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Nutrition as one of the factors that can affect your fertility
NUTRITION AS ONE OF THE FACTORS THAT CAN AFFECT YOUR FERTILITY
Conception is a complex process that depends on everything working properly at a number of stages.
Firstly, your hormone balance must be correct so that the egg develops normally. Secondly, you must be ovulating so that the egg is released. Thirdly, you must have sex at the right time in your cycle (there may be only two or three days a month when you are fertile). In addition, your partner must have a good sperm count and possess healthy sperm, which are capable of penetrating your cervical mucus to reach the egg. Then the egg has to be captured by the fallopian tube and be fertilised. Finally, once the egg has been fertilised, the embryo has to implant securely in the lining of the womb, which needs the right levels of the hormone progesterone to maintain the pregnancy. No wonder they talk about the miracle of life!
It's daunting to think about the number of things that can go wrong. But, as we have seen, there are many simple ways in which you can dramatically improve your chances of getting pregnant.
There are different factors that can undermine your fertility. The list may seem long but it is important to identify the particular combination of factors that may be undermining your and your partner's health and wellbeing.
You are what you eat. Or, to put it another way, if you put poor-quality petrol in a high-performance car, like a Rolls-Royce or a Porsche, it may run for a while but eventually it will become less productive and less efficient. It is exactly the same with the human body. You need top-grade 'fuel' to function properly, and to produce healthy eggs or sperm. To a very large extent, your fertility depends on what you eat.
One of the problems is that nowadays we eat a lot of convenience and refined foods that have been stripped of essential nutrients during manufacturing. For example, 80 per cent of zinc is removed from wheat during the milling process to ensure that a loaf of bread has a longer shelf life.
The soil our food is grown on is so lacking in nutrients due to overuse and commercial farming methods, that even what we regard as 'healthy' foods - vegetables, for instance - may not contain the amounts of minerals we expect to get from them. If you have been dieting for a number of years (either restricting your food intake or trying different diet drinks or pills), you could well be deficient in a number of vitamins and minerals.
The well-balanced diet is a myth. We simply do not get all the nutrients we need from our food. This was confirmed by a National Food Survey conducted in 1995 which found that the average person in Britain was grossly deficient in six out of the eight vitamins and minerals surveyed. Fewer than one in ten people received the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for zinc, which is the most important mineral for both male and female fertility.
Put this lack of nutrients together with all the additives, preservatives and pesticides in your food and you can see that your fertility may well be compromised on a daily basis. Chemicals like pesticides are known to affect fertility, others will affect your general health, and this in turn can reduce your ability to conceive. Scientists may know the toxic effects of one particular chemical but what they don't and can't know for certain is the effect of being exposed to a cocktail of these substances.
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