Can Lifestyle Changes Improve Your Fertility?

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The ever burgeoning wellness market has taken fertility under its wing over the past year or so. More than a handful of apps that monitor your cycle and deliver daily tips on boosting your fertility have popped up in the App Store. Not to mention a growing number of fertility focused subscription boxes which promise to help you conceive with prenatal vitamins and ovulation tests. 

But, should we be treating fertility as a commodity or take heed from our mothers and make a few lifestyle tweaks? Fertility expert and author of My Fertility Guide: How to get pregnant naturally, Dr Attilio D’Alberto advocates the latter. So, what should we be doing?

Up your vitamin B intake

It’s not uncommon for women to be low in B vitamins, but a deficiency can impact your chances of conceiving. Vitamin B12 is particularly important when it comes to fertility. Dr D’Alberto recommends taking a high does and looking for supplements that contain 50mg of B6 and 1mg of B12. Brands such as Wild Nutrition and VitaBiotics have formulated supplements to help boost your intake of the vital vitamins and nutrients. 

If you want to improve your B12 levels specifically, Shabir regularly recommends investing in Jarrow Formulas Methyl B12 and has written about the supplement, here.

Cut back on your vices

It’s not going to come as much of a surprise, but Dr D’Alberto strongly advocates quitting if you smoke and cutting back on your alcohol in-take. “Drinking two glasses of red wine a week can help your blood, reduce stress levels and regulate hormones,” he says. “But be careful to drink no more than two glasses a week!” If you prefer beer, Dr D’Alberto recommends no more than one or two bottles a week. 

Be mindful of chemicals

“Our bodies are surrounded by numerous chemicals from fragrances in soaps, shampoos and perfumes to make-up and cleaning products as well as nail polish that act like oestrogens,” says Dr D’Alberto. “Unknowingly, we are overdosing on these chemicals, which cause irregular hormone levels in men and women and could result in infertility.” Where possible it is worth switching to natural alternatives, such as PHB Ethical Beauty and opting for fragrance-free formulas.

Monitor your phone time

There is a small amount of research to suggest that the electromagnetic waves from your mobile phone could impact your fertility. It is based on a study that concluded that men who kept their phones in their front pockets had lower sperm levels. However, it should be noted that the men in the study were undergoing fertility treatment. That said, reducing your time spent in front of a screen could help reduce your stress levels and help you get a better night’s sleep, so it’s not a terrible idea.

Get some sleep

Speaking of sleep, everyone can benefit from seven to eight hours of sleep a night, but if you’re hoping to get pregnant, it’s key. “To enhance your fertility, try not to sleep later than 10 p.m. and sleep for seven to eight hours,” says Dr D’Alberto. “It will take  some practice if you’re not used to it, but you’ll notice how much better you will feel for it.” If sleep doesn’t come easily to you, it’s worth looking into Life Extensions Herbal Sleep PM, which helps calm and relax you without involving your hormones. 

While some of these tips might work wonders for you, everyone is different and if you are struggling to conceive we always recommend seeking advice from your doctor. For more information on Dr Attilio D’Alberto, click here.

Men Have A Biological Clock Too

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For most women the knowledge of the inevitable ticking of their biological clock is drummed into them from a young age and for the large part, fertility is usually a topic targeted towards them. If we want children, we’re actively encouraged to bear them in our prime (and in fertility terms, that’s before you hit your late 30s). Up until now men haven’t had the same age restrictions, but a fresh wave of research is starting to raise questions.  Read More…

Zinc Supplements Uses, Side Effects & Benefits

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Zinc is an important mineral that is found in every single cell of the body. The red and white blood cells, our bones, retina, kidneys, pancreas and liver all store zinc. The tenth most common element in the human body, zinc is vital for the functioning of more than 300 hormones and countless enzyme systems in the body. Zinc is also vital for cells to divide and replicate during the production of new tissues. Most of us assume that we have sufficient zinc from our diet, however there is growing amount of evidence that approximately 20% of the world’s population is deficient in zinc, which equates to one in five of us. This deficiency is irrespective of where you live.

What are the health benefits of zinc?

Whilst zinc is best known for its role in fighting colds and flu, zinc has a wide range of effects on human health. I am going to highlight only some of the important roles of zinc within our bodies, but the list is extensive. Read More…

Should I be taking folic acid?

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Q: My husband and I want to start a family. I know folic acid is important but can you clarify why, the amount and when to take it?

Folic acid (vitamin B9) is vital for its role in preventing spina bifida and other neural tube defects, which can limit or seriously impact on a baby’s life.

In 1991, research established that supplementing with 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily can reduce the risk of spina bifida (SB ) and other neural tube defects (see below) by up to 72 per cent. New research suggests that adding a daily 2.5mcg (minimum) of vitamin B12 is key to further reducing the risk. Vitamin B12 is essential for cells to take up folic acid, but some 60 per cent of women may not have enough. Read More…

What to eat to beat infertility

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Q: Five to ten per cent of women suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder where the ovaries contain many small cysts, which are egg-containing follicles that haven’t developed. PCOS is a leading cause of fertility problems in women, according to the self-help group Verity (verity-pcos.org.uk).

A: In an earlier column, I wrote about PCOS with the advice of women’s health expert Dr Marilyn Glenville (marilynglenville.com), a registered nutritionist who has treated PCOS for over 30 years. We were thrilled to receive an email from a 34-year-old YOU reader, who had read the column and bought Marilyn’s book Natural Solutions to PCOS (Macmillan, £10.99), and is now pregnant. Here is an edited version of her email: Read More…

How To Cope With Premature Menopause

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Q: My girlfriend is 36 and has been told that she is going through premature menopause. Can you tell me what this means and what the implications are?

A: Menopause is the date when women have their last period. The average age for women in the West is 52. Premature or early menopause (also called premature ovarian failure) occurs under the age of 45; five per cent of women are affected, mostly over 30. Read More…