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Recommended Supplements:

Eagles Natal Plus 180 tablets for prenatal care and pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Eagles Tresos Natal:  NEW 90 tablets one a day formula. Contains an activated for of folate folinic acid for more enhanced absorption. Naturopath recommends!

Bioceutical innatal plus iron: For those requiring extra iron during pregnancy or preconception

Bioceuticals Co enzyme Q 10 excel for fertility. Preconception care only.

Chaste tree and Wild Yam complex. Speak to the naturopath to see if these supplements are the right hormone balancers for you. Pre conception care only

Pre conception care only: Organic Spirulina and Vital Greens for detoxification.

Bioceuticals ultraclean antarctic krill Oil:  a clean source of omega 3 and can be taken during pregnancy.

Bioceutical Ultraclean EPA DHA: a concentrated  fish oil omega 3 supplement that has been tested for impurities.

Bioceuticals SB Flora Activ: To assist with pregnancy digestive issues like constipation and reflux.

Pure Innovation Folinic Acid: For those diagnosed with MTHFR gene.

  

  

Prenatal care starts with a high quality prenatal supplement combined with a diet high in a variety fresh fruit vegetables, wholegrains, no processed foods and quality sources of protein. (red and white meat, beans, chick peas, lentils, eggs and low mercury and high omega 3 sources of fish e.g. salmon, sardines.

 

We recommend taking your prenatal supplement 3 months before trying to conceive and during the duration of your pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

 

Any issues with conception should be dealt with by health care professionals including your local GP and a qualified naturopath.

 

Fertility

 

Research conclusively supports the use of nutritional medicine and its role in fertility and healthier babies.

 

Preconception Health Care 

 

 

Sperm can take up to 76 days to develop and mature, during which time they are vulnerable to damage. Likewise the egg takes approximately 100 days to mature before ovulation.

Poor nutrition, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, environmental pollution, lack of exercise, stress, oral contraceptives, genito-urinary infections, and other infections eg Candida, allergies, child bearing at an older age and stress are all important factors which may be harmful to sperm, eggs, health of the male and female reproductive organs, general health of both parents, and in turn the health of the baby.

 

Therefore 3 - 4 months of healthy living before conception will improve the quality of sperm, egg and pregnancy.

 

What studies or research is it based upon?
FORESIGHT, the Association for the Promotion of Preconception Care, was established in the UK in 1978. A study involving 1100 couples is currently being run with Surrey University. Another 2 year study of 367 couples was completed in 1992 where originally 59% of the couples had prior adverse reproductive history, including 38% miscarriage and 37% infertility (1-10 years). Upon completion of the study, 89% of all the couples had successful births of healthy babies. No baby was born before 36 weeks and none was lighter than 2368gm. There were no miscarriages, no perinatal deaths and no malformations. No baby was admitted to Special Care. In comparison to any similar sized population sample who do not practice preconception health care, approximately 70 miscarriages and 12 malformations usually occur. Natural Fertility Management extends this program to include herbal medicines for reproductive and hormonal difficulties.

   

 

Is Natural Fertility Management compatible with or after IVF?
Natural Fertility Management is ideal prior to undertaking IVF as it can resolve or reduce the underlying causes of the infertility and thereby actually increases the success rate of IVF. IVF does not address these underlying causes e.g. infections, hormone imbalances but bypasses them to force the conception to occur. As a result, IVF has a higher than normal rate of miscarriage, birth defects and low birth weight babies. However, naturopathic treatment is available concomitant with IVF treatment. In fact, nutritional support and stress management are vital for those undergoing assisted conceptions, e.g. IVF. No supplement that has a hormonal effect is given to interfere with the drug regime. Emphasis is placed upon boosting your nutritional requirements and stress management.

