What are the causes of infertility?
The number of couples who face challenges with conception has been increasing over the last decade. For many, the pace of living is faster and stress levels are higher. People are eating devitalized foods on the run, and our bodies are constantly exposed to environmental toxins in the soil, in the water we drink, and in the air we breathe. The causes of infertility can be physical, mental, or emotional. Difficulty in conceiving is an opportunity for you and your partner to re-evaluate your physical, mental, and emotional health in all areas of your life.
- Get a complete physical exam to determine if the cause of infertility is in your reproductive organs. The fallopian tubes can be blocked by scar tissue. Endometriosis can cause infertility, as well as ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids. Ovulation may be irregular, so chart the days you are fertile using a basal thermometer. An insufficient number of eggs may be released at ovulation, or there may be an incomplete implantation of the eggs. Avoid melatonin supplements, which may inhibit ovulation. Make sure that there are no abnormalities that block the flow of sperm. Check that the sperm count and mobility are high enough for conception. A Vitamin B12 (chlorophyll is a good source of B12) deficiency reduces sperm count and sperm mobility. Sperm are easily killed by heat, so avoid hot tubs and hot baths.
- Adequate nutrition affects fertility. Both partners should eat a healthy diet that has sufficient amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein. Be sure your diet includes adequate amounts of the vitamins B6, B12, A, C, and E. (Vitamin E has been called the “fertility vitamin.”) The minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, and folic acid are also necessary to strengthen the endocrine glands. Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are necessary for normal glandular activity. EFA’s are found in black currant seed oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, and flaxseed oil. Try to eliminate smoking and caffeine. Recent studies have shown that men can improve their sperm count after 4 months by taking zinc supplements.
- Low body weight is a factor in conception. Maybe gaining 5 pounds is all that is needed for you to be able to conceive.
- Consider your exposure to toxic substances in your environment: pesticides, household cleaning products, excess radiation, or water and air pollution, and eliminate what you can to create a healthier atmosphere.
What are some possible ways to treat infertility?
Begin by doing some body cleansing. An optimum functioning liver is important in reproductive health. The liver is the main organ that filters toxins and removes them from your body. Dandelion root and milk thistle seed are two excellent herbs for the liver.
- Use nutritional tonic herbs that assist in building the reproductive system. These include raspberry leaf and red clover, two herbs that in combination have been used in folklore to promote fertility. Drink teas with nettle and alfalfa, two herbs that are very high in nutrition, including folic acid and trace minerals needed by the hormonal system.
- Choose herbs that help to regulate your menstrual cycle so you know exactly which days you are fertile. Herbs which are considered hormone balancers include vitex, dong quai, sarsparilla, and red clover. These herbs should be discontinued after conception.
- Low thyroid function can upset hormone balance, as well as health problems affecting the pituitary and adrenal glands, which regulate the menstrual cycle.
- Use a basal body thermometer, available at most women’s clinics or drugstores. They come with instructions on how to use them so that you can establish the days that you are fertile each month. Take your temperature each morning, it rises slightly on the day you ovulate. Your cervical mucus also changes at this time. Over-the-counter ovulation test kits (which work much like pregnancy tests) can also help you determine which days you are most fertile.
- If you feel fatigued, stressed, and overworked, chances are that your reproductive energy is exhausted also. Find ways to nurture yourself if you are planning to take on the constant care of another. Consider meditation and regular exercise. Try getting a massage enhanced with essential oils that are known to relieve stress and tension such as jasmine, rose, lavender, rosemary, and clary sage.
- Taking herbs that are relaxing and help to build the nervous system can also be helpful. Common ones include chamomile, scullcap, oat, and lemon balm.
- Consider bodywork to remove any possible blocks in the energy meridians. Examples of energy work include polarity, reiki, shiatsu and acupuncture.
- Homeopathy uses vibrational remedies that treat overall patterns of an individual’s symptoms. In her book, Natural Healing for the Pregnant Woman (Perigree, 1997), Elizabeth Burch lists 10 possible homeopathic remedies to treat infertility along with the emotional and physical symptoms that each addresses. You may want to consult a homeopathic practitioner to find the exact remedy for you.
- Remember that thought directs energy. Are you blocking your creative energy in any areas of your life? Are you blocking any of your emotions? Emotions affect hormones.
- Visualize your reproductive organs full of life, alive with creative energy, and your womb as a welcoming, nurturing space.