Introducing a Clinical Nutrition Referral Service to the Cork Fertility Centre
Nutrition is the cornerstone of good health and wellbeing. It is particularly crucial at certain stages of life including fertility, conception, pregnancy, foetal brain development, childhood growth, and has a significant role to play in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. The specific types of nutrition consultations relevant to fertility are outlined briefly here:
- General Nutrition and dietetic review to check overall nutritional adequacy of the diet
- Coeliac Disease is an autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to Gluten. Undiagnosed Coeliac Disease can lead to impaired fertility in women, so all women with impaired fertility should have blood tests carried out to diagnose or rule out Coeliac Disease.
- Weight management, Fertility & Pregnancy (Overweight, underweight & eating disorders)
- PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). PCOS is one of the leading causes of fertility problems in women and, if not properly managed, can lead to additional health problems such as diabetes in later life. Dietary and lifestyle management have been shown to improve symptoms; research has shown that weight management & low GI diet is advocated as the primary therapy in overweight women with PCOS. Women with PCOS should also have an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) carried out to determine whether or not impaired glucose tolerance or insulin resistance has developed.
- Sperm DNA fragmentation. As you may already know, Cork Fertility Centre is currently conducting a research study examining DNA damage in sperm and its effect on Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) outcomes. The results of this study will determine if these tests of sperm DNA damage are useful in deciding the best treatment options for future couples. Although it is likely that nutrition has a clear role to play here too, there is currently no conclusive scientific evidence on the benefit of dietary supplementation. However, the levels of Certain vitamins and minerals in the diet may improve sperm count and/or sperm quality. They include zinc & vitamin C.
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