Our onsite Life Wellness Center also offers nutritional advice as research suggests that healthy eating for both the female and male partners can greatly assist conception.
Many studies have linked weight to fertility. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is within normal range we encourage you to keep a healthy diet. Many studies have also linked a healthy and within normal range BMI weight to a successful IVF outcome.
Being overweight increases risk of complications during pregnancy, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and the formation of blood clots. Women who are overweight tend to have larger babies, more difficult deliveries, and are more likely to require a cesarean section. Cesarean sections performed on overweight women are associated with a higher incidence of anesthetic and surgical complications that could jeopardize the health of the mother and baby.
If underweight, it is believed that menstrual function requires a level of at least 22 percent body fat for normal menses to occur. Eating disorders and extreme exercise often result in an abnormally low BMI, and can contribute to metabolic and menstrual disorders, all of which are problematic for those trying to get pregnant. Research has shown that more than half of women, who are underweight and then gain an average of 6 to 8 lbs, spontaneously conceive.
Nutrition can influence the achievement and maintenance of a pregnancy. Eating the right nutrients can improve overall egg quality and address any other underlying health issues that can contribute towards infertility such as PCOS, fibroids and endometriosis. For the male partner eating correctly for as little as 3 months can greatly improve sperm quality, quantity and motility.
Studies also suggest that by eating the right foods when pregnant can have significant benefits to your unborn child and affect your baby’s long-term health.
Both male & female partners should eat the recommended 5 a day of either fruit or vegetables to protect cells and improve fertility.
Vitamin C improves ovulation and improves sperm count; this can be found in large quantities in all citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, peppers and strawberries.
Zinc can increase sperm count and can be found in eggs, nuts, oily fish, seafood, lamb, apricots, whole grains.
Selenium, L-arginine and L-carnitine will improve sperm quality, quantity and motility and can be found in garlic, broccoli, whole wheat, carrots, eggs, meat, tuna and herring.
To improve sperm production and to regulate hormones you should eat plenty of Omega 3 fats, which can be found in eggs, oily fish, and nuts or seeds. These also help to prevent blood clotting, which can happen to women who suffer with recurrent miscarriage.
Another good source of nutrients is whole grain as this contains B vitamins that also improve fertility. B vitamins include zinc, which helps the fetus to develop. Whole grains can be found in brown rice, wholegrain bread, kidney beans, lentils, whole grain pasta and oats. Wholegrain also contain Vitamin E, which is helpful for women who are producing a low number of eggs.
You should also try to drink at least a litre of water every day to help these nutrients around your body.
Protein rich foods such as fish and vegetables are good slow release foods that promote a good night’s sleep allowing your body to regenerate. In addition to a well-balanced diet, caloric intake should be limited to maintain a normal body weight. Foods with high content of fats and oils should be consumed at a minimum.