often small, daily habits that make the biggest difference, it could be something as simple as spending 10 minutes doing some deep breathing or writing down thoughts and feelings in a journal. Give yourself kindness and compassion, trust your body’s ability to heal, and do what you can to support a calmer nervous system.

If you’re looking for guidance on discovering the power of self-care  while trying to conceive, feel free to reach out. Remember, taking care of yourself is key, and I’m here to help! 😊

Read More

DUTCH Hormone Test – Everything You Need to Know

A big topic of debate in my work with women’s health and hormones is hormone testing.

A lot of women are confused about when and how to test their hormones, and many doctors are too. It is very common for women to suffer from hormone imbalances that often remain undiagnosed and untreated.

But this is where The Dutch test comes in… It’s called the gold standard of hormone testing for a reason

What is the DUTCH test?

DUTCH stands for Dried Urine Test for Hormones. It’s an innovative hormone test that measures both female and male hormones. It looks at what your hormones are actually doing in your body by looking at their metabolites. Hormone metabolites provide insight into how well your body detoxifies hormones. This is especially important for those with a personal or family history of breast cancer or hormone-sensitive cancer. This test gives us way more insight than a one-time blood or saliva test ever could.

It’s also really easy to take! Over the course of 24 hours, you collect a urine sample on a test strip 4-5 times. The most convenient part is that you can do it from home, at work, or while travelling.

What hormones does it test?
  • The estrogens – estrone, estradiol, estriol. There are three main estrogens in the body, with estradiol being the most biologically active. If you have symptoms like irregular or painful cycles, mood swings, PMS these are valuable markers to assess

  • Estrogen Metabolites – These markers show how your body breaks down estrogen, either in a beneficial way or potentially harmful way.

  • Progesterone Metabolites – checking the estrogen and progesterone balance when looking at hormonal imbalance is vital. Healthy ovulation can be determined by this marker

  • DHEA-S – This hormone is a precursor to testosterone and estrogen. A high level might mean PCOS or inflammation in the body. A low level means we may need to check the adrenals.

  • Testosterone – Women need a certain amount of testosterone for energy, motivation, muscle maintenance, and a healthy sex drive.

  • Testosterone Metabolites – There are competing enzymes leading to different metabolites which we look at in relation to testosterone levels to help give us a full picture of how testosterone is functioning in your body.

  • Meatonin is a useful marker to check if you are having trouble falling/staying asleep or waking up early in the morning. Melatonin is also an antioxidant and helps your immune system and mood.

  • Free Cortisol – This is the form of cortisol that is active in your body. Knowing the diurnal pattern of cortisol along with the total output gives us a lot of information on how your body is dealing with stress – is it bouncing back or is it shutting down and not responding (think ‘adrenal fatigue’).

  • Free Cortisone & Cortisone Metabolites – The body converts cortisol into inactive cortisone and this important step can either be a helpful process or a sign that your body is trying to get you to slow down. This is looked at in relation to the free cortisol levels.

Additional Markers

  • Vitamin B6 & B12
  • Pyroglutamate (marker of glutathione deficiency)
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Neurotransmitter Metabolites
This test is for you if you’re
  • going through infertility

  • dealing with endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids

  • struggling with menstrual cycle issues: irregular cycles, PMS, painful periods, sore breasts, constipation or diarrhea associated with their cycles, long or short cycles, acne, migraines/headaches, insomnia, fatigue, etc.

  • on or have a history of taking birth control pills

  • under long-term stress – you may feel wired but tired or completely burnt out

  • on HRT

  • dealing with symptoms of menopause that are debilitating

  • having sleep issues

  • going through perimenopause

  • struggling with fatigue, memory impairment, anxiety, depression, or irritability may also experience weight loss or gain, abdominal pain, nausea, or diarrhea

  • losing hair, lost your libido .. the list goes on
A man …
  • with a family history or diagnosis of prostate or colon cancer

 

Through the information that this test provides along with the symptoms you are currently experiencing, we can really understand in detail what is going on with your body’s hormone balance. We will put a personalised nutrition and lifestyle plan together based on your unique results.

