The Scotia Clinic, Scotia House, Manor West, Tralee, Co. Kerry. Call us: (066) 7181100 Email:

Preconceptual Care

A healthy pregnancy depends on good quality sperm and eggs(s) meeting to create an embryo that will implant into the woman’s womb lining.

Over the last number of years, we have seen more and more evidence to suggest that diet and lifestyle directly impact conception and foetal development. Developing a better understanding of these things – for both the man and the woman – can boost egg and sperm health significantly, reducing both the risk of miscarriage and the time it takes to conceive.

In our experience, most women have a good general understanding of diet, but not a great knowledge of nutrition. Accessing the right dietary information isn’t always easy, and as a result, women frequently place themselves on unhealthy eating regimes.

The body’s nutritional requirements for conception and pregnancy are very different to those for fitness and weight management.

Our medical and nursing staff are experts in the field of fertility and pregnancy and will advise you on exactly what measures you can take to improve your chances of achieving a healthy pregnancy. Very often, a few minor adjustments to your normal eating and lifestyle habits can make a significant difference.

We’ll advise you on all of the following:

  • Chromosomal Damage: Free radicals are molecules found in certain types of food and in the environment which speed up the ageing process in eggs and sperm cells, causing chromosomal damage, and sometimes increasing the risk of miscarriage. Eating certain types of food however can combat the effects of free radicals.
  • Weight Loss/Weight Gain: Being over or under weight can disrupt normal menstrual cycles, and even stop ovulation altogether.       Excessive weight in men can also lead to reduced sperm counts.
  • Inflammation: Many fertility-related issues such as endometriosis, miscarriage and pre-eclampsia are now being linked to abnormal inflammation.       One of the reasons obesity is such a factor in infertility is because excess fat releases inflammatory chemicals. At The Scotia Clinic, we investigate the dietary and lifestyle factors that influence inflammatory responses and suggest ways to minimise them.
  • Immunity Issues: Fertility can be effected if your immune system is weak, or if it is too efficient in fighting off the everyday threat of infection and disease. We are seeing more and more evidence now that an abnormal immune response can affect implantation and increase the risk of multiple miscarriage.
  • Underlying Medical Factors: If you have undertaken tests that reveal medical issues such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), an under or overactive thyroid, anaemia or coeliac disease, for example, our nutritionists can work with you to compile an eating plan that can help to limit the impact of these conditions on your health and fertility.
  • Stress: Most of us lead extremely busy lives, juggling hectic work schedules, family demands and social lives. An increase in stress hormones can interfere with both ovulation in women and sperm production in men. Many of our clients find that making just a few small changes to diet and lifestyle can make a real difference to the way the body responds to stress.
  • Supplementation Advice: The body’s nutritional needs for fertility and pregnancy are very different to its everyday needs. It can be extremely difficult to ensure that you are getting the right amounts of the most important vitamins and minerals from food alone, which is why we recommend an appropriate supplement regime.

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