I read something the other day that said foods that resemble part of your anatomy are actually very beneficial for that particular body part. There are a lot of fruits that look our reproductive organs so it totally makes sense that they will be important for fertility.
A study that was presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’s annual meeting in Lisbon, found that eating fruit could boost the chance of having a baby. Whilst these succulent little buds can help improve fertility in both men and women, it seems men are ‘lazier’ when it comes to improving their diet than women, so get your man to up his fruit intake.
Fruits are great sources of Vitamin C, which are important to sperm and egg health due to their antioxidant properties, which attach to and remove free radicals that can cause damage to our bodies. But eating a wide variety of fruit will also keep you topped up with lycopene, folic acid and Vitamin B6, which are important when you’re trying to conceive.
There are many, many fruits that you can add to your daily diet but these are my top five fruits for fertility. Eat at least two portions a day for 90 days before trying to conceive to make a difference to your egg and sperm quality.
I’ve just had my third cycle of IUI, or intrauterine insemination. My first attempt was nine months ago, shortly after I miscarried and was raring to get pregnant again as soon as possible. We went through two cycles, both unsuccessful and then decided to go back to traditional methods for a while as I was finding it difficult balancing the treatments with work and just found the whole process a bit mechanical.
Nearly one year later and we’re back on it. If you’re not familiar with the procedure, you might be wondering, what is IUI? My husband, rather romantically, calls it turkey basting. Essentially it is a way of getting the little swimmers closer to the target. The doctor takes a sample of your partner’s semen, washes it to make it more concentrated, then inserts it in to your uterus through a thin catheter. This increases the chances of the sperm getting to the fallopian tubes. The rest is down to nature. It’s not for everyone, but if you are struggling to conceive it may be an option you want to consider.
I’ve put together a list of a few useful things you might want to know before you try IUI.
Why are nuts and seeds so important when trying to conceive? It varies from nut to nut, but they are said to be good for both fertility and during pregnancy as they are loaded with fibre, protein, minerals and essential fatty acids.
Almonds, sunflower seeds and peanuts are ‘building foods’ because they are a healthy protein. Pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds are the best sources for zinc, which can help improve the health of both the egg and sperm and balance hormones. Sunflower seeds and almonds also contain Vitamin E, which can help to increase your cervical mucus and improve sperm mobility. And Brazil nuts are said to have the high levels of selenium, which is crucial in the development of healthy ovarian follicles.
Nuts are super easy to add in to your daily diet. Eat them raw as a snack, sprinkle them over salads, porridge or yoghurt, or chop them up and mix with bulgar wheat and big bunches of fresh mint and parsley to make a tabbouleh. If you fancy something a little sweeter try this Sweet Coconut and Nut Mix, which I love having with porridge in the mornings.
Late on a Sunday afternoon, my husband said to me “you should read this article on pregnancy anxiety – I think it will resonate with you”.
Now hang on a minute, I’m not even pregnant yet – how is this going to be relevant to me? Rowan Martin speaks of the intense paranoia she experienced during her pregnancy – after a “missed miscarriage” with her first pregnancy she became, understandably, anxious about what might happen to her baby when she was expecting again. Her fear took over and she became obsessed with monitoring her baby, even going to the extreme of taking more than 100 pregnancy tests within five weeks and spending nearly £2,000 on private clinics, just to check her baby was still growing.
Whilst my situation is not the same, there are certainly elements of Rowan’s story that I can empathise with, even during the process of trying to get pregnant. When things don’t go to plan, you feel like your body has let you down – how can you trust it again?
I love cooking with lentils. They are a cheap and easy way to bulk up meals, and are a great protein alternative to meat. But did you know that lentils are also one of the top fertility foods? According to Medical News Today just one cup of lentils provides up to 90% of your recommended daily intake of folic acid. Great news for anyone trying to conceive!
Those who are TTC will, I’m sure, be aware that you are recommended to take folic acid supplements before you start trying to get pregnant as it supports the healthy growth of your foetus. It can also help to regulate your menstrual cycle and improve sperm quality. Whilst I don’t suggest that you ditch the supplements, it can’t hurt to add a few lentils to your diet every now and then.
I’ve become a big fan of this vegetarian cottage pie recipe (I think I actually make it more than the meat-filled version now). The sweet potato topping is a nice alternative as well. You can serve this up with whatever veggies you prefer, or if you’re feeling really greedy try it between two slices of buttered bread (seriously it’s delicious!).
What’s going on? Mind has been telling me you’ve been playing tricks on them.
You and Mind have known each other for a long time. Mind has always been on your side – making sensible decisions about what to eat, telling you when you’ve had enough and keeping you out of danger. And in return you have looked after Mind, making sure everything works and keeping everything looking good so Mind doesn’t have to worry.
But Mind tells me you’ve been f**king with them recently. Last week you were acting like you had something exciting to say. You know, the cramps, the tender breasts, and not just like it was a period coming. This was full on. So much so that it took Mind back to when we were pregnant before. Every day you would do something to convince Mind that an egg was implanting and a baby was starting to grow. Then one day you just switched it off like it was nothing; like you were just kidding; like it was an April Fools.
We’ve been getting a bit frustrated recently feeling like we’re on the same old routine – take clomid, get a scan, get a trigger shot and hope for the best. Even though this worked for us once before, we’ve been doing this now for the last six months, with a couple of IUI treatments thrown in, and still no luck so we decided to get a second opinion from another doctor.
We visited Dr Ann Tan at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, who is supposed to be one of the top gynaecologists in Singapore. She seems to be very self promotional. When you open her website you’re greeted with a glamourous picture of Dr Tan herself. In her waiting room she is on the front cover of Inside Magazine talking about Fertility and the Singapore woman – just one of many media titles she’s been in. Despite working in PR myself, this kind of promotion from a doctor normally puts me off. She seems like more of a businesswoman than a doctor. But I had a recommendation from a friend so I thought I would give it a go.