Over 150 Tips to use in Conquering Infertility
Did you know. . .
- One out of every five couples experience fertility problems while trying to conceive
- The average cost of one in-vitro fertilization cycle runs about $15,000
- The number of infertile women in the United States aged 20-25 tripled in the last 30 years
- Worldwide sperm count has reduced 50% in the last 50 years
- One woman in five experience a miscarriage
- One couple in six cannot conceive naturally
- Did you know that women can produce antibodies against the male sperm?
- One birth in five is taken through cesarean section (this rate has quadrupled in the last 30 years)
- Diseases linked to the father’s genes include leukemia, asthma and mental development
Preconception healthcare involves making sure that there is an adequate supply of everything that is essential to the health of your egg and sperm and the baby’s development and eliminating everything which has been shown to be harmful to that process. It’s as simple as that.
The Purpose of Cleansing:
Women’s breast milk can be loaded with toxins if the body is not healthy and it is being exposed to environmental toxins during pregnancy. The cervical mucous, breast milk and sperm are a route for detoxification as well. When the sperm are bathed with the seminal fluids that have toxins in them because the body is overloaded and toxic, the sperm will die or have decreased motility. Because of this, both the man and woman need to partake in an initial cleansing and detoxification program. This usually take four weeks.
Diseases linked to the father’s genetics include leukemia, asthma, and mental development. The best thing we can contribute to the generations to come is the gift of health. We give our genetic blueprints with our state of health at the time of conception. It is up to each one of us to take this seriously and give our babies the best chance they have to be happy, healthy, and mentally acute.
The most toxic occupations: Often men are in occupations that are more toxic than women. The most toxic occupations a person can be in are information technology (computers put off a lot of radiation–especially laptops!), mechanics, hairdressers (lots of dyes and ammonia that have heavy metals in them,) flight attendants/pilots (lots of radiation,) and painters.
Goals to Achieve before Conception:
- Maintain absence of any sperm antibodies and autoantibodies from either the male or female
- Minimize or manage stress levels
- Learn two methods for pinpointing the optimal fertilization time using the mucous and body temperature methods
- Minimum 4 months abstinence from all social drugs including caffeine, alcohol and nicotine
- Protection, education, detoxification from all common toxins
- Weight normalization if necessary
- Stop using lubricants and products that are toxic to sperm
- Negative test for all genitourinary infections
- Adequate exercise program
- Increased alkaline reserves (lots of fresh fruits/vegetables)
- Adequate zinc and iron within the body
- Management and treatment of any ongoing allergies
- Normalize hormone imbalances
- Increase sperm count, motility, healthy morphology and the number of effective, fertile sperm
- Both partners should take the appropriate herbs, supplements, and homeopathics to support fertility
Development of the sperm and maturation of the egg takes 3-4 months to accomplish. This is why it’s important to focus on a cleansing program prior to conception. Both parents need to be involved in this process as you are each equally contributing to the DNA of your baby. Sperm are 1/200th the size of an egg and so are 200 times more susceptible to toxins.
Did you know that women can produce antibodies against the male sperm if their sperm is not healthy? These antibodies then attack and kill the sperm so that it cannot penetrate and fertilize the egg. This is more common than most people understand and because of this, the male needs to also commit to a health program if the couple is going to success in conceiving.
A growing number of the population is becoming infertile and miscarrying due to inappropriate immune-mediated responses. Often these problems are caused by heavy metals.
The following immune diseases increase your risk of infertility and miscarriage:
Lupus, Celiac disease, Antiphospholipid syndrome, Anticardiolipin detection, Protein C, Protein S, Thyroid antibodies. These can all be detected via blood test.
The presence of immune-mediated antibodies in the female block the passage of the sperm. They are also responsible for miscarriages. So, when you are in the detox and pre-conception phases, it is important to use condoms as a barrier contraceptive to isolate the sperm. This way, the body won’t be exposed to them to cause and allergic reaction and the body can heal and regroup.
