Natural Ways to Increase Fertility
Naturopathic medicine has been shown to be quite beneficial in aiding women to get pregnant. Achieving optimal fertility is something that must be looked at from many different angles as there are numerous factors that impact how fertile a person is. Some of the key players in your fertility are physiology (how your body “works”), your environment, your lifestyle, your age, and your stressors.
Infertility is something that is quite widespread in our society. The causes are varied and often unknown. It is known that 40% of the time the issue is with the female, 30% is with the male and 30% is unknown! This is why it is so important to get the male partner involved (even if he is afraid of the doctor!)
Can play a great role in your fertility plan, and can be used if trying to get pregnant naturally or if using assisted reproductive technologies. With fertility it is best to think ahead and do some preconception planning. This is important as the maturation of the egg and sperm that will form your baby takes approximately 100 days (3-4 months). This means that everything you do in these 3-4 months can help contribute to the health of your future child. In your preconception planning your should be aiming to include all the factors required for fertility and removing all the known obstacles. It is during the preconception planning phase that underlying health issues that can reduce fertility and put mom at increased risk of complications during pregnancy can be addressed. By insuring optimal health at conception and during pregnancy, you can help give your child the healthiest start possible!
Preconception Planning is important for all couples, but is extra vital to couples who are:
2) Overweight or Obese
3) History of reproductive health problems (endometriosis, irregular periods, PCOS)
4) History of miscarriage
5) Couples planning to use assisted reproductive technologies
6) A known medical condition
Benefits for Parents
1) Increased chance of healthy conception, pregnancy and birth
2) Helpful for those with undiagnosed fertility problems
3) Improved general health
Sperm are actually more vulnerable to environmental/lifestyle factors than eggs. Many men are unaware that keeping their laptops on their laps and using hot tubs could be hindering their fertility! It is important for the man to have a healthy, varied diet, and to manage his stress. Men need to maintain proper blood flow to the testicles to produce optimal sperm. Things like smoking (cigarettes or marijuana), eating a lot of fatty foods and not exercising can affect blood flow. There are many different combinations of herbs and supplements that can help to optimize a man’s fertility. These will work best when prescribed by a naturopathic doctor for your individual needs. Nutrients that are important for sperm health include: zinc, selenium, essential fatty acids and arginine.
One of the key factors for fertility for women is hormone balance. The menstrual cycle needs to be of the optimal length, with an adequate luteal phase for conception to occur. Stress can have a major impact on hormonal balance. The treatment of any underlying conditions such as
3) Autoimmune Conditions
Diet and lifestyle changes, nutritional supplementation, herbs and acupuncture can be used in combination to help address these concerns and get the body in an optimal state for conception. One area that is often overlooked is food sensitivities. If a man or woman is eating foods that their body reacts to it does not create an environment conducive to conception. The same can be said for people who are extremely stressed. Evolutionarily our bodies were designed to not get pregnant when we were in a state of stress, as this meant that there must be a famine going on (not an optimal condition to have a baby).
Naturopathic Medicine and IVF
Acupuncture has been well established to increase the conception rates with IVF by as much as double!
Here is a listing of studies that have been done looking at acupuncture and IVF
And read more… Acupuncture for pre and post IVF transfer*
The Most Important Things to Do when Preparing for a Pregnancy
1) Eat a nutrient dense diet that avoids foods you are sensitive to
2) Reduce stress! Try to incorporate deep breathing exercises into your daily routine
3) Moderate exercise (exercising too much can reduce the chances of conception)
4) See your doctor/naturopathic doctor about underlying health conditions
5) Get plenty of sleep
6) Stop smoking
7) Limit alcohol intake (both male and female)