Why should we be concerned?
- *1/8 Couples have fertility concerns (Health Canada 2008) *The rates of number of children per woman are continuing to decline with an all-time low of 1.52 children per woman. (Health Canada 1979-1999) *From 1979-1999 the fertility of Canadian women aged 20-24 decreased nearly 40%, 25-29 decline about 25%. Fertility rates among women 30 and over however have increased in Canada.
- *Since 1938, sperm counts of men have plunged by an average of 50 percent. PCBs found in baby bottles and water jugs, chlorine compounds that bleach paper resemble the human sex hormone estrogen.
Why is this happening?
Fertility rates are falling for a number of reasons, including, tendency to delay starting families, due to career. It is predicted that within 20-25 years if the current trend continues, deaths will soon exceed births in Canada. ( *Published in the annual Report on Demographic situation in Canada*)
What are the Health Wellness Spectrum Connections related to this trend?
Anatomy of Stress– the balance in the nervous system, the adrenal gland, the thyroid and their relationship to hormones. There are 10 steps from Wellness to Disease. For Details see The Health Wellness Spectrum.
Detoxification & the Livers– role, for both female and male, Liver organ in which hormones are conjugated and broken down – 2 phases of detox.
PMS estrogen dominance
. Environmental Concerns such as:
PCBs– Since 1938, sperm counts of men have plunged by an average of 50 percent. PCBs found in baby bottles and water jugs, chlorine compounds that bleach paper resemble the human sex hormone estrogen.
Estrogen like pollutants are being linked to breast cancer, endometriosis, and painful inflammation of the uterine lining
What can we do?
A Complete Approach Includes a Wellness Team Ideally it is recommended to start Wellness Care for Fertility at least 1 year in advance.
Naturopathic Medicine Approach
Traditional Naturopathy is a drugless approach to Health Promotion that stimulates the body to heal itself through non-invasive therapies and health education. Naturopathy empowers individuals to make lifestyle changes to improve physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Research shows that a Naturopathic approach can improve fertility.
Treatment options include, but is certainly not limited to:
Stress Management and Lifestyle Counselling through Hands on Therapy i.e. Craniosacral Technique , Bowen Therapy & Acupuncture in Stress Management: Toxicity, stress also puts the immune system into imbalance and, infertility and its treatment are extremely stressful. Stress alters body chemistry and rhythms and can create a high degree of body tension, all of which negatively impact fertility in women and men. Decreased depression and fertility greatly reduces the Immune system, and decreases the chance of becoming fertile. It can be a very vicious cycle. Bowen, Acupuncture and Craniosacral can not only help with the Immune systems, and the body functions but can also help relieve some of the stress and tension that can be associated with trying to conceive. Stress, body tension, trauma, and unresolved conflicts hands-on therapies such as Craniosacral therapy, Bowen treatment and acupuncture can help relieve the tension and can also help lessen the depression
People operate primarily on a mental level, disconnected from their emotions and body. This unbalancing, disconnection can create more depression. Modalities, as Craniosacral therapy (the subtle manipulation of the skull bones and the sacrum to relieve pain and a variety of other ailments), Bowen Treatment, or acupuncture can help these issues, reducing stress and body tension, releasing stress and tension. Changing your lifestyle habits, will allow a greater success in an infertility issue.
Acupuncture-April 2002 in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility. This study concluded that women who underwent acupuncture with IVF had conception rates of43%, compared with women who did not have the acupuncture and had conception rates of 26%.
Detoxification: When exposed to toxins, if our systems are not functioning properly, the resulting toxic over load can depress the immune system. A naturopathic approach to detoxification includes reducing toxin intake. Maximizing toxin elimination; through exercise, deep breathing techniques, hydration, eating raw and fibrous vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds to increase bowel transit time, and probiotics to promote bowel health, can greatly improve our health, and fertility.
As we release toxins some individuals can have symptoms of nausea, headache and fatigue. Symptoms usually pass within a short time, leaving one feeling clearer and more energized.
Detoxification for both the future mother and father help to promote the most optimal environment for the baby. Often infertility can be related to the change of hormonal balance that results from toxicity in the body. heavy metal toxicity may impact ovulation or sperm count and may be detected via hair analysis. Before trying any of these lifestyles changes it is highly recommended that you consult your Naturopathic Doctor.
Yoga-Boots energy and lessons fatigue.
Reduces the likelihood and need of medical intervention during delivery.
Clinical Nutrition ( folic acid and zinc levels), Food and Environmental Assessment. Vitamin, Mineral Assessment i.e. EFAs
Homeopathy– remedies for Nausea, Delivery
Top 5 Female Treatment Options
DETOX– Customize to you Evening Primrose Oil-Increases fertile quality cervical mucus i.e. watery, clear and stretchy which easily aids the sperm to swim thru to the egg. Contains GLA which is converted to PG E1- hormone like activity Take only in first half of cycle (use during pregnancy may cause uterine contractions)
FLAX OIL – Hormone balancing lignans and phytoestrogens help stabilize a woman’s estrogen-progesterone ratio. Take only in the second half of cycle.