The presence of antiphospholipid and anticardiolipins increase blood viscosity which can be responsible for clot formation between the fetus and inside wall of the uterus. When this happens, the baby does not get enough nourishment and it dies. Miscarriage then occurs. In the male, when these antibodies are present, the sperm clump, get confused and can’t swim to where they are supposed to and are, therefore, ineffective. Natural blood thinning agents should be used in these cases, NOT heparin, NSAID’s or baby aspirin. Some research indicates people with this particular disease cannot process synthetic folic acid of any kind. Because of this, the baby may get spina bifida even though the mother took lots of folic acid supplements.
Where does stress reside in your body? It is different for everyone, but wherever it resides, it is affecting those body parts and the hormones they produce. For instance, if you hold stress in your gut, then the gut responds accordingly.
Did you know that the gut produces more neurotransmitters than the brain?
Stress affects fertility. It increases a hormone called cortisol which is associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), estrogen dominance, elevated prolactin, hypothyroidism, and exhaustion of DHEA reserves leading to low libido.
Do not use DHEA tablets to build these levels up again. This is dangerous. Use natural glandulars. You can also try Tribulus (also called natures’ Viagra, Nizagara). Tribulus is OK for older women as well.
Emotional Clearing work:
It seems that each couple has their own issues to work out when they are trying to conceive. Here are some of the issues I’ve cleared over the years on people trying to conceive:
- We don’t have enough money for a baby
- I will die if I give birth to a child
- I won’t make a good parent
- We don’t have time for a baby
- If we both work, how will we find good caregivers
- I am not perfect.
- I am afraid of passing my defects on to my child
- My in-laws are domineering, controlling, bossy, blah blah blah.
- My husband doesn’t really want a child
- My doctor said I could never conceive naturally
- I’m not sure if I want to stay married
- I am afraid of supporting a child as a single parent
- I’m afraid of a cesarean section
- I’m afraid of needles
- I died several times during the birthing process in a past life. I’m afraid of dying in this life
- My doctor said if I have another baby I will die
- I’ve been bulimic/anorexic in the past and am afraid those imbalances will affect my baby
- I’m depressed. I don’t want to pass that onto my baby. What if I can’t care for my baby because of my depression
- I’m afraid of suffering from post-partum depression
- I’m afraid the medications I’m currently taking will cause birth defects in my baby, but I’m afraid to go off the drugs. What if I get pregnant while I’m on the drugs accidentally?
- And a myriad of other issues.
The point is, some of these are valid and others are not. Using emotional clearing, we can work through the issues that subconsciously hold you back from conceiving.
So, how does one predict the best possible time for conception? There are two methods that work quite well, but they should be used together for obtaining the best results. They are the Mucous Method and the Basal Body Temperature Methods (both links and processes below).
The Mucus Method
This method is easy to learn, is free, and requires no expensive gadgets. This method uses the fingers to give you the information necessary to track down the beginning and end of your fertile periods.
Used correctly, this method has a 97% effectively rate for contraception if abstinence is practiced at the fertile time. In fact, used correctly, this technique is more effective than the combination of a diaphragm with spermicidal jelly. Experience is the key. This method becomes intuitive over time. The mucous method is even more accurate than the temperature method as sometimes you can’t tell when the body is most fertile.
Charting is essential in learning the cycles and to see your individual patterns. The mucous is checked prior to every time you urinate. Mucous consistency changes as the estrogen levels increase and decrease. Mucous is also influenced by nutrition.
The mucous is checked at the mouth of the vagina with the fingers, to observe the amount, texture and changing patterns throughout the month. The vaginal walls are always moist and the cervix always has mucous which changes at the vaginal entrance. Fertility depends on mucous being present throughout the vagina to protect the sperm.
The woman learns to observe the changes that take place in her cycle, record the observations in a meaningful way to her, and make decisions about her fertility based on these observations.
It usually takes about three cycles to learn your individual pattern. By that time, you should be detoxified if you are following the detoxification program your naturopath has you on.
