Monday, March 16, 2009

Blog Has Moved

Link to the same post in the new blog: Fertility and Nutrition

Fertility and Nutrition

By Robin Brain
Fertility and Nutrition
Do you want to create your best chance for becoming pregnant? For both women and men, there is a definite link between nutrition and fertility. Sticking with a well-balanced diet boosts your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby. You should begin making changes to your eating habits at least three months to a year before planning to get pregnant.

Certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C and E and zinc and folic acid, are crucial for creating healthy sperm. Several studies have indicated that deficiencies in zinc can impede both female and male fertility. You should maintain the dietary reference intake (DRI) of 8 mg per day for women over eighteen years and 11 mg per day for men over eighteen to help keep your reproductive system functioning properly. Men who are deficient in folate have been shown to experience a lower number and poorer quality of sperm. Being deficient in certain nutrients may affect a woman's menstrual periods, which makes it more difficult to predict when she is ovulating and the best time for her to get pregnant. Maintaining a diet that includes all of the food groups and living a healthier lifestyle will ensure the most favorable reproductive functioning.

Herbs have also been used for many years to treat all types of health conditions. Today, herbs are even becoming popular as fertility enhancers, and it never hurts to research all of your options. You should always seek the advice of your health-care provider before taking any new supplement, regardless of whether it is "natural" or not. Many health-care professionals are hesitant about herbs, which are not currently regulated by the FDA or the scrutiny of clinical studies, while prescription medications are. In addition, many factors can affect their potency. Some of the most popular herbs used for promoting fertility include vitex angus, black cohosh, dong quai, licorice, Korean ginseng, and pycnogenol.

You should never mix herbs with prescription fertility drugs. Herbs can also interact with other prescription medications, so always speak to your doctor before starting any program that includes herbs. All herbs should be discontinued once you find out you are pregnant.

Keep in mind that some herbs on the market can actually decrease fertility. St. John's Wort, for instance, can decrease sperm motility in men. Do your research and speak with your doctor before taking any herbal supplement.




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