 

Benefits of Preconception Health Care 

Females: 

  • Regulates ovulation
  • Balances hormone levels
  • Improves health of ovaries and egg (ova)
  • Reduces endometriosis and improves uterine health
  • Helps clear blocked fallopian tubes and improves tubal function
  • Diagnosis and treat, hidden infections in the reproductive tract
  • Treats Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Reduces polycystic ovaries and management of insulin resistance
  • Lessens cervical damage from erosion/infection/surgery
  • Enhances quality and quantity of fertile mucous and reduces hostile mucous
  • Reduces miscarriage antibodies and sperm antibodies

Males 

  • Improves sperm count, sperm motility, health and quality of sperm (morphology)
  • Balances hormone levels and boost testosterone.
  • Reduces sperm antibodies
  • Management of varioceles and improvement in circulation and health of testes
  • Improves health of prostate and quality of seminal fluid
  • Diagnosis and treat, hidden infections in the reproductive tract

 

Pregnancy and Birth 

  • Normal, healthy, full term pregnancy with reduced complications such as morning sickness, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, constipation, heart burn, stretch marks, poor memory, mood swings, hair loss, skin pigmentation, bleeding gums, fatigue, susceptibility to infection eg thrush
  • Reduced incidence of more severe complications such as hyperemesis, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, toxaemia, preterm birth and stillbirth
  • Short and straight forward labour with reduced risk of post-partum haemorrhage, postnatal depression
  • Successful breast feeding- quantity and nutrient quality of breast milk, mastitis, cracked nipples

Baby 

  • Enhanced physical and mental health
  • Reduced incidence of congenital defects, even of older parents, learning and behavioural disorders or delays later in childhood
  • Reduced incidence of SIDS: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, allergies eg. asthma, eczema, food allergies, poor immune system
  • Reduced excessive crying, colic, nappy rash, thrush, teething problems

 

Statistics 

1 couple in 6 is infertile
1 woman in 5 will miscarry.1 in 3 in the first pregnancy.
1 women in 10 suffers from toxaemia or high blood pressure
1 women in 4 undergoes a Caesarean section
1 baby in 10 is born prematurely or ‘small for dates’
1 baby in 30 is born with congenital defects
1 in every 3 women suffer from some degree of post natal depression
1 woman in 10 breast-feeds her child for more than 12 months
More than 1 child in 10 is affected by a learning or behavioural problem
1 child in 5 suffers from asthma

 

 

Nutritional Research 

Below are a selection of research study results that illustrate the importance of diet on fertility, pregnancy and the subsequent health of the baby.

 

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January 2007 found that eating trans fatty acids e.g. Margarine, deep fried oils, processed foods, increased the risk of fertility problems by 70% or more.

 

Effects of poor nutrition at different stages of pregnancy: 

First trimester  

  • Reduced birth weight
  • Proportionately small body
  • Reduced weight of child at 1 year after delivery

All trimesters  

  • Reduced head circumference
  • Less than optimum brain development
  • Reduced intelligence
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure in later life

Incidence of Low Birth Weight in Australian babies 2003
Low-birth weight babies have a greater risk of:

  • Poor health
  • Longer period of hospitalisation after birth
  • Developing significant disabilities
  • Mortality: 30% of infant deaths is due to low birth weight < 2500gm, especially common in IVF babies and multiple babies.

Fruit and Veg Intake During Pregnancy is Positively Associated with Birth Weight

  • Significant positive associations were observed between fruit and vegetable intakes during pregnancy with birth weight of offspring.

Maternal Vitamin D Intake Influences Children  

  • Women who have higher vitamin D intakes during pregnancy give birth to heavier babies. “For each one mcg increase of dietary vitamin D (food plus supplements), birth weight increased by 11 grams”
  • Low levels of maternal vitamin D may be associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia.
  • A steady increase of rickets and vitamin D deficiency was reported at Westmead Children’s Hospital (Sydney) in 2006: Cases doubled between 2002 and 2003 in the Sydney area.

