The chances are you won’t have been through fertility treatment without hearing some nutritional advice about what you should, and shouldn’t be eating. Some of it is very helpful, about following a balanced healthy eating plan, but some of it can start to become quite complicated – and potentially confusing. Should you be eating one piece of pineapple every day for three days after embryo transfer? Or should you be shaving the flesh off, slicing the core into five slices and eating one a day for five days? Should you be drinking one pint of pure pineapple juice a day? Or are you meant to be avoiding the juice entirely and just consuming the core? And what about the Brazil nuts? Are you meant to eat seven a day? Or three? Or four? Or five? Should you be drinking half a litre of full-fat organic milk every day? Or should you be avoiding all dairy products especially milk and yoghurt as it builds up mucus which interferes with implantation? Then there’s the question of supplements? Should you be taking special fertility supplements, or a range of different individual supplements? Or should you not need any supplements at all if you’re following a healthy eating plan?
If you’ve ever felt confused by fertility eating and lifestyle advice, you may want to get some evidence-based information from an expert in the field. Reproductive biologist and nutrition scientist Grace Dugdale will be at the Fertility Forum in London on March 30, where she will give evidence-based information about health, diet and lifestyle in relation to male and female fertility. She will talk about what can impact on your fertility, and about preparing your body for pregnancy.
The Fertility Forum is a non-commercial evidence-based day which has been organised by patients and all the professional bodies in the field working together, and aims to help those who have been trying to make sense of the overwhelming mass of information on offer. It takes place at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and is open to anyone who wants to know more about their fertility.
If you are in or near London, you may be interested in a talk on nutrition at the Infertility Network UK Central London group on July 7 at 6pm. This will be specifically focused on healthy eating and diet for fertility. The evening is open to everyone and is completely free of charge as are all Infertility Network UK groups.
There will be time to listen, to ask any questions you may have about healthy eating and diet, and then to get together with others who are experiencing fertility problems.
If you’d like to attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org who will send you more details.
The magazine Fertility Road has produced a guide of tips for anyone who is trying unsuccessfully to conceive covering a range of different categories – complementary therapies, diet and nutrition, male fertility and vitamins and supplements. The tips come from a range of complementary therapists and other practitioners working in the field.
Some are more evidence-based than others when it comes to actually boosting your fertility, but there’s a lot to think about and some useful tips and suggestions for ways to help yourself to feel better apart from anything else. I particularly like author Jessica Hepburn’s thoughts about not stopping following all the other dreams you have for your life – as many of you will know, Jessica followed hers to swim the Channel and then climb Mount Kilimanjaro!
Why not take a look here, and see if you can find something that resonates with you.
Over the years, I’ve come across all kinds of strange advice about what you should and shouldn’t be eating to get pregnant – and particularly during the two week wait. I’m often asked for dietary advice, and what people really want is a list of super fertility foods which will hugely boost their chances of getting pregnant. There’s certainly no shortage of advice about this but some of it is completely contradictory – so should you drink masses of milk or avoid dairy foods altogether? And there’s no end of conflicting advice about pineapples and which bits you should eat and which you should avoid.
That’s why this article by nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed is so welcome as it is full of sensible practical advice and focuses on the things that actually will make a difference rather than those which probably won’t.
Another event for you if you’re based in Northern Ireland – on Saturday October 3 there’s a fertility information day in Belfast organised by Infertility Network UK. It will cover a huge range of fertility-related topics including NHS treatment and funding, counselling, fertility investigations, treating endometriosis, embryology, nutrition and recruiting an egg donor.
The day will be held at the Long Gallery at the Parliament Buildings at Stormont, and it will run from 9 am to 3.30pm. The cost is £10.00, but if you book before 28 August, you can get an earlybird booking for just £5.00. For professionals the cost is £20.00, with an early booking fee of £10.00 before 28th August.