Are there secrets about preconception health and how to conceive? I think there must be. As a clinical nutritionist I have so many patients asking almost the same question. The following are a few notes I put together for a question a lady asked over the Internet.
Is There Anything My Infertile Husband Can Do To Help Conceive a Baby?
You haven’t actually said if there is a problem. If so, what is the specific problem? One can write a whole book on male infertility. Here are a few ideas for you to work with.
It is important to note that the female reproductive system often works on a 28-day cycle, while a man’s cycle is 72 days. Add to this the fact that red blood cells take 120 days to renew, and it becomes easy to see that what you eat today will affect your future eggs and sperm. Conversely, what you didn’t eat some months ago could have an effect on why your eggs or sperm are not doing so great today. I believe that prenatal diet really is a key factor in fertility and that we must do all we can to help the process, hence the need for prenatal vitamins and a preconception program.
By focusing on increasing the amount of fresh raw fruits, salads, unsalted nuts and seeds, that you eat every day, you will have made a good start to improving your prenatal health. 9 portions of fruits and vegetables is your goal. Cut out white food from your diet, i.e. white flour and sugar – and you will notice a substantial improvement in your health and energy levels within a week!
Make a real effort to avoid any form of artificial flavourings and additives, as these can be toxic to the body causing complication to your health. Artificial sweeteners and other substitutes will do more harm than good and possibly could contribute to infertility. All chemicals of any nature should be avoided as these can cause terrible damage to the DNA in your sperm and contribute to male infertility.
The right balance of prenatal nutrients found in fresh foods complement fertility supplements for men. A lack of good quality nutrients is known to cause imbalances in the hormone system, and contribute to poor sperm motility and general sperm health.
Selenium is required for sperm motility, and without adequate selenium, sperm tails kink and break off. Selenium also minimizes the risk of miscarriages.
Brazil nuts have the most selenium in them. Poultry, especially the dark meat, fish and grains all reasonable levels of selenium in them.
Selenium is not a cure-all for infertility. 150 to 200 mcg of selenium each day is probably close to an optimal dose. Low levels of Vitamins E and C also reduce fertility, and both of these vitamins should also be tried in cases of otherwise unexplained infertility. There are other prenatal vitamins that support preconception health.
Clinical Nutritionist Lynette Ellison Specialist in Nutrition for IVF, Infertility and Preconception Health http://InfertilityAndNutritionChecklist.com