6 Ways Sugar Can Sabotage Hormones and Fertility

6 Ways Sugar Can Sabotage Hormones and Fertility.


Sugar can sabotage hormones and fertility in a lot of ways.

Now, I am a warm, fuzzy, caring person. And I know how women with hormonal health issues AND woman and couples on a tough path to parenthood appreciate empathy and support.  I have empathy. Supportive is my middle name.

But I think it’s important to be honest with people. To help teach them and empower them to take control of their own health to balance hormones and cycles and also to max their natural fertility. With no guilt, shame or blame. Because if you don’t know something, you can’t choose how to respond. So sometimes, I’m a bit more direct and lay it on the line. Then it’s up to you to choose what to do armed with that info.

Please don’t feel that your scoffing sweeties or quaffing cupcakes is your fault. Or that you’re somehow contributing to your own issues. PLEASE.  That’s NOT what I mean.

Sugar is addictive and I don’t see many programmes teaching us about the dangers of sugar to hormone balance or baby-making either.

Trust me, I’m really here to help.  With empathy and support.


Sugar Is Addictive

Yes, sugar is an additive substance. And hurrah! No need to shoot it up, smoke it or snort it.

It makes us feel soooooo gooooodddd.  We feel satisfied, soothed, energised…it’s soooooooo pleasurable.

And no unpleasant side effects short term – no staggering, slurring, palpitations, blacking out.   We’re more socially acceptable after a cupcake than a draw on a crack pipe.

We use it to celebrate – think cake and chocolates for birthdays. Mince pies and cakes at Christmas. Chocolate Eggs at Easter. And as a reward –  sweeties, chocolates, ice cream.

Let’s not underestimate its power though: once a hit wears off, we crave another and another. The dark side of sugar.  And it’s not just adults: our children are also hooked.

But this blog is about hormones and fertility, so let’s look at how sugar messes up our delicate hormone balance…


How Sugar Sabotages Hormones and Fertility

#1 The Hormone Rollercoaster

Sugary foods are broken down quickly by our bodies giving us a blood sugar spike, oh and a glorious high. Followed by a crashing low. Insulin (The Fat Storing Hormone) levels peak and trough. I call it riding the rollercoaster of blood sugar, energy, hormones and mood.

The insulin spike and crash stimulates our adrenal glands on top of our kidneys.  Our adrenals pump out Cortisol (The Stress Hormone) and Adrenalin to boost blood sugar back up.

So could that be okay after one snarf of a cupcake washed down with a sugary, flavoured coffee? Maybe.

But if that pattern continues. Sugar – insulin spike – insulin crash – adrenals working hard ….well we can burn out our adrenal glands.  Leading to hormone imbalances, because the delicate balance of chemical triggers and messages that make up the hormone system are kaput.

Trust me I know. I had adrenal fatigue caused by stress, not by sugar.  Although I did crave it to boost my flagging energy at the time. Tired adrenals lead to craving yet more sugar and the risk of eating binges.

Adrenal stress impacts levels of oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and the hormones. In women and men.

That hormone imbalance can harm ovulation, cycles and fertility.

Eating a hormone friendly and fertility friendly diet avoids this rollercoaster.  Some studies show IVF outcomes are higher with a lower carb (not no carb) diet.

#2 Weight Issues

For a long time we were told that fat makes us fat and so everyone went on a low fat diet .

Now we know that it’s sugar that’s more likely to make us fat. With it’s 50 plus different “disguises” on food labels. Added to everything, even savoury foods like baked beans

When we eat carbs and sugary foods,  blood sugar rises and insulin spikes, as already mentioned. This drives all our body’s fuel into fat cells, especially around the belly.  And this can trigger more hunger, food cravings and overeating.

Weight is a hormonal issue and a fertility issue.

Fat cells – as well as ovaries – produce oestrogen.  Overweight and obese women are at risk of too much oestrogen, causing hormones imbalances and conditions like endometriosis and fibroids.

Being overweight is a risk factor for fertility issues too.


#3 Insulin Resistance, PCOS, Obesity and More

The overproduction of insulin we described in #1 can lead to a condition called “insulin resistance”.

And insulin resistance is associated with obesity, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and even diabetes.  All of those have pretty unpleasant symptoms. All of those can impact fertility. Insulin resistance has been linked with implantation issues and a higher risk of miscarriage as well as ovulation issues.


#4 Low Nutrition

The White Stuff depletes us of nutrients … indirectly.  When the body goes into insulin and adrenal overdrive, we use up vital vitamins and minerals. And we need vitamins and minerals for hormone health, fertility and a healthy pregnancy.


#5 Thrush

Okay, so it’s not a hormone imbalance, but eating a lot of sugary foods is a risk factor for yeast overgrowth in the body… candida and thrush.

Thrush is a white, cottage cheesey discharge from the vagina, which is itching and burning. It’s horrible.

Thrush makes the vagina sperm UNfriendly and can make sex uncomfortable.

If you have thrush and have a baby, the baby can catch it when he/she passes through the birth canal. In turn that can cause nappy rash and oral thrush in the baby, making feeding more difficult.


#6 Low Immune System

Busted. Again it’s not strictly hormonal but sugar lowers our immune systems. Leaving us susceptible to all kinds of bugs, lurgies, coughs and colds … plus yeast infections (see #5) and any sexually transmitted diseases too.


So What’s A Sweet Toothed Girl To Do?

Decisions, decisions.

As I see it, the main choices are:-

  • Quit sugar. Go “cold turkey”. A good place to start is Sarah Wilson’s website and book I Quit Sugar.
  • Reduce it over time by not adding sugar to drinks, avoiding sweet treats, being label savvy and so on. And/or…
  • … choose alternative sweeteners. The ones with the least impact on blood sugar are xylitol, stevia and agave.  All are processed foods.
  • Choose natural sweeteners like fruit, dried fruits, raw honey and maple syrup – they are more nutrient dense, but still impact blood sugar levels. They still contain sugars.

In my view, a hormone and fertility friendly diet is one low in sugar for all the points raised.   It’s a piece of fruit a day. Avoiding added sugars.  Eating healthy carbs in moderation only.

My experience is that having a sweet tooth is a habit and one which can be broken in time. Women who quit sugar often report that eating a sugary snack some time after they quit tastes revolting and makes them feel sick. Imagine that.





