Cork Natural Fertility Clinic

Nutritional Therapy

One in six couples in Ireland experience difficulty in conceiving and official statistics show that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. Recent studies have shown that diet and lifestyle are major contributing factors.

Many people in western society, while well fed, are still suffering from malnutrition due to the increase of processed foods, a decrease in soil mineral quality, and a lack of whole foods in the average diet. Lifestyles have become faster-paced and more stressful thereby increasing the body's demand for nutrients.

Most people are aware of the importance of a balanced diet during pregnancy, as it helps both the mother and the baby to remain healthy. But the fact is that maintaining a healthy diet when you are trying to conceive and also during the post-natal phases is equally important. If you're hoping to conceive, a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals is essential as these nutrients improve the health of sperm and eggs.

The most common factors contributing to infertility today are:

  • Nutrition: A poor diet high in processed foods, sugar and bad fats and low in vitamins, minerals and good fats can contribute to ill health, hormonal imbalance and hence to infertility; unsuccessful pregnancy; low birth weight and health problems in infants.

  • Sub-optimum vitamin and mineral levels: Low levels can be due to poor diet, problems with the digestive system, increased requirements due to immune dysfunctions, stress, hormonal imbalances to name a few.

  • Alcohol, tobacco and street drugs: Smoking, alcohol and street drugs are highly detrimental to the health and development of the sperm and ova, and to the future foetus.

  • The oral contraceptive pill and other exogenous hormones: When the woman has been using the contraceptive pill or the copper IUD, nutritional status can be compromised. The pill lowers zinc, manganese, vitamin A and the B-complex vitamins. Recent studies have shown that certain chemicals in plastics and packaging may contribute to hormonal imbalance.

  • High levels of toxic metals and trace elements: Exposure to pollutants, chemicals can lead to high levels of toxic metals in the body and thus contribute to infertility. Hair analysis testing can be arranged to establish the presence of excess heavy (toxic) metals or the shortage of essential trace minerals.

  • Allergy and parasites: These may include asthma, eczema, migraine, insomnia, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, coeliac disease or parasitic infestations such as giardia lamblia. With dietary manipulation or antibiotic treatments before conception, a lot of medication that is contraindicated in pregnancy many be avoided. Where parasites are eliminated the absorption of essential nutrients will be much improved

The objective of the nutritional therapist in natural fertility treatment is to optimise the health of both prospective parents before conception occurs so that a pregnancy can be started with a normal, strong sperm and ova and the embryo can implant and develop under optimum conditions in a healthy uterus, with no danger of damage from nutritional deficiency, toxins or disease.

  • Help identify and resolve any issues that may be contributing to infertility or miscarriage

  • Implement good diet and supplementation programme to optimise nutritional status prior to and during conception and pregnancy

  • Increase chances of success with IVF and ICSI

  • Boost fertility and ensure a healthy pregnancy

  • Improve post-natal recovery and ensure healthy lactation for breast-feeding mothers