How Modern Living Can Make It Hard To Conceive

MassageTrying for a baby and struggling is a process that a lot of women face and there are a huge number of contributing factors, as well as all the emotions that go with it. The body is a wonderful thing, how it works, how it heals, how it copes, but it’s also a very sensitive mechanism, and modern living isn’t always conducive to creating a healthy ‘environment’ for a baby.

This is where looking at your lifestyle, from diet to medication and stress can be a helpful and important part of preparing for successful conception. In short, anything that disrupts all your hard working hormones will mean the body simply said ‘no’ to reproduction. So what are the key culprits?

Toxins and chemicals: there are more than 80 thousand chemicals on the planet –they’re on our food, in the air, in our make-up and skincare products, and anywhere else you can think of. Many of them disrupt the endocrine system, which is vital for reproductive health. In short, they can’t really be avoided, but they can be limited, for example, by taking care to use natural skincare products wherever possible.

Diet: I’m not talking about crash diets and short-term changes; I’m talking about long-term lifestyle choices. Too many of us eat a diet that doesn’t nourish the body and most importantly, that doesn’t take care of our gut health. In brief, the gut has garnered the nickname, the ‘second brain’ in recent years because of the phenomenal impact it has on the rest of the body. My first piece of advice to anyone is always to start juicing, and juice more vegetables than fruit. Consider a cleanse every now and again to restore the body, get rid of any processed foods, and aim for a balanced diet of vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Stress: this is such a big thing for all of us. We’re all familiar with stress, and it comes from all different angles, but for anyone trying for a baby it’s an extremely unhelpful factor – it’s basically nature’s contraceptive, hinging on the body’s prioritisation of cortisol production when you’re stressed out, over the hormones necessary for reproduction.   We all know that stress is very difficult to get rid of but we can reduce it and manage it with simple measures like making time for yourself. For example, never underestimate the power of a good massage!

Exercise: for the most part we don’t exercise enough. We know that overall physical fitness can only be a good thing for all aspects of the body, and that includes the reproductive system. Getting the body into working order, maintaining a healthy weight, and also taking into account the relaxation and positive mindset that exercise supports are all valuable for conception. In short, try to do a little and often.

Medication: thanks to a lot of these other factors, particularly stress, medication has become part and parcel of modern living. Anti-inflammatories, painkillers, antibiotics – they’re all a part of the daily vernacular – most of us don’t think twice about taking painkillers for headaches or any other over the counter medication on a semi regular basis. However a lot of them can have a detrimental impact on that all important gut health, which in turn is so important for reproductive health. I would never say to simply come off medication, especially if it is prescribed by your GP – that is something that you need to discuss with them. However, look at what you need and what you don’t and think about how you can support your body when medication is necessary – probiotics are a must, and Vitamin D can also be extremely important as well.

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