Pre-conception health for both mum’s and dad’s-to-be is so important. Nutritionist Gaye Godkin examines the reasons to consider a pre-conception supplement if you’re thinking about or currently trying for a baby.
Just over a third of couples will conceive in the first month of trying, while for others it can be a much longer road, with factors such as age, general health and reproductive health affecting how long it takes. Around 1 in 6 couples may experience issues with fertility.
The growing demands of a modern lifestyle are having a significant impact on our nutritional health. Stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, dieting and poor nutrition all impact the bodies ability to absorb the nutrition needed to optimise reproductive health.
Improving nutrition and lifestyle for as little as three months before trying to conceive can make a noticeable difference to both genders as both the male and female reproductive systems need adequate nutritional support to contribute to sperm and egg quality.
Hormones and their appropriate release during the female monthly cycle is hugely dependent on the food and nutrients a female consumes. Female hormones require a selection of vitamins and co-factors to support a timely release of necessary hormones. Without these nutrients, the delicate orchestral balance can be disrupted. Many women dealing with fertility issues have hormonal imbalances.
While for men, the body produces a new batch of sperm approximately every 74 days. This is good news for men as positive dietary changes and key supplementation can change the quality of sperm every 3 months.
Folic acid comes from the B Vitamin Folate, it is vital that a woman has sufficient folic acid in her system prior to conception and during pregnancy to prevent amongst other things neural defects. The Department of Health recommends that all women take folic acid for at least 3 months before pregnancy. As it is a water soluble vitamin it is not stored in the body so it must be taken in daily. Unfortunately food sources don’t provide sufficient amounts at this time so supplementation is necessary. All Proceive products contain the recommended 400ug of Folic Acid.
B-vitamins are water soluble which means that the body cannot store them and they are excreted daily. They are the co-factors for many enzymatic reactions in the body. One of their most important functions is their role in energy production within the cell. Without sufficient energy, the body’s manufacturing area cannot produce hormones and ultimately support conception.
The sunshine vitamin – it acts as a steroid hormone in the body. It is imperative that any woman considering conception should have sufficient levels in her body. Due to the UK’s northerly latitude, we lack this vitamin. In fact data collected from Irish maternity hospitals have found that 99% of participants fell short on Vitamin D. Vitamin D supplementation particularly during winter months is very important.
IRON, CALCIUM AND MAGNESIUM
Iron, Calcium and Magnesium make up most of the minerals in the body. These nutrients are commonly deficient in women and some men. The development of the foetus is hugely dependent on these vital nutrients. Levels of these important nutrients are lower in the modern diet and what’s more depletion is associated with the consumption of processed and ultra-processed foods. While digestive health issues such as I.B.S. or Coeliac disease or food intolerances impair the body’s ability to absorb these nutrients in the gut. It is most advantageous for both a man and a woman to increase their levels of these vital minerals before they embark on the conception journey. Taking a good quality nutritional supplement prior to conception will help to prevent such deficiencies.
It can be difficult to get all of these nutrients in the diet in today’s busy world. This is where supplements such as Proceive can help, by providing extra support needed to support good pre-conception health.