In North America one in five to six couples are infertile. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after having regular unprotected intercourse for a full year. If you have been having difficulties conceiving, there are some natural therapies can help you with the process.
The first step is to figure out where the problem lies. You may require undergoing various tests to determine the cause of infertility are imperative before treatment begins.
Adequate consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, proteins and healthy fats are essential for fertility. Sometimes it can be as easy as reviewing dietary intake for key essential nutrients to improve the overall health and set up the right environment for pregnancy to occur. Nutritional deficiencies such as folic acid, iron, zinc, B vitamins, and iodine can cause infertility (Br J Obstet Gynacol. 1982; 89:678-80). Having your diet reviewed by a practitioner specifically trained in nutrition and having appropriate blood work performed to determine if levels of specific vitamins and nutrients are low should be one of the first steps to determine the cause of infertility.
An under-active thyroid is a common cause for infertility. Blood work can be performed to determine thyroid function but must involve looking at the levels of the active thyroid hormones. These in-depth tests are often not performed in conventional medicine and thus a mildly under-active thyroid conditions can be missed. Blood work to determine prolactin, estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, testosterone, and DHEA levels also needs to also be preformed. Salivary hormone testing is an excellent tool to check hormone levels and how they vary over the woman’s complete menstrual cycle and allows for appropriate balancing of hormones for fertility using nutraceuticals, botanical medicine, and natural hormone replacements.
Eliminating heavy metals and chemicals can improve fertility. One study showed that urine heavy metal excretion is linked to gynaecological conditions (uterine fibroids, miscarriages, hormonal disorders) and found that reducing heavy metal body load improved conception of infertile women (J Tox Enviro Health, 1998; 54: 593-611). Check your body burden of toxic chemicals by testing urine levels or heavy metals by provocative urine testing. Further information regarding these lab tests can be obtained at www.doctorsdata.com.
Acupuncture can be effective in helping a woman to conceive. One study showed that in 106 non-ovulating, infertile women, 41 conceived after a series of acupuncture sessions over a one-month period (Jilin Chinese Medicine & Medicinals, 5, 2004). In another study acupuncture was compared to the frequently used medication to induce ovulation - Clomiphene (Clomid). Results showed that after three menstrual cycles, acupuncture was equivalent to Clomid for inducing ovulation and the acupuncture group showed higher rates of pregnancy than the group receiving Clomid (Zhon Zhen Jiu, 2008;28:21-23).
Medical research has identified safe tests and treatment options that are effective for infertility. Seek professional health care supervision to explore appropriate treatment options to increase changes of conception. Natural treatment options can help to reunite “the birds and the bees”.
Dr. Oxbro completed her undergraduate science degree in Biology and Psychology at Trent University and then completed a Masters of Science Degree in Pharmacology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Upon completion of her Masters degree, Dr. Oxbro entered the 4-year Naturopathic Medical Program, obtaining her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine upon graduation in 2008. She currently treats patients, at her naturopathic medicine clinic Nova Health Naturopathic Centre in Kingston, Ontario.