Article by Angela Haldane

Q. My husband and I would love to conceive in 2016, we are in our early thirties. How can we best prepare ourselves?

A. The aim is to have both of you in the best possible health that you can be. This means eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and a variety of colourful vegetables in ensure you have a wide range of all the vitamins and minerals. Aim to be at your optimum weight for your height. Eat organic foods to avoid chemical ingestion and similarly in your environment choose natural cleaners such as Ecostore products. If you are renovating, avoid toxic chemicals.

See you doctor for the antenatal blood tests, e.g. rubella status, iron etc and visit your dentist for your regular check up.

If you are unsure when you are most fertile, or how the menstrual cycle works, see either your doctor or naturopath for advice.

It is advisable to take folic acid prior to conception if possible, and during the first trimester, further research suggests that a multivitamin designed for pregnancy is beneficial. I recommend ‘Natal care’ as a practitioner range pregnancy multi vitamin – designed for preconception, pregnancy and the breastfeeding period.

After 3 months, if no conception has occurred go back to your doctor for diagnostic tests for both of you. Statistics show that subfertility can result from 40% male disorders, 40% female disorders and 20% unknown.

Following diagnostic tests, a naturopath can assist with herbal medicine to augment fertility such as cycle regulation, pelvic lymphatic congestion, poor ovarian function, low sperm counts/motility etc and specific supplementation such as zinc, vitamin E and good quality fish oil to improve the fertility status, based on research.