How To Boost Egg Health for Fertility


How To Boost Egg Health for Fertility.

Today I’m talking eggs. Women’s eggs to be precise. Egg health.

It may seem odd talking about looking after your eggs, but let’s face it. We are born with all the ones we’re going to have (although some studies suggest that may not be strictly true) so it makes sense to nurture them.

To protect them BEFORE we plan a baby and to max the quality when we want to start making a baby.

Without ovulation of a healthy egg, there is no natural conception.  If you’re choosing IVF or similar with our own eggs, egg health is equally important.


Isn’t Egg Health All About Your Age?

The short answer is yes and NO.

The number of eggs and quality does generally decline with age.

But how many eggs we have and how healthy they are is partly genetic.  The tendency to early natural menopause can run in families, but not always.

AND we can really influence the health of our ovaries and our eggs with food, lifestyle choices and natural therapies.  To support regular ovulation, healthy eggs and a welcoming womb.


Help! I’ve Been Told My Eggs Are Unhealthy or “Old” Or I Have Low Reserve

Okay.  Stay calm.

We can influence the health of the eggs we have with good preconception care.  We have some control.

Your doctor can talk you through other options like IVF or using an egg donor.

And low reserve diagnosis tells us about the quantity of eggs, not quality.


A Teensy Bit Of Biology

It takes about 90 days for an egg to mature ready for ovulation.

So today’s egg is the product of what we ate, drank, breathed in, touched, suffered from, stressed over about 3 months ago.

That’s it, biology over. Told you it was teensy.


So How Can We Look After Our Eggs?

Here are some simple ways we can take care of our eggs to protect and boost egg health.


#1 Eat To Nourish Our Eggs, Ovaries and Balance Hormones.

I know I keep banging on about this.  #sorrynotsorry but a fertility friendly diet (outlined in the link) improves women’s and men’s health and boosts fertility.

Some fab foods to include in your diet are:-

  • Dark leafy green veggies
  • Wild or organic salmon
  • Broccoli
  • Berries
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • So called “superfoods” maca, Royal Jelly and green powders. Avoid Royal Jelly if you suspect clergy to bee products.


Some things to avoid include:-

  • Sugar
  • Trans fats -look out for hydrogenated vegetable oil on labels and avoid takeaway and fast foods.
  • Caffeine – in regular tea, coffee, cola drinks, chocolate and some over-the-counter meds
  • Processed, packet, ready-made, GMO foods
  • Meat and dairy that is NOT organic

There are some useful supplements and I think that supplements are best tailored to the individual after a case history and tests. Every woman trying to conceive should at least take a good prenatal multi with enough folic acid. Get my views on supplements here.


#2 Live a Fertility Friendly Lifestyle

Another of my top tips.

If you want more details of the hormone and fertility friendly lifestyle, take a read of this blog .

My strong guidance for starters is  :-

  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Quit street drugs
  • Detox your life of hormone harming chemicals


#3 Boost Blood Flow

It’s been shown that getting oxygen-rich blood to the pelvis supports good egg health.

So you’re thinking, how the heck do I do that?   Here are my suggestions:-

  • Drink plenty of filtered water or glass-bottled mineral water
  • Exercise – move your butt to get your heart pumping and fresh blood circulating
  • Speak to a qualified fertility acupuncturist or a qualified fertility massage expert.


#4 Reduce Stress

Stress can impact ovulation. Hormone imbalances can block ovulation temporarily. Even in women who do ovulate despite stress, it can harm chances of fertilisation and implantation.

So, its key to work out ways of managing stress. And that’s different for all of us – try yoga (also good for pelvic blood flow), massage, meditation, qi gong or tai chi, other exercise.

If stress is a real big issue for you, try a talking therapy like EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), hypnotherapy or counselling and coaching. I know some very good therapists in the field, who specialise in fertility.


So my take home message is we can protect and influence egg health with good diet and healthy habits.

If you loved this egg cosy-ing post, you will  love the totally FREE course 7 Steps to Boost Fertility. Find out more by clicking the box below.





10 Things That Harm Male Fertility

10 Things That Harm Male Fertility.

It takes two to tango. Two to make a baby. A healthy egg and a strong, vibrant sperm.   Male fertility is just as important to the baby of your dreams as female fertility.

It’s often women who approach me for guidance on boosting fertility. And that’s dandy. Super dandy, in fact.  It’s my mission to spread the word and to help.

But I always suggest that their partner gets on board with the programme. Even when he doesn’t have “a problem” and any sperm tests results are in “normal” range. I see test results that may be normal, but they are not fantastic.  Let’s aim for Grade A sperm and not just scrape through with a C, eh?

Because a baby is the product of sperm and egg. The health of todays sperm and egg are strongly influenced by what we ate, drank, breathed in, stressed about and did about 4 months ago. And a baby’s health is based upon the health of the sperm and egg that made them.

This blog is for you guys. To supercharge sperm. Jazz up your …. well, you know what I mean.


#1 Banish Booze

Basically, the more you drink, the worse it is.

Booze also bombs testosterone levels, which can tank sex drive.  Not what you want when you’re baby-making.  So it’s best to give it up for at least 4 months to get baby-fit and baby-ready.


#2 Quit Smoking

Smoking harms sperm.

It reduces sperm count, motility (movement), and morphology (shape).

And again, the more you smoke, the worse it is.

Don’t forget the second-hand smoking shizzle – men smoking around their partner are increasing their partner’s risk of fertility issues too.

You need to find support to quit, guys.


#3 Check Out Medical Conditions

This might sound obvious.  Certain medical conditions affect male fertility.

Some are better known – genito-urinary infections, varicocele, inflamed prostate…  But there are also a whole host of other conditions that might impact fertility like thyroid issues, diabetes, anaemia… to name but a few.

Basically, if you have a diagnosed condition, speak with your doctor to ask if it’s likely to impact fertility.

If you have any odd signs and symptoms that you haven’t had checked out. Do it before you start trying for a baby.  You may have undiagnosed conditions, allergies or whatever which need to be addressed to boost chances of conception.


#4 Prescribed and Over The Counter Meds

Yup, some prescribed meds and even some over-the-counter ones affect male fertility.