If you are ready to dig deeper into what could be causing your hormonal issues, whether it’s infertility, PCOS, menstrual cycle issues, endometriosis, pre/peri/menopause etc feel free to book a session with me 

Read More

Why the RDA Isn’t The Right Benchmark For Prenatal Nutrition

Let me tell you something about the RDA – it’s the bare minimum needed to avoid conditions such as rickets and scurvy, not the optimal amounts required for health. If you’re meeting the RDA, you’re unlikely to be thriving and that’s not a good thing when you’re looking to conceive. Using RDAs as your guideline can mean that you’re not meeting the body’s needs in for conception and beyond. 

We also need to think about how much we’re assimilating (absorbing). We don’t necessarily absorb and use everything we ingest, especially if the digestive system is compromised. This can mean that even supplements can be completely ineffective and a waste of money.

Doing a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) can tell us how you’re doing with nutrient assimilation and whether we need to support the body to improve it. 

Why Prenatal Nutrition Guidelines Aren’t Optimal

When you see “100% of RDA” (or similar) on prenatal supplements, it’s easy to assume that you’ll be getting everything you need when you’re trying to conceive or are already pregnant but this isn’t the case. 

The RDA isn’t actually related to the specific nutritional needs for conception or pregnancy.  In fact, they aren’t even calculated with women in mind! 

Current recommendations for prenatal nutrition needs is based on male bodies and adjusted slightly. 

They don’t take into account the many physiological differences between adult men and adult women, let alone a woman who is TTC. 

They also don’t factor in the increased requirement for certain nutrients due to stress, exposure to toxins, poor gut health, and other scenarios that can change your nutritional needs. 

This is why RDAs are guideline – recommendations, rather than set-in-stone rules. 

There’s another problem too. RDAs look at nutrients in isolation and don’t take into account nutrition as a whole. When we eat real food, it can contain a range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients, which is very different from getting nutrients from fortified foods or supplements. As a Nutritional Therapist, I look at nutrition as part of a bigger picture, including how nutrients interact with each other. 

I want to highlight a few vitamins and minerals that we can need more of in preparation for pregnancy. 

Magnesium – We can use a lot of magnesium, especially when we’re stressed, and this can mean that the RDA isn’t enough. When you’re TTC, this is bad news as magnesium is crucial for fertility. Of course, you can eat more magnesium-rich foods but it can still be hard to reach optimal levels. 

Vitamin D – Vitamin D is another crucial one for fertility – even more so given that vitamin D deficiency is very common. The RDA for fertility is 400 IU per day but studies have suggested that you may need much higher levels of vitamin D when you’re trying to get pregnant (and if you’re successful with this).

Choline – Choline deficiency is often a factor in neural tube defects so this is a nutrient you don’t want to be deficient in while you’re trying to conceive. 

We can get choline from meat (especially organ meats), fatty fish and eggs but it can be harder to get enough from diet alone in a vegetarian or vegan diet. Despite needing more choline in preparation for pregnancy, choline isn’t included in all prenatal supplements. 

Is Your Prenatal Nutrition Supporting Conception?

Nutrition is such a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to fertility and it’s crucial to make sure that your day-to-day nutrition is supporting key systems in the body and contributing to a “safe” environment for conception. 

If you’re concerned that your nutrition isn’t supporting your preconception health and pregnancy, I’d love to help you change that. With a HTMA, we can look at nutrient status and see if we need to work on nutrient assimilation too. 

You can book a free discovery call with me to get started. 

Read More

When an IVF Cycle Isn’t successful

No matter how many times you’ve been through an IVF cycle, knowing it has failed is devastating. So often, we tell ourselves that the cycle will work, and we get ready for a positive outcome when we test.

But if it doesn’t work, where do you turn and what do you do next? If you’ve pinned all your hopes on IVF, it can feel as though every door is now closed to you.

I’ve experienced failed IVF cycles on my fertility journey and unfortunately, it happens to some of my clients too. There’s so much information out there about why IVF may fail but far less about how to cope if it happens to you. That’s why I wanted to write this blog to provide that support if you need it.