VITEX- Increases Luteal Phase Defects and helps to lower high Prolactin levels. Impact is aiding regulation of hormones via Pituitary Gland i.e. LH. This helps to increase Progesterone Contraindicated with Clomid, Pregnancy or Other Hormone Therapy
PROGESTERONE CREMES- Assists survival of the fertilized egg Maintains the secretory endometrium which feeds the ovum and resultant embryo, The progesterone surge at ovulation is the source of libido
Top 6 Male Treatment Options
VIT C- Low levels can lead to agglutination of sperm ( study run by Dr. Earl Dawson , M.D., Ph.D., U of Texas, 2007) Note not recommended in additional dose for woman as it may dry up cervical fluid
Vit E- antioxidant and plays a role in male sperm production ( cell membrane) Contraindication or Caution – if on blood thinners
ZINC-Involved in activation of key sperm enzymes
Low amounts reduce Testosterone and lowers sperm count GINSENG– Can raise testosterone levels, increase sperm count and mobility
PYCNOGENOL- Procyanidins, Bioflavonoids, Antioxidant Improved the quality and function of sperm in men with fertility concerns by a mean of 38% and 19% respectively, after 90 days use ( Clinical Trial by Dr. Scott Roseff Director of the West Essex Centre for Advanced Reproductive Endocrinology, J of Reproductive Medicine , Oct 2002)
FLAX OIL–May help keep sperm healthy and assist male impotence
Holistic Nutrition Approach
Diet and Nutrition: Infertility in men, women, and miscarriage, can be created through poor nutrition, certain nutritional deficiencies can cause difficulties in conceiving. A diet with an emphasis on vegetables and fruits, preferably organic and raw, as well as beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, can address most nutritional deficiencies. The body works better in an alkaline environment rather than an acidic one, therefore, optimal body pH and body mass index (BMI) can be achieved by consuming a diet high in vegetables and fruits, which are alkaline, and consuming less grains, dairy, meat and sugar, which are acidic. Balancing body pH, fresh vegetables and fruits contain live enzymes and antioxidants, detoxifying, help stimulate the immune system, promote healing, shorten the inflammatory response, increase metabolism and help the body release waste.
Ways of promoting fertility; Avoiding caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, processed foods promotes fertility, essential fatty acids, which are found in the seeds and oils of flax, hemp, pumpkin, walnuts, sunflower, safflower, sesame, corn, wheat germ oil and fish oil. A high rate of dairy product consumption has been linked to decreased fertility in individuals who are sensitive or allergic to dairy products. . While there may be some concern that a diet lower in meat and dairy intake does not contain adequate protein, virtually every fruit, vegetable, lentil, bean, nut and seed contains at least 10% protein (often higher), making it easy to obtain the recommended daily amount of 15% of calories from protein.
Individuals sensitive to gluten, a constituent of grains such as wheat, rye, barley, millet, corn, may want to avoid these products. Those suffering from sinusitis or middle ear infections, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or depression may want to try a gluten-free diet. Consuming glutens with sensitivity can cause the immune system to become unbalanced and may compromise fertility. Rice and oats contain the lowest percentage of glutens and oats are free of gliaden, the intestinal irritant found in gluten. Celiac disease, an intestinal disorder resulting from an immune response to gluten, has similar symptoms to gluten sensitivity and is associated with infertility and increased miscarriage rates if diet changes are not made.
If you are interested in making changes and trying a more natural approach to Fertility, contact your M.D. your Naturopathic Doctor and you might want to contact a Holistic Nutritionist to help with food lifestyle changes.
“In Aristotle the mind, regarded as the principle of life, divides into nutrition, sensation, and faculty of thought, corresponding to the inner most important stages in the succession of vital phenomena.” Wilhelm Wundt
Chiropractic reduces tension in the sacroiliac SI Joint, Increased tension may increase the risk of a breach presentation. Statistics indicate that almost all pregnant women experience some sort of discomfort. Although back pain is common there are methods to ease it.
Ligaments connect the uterus to the lower back and to the groin: as the baby grows the ligaments stretch and cause pain. If they do not knit properly after birth the mother will experience unnecessary prolonged lower back pain. Chiropractic treatments can help relieve some of this unnecessary pain, an adjustment of the spine can help lower back pain, during pregnancy
The most common complaint of pregnancy is lower back pain. Statistics indicate that almost all pregnant women experience some sort of discomfort, some more seriously than others. The baby’s position in the womb may cause the mother extreme pain if the head is pressed against the spine during labor. Although back pain is common, there are methods to ease it.
Chiropractic may help or even prevent the problem if a woman sees her doctor early enough. A woman gains an average of 25 pounds during pregnancy and loses most of it in the weeks following birth. As your uterus grows, its size causes your canter of balance to shift. To compensate for a heavier abdomen, you throw your shoulders back. This puts pressure on the lower back and gives pregnant women the “duck waddle” in their walk. Ligaments connect the uterus to the lower back and to the groin; as the baby grows the ligaments stretch and cause pain.
The ligaments in the pelvis stretch during pregnancy, if they do not knit properly after birth the mother will experience unnecessary prolonged lower back pain. Chiropractic treatments can help relieve some of this unnecessary pain, an adjustment of the spine can help relieve lower back pain, during and after pregnancy. Keeping the pelvis aligned can help relieve child birth difficulties and lower back pain afterwards. You can also begin an exercise program (with your medical doctor’s approval) to limber up muscles that will be used during labour. This can be as easy as doing a daily walk, this will help keep the lower back more mobile. Deep knee squats can ease the strain your ligaments will face later. Your doctor can show you how to do these and can recommend other exercises that can help with pregnancy related condition.
Have a safe and healthy pregnancy.