As an example, some antihistamines affect sperm quality and quantity.  Long term antibiotic use can affect it. Aspirin has been shown to harm sperm motility. Certain antidepressants impact male fertility. Some beta blockers and psychotropic meds can lead to impotence.

Check out whether your meds or over-the-counter med choices can harm fertility. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist to find out all the known risks and side effects before you start on the baby dancing.


#5 Street Drugs

Street drugs harm health and they harm fertility.

Cannabis can lower male hormones needed to produce sperm. Yikes.

Cocaine can lower sperm count, can cause sperm to be poor swimmers and can lead to higher rates of abnormal sperm.

Herion messes up testosterone levels.

Just say no. Get help to quit. ‘Nuff said.


#6 Moobs and Beer Belly

If you have Man Boobs (moobs) or a beer belly or any other weight issues, tackle it before you start on the path to parenthood.

Yes, weight can impact a man’s ability to father kids.  Sperm quality decreases the bigger your waist size and higher BMI, some studies show.

And if you’re making poor food choices, it’s likely you’re low in the nutrients needed to supercharge sperm like zinc, selenium and essential fatty acids as well as a range of vitamins.  And pre natal supplements won’t totally compensate for a fertility UNfriendly lifestyle.

Start with healthy habits before you’re a Dad and you’ll be able to cope with the wonderful but exhausting first few weeks, months and years of parenthood. You’ll be able to run and play games with the best of ’em. AND you’re setting up healthy habits for you new family.


#7 Overheating In The Pants Department.

Not because you’re hot stuff, although I’m sure you are.

I mean, don’t let your testicles get overheated.  It can harm sperm production.

🌟So no super-tight, budgie-smuggling pants.

🌟Don’t have your laptop on your lap or your phone in your pocket.

🌟No blistering hot baths or saunas.

🌟Stop sitting down for long, long periods letting your junk get hot and sweaty.

🌟Avoid cycling for marathon sessions.


#8  Environmental Toxins

Toxic chemicals can cause health issues, hormone issues and fertility issues. For men and women.

These toxins are everywhere.

They include bug killers, weed killers, heavy metals like lead.

They can lurk in your personal care products.  Hide in your cleaning cupboards. And even in the packaging, wrap and pans in your kitchen. As an example, there are hormone disrupting chemicals in most plastic bottles.

Detox your world as much as possible.


#9 Jobs That Affect Junk

Following from the other points , you can see that some jobs are much more risky to health and fertility than others. I’m not saying quit your job, unless you want to and you can, of course. It’s about minimising risk and taking steps to get as healthy as you can to make a healthy, happy baby.

Drivers can spend lots of time sitting and driving, risking hot and sweaty pants which can lower sperm count and increase levels of abnormal sperm.  So take breaks. And don’t wear tight clothes.

Some jobs expose guys to toxic chemicals – factory work, painting and decorating, farming, manufacturing and loads more  – so take all the safety precautions possible.

Think about any risk your job presents to fertility and take steps to reduce those risks.


#10  Stress

Stress can be work related too, but not always.

And stress affects sex drive and fertility. Stress in men affects hormone balance and sperm production. Some studies show it leads to higher numbers of abnormal sperm and poor sperm quality.

It can be tough to remove sources of stress quickly e.g. if it’ your job it’s not always possible to quit overnight.  If you can’t remove the sources, it’s important to find stress reduction techniques that work for you.

As examples, try meditation, yoga or tai chi.  Get a massage often. Take regular, gentle exercise. Breathe more deeply.


If you loved my top tips for boosting make fertility, you’ll love my FREE online programme called 7 Steps To Boost Fertility.  It’s for guys and girls.  And super easy to get your hands on it. It’s just a virtual and online chinwag from me. To help you improve health to boost fertility if you’re trying naturally or going for IVF.  Sign up below and a link to the short videos and classes (in a safe, secure space) will wing it’s way to your inbox. If you don’t know what an online programme is, check this out.



Getting Pregnant: It’s Not Just Sex and Folic Acid.


Getting Pregnant: It’s Not Just Sex and Folic Acid.

I know a lot of people think getting pregnant is easy. It’s about stopping contraception, getting jiggy and taking Folic Acid, right?

If only it was that simple for everyone.  1 in 6 couples struggle these days.

And anyway, everything we eat, drink, do, take, breathe, stress over in the 3 or 4 months before conception can affect fertility. It can affect pregnancy and even baby health.

Diet and lifestyle choices strongly influence egg and sperm health.

Diet and lifestyle influence health in pregnancy before and during the pregnancy.

Scientists now believe that children’s health can be “preprogrammed” by their parents health at conception and during pregnancy.  The risk of chronic disease is greater in kids of less healthy parents, passed through genes.

I’m not saying that to scare anyone. Or wag my finger. I’m a hugger not a fighter. A teacher. An encourager. A helper.

I just want to spread the word, that looking after yourself to start trying for a baby supports natural conception (or chances of IVF success), pregnancy health and baby health.

Because it’s not taught in schools.  There are no government campaigns to teach people  how to prepare for conception – where I live anyway.

I want to teach and support as many people to take care of themselves in healthy, fertility-fuelling ways as possible.

Let’s bust some myths and look at the influence of diet and lifestyle…


Getting Pregnant: Stopping Contraception

..starting with stopping contraception.

Many people use some kind of contraception and then make a decision to try for a baby.  So they stop the contraception. And hope that fertility is restored.

In theory, it should be. If there are no other factors impacting fertility. BUT we do know that fertility doesn’t always return quickly.  It depends on the individual woman and the method.


The Combined Pill

The Pill overrides our natural hormones and cycles. Any bleed on The Pill is NOT a period. It’s a withdrawal bleed in the break from taking pills.

The Combined Pill takes over from hormones in your brain to stop ovulation and make cervical mucus sperm UNfriendly.

Some women’s fertility returns very quickly after stopping it; for other women their cycle doesn’t start up/balance for months or even years.   It’s a risk, I guess. That women have to weigh up. Especially if they are older when they want to have a baby – time may tick tick away, if cycles take a long time to rebalance.

There are other risks linked with The Pill –  some cancers, weight gain, fibroids…

So what do I suggest? Firstly, it’s your choice what you use. I always say check the benefits, risks, side effects and nutrition impacts of something before you decide.