Recovering physically, mentally and emotionally is so important after a failed IVF cycle so that your body can feel safe enough to continue your fertility journey (if this is what you choose to do).

 

Why Does IVF Fail and Why You’re Not To Blame

After a failed IVF cycle, it’s only natural to seek answers about what happened to help us cope with the loss. You may wonder if there is something you can do differently in the future or if you were somehow to blame.

IVF cycles can fail for many different reasons and I want you to know that it’s NOT your fault. You did nothing wrong so there’s no sense in giving yourself a hard time about what you could have done differently.

After the embryo transfer, the implantation is almost completely out of your hands. Some couples are successful on their first IVF cycle but it can take multiple cycles to get pregnant. Having a failed IVF cycle doesn’t mean that you’ll never be successful. It just means it didn’t happen this time.

But because there’s so little you can do to influence implementation, it’s important to show yourself love and support after a negative test result.

 

The Emotional Impact When IVF Doesn’t Work

IVF can be such a rollercoaster. The hope and excitement can quickly come crashing down if you get a negative test result and the feelings of despair, grief and hopelessness can become all-consuming,

The emotional toll is often the hardest thing to bear when IVF doesn’t work. Even though you may have spent thousands of pounds to get to this point, the grief you’re experiencing is far worse than the financial implications. It can affect every aspect of your life, including your relationship with your partner.

If the people around you have never personally experienced a failed IVF cycle (or IVF, full stop), it’s hard for them to fully understand why your sense of loss and grief is so all-consuming. You had such big hopes and dreams for that tiny embryo and having to let go of that is painful.

It’s okay to stay away from things that may trigger an even stronger sense of grief. You’ll quickly work out what kind of things are going to act as triggers for you personally and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with putting yourself first and doing what you need to do to work through your grief. Sometimes, this will extend to people, especially if they don’t understand what you’re going through and are mentally draining.

 

The Physical Impact

Your body has gone through a lot physically during and in the run-up to IVF treatment. There’s the physical impact after the fertility medications and the adjustment as your body resets.

Your body needs an opportunity to recover. On a similar note, it’s easy to blame your body for “letting you down” but what we really want to do is nurture it and show it love. This is the perfect time to nourish your mind and body with nutritious food and look after yourself physically and emotionally. Take the time to recharge and heal.

 

What To Do Next After Failed IVF

Some of the other steps you can take to help you to recover physically and emotionally after failed IVF include:

Nurture yourself

Go easy on yourself and give yourself time to pause and grieve. You’ve been through so much, both physically and emotionally. Trying to fight this can make it much harder to recover.

 

Don’t be afraid to keep your cards close to your chest

You don’t need to tell people when you’re going to be doing a test and it’s okay to keep these types of details to yourself. The people around you may mean well when they’re asking how you’ve got on but it can tip you over the edge after a negative test result. Even if you have told people you’ll be testing, you don’t necessarily need to tell them the result straight away. You get to decide what to tell people and when.

 

Consider your options

There may be other options that you can explore to increase your chances of success and this is a conversation you can have with medical professionals when the time is right.

In the meantime, sit down with your partner and talk about your next steps. Do you have the financial means to think about another IVF cycle anytime soon? Do you feel physically and emotionally prepared to try again or do you want to take a break and give your mind and body a chance to recover? It’s always tempting to jump straight into another IVF cycle to try to cope with your grief but it’s not always the right decision for you as a couple.

If you haven’t already spent a few months prior to IVF on pre-conception support, this is something to think about too. There’s a lot we can do to optimise your health and help your body to feel safe enough to conceive and sometimes, this is the difference between a successful IVF cycle and a failed one. We can look to improve egg and sperm quality through nutrition and lifestyle so that this is less of a factor in the future, for example.

 

Give Yourself Time and Space To Grieve and Heal

Even if you plan to continue with your fertility journey sooner rather than later, give yourself the opportunity to grieve first. And if you feel you need to shut yourself away from the world for a while, that’s okay. Do what you have to do to get through the loss and grief, and when you’re ready, you can think about what you want to do next.

Read More

Should IVF Be Your First Option?