Benefits of multi-nutrient supplementation
Shown to reduce the risk of:

  • All congenital developmental defects in general by half (if taken 1 month prior to conception)
  • Urinary tract abnormalities by 85%
  • Neural tube defects by at least 50%
  • Facial abnormality, cleft lip or cleft palate by 25 – 50%
  • Some limb abnormalities by 85%
  • Heart defects by 35%
  • Low birth weight
  • Brain tumours (if used in early pregnancy:1st week prior to conceiving and 1st 2 weeks of conception/pregnancy)

Symptoms of Low Iron 

  • Anaemia Symptoms: Poor stamina, shortness of breath on exertion, unreasonable limb fatigue, dizziness (especially on standing)
  • Iron deficiency symptoms: red, sore tongue, cracks in corner of mouth, concave fingernails, reduced resistance to infection (particularly in children), recurrent thrush and poor digestion caused by low gastric acid levels.

Iron deficiency in pregnancy 

  • Associated with an increased risk of: low birth weight, preterm delivery, perinatal mortality, postpartum depression.

Iron Deficiency = Psychomotor and Cognitive Abnormalities in Children 

  • Maternal iron deficiency anaemia is associated with poor performance on mental and psychomotor tests in offspring..

Maternal Benefits of DHA from fish oils. 

  • Reduced risk of postnatal depression
  • Reduced risk of preterm delivery or low birth weight
  • Reduced risk of pre-eclampsia
  • Reduce risk of poor concentration and forgetfulness during pregnancy
  • May reduce the risk of dry itchy skin and possibly stretch marks

Maternal DHA Status Influences Childrens’ Health and Development 

  • Development of baby’s eyes, visual acuity, brain
  • Significantly better hand-eye coordination
  • Scored higher on measures of vocabulary and language comprehension
  • The average phrase-length of their speech was longer
  • Children scored higher intelligence tests at four years of age
  • Children displayed advanced attention spans into their second year of life. During the first six months of life these infants were two months ahead of babies whose mothers had lower DHA levels

Folinic acid and MTHFR Gene

 The Importance of Metabolically Active Folic acid
Eagle's comprehensive Tresos Natal contains the metabolically active Calcium folinate to provide 250 mcg of folinic acid per tablet. This active form of folic acid is used in our formula to overcome the metabolic issues associated with the common inherited gene polymorphism known as C677T MTHFR. This polymorphism results in an unstable methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) enzyme, with up to 50 per cent of the population affected. MTHFR plays an essential role in homocysteine metabolism and those who are homozygous for this gene are more likely to have impaired methylation and folate metabolism. Activated Folic acid bypasses this biochemical pathway.

See our supplement section for more information on our Naturopath recommended  Tresos Natal 90 tablets by Eagle Pharmaceuticals. This supplement contain Folinic Acid.

 

Co enzyme Q10

 

 

 

Dr Yaakov Bentov assistant professor at University of Toronto , Advanced Reproduction Technology says that as a woman ages her eggs become less efficient during fertilization because the chromosomes don’t replicate as well. In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility, Bentov and his colleagues found that taking 600mg of Coenzyme Q10 daily helped improve fertility rates. It may improve fertility rates by correcting the energy of the eggs, which improves the division of chromosomes during fertilization. Studies have also found that males taking 300mg of coenzyme q10 daily may also improve male fertility.

 

 

 

Preconception Care for Men

As couples prepare for pregnancy, it is easy to focus only on the woman’s health. However, there are several habits men need to be forming during these critical months of preparation, too. Issues of fertility do not rest solely on the female. According to the Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS), "Agents that may cause birth defects do not reach the developing fetus through the father as they do from the pregnant mother." But we do know that male exposure to certain things can lead to some preliminary problems with fertility and also slighly elevate the risk of certain birth defects.

Male fertility factors contribute to approximately 50% of all infertility cases, and male infertility alone accounts for approximately one-third of all infertility cases. Should fertility issues arise, you will be one step ahead by beginning now with some simple steps to be in the best physical condition to conceive.

 

Clean out the medicine cabinet

Eliminate as many medications from your routine as possible. Talk with your physician about your prescription medications. You may need to discontinue use or try something new. The following medications have been known to impact male fertility:

  • Tagamet (cimetidine), sulfasalazine, or nitrofurantoin are used to treat ulcers, gastrointestinal problems, and urinary tract infections. These medications may impact sperm production and sperm count.
  • Steroids, such as prednisone and cortisone, which are used to treat asthma, arthritis and skin conditions, impact male fertility.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation could cause sterility or a significant change in sperm quality and quantity.

