Jun 11

Ready, Steady, Baby! 4 Things You Need to Know About Fertility

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kimkardashianpregnantAfter giving birth to daughter North two years ago, Kim Kardashian is now pregnant again. Kardashian previously admitted that she was desperately trying to conceive

As Kim and her partner, Kanye are both in their mid thirties, leading busy and stressful lifestyles, they are in a large group of fertility challenged couples.

According to the Journal of Human Reproduction, woman in their mid thirties with an older partner have a shocking 20 per cent chance of conceiving each month. Notonly does sperm quality decline with age, but also women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, so their fertility only goes down over time*.

The second most common cause of infertility is ‘unexplained’, which means that following thorough investigations, doctors can find no identifiable medical problem for a couple’s infertility. Fertility is multi-factorial so it’s important to look at every aspect of wellbeing, from general health, emotional problems and lifestyle.

We asked Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health and author of best selling Getting Pregnant Faster: Boost Your Fertility in Just 3 Months – Naturally, to give us her 4 step plan on boosting fertility naturally.

Check your menu

‘Although it goes without saying that a healthy diet is crucial to a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby, many people are unaware of the fact that diet may affect the ability to conceive. The following are recommended:

Plenty of fruit and vegetables
Complex carbohydrates – wholegrains like brown rice, oats and wholemeal bread
Organic foods where possible
Oily foods such as fish, nuts, seeds and oils
Reduced intake of saturated fats from dairy products etc.
Increased intake of fibre
Avoid additives, preservatives and chemicals, such as artificial sweeteners
Avoid sugar, both on its own and hidden in food

Avoid the three main fertility busters: Caffeine, alcohol and smoking as they have all been linked to an increased risk of infertility in men and women.’

Food Supplements

‘As well as looking at what you eat and drink there is now a great deal of scientific knowledge about the use of nutritional supplements and their beneficial effects on fertility. The most important nutrients for fertilityare Zinc, Folic Acid, Selenium, Vitamin E and C and Omega 3 Fatty Acids.’

Weight Matters

‘Women are most fertile when they are neither too thin nor too heavy. They need at least 18% body fat to ovulate and the best chance of getting pregnant is when 20-25% of the body mass is fat tissue. On the other hand, the menstrual cycle can be disrupted by too much fat, which affects oestrogen levels. Being 25% over the ideal weight can even stop ovulation. It’s important for the man to keep his eye on his weight too as there is an increased risk of infertility or poor sperm quality and quantity in men who are overweight’


‘Stress can cause irregular ovulation and also lower sperm count. To minimise stress, the recommendations are to eat a healthy diet which keeps blood sugar in balance, exercise regularly and get at least eight hours sleep a night. Yoga or meditation can also be helpful and well as seeing a counsellor as infertility is itself stressful.’

Natural Approach

Dr Marilyn Glenville has joined forces with luxury health spa Champneys, to deliver a series of women’s wellbeing weekends this year.  These very special one and two day retreats are led by Dr Glenville herself and offer natural solutions and insight into four significant female health issues.  Dr Glenville’s Fertility retreat is this November at Champneys in Tring.  Groups are kept small to allow for plenty of time for questions and one to one time.  Each retreat includes full use of all facilities, nutritious meals and a thalassotherapy session.  Champneys.com for booking and more information.