While IVF was originally created to help with structural issues affecting conception,  it’s becoming more common to start IVF after trying to get pregnant for a long time, even if there are no structural issues identified. 

When you’ve been doing everything you can to conceive and nothing is working, IVF can feel like your best chance of success. 

As much as it can feel that IVF is your first and only option for conceiving, this isn’t always true. Infertility can feel like a hopeless battle and for some people, IVF IS the best chance of success. This is why I hate the anti-IVF talk that can steer some women away from IVF when it may genuinely be the right path for them. 

Having been through IVF myself and finally getting pregnant after unsuccessful cycles prior to conceiving, I know what a huge decision it is. 

Whether you choose to have IVF or not, there is so much we can do to optimise health and fertility. I worked hard on nourishing my body prior to starting IVF and I truly believe it made all the difference. 

I’m not alone in this either. In many cases, “unexplained” infertility can be linked to imbalances in the body. Once these are addressed, the potential for successful conception is much higher. I’ve seen it first-hand with many of my clients and you’ll find out why it works later in the blog. 

Questions To Ask Before Starting IVF

Before you decide whether to start IVF, it’s important to know if your fertility has a definite cause and to feel empowered about the other options that may be available to you. 

I recommend asking these types of questions: 

Will you fully investigate us and see if a cause can be found for our infertility that might avoid complicated treatment such as IVF?

Based on your investigations, will you advise on whether waiting longer has a better chance of working?

What options are open to us other than IVF and what can we do to avoid treatment or maximise our chances of success?

If we go ahead with IVF, what are our chances of success based on my specific fertility situation? (Bear in mind that while fertility clinics will offer their IVF success rates and you can look at league tables published by the HEFA, this may mean very little to you personally so I always recommend digging deeper into your chances of success when considering IVF in case it’s lower than “average”. 

How much will it cost us if we start IVF? (Assuming your treatment won’t be funded on the NHS)

And one to ask yourself – are you emotionally ready for the prospect of starting IVF and the highs and lows it can bring?


When To Start IVF

“Should I have IVF?” is a common question. If there are no structural issues behind your infertility, this is going to be a very personal choice. 

It’s a huge decision and can be expensive, time-consuming and draining (both physically and emotionally). 

You may choose to start IVF after weighing everything up but it doesn’t have to be your only option. 

Optimizing Your Health and Fertility

Whether you choose to start IVF or not, optimising your health and fertility is a great move. 

Many of my clients have been told that natural conception will never be possible, only to find that changing their nutrition and lifestyle makes a huge difference to their fertility. 

Even small changes can help to take control of your health and increase your chances of successful conception, whether that’s natural conception or through assisted conception. 

This is because we’re getting to the root cause(s) of what may be affecting your fertility (which is often highly unique to you) and getting the body back into balance. 

If any systems in the body aren’t working as well as they should, it can affect fertility. And once they’re supported to work effectively, a lot can change. 

We can also see if nutritional deficiencies and imbalances, microbiome imbalances, metal toxicity, and overall toxic load are impacting fertility. 

There are lots of factors that can affect fertility and many of them won’t show up on standard tests, leaving you very much in the dark about why you’re finding it so difficult to get pregnant. But when we add in functional testing, it can highlight issues that we can resolve through nutrition and lifestyle changes and naturopathy. 

It’s possible to fall pregnant naturally before IVF even starts as conception can be more likely once the body’s systems are in balance and working in harmony. 

Even “unexplained” infertility can potentially resolve once you focus on supporting your body to have the best chance of conception. When we can fix the health imbalances that are affecting how you feel day-to-day, conception can happen as a side effect of correcting it. 

And if you do choose to start IVF, preparing your body increases the chances of success. Nutrition and lifestyle changes can also help you to have a healthier pregnancy. 

I would love to help you to do this, whether you’re starting on IVF or looking to conceive naturally. Either way, we can transform your health and it may help you conceive too!

You can book a free discovery call with me to start laying the groundwork for successful conception. 

And if you choose IVF, please don’t feel any judgement! This is your fertility journey and you can choose the direction it takes. 