Infertile mucous is described as sparse, thick, flaky, crumbly, dense, opaque, pasty and tacky. It is unchanging in amount. It does not string when you separate your finger and thumb. The mucous increases and decreases as estrogen levels rise and fall. After ovulation, the luteal phase (where the ovary produces more progesterone than any other hormone) lasts 12-16 days. During this time the mucous reverts to the sparse, thick, tacky consistency. Sperm cannot survive in this mucous.
The presence of fertile mucous does not necessarily indicate ovulation. It only indicates that the hormones have fluctuated. This is why the Basal Body Temperature Method is used along with the mucous method. Other indicators of fluctuating hormone levels are PMS and spotting. Fertile mucous is thin, wet, fluidy, watery, slippery, translucent and increasing in amounts. Spinnbarkelt (extremely fertile mucous) resembles raw egg white and is slimy, stretchy, jelly-like and profuse.
Note: Spotting may be a sign of implantation.
The woman will want to record certain characteristics of the mucous:
- Amount and texture (See above for fertile and infertile mucous characteristics)
- External sensations. Note that one side of the vulva may become larger than the other side. The larger side indicates which ovary is releasing an egg. Another body change to observe is tenderness of lymph nodes one side or the other (underarm, breast, inside the upper thigh are common places to check lymph nodes)
- Secondary Symptoms: These include sexual desire, food cravings, emotional state, fatigue levels, energy level, fluid retention, breast signs, skin signs, bowel activity and movements, nausea/vomiting, headaches, pain (where and intensity), and cervical changes.
Description of the mucous: The woman should use words which she is comfortable using. One word or a short phrase is best. The goal is to become consistent in which words one uses to describe the mucous so that she can track the hormonal changes of the mucous.
It may take up to six cycles to build confidence in getting this method down depending upon how aware you are of your body, how it feels and how it works.
Remember, the optimum time for intercourse for conception is the day before ovulation. The eggs age within 12-24 hours after that and are not viable, but the sperm can survive in a healthy reproductive tract 3-5 days depending on the nutrition it receives from the fertile mucous.
The sperm need fertile mucous for its nutrients and antimicrobial qualities. This mucous is special because it is more alkaline than the normally hostile acidic vagina. This fertile mucous also protects the sperm and provides swimming channels for it to glide up the reproductive tract to the fallopian tubes. The fertility period starts as soon as the mucous changes and lasts for three days after the mucous becomes thick again.
The World Health Organization did a survey in five countries (including third world countries) and found that greater than 90% of women were able to return interpretable charts within their first cycle, so the process is not that hard to learn.
The Temperature Method
(Reviewed step-by-step in the Barnes Basal Metabolic Temperature handout.)
After the mucous method is well established, this method may not need to be done on a daily basis, but it is important to learn it as you will learn more things about your body, how it works, how it feels, and be able to be more accurate in tracking your ovulations.
This method will give you clues as to how the eggs are developing, but it won’t tell you if you have ovulated. It will also tell you about your thyroid function and give you clues as to whether or not you need to support your thyroid with certain herbs to increase your fertility.
Temperatures less than 96.6 indicate that your thyroid is low. If the first half of your cycle has low temperatures, you probably have thyroid issues. During the ovulation period, your temperature will rise for three consecutive days. The preceding six days will show a lower temperature. Your temperature should be taken at the same time every day.
The highest temperatures you will receive will be at 2 p.m. If you don’t take the temperature at the exact time you need to, you can extrapolate because each ½ hour after you get up your temperature rises 1/10th of a degree Celsius.
Temperatures will be increased with too little sleep, fever, and with alcohol. Of course alcohol is not appropriate for your preconception program. Any sleep disturbances and the hours slept should also be recorded on the chart. The body needs a minimum of four hours sleep to get an accurate basal metabolic temperature. Record any travel across time zones.
Secondary information: Record things like fever, sore throat, shivering, sweating, getting out of bed to go to the bathroom or answering the phone, and other unfavorable conditions on the daily chart.
Some women, once they have gotten the temperature method down, will only chart the temperature once they identify the mucous changes to confirm the rise in temperature.
