Preconception healthcare is about achieving an optimum level of all the factors needed for healthy sperm, eggs and foetal development, with the purpose of being able to fall pregnant, and having a healthy full term pregnancy, and of course finally a strong, healthy baby delivered into the world as a result. During the preconception phase, an elimination of all things harmful will help achieve this too.
The creation of sperm can take over 100 days, and, while a woman is born with all her eggs, an egg en-route to ovulation (a process which takes around 100 days), is particularly susceptible to damage. For this reason, ideally a period of preconception healthcare is done.
Not a lot of detailed attention, if any, is put on preconception healthcare by many medical practitioners. Some will recommend the taking of folic acid, and avoiding smoking and alcohol. This is a start, however, there is much, much more that could and should be done.
STATISTICS TELL THE STORY
There are key, very important steps a woman and her partner should take to promote the likelihood of a successful conception, mother and baby being healthy and strong, and minimizing the risks of miscarriage and potential birth defects.
Statistics from Foresight, the British Association of the Promotion of Preconceptual Care ( in conjunction with Surrey University) show the effectiveness of preconception healthcare. A study of 367 couples that lasted two years, based on women aged from 22-45 and men from 25-59 was carried out. 37% were infertile, 38% had a history of miscarriages and 2% of malformation. The normal expectation was that in this study group there would be 70 miscarriages and 6 malformations.
- No miscarriage and no malformations.
- Live births to those previously infertile were 81%.
These statistics, taken in the context of IVF’s success rate of around 25%, show it is well worth pursuing.
Preconception healthcare is something that couples choose to do sometimes, even when not having difficulty conceiving. This is because of the far reaching benefits that extend beyond a healthy pregnancy with the aim of giving a newborn child a strong start and a springboard into a healthy infancy and childhood. Nutritional deficiencies in babies have been linked to allergies, mental impairment, emotional instability and distorted facial features, and poor physical development among other things.
YOUR FERTILITY PROGRAM
In your consultation with me, your diet will be planned for you. This is a ‘common sense’ yet precise diet, with good sources of protein and fresh foods. I will provide details of things to avoid, which can in themselves make a significant difference. For example, drinking as little as one cup of coffee per day, can half your chances of conceiving.
I will also recommend a program of supplements in preparation for conception. An enormous demand is placed on the body by pregnancy, and building up the required nutrients needed is an important step. The program will also address any underlying deficiencies and causes of infertility that I identify. Such things as PCOS, candida, endometriosis, hypothyroidism, among others, may be addressed in this way.
Rebalancing the body is also an essential part of the program. Hormonal imbalance comes about for many reasons, and can be directly linked with infertility. For those who have been on the pill, where the reproductive system is shut down and has not bounced back naturally, a special protocol is also followed.
In order to fall pregnant, the goal is to get a person into good health. Along the way, one can expect broader benefits to follow, and preconception healthcare steps are commonly accompanied by feelings of better health generally, such as more energy and feelings of general wellbeing.