A Naturopathic Approach to Infertility

A Naturopathic Approach to Infertility

About 9% of men and about 11% of women of reproductive age in the U.S. have experienced fertility problems. For one in three couples, the fertility issue is with the woman, one in three couples the fertility issue is with the man and in one in three couples the problem cannot be identified or is with both the man and the woman. “Unknown” infertility can still have identifiable causes.

How can Naturopathic Medicine help with infertility?

Simply put, by finding the root cause! These fertility roadblocks can be uncovered with a thorough doctor’s intake and testing. Usually, multiple factors are involved in infertility, such as:

Hormone imbalance

Hormone imbalance can occur with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is the most common cause of infertility. PCOS is also the most treatable cause of infertility and Naturopathic Medicine is a great option for treatment because it responds well to lifestyle changes and supplements. Other types of hormone imbalances can be identified based on lab work.

Adrenal dysfunction

Adrenal dysfunction can affect fertility in multiple ways. It can cause hormone imbalance, an abnormal stress response, fatigue and low sex drive. Stress shuts down reproduction, so it is important to assess the adrenals as a part of the fertility work up.

Thyroid dysfunction

The thyroid is also important to look at in cases of infertility. It can be under functioning (hypothyroidism) or over functioning (hyperthyroidism). In either case, this can cause further hormone imbalance and problems conceiving.

Immunological (viral or autoimmune)

The immune system plays a large role in fertility. If the immune system is not working correctly, infertility can be a result. This can also be the cause of recurrent miscarriage. Immune dysfunction occurs when the maternal immune cells are not cooperating with each other. Or there can be autoimmune disorders affecting fertility such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis.

Inflammation

Inflammation can cause infertility because it affects hormone production, quality of sperm and eggs, and implantation. Body wide inflammation can be the result of poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise and stress.

Egg and sperm quality

Egg and sperm quality decline with age and can also be affected by poor diet and exercise, reduced blood flow and toxins in the environment. There are ways to improve egg and sperm quality using Naturopathic Medicine.

Uterine lining issues (vascularization)

The uterine lining is important for fertility and can be affected by hormone imbalance or clotting issues. There may also be fibroids present affecting implantation. Your doctor can identify some of these issues by ordering a simple pelvic ultrasound.

Emotional health and stress

A common cause of infertility that is often overlooked is emotional barriers or stress. Stress can induce hormone changes. Infertility can cause stress, which ends up being a vicious cycle. Naturopathic Medicine addresses the whole body and mind to find ways to reduce stress and emotional barriers.

Genetics

Genetics can play a role in infertility, especially MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) and COMT (catechol-O-methyltransferase). MTHFR is responsible for DNA regulation (think sperm and egg quality), folate regulation, liver detoxification, hormone balance and neurotransmitter production. If there is a mutation in MTFHR, this can lead to a folate deficiency, recurrent pregnancy loss, clotting issues, and depression and anxiety. COMT affects adrenal function and the stress response in the body. It also regulates estrogen breakdown. Having a mutation in COMT can lead to hormone imbalance and affect fertility. It can also contribute to anxiety.

In Naturopathic Medicine, we treat the person, not the condition.

This leads to greater fertility success. With that said, it is also important to treat both partners and not just the female partner. The goal is to get the body back in balance with the right food, exercise, and hydration. Also, certain supplements can be game changers. 

If you want to learn more about how Naturopathic Medicine can help you on your fertility journey, contact the office to schedule a free consultation

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