An Interview for UK Health Radio
With statistics that one in six couples in the UK have difficulty conceiving a baby, any knowledge and advice may have the potential to make a real difference. This month there are two key fertility events to raise awareness and provide a source of information for couples. Two experts that work within this field are Professor Allan Pacey and Dr Marilyn Glenville who share their top tips for improving chances of conception.
Both Allan and Marilyn will be appearing at The Fertility Show, which takes place on the 5th and 6th of November at London Olympia. It’s the perfect place for information, support and advice to help those on their fertility journey. The show literally is the only location where you can get a mountain of fertility expertise in one place at one time, in a safe and discreet environment. This is also aptly timed with National Fertility Awareness Week, which runs from Monday 31st October to Sunday 6th November and aims to highlight the unseen, intimate and day-to-day reality of fertility issues, to overturn commonly-held misconceptions about fertility and to shine a spotlight on untold fertility stories.
Professor Allan Pacey was awarded the MBE earlier this year for his services to reproductive medicine. Allan is an experienced researcher with over 100 publications on the topic of male infertility and his specialism lies in the biology of human sperm and aspects of semen quality and fertility in males.
Allan states when a couple need or choose to go to IVF generally a third of the time it can be related to a male problem. Evidence from studies suggests that 20% of men in the community may have fertility problems. He explains that there are two common reasons for male infertility. The main reason is associated with male development in the womb, as during this time the genitals and testicles develop and if anything is not optimal at this stage it can impact on growth. The size of testicles is relevant to the amount of sperm a male can produce. The second reason is linked to age, as couples tend to be waiting longer before trying for a family, and this can reduce chances of conception as sperm quality decline with age.
Allan’s top tips for conception:
- Stop smoking
- Eat well (fruit and vegetables)
- Change your pants – choose loose pants
- Have a screen for Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Sexual Frequency (regular, 2-3 times a week)
Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD is the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health. She is the former President of the Food and Health Forum at the Royal Society of Medicine, a registered nutritionist, psychologist, author and popular broadcaster who obtained her doctorate from Cambridge University.
Dr Glenville is a popular international speaker. As a respected author on women’s healthcare she gives regular talks on radio and frequently appears on television and in the press.
For over thirty years Dr Glenville has studied and practiced nutritional medicine specialising in the natural approach to female hormone problems. She works with couples who are having difficulty conceiving or having recurrent miscarriages. She talks about fertility being multi-factorial meaning there are so many different elements that come into play. Like Allan, Marilyn identifies age and smoking as significant factors but also highlights endocrine disruptors affecting hormones, processed foods and stress. All of these are important to be looked at to help achieve pregnancy and reduce miscarriage risk.
Marilyn discusses how food and lifestyle should be considered if couples choose IVF or natural pregnancy. Good health affects the health of both the egg and the sperm and for the 30% of couples who have unexplained infertility investigating nutrition and other areas of their life.
Lifestyle advice includes stopping smoking, reducing/avoiding alcohol and eating good quality food , preferably organic to reduce the effect of pesticides, which can disrupt both male and female hormones. Research around beneficial micronutrients includes zinc selenium and vitamin C. Antioxidants are important for both sperm count and motility. Women can’t change their number of eggs but it takes 3 months for the eggs to be matured, so a 3-month window exists where egg quality may be improved. Other important nutrients include omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which is an immune modulator and low levels have been linked to miscarriage, as it helps to calm the body down and switch off the immune system.
To find out more about fertility listen to this interview in full here
Both Allan and Marilyn will be talking at The Fertility Show.
If you have an interest in a particular topic or comments about the show please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other interesting links:
British Fertility Society: https://britishfertilitysociety.org.uk/
Fertility Network UK: http://www.infertilitynetworkuk.com/
To find out more about Professor Allan Pace visit:
Web address: https://www.shef.ac.uk/humanmetabolism/people/pacey
To find out more about Dr. Marilyn Glenville visit:
Web address: http://www.marilynglenville.com/