Sleep apnea is influenced by thyroid disease and insulin resistance.
Breast feeding does not alter the body temperature.
Advantages of the temperature method include:
- You learn a lot about your body
- Temperature charts are easier to interpret initially, until you get a consistent lingo down for your mucous chart
- Normally, your temperature will be slightly raised on day 25-26 of your cycle and will remain raised for 10-16 days
- If the mucous is influenced by bacteria and doesn’t change, the temperature will show change, so it can be used as a back-up system for detecting infection
- Temperature does confirm the start of the post-ovulatory phase
- It can be used as an effective contraception technique and is 83-99% accurate when used correctly. Abstinence is practiced for the entire ovulatory phase.
- It is helpful for learning the appearance of the mucous because you can tell when ovulation is about to occur with the rise in temperature for three consecutive days.
- The temperature method also confirms when ovulation is over. When used for a contraception technique, there should be no intercourse for three days after the post-ovulatory phase begins
- It can tell you when you have become pregnant as the temperature continues to rise as progesterone levels rise in the initial luteal phase (for 18-20 days post conception)
- The strength of the temperature rise is an indication of the adequacy of progesterone production (Progesterone is necessary to maintain pregnancy and prevent miscarriage. It also helps prevent PMS)
- Confirms the length of the pre and post-ovulatory phases
- Unprotected sex should be avoided until the temperature has risen for three consecutive days (this cuts down on the chances of the woman rejecting the sperm due to immune response.)
Environmental and Dietary Toxins Affecting Fertility:
Unexplained infertility is hugely influenced by environmental and dietary toxicity. The goal is to identify those factors that are causing infertility in both the male and female and to minimize environmental factors that would negatively influence fertility.
We are a society of caffeine addicts. Coffee and Caffeine are extremely toxic alkaloids. Coffee is a powerful contraceptive agent. Caffeine damages the DNA. Decaffeinated coffee is even more evil and nasty. They use dry-cleaning chemicals to remove the caffeine from the beans. Complete abstinence from these substances is required four months prior to conception. In men, caffeine exhausts the adrenal glands, which is responsible for a decrease in sperm motility, abnormal morphology, decreased sperm counts, prostatitis, and is linked to chromosomal and congenital abnormalities. In women, caffeine exhausts the adrenal glands and is toxic to the eggs and fetus, is highly inflammatory (causes endometriosis), affects estrogen balance (estrogen dominance), and is linked to miscarriages.
Green tea is OK to drink, but do cut back.
Heavy metal toxicity from tooth amalgam fillings, lead exposure, aluminum (underarm deodorants.) Exposure can be determined from hair or blood analysis. We carry homeopathics to detoxify the body of these chemicals, but you can also try using carob powder for a month or intravenous chelation (expensive and time consuming.)
Chemicals from foods, preservatives, dyes, pollution, herbicide/pesticide sprays, wood stoves, radon, etc.
Medical drugs such as pharmaceuticals, NSAIDS (over-the-counter pain killers), and synthetic vitamin supplements can change the endometrial interface for the embryo so that it can’t implant into the uterine tissues.
“Social” drugs such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine affect the DNA of the egg and sperm.
Household chemicals such as sprays, chlorine, and house cleaning agents can damage the DNA. Also, repainting, recarpeting, and new cars may take up to two years to complete their off-gassing of toxic plastic, gasses and fumes. Use non-toxic paint (you will have to special order them,) and change to user friendly products like Seventh Generation, Melaleuca, or other natural products.
Note: Swallowing toxic cleaning chemicals is still the number one cause of emergency room visits for young children, so it’s good to have those products gone before your baby comes anyway.
Occupational exposure to chemicals is another hazard that affects fertility.
Radiation damage disrupts the cross linking of DNA leading to genetic defects. The highest incidence of infertility is in airline pilots. Airplanes are notorious for the radioactivity they give off.
Agricultural exposure to herbicides/pesticides/fungicides, NPK fertilizers, hormones and estrogens in milk, dairy, and meat products.