The Pill – for example – robs women of good gut bacteria, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins (including Folic Acid), Vitamin E and Vitamin C.  All of which are pretty important nutrients for fertility , pregnancy and baby health.

In my experience, Pill users can have high copper results in Hair Mineral Tests  .  High copper can affect fertility.

The Pill can throw blood sugar balance out of whack, which can impact hormones balance and fertility too.

I suggest women come off The Pill and take 3-4 months to see how their cycle settle down. They can look for natural signs of ovulation and improve their diet and lifestyle choices to get baby-fit and baby-ready. If you’re not ovulating or not regularly, I work with women to encourage ovulation with diet and lifestyle choices. Plus natural therapies to support them.


The Mini Pill

This works by thickening cervical mucus. It doesn’t stop ovulation.  The contraceptive effects are short-lived, so fertility returns assuming there are no other factors influencing it.



These are rods continuing progesterone implants put under the skin. It thickens mucus and stops ovulation.  It lasts for about 5 years: something to think about if you’re likely to want a baby in that time.


Depo – Provera

This injection slowly releases synthetic progesterone. It stops ovulation.  Having no periods is a common side effect. Studies shows that women coming off Depo can take longer to conceive.


The Coil

They are usually plastic and copper and put into your womb for 3-5 years. Coils cause the womb to become inflamed making it difficult for a fertilised egg to implant. They can cause heavy periods, risking iron deficiency.  And increase risk of pelvic infection.

There are other “coils” impregnated with progesterone. They thicken mucus. Again there are known side effects – moods wings, nausea, headaches, no periods…

I suggest removing a coil and taking 3-4 months to get baby for and then start trying.


Barrier Methods

Condoms, the diaphragm and cap prevent sperm for getting into the cervix. Spermicides kill sperm.

Fertility returns straight away after stopping using them, assuming no other fertility changes.


Natural Fertility Awareness

Monitoring extremely closely over time, your natural fertility signs of temperature, mucus and cervix can be used for contraception, as well as to try to time conception.

There are no side effects with this method and fertility is protected throughout.

It’s a massive subject though. I have a whole class on properly monitoring fertility signs, other ovulation tests, timing of intercourse and more to support pregnancy … not contraception – you need a face-to-face qualified teacher showing you the method over time for that.

Getting Pregnant: Getting Jiggy

It’s sex before ovulation and at ovulation that leads to baby-making.   You can’t get pregnant at any old time in your cycle.

That’s because sperm can live about 5 days (up to 7) in healthy, sperm-friendly mucus inside a woman. But an egg is only viable up to a day.

So it makes sense to have sex before and at ovulation.

Some women choose to track ovulation using natural signs or by peeing on sticks to monitor it and also to time sex.  Others find that too stressful and prefer not to track too closely and have a less planned sex-life. It’s personal choice.

There are a lot of myths around ovulation and when it happens.  Basically, it varies from woman to woman and can vary cycle to cycle.  One thing is for sure. You need to be ovulating to fall pregnant naturally.

Most experts say regular, unprotected sex across a cycle is advisable –  every other day to allow sperm to build up.


Getting Pregnant: Folic Acid

I talk a lot about my passion for preconception care.  That’s looking after your health – MEN and WOMEN – for a few months before trying to fall pregnant. To improve health. Improve natural fertility.  Reduce risks in pregnancy and to baby health.

Most women take Folic Acid as part of preconception care.  Doctors usually recommend it to patients.

BUT, it’s not really enough, in my view.  I wrote a whole blog on fertility nutrition and supplements. And how there are lots of nutrients for fertility – not just that ONE.

And even if you eat pretty well, there are so many other factors risking our fertility in the mad, modern world. The quality of food and soil it grows in. Lifestyle choices. Environmental toxins and chemicals. Illnesses and allergies and infections. Technology…heck your laptop and phone in your pocket could be affecting your lady and lad bits.  And much much more, besides.


But very few people teach this. I DO.

I want to teach and support women and couples to boost health and fertility, naturally. So, more are getting pregnant naturally. Getting pregnant faster. Increasing IVF successes. Having healthy pregnancies.  And happy, healthy babies.

With practical advice. That really helps.


So its not JUST about sex and Folic Acid. A whole heap of factors influence fertility. And we can control some of them ourselves.




Pizza Won’t Help You Get Pregnant and Other Stuff No-One Tells You


Pizza Won’t Help You Get Pregnant and Other Stuff No-One Tells You.

Let’s kick off by saying this. If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s NOT your fault you’re not pregnant yet.  And I really mean that. From my heart to yours.  Sincerely. With love.


This blog is all about how we don’t know, what we don’t know.  If no-one teaches us, we can’t know better and do better. In fertility. In health. Even life.

No fear, no shame, no blame, no guilt, no judgement. Ever.


No-one teaches us how to get pregnant or how to get pregnant faster.

In schools and in the media, it’s all about how NOT to get pregnant.  Safe sex. And how to avoid STIs. Especially aimed at younger people.

So when we do want a baby, we get some Folic Acid IF our doctor has bothered to say anything… most do: a couple of women have told me their doctor never even mentioned it. And they should.

We also get busy having regular, unprotected sex.

Because that’s what we’re supposed to do. To make a baby.  Right?

If we’re very lucky, we may have picked up along the way that smoking isn’t great for fertility. And drinking heavily.

That’s about it. Usually.


Quick Fixes For Fertility?

It’s often when it doesn’t happen quickly enough.

OR women over 35 start to worry about their age and fertility .

That we start to wonder how to speed it up or boost our chances. Pronto.

So we scour the internet. Get books. Ask people, sometimes.

To find there is a lot of confusing information. And overwhelming information. There’s a lot of misleading information.  Myths. And Old Wives Tales.

And we want a quick fix. I totally get that.  Of course, we want get pregnant faster. And deliver a healthy baby.

So we start with the so-called quick fixes… fertility friendly lube, lying with our legs in the air afterwards, multivitamins.

We might start pee-ing on sticks because we heard that timing sex to ovulation is going to boost our chances. Well yes, but pee-ing on sticks isn’t always accurate in predicting ovulation. More of that in another blog.


How To Get Pregnant Faster

I’ll say it again. No-one teaches us this stuff.

Well, okay. I do. A few people do. I do.

If you want to get pregnant faster. And boost your chances of IVF success.  You can do these things.  They may not be quick fixes. BUT there are little steps …small things you can start straight away.


