Infertility

With the incidence of infertility on the rise and the business of baby making very competitive its important not to lose sight of the basics.

Healthy Conception

Conception is a natural process and is most likely to occur in the following instances:

  • Both prospective parents are in their normal weight range
  • Inadequate antioxidant status (zinc, vitamin C, selenium, etc) has been corrected
  • The woman has a balanced endocrine system (ie thyroid, cortisol, reproductive hormones are in balance)
  • Conditions such as polycystic ovaries, endometriosis and PID have been ruled out or treated
  • Sperm count and quality is high with no or low heavy metal, halogen, glycol or estrogen exposure
  • Iron levels are adequate
  • Intake of alcohol, soy, gluten, medications and steroids is low
  • The woman is aged less than 35 years
  • Stress levels are normal

    When something isn’t right

    If the couple is having difficulty conceiving the underlying causes must be investigated and addressed. Functional and nutritional medicine has a vital part to play here.

    The most common causes of infertility are stress and inadequate nutrient status. Both stress and deficiencies can lead to the contributing factors of infertility i.e.:

    • Poor sperm quality (zinc is essential for healthy semen)
    • Elevated cortisol levels (caused by stress; inhibits fertility)
    • Obesity (obesity decreases chances of conceiving)
    • Polycystic ovaries (related to poor diet)
    • Low thyroid function (related to poor diet, soy intake and high stress levels)
    • Poor digestive health (multiple consequences leading to decreased fertility)
    • Low libido or too tired
    • Oxidative stress (exposure to chemicals and toxins)

      Treatment

      It is recommended a period of at least 3 months be dedicated to preconception care for both prospective parents. It takes over 3 months for sperm manufacture and a similar length of time for healthy eggs.

      Preconception care may include:

      • A detox program
      • Herbs and nutrients to balance hormone levels
      • Nutrient supplementation
      • Exercise recommendations
      • Meditation or relaxation practices
      • Other individualized programs

        These simple strategies to improve the health and wellbeing of prospective parents have been shown to be remarkably successful in improving the couple’s chances of a healthy conception, healthy pregnancy and delivery and, the most important thing, a healthy baby.