To Coffee or not when trying for a baby?

Caffeine consumption is a much debated subject when it comes to conception and fertility issues. Coffee can be described as a double edged sword. Coffee beans come from a plant so they are essentially a healthy food choice. They are packed full of health promoting plant chemicals. When the beans are picked, they are roasted and this process increases their health promoting anti-oxidant levels.

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The Egg Story

Women are born with around 1-2 million follicles (immature eggs). This is their complete supply and they don’t make any more. At puberty the number of eggs has dropped by over half down to 400,000-500,000. With each menstrual cycle up to 1000 follicles begin getting ready for ovulation. Only 1 becomes mature enough to do so. The other 999 or so are lost, so once you start your regular menstrual cycles, you begin to lose eggs on a monthly basis.

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Protein for Conception

Protein is a macro nutrient and is vital for conception and pregnancy. It is comprised of many amino acids. These amino acids are the building blocks of the body. It is responsible for building and repairing cells, manufacturing hormones and a healthy reproductive function. The body needs a constant supply of protein which should be consumed at each meal. Different foods have different levels of protein.

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Beans and amino acids

A good fertility supplement should contain the correct amount of L'arginine and L'citrulline.  L'arginine and L'citrulline are amino acids which are the precursors for the production of nitric oxide in the body.  Nitric oxide has many functions in the human body.  It is a molecule that the body produces to help its 50 trillion cells communicate with each other by transmitting signals throughout the entire body.

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Fertility and the fry up

Men trying to conceive need to significantly reduce their consumption of all processed meat.
Guys, it may be time to say goodbye to your rashers, sausages and pudding breakfast if you would like to improve your sperm quality and achieve a pregnancy. 

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Cannabis reduces male fertility

The United Nations drugs watchdog has warned that Government's "softly, softly" approach to cannabis use is putting the health of future generations at risk.

Cannabis is the most widely used drug in Ireland and is often termed a soft-drug. Its use is highly controversial and has far reaching physiological consequences on the body. Research has shown that men who frequently use cannabis under the age of 30 produce abnormal sperm which significantly lower their fertility and prevents them from having children

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FertilityOrla O'Connor
Proceive on Ireland AM

Gaye Godkin, Health Nutritionist, talks to Ireland AM about how nutrition and health impacts fertility. Watch the video to see Gaye explain how Proceive Preconception Fertility Supplements can help your body get the extra vitamins, amino acids and minerals that are often lacking in our diets and how these can assist your body when trying for a baby.

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Selenium and Fertility

Very often when we think of fertility issues, we jump to the conclusion that it is a female issue as the woman provides the vessel to carry the baby.  We now have a much better understanding of the importance of the quality of male sperm.  Sperm testing is carried out in fertility clinics.  These tests include diagnosing issues such as low sperm count, poor mobility, poor motility and damage to the DNA.

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Lubrication and Fertility

Cervical mucus that a woman produces is there for a very good reason and actually assists conception. It is common for a woman to experience some vaginal dryness throughout her childbearing years, but if this continues it may make it difficult to get pregnant.  

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Fibre & Fertility

To prepare for pregnancy and enhance fertility, it is very important to maintain a healthy weight and choose foods that will create a safe and supportive environment for your baby's nine-month journey.  From a female perspective, the foods consumed and toxins ingested have an effect on hormonal balance and egg quality.  We now understand the importance of the environment that the egg is released into and how it subsequently develops.  That is why a good diet and sufficient nutrients are so important to support the developing foetus.  Males are no different as sperm is manufactured in the male body every 74 days, which is why it is so important to consume foods that have a beneficial effect on sperm quality.  

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NutritionOrla O'Connor
5 Anti-Nutrients men need to avoid

Fertility solutions are big business and medical intervention is very expensive.  The reasons are multifactorial and can be male or female or both.  Food and its impact on health outcomes has now emerged as one of the major players in achieving a pregnancy.  The role of the male in conception is sometimes understated but very important.  There is a steep increase in males presenting with sperm issues.  The focus on sperm quality and the genetics of this raw material is comprehensive and responds best to dietary intervention and adopting positive lifestyle behaviours.

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Don't forget to take Folic Acid NOW

Research with 402 mothers-to-be attending the Coombe Hospital in Dublin highlighted that only one in three women achieved the recommended dietary folate intake*. It is well documented that dietary deficiencies of folate are associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects - mainly spina bifida and anencephaly, a condition where the foetus is missing parts of the brain and skull.

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Zinc & Male Fertility

As important as zinc levels are to a woman’s fertility, it maybe even more vital when a man is trying for a baby. Zinc is one of the most important trace minerals to date for male fertility. 
Increasing zinc levels in men has been shown to boost sperm volume; improve structure and function of male sperm and is a good quality anti-oxidant.

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When does age become a factor when trying to conceive?

Lifestyle changes have meant that couples often leave it later than their parents and grandparents did to have children.  We know that fertility in women peaks in their mid-twenties and starts to decline from age 30 onwards.  From age 35, fertility declines further. There is a myth that age does not affect a man’s fertility – it does, though at a later age, from mid to late forties.

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Fertility Tests – Options for  Men and women 

It is hard when you have been trying for a baby and time seems to be passing by without getting pregnant.  It is estimated that unexplained inability to conceive affects about one third of couples.   It is believed that about one third of women and one third of men may have some underlying issues which could be looked at. There are a number of tests for both men and women which can be taken to help identify issues which will hopefully provide a path forward for you. 

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FertilityCatriona Barry