1. Eat a Mediterranean diet
A healthy body equals a healthy home for a baby, and you can start preparing early by eating a Mediterranean diet full of fruits, veggies, healthy proteins and good fats.
Try and cut down on simple carbohydrates like processed bread, cakes and biscuits.
Avoid excessive alcohol and coffee consumption and steer clear of juice and soft drinks.
My favourite foods to recommend include:
OILY FISH - mackerel, salmon, herrings and sardines. These foods provide the good saturated fats.
ESSENTIAL PROTEIN - avocado, chicken, fish, low-fat yogurt and milk, cottage cheese, tofu, eggs, baked beans, kidney beans.
LOW GI FOODS - apples, plums, pears, peaches, cherries, apricot, grapefruits, all pulses such as lentils and chick peas, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, mushrooms, onions, garlic, asparagus and wholegrain or rye bread, nuts, and oat biscuits.
2. Do an egg bank check
Did you know a woman is born with all the eggs she will have, and these stores decline, especially after 35 and then take a rapid decline after 37.
It pays to know early on if you have low egg reserves. You can find out how many eggs you have with a simple test.
Ovarian reserve can be tested by performing an Antimullerian Hormone during any part of your cycle - low levels of this hormone is a sign of declining ovarian reserve - this test can even be done when you are on the oral contraceptive pill. Another test is to measure the FSH levels - elevated levels indicate poor ovarian reserve. The number of antral follicles is also a good way to assess ovarian reserve and is done before day 7 of your cycle just after menstruation - less the 4 follicles in your ovaries indicates declining ovarian reserve.
3. Have sex
Obviously you need to have sex to have a baby, but you can actually boost your fertility by having sex frequently! There’s various schools of thought around this but essentially the more you have sex, the more messages your body gets that its. Time to reproduce, which could eventually increase your chances of pregnancy when the time is right.
4. Maintain your Zen
Stress can interfere with hormone production from the hypothalamus which controls the pituitary gland that produces the hormones for conception for both males and females. Cortisol production increases from the adrenal glands that can also interfere with conception and implantation of the embryo. Maintaining a relaxed mind is helpful for many reasons, but making a commitment to keep stress at bay will benefit you long term. We’ve even introduced Fertility Yoga at our clinics because we believe it has such a benefit to overall fertility health.
5. Pump some iron
With busy lifestyles people often don’t have a lot of time for exercise. Ideally exercise should be part of your daily routine. An Exercise programme should include aerobic and resistance programme ideally for at least half an hour a day. Excessive exercise may inhibit ovulation and hence finding a balance is important.
6. Get in early to prevent problems later
Common issues like endometriosis can affect fertility, but women often ignore signs and symptoms that can lead to problems later on. Even if you don’t want to have a baby now, you should see a fertility specialist if you:
- Are over 35
- You have a history of endometriosis, pelvic infection ovarian cysts, ruptured appendicitis
- Your cycles are irregular
- You have a family history of early menopause (i.e. menopause before 35).
- You suffer from pain with intercourse or have issues having intercourse