#1 Change diet. 

Pizza doesn’t help you get pregnant. Nor other processed, packaged, ready-made, fast or takeaway food.

Ditto sugar, artificial sweeteners, white carbs, non organic meat and dairy.

We need nutritious food with fertility-fuelling vitamins, minerals, good fats, protein and brown carbs. Real food.   Poor nutrition can affect fertility.

So what do you eat? And drink?

No-one teaches us this stuff.


#2 Look At Your Life Choices

Smoking can harm fertility.

Drinking alcohol can affect fertility.

Caffeine (tea, coffee, green tea, chocolate, cola) can affect fertility.

Exercise –  too much and too little – can affect fertility.

Weight – being overweight or underweight – can affect fertility.

Drugs – recreational, over-the-counter and prescribed – can affect fertility.

Where and how do you start to tackle these?

No-one teaches us this stuff.


#3 Detox Your World

There are health harming chemicals everywhere.

Hormone-harming and fertility harming chemicals everywhere.

You just need to know what they are and where they lurk.

No-one teaches us this stuff.


#4 Gen Up On General Health 

Some conditions can affect fertility. Self-care and conventional treatments help. Some are well known. Like PCOS, sperm issues, Endometriosis.

Other are not. Thyroid issues. Low iron. Hormone imbalances.

You may have a condition and not even know yet.  One that’s unrelated to baby-making. But it could STILL be affecting fertility.


No-one teaches us this stuff.


#5 Relax and Rejuvenate

Modern life is mad. Fact. There’s pressure, stress, plate-spinning, multi-tasking, juggling balls.

That can affect our hormone balance, energy levels  and sex drive and therefore fertility.

The stress of not falling pregnant as quickly as you want, can add to stress and worry.

You know it.  But reducing stress is easier said than done, sometimes.

No-one teaches us this stuff.


#6 Learn About When To Make Love 

If you’ve been trying for a while, maybe you want to think about fertility awareness – knowing the natural signs of fertility. Temperature. Mucus. Cervix position. And how to check them PROPERLY.

So you can see if you’re ovulating or not. And you can time sex …if you choose.

The info out there is littered with myth and misunderstanding.

No-one teaches us this stuff.

It’s why I wrote the mini course Ovulation For Pregnancy. A myth buster.


#7 Know When and What To Test 

If you’ve been trying a couple of years and you’re a woman under 35, it’s time to think tests.

Or you’re over 35 and have been trying for 6 months, it’s time to think tests.

If you suspect a condition that might make it tough for you, ask for tests.

But what tests? When? What to ask for? What should you look for when you get results? Which questions should you ask?

No-one teaches us this stuff.


If YOU want to learn more, check out my FREE online course 7 Steps to Boost Fertility below.









Your liver is amazing!  I want you to love your liver.  To protect health. And fertility. Here’s why and how…


Toxic Chemicals Are Everywhere…

There are toxic chemicals every flippin’ where.

In the food that we eat.

In the soils that grow that food.

In the water we drink.

In the air we breathe in.

In the cosmetics and toiletries,  we use on our hair, skin, nails, bodies.


Those chemicals can collect in our bods. They can disrupt hormone health.  They can be nutrient stealers – taking from us the nutrients key to fertility.

It’s the liver that help process those nasty chemicals.


Toxic Chemicals and Fertility

There is growing evidence that some chemicals rob us of nutrition. And harm hormone health.

So, it makes loads of sense to reduce exposure when you’re trying to fall pregnant.

Now I know some of you want to know exactly what the risk is, right? The answer is I don’t know. I’m not sure anyone has the big picture yet. It’s hard to say exactly what the impact is on fertility.  Here’s a fab website with lots of great info, though.

But I think every little helps. Especially, if you’re finding it hard to conceive or carry a baby full term. Or you’re trying to have the healthiest baby possible by being as healthy as you can be.


Every little helps to boost natural fertility.

Every little helps people get pregnant faster.

Every little helps boost the chances of successful IVF.

Every little helps towards a happy, healthy pregnancy.

Every little helps for the healthiest baby you possible.


It’s tough to remove ALL toxins.  Even if you tried to go off grid. BUT it IS possible to reduce exposure. And by some pretty simple actions.


So where do you start? You start by loving your liver.


Love Your Liver To Boost Fertility

Your liver and kidneys are organs that remove toxic nasties from your body. It makes sense to keep them in tip top condition. Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or not.


Your liver IS a chemical processing plant!

It cleans our blood, neutralises toxic waste and removes old/excess hormones from the blood. So it helps to balance hormones.  Who knew?

Your liver helps metabolise fats, proteins and carbs and balance blood sugar levels.

When our livers are a bit meh, toxins clog it, old hormones aren’t cleared out and blood sugar goes haywire.

You are left with toxins in your blood, hormone imbalance and riding the energy rollercoaster.


An overloaded liver forces your kidneys and adrenals (glands on top of kidneys) to work harder.

That means pressure on adrenals, which risks high cortisol – The Stress Hormone – and more reproductive hormone havoc.


Anyone hear that Diana Ross song Chain Reaction playing in their head?

Not good for fertility.  The hormone havoc I meant: nothing to do with Diana Ross, you understand.


Tips for Loving Your Liver

So how DO you love your liver?

NO extreme measures, please.  Just simple steps.


  • Eat a nutrient dense, healthy diet.  Choose as much food as you can that is organic. Avoid packaged and processed and GMO food.
  • Eat lots of antioxidants.  Antioxidants are like Pac Man mopping up the “free radicals”.  Free radicals are damaged atoms searching for electrons. They cause cell damage. Eat goji berries, blueberries, organic dark chocolate, pecans, artichoke, elderberries, kidney beans, cranberries, blackberries, coriander, grapes, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, brazil nuts to boost your antioxidant intake.
  • Eat plenty of fibre to prevent absorbing chemicals into the bloodstream to be handled by the liver.
  • Drink plenty of filtered water. Avoid bottles of water with BPA plastic. Another hormone harmer.
  • Avoid alcohol… it puts a strain on the liver.
  • Avoid or reduce caffeine as well.


Love your liver. Then you can make a start on detoxing your life.   A subject of another blog.  Keep your eyes peeled.



