Valentine’s Day is a very old tradition. Some believe it originated from a pagan festival called Lupercalia held at the start of spring. In a sacred cave, priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. Following the feast, the goat’s hide was made into strips, dipped into the sacrificial blood and taken to the streets to anoint the women. Those touched by the hide were believed to become more fertile in the coming year.
|Thankfully, the tradition has changed over hundreds of years! Valentine’s Day is now a time to celebrate our loved ones and a wonderful reminder to support your fertility. At Northern Beaches Health & Fertility, we see many opportunities to boost your chances of conceiving a healthy child. Here are my 10 recommendations to get you started:-|
- Eat well. Eat healthy, nutritious foods to provide your body with the ‘building blocks’ necessary for fertility and a healthy baby. See our Diet for Conceiving Well in the Resources section on our website.
- Clean up. Avoid recreational and occupational toxins. Cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine should all be avoided. Avoid chemicals in the home, your food and water.
- Manage weight. Women have a higher chance of conception when they are in a normal body mass index range. Weight loss of 5-10% dramatically improves fertility & pregnancy rates in overweight women and men. BMI of 18.5-24.9 is considered normal.
- Take supplements. All couples trying to conceive should take supplemental multivitamins and minerals to ensure the best chance of a healthy pregnancy. Even the best diet needs a helping hand.
- Check in with your GP. Do a preconception check-up and manage existing medical conditions.
- Know your cycle. There are various simple methods of determining when you ovulate to optimise your chances. However, many subtle hormonal imbalances and underlying ovarian or uterine dynamics can make the picture confusing. Seek help to identify and treat these.
- Quality over quantity. As women and men age, their eggs and sperm decline in quality. Antioxidant nutrients and phytochemicals (antioxidants from plants) can help protect cells from damage, support healthy ovulation and improve sperm quality.
- It takes two. Make sure your partner is also taking care of their body. For men, the quality of their sperm is a “report card” of their diet and lifestyle patterns over the past 3-4 months.
- Breathe. There is a known vicious cycle where stress impedes fertility and fertility problems increase stress. Support yourself through counselling, meditation, acupuncture and yoga to reduce stress.
- Exercise & laugh. Live an active physical life with many happy thoughts and supportive relationships.