Fertility Awareness Week Q&A – Part 1

National Fertility Awareness Week Day 1

National Fertility Awareness Week 2016 runs from Monday October 31 to Sunday November 6, and to mark the event, Pillar Healthcare’s founder and Managing Director Mark Whitney is available to expertly answer any fertility-related questions you may have.

Questions can be sent privately via our contact form, by e-mail to info@pillarhealtcare.ie, or as a private message on our Facebook page or through our Twitter feed.

Answers will be posted here each day.

Today’s Questions and Answers are

How common are fertility issues?

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Nuts About Fertility

Nuts Fertility Nutrition

It has been a busy few weeks here in Pillar Healthcare. We’re just back from The Pharmacy Show at the NEC in the UK, where we won the award for Best Product in the ‘Best Supplement and Herbal’ category. We were delighted to receive this honour.

Meanwhile, I recently had an inquiry from a couple. It was all about nuts and seeds and the confusion that surrounds them. Are they healthy, are they fatty? This is an issue that I have been dealing with for more than ten years now. I hope this blog can help clear up the debate around nuts and seeds as they are a very healthy and nutritious food source.

Nuts and seeds are some of the most nutrient-dense and delicious foods on earth. They are an important part of fertility nutrition, pregnancy nutrition and beyond, because they supply the body with ample fibre, protein, minerals and essential fatty acids.

When we are discussing nuts and seeds, I think it is important to remember that they are the seed for new plant life – thus they are packed full of the essentials to make that plant grow and flourish. They are a good source of protein that can be used to balance blood sugar. They are very high in Omega 3 (a good fat, unlike unhealthy saturated fats) and essential minerals like Zinc and vitamins like Vitamin E – to name but a few benefits.
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IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Infertility

IBS and Infertility

Did you know that one in five Irish people suffers from IBS? Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder of the large bowel, where the bowel over reacts to mild stimulus such as eating. The bowel reacts by going into spasm. It is characterised by bloating, abdominal pain, and irregular bowel movements.

IBS is most common in people in their 20s and 30s and affects more women than it does men. In some cases it can be mild, however other cases are a lot more severe, and can have a debilitating effect.

Some of the symptoms of IBS are:

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Is your Adrenal Health affecting your Fertility?

Adrenal Health affecting Fertility

Do you feel your energy levels depleting? It could be having a negative impact on your fertility.

Adrenal health is important for a proper hormonal balance. The adrenal glands are part of the major endocrine glands. The endocrine system consists of many glands that all serve an important function. The main function is to serve as the body’s message centre. The adrenal glands respond to stress by releasing hormones. The hormones that they release are adrenalin and cortisol. The presence of adrenaline in the body signals to the body that the conditions are not ideal for conception. Adrenaline also inhibits us from utilising the hormone progesterone.

The pituitary gland also releases higher levels of prolactin. The role the adrenal glands play in our reproductive health can be extremely confusing. The body needs a good network of communication in order to keep things running  efficiently. The adrenals play an important role especially when it comes to energy, reaction to daily stress and maintaining a hormonal balance that keeps the body fertile and healthy.

Some signs that your adrenals may need some support:
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Causes of Male Infertility

Male Infertility Causes

Male infertility has many causes. It can be caused by hormonal imbalances, physical problems to psychological and behavioural problems. Men who have a relatively healthy lifestyle will more than likely produce healthy sperm. However, some of the following can have a negative impact on male fertility:

  • Smoking significantly decreases sperm count and sperm cell mobility
  • Regular use of recreational drugs
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Steroid use (Can cause testicles to shrink and infertility)
  • High intensity exercise over a prolonged period of time
  • Low levels of Vitamin C and Zinc in the diet
  • Tight underwear; increases scrotal temperature which leads to decreased sperm production
  • Stress
  • Malnutrition

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Causes of Female Infertility

Female Infertility Causes

Although we speak and hear about infertility a lot, it isn’t just caused by one particular issue. Infertility can be caused by a number of factors. Today we take a deeper look into some of the causes of infertility in women as the number of people experiencing fertility issues in Ireland and all over the world is on the rise.

Ovulation problems occur when eggs do not mature enough or when the ovaries fail to release a mature egg. Ovulation issues are extremely common in women who are experience fertility problems. Some symptoms of ovulation problems include infrequent periods, unusually light or unusually heavy periods.

Endometriosis occurs when tissue in the uterus, grows outside of the uterus. Symptoms of endometriosis might not present at all, while others have painful periods or intercourse. Some may experience pelvic pain or unusual spotting. Surgery can be performed on those with endometriosis.
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What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis Painful Disorder

– Written by Managing Director of Pillar Healthcare, Mark Whitney, for a leading fertility clinic in the UK.

Endometriosis (pronounced en-doe-me-tree-o-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves the ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis. In rare instances, endometrial tissue may spread beyond the pelvic region.

Endometriosis is a common condition that affects women during the reproductive years. The condition is estimated to affect around two million women in the UK. Most of them are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 40.

Up to 10% of all women may have endometriosis. Many women who have endometriosis experience few or no symptoms. Some women experience severe menstrual cramps, chronic pelvic pain, or painful intercourse. In others, infertility may be the only symptom of endometriosis.
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Sugar and Infertility

Christmas Sugar Infertility

It’s that time of year again, when all the sweets in the supermarket are 3 for 2, selection boxes are everywhere, and when you visit relatives, a cake or biscuit is the first thing you will be offered. Yes, it’s Christmas!

I know just from myself that my sugar intake increases dramatically as Christmas time draws closer. It’s almost as if I allow myself to eat as much as I want because I feel that it’s a time of indulgence. The question is what impact is this sugar intake having on my body and also my fertility.

Research has shown that consuming a lot of sugar may lead to infertility or make fertility issues worse. As we move through the Christmas period, it’s important to note how much sugar we are actually consuming, and if this can be reduced.

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