 

Read More

Why a Vegetarian Diet Isn’t Great For Fertility

Did you know that a vegetarian diet can mean that you miss out on key nutrients that can boost fertility? These same nutrients can also support a healthy pregnancy and nourish you and your baby before and after birth. 

These nutrients aren’t always included in prenatal supplements so it’s not necessarily a case of filling the gaps through supplementation. 

Here’s why a vegetarian diet and fertility may not go hand in hand. 

The Nutrients You May Be Missing Out On

What’s the connection between a vegetarian diet and fertility? The main concern is that you can miss out on these nutrients: 

Vitamin B12

A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to high homocysteine levels, which can impact fertility. Most notably it can make it harder for fertilised embryos to implant and increases the risk of miscarriage

You need more vitamin B12 during pregnancy and a deficiency can be dangerous, not least because it’s a crucial nutrient for avoiding neural tube defects. If you’re B12 deficient during pregnancy, it often means that your baby will be deficient too. 

It’s easy to become deficient in vitamin B12 if you aren’t getting enough of it through diets or supplements – even more so if you’re vegetarian. Plant foods don’t contain vitamin B12, which is one reason why an average of 62% of vegetarian mothers-to-be are deficient. It’s much rarer for pregnant women who eat meat to have a B12 deficiency. 

Choline

Research indicates that choline is absolutely vital for fertility, especially egg health and supporting fertilisation and implantation. If you have PCOS, choline can help to balance blood sugar levels and boost your fertility. 

During pregnancy, it’s essential for brain development and protecting against the risk of neural tube defects. Choline stores can be heavily depleted during pregnancy (and if you breastfeed) as baby needs a lot of it for their development. 

Keeping your choline levels at a healthy level while you’re trying to conceive is vital for ensuring that both you and your baby have enough choline if you become pregnant. 

Because it’s a nutrient that’s largely found in animal products, it can be very lacking in a vegetarian diet. Liver and eggs are great sources, for example. 

Vitamin A

Vitamin is available in two forms: retinol and carotenoids. Retinol is the active form that is ready for the body to use and it’s only found in animal foods. Plant foods can be good sources of carotenoids but they need to be converted into retinol before the body can use them. 

Vitamin A is essential for fertility. It can encourage cervical mucus to provide a receptive environment for fertilisation and helps the follicles to mature and function in the right way. Low vitamin A levels can therefore affect how easy it is for an egg to become fertilised. 

It’s important for male fertility too. As a powerful antioxidant, it helps to protect sperm from the damaging effects of free radicals and it can improve the quality and motility of sperm. 

During pregnancy, vitamin A is crucial for foetal growth and development. 

Iron

If you have low iron levels, you’re more likely to experience ovulation issues. It also affects the production of red blood cells and decreases oxygen flow to the body’s tissues – including the ovaries and uterus. This can impact egg quality too. 

During pregnancy, the amount of blood in the body increases and you need more iron. If your iron intake isn’t high enough, the effect on oxygen flow can impact the baby’s development and increase the risk of miscarriage and early labour.

Zinc

Zinc is linked to cell growth and supports follicles to mature. During pregnancy, the body needs a lot of zinc due to the significant amount of cell growth that’s taking place. A zinc deficiency can be a factor in low birth weight. 

DHA

When it comes to fertility, DHA is a nutrient you can’t ignore. Studies have shown that women who consume plenty of DHA are more likely to conceive, especially as they get older. For women undergoing IVF treatment, higher levels of DHA resulted in higher rates of conception. 

DHA has been linked to improved sperm quality and motility.

DHA is involved in every cell in the body and during pregnancy, it supports healthy brain, heart and eye development. Research has also suggested that a healthy intake of DHA can reduce the risk of early labour. 

It’s not just helpful for baby – 2020 research has shown that DHA can be important for reducing the risk of depression in late pregnancy and the early postpartum period. 

If you’re a vegetarian and planning on taking a prenatal supplement, you may want to check if it contains DHA!

Glycine 

During pregnancy, glycine helps to build skin, nails, teeth, hair, skeleton and internal organs. While you’re busy growing a new person from scratch, glycine is an essential nutrient because of its role in building connective tissue. 

