10 Tips on How to Maximise the Chances of a Healthy Conception, Pregnancy and Birth.
A recently published article has highlighted how Chinese medicine has a long history of helping infertile couples to conceive and documenting health preservation practices.
In addition to providing treatment to couples and individuals wishing to conceive, modern Chinese medicine practitioners typically provide lifestyle advice in order to improve health and optimise fertility. Despite many improvements in living conditions, modern couples are exposed to numerous challenging factors that can potentially reduce their fertility. Alongside acupuncture and herbal medicine there are a number of measures that individuals can undertake pre-conception to improve their chances of a healthy pregnancy and birth
The author has suggested the following points to improve the possibility of a positive outcome:
1. Where possible and appropriate, attempt conception prior to 30 years of age (and men prior to 35).
2. Reduce alcohol consumption, especially prior to and during IVF(if undertaken), but allow for the occasional drink.
3. Give up smoking.
4. Eat a plant-based diet high in ‘good’ fats and antioxidants (the ‘Mediterranean’ diet is ideal). Avoid low-fat dairy foods in favour of the full-fat variety. Spend time outside to increase Vitamin D levels. Supplement with folic acid (women) and a good multivitamin.
5. Exercise moderately and not the point of exhaustion.
6. Men should keep mobile phones and laptops away from their testicles and try to keep their testicles cool by wearing loose fitting cotton underwear.
7. Reduce stress levels by introducing simple and enjoyable activities that are effective and easily achievable. Meditation, yoga and qigong are ideal.
8. Avoid overwork and take regular holidays where possible.
9. Reduce exposure to soft plastics, pesticides, hormones and fertilisers by choosing organic food and avoiding processed and packaged foods. Use less toxic cleaning products. Change plastic food containers to glass or BPA-free.
10. Check BMI - being under- or over-weight adversely affects both male and female fertility (the optimum BMI for fertility is 20-25).
To find out if acupuncture or herbal medicine could help you, or if you have any further questions please contact the Angel Wellbeing Clinic on 0207 288 2999 and ask for a free mini consultation with Larry our resident acupuncturist and herbalist.
Cannon, E, (2015). "How to optimise and preserve fertility: current research, lifestyle choices and Chinese medicine", Journal of Chinese Medicine, 107: 43-52.