Are you wanting to optimise fertility? Are you wanting to understand infertility?
Impaired fertility affects approximately 1 in 6 couples and it can cause the journey of becoming parents to be emotional, frustrating and time-consuming. Our Naturopaths have worked with hundreds of couples to improve their fertility by discovering and addressing all the possible causes. Below are some common considerations for fertility in both partners.
Fertility for the potential mother
Fertility for the potential father
More specific areas of health we may look into if you are having problems conceiving are: thyroid and adrenal health, hormonal imbalance, genetic variations, nutrient deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, and oxidative and psychological stress.
Hormonal and Adrenal Health
A healthy balance of hormones is essential for optimal fertility. The production of reproductive hormones is largely dependent on the health of your adrenal glands. When you are constantly stressed, your adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline for a prolonged amount of time, which inhibits the release of progesterone and increases the hormone, prolactin. For optimal fertility, there needs to be a healthy ratio of high progesterone and low prolactin, therefore, stress can interfere with the delicate balance of these two important hormones. Progesterone is needed for a healthy uterine lining to nurture the egg. Progesterone also helps to maintain healthy mucous, which the sperm needs for fertilisation. In women, prolactin should remain low until pregnancy occurs, at which point it will increase significantly. If prolactin is high prior to pregnancy, conception can be difficult, and further investigations may be required.
Herbal medicines have been shown to greatly improve hormonal regulation. Further to this, our naturopaths will work with you to address high levels of stress, by ensuring your body has the resources to cope with stress and helping you implement effective stress management strategies and relaxation techniques.
Hypothyroidism is becoming an increasingly common problem among women, most likely due to deficiencies in certain minerals, such as iodine, that are needed to produce thyroid hormones. In the first trimester of pregnancy, the baby depends on the mother’s thyroid hormone for brain and nervous system development. During pregnancy, the mother needs to make a lot more thyroid hormone to share with her baby. Many women struggle to produce enough thyroid hormone for themselves, let alone to share, therefore investigating thyroid health can be an important step in determining the underlying causes of infertility and miscarriage.
Our Naturopaths investigate the health of your thyroid using comprehensive pathology testing and can prescribe nutrients and herbs that promote healthy thyroid hormone production.
MTHFR Gene Variations
There is a strong link between variations in the MTHFR gene and recurrent miscarriages as well as low birth weight and premature births. This gene is needed for detoxification, hormone production and immune system function, among many other important processes. Variations in the MTHFR gene can impair the body’s utilisation of folate, which is a vital nutrient needed for the baby’s development and to prevent miscarriage. With the combination of low folate and compromised detoxification, fertility can be impacted. In most cases of infertility, testing the MTHFR gene (and treating appropriately) is an important piece of the puzzle.
There are certain nutrients that are essential for fertility and a healthy, problem-free pregnancy.
The best way to make sure you are getting all of these essential nutrients is to eat a diet that is rich in fresh wholefoods. Nutrient intake is important for both the female and male partner.
Our Naturopaths assess your current nutrient intake and eating patterns and from there, create an achievable meal plan that suits your needs and improves your fertility.
The Waiting Game
After thorough investigations and considering all possible underlying causes of infertility, our Naturopaths will provide you with an individualised treatment plan. We encourage you to follow the treatment plan for a minimum of 3 months before trying to conceive. Whilst it may sound a little counterintuitive, it is imperative to be patient. The main reason is because it takes at least 3 months for sperm to mature properly, and so adhering to a preconception plan can greatly improve the quality of the sperm, and thus increase the chance of a healthy pregnancy.
Your Naturopath can assess you and your partner’s history and prescribe a treatment plan based on your needs. There are many different nutritional and herbal medicines that can help with hormone balancing, stress relief, thyroid health, and overall fertility. Our goal is to restore balance and create optimal general health and wellbeing, which ensures the very best reproductive environment for a healthy, happy pregnancy and baby.