Fertility

Nurturing Yourself for Fertility and Beyond

Eloise Edington  |  25 Feb 2021


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On Fertility Help Hub’s blog today, we hear from Fertility Specialist Dietitian, Komal Deepak Kumar MSc, RD. She runs a freelance clinic at UK Fertility Nutrition. Komal aims to help streamline preconception and fertility care and facilitate timely evidence based food plans for patients with infertility. In this article, she will be answering common questions on nutrition for fertility and trying to conceive.

Words by Komal

www.ukfertilitynutrition.com

Whilst we saw many intended parents frustrated about their wait for fertility treatments since last year, one can’t help but notice the emergence of many being proactive and optimising their health, thereby making the most of the IVF wait. I strongly believe good nutrition is important to help improve chances for conception / IVF success and ensure good health for the child and parents for many years to come. However, I base my beliefs on sound research and clinical outcomes at my practice. Therefore, in this fertility blog, I will be including some of the answers to commonly asked during my client consultations.

Related Article – IVF Diet: How to Lose Weight for Optimal BMI for IVF Treatment

How Effective is Nutrition Prior to Fertility Treatments?

Studies have suggested that good nutrition at preconception helps maximise your chances of getting pregnant by the following:

  • Helping regulate ovulatory cycles

  • Improving the health of eggs

  • Improving implantation success

  • Improving success rates of assisted reproductive treatments

  • Reducing baby loss

  • Reducing pregnancy related risk factors for both mum and baby

  • Improving health of newborns

  • Reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases as a by-product of lifestyle modifications

Related Article – Folate vs. Folic Acid When Trying to Conceive

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How Important is Early Life Nutrition?

Research evidence has demonstrated that from the time a couple are trying to conceive, through to pregnancy, and the first two years of the child’s development, diet and nutrition have a strong impact, particularly on the child’s genetics and influence their health throughout their life. This concept is called Epigenetic Programming. This way you can influence reduction in incidence of chronic ailments such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease in your child’s adulthood, improve their IQ, reduce chances of developing food allergies whilst establishing good family eating habits, and getting geared up for the next stage of your life. So it’s pretty much a win-win investment!

How Early Do We Start?

The sperm and egg take around three to four months to develop, so their quality influences the outcomes of conception/ IVF success. Hence, to ensure the first cells of your child are nourished in the right environment, you need to start at least three to four months prior. If you require to lose /gain a considerable amount of weight prior to conception, or need to optimis
e any pre-existing health condition, then it might take longer.

Related Article – Gut Health: Why is the Mediterranean Diet So Good For Fertility?

What is a Starting Point of Nutrition at Preconception?

  1. Stay away from fads about nutrition for fertility – these encourage you to follow restrictive dietary patterns which might lead to deficiencies of some important nutrients.

  2. Follow a balanced diet this includes whole foods, fruits and vegetables, a mix of vegetarian and animal protein, dairy products and healthy fats from fish, nuts, and seeds.

  3. For Women – start 400 mcg Folic acid to be started three months (if possible) prior to trying to conceive or as soon as you are able, up to the 12th week of pregnancy.

  4. Try to get an individual assessment by a Fertility Specialist Dietitian: this will help identify gaps and address them with suitable foods and/or supplements.

  5. Stay away from self-prescribing over-the-counter fertility supplements – this might unnecessarily increase your bills and might also lead to toxicity of certain nutrients.

Related Article – Smoothies to Increase Fertility: Our Top Picks

*Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be regulated by law and have an ethical code of conduct similar to doctors. This means that you, as patients/clients, are protected and can be assured that you will get the latest, credible, evidence-based information.

For a discount on all UK Fertility Nutrition services until May 2021, click below and enter FHH code ‘NUTRITION 2021’

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