 

Take a good look at your work environment

Your work environment may be a contributing factor to your fertility. Research suggests ongoing exposure to certain things like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, lead, nickel, mercury, chromium, ethylene glycol ethers, petrochemicals, benzene, perchloroethylene, and radiation can lower sperm quality, quantity and possibly lead to infertility or miscarriage.

Few and far between are the men who would be opposed to this. What you eat can make a difference. Find out what your proper weight range should be and make the necessary dietary and exercise changes to get there.

Studies suggest that some men with low sperm count also have a zinc deficiency. The following foods are high in zinc and could increase your fertility: meat, wholegrain cereals, seafood, and eggs. Selenium, which is found in Brazil nuts, meat, seafood, mushrooms and cereals, has also been found to aid in fertility.

Adding more vitamin E may also help the process along. Getting plenty of Z’sss is good for everything that ails you, even low sperm counts and sperm quality.

Avoid alcohol and other substances

Eliminate alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and any illicit drugs. Too much alcohol may reduce zinc levels, and drugs decrease sperm quality.

Marijuana has been proven to affect sperm quality and sperm count, but there is no evidence that shows that marijuana causes birth defects.

Keep your testicles cool 

Heat from hot tubs, saunas, hot long showers ( more than 30 minutes), heating pads, electric blankets, and tight clothing like briefs and spandex could cause your testicles to become too hot which decreases sperm quantity.

Stay away from cycling for a while 

Cycling can cause a lot of friction and jostling, which increases the temperature of your testicles. The rise in temperature and possibility of injury may exacerbate low sperm count.

 

Which nutrients might improve male fertility?

Do take a multivitamin, or even a pre-natal vitamin! Also an antioxidant supplement like Beta ACE maybe beneficial. Also ensure you increase your nutritional status through a diet high in whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables.


Zinc
Both zinc play an important role in conceiving. Low levels of zinc have been linked to poor sperm quality and a reduction in the sperm's ability to move (motility)

 (Safarinejad 2009, Yuyan et al 2008).
Food sources of zinc include extra-lean minced beef, pumpkin seeds, nuts, baked beans and dark chicken meat.

Vitamin D

One study has shown a possible link between vitamin D levels and how mobile your sperm is. The study showed that men who were deficient in vitamin D had less mobile sperm
(Blomberg Jensen et al 2011). But more conclusive research is needed.

Our bodies make vitamin D in response to sunlight. We also get it through eating foods containing vitamin D. Oily fish, and foods fortified with vitamin D such as, some breakfast cereals, contain vitamin D.

Folate

Folate (vitamin B9), is important for men to make healthy sperm and is the naturally occurring form of folic acid
(Young et al 2008). There's a small amount of evidence linking a diet rich in this vitamin to higher sperm counts (Vujkovic et al 2009). You don't need to take a folic acid supplement as a dad-to-be, but it won't do you any harm to eat plenty of folate-rich foods.

Folate-rich foods include green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and sprouts. Folate can also be found in pulses, potatoes and oranges. So a jacket potato with baked beans or homemade spinach dal is a good way of incorporating folate into your diet. Many breakfast cereals are also fortified with folic acid.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants may improve the quality of your sperm by decreasing the number of free radicals that can cause cell membrane damage
(Anderson et al 2010, Eskenazi et al 2005). In some studies, men who ate a diet low in antioxidants were more likely to have poor-quality sperm (Mendiola et al 2010).

Antioxidant vitamins include vitamins C and E and betacarotene, a form of vitamin A. Eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables will give you plenty of antioxidants. Make it easy by keeping a bag of apples in the fridge at work or a bunch of grapes on your desk. Juicing, fresh vegetables and fruit will increase your nutrient and antioxidant profile.

There's even some evidence that if you're taking longer than the usual time to conceive you may benefit from antioxidant vitamin supplements like BETA ACE
(Showell et al 2011).