Having a baby one day is by most of us taken for granted, however statistics show that one in six couples have some difficulty in conceiving. The reasons for infertility are many, and some causes may not be treatable. If at all treatable the options are many. Most of these do not address preparing for conception. Having the best possible opportunity to conceive a healthy baby requires the health of both the mother and the father to be optimal prior to conception. Consulting a Naturopath prior to attempting to conceive, to assess and improve your state of health, could mean the difference between success and disappointment. This is because many factors potentially affecting fertility are best addressed by a Naturopath. Common factors, which affect fertility, but can be overcome with a Preconception Care program include;

· Exposure to environmental toxins from using a mobile phone, computer, the “Pill”, industrial chemicals, cleaning agents, paints, solvents, glues, insecticides and garden sprays, travelling in heavy traffic or cigarette smoking.

· Existing medical conditions like thyroid problems, polycystic ovaries, hormone imbalance and low sperm count. Previous experience of miscarriage, still birth or malformation.

· Age above 30.

Preconception Care is not only for those with fertility problems. Healthy fertile couples can benefit as well. If you just want to make sure you are doing all you can then undertaking a Preconception Care program is your best way to minimise any unforeseen problems.

Ideally a Preconception Care program should begin at least 4 months prior to conception attempts. This is because it takes 3 months for eggs to mature and 4 months to generate sperm. This means that sperm and eggs expelled now have been exposed to all the environmental toxins you and your partner have encountered over the last 4 months.

The value of Preconception Care was tested in a famous study in England. The Foresight study involved 367 couples with previous reproductive difficulties (infertility, miscarriage, therapeutic abortion, low birth weight babies, still birth, malformations). Females ranged in age from 22-45 yrs and males 25-59 yrs. The results were astounding. Successful births were achieved by 89% of the couples and 81% of the previously infertile couples. There were no miscarriages, perinatal deaths or malformations and no baby was admitted to intensive care. The normal expectation for a group this large would be 70 miscarriages and 6 malformations.

What about fertility drugs and IVF you might say. Fertility drugs while increasing the number of eggs produced do not actually improve reproductive health or innate fertility. Also they can have quite severe ill-effects on the health of the mother and child. IVF, despite its promotion, is not a highly successful treatment for infertility. It has a relatively low success rate of 15% compared to 81% using the Foresight approach. IVF also has a high emotional and financial impact on the couples involved. This makes it an option of last resort.

The Preconception Care program I employ incorporates the Foresight approach but is tailored specifically to each couple taking into account their unique circumstances. It will involve diet modification, correction of nutritional deficiencies, nutritional and herbal fertility enhancement and general detoxification.

Preconception Care greatly increases your chance of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. It also gives you an extremely high rate of success in overcoming fertility problems. Just like training for an important event - The more preparation you put in the greater your chances of success. Preconception Care is the ultimate preventative approach. Your actions now and for a few months will have lifelong effects for you and your child.

Dr Karen Williams

BSc, MChiro, NZCA

For more information about our Preconception Care Program email or call

09 378 0069

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