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Mind & Body Therapy

01. Diet & Nutrition
02. Ayurveda
03. Meditation
04. Yoga
05. Acupuncture
06. Aroma Therapy
07. Prayer
08. Avoiding Health Risks
09. Music Therapy

Diet & Nutrition

Eating Healthy:

Poor nutrition can affect fertility, so both men and women should try to eat healthily if they are trying for a baby. Instead of adopting a special diet, it is more sensible to aim for a balanced diet. A variety of foodstuffs from all the food groups, particularly those that are low in fat and have a high nutritional value, ensure the necessary vitamin and mineral intake that is required for optimum reproductive function. Dietary improvements should be undertaken before attempting pregnancy but also maintained during the pregnancy and subsequently. Remember that more does not always mean better and that it is important not to go too far. For example, super-high doses of vitamins or minerals can themselves reduce fertility. Similarly, a low-calorie diet, a lack of nutrients and being underweight can impact ovulation.

Caffeine:

Women: studies show a correlation between increased consumption of coffee and difficulties in getting pregnant. If giving up coffee altogether is too hard, try to limit your intake to one cup a day and switch to decaffeinated coffee. Dont forget that carbonated drinks and chocolate also contain caffeine.

Men: some studies show that drinking one cup of coffee before having intercourse makes the sperm more active in some men. However, although slow sperm is one of the most significant causes of male infertility, combating this with coffee can in turn lead to other problems, such as sleepless nights.

Calcium:

Women: although women are generally aware of the importance of dietary calcium, not all are aware of the role that calcium plays during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman does not eat enough calcium, the foetus takes calcium from her bones, which can be bad for the mothers health subsequently. The baby needs calcium for strong bones and teeth, healthy nerves and muscles and a healthy heart.

Men: one study suggested that the daily consumption of 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 10 micrograms of vitamin D could improve male fertility.

Good sources: yoghurt, skimmed milk, calcium-enriched orange juice, cheese, rice and tofu.

Folic Acid:
Women: women with a low folic acid intake are at increased risk of miscarriage and birth defects. Consequently, all women trying to become pregnant are advised to take folic acid supplements (400 micrograms or 0.4 milligrams daily) even before they intend to actually get pregnant as the foetus needs folic acid very early in pregnancy for the healthy development of the central nervous system.

Good sources: green leafy vegetables, chicken liver, calves liver, lentils, asparagus, papaya, broccoli, hard-boiled eggs, wheat-germ.

Vitamin C :
A healthy varied diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables is important for general health. Lack of vitamin C in the male diet may possibly contribute to reduced sperm fertility.

Zinc:
Women: pregnant women who have seriously low zinc levels may possibly have an increased risk of miscarriages, pregnancy-related blood poisoning, extended pregnancy and long labours. An added advantage of making sure you eat enough zinc is that it helps to prevent stretch marks!

Men: even short-term deficiencies in zinc intake in men can lower the volume of semen and the testosterone level.

Good sources: not many foods are rich in zinc with the exception of oysters, beef, fish (shellfish), crustaceans, lamb, and roasted wheat-germ all of which contain zinc. A good prenatal vitamin supplement can provide the necessary zinc requirement.

Ayurveda

Ayurveda medicine is an alternative infertility treatment that has its roots in Indian medicine dating back at least 4,000 years. Ayurveda is translated as the science of life and Ayurveda teachings are based on the principles of which substances, lifestyles and activities are either beneficial or harmful to life. As such, Ayurveda treatments and Ayurveda medicine for fertility often target factors that are known to contribute to infertility including stress, diet and exposure to toxins.
http://kottakkalayurvediccentre.com

Meditation

Chronic stress, which is when one is always stressed, can cause depression and changes in sleep habits. It can also decrease chances of fighting off common illnesses. The success of using meditation, visualization and journaling techniques to heal and cultivate fertility has been strongly documented by Alice Domar in Healing Mind, Healthy Woman and by Niravi Payne in The Language of Fertility.
http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/Managing-Infertility-Stresshttp://www.reproductivefacts.org/topics/detail.aspx?id=1738
http://www.bellaonline.org/articles/art52794.asp

Yoga

Yoga is not just about burning calories. Through yoga techniques, you are able to redirect your attention to focus on yourself, your movement and your breathing. All of these elements combine to help you relieve stress, feel more in tune with your body and help to realign and balance out your bodys systems. And this is exactly why many infertile couples have found yoga to be helpful for them
http://www.yoga4fertility.com/
http://www.pullingdownthemoon.com/yoga.php

Acupuncture

Acupuncture performed 25 minutes before and after IVF embryo transfer increased IVF pregnancy rates in a German study published in 2002 In a 2006 similar study conducted by The University of South Australia, the acupuncture groups odds (although not statistically significant) were 1.5 higher than the control group Although definitive results of the effects of acupuncture on embryo transfer remain a topic of discussion, study authors state that it appears to be a safe adjunct to IVF.

Aroma Therapy

Odors have a strong influence on the limbic system, including hypothalamus, which regulates female reproductive system via the pituitary. Many women using aromatherapy find that symptoms of PMS, menstruation, and menopause may be alleviated by inhaling essential oils. 
Certain essential oils have been regarded in aromatherapy as having estrogenic properties and some of them have been proven in scientific studies to have compound that bind to estrogen receptors in the body. They may have a mild regulatory effects on female reproductive system.
http://www.aromatherapy-at-home.com/fertilityaromatherapy.htmlhttp://www.naturalwellbeing.com/blog/2009/08/aromatherapy-for-fertility.cfm

Prayer

http://www.beliefnet.com/Health/2008/09/Healing-Prayers-for-Infertility.aspxhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17786646

Avoiding Health Risks

There are various day-to-day risks for both men and women, which are not beneficial for either their health or their fertility.

Substances That Are Poisonous To Reproduction:
There are certain professions in which people are more likely to be exposed to poisonous substances than others. This is why your doctor will ask you about your job. Painters, for example, are exposed to poisonous vapours on a daily basis and these can affect the quality of semen. Environmental poisons such as heavy metals derived from industrial production, or hormones fed to cattle have also been proven to contribute to reduced sperm production.

Sports:
Although it is very healthy to keep in shape, excessive exercise can, in fact, be bad for men who are trying to have a child. The build-up of heat in the testicles during exercise can adversely affect sperm production. There is no need to stop sports altogether; simply try not to indulge in strenuous exercise immediately before intercourse.

Temperature Of The Testicles:
The scrotum hangs outside the mans body because the sperm have to be a couple of degrees lower than the rest of the body. Underwear that is too tight, nylon cycling shorts, sitting to close to a heat source at work, saunas and long hot showers can all consistently increase the temperature of the testicles. Avoiding these situations can help avoid overheating of the testicles.

Music Therapy

Music is an age-old part of Ayurveda. It promotes a happy and healthy lifestyle. Music stimulates the pituitary gland, whose secretions affect the nervous system and the flow of blood. The right kind of music helps one relax and refresh. Even during the course of working, light music improves efficiency. Listening to music helps control negative aspects of our personalities like worry, bias and anger. In addition, it can help cure headache, abdominal pain and tension. Music therapy is one of the most effective ways of controlling emotions, blood pressure and restoring the functioning of the liver. Music also improves concentration.


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Dates 2015

4 - 6
Dec

Annual Meeting of the Middle East Fertility Society

Location: Liege, Belgium
More information