Today on Fertility Help Hub’s blog we hear from Proceive about the relevance and importance of nutrients and fertility supplements when trying to conceive and for optimal egg and sperm health. They also provide us with an amazing nutrients checklist.
Developed by nutritional fertility specialists to support the body, Proceive provides functional, comprehensive and evidence-based fertility supplements for men and women, pre-conception, and also for women throughout pregnancy. They are generously offering our readers 15% off their fertility supplements range for a limited period. Read on for the code and to benefit.
www.proceive.com | @proceive
We all know the stats about fertility – we are inundated with information about the struggle many of us have when trying to conceive. But, we are all different and, no matter what your age is, by taking a holistic approach to fertility there are a number of things you can do to support your chances and success (whether via IVF or naturally). One of these is looking at the role nutrients play in both male and female fertility (sperm and egg health).
Nutrients (found in food and fertility supplements) play a vital role in creating and maintaining healthy eggs and sperm, that will go on to conceive and develop a healthy baby. However, the growing demands of a modern lifestyle are having a significant impact on our nutritional health and fertility. Stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, dieting and poor nutrition all impact the body’s ability actually to absorb the nutrition needed to optimise reproductive health. Improving nutrition and lifestyle for as little as three months before trying to conceive can make a noticeable difference to both partners. Both the male and female reproductive systems need adequate nutritional support to contribute to sperm and egg health / quality.
When preparing for conception, nutrients are vital for optimising egg health and for establishing optimum conditions for conception and implantation. Nutrients (supported via fertility supplements) play an important role in the development of the egg, womb and hormonal system. Each month, the reproductive and hormonal cycle develop an egg cell and prepare the womb (lining), and a range of other processes need to happen to create the right fertile balance. Without these nutrients, this delicate balance can be disrupted.
What’s more, although we are born with a set amount of eggs, by nourishing your body, you can impact the quality and health of your eggs. The female egg takes approximately 90 days to mature before ovulation and egg quality can be enhanced if it’s released into a healthy, nutritious environment. Equally, egg quality can be negatively affected if bathed in a body that’s exposed to excess alcohol, smoking, chemicals from fat cells, poor diet and stress.
Don’t forget that nutrients are important for a baby’s development also. Your approach to nutrition in the pre-conception phase will impact the long-term health and development of any child that you conceive (naturally or via IVF / fertility treatment). So now is the time to focus on meal planning, selecting the right pre-conception fertility supplements / vitamins, and ensuring that you eat a diverse array of good quality proteins and healthy fats.
Related Article – IVF Diet: How to Lose Weight for Optimal BMI for IVF Treatment
For men, general health, weight, age and nutritional status can all have an influence on both sperm health and quantity. After the age of forty, the quality of a man’s sperm begins to decline. Older men who are trying to conceive may experience low sperm count, poor mobility, poor motility and damage to the DNA (known as sperm DNA fragmentation). It is therefore vital to understand the importance of good quality sperm for a healthy conception and pregnancy.
Men must produce between 40 and 300 million sperm cells to be fertile. This is an intensive process and the energy involved in creating these cells is significant. Optimising the environment and developing good quality sperm cells are key factors when trying to conceive. A deficiency in any nutrient may have an impact on male fertility. The good news – as new sperm is created every 74 days (approximately) – positive dietary changes and fertility supplements can improve sperm quality and quantity in as little as three months.
Checklist – Fertility Supplements / Vitamins
While trying to conceive, you and your partner should aim to improve your lifestyle and diet as much as possible, by eating a wide range of balanced, healthy foods. This will help get you on your way.
However, there are some nutrients that are particularly important for fertility. Nutrients work in synergy and, if you are taking a fertility supplement, it’s important to ensure you take a product that is carefully balanced with this in mind. You should look for a combination of Folic Acid, Fertility Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids, Antioxidants, CO-Q10 & Omega 3 DHA.
The most well recognised fertility nutrient is folate (also known as folic acid or vitamin B9). It is vital to have sufficient folate in your system prior to conception and during pregnancy, to prevent neural defects (amongst other things). As folate is a water-soluble vitamin, it is not stored in the body, so it must be taken daily. While it is found in green leafy vegetables, lentils and beetroot, unfortunately food sources don’t provide sufficient amounts at this time, so supplementation is necessary. The NHS recommends that all women take folic acid for at least three months before pregnancy. All Proceive products contain the recommended 400ug of folate in the L-Methylfolate form for increased absorption.
B Vitamins are vital for energy production in the body and sufficient energy production is required for reproductive health. Without sufficient energy, the body cannot produce hormones and ultimately support conception. Because B vitamins are water soluble, they are not stored by the body so they must be replaced daily. In addition, Vitamin B12 is particularly difficult to get if you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet and should be supplemented.
Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin – it is imperative that any woman considering trying to conceive should have sufficient levels in her body. Due to our northerly latitude, many of us lack this vitamin. In fact, data collected from maternity hospitals in Ireland found that 99% of participants fall short on Vitamin D.
Antioxidants such as Co-Q10 are important for reproduction. It is a powerful antioxidant and energy powerhouse. It is present in the membrane of almost every cell in the body and Co-Q10 is highly recommended for fertility.
Minerals work together creating a synergy. Multiple mineral deficiencies are common amongst many women, particularly those who have been using hormonal contraception.
Iron, Calcium and Magnesium
Iron, Calcium and Magnesium make up most of the minerals in the body. Levels of these important nutrients are lower in our diet these days and what’s more, depletion is associated with the consumption of processed foods. It is beneficial for both partners to increase their levels of these vital minerals before embarking on the conception journey. Taking a good quality nutritional supplement (such as Proceive) prior to conception will help to prevent such deficiencies.
Selenium is found in Brazil nuts, mushrooms and eggs. It is an important antioxidant known to play a key role in both male and female fertile health. For women, it prevents free radical damage to the egg, whilst in men it is required for sperm health, production and to support motility.
Zinc is considered a key nutrient in reproduction / fertility and tends to be lacking in most people’s diets. Zinc is important for the immune system and is a powerful antioxidant. It plays a key role in female hormone regulation, whilst for men, it supports the integrity, function and quality of male sperm.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins necessary for growth and repair in the body. Important fertility amino acids include: L’Arginine, L’Carnitine, L’Citruline, L’Glutamine, N-Acetyl-L-cysteine, Glycine and Taurine.
The body cannot make the essential Omega 3 fat, so it must be consumed in your daily diet. If you don’t eat oily fish regularly then supplementing is necessary. Sperm in particular need plenty of Omega 3 to support mobility and motility. Whilst for women, Omega 3 is important for female hormone balance. It is a vital nutrient, which should be taken during the pre-conception period and throughout pregnancy.
It’s About Balance
When trying to optimise your nutrition in preparation for pregnancy, don’t be swayed by trendy diets. Whilst it’s always a good idea to cut down on processed foods, don’t be tempted to cut out certain food groups or skip meals. Instead, opt for a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients, fertility vitamins and minerals to help give you the best chances of a pregnancy.
However, it can be difficult to take in every nutrient (in the quantities required) in diet alone and this is where the right fertility supplements can help; by providing extra support needed to support good pre-conception health.
The Proceive range of pre-conception supplements provides high strength nutrition, carefully tailored for both men and women who are trying to conceive.
For a limited time we are offering FHH readers 20% off with code FHH20. To find out more and buy Proceive supplements, you can click here.
Related Article – Gut Health: Why is the Mediterranean Diet So Good For Fertility?
*Proceive is available from Boots, Holland & Barrett, Dr. Fertility and other selected stockists.