Helping yourself to a more fertile body
Treat Reflexologist Jane Sheehan gives some tips to help improve the chances of conception
I have a special interest in fertility reflexology. Some people are unlucky and have deep seated problems with fertility - but there are many quite simple every day patterns and behaviours that can have adverse effects and tackling them can often help with no other intervention.
Before I offer treatment I have a list of questions I ask and advice I give to patients hoping to start a family.
- Do you sleep well?
If your sleep is disturbed, this can have a detrimental effect on your endocrine system which controls menstrual cycles and sperm production. The Natural Fertility website explains why
“Sleep affects key fertility hormones including estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). There is one specific hormone that is a vital link between fertility and sleep though, that hormone is leptin. Regular sleep is required to produce proper amounts of Leptin. Leptin affects ovulation, so disrupted release of leptin may cause irregular menstrual cycles.”
- Is your diet healthy?
The food you eat is vital to maintain your health and well being and so to your fertility. There’s growing evidence that a “typical” western diet of highly refined carbohydrates can affect fertility. According to a recent article in the Daily Telegraph
“Fertility experts advised all couples trying to conceive to look closely at their diets - and said there was strong evidence that women in particular should cut back on carbohydrates.”
- How much or little do you exercise?
Some studies have found high intensity exercise can affect fertility adversely. Regular workouts in the gym have been associated with lower fertility in women. Equally, exercise is important. Being overweight and unfit also lowers the chances of conception. Gentle alternatives include, walking, swimming, yoga, dancing, cycling and tai chi.
- Do you have an adequate water intake?
Your body requires sufficient water so that you have an adequate blood flow to the lining of your uterus to help implantation.
- Do you drink alcohol or use drugs?
I'm sure you know that research shows that these are harmful to your developing baby - but alcohol can have an effect on both male and female fertility. This Guardian report on a study made a few years ago suggests that just 5 units of alcohol per week can adversely affect male sperm counts - while similar studies suggest that a woman drinking just 2 bottles of wine a week is 18% less likely to conceive.
- Do you smoke?
Smoking can have strong adverse effects on fertility. Quitting is one of the most important ways of boosting the chances of having a baby. It is challenging, and hypnotherapy and acupuncture can help in the fight against the demon weed.
The good news is that there are lots of things that you can do for yourself to work towards being in an optimal fertile state and if you are having a course of complementary therapy to support your fertility your therapist will be able to discuss these with you.
Reflexology should never be used as a substitute for medical advice so if you are concerned, consult your medical practitioner.
Jane Sheehan can be contacted via Treat reception on 01603 514195
Jane Sheehan MAR, MARR MRSS