Glycine is found in abundance in poultry (especially with the skin on) and bone broth but it’s much harder to come by if you’re vegetarian. Studies have indicated that vegetarians who are not pregnant often have a glycine deficiency and this is important given that you need much more glycine during pregnancy. 

Worried that a vegetarian diet isn’t supporting fertility and increasing your chance of success?

If you would like to make sure that your nutrition is giving you the best chance of conception and can support a healthy pregnancy, you can book a discovery call with me

Read More

Why Age Isn’t Everything When It Comes to Fertility

When you’re trying to conceive, egg quality is a huge concern. If your eggs are low quality, it’s a lot harder to conceive and have a viable pregnancy.

We’re often led to believe that age is the deciding factor in determining egg quality but this is a huge myth.

Age has a role to play but it’s not everything. Although fertility does decline with age, it’s not the case that fertility falls off a cliff once you’re 35. You actually have more control than you may think.

Egg health CAN be improved through nutrition and lifestyle interventions, which can boost your fertility naturally – even after 35. An egg can be healthier three months down the line, even though you’re technically three months older. 

Why three months? Because an egg has a life cycle of 90 days. If you’re able to conceive, the egg that was successfully implanted will have taken three months to mature. 

This is the window of opportunity to positively impact egg health. In the 90 days prior to an egg maturing, it can be influenced by various factors (some good, some bad). 

How to Support Your Fertility As You Get Older 

Age is far from the only factor that can affect egg quality. Your nutrition and lifestyle have a big role to play too. 

Balance Your Hormones 

Hormone imbalance is one of the biggest culprits of poor egg health. When your hormones are out of whack. It can affect your cycle and throw ovulation off track. Nutrition and lifestyle can offer a natural approach to balancing hormones and increasing your chances of conception. 

Eat A Nutritious Diet

Eating nutrient-dense foods that support good health is a must for improving egg health. If you currently have nutrient deficiencies, there’s a good chance that this is one of the pieces of the puzzle that can be addressed. Beyond this, we also want to make sure that your nutrition is supporting balanced blood sugar and gut health – both of which can affect your fertility too. This is where a qualified professional like myself can help you to fill in gaps in your nutrition and optimise your diet to support fertility. 

Support Your Mitochondria

Mitochondria is crucial for all cells, and eggs are no exception. It’s a vital source of energy for healthy eggs and also maintains intracellular pH, which can support the fertilisation of an egg. 

Because mitochondrial function tends to decrease with age, this is one of the reasons why so many people assume that fertility is purely age-related. 

Mitochondrial function can be supported through nutrition and in some cases, appropriate supplementation. 

Improve Gut Health

Supporting your gut health is often overlooked when it comes to fertility but there’s a strong link between your gut bacteria and your fertility. The microorganisms that live in the gut love prebiotic fibre, which produces short-chain fatty acids as it breaks down. Butyrate is one of the most significant of these as it can protect against damage to egg (and sperm) quality. 

Improve Blood Flow

A good supply of oxygen to the ovaries is essential for egg health. To maintain healthy blood flow to the ovaries, it’s important to stay well hydrated and exercise regularly. Fertility massage is another way to boost blood flow to the reproductive system as a whole. 

Reduce Your Exposure to Toxins

Exposure to toxins is a huge culprit for low-quality eggs. Toxins are lurking everywhere – from your beauty products to medications and scented candles. The more you’re exposed to toxins, the greater the burden on your liver. Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and trans fats also increase your toxic load. 

Reduce Stress

Stress isn’t something we can necessarily avoid and that can impact fertility, particularly egg health. Reducing your stress is one of the best things you can do to improve egg health, especially if you’re currently not ovulating regularly. 

I hope this blog post gives you hope that you can still boost your fertility even if you’re over the age of 35. There’s still so much that we can do to optimise egg health and improve your chances of success. This includes looking at what may be affecting egg health and using a natural approach to addressing them. 

If you’d like to chat about how I can support your fertility journey, you can contact me here

Read More

What the Hair Tissue Mineral Test Can Tell You About Your Fertility

How Does An HTMA Work?

An HTMA is an incredibly simple test. 

