Some people struggle to understand why fertility nutrition is so important. “Don’t you just pour a good glass of wine and shut the curtains?” In some cases, yes, but for many, it’s not enough.

In an age where there is more and more legitimate debate about hormonal contraception use and the potential long term risks in terms of infertility,* where more and more couples are seeking medical intervention to be able to have children, and where many of us “power couples” are leaving the baby-making until later in life than ever before, fertility (or lack of it) needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

1. Food is literally the foundation.
What you expect from your body is directly influenced by either the great quality, nutrient dense food, or the useless and at time poisonous, processed crap. If you want your body to work at its best, then you have to start with great nutrition.

2. It’s not just about the women.
The quality of your swimmers men, are crucial in playing a role that will provide healthy offspring. Don’t just shoot and sit back, be proactive in making sure you’re the best you can be.

3. Stress is dangerous!
Stress is one of the biggest risk factors for infertility. Not simply mental or emotional stress, but cellular stress from pollution, toxicity, physical and chemical stress on the body. Stress relief and management must be a priority.

4. Hormones are the key.
We make our hormones from the food we eat. Your hormones then create a functional monthly cycle. That monthly cycle offers a window for conception. Almost anything and everything will effect hormones. Some are important, some are not. You need to figure out which ones are your priority. You probably can’t do that alone without a health science degree minimum. Even then, it often takes a team.

5. No, not everyone needs fertility nutrition to get pregnant.
Some don’t need nutrition at all. If you’re reading this though, I’d like to think your goals are anything from further education, to making a baby with the best possible chance at life, or you need help to make some changes to get a better grip on your lifestyle. You’re not reading this with a cigarette, an RTD and pizza on the way, judging women who might want to seek extra help for something you don’t believe in or understand.

6. Fertility treatments are expensive.
In many cases, even with public funding, couples are putting their houses on the line for a chance at a family. If you are investing in such expensive medical treatments, you want to have as much working for you as possible, rather than against.

7. Don’t over train.
Exercise is helpful for almost everyone, but in some cases women over-do it. Whether you’re addicted to endorphins, concerned about your body image, or just love the sweat and glow, not all women can maintain the training they’re used to. I know there are plenty of fit mums kicking ass and bringing healthy babies into this world, but for the sake of vanity this does not work for everyone.

8. Low fat does not work!
There are so many hormonal synthesis issues and disruptions involved from eating a diet very low in fat, more than are fit for this article.  If you’re struggling to get pregnant but you’re avoiding fat at all costs, you’re putting yourself in a worse, not better position. In super simple terms, if your hormones are made using fat, and you’re not eating any, how will you get the hormones required for a pregnancy?

9. People often suffer in silence.
Very few men go around telling their mates that their sperm is “a bit backward” and women certainly don’t jump at the chance to tell their pregnant colleagues that they’ve run out of their own eggs or have had their 3rd miscarriage. If you’re in this boat, you’re not the only one but understand that you may not know who else is around you.

When it comes to all aspects of fertility, including pregnancy and post-natal, I look at the whole picture. It’s about looking at all underlying issues, how to best create steps for you and for all areas of your life to be balanced and in the best shape. To read more about what I offer for fertility nutrition consultations click here. 

*Hormonal contraception, in particular Depo Provera and the oral contraception pill are under fire by many practitioners (including medical doctors, integrative GP’s and natural medical specialists) as more and more women are being seen with issues believed to be from long term use of such hormonal medications. I’m very careful about how I approach this subject when asked, as I like to see hard science and evidence before really offering advice within my protocols; however, I cannot ignore the large number of women who see me with similar issues after coming off the pill, and the mounting clinic evidence from other respected practitioners I follow. We really can’t say we know everything about longterm use of the pill or injection when it is only now that we’re seeing women who have been on it for over 10 years and when we’re only now seeing another generation of girls start it after their mothers took it also. I believe no practitioner can expect to fully stand there, hand on heart, and say we know it is absolutely safe without long term risks because only now are we seeing people on it long term.

** Photography thanks to Captured by Keryn