Can Weight Affect Getting Pregnant?

can weight affect getting pregnant

Can Weight Affect Getting Pregnant?

The simple answer is YES. Weight can.

Being overweight or underweight can affect getting pregnant. So, it’s a good idea to manage your weight.

Find out why right here.


Weight and Hormones

Basically, it’s all about the hormones. The hormones needed in the right balance for a healthy and regular cycle and for ovulation.

If we’re overweight or underweight, there is a risk that we don’t have balanced hormones and we start to see signs  of haywire hormones, including cycle problems and trouble falling pregnant.


Weight and Fertility – Overweight

Some studies show that women who are overweight are more likely to suffer fertility issues.   The more overweight, the increased risk of fertility issues, generally.

The key reason is that women who are overweight tend to have more fat cells than those who are not. Fat cells produce oestrogen.,  Sounds weird. But fat cells produce oestrogen, as well as our ovaries.

With fat cells producing oestrogen, overweight women are at more risk of oestrogen dominance (I wrote a whole blog on that). Oestrogen dominance can result in too high oestrogen in relation to progesterone and that can affect periods, ovulation and fertility.

Some studies also show that being overweight can affect the outcomes of fertility treatment, which is why clinics and doctors sometimes ask women to reduce their BMI before starting treatment. It’s believed it will increase the chances of successful treatment.


Weight and Fertility – Underweight

And being underweight can also be a problem.

That’s because underweight women tend to have low body fat.

We need a certain percentage of body fat for hormone balance and ovulation. Our bodies “think” there are not enough fat stores for pregnancy, so we have issues conceiving and higher risk of miscarriage.

It’s not only the underweight who need to be mindful – you can be average or above average weight but have low body fat e.g females athletes or other women who exercise a lot. Low body fat and high muscle can cause periods to become erratic or even stop.

BMI is one measure of weight and health, but it doesn’t show you the fat/muscle make-up of your body. You need a different gizmo for that.  Many gyms have them or ask your doctor.


It’s generally accepted that underweight is BMI lower than 20. Normal is 20-15. Overweight is 25-30. Obese is 30-40 and morbidly obese is over 40.


So what should you do if you’re under or overweight and trying for a baby?

Here are some top tips:-


Weigh and Fertility – Tips for Managing Weight

#1 It’s best not to go on a slimming diet when you’re trying to conceive.  It’s better to lose the weight and then actively try to fall pregnant.


Because slimming diets – especially strict ones – can cause periods to become irregular and ovulation to stop because hormone levels drop.

Of course, a healthy weight and healthy eating can rebalance any issues.


#2 Wait until about 3 month AFTER losing weight to start trying to fall pregnant, if you can.


As a precaution, only. It’s possible nutrient levels – including fertility friendly nutrients-  might be low after a slimming diet.  Make sure you boost nutrient levels if you’ve been on a restrictive diet.  I use hair mineral tests to help see if couples have deficiencies and then work out what foods and supplements they may need.


#3 No crazy fad diets, please.


Again, you risk depleting nutrients, including the ones needed for fertility and healthy pregnancy and baby.

It’s better to lose weight through a balanced, healthy diet.  That includes healthy fats.  It doesn’t include “diet” or lite products.   The basics of a fertility friendly diet will serve you well to lose weight. And 1-2lbs a week is a good, steady weight loss.

And remember the aim is to lose weight to become a healthy weight, not slim as much as you possibly can. Losing a small amount of weight can make a positive difference.


#4 To gain weight, don’t start binge eating crud food.

Don’t start binge eating biscuits, shovelling crisps or snarfing fries!


Basically, they are not fertility-friendly foods.

It’s better to eat more healthy calorie-dense foods like nuts and avocado and increase your number of healthy snacks.


#5 Balance blood sugar. 

This is a top tip for EVERYONE’S health and fertility.


Balance blood sugar, energy, moods and hormones why eating good quality protein with every meal and snack. It’ll make you feel better and reduce the chances of you reaching for a slab of cake or vat of coffee.

Eat little and often for the same reasons.


#6 To lose or gain weight, think CROWDING IN. 


Losing or gaining weight is not always easy. I know that. And it can sometimes be daunting.

So start with a simple idea – crowding in what you do want to crowd out what you don’t want.

So if – for example – you’re trying to cut down on sugar. Think crowding in more protein (see point 5) and soon you’ll be eating more protein, feel fuller and be eating less sugar.

Give it a go and see how it works for you.


#7 Check out your partner’s (guy’s) weight.


Because being overweight can affect male fertility too. Being overweight has been linked to poor sperm quantity and quality.


So weight can affect chances of getting pregnant – that’s women and men.  Of course, it doesn’t always.

It’s a case of giving yourself the best chances you can of  natural conception, healthy pregnancy and happy and healthy baby, through some good diet and lifestyle choices.

OR boosting your IVF success chances.

It’s taking control of the fertility factors you can influence.





Fertility Supplements – It’s Not Just About The Folic Acid

fertility supplements-its not just about the folic acidFertility Supplements – It’s Not Just About The Folic Acid.

Most people know that Folic Acid is good for any woman trying to get pregnant. That’s because doctors recommend it when a woman says she’s started trying.

And it’s important for a healthy pregnancy. BUT…

…it’s not enough on its own…

…AND there are other nutrients important to fertility and pregnancy.

Grab a brew.  Pull up a pew. And read on. Here’s my own take on fertility supplements.


Fertility Supplements – Folic Acid and B Vitamins

Let’s start here.

Folic Acid is important for a healthy pregnancy; to support healthy growth of the baby’s spine and spinal cord and reduce the risks of spina bifida and other issues.

The vitamin is key between about 25-30 days after conception …when you may not know you’re pregnant. That’s why it’s recommended when you start trying for a baby – 3 months before you start trying is ideal.

It’s actually a B Vitamin. It’s called Folate. Deficiency is pretty common.

If you have tummy issues or diarrhoea you are more likely to be deficient.

Alcohol and certain meds, including The Pill rob us of B vitamins.

And there are other B Vitamins which work in harmony which is why just taking Folate may not be enough.

Folic Acid is linked to it’s sisters B6 and B12.  For them to work, you need all of them.  In the right balance.

Vitamin B6 supports a healthy immune system and protects against infection and cancer.

Some women take it to relieve PMS symptoms or regulate periods.