It looks at your biochemistry at cellular level and can pick up on deficiencies, imbalances and toxicity. It tests 20 key minerals and toxic metals and can also highlight your metabolism, how your hormones are working, blood sugar, digestion and much more.

Because hair is a soft tissue, it can act as a window into what’s going on. Minerals show up in higher amounts in the hair compared to the blood. 

Only a small amount of minerals are located in the blood and these are normalised as much as possible by the body so they’re not a useful barometer of mineral levels. 

It’s not a diagnostic test but it can tell us so much about what’s going on in the body and crucially, what’s been happening for the last few months. 

Blood and urine only give a “snapshot” of a certain moment in time. The results could be very different if you did another blood test or urine sample at a different time of day. 

What HTMA Can Look At

An HTMA can’t diagnose conditions but it can highlight imbalances and suggest that certain conditions may be present. 

It’s not an individual mineral status that matters the most. What we’re really concerned about is the ratios or the balance between different minerals, which can’t easily be picked up on. 

We want to see the bigger picture and how this may be affecting your health and in turn, your fertility.

Toxic metal status

If heavy metals have been able to build up in your body, they can affect fertility and may contribute to recurrent miscarriages. You may have no obvious symptoms and we’ll only make the link through an HTMA. 

Whether your thyroid is struggling 

A sluggish thyroid can make it much harder to conceive and to carry a baby to full-term if you do become pregnant. Low levels of thyroid hormone can interfere with ovulation and increase the chances of miscarriage and implantation failure. 

It’s definitely possible to have problems with your thyroid with absolutely no symptoms at all so you may have no idea that your thyroid is struggling until we do an HTMA. For many women, thyroid issues are one of the missing pieces of the puzzle for fertility. 

To get a clinical diagnosis of a thyroid problem, you need to have blood results that indicate disease. But many people have a thyroid that is sluggish and prompting symptoms but isn’t clinically underactive. 

Your blood results will always come back as “normal”, yet your thyroid isn’t functioning as well as it should and needs support. 

Some of the indications that can come up in HTMA:

Calcium/Potassium ratio – Both of these minerals help regulate thyroid activity and an imbalance between them can indicate that thyroid hormone isn’t getting into your cells as efficiently as it could do.

Potassium is absolutely crucial for this but if you have an excess of calcium, it will hinder this. As well as nutrition, this ratio can be affected by stress and metal toxicity. 

Sodium/Potassium ratio – Both of these minerals help to move thyroid hormones into and out of cells so that they can be absorbed and do their job. An imbalance between these two minerals often indicates that you’re under a lot of stress. 

If an HTMA indicates thyroid problems, it’s definitely worth getting Thyroid Antibody Tests done to see if autoimmunity is contributing.  

How your adrenals are functioning

If your adrenals are struggling, the effects can be wide-ranging. 

Your thyroid also depends on your adrenals. If your adrenals are struggling, your thyroid will often try to compensate and will become even more sluggish. Working on adrenal health can have positive effects on your thyroid too. 

Your adrenals can also have an impact on your sex hormones too, especially progesterone. The adrenals can begin to work even harder, which creates a vicious cycle. 

Sodium/Magnesium ratio – Both of these minerals are directly linked to adrenal function and imbalances can suggest that your adrenals are under pressure. This can at least partly help to explain symptoms such as anxiety and cravings for sweet or salty foods. 

An HTMA can pick up on things like: 

How your sex hormones are working

If your body is under chronic stress, progesterone can be “stolen” and hormones become unbalanced. 

Cortisol is prioritised over progesterone to deal with the “danger” from the “threats” you’re facing. Progesterone steal can also go hand-in-hand with estrogen dominance. 

Zinc-copper ratio – Zinc is heavily linked to your sex hormones – both progesterone for women and testosterone for men), while copper plays a role with oestrogen. 

How your digestion is coping 

If your digestion is less than optimal, your body can prioritise that over “non-essential” functions such as reproduction. 

Making sure that your digestive system is working efficiently is a crucial part of boosting your fertility. 

