Whether you’ve had previous IVF cycles or are at the very start of your fertility journey, it is never too late or too early to evaluate your current lifestyle choices. Not only can healthy habits improve your overall health, but they may also promote fertility in both men and women.
Being an unhealthy weight can affect a woman’s fertility by causing hormonal imbalances and problems with ovulation. Regular moderate exercise can boost your fertility, promote weight loss and help ease stress. To be accepted as an NHS funded patient, your BMI should be no more than 30, and for self-funding private patients, this should be no more than 35.
A balanced diet is essential to your overall health. Foods with antioxidant properties, such as fruit and vegetables, are likely to be beneficial to both eggs and sperm because they protect against oxidative stress which can be harmful. Avoid foods containing trans fats like hydrogenated vegetable oils and margarine, and try to eat unsaturated fats such as oily fish and nuts. Its common sense to eat a wide variety of healthy foods as part of your lifestyle connected to fertility
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Heavy drinking is associated with an increased risk of ovulation disorders
Smoking affects each stage of the reproductive process. Toxins present in tobacco smoke such as cadmium and cotinine can affect both sperm and eggs. Smoking can also damage DNA, and research shows that the risk of infertility is doubled for those that smoke compared to non-smokers. Second-hand smoke is also harmful, which means, even if it’s only your partner who smokes, both individuals fertility can be greatly reduced. Local services are available to help you quit.
Commencing fertility treatment can place a great deal of stress and anxiety that can affect your overall health and well-being. It is vital that you acknowledge that stress cannot always be avoided, but you can put steps in place to help you cope when times get hard. Having a strong, supportive network can allow you to discuss your thoughts and feelings with others. Fertility can be an emotional rollercoaster, and we are sensitive to the emotions you may experience, and the stress of the treatment itself.
Counselling alongside fertility treatments allows people the opportunity to explore the emotional distress they are feeling, helping them to cope throughout. You can book an appointment with our counsellor Hayley by contacting the unit on 0115 828 0246.