It reduces the risk of birth defects through chromosome damage.

Low B6 reduces B12 absorption and can contribute to B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 is important for sperm count and some studies show it helps reduce risk of miscarriage.

Vegans and vegetarians are at more risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency – so be very careful if you choose these diets and are planning a baby.  I have a whole blog on that here.

Most doctors and the NHS website here in the UK advises…

400 micrograms (mcg) of  Folic Acid each day, taken from before you are pregnant until you are 12 weeks pregnant.

But some experts say this may not be enough for some individuals, for example if you have diabetes, are overweight, you take anti-epilepsy medications or there is a history of neural tube defect in your families. Speak with your doctor, if you think this applies to you.

Guys need Folate too – either a folate rich diet or – again – supplements to boost sperm quality and fertility.


Other Key Fertility Nutrients

Vitamin D

When is a Vitamin not a vitamin? When it’s Vitamin D, which is actually a hormone! And we know that hormones are a complex system of interdependent chemical triggers, signals and responses.

Our bodies make Vitamin D when our skin is exposed to summer sunlight (from late March/early April to the end of September here in the UK).

It’s also in some foods, including oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines), eggs and red meat. It’s added to some foods. It’s only found in small amounts in all food sources.

So everyone over the age of five years, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10mcg of Vitamin D as D3 in the Northern Hemisphere winter.


It’s a key fertility boosting nutrient of men and women. A lack can lead to hormone issues, fertility issues and increase miscarriage risk.

Its important in pregnancy for growth and cell division of the foetus.

It’s also needed for healthy sperm.


Selenium supports development of the foetus and reduces risk of birth defects and miscarriage.

It’s also important for testosterone production in guys and for sperm health.

Selenium deficiency is generally more common these days; modern farming methods rob the soil of selenium.


Iron is needed for cell production and to carry oxygen – thats why you get tired when you lack iron: your body lacks oxygen.  Not a lot of people know that!

It’s important that you have enough iron before trying to get pregnant but no need to supplement if you have healthy levels from a diet rich in poultry, fish, leafy greens, dried fruit and meat.

Vitamin C supports better absorption of iron.


It’s needed for healthy skin, bone and cartilage formation and to regulate blood sugar.  It helps control free radical damage, ageing and inflammation.

Some studies show that manganese deficiency leads to low fertility. It supports good egg and sperm quality.

Essential Fats

Most people have too many Omega 6 fats (generally vegetable oils) and not enough Omega 3 (oily fish, nuts and seeds, leafy greens and beans) from their diet.

Omega 3s are important for hormone balance and supporting your baby’s healthy development in the womb.

They are also important to reduce risk of miscarriage caused by blood clotting issues.

Many people would benefit from supplementation, including those trying to conceive.

Vitamin C

Keeps your motor running! And we have to get it from food because we can’t manufacture it.

It supports ovulation.  It supports sperm quality.

Vitamin E

Did you know Vitamin E contains “tocopherols” – from the Greek word meaning to bear children! No wonder I’m including it under fertility supplements.

It really helps protect and boost female fertility.

It also increases sperm quality.

Vitamin A

This vitamin protects mucus membranes including our reproductive system – against infection and cell changes.

A word on Vitamin A. High doses from animal sources can increase the risk of birth defects, but veggie sources don’t carry the same risk.

Co-Enzyme Q10

This is contained in nearly all our cells! It’s needed for energy and metabolism.

It’s great for sperm motility or movement.


So as you can see, it’s not just Folic Acid for women that’s needed. There are a whole host of nutrients needed for fertility, reducing miscarriage risk and supporting the baby’s development.

For many people, diet alone will not provide good levels of these nutrients.


Fertility Supplements – How Do I Know What I Need?

But before you all rush out and buy up the Health Food Store supply of fertility supplements, be very careful.

YOU may not need ALL this stuff.

There can be TOO much of a good thing.

AND you should check with your doctor or pharmacist first that supplements are suitable for you.

It all depends on your diet, your ability to absorb nutrients and your general health and wellbeing.

Personally, I recommend my clients have their mineral levels checked and toxic metal load checked before starting to try for a baby.  Or when people come to me and they’ve been struggling to fall pregnant. We do that through a hair sample.

That way, we can see what your nutritional status was over the months that hair was growing …we can see a trend. From there, we can tailor supplement recommendations and lifestyle advice.

Of course, your doc can take bloods and test for nutrients – that will show what’s circulating at the precise time of the sample rather than a trend.

So, I’m saying I think supplements should be tailored to the individual.

You could opt for a fairly standard programme and it might help, but it may not be sufficient for your needs.


Fertility Supplements – You Get What You Pay For

AND you get what you pay for with supplements,including fertility supplements.

Less expensive brands contain cheap fillers. They also tend to be made from ingredients our bodies find hard to absorb…because they are cheaper.

Avoid supplements where the minerals are made from oxides, sulphates and carbonates. Prefer minerals in the form of citrates.

Choose Vitamin D as D3. I choose one with added Vitamin K.

Buy B6 as pyridoxal-5-phosphate.

Have Vitamin C as ascorbate not ascorbic acid.

Fish oils can be tricky too. It’s not the amount of fish oil, it’s the breakdown of EPA and DHA that’s key.

There are some good quality supplement brands.  You have to know what you’re looking for.

It’s a complex subject and a potential minefield once you start looking at it. It’s helpful to be guided through it.

So, that’s it, it’s not just about the Folic Acid.


If you value my hints and tips on protecting and boosting fertility, sign up to my totes FREE online programme 7 Steps To Boost Fertility …it’s ALL the basics of super self-care for getting baby-fit. Some of my hints and tips have proved pretty surprising.

And it’s easy peasy to access and use from your computer or tablet at home. You sign up and receive an e mail with a link to access the secure and private space online, which holds all the short videos and notes.

You can even listen to my classes on headphones so no-one knows you’re listening.

5 Fertility Myths Busted

fertility myths busted

5 Fertility Myths Busted.


This is all about busting fertility myths.

Because there are a LOT of fertility myths and stereotypes.

When you hear the phrase fertility issues, what comes to mind?

A woman? Maybe a high flying career woman who left it too late? Some celebrity story of successful IVF?  Some sad, childless couple?

