Infertility is often defined as the inability to conceive in one year of actively trying before the age of 35. After age of 35 it is in about 6 months. There are many reasons for why a couple may have fertility issues.
For men: we like to look at sperm quality and quantity
For women: egg quality, disease in the endometrium/ovaries (such as endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids), thyroid imbalance or other hormonal imbalances.
How can Naturopathic Medicine help?
- Trying to identify any hormonal imbalance- this involves doing some testing of hormones by blood or salivary hormone test. It is also very important to look at the entire thyroid panel: TSH, FT4, FT3, TPO, also B12, ferritin and vitamin D levels.
- Nutritional Treatment: women who are at their ideal weight also have better chances of conceiving- this involves eating the right amount of food and the right foods for her body (such as identifying any food sensitivities).
- Vitamins and Minerals- many can help improve egg and sperm quality and quantity and also improve the uterine function
- Bio Identical hormones- such as progesterone creams/suppositories may be needed just after ovulation to help hold the pregnancy especially in situations of recurrent miscarriages.
- Herbs- herbal supplements may help improve the communication between the pituitary in the brain to the uterus and ovaries to help balance out the hormones.
- Acupuncture- many positive studies using acupuncture to help encourage blood flow to the uterus which does increase the chances of a pregnancy.
If you are planning the conceive, it is best to begin your naturopathic journey 3-6 months prior to become the healthiest you can be and to start your treatment protocol to optimize your chances during that first year. It is important to try to plan for this as brain and neurological development of the fetus occurs during the first few weeks when you don’t even know if you are pregnant yet.
If you have already been to a fertility clinic and have completed various rounds of IUI or IVF with no success… it might be a good idea to seek out naturopathic medicine.
Dr. Maria Papasodaro