08/11/2013 05:20 GMT | Updated 08/11/2013 05:20 GMT

Preserving Fertility in Your 20's

Fertility is one of the major health and wellbeing issues for modern women. I believe an awareness of fertility preservation is essential, as not all of us are ready to have a baby in our twenties; we may be putting our careers first, or we may not be with the right partner. It's something women often think about but have little knowledge of - other than the lovely statistic declaring that your fertility falls off a cliff on or around your thirty-fifth birthday. The reality is that yes, our chances of conception do decrease with age but also that every woman is individual and there is much we can do to look after our fertility and our overall health.

I grew up surrounded by women and girls; I am the second youngest of five girls, born to my parents over a 20 year span. Between us we have 8 daughters and 3 sons. There was always someone pregnant in our family and so I grew up learning about periods and babies from my older sisters. My mother has always said that we are her biggest achievement and that childbirth is a hard but incredible experience. My grandmother lived with us - she was very kind and very wise; she taught me to never compare myself to others. She knew quite a bit about life having been Head Sister in Broadmoor Mental Hospital for many years. My grandmother was very serene, which I think is a quality much under rated.

My Dad was a General in the army, very traditional. He died too young but taught me to always be true to myself and in the power of positive thinking. My mother has always been a bit of a bohemian and has a rebellious streak; taking pleasure in saying the occasional F word especially when in polite company.

These people, my family, formed the foundations of my philosophy on how to preserve your reproductive health which I now pass down to my two daughters Lily and Violet. This information is simple and straight forward and every woman should know it. It isn't hard, it isn't scary - it's just normal information that women need to know.

1) Know your menstrual cycle. So that is not just that period you dread every month. Your menstrual cycle is the only outward sign we have of our fertility so engage in it. Make a note in your diary on day 1 of you cycle; that's the first day you have a bleed. Count how long the cycle is. Make a note of your mood, your feelings and your cravings. If you get any major changes like pain or irregularity or absence then go and see your GP. If they don't listen and you feel things are not right then see a Gynaecologist. If you don't want to go the medical route see an acupuncturist or other complementary therapist that specialises in women's health

2) Stay on top of your sexual health. If you are sexually active then get regular checks. STD's contracted in you 20′s can cause infertility later in life. Be aware

3) Keep a healthy BMI. Not too high and not too low. It's important for your long term fertility and health in general

4) Don't smoke or binge drink. Sorry but smoking is responsible for 13% of the worlds infertility problems. Alcohol in small doses is fine but it drinking on an empty stomach or to excess disrupts your hormones

5) Sugar is a poison - it wrecks havoc with your ovaries and blood sugar. Treat with caution

6) Nothing good happens after 2 in the morning. Apart from childbirth ! Make sure you get adequate rest and sleep.

7) Don't compare yourself to other people - this is key! We are all individual and what is right for one isn't right for another. So your friend may well be able to stay up all night partying, dancing like there is no tomorrow and still get up in the morning and face the day. But not everyone is the same. Be true to yourselves and your own true natural and let that be your guide. If you listen to the voice inside yourself the ones that knows what is best for you you wont go far wrong.

8) Strike a balance between discipline and freedom. There are times when you need to focus and times you need to let your hair down and go with the flow. Learn to know the difference.

9) Eat regularly and don't skip meals. Chew your food and make time in your life to eat proper meals. Your digestion and body will thank you for it. Eat oily fish like salmon and sardines. Eats sprouts and make home made chicken broth from boiling the bones of the chicken.

10) Be kind and compassionate to yourself first and then to those in your life. Be creative because being in touch with your creativity and being happy is the greatest thing you can do for your health and your fertility. Surround yourself with positive people and banish negativity: misery like company and being around this sort of energy literally changes the cells and neural pathways to the brain. Be positive!