One in six couples in the UK seeks help when trying to have a baby.
- One cycle of IVF treatment should be available on the NHS, but it can still be a geographical lottery with long waiting lists. Some couples give up and pay thousands of pounds for each attempt.
- While the Labour government announced that IVF should be available for everyone, the chances are that the coalition cuts will affect provision.
- IVF involves fertilising an egg from the woman with the sperm from her partner outside the body, and placing it back in the womb
- Success rates in the UK are only 20 per cent.
However, there is increasing evidence to show that there are natural ways of improving chances of fertility including nutrition, lifestyle changes and complementary therapies.
When couples change their lifestyle before trying for a baby the results are much more promising.
- Recent research at Surrey University found that couples who made lifestyle changes had an 80 per cent success rate.
The Foresight Programme
- a wholefood diet;
- giving up smoking;
- cutting out caffeine, sugar and alcohol;
- checking both partners for genitourinary infections and parasites;
- testing to discover allergies and vitamin and mineral deficiencies;
- hair tests to find out levels of toxic metals, such as lead and mercury.
Caution with tampons
The programme also suggests the use of organic tampons and sanitary towels, although it is recommended that tampons are used as little as possible as they dry out the vagina and make it more prone to infection.
Depending on what deficiencies there are both men and women are put on a supplement programme, which usually includes: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, selenium, folic acid, zinc, essential fatty acids and some amino acids.
If someone has a high concentration of heavy metals in their body a cleansing programme consisting of Vitamin C, garlic supplements, Vitamin B1 and B12 is prescribed.
Mobile phones and electro-magnetic stress
Foresight suggests couples should not carry a mobile phone next to their bodies and they suggest moving electrical goods away from where they sleep to avoid electro-magnetic stress.
They also suggest checking for G eopathic Stress – radiation which comes up from underground streams – which can adversely affect fertility.
CASE STUDY: Following a natural lifestyle
A Surrey couple had a daughter of two when they decided to try to have another child. The mother was 38 at the time and had not only having problems conceiving for three years, but when she had succeeded in getting pregnant she miscarried.
‘My GP told me that there was nothing clinically wrong. I had a already had a baby and it would be fine. Even when I saw a gynaecologist I was told, “There there don’t worry. It’s just because you’re tense.” I was sure that something wasn’t quite right and I wanted to find out what it was.’
She had heard of Foresight, a charity which promotes natural preconceptual care and she contacted one of their practitioners. The Foresight programme advocates a wholefood diet, giving up smoking and alcohol, and getting both partners tested for genitourinary infections, as well as testing them for allergies, vitamin and mineral levels and toxic metals.
‘The doctor sent me off for smear tests which I had not been able to get on the NHS. It turned out that I had some pre-cancerous cells and these had to be removed with laser treatment. She tested me with a vega machine which uses electrical conductivity on the acupressure points. It indicated that my vitamin and mineral levels were extremely low and that I was allergic to dairy products and yeast. I also had the fungal infection candida and this accounted for why I felt so tired all the time.
‘I went on a sugar-free diet and wholefood diet, and cut out everything I was allergic to. I also took acidophilus to counteract the candida, multiminerals, a Vitamin B complex and many other supplements and herbs. ‘I had to wait six months before I could try to conceive again to heal the area which had been given laser treatment and to get my system in top condition. Once the six months was over I got pregnant straightaway and had a healthy baby boy.’
Foresight is a pre-conceptual care charity which provides a programme of lifestyle changes to help couples have a baby. For details of the Foresight programme and practitioners contact: Foresight Preconception, 01243 868180, www.foresight-preconception.org.uk, or send a 15 x 21cm s.a.e. with 35p stamp to 178 Hawthorn Road, West Bognor, West Sussex, PO 21 2UY.
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