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How do you like your coffee in the morning? Fertility and Functional Medicine

Functional Medicine works by identifying and addressing the underlying factors which prevent someone from being well: it gets to the root cause for you. Every one of us are made up of DNA, and although a lot of our DNA is the same (99.1% to be precise), that 0.9% in each of us is what makes us entirely unique. We are unique people who have grown up with different environments, lifestyles, experiences and diet: all of which will contribute to our overall picture of health today.

When it comes to supporting fertility and hormones functional medicine plays a key role. We often see patients in clinic who have followed a conventional medical route and been told that little can be done to support symptoms including heavy periods, imbalanced hormones, PMS, endometriosis, PCOS, low egg reserve, early menopause, poor sperm parameters and struggles to conceive. The great news is that we work daily with patients to improve these symptoms and ultimately fertility outcomes.

We work with individuals and couples who want to prepare their bodies for conception, pregnancy and delivery of a healthy baby. In our clinic our focus is not simply on helping you get pregnant naturally or via IVF, but helping you to stay pregnant, have a healthy pregnancy, deliver a healthy baby, to recover well post birth and to support you and your family for years to come. Functional medicine allows us to support patients with this by taking a deep dive into health history, different systems in the body (digestion, thyroid, detoxification, inflammation, stress), lifestyle and environment: all of which impact fertility.

Whether you are looking to conceive or want to support your body to help your hormones get into a better state of balance there are 3 areas which you can support right away to make a difference.

Sleep: when we sleep our bodies repair. The liver works to balance hormones, reduce inflammation and ‘sort’ data and memories from the previous day. Women undergoing IVF were found to have more eggs with a higher fertilisation rate higher liver birth rates if they managed to get 7-8 hours than those with less than 7 hours1. How to improve sleep?

1. Eat your last meal by 7pm

2. Switch off phones 2 hours before you go to bed

3. Establish a winddown routine. Keep it simple, this may be enjoying a herbal tea, reading a book, writing down a few thoughts. The body responds well to routine.

Protein: Balancing blood sugar is the first step in hormone management. The simplest way to balance blood sugar is to add protein to every meal. Start by making small changes, enjoy a high protein breakfast – swap out the oats/granola/toast as they will start your day on the back foot and your will be suffering with an energy dip by the afternoon.

Coffee: A maximum of 200mg of caffeine a day is recommended when looking to conceive. For many a lovely cup of coffee is an important morning ritual and still something to enjoy. We strongly recommend opting for coffee which is organic and chemical free such as Exhale Coffee. 1 Cup is equivalent to 12 punnets of blueberries or 55 oranges in antioxidants! Top tips for coffee:

1. Drink before midday to avoid the caffeine impacting your sleep

2. Drink 30 minutes after a meal to keep blood sugar balanced.

If you fancy switching your coffee up we have a clinic discount of 50% off your first bag of Exhale coffee with the code DEBBIE50.

If you or anyone that you know would benefit from Functional Medicine support from our clinic for fertility, hormone balance or general support please get in touch.

1. Yao QY, Yuan XQ, Liu C, Du YY, Yao YC, Wu LJ, Jiang HH, Deng TR, Guo N, Deng YL, Zeng Q, Li YF. Associations of sleep characteristics with outcomes of IVF/ICSI treatment: a prospective cohort study. Hum Reprod. 2022 May 30;37(6):1297-1310. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deac040. PMID: 35259255.


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