How to preserve your fertility for the future.
As a busy career woman it’s probably very likely that you rarely give a second thought to your fertility. In fact right now you probably just think about your fertility when coming to the end of your current supply of contraceptive pills and needing to get a last minute appointment with your doctor.
There is so much else going on in your life at the minute; like work, holidays and socialising that thoughts of babies in the future is way off, not to mention the fact that you may not have found the right partner yet! However I have no doubt that you spend time considering your fitness levels, your weight, your hair and let’s not forget the nails ladies! So why should your fertility be left out in the cold?
In today’s ‘full on’ society it has never been more relevant than it is now to give your fertility that second thought and consider preserving your fertility for the future. Let me explain why…………..
A woman is born with her full supply of eggs, millions of them. However these naturally decline and we lose many each month and remarkably, unlike how men manufacture sperm on a daily basis, we don’t make anymore. So we really need to look after the ones we’ve got! A woman’s egg is exactly as old as she is, so in essence as we age so do our supply of eggs. If you are in your 20’s then it is likely that your body is functioning pretty well and therefore so are your eggs, however as you reach your 30’s and 40’s the quality of your eggs declines.
Opinion is divided as to whether your fertility drops off a cliff at 35 or not. Whilst there is no denying ovarian aging and let’s face it basic biology, I believe that no woman is a statistic and there are things that you can do NOW to preserve your ovarian reserve for the future, because crossing your fingers just isn’t enough!
In today’s ‘full on’ society it has never been more relevant than it is now to give your fertility that second thought and consider preserving your fertility for the future.
For some simple lifestyle changes to preserve your fertility for the future try my Fertility Preservation Plan…….
The Fertility Preservation Plan
- Get a health check – See you Doctor or Nurse for a general health check. As well as checking your weight and blood pressure you can also have a general blood test to look for conditions that might affect your fertility such as diabetes or thyroid problems.
- Stop smoking –Smoking can age your fertility by about 10 years. Research shows that cigarette smoking is responsible for approximately 13% of infertility worldwide.
- Maintain a healthy weight –If you are overweight oestrogen is stored in your excess fat. This extra supply of oestrogen fools the body into supressing essential hormones and the ideal balance of hormones is disrupted, making it difficult to conceive later. On the other-hand, if you are underweight your levels of oestrogen fall and you may stop ovulating completely.
- Eat to conceive – By giving careful consideration to what you eat and making changes where necessarily, will really help to preserve your ovarian reserve. Avoid ‘bad’ carbohydrates such as refined foods, sugary drinks and sweet foods. A balanced diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables is the key building block for preserving your fertility.
- Do you need a vitamin boost? – If you feel that your diet isn’t totally balanced, add in some vitamins. Join the ‘juicing movement’ and start your day with a breakfast juice or smoothie packed full of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Get your trainers on –Leading a health lifestyle that includes regular exercise will prevent you developing any illness that may impact on your future fertility. Be careful not to excessively exercise though as this can lead to menstrual irregularities and therefore affect ovulation.
- Check your Mother’s fertility –This will give you a good indication of your own fertility preservation. If your mother went through the menopause in her early 40’s then it’s likely that her egg quality was declining for a good few years prior.
- Reconsider your method of contraception – Some hormonal methods of contraception, once stopped, can take a number of months for your fertility to return. Switch to a non-hormonal method of contraception such as the non-hormonal IUD, condoms or natural contraception. Natural contraceptive methods if taught and used correctly are up to 99% effective and well worth learning at this stage as you can then use this information in reverse to help you conceive when you are ready. Find out more here: http://yourfertilityjourney.com/natural-contraception/
- Reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake – Excessive alcohol intake disrupts the functioning of and damages the egg. Binge drinking is now thought to be a precursor for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS),which greatly affects fertility. PCOS is on the increase in the UK and I believe that this is a result of the increased incidence of binge drinking in women in their 20’s and 30’s. Excessive caffeine intake is responsible for ovarian ageing.
- Are you stressed? –Studies measuring levels of the stress hormone cortisol, show that time to conception is doubled when a woman is suffering from high levels of stress. If you are constantly under work or emotional stress it is likely that your body is suffering. You are more inclined to suffer from high blood pressure and difficulty in sleeping, both of which can increase you risk of suffering from chronic conditions which in turn may impact on your fertility reserve.
- Reduce your exposure to toxins –The last 100 years has seen dramatic changes in our environment and this appears to have a direct correlation with the increase in infertility rates worldwide. Eat organically and consider changing to natural products in the home. Unwrap foods bought wrapped in plastic as soon as you get home from the shops. Be informed about toxins and make small changes that fit in with your lifestyle. Find out more here: http://yourfertilityjourney.com/toxins-and-fertility-scary-stuff/
- Get to know your cycle – Get educated on how to identify your fertility indicators, know when you ovulate and check that your cycle is in good working order for the future. A fertility practitioner can help you with this, can diagnose any problems early and help you get in tip-top condition for the future.
Kate Davies (RN, Bsc Hons, FP Cert) is a Fertility Practitioner, Fertility Coach and columnist, and the founder of Your Fertility Journey. Kate works with women and couples helping them achieve pregnancy naturally and coaches women to successfully navigate their fertility journey. Kate also teaches natural fertility methods to achieve pregnancy and to also use as natural contraception.
You can connect with Kate and find out more information about Kate and the services she offers here……