fertility Tag

Caffeine when pregnant - should I limit caffeine if I am planning to conceive, or am pregnant ?

This question is one of the most frequently asked of my fertility clients, and for an addicted coffee drinker it may seem inconceivable that you should limit coffee consumption. So, is caffeine when pregnant and preconception really that harmful? Often due to morning sickness and aversion to tastes and smells heightened in pregnancy, you may be put off at least in the first trimester. There are many conflicting arguments for and against at least reducing caffeine in pregnancy. Research has not come up with a definitive answer, but does point towards the risk factors. I’m suggesting that you should consider giving it up in the preconception period in preparation for pregnancy. Recent research from the U.S shows that 51% of people are slow metabolizers of caffeine, which means it takes a long time to clear from the body, and if you think of all the extra circulating hormones in pregnancy it would logically take a lot longer.
We all know that folic acid is important for pregnancy, but did you know there are different forms of folic acid and that the form you choose can affect your fertility? The majority of women know that folic acid (B9), is essential for the normal development of a baby in utero. It is particularly important in the first trimester when the nervous system is developing, as it reduces the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. But more recent research has uncovered a genetic defect that makes it extremely difficult for up to 1in 4 people to effectively absorb folic acid, which is the synthetic form contained in most supplements.

Did you know that Thyroids play an important part in conceiving?

  If you have been trying to conceive for 6 months or longer it is well worth getting your thyroid health checked. For such a small gland situated at the front of the throat the thyroid has a big job to perform. It is essential for regulating metabolism, blood calcium levels, energy production, fat metabolism, oxygen utilization, balance of other hormones and weight maintenance. I find that with my clients sub optimal thyroid health is often overlooked by your G.P and thyroid blood tests are not preformed as part of a standard pre conception blood panel.

The Effects of Stress on Fertility

Adrenal health is one of the most talked-about topics in health today, and for good reason. We lead hectic lifestyles, are constantly on the go and stimulated by wireless technology, rarely getting deep restorative rest. Our life style is so much faster than twenty years ago, we are all trying to adapt—often at great expense to our health.

Fertility and Anti Mullerian Hormones (AMH)

Recently the test to assess ovarian reserve has become more sophisticated, using the Anti Mullerian Hormone blood test. Most medical practitioners still use the three day Follicular-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) test, determining levels on day three of the cycle; this is an inexact test as FSH levels fluctuate in the blood over the course of a day, this is only a measure of FSH at the time you are drawing blood, so it would only be accurate if you had several blood tests of the course of the day to get an average reading.
Australian research on fertility, carried out by Dr. Anne Clark, (2006) the Chair of the “Preservation of Fertility”,  gives us an insight into issues surrounding fertility today. The research covered 2,400 Australians age 18+ across all states, the results were as follows: