Holistic Medicine and Infertility
Sadly, in the US today, one out of seven couples experience infertility. Even with rapid medical advancements, these figures have been steadily climbing over the last several decades. So for many couples yearning to conceive, Holistic Medicine may be the best approach to help them address the underlying health issues causing their infertility such as ovulatory problems, endometriosis, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalance, or age - in a safe and effective manner.
Even with all the high-tech (and high-cost) procedures available for infertility, often holistic approaches such as Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine and Homeopathic Medicine are the most effective. When integrated, holistic therapies can be some of the safest and most fruitful methods of care for infertility and can be safely combined with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Naturopathic care for infertility is aimed at correcting nutritional deficiencies, adjusting hormonal imbalances, and improving overall reproductive health. Often a Naturopath will combine herbal, homeopathic and whole food supplements in conjunction with dietary changes to increase the probability of conceiving. As is the case with Acupuncture, Naturopathy strives to balance the underlying dysfunction in the body by offering the body the support necessary to reach homeostasis, or balance. While there are many causes of infertility, some would-be parents respond best to natural methods, and others may require surgical or medical intervention.
Even though each individual has unique nutritional needs, there are a few basic tenants that couples should follow when trying to conceive:
- Nutrition: the reproductive system requires the proper vitamins and minerals to function properly. It is recommended to consult with a Naturopath to determine your unique needs.
- Natural Foods: eat food that was created by nature (so unless you have a Twinkie tree, you know what this means).
- Processed Foods: eliminate processed and refined foods (see Twinkie Tree above)
- Saturated Fats: Avoid saturated fats and hydrogenated oils (e.g., margarine).
- Water: Drink one third to one half of body weight in ounces of water daily (e.g., a 150 lb woman should drink 50 - 75 oz of water).
- Alcohol: avoid alcohol. Alcohol has been associated with decreased fertility
- Caffeine: avoid caffeine. Caffeine has been linked to tubal disease and endometriosis (causes of infertility) and delayed conception. Decaffeinated coffee has been associated with spontaneous abortion.
Bottom line – there is no one best solution to solving infertility – but there are several effective, safe and affordable natural, holistic approaches available that often work where other methods have failed to produce the ultimate reward: the gift of life!