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Preconception Health Care

PRECONCEPTION CARE

Comprehensive preconception health care has been shown to give significant benefits to reproductively challenged couples.Susan Arentz, BHSc(Hons) ND, Dip Hom; Dip Bot Med. and Dr Gemma O’Brien, BSc(Hons), PhD Syd, conducted an independent study of 67 patients on the NFM Conception Program at The Jocelyn Centre. A high proportion of the couples in this study (those in the test group) had serious fertility problems and were diagnosed as infertile. In both the test and control group, 25% of women were over 40 years of age. Results showed that 56% of previously infertile couples conceived within the first 2 months following their participation in the program and 50% of these women were in the 40+ age group.

 

So what is preconception care?

Preconception health care involves, quite simply, ensuring that there is, to the extent possible in any given situation, an adequate supply of all those factors which are essential for male and female fertility, the health of ova and sperm and the development of the embryo and foetus

  • It is also essential to ensure the absence, where possible, of those factors which have been shown to be harmful
  • These considerations then need to be part of health care for the mother throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • The beginning of a child’s life is of profound importance in determining future health.

 

HOW SIGNIFICANT IS AGE AS A RISK FACTOR FOR REPRODUCTION?

Today, many women prolong the decision of starting a family until later in life. For many, this is due to a strong career focus to help build greater financial security prior to parenting, but it can also be due to finding a partner later in life, or second time marriages – whatever the reason many women wishing to fall pregnant later in life are faced with a lot of ‘negative information’ about the challenges of conception and increased risks in pregnancies in older women.

Although there may be increased challenges for older prospective parents, when approaching any task in life, a positive, proactive attitude can make a significant difference to the outcome. The benefits of healthy lifestyle choices and stress management along with the assistance of a trained professional to help prescribe the most appropriate preconception health supplements, have helped many women conceive a healthy baby and carry their child to term.