This involves a good balance of bacteria in the gut, efficient elimination, adequate levels of stomach acid, no leaky gut, no nutrient deficiencies and being in a “rest and digest” state when eating. 

Your digestion can also affect hormone balance. Studies have shown that imbalances in the gut have the potential to increase oestrogen levels. This can be a factor in endometriosis, a condition in which endometrial cells can develop elsewhere in the body and react in much the same way as endometrial cells in the womb. 

Once we have a much better idea about what’s happening at the  cellular level,  I can create a personalised nutrition and lifestyle plan to help you get back into balance and boost your fertility. 

Client Case Study

One of the best ways to explain this to you is by showing you a case study of a recent client. 

My client was a female with unexplained infertility who had already been unsuccessful with several IVF cycles. 

Her thyroid blood results came back as “normal” but when I looked at her HTMA, it was clear that it was far from optimal. As you can see below, her results were underneath the lower optional range for thyroid hormones. And her mineral ratios were telling too. The ideal thyroid ratio (calcium/potassium) is around 4 and hers was 114!

 

So as you can see, an HTMA can go a lot further than standard testing in highlighting imbalances and giving us a much better idea of why you’re struggling to conceive. In many cases, we can tweak your nutrition and lifestyle to get on top of these imbalances and give you the best chance of rewriting your fertility story. 

If you’d like to dig deeper into what may be affecting your fertility, let’s chat

 

Read More

Why It’s So Important To Prepare For Conception

Why Preconception Health Matters

The months before you start trying for a baby are crucial. This is the optimal time to prepare your body for getting pregnant. It can improve egg and sperm quality 

Whether you’re trying to conceive naturally or are embarking on IVF treatment, preparing for conception can make a big difference to your chances of success. A natural and healthy approach to your nutrition and lifestyle can help both partners to be in the best shape for conception. 

It’s backed up by research too. The findings from the Foresight preconception programme shows just how important preconception health is. 

As part of the programme, different aspects of wellbeing were assessed for both couples. This includes in depth health questionnaires, nutrient status, semen analysis and testing for infections and toxins that could affect fertility. Over half of the couples had a history of reproductive problems but despite this, 89% of the women were able to conceive and enjoy a healthy pregnancy. 

Nutrition and Lifestyle

Your nutrition can affect hormone balance, egg and sperm quality and a host of other aspects of fertility. 

A diet rich in good fats, whole grains, vegetables and fish has been linked to improved fertility while the Mediterranean diet has also been shown to improve conception chances, especially in women undergoing IVF treatment.

But it’s not quite as simple as following a certain way of eating. The combination of nutrients that is right for you can be very unique, especially if you have any nutrient deficiencies that may be impacting your fertility.

This is why it can be so beneficial to work with a qualified professional on preconception nutrition. We can uncover imbalances that may be contributing to your fertility problems rather than just guessing what you should be eating.

Your gut health is another area to look at. If your gut health isn’t great, it can increase inflammation and encourage an imbalance of “bad” bacteria (dysbiosis). It may not seem like an obvious problem for fertility but there can be a strong link between dysbiosis and infertility. Optimising your gut health is one of the best things you can do when you’re in the preconception window. 

The vagina has its own microbiome too and it needs to be balanced to encourage implantation. If you get frequent thrush or UTI infections, it can be a sign that your vaginal microbiome isn’t supporting conception as much as it could. Just like gut health, this is something we can address through nutrition and lifestyle. 

Lifestyle and Fertility

Getting yourself in the best shape to conceive is only partly about nutrition. Lifestyle is also an important part of the puzzle.

Your stress levels, physical activity, weight, whether you drink alcohol, your exposure to toxins and sleep patterns are just a few of the lifestyle factors that can affect your fertility. 

You may have no idea that certain lifestyle habits can make it harder to conceive, and this is another area where you can benefit from working with a qualified professional. Together, we can make sure that your lifestyle is supporting conception rather than hindering it. 

Are you ready to make sure your nutrition and lifestyle is giving you the best chance of becoming pregnant

If you want to nourish and care for your body before you look to conceive, I would love to help you make your dreams a reality. You can book a call to take the first step towards boosting your fertility naturally.

Read More