Sure, they ARE a reality.  Every case is a real woman or couple. Unique. Special. Struggling. Needing support.

BUT it’s not quite so simple as that.

Fertility issues can affect all ages; men as much as women; couples who already have a child; people from all walks of life.

And fertility treatments have given joy to couples worldwide, but the truth is success rates are generally pretty low.

Here are 5 common fertility myths I want to help bust, this week and always.


#1 Fertility Issues Only Affect People Over 35

Yes, it’s rubbish. Fertility myth.

Of course fertility generally declines with age.

It does decline more sharply after age 35 in women. But that doesn’t mean on your 35th birthday, your fertility suddenly takes a massive nose dive.

It’s slowly declining before that. And it doesn’t drop off overnight.

Plus, age is only ONE factor in fertility issues. Not to be ignored, but not your only focus either, in my opinion. I wrote a whole blog about it – catch it here.

The fact is there ARE couples struggling with fertility issues in their 20s and early 30s as well as late 30s and early 40s.

Don’t be sucked in to some stereotype please.

We’ve been talking about women up till now – what about men?

Male fertility is also believed to decline with age – it’s just less clear to what extent.


#2 Fertility Issues Are “Women’s Problems”

Another one of those fertility myths!

The so-called “womens’ problems ” of whispers and even jokes.  Soooo not funny. And not just in terms of fertility issues, but pregnancy, PMS, menopause and a whole host of other conditions.

It’s estimated that about a third of fertility issues are female issues; another third are male issues and the rest are unexplained or potentially both.

The most common causes of male fertility issues are:-

  • low sperm count or poor quality sperm
  • problems with the tubes carrying sperm
  • problems getting an erection
  • problems ejaculating
  • inflamed testes
  • an infection that caused scarred or blocked tubes
  • diabetes
  • certain medical treatments like recent surgery or some medications
  • genetic problems
  • lifestyle factors such as being low in nutrients, smoking and being overweight.

Many of these will need the support of your doctor.

Guys, please help yourselves too.

Take control and do what you can to boost your swimmers. Again, you might find this blog Male Fertility- How To Boost It helpful.


#3 IVF is THE SOLUTION to Fertility Issues

Nah, it’s one option.

And – in my opinion –  it’s not an easy option.

IVF is where the egg is fertilised by sperm outside the womb and implanted into the womb.

There does seem to be a myth, that if you have issues, just pop to a clinic for free IVF and you’re sorted. Bun in the oven.  That’s so, not the reality. Why?

  • It can be a long road to get referred for treatment.
  • It’s not often free.  Another myth. You might have to pay yourself and it’s very expensive.
  • It generally has pretty low success rates.  On average 25% according to the HFEA. It might take several rounds. It might not work at all.
  • It’s also not the only assisted treatment available to you. And there are other options like surrogacy or adoption.
  • It’s sometimes used when doctors don’t know what’s causing the issues in the first place.  So, how do they know how successful it’s likely to be, I wonder?

Of course, I’d say this as a fan of getting baby ready or baby fit before trying to get pregnant a.k.a preconception care. BUT it’s also used on couples who have risk factors for fertility issues without tackling the factors first – like general health, weight, smoking, stress …

It makes sense to me to do all you can yourself like eat well, improve your lifestyle. You’ll be maxing your chances of falling pregnant naturally or increasing the odds of IVF success.  And supporting the health of any future pregnancy and child.

You know me, I have a blog  or two on these subjects –







How To Look After Your Ovaries – Ovary Health


How To Look After Your Ovaries.

Yes, hot on the heels of How To Look After Your Vajajay, we have How To Look After Your Ovaries. Ovary health, that is.


What Do Ovaries Do?

Ovaries may be small, but they are super-important organs.

They produce hormones – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. And they regulate our fertility.  But they aren’t just important for menstrual cycles, ovulation and having babies. Oh no.

Because ovaries produce oestrogen, they have a massive impact on our general health… bone health, skin health, heart health, breast health…  Who knew?

But let’s go back to ovulation. Too important to gloss right over, huh?

Ovaries release mature eggs; eggs that can go on and become embryos then babies if they are fertilised by healthy sperm.  It’s the stuff of miracles.

So I make a plea for us to take care of ovary health, best we can. To protect and boost our general health and fertility.


How To Look After Your Ovaries – Ovary Health

Basically, adopting a hormone friendly lifestyle will help protect your ovaries and ovary health. As well as general health.

Here are the key ways to take care of ovary health.

#1 Eat a hormone-helping diet. A varied diet, rich in nutritious foods. Avoid processed foods, additives, GMO.  Choose organic and unsprayed where possible. Avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol too for ovary health.


#2 Watch your weight.  That’s because fat stores produce oestrogen, as well as our ovaries. Avoid excess oestrogen and the health issues that excess oestrogen can cause like endometriosis, infertility, fibroids, PMS and more … by watching your weight.

Being underweight isn’t great either. It carries a risk that your body shuts down ovulation because it “thinks” it’s a time of threat or famine.


#3 Quit smoking. Smoking can deplete oestrogen levels which can affect fertility. Smoking also means eggs are prone to abnormalities and rates of miscarriage are higher in smokers.  Women who smoke are at risk of earlier menopause and osteoporosis.  Smoking really harms ovary health.


#4 Be Wary of Hormonal Contraceptives

Hormonal contraceptives over-ride our natural hormone balance and ovary function. It can take some time for things to settle once you stop hormonal contraception. I suggest couples take at least 3-4 months to prepare before they even start trying to get pregnant.  It’s preconception care or getting baby-ready. And that includes stopping The Pill, implant etc.


#5 Reduce Stress

I’m including stress here because stress can stop ovulation and send your cycle haywire. We could all do with removing or reducing stress in our lives.  It’s also good for ovary health and cycle health.


Ovary Problems

Of course, ovaries can have issues. Things like ovarian cysts. Not ovulating a.k.a anovulation. Inflammation called oophoritis. And, of course, PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.   Huge, huge topics on their own.

Looking after your general and hormone health won’t necessarily prevent or cure these on their own, but it can all really help. More than that, it will mean better general health.

If you suspect issues with your ovaries and cycle, always speak with a doctor for tests and to discuss treatment options. You can always integrate super self-care and complementary therapies you choose with conventional treatments.

Go on, look after your ovaries, girls.