Infertility is the inability to conceive a child. Couples may be considered infertile if they are unable to conceive after a year of unprotected sex. 16% of Canadians have fertility issues. The causes of infertility are vast. A hormone imbalance such as with the thyroid or sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) can disrupt a woman’s ability to conceive. A woman’s weight, toxic load, nutritional status, digestion and stress levels all affect the reproductive function. A man’s sperm count and quality is also very important in securing conception and good DNA contribution.
My approach would be to analyze your blood work, diet, lifestyle and symptoms. I will ask you about your digestion, mood, energy, sleep, and menstrual cycles. I will do a physical exam including determining your BMI, blood pressure and temperature.
Factors affecting fertility negatively
– Obesity (BMI >35)
– Underweight (BMI <19)
– Alcohol (>2 drinks/day)
– Caffeine (>250mg/day)
– Illicit drugs
– Toxic solvents
– Thyroid imbalances
– Diabetes and other chronic illnesses
Acupuncture has a lot of research to support its use in infertility and we’ve had a lot of success with it. As naturopathic doctors I would also use botanicals and nutrition to help with hormone balancing. I may ask you to take your BBT (basal body temperature) to determine when and whether you are ovulating. I would see if you have any food sensitivities that may be causing inflammation and I would use supplements and mind-body approaches to decrease stress. Cortisol, which is the stress hormone if often a culprit in hormone imbalances that can cause infertility.