Preconception health really does set the foundation for creating healthy eggs and sperm to conceive, and to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
So what is involved in a preconception and fertility plan with a naturopath?
Ideally for at least 3-4 months before you begin trying to conceive, you will both pay close attention to your diet and lifestyle, your environment and any chronic health issues that need to be addressed. Extensive testing for nutritional levels, infections and other contributing factors are all undertaken. Your family history is explored and your personal medical and health history is extensively mined for clues as to anything that may compromise your fertility. Everything from digestive issues to nutrient deficiency, hormone imbalance to urinary tract infections can be really important contributors to fertility, many of which are highly treatable or responsive to natural medicine support.
This process is comprehensive, enlightening, empowering and most importantly, takes you on a journey of continuous improvement that at the very least leaves you feeling healthy, energised and vital, but more importantly may help you achieve a healthy baby.
Preconception planning directs us away from unquestioning or despairing acceptance of genetic destiny or environmental randomness. Investing in yourself at this time of your life goes a very long way. There is surely no other time of life in which such major changes occur and where our action is potentially most powerful.
Both the sperm and egg take around 3 months to develop / mature and in this time they are both vulnerable to damage; creating interruptions to normal healthy development and even chromosomal abnormalities. The embryo and developing baby are significantly influenced by their environment, and their genetic development is profoundly altered by influences from outside. So we focus on reducing risk factors, optimising the environment in which they develop and hopefully creating the most positive outcome possible: a sweet, healthy baby.
What is the ‘perfect embryo’?
Both the egg and the sperm contain 23 individual chromosomes, which combine at the moment of conception to create the 23 pairs of chromosomes required to make a human. At the very moment conception occurs your child’s genetic stamp, the strongest predictor of their future health, learning abilities and susceptibilities, is created. And the thing that dictates these outcomes are those individual 23 chromosomes in the sperm and the egg. And the good bit is that you can influence the genetic make-up of your child by improving your own health during the months prior to conception.
Your fertility is a barometer of your general health. As well as an increased chance of conceiving a healthy baby. This approach promises a host of other benefits. All treatment approaches have their side effects and ours is no different. Reported effects of regular visits here have included: improved aging (anti-aging), increased energy, healing or improvement of chronic health issues, stress reduction, weight loss, sleep enhancement, reduced disease risk, especially for some of the most common lifestyle diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease … and so much more! The investment you make in your health now will have consequences well into advanced age.
We are often asked by patients what the odds are of their falling pregnant, or, what our success rate is. It is a fair question but not a straight-forward one to answer. Unlike a running race, the fertility journey for most people is not a straight run to the finish line. But very much like a race, those who do well are usually the ones who have put in the hard yards: done the training, eaten well, taken care of themselves, made adjustments along the way, done as their team of experts has advised and consequently showed good endurance.
At Fertile Ground our focus is on optimising, creating the best you, making the most of what you’ve got. Are you ready to start?
We hope you enjoyed this peek into our new book, Create a Fertile Life which is packed with practical information – It’s an A-Z of pre-conception health so you can create the ideal foundation for your healthy baby.
Written by Gina Fox, Naturopath, Fertile Ground Health Group and co-author of Create a Fertile Life