Pre-conception preconceptions: Why it’s nutrients - not specific foods - that matter most when tryin
Trying for a baby is one of the biggest life decisions you can make. In itself, it brings about a significant lifestyle and mindset shift...even before pregnancy has occurred. Living and eating well suddenly take on a whole new significance. But to what extent should we really be concerned about our diets during this preparation for pregnancy period? Many schools of thought exist, with a myriad of often conflicting information available to make what should ideally be a relaxed time of our lives, an unnecessarily anxious one. The fact is. Nutrition DOES matter, but more in regards to our overall nutrient intake, rather than specific ‘fertility-boosting’ foods. The right nutrition can help with developing good quality egg cells and can help ensure the womb environment and hormonal systems are balanced. In men’s case, the process of producing sperm cells is an intensive one, requiring significant nutrients and energy. Ensuring sufficient amounts and balances of these vitamins and minerals is therefore a good foundation for successful conception from the male stance. Knowing what we need nutritionally is all very well, but meeting these suggested intakes can be tricky. After all, it’s not just diet that influences nutrient status. Our digestive efficiency, lifestyle and even our stress levels can all potentially negate even the most concerted healthy eating efforts. So how best to ensure you’re getting all the nutritional building blocks that your reproductive and hormone systems need? Proceive® is a supplement designed to help complement a balanced diet by providing the nutritional support needed for optimum pre-conception health. By taking some of the worry out of pre-conception nutrition, Proceive can also support some of the additional pillars of a fertility-boosting lifestyle, including stress reduction and confidence.
REAL LIFE STORY
Sarah Walsh, 39, and her husband Ivor, 40, from Dublin tried IVF and experienced a traumatic miscarriage before conceiving their second baby naturally, with the help of Proceive fertility supplements.
Sarah Walsh, now 39, and her husband Ivor, 41, celebrated the birth of their daughter, Sadie, eight years ago. Having managed to conceive naturally after only a couple of months trying, both assumed they’d have no problem producing a baby brother or sister for their little girl. They started trying in July 2013. But, when after two years, still nothing had happened, Sarah became increasingly aware that her body clock was ticking.
The weeks and months that followed were a very stressful time for the couple. Sarah says: “We had always just assumed we’d conceive a second baby without any problems. It just wasn’t happening and this came as a massive shock. We worried we’d left it too late and felt so guilty.”
“On top of that, our daughter, Sadie, wanted a baby sister or brother so much, she was asking us almost daily! This definitely piled on extra pressure.”
At first, their local GP encouraged the Sarah and Ivor to ‘relax and keep trying’. They also suggested Sarah have some investigative blood tests in the meantime, which all came back ‘normal’. Finally, feeling increasingly that time was running out, with no answers and nothing happening, Sarah and Ivor decided to start IVF.
Their first full IVF cycle in 2015 failed as did the frozen embryo transfer they tried a year later. A second IVF attempt in June 2016 also unsuccessful, the couple tried a third cycle in August 2016.
This time the fantastic news came that 38-year-old Sarah was pregnant. But their joy was short lived. Six weeks later, Sarah miscarried and was rushed in to surgery for an emergency procedure. The couple were left completely devastated and emotionally exhausted. Yet both were still determined not to give up and resolved to keep trying to conceive naturally.
“We tried to stop stressing as best we could”, says Sarah. “Sex had started to feel like a chore when we were doing IVF, so now we both tried our hardest to relax and make our sex life feel like fun again.
“When we met up with friends, they’d inevitably ask for any news. We both put on a brave face. Sometimes it was hard not to feel annoyed when they told us to ‘relax and try not to worry’. Some would try and reassure us by saying, ‘Well, at least you have one child already.’ They meant well, of course. But the truth is, unless you’ve experienced infertility first-hand, it’s almost impossible to explain the devastation you feel. By far the hardest thing of all was seeing other friends get pregnant.”
Back at the doctor’s, four months after the traumatic miscarriage, Sarah’s mum saw a nutritionist on TV talking about a new taking a pregnancy supplement; Proceive. She suggested the couple try it. What did they have to lose? So, they did.
“We worried that Ivor’s sperm count might not be as high as it could be, so we liked the idea that there was something to take that might support both of us nutritionally. At this stage, we felt anything was worth a try”, says Sarah.
Sarah and Ivor started taking Proceive in May 2017. New to the fertility supplement market, it promised specialised formulas for both men and women, designed to provide the optimum levels of nutrients both sexes need for a successful conception.
“We weren’t expecting to find a ‘magic pill’. But with our infertility officially unexplained, we wanted to cover all bases and give ourselves the best chance. Although we both already ate healthily, it made sense to be sure we were getting all the right vitamins and minerals. Proceive seemed to be the best option out there once we’d done the research.”
Sarah and Ivor both started taking Proceive. “We both felt better almost immediately”, says Ivor. “More than anything, it felt like we’d taken back control and were taking positive action for ourselves.”
In August 2017 - three months later - the couple found out they were pregnant.
“After what we’d been through, we couldn’t believe it at first”, says Sarah. “Only when the scan came back normal, did we feel like we could finally celebrate properly. It still feels like a miracle to have Ennis with us, after so many painful months of trying and waiting and trying again.
We’re convinced taking Proceive made all the difference. No one mentioned supplements when we first set out to be parents, if they had we would have definitely tried it much earlier.”