04 Apr How can a nutrition expert support my fertility?
Support for fertility issues
There is so much information widely available online, in books, support groups, and also through your GP or private fertility clinics to support you while you are trying to conceive. So, when you already have all this information, why would you seek specialist advice from a nutrition expert?
The causes of infertility are wide ranging – from endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids, inability to maintain a pregnancy or recurrent miscarriage, or the frustratingly termed ‘unexplained infertility’. And then there are the rounds of failed IVF, and how many times should we try before giving up. But each of these issues has an underlying mechanism, a root cause, that is causing it to persist. This is where a nutritional therapist can help.
We look at the whole person, not just individual symptoms
We conduct a thorough review of your symptoms and history – not just in relation to your fertility or your menstrual cycle, but including how well your digestion functions, your immune system, how well your liver is detoxifying, any allergies or sensitivities, skin conditions, your stress levels etc. We look at the whole of you, and everything that could be having an impact. This can start to give a good indication of where there are imbalances in your body that could be impacting on your fertility.
Maybe you’ve been told your oestrogen levels are too high, or progesterone too low, you don’t ovulate regularly, or the embryos made through IVF are not good enough quality. But do you know WHY?
You may feel you already know what you should be eating, but if we can find out the underlying cause for your fertility issues then food can be used therapeutically and in a targeted way to support your specific problem.
Diet is only one aspect of what we do, and you don’t know what to eat until you find your reason why you can’t get pregnant.
Getting the right tests can be really important in determining the right course of action for you. Everyone is unique and what works for one person won’t necessarily be right for another. We aim to personalise your programme based on your specific test results.
Nutritional therapists have access to a wide range of state-of-the-art functional laboratory tests, and these are what really provide answers. They give a window into the underlying mechanisms that may be directly impacting your fertility.
In my clinic I offer a urine test that gives an incredibly comprehensive view of your hormones. It looks at your stress hormones (cortisol and cortisone), the male hormones (androgens – still important for women!) DHEA and testosterone, progesterone levels and its metabolites, all 3 types of oestrogen and their metabolites, your serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, and some key nutrients. It will also look at how your oestrogen and progesterone levels change over the course of your cycle and if at any point they are not doing what they should.
I also offer testing for thyroid function and key nutrients in my standard package, and will consider other tests including toxic exposure profile, and a comprehensive and highly advanced stool test to check your digestive health if I think it may be beneficial to you.
What your doctor may have told you was ‘normal’, may not actually be optimal for your body. The results of any tests will be used to develop your personalised plan to support your fertility, based on your individual unique body.
Professional quality supplements
Top quality supplements provide additional targeted support over and above the food you eat. Specific individual nutrients, or groups of nutrients may be recommended to address specific issues, and have scientific evidence to support their use.
Supplements that will benefit you and your underlying issues will be recommended, according to your needs based on your history and test results. You will only be advised to take what is effective for you, and will also have the confidence to know you are taking them safely. As any interactions with medications or other supplement will have been checked, and potential side effects monitored. You will be given advice on when and how to take your supplements, and for how long so you are not left taking handfuls of supplements indefinitely.
Lifestyle review and tips
How you live your life can have a significant impact on how well your body adapts, and everyone has a different tolerance threshold. For example, for lifestyle factors such as stress, environmental toxins or exercise, we would consider what level you are exposed to, and how well your body is coping with it based on symptoms you are displaying. We would then recommend ways of supporting these that fit in with your life and schedule. By working with you over a few months it is possible to build new habits one small step at a time, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Coaching & support
The amount of health and nutrition information available can be overwhelming at times. How do you know what is relevant to you? Or what will help you most? Are you doing enough, or eating enough of the right thing? If it helped someone else, will it also be helpful for you? It’s a bit like working blindfolded!
But you don’t have to do it alone. Working with a nutritional therapist will give you answers so you understand your body better. It will give you a clear idea where to start, with the biggest wins first based on your existing diet and lifestyle, and a plan of how to progress. It will break things down into small manageable chunks that fit with your life. And you have someone to be accountable to, who will keep you on track and hold your hand every step of the way.
In short it will cut through the crap and overwhelming amount of (sometimes inaccurate) information that is available, and help you implement what will work for YOU.
Trying to conceive
Have you been trying to conceive for some time? Had all the tests through your GP? Is your next step IVF, but you would like another option? Or perhaps you have already tried IVF and it was unsuccessful….do you know why? Whatever stage you are at, would you like more information? A better picture of what is going on with your health, and what is taking energy and focus away from reproduction in your body?
If you would like to explore further how working with a Nutritional Therapist can support your fertility, contact me for a free, no-obligation discovery call: https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=16725056