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The Patient Portal is exclusively made available to Queensland Fertility Group (QFG) patients, to allow them to share their experiences and support each other through their fertility treatments.

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Let's Make It Your Year - Week Two

Dear Sally

Let's discuss positive health and lifestyle changes you can make when planning your pregnancy.

It’s a common misconception that if you are fit and healthy, then you must be fertile.  Many healthy women have problems falling pregnant – it’s important to remember that the single most important factor impacting a woman’s fertility is actually her age.

Nonetheless, improving your health and lifestyle at any age can help optimise your chances of falling pregnant, and there might be improvements you can make whether you are just starting out, or are currently undergoing fertility investigations or treatment.

Healthy eating for fertility

Accredited Practicing Dietician Melanie McGrice shares her simple tips for optimising nutrition for conception.

Embracing good fats

  • Mono and poly-unsaturated fats are a good source of Vitamin E and have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce insulin resistance
  • Nuts, avocados and extra virgin olive oil are all good sources of good fats
  • Oily fish is also a good source of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids – salmon, mackerel, whiting and tinned fish are good options as they are low in mercury

Try these recipes...

Optimising protein intake

  • Protein is important while trying to conceive, however portion sizes do not need to increase until pregnancy
  • Lean red meat is high in iron and zinc, both of which are important nutrients during conception and for a healthy baby
  • Fish, especially salmon, is high in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Dairy foods are the best sources of calcium in the diet
  • A recent Harvard study found that swapping 25g animal protein with 25g plant protein (nuts, chickpeas and tofu) daily, helped to increase rates of fertility

Try these recipes...

Swapping carbs for wholegrains

  • Many of us are eating too much sugar and too many processed carbohydrates, which negatively impacts insulin levels and fertility
  • Make smarter, low GI food choices like switching from white bread to wholegrain bread, choosing brown rice and wholegrain pasta, and starting the day with a bowl of oats 
  • Wholegrain foods also encourage a healthy gut microbiome, and are high in nutrients including iron, iodine and folate

Try these recipes...

Basic lifestyle changes to boost your fertility

There are a number of factors that affect your chances of falling pregnant each month. Some you can control, like your lifestyle choices, while others – such as your age – are out of your hands.

Sometimes fairly simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference to your wellbeing and to the important hormones that regulate your fertility. 

Maintain a healthy weight

For both men and women, being overweight can drastically affect your chance of becoming a parent – sometimes, being underweight can too. If you are above your healthy weight range, a weight loss of just 5% of your body weight can increase your chances of falling pregnant.

Once you are pregnant, being outside the healthy weight range increases your chance of a preterm birth (if underweight) or longer hospital stays, caesarean sections, high blood pressure, and diabetes (if you are above the healthy weight range).

Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) >>


Regular moderate exercise burns excess fat, boosting fertility, heart health and energy levels. Don’t be daunted by the prospect of starting a whole new exercise routine – even just some simple changes can make a difference.

To get the most health benefits, a good goal is at least half an hour of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days. You don't have to do it all at once. Your exercise can be spread over the day in 10 minute blocks. Try three x 10 minute walks, or two x 15 minute periods of activity.

Drinking and smoking

It is scientifically proven that smoking (both cigarettes and cannabis) negatively affects both male and female fertility, and it’s also bad for an unborn child. If you can’t stop cold turkey, your GP can help you cut back and quit.

Some doctors advise avoiding alcohol altogether while trying to conceive, while others say that moderation is the key. It’s best to be sensible – it’s okay to have one glass of wine or a beer here and there.

Healthy, positive relationships

Trying to have a baby is a special time, but it can put additional strain on your relationship with your partner. Hear from relationship expert Dr Nikki Goldstein on how to maintain a healthy relationship, and what you can do to encourage and support each other throughout the process.

To do this week:

  • Be sure to include plenty of good fats, lean protein and wholegrains in your diet
  • Discuss some possible lifestyle improvements with your partner
  • Looking for more healthy recipes? Visit the Eat for Health website to download recipes based on recommendations from the Australian Dietary Guidelines
See you next week,
QFG Fertility Specialists

Missed last week's email? Read it here...

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Attend a FREE seminar

Want to meet leading Fertility Specialists, and find out more about maximising your chance of conceiving? Attend a FREE seminar to hear from our Specialists on factors that affect fertility and what treatment options are available to help you fall pregnant sooner. REGISTER NOW >>

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