Fertility and Preconception Care

Trying for a baby has become increasingly difficult in today's society. Irregular menstrual cycles, lack of ovulation, low progesterone levels, endometriosis, polycystic ovaries and poor sperm quality/count are just a few of the many factors contributing to fertility problems.

Naturopathic fertility/IVF specialist

Tina Jenkins specialises in the natural management of fertility issues and has helped many couples to improve their health and give birth to healthy babies. Ms Jenkins specialist training (postgraduate training in natural fertility management in addition to her naturopathic training) as well as her experience working in conjunction with world-renowned fertility specialist Dr Christopher Chen at his IVF/fertility clinic at Gleneagles hospital in Singapore for many years, puts her in a unique position to offer advice and treatment regarding fertility issues. (IVF)

What is involved in naturopathic fertility treatment? After a comprehensive history is taken, naturopathic fertility specialist Ms Jenkins will suggest an individualised treatment plan aimed at addressing any factors that may be affecting your fertility (eg. irregular cycles, poor sperm count etc). Women may be asked to track their cyles via temperature and mucus charting and will be informed regarding how to assess their most fertile times as well as specific measures that may enhance the process.

Are there any tests that are required? Semen analysis, blood hormone levels or other conventional tests may be required. If such tests have been performed recently, patients are encouraged to bring along these results to their initial consultation. Hair analysis testing for both partners may be advised in order to screen for the presence of heavy metals such as lead or mercury that may adversely affect fertility.If an excess of any of these toxic metals are found in either partner a specific programme will be devised to assist in their elimination from the body prior to trying to conceive.

Preconception care
Preconception care is an important part of your fertility and can improve your chances of conceiving as well as maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Preconception care involves attending to those various factors that can influence your reproductive health prior to conception. Preconception care is vital for ensuring optimal reproductive health and focuses on nutritional, lifestyle and environmental factors that have been found to affect reproductive health and fertility.

Why is preconception care important? Preconception care aims to optimise the nutritional status and health of both parents before they try to conceive. Preconception care can improve your chances of conceiving and giving birth to a healthy child. This includes couples with fertility problems, and specific pregnancy issues including recurrent miscarriages. The importance of preconception care is highlighted by Foresight (The Association for the Promotion of Pre-Conceptual Care) in the United Kingdom who have repeatedly found in their research that attending to preconception care guidelines can significantly improve a couples chance of conceiving as well as reduce the likelihood of complications during the pregnancy.

One of the most important aspects of preconception care is nutrition. Research has indicated that a deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals is associated with an increased rate of:

What does Preconception Care involve? Preconception Care involves a 3-4 month period of optimising your reproductive health through;

1. Optimal nutrition: this includes dietary changes as well as the use of nutritional supplements specific for enhancing reproductive health

2. Avoidance of substances that may be toxic to reproductive health : this includes the avoidance of alcohol, caffeine, drugs and smoking

3. Exercise

4. Attention to stress levels and maintenance of adequate rest and sleep

5. Eliminating (as far as possible) any other factors that may inhibit fertility - including screening for and treating any genitourinary infections and screening for the presence of heavy metals via a hair analysis test. All of these changes are aimed at improving both the general health and the reproductive health of both partners and can provide wonderful support for your body if you are going through surgery, IVF or other assisted reproductive procedures.

Preconception Care Naturopath

Your naturopath will outline what tests (if any) need to be considered and the treatment time required (this may differ for each couple depending upon individual circumstances). The aim of preconception care is to optimise the health of both the eggs and the sperm as well as the female reproductive system prior to conceiving. The 3-4 month guideline is based on the timeframe that the eggs need to mature in the ovaries before they are ovulated as well as the time the sperm require to be formed prior to ejaculation. Although many couples are eager to continue to try to conceive whilst they are undergoing naturopathic treatment, it is advised that you wait until your naturopath advises before you start trying. It is important to have addressed any necessary issues (eg. heavy metals, genitourinary infections, irregular cycles, poor sperm quality etc) prior to conception in order to help improve the chances of conceiving, maintaining and giving birth to a healthy baby.


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Fertility and Preconception
Women's Health Problems
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