Did you know 1 in 6 couples in Australia have difficulty conceiving. The rate increases to 1 in 3 in women over 35. These rates are also on the increase.
In 40% of cases the male is the issue, 40% the female, in 10% of cases it’s both and 10% have an unknown cause.
What are some of the reasons?
Poor thyroid function
Fallopian tube damage
Many couples are not truly infertile, they are sub-fertile. True infertility is the inability to fall pregnant permanently, whereas sub-fertility means that couple are having difficulty falling pregnant, but it may be corrected.
Natural Therapies has a great reputation for being able to help with sub-fertility or difficulty falling pregnant. Many herbs and nutrients can be used to increase sperm health and numbers, balance hormones, regulate the immune system, counter the ageing effects, regulate ovulation patterns and increase the health generally so the body is strong and well enough to gain and hold onto a pregnancy.
Nutritionally, some great measures to take are:
Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Carnitine, CoQ10, Vitamin E and Calcium all may help to increase sperm count and/or motility
Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Iron, PABA, Arginine, and a multivitamin formula may all increase the chance of falling pregnant in women.
There are also many herbs used for the specific issue with great results, e.g. Vitex, Ginseng, Paeonia and Propolis.
Now let’s look at a few simple lifestyle steps that can be taken.
In a study, women who consumed more than one cup of coffee per day had a 50% reduction in fertility, compared to women who drank less. But don’t think just switching to decaf is enough – one study has shown that consuming 2 cups of decaf per day was associated with increased risk of spontaneous abortion.
In another study, women who drank alcohol had a greater than 50% reduction in the probability of conception in that menstrual cycle.
It also seems that caffeine increases the negative effects of alcohol. Women who abstained from alcohol and consumed less than 1 cup of caffeine per day were more than twice as likely to conceive (26.9% compared to 10.5%).
Not only does smoking cause damage to you and causes difficulty conceiving, women whose mothers smoked during their pregnancy are less likely to conceive compared with those whose mothers were non-smokers. So remember smoking while pregnant doesn’t just harm yourself, it harms your unborn child, AND could possibly prevent them from having children of their own when the time comes. Your actions affect more than just yourself.
In 1 study, farmers that were growing organic crops, not spraying, had fertility levels twice that of standard farmers using pesticides. Although this was only a small study, I find it very interesting there is such a huge difference. Pesticides and Herbicides are Xenoestrogens, meaning they mimic oestrogen in the body, causing all kinds of problems, including hormonal issues in women (such as breast cancers, menopausal and menstrual issues). Limiting your exposure as much as possible will go a long way to helping the cause.
Diet is always specific for the couple depending on their health issues, although there are the basics of limiting certain fats and carbohydrates, decreasing/eliminating sugars, increasing vegetables, having quality protein sources, having good intake of ‘healthy’ fats.
Babies born using assisted technologies (e.g. IVF) rates have nearly doubled in 4 years to well over 10,000 per year. Many of these babies could have been naturally conceived through simple dietary lifestyle and supplement changes.
I have had the pleasure of helping couples conceive naturally, sometimes after many years of trying without success. It is one part of my job that I take great honour in being able to do, helping a couple fall pregnant and bring a beautiful new life into the world. Especially the ones that have tried for a long time and had so much heart ache at the thought of never getting that baby to love.
Don’t make diet and lifestyle change your last resort, make it your first.