In my practice, ailments and afflictions of all types come and go through the doors, producing varying degrees of frustration and trauma. However, none inspire more heartache than infertility. For a couple (or individual) seeking the ultimate affirmation of life and love – a baby, the pain of failed attempts can feel like the ultimate defeat.
Fortunately, there are a host of effective Naturopathic, Nutritional and Lifestyle interventions for supporting natural fertility and reestablishing optimal reproductive conditions. It is only when a body is truly healthy that it will feel confident in fostering another life. Read on to discover how you can boost your fertility today.
The first step is ruling out underlying female reproductive diseases which may be contributing to or causing infertility, such as: Vulvovaginitis, Endometriosis, Ovarian or cervical tumours, Ovarian cysts, Polycystic ovary syndrome, Fibroids or Sexually transmitted diseases. We then move on to addressing possible hormonal imbalances.
The following conditions can cause or exacerbate endocrine dysfunction:
– Underactive thyroid, stress and oestrogenic foods & substances – soy, environmental xenoestrogens from plastics and chemicals and pharmaceuticals such as the Pill contribute to these imbalances.
– Sugar, stress and oestrogen dominance – when sugar is consumed to excess, cortisol levels can become elevated, depleting progesterone levels and leading to oestrogen dominance.
– Too much cortisol and not enough melatonin – regulating sleep/wakes cycles is imperative for balancing cortisol and melatonin levels, vital for healing, repair and reproductive health.
– Other factors predisposing us to endocrine dysfunction include a congested liver, excess weight and inadequate nutrition, discussed below.
Proper nutrition and lifestyle choices are imperative for creating a happy, harmonious internal environment, primed and ready for reproduction!
My most commonly encountered barriers to this goal include:
– Poor diet, fat avoidance and vegetarianism – In order to produce estrogen and progesterone as required for the reproductive cycle, the body needs adequate amounts of cholesterol. Yes! That much-maligned bodily substance is actually essential for producing all our sex hormones. For this reason alone vegetarian and low-fat diets for women can hinder fertility by lowering cholesterol and eschewing healthy animal fats.
– Low fat-soluble vitamins which play a critical role in fertility – Vitamin A is essential to the proper development of the follicle of the ovary; low levels of vitamin D are linked to infertility.
Dr. Weston Price discovered that the diets of healthy population groups contained much higher levels of these nutrients, with pregnant women encouraged to nosh on rich dietary sources such as egg yolks, liver & other organ meats, butterfat, fish, shellfish & fish eggs. Sadly, these are the very foods modern nutritionists and dieters vehemently avoid in pursuit of low-fat dietary perfection!
My fertility boosting diet focuses on:
– Nutrient-dense traditional foods such as those identified by Dr. Weston Price. These include egg yolks, liver & other organ meats, butterfat, fish, shellfish & fish eggs. Sadly, the very foods modern nutritionists and dieters vehemently avoid in pursuit of low-fat dietary perfection!
– Reducing excess sugar and carbohydrates.
– Increasing healthy protein from organic whole meats/organs (with bones), full-fat organic dairy and pastured eggs.
– Avoiding fried or charcoaled meat, low fat dairy, canned foods, non-organic animal products, hydrogenated oils, and all processed foods. (If it’s packaged, you’d be better off eating the wrapper!)
– Supporting the liver by avoiding chemicals in food, pesticides, alcohol, household toxins and inhaled substances.
– Promoting healthy elimination/bowel motions for excreting metabolized hormones and preventing their reabsorption into the bloodstream. Adequate hydration
Important lifestyle considerations:
– Beware of under or over exercising
– Avoid electromagnetic stress from computers, electric blankets, microwaves and mobile phones.
– Emotional stress, causing the sympathetic nervous system to release disruptive stress hormones.
– Connecting to nature and allowing our hormones to come into a natural biorhythm.
– Identify and overcome emotional barriers to conception.
– Create time, space and love in sourcing, creating and eating your food.
A holistic approach means nurturing all aspects of health, and in my clinic this starts with the basics! Food, lifestyle and happiness are key to unlocking the door to hidden fertility.