Preconception and Fertility
Preconception care is a recent term used to describe preparation for a planned conception. It is has become increasingly popular as more and more couples are becoming aware of the health benefits that this forward planning and care provides, not only to themselves but to their future offspring.
Preconception Care offers couples a chance to address their health and reproductive concerns prior to conceiving, these often include: nutritional deficiencies, irregular menstrual cycles and hormonal imbalances, poor sperm health, metabolic and weight loss issues, history of miscarriage, food allergies and intolerances as well as IVF planning and support. It is also a way for a couple to be at their healthiest and fittest prior to conceiving which as a result can often increase fertility, provide for a healthy pregnancy, as well as produce happy and healthy babies.
Health and disease often have a large role to play in our fertility and can affect it in many different ways. When your body is working in harmony and balance it provides an environment that welcomes a pregnancy.
What does Preconception Care involve?
Initial Consultation (often with both partners)
During this consultation you and your partner will discuss your reproductive and health history.
Blood tests may be requested depending on your case history. Important tests which will be run routinely for most patients include serum folate, urinary iodine and vitamin D as these deficiencies often impact on foetal development. Further testing may involve: hormones, semen analysis and genetic testing.
Diet and Lifestyle
Diet and lifestyle plans will be discussed. As part of preconception care a detox is often recommended as it helps the body to: rid of any toxins and drugs such as the oral contraceptive pill, help to balance hormones, balance blood sugar levels, assist with weight loss and boost general health.
Herbal and Nutritional Medicine
After your naturopathic assessment along with any blood test results that have shown deficiencies or hormonal imbalances, herbal medicine and nutritional supplements will be prescribed. These aim to address any imbalances, have a positive impact on egg and sperm health, assist with ovulation and provide the best environment for producing healthy offspring.
Charting Menstrual Cycles and Conception
You will be asked at some point in your treatment to chart your basal body temperature. This is a key tool used to help assess ovulation timing, metabolic function and hormonal balance. It will also be used to plan conception.
Follow up Consultations
Follow up consultations are usually scheduled around the woman’s menstrual cycle so that initially you will be making appointments on a monthly basis.