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Prince Harry says doctor advised Meghan to put on weight in order to conceive

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pictured together. (Getty Images)
Prince Harry has explained his wife Meghan's previous weight loss could have been a contributing barrier to the couple conceiving. (Getty Images)

Prince Harry has discussed him and wife Meghan's desire to start a family after their wedding, with the royal acknowledging his wife's weight loss and revealing the couple were advised she should "gain five pounds" in order to conceive.

The Duke of Sussex's tell-all book, Spare has topped Amazon's bestseller list on its launch day, today, while a number of bookshops stayed open until midnight to meet demand.

Harry details a number of explosive revelations but has also shared some insight about his relationship, including detailing him and wife Meghan's desire to have children after their wedding, which he described as the couple's "main priority".

"We didn’t want to wait," he writes. "We both wanted to start a family straightaway. We were working crazy hours, our jobs were demanding, the timing wasn’t ideal, but too bad.

"This had always been our main priority."

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The royal went on to explain that both Harry and Meghan were concerned the stress of their daily lives might prevent them from getting pregnant.

"The toll was starting to be visible on Meg; she’d lost a great deal of weight in the last year, despite all the shepherd’s pie," Harry explains in his memoir.

"'I’m eating more than ever', she reported – yet her weight kept dropping."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pictured together. (Getty Images)
Prince Harry says conceiving a baby after their wedding was the couple's 'main priority'. (Getty Images)

Harry says friends of the couple had recommended an Ayurvedic doctor who’d helped them conceive, with the doctor reportedly confirming their fears that Meghan's weight loss could have been a contributing factor to her not yet falling pregnant.

"As I understood it, Ayurvedic medicine sorted people into categories," Harry explains. "I don’t recall which category this doctor sorted Meg into, but she did confirm our suspicion that Meg’s weight loss might be a barrier to conceiving.

"Gain five pounds, the doctor promised, and you’ll get pregnant," Harry adds.

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The duke went on to detail that Meghan did put on the doctor's recommended five pounds and later described that his wife's period was late.

Recalling the moment the couple found out they'd conceived he wrote: "We bought two home pregnancy tests, one for a back-up, and she took them both into the bathroom at Nott Cott.

"I was lying on our bed, and while waiting for her to come out … I fell asleep. When I woke, she was beside me. What’s happened? Is it … ? She said she hadn’t looked. She’d waited for me.

"The wands were on the nightstand. I only kept a few things there, among them the blue box with my mother’s hair.

"Right, I thought, good. Let’s see what Mummy can do with this situation. I reached for the wands, peered into their little windows. Blue. Bright, bright blue. Both of them."

Harry went on to explain that blue meant his wife was pregnant.

"Oh wow. Well. Well then. We hugged, kissed. I put the wands back on the nightstand. I thought: Thank you, Mummy."

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Meghan and Prince Harry now have two children together, Archie (pictured) and Lilibet. (Getty Images)
Prince Harry has explained that Meghan was advised by a doctor to put on five pounds before conceiving. (Getty Images)

The potential link between weight and fertility

According to the NHS, there are several factors that can affect fertility including being overweight or severely underweight, which in women, can affect ovulation.

While there is no suggestion that Meghan was underweight at the time of trying to conceive, the charity Tommy's says having a BMI below 18.5 is classed as underweight, which can make it harder to get pregnant.

"Having a low BMI can also cause your periods to become irregular or stop," the charity advises. "This can be a sign that you are not ovulating, which is needed to get pregnant.

"If you are not having periods, putting on weight to get to a healthy BMI may help this."

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How to put on weight

If lack of food is the reason for your low weight, Tommy's suggests try changing to a healthy, balanced diet and aim to gain weight slowly.

"Try not to use sugary or high-fat foods such as chocolate, cakes and sugary drinks," the charity advises. "Instead aim for regular meals with healthy snacks that are high in unsaturated fats, such as nuts."

Your GP can also give you help and advice if you think you are underweight and trying to conceive.