Hi everyone, Dr. Alexsia here to answer your “Ask Me Anything About Fertility” questions. Thank you for all your questions, we got a ton. There are a couple that kept on popping up so I’m going to answer those. So let’s get started, there’s my little green book.
Okay, number one, foods that support fertility. So there aren’t actually any true super foods with respect to fertility. Obviously, you want to make sure you’re eating a diet that’s rich in protein and fat and fruits and vegetables. In terms of like types of diets that have been studied with respect to the fertility, the Mediterranean diet has been studied a lot when it comes to people who undergo IUI or IVF procedures. So that’s basically a diet that’s rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, poultry would be a second option, red meat would be a third option, using healthy fats like olive oil, nuts and seeds like walnuts and pistachios, and although red wine is a huge proponent of that diet, maybe not indulging a ton when you’re trying to conceive.
All right, supplements when trying to conceive. Well, definitely a prenatal is the way to go because they’ll either contain folic acid or folate. The reason why I like a prenatal vitamin is because it’s often- It has more components like choline, hopefully, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and all of those are protective towards, or sorry, help decrease the risk of neural tube defects, which, you know, can be quite important, so I really like a prenatal as opposed to just single ingredients and certainly starting to use it, you know, if you’re not trying or trying not trying, starting to use it now, or even, you know, a few months before you kind of decide, “Okay, let’s get started.”
What is the prep time needed before trying to conceive? So I get this question often and I usually ask my clients like, “Okay, well, you know, why are you using like birth control, for instance?” ‘Cause oftentimes people want to know how long like when should they start to try after they stop birth control and so usually like I said, I’ll ask them, why did they get started? And so for clients who maybe started because they have PCOS, you know, PCOS, one of the criteria is high testosterone levels and so actually when they come off the pill, testosterone levels are usually at the lowest and so at that point, it’s kind of, it’s easier for them to hopefully get pregnant because of the low testosterone, so in that case, you know, I wouldn’t necessarily do like a detox or anything to help prep them, I think you can always get started and think about when to take a prenatal like a few months before you may want to try starting, but it really depends person to person and if you have any issues like with your menstrual cycle.
Okay, does sperm quality matter? Of course, male factor infertility is just as common as female factor infertility and so basically, as a naturopathic doctor, we support our clients who produce sperm through like diet and lifestyle support and even supplementation and acupuncture as well. So our NDs see clients who produce sperm, so feel free to send them our way.
Okay, when to time acupuncture treatments. This really depends on, I guess where you are in your journey, so generally, I like to see people around the time that they’re menstruating and like just before ovulation and people who know that they may have or who they have a low AMH so Anti-Mullerian Hormone, coming weekly would be great, but if you’re undergoing IUI or IVF, weekly also may be great too. So this one can also be a personal one so I would talk to your ND to see what they would recommend and lastly, pregnancy spacing, how far apart should we have kids? That’s a great and personal question. Generally, the rule is 18 months. I’m being like wheeled out into the recovery room they’re like, “Okay, well don’t get pregnant until after 18 months,” so that’s the general rule of thumb, but basically, you just want to give your body enough time to recover from, you know, pregnancy and birth because it can take a lot of energy and nutrients.
All right, those are the most common questions that we have. If you have any other questions, feel free to send them our way or book an appointment with one of our NDs at West End Mama’s and we hope you liked this “Ask Me Anything” and I’m look forward to chatting with you soon, take care.