Research clearly shows that environmental, general health and lifestyle factors can have a significant impact on your fertility, your pregnancy and the health of your unborn child. Every parent wants to give their children the best start in life, which is why pre-conception care is the best place to start when you are thinking about starting a family, because it is truly preventative healthcare at its best.
Our natural fertility practitioners believe that healthy people make healthy babies, because the DNA and the health of yours and your partner’s egg and sperm form the building blocks of your baby’s health. Your eggs and sperm are particularly vulnerable to the effects of toxins, nutritional deficiencies and stress in the 3-4 months prior to conception, which is why pre-conception care involves an overall health assessment of yours and your partner’s health prior to conception, to identify and address any general health, reproductive, lifestyle, toxicity and environmental issues that may affect your fertility and/or the health of your future baby.
Pre-conception care allows you to be proactive and to positively influence the health of your eggs and sperm by detoxifying, taking fertility-enhancing nutrients and making specific dietary and lifestyle changes prior to starting to try to conceive.
Pre-conception care can help you to be in the best health possible, to help you to make the healthiest baby possible.
Who should do pre-conception care
Scientific research supports pre-conception care for both partners prior to conception. Pre-conception care is appropriate for prospective parents of all ages, stages of life and states of health, including:
- Healthy, fertile couples who want to give their baby the best possible start to life
- Couples who have infertility problems, including “unexplained infertility”, problems with sperm count, sperm motility and high DNA fragmentation; as well as females with ovulation problems, cycle irregularities or length issues, endometriosis, PCOS and other hormonal problems.
- Couples who have suffered one or more miscarriages
- Couples with a previous history of problems such as prematurity, malformation, low birth weight, stillbirth or other problems
- Couples undergoing IVF, GIFT and IUI – to improve their success rate of these procedures by undergoing preconception care
- Older couples, including women over 40 years, to increase the fertility of ‘older eggs’ and to help prevent congenital and other problems
Maternal health at conception and during the pregnancy is a strong determinant of the health status of the baby over their lifetime. Research shows that poor maternal health increases the risk of congenital defects in babies, as well as problems in later life such as behavioural disorders, psychological disorders, obesity, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Evidence also shows that the health of mothers before and during pregnancy is strongly associated with healthy development of their babies and generally better health throughout life.
But men’s health is equally as important, as fifty percent of a baby’s DNA comes from the father’s sperm – it really does ‘take two to tango’ to make healthy babies! For example, we know that the DNA in sperm are vulnerable to effects of heavy metals, toxins and oxidative damage in the body, which will reduce a male’s sperm counts and increase the risk of infertility and miscarriage. We also know that if the male’s DNA fragmentation of their sperm (which is measured in a test called ‘Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay’) is greater than 30%, a couple will have a 1% chance of conceiving.
Pre-conception care not only maximises your own and your child’s future health, it also gives you an opportunity to have a complete health overhaul. It gives you the opportunity to break bad habits and you will learn about living a wellness lifestyle in a way that is practical and easy to apply – which is great preparation for becoming a parent and helping you to raise the healthiest child you can and lead by example to your children as they grow…
How to get healthy before conceiving
Your natural fertility practitioner prefers to see both partners, when possible, at the initial consultation to be able to fully assess the health of each prospective parent.
Before your initial consultation, you will be asked to fill out a comprehensive questionnaire, which will help to identify your health status, nutritional intake, toxicity exposure, past history, as well as your fertility health history. Then, at your comprehensive initial pre-conception care consultation, any health concerns will be addressed in detail, before your practitioner discusses with you your individual plan for a vital pregnancy, healthy baby and overcome fertility problems and prevent miscarriage.
Pre-conception care for both parents can ensure healthy sperm and eggs and the best general health to enable the best possible outcome for conception and pregnancy. Both male and female fertility problems can be addressed with natural medicine approaches, to help overcome sperm problems and female problems that may be inhibiting a successful pregnancy such as endometriosis, PCOS, cycle-length problems, bleeding irregularities, ovulation issues and other gynaecological issues.
Our natural fertility practitioners may conduct specialised functional medicine testing if problems are suspected, such as salivary hormone testing, heavy metal and toxicity testing, specialised sperm testing (to ensure all parameters are tested, including DNA fragmentation), cellular health testing, to name a few. Females will also be taught how to track menstrual cycles using temperature and symptom charting. Our practitioners will work together with other health practitioners when necessary, such as fertility doctors, acupuncturists and other health professionals, to ensure a fully supported and integrated approach.
This approach to enhancing your fertility health will help you to feel energetic, healthy, informed, in control of your fertility and the health of your future baby and ready to conceive…
The benefits of pre-conception care
Research shows that pre-conception health care (for both partners) can actively help to improve the chances that your baby:
- does not have congenital defects
- has a healthy delivery
- is content and alert
- will be less likely to suffer from allergies, asthma and behavioural problems
- receive the best start in life
What does pre-conception care involve
Pre-conception care is individually tailored to meet each couple’s/individual’s needs, and may involve:
- Comprehensive assessment of each partners health and fertility
- Menstrual cycle tracking
- Hair mineral and heavy metal analysis
- A Specialised Pre-Conception Detoxification plan, followed by dietary plan to improve fertility and egg/sperm health
- Lifestyle and exercise plan – to get you in the best shape possible
- Nutritional supplementation – to ensure optimal sperm and eggs
- Treatment of specific health concerns with natural medicines
At Remède, our practitioners are experienced in working with couples undergoing IVF and other assisted reproductive technology (ART) techniques. They have a thorough knowledge of the IVF process, the drugs used and each of the stages that couples go through, in addition to the emotional and physical experiences that you may have during this time. More importantly, as they have extensive experience in infertility and IVF support and have helped countless couples through this process, they are very aware and sympathetic to the emotional rollercoaster that couples may experience.
During your IVF treatment, our natural fertility practitioners can help you in the following ways:
- Naturopathic IVF Support: includes pre-conception care that will improve the health of your whole system, including your eggs and sperm. A recent study conducted in the UK found that preconception care preceding IVF treatment, more than doubled the success rates for IVF.
Naturopathic treatment can also help to reduce the risk of miscarriage and address any underlying health issues, concurrent with your IVF treatment.
- Acupuncture Treatment: before IVF treatment, around the time of egg collection and before and after embryo transfer can dramatically increase IVF success. A range of studies has been conducted and depending on the study, acupuncture can increase the success of IVF by 65% on average. This is a considerable increase in positive outcomes for IVF, especially considering the expense of each cycle. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment can also improve egg quality, increase the numbers of eggs for collection, recovery after egg collection, reduce drug side-effects, help prepare the womb for embryo transfer and help to reduce the risk of miscarriage – all concurrent with your IVF treatment.
- Stress management and nervous system/adrenal support: to help your body and your mind cope more effectively with ongoing IVF treatment.
- Massage therapy/Reflexology: to enhance circulation to the reproductive organs, reduce stress and restore physical balance.
- Counselling Support/Stress Management: the effects of stress on your fertility are well known, so it important that stress is addressed if it becomes a problem during IVF treatment. Seeing an empathetic psychologist can help you to navigate through the stress associated with IVF and the emotional challenges and issues that may arise to help you and/or your partner cope with any challenges or disappointments which may be affecting you or your relationship.
At Remède, our practitioners work closely with your other medical and health professionals where appropriate and with your consent, to ensure effective and safe treatment and to ensure the very best chance of a successful pregnancy.
Meet the team of practitioners with a special interest in fertility and pre-conception care