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Are You Baby Fit?

There are times in life when we should question our wellbeing and level of fitness. Nobody would consider running a marathon, for example, if they weren’t physically fit enough to take on the demands of 26 miles. And yet when it comes to trying for a baby, often we overlook our body’s preparedness for the tough physical challenge of creating and sustaining another human life.

Fit For Baby

There’s a lot of general advice surrounding pregnancy. In recent years, for example, the directive to supplement with folic acid to prevent neural defects in babies. However even this advice is not filtering through effectively. Since 1998 2,000 babies (150 a year) have been lost or born with disabilities due to insufficient folic acid levels in expectant mothers, whilst 85% of British women, between the ages of 16-49, still have low folic acid levels 1.

But in addition to folic acid guidelines, how much substantial guidance is there regarding the fitness of the female body during a time when physically it needs to be at a peak? Aside from standard advice about the dangers of smoking, stress, weight, and age, what other factors are necessary for creating a perfect environment for conception, and therefore a healthy, viable pregnancy?

Female fertility could be scrutinised in far more depth at the time between the initial idea to get pregnant and problems encountered to reach that end. Currently, sources of information for getting pregnant range from family, the Internet, to the HFEA, and when attempts to get pregnant over a 12-month period have failed, medical professionals guide couples towards assisted conception. But what about the interim – the period of preconception care? What other measures can you take prior to, and even during, assisted conception to ensure that you are in the best shape to conceive? Often overlooked is having the quality of a man’s sperm tested, which should be a primary concern. But also, there are other ideas that could and should be addressed before seeking costly, and often emotionally draining, medical intervention.

At Private Pregnancy UK we receive questions like this often:

“I am 27-year-old vegetarian who is thinking of trying to become pregnant! What are the recommendations for dietary intakes of iron, zinc and selenium and why are those nutrients important to pregnancy?”

This is a viable question. It makes good sense to think about what is going on internally. If your body is not in good shape, the chances of creating a healthy pregnancy will be less. Conception is an intricate process; the health of the sperm, the egg, and the uterine lining, together with a multitude of other complex factors, play a part in a successful outcome. Implantation (successful only 10-15% of the time) has substantial cellular energy needs. If your general health is depleted, it stands to reason that this process will suffer also.

There are many reasons that you may be suffering with subfertility or infertility. Lifestyle, diet, age, stress all compound health issues that can create negative effects on your reproductive capacity. In industrialised, Western societies in particular, oxidative stress is a serious concern across all age groups. Oxidative stress is the damage to cells during the oxidation process due to an infiltration of toxins (sunlight, cigarette, stress, medications, and disease conditions), and can be linked to over 70 well-known diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and kidney failure. There is increasing evidence that oxidative stress can influence a negative conception outcome.

Infertility affects many and is becoming increasingly common year on year, particularly with couples putting off pregnancy until later in life. According to the World Health Organisation: “One in every four couples in developing countries had been found to be affected by infertility” 2. In 2012 2.2% of all babies born in the UK were the outcome of IVF treatment and 2013 49,636 women underwent IVF 3. Medical conditions such as polyps, ovulation failure, and cervical issues can be linked also with cell damage and infertility as described above, all of which tie in with the issues of exposure to harmful chemical toxins and lack of nutrients. This suggests more and more that lifestyle and nutritional factors can influence both male and female fertility. Improving the environment for fertility then, well in advance of conception, should be an important consideration.

So how can couples take responsibility for their fertility? Aside from giving up alcohol and cigarettes and taking care of your physical health, nutritional health is a significant and necessary requirement. You need antioxidants and a good diet to ensure optimum physical performance. Healthy food is a must, although our food sources are slowly being degraded also. So supplementing this process with extra nutrients is extremely important as a serious means of assistance, especially at a time when you want your body to perform well.

Interest in nutritional supplementation has risen dramatically over recent years, and research into the effects of supplements on fertility has produced some interesting findings. A review article published by the University of Rome discussed the importance of neutraceutics (a combination of the words nutrition and pharmaceutics – as a complementary sector to the study of pharmaceutics alone). The focus of the study was to assess the effects of the nutritional supplement Proxeed Plus on a group of 32 infertile male patients. The results of the study showed a significant rise in motility of sperm in their test study, concluding that:

“This type
 of therapeutic approach as a possible technique for treating selected forms of male infertility.” 4

Recently Proxeed Women Fertility formula has been introduced to the market and, in the same way as Proxeed Plus for men, is fast becoming a recognised and trusted nutritional supplement designed to support female fertility in the run up to conception for both natural and assisted conceptions. The makers of Proxeed Women have made it their focus to bring to the market a product that provides genuine assistance for women’s wellbeing and nutrition with the aim of dramatically improving the body’s ability to deal with the demands of conception and positive pregnancy outcomes.

Proxeed Women

Proxeed Women is designed to give optimal metabolic support to the female reproductive system and contains 15 vitamin and mineral elements targeted specifically at aiding various parts of the reproductive process. The energy needed for conception is significantly greater than at other times in a woman’s cycle, and specific nutrients can ensure that the reproductive system is performing optimally for this event.

Alongside a healthy diet, the antioxidants and micronutrients present in Proxeed ingredients can offer nutritional support in the following ways:

proxeed-women-malfuntioning-ingredients-system

Cartinines in particular have been shown to improve cellular energy production and are important for maintaining egg quality and supporting a normal hormonal cycle. Proxeed Women is a product developed by a leading pharmaceutical company and global leader in cartinine research (Sigma Tau), using scientifically proven EU pharmaceutical grade ingredients, tested for bio availability and compatibility.

By taking one sachet a day for 4-6 months whilst trying for a baby, Proxeed Women can give your body everything it needs to maximise your fertility. There is increasing evidence that giving your body the nutrients and vitamins it needs during this vital time can help uterine health, and increase energy supply to the egg in order to support healthy embryo development. Endorsed by consultants and IVF clinics, Proxeed Women is available to complement Proxeed Plus for men so that couples together can take responsibility for their own fertility from early on.

To buy Proxeed Women, click here.

Ultimately fertility is a combination of many factors, and sometimes couples are so busy thinking about the end goal of having the baby, they forget that their first thought should be about themselves: “Am I prepared, am I healthy, am I baby fit?” The good news is there are steps you can take throughout the initial stages of trying for a baby to ensure you can answer these questions positively. It makes sense to prepare your body as well as your mind; making sure that biologically you are performing at your best. Nutrition should always be the first step in that process. If your body is not receiving the nutrients it needs, how can it produce the energy it requires? Anyone who has followed a fitness plan knows that what you put in, you get out. So have all bases covered, and get help from every available source, to make sure you are baby fit from day one.

REFERENCES

 [1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3365083/Lack-folic-acid-causes-spina-bifida-hundreds-birth-defects.html
 [2] http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/infertility/burden/en/
 [3] http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/HFEA_Fertility_Trends_and_Figures_2013.pdf
 [4] Journal of Andrological Sciences 2009;16:00-00

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