Jude Ford is an international leader in reproductive genetics and environmental toxic effects on sperm and egg health.
Complete avoidance of sugars and refined foods: Eat low sugar and low-glycemic index foods. Increased sugar during this preconception time (and all times, but this is really important) lead to insulin resistance which can then lead to subclinical thyroid problems. This causes improper cellular division within the embryo, which leads to birth defects.
If you are a vegetarian, it is very important to be a good vegetarian at this time. You should have a balance of foods, using all the colors, and it should not be rich in refined carbohydrates. You should also avoid soy products as this can mimic estrogen and will lead to hormonal imbalances in both men and women. Check out the Eden Organics site for pro-con article on the soy controversy http://www.edenfoods.com/articles/view.php?articles_id=80 .
Complete avoidance of cow’s milk products or saturated fats (except organic and hormone-free proteins.) Xenoestrogens are high in animal protein, milk fat and dairy products. These mimic human estrogens and disrupt the hormone balance of the system.
Heavy Metals are linked to infertility (both male and female), miscarriage and congenital defects. Often people are unaware of heavy metal contamination and their exposure to it. High loads of heavy metals in sperm can cause anti-sperm antibodies. I often see clients who have lived in certain parts of the United States that are contaminated with heavy metals. Also, tellurium seems to be common culprit. Tellurium is a by-product of welding. Lots of people have done or been around welding in their lives.
Some primary sources of heavy metals are: Petrochemical and gas fumes, old paint, smoking (active and passive), tools, cadmium in paints, dental amalgams, large consumption of fish (mercury–actually wild salmon is a good fish to eat), cookware (non-stick aluminum), antiperspirants (especially sprays that are inhaled), antacids (Tums has aluminum in it), and tap water.
Note: If you still have amalgam in your mouth and can’t afford to take it out, you will need to detox the loose heavy metals in your system that you currently have with Mer Detox Drops, a homeopathic that removes dental amalgam from the body. Also, have all the dental work that you will need for the next couple of years done before you start your detox and pre-conception program. Mercury causes birth defects and suppresses the immune system.
Here are some tips on avoiding chemicals:
- Drink out of glass, not plastic. We call bottled water “PCB fortified” water. Even if it is distilled, I’ve noticed that in some bottled water you can smell the plastic in the water. Other stores store the water at a good temperature and move it so quickly that not as many PCB’s leached into the water. If you can smell it, it’s penetrating your mucous membranes and getting into the bloodstream.
- Don’t use make-up. There is usually mineral oil in it.
- Don’t eat farm-raised fish. There are too many mercury toxins.
- Don’t use anything with mineral oil in it. Mineral oil is a petrochemical.
- Wash all fruits/vegetables with white vinegar. Use 2 tablespoons in purified water. Let the produce soak for 10 minutes then rinse thoroughly. You can also use the natural fruit and vegetable rinses.
- Avoid domestic chemicals as they are implicated in being serious gonadotoxins. Domestic chemicals include bleach; mold treatments, oven cleaners, and ammonia-based spray and wipe products. Use Seventh Generation products, vinegar, lemon juice, tea tree oil, and baking soda as cleaners instead.
- Evaluate and discard damaging products from your kitchen, garage, bathroom, tool shed and garden.
- Other domestic chemicals to avoid include products used in home renovations: sanding lead paint, pigments, glues, varnishes, personal care products containing sodium laurel sulfate, pesticides, insect sprays, and chlorine.
- Get a shower head attachment that filters out chlorine. For more on how chlorine affects your system, read the water section in the Basics of Health.
Recreational chemicals to avoid and other concerns:
- Chlorinated swimming pools–use ozone instead as chlorine. Copper salts used as algaecides compete with zinc. Zinc is an extremely important mineral in reproductive health.
- Golf courses–the greens are saturated with pesticides and fertilizers, which is why golfers have a higher incidence of breast and prostate cancer. The levels of these chemicals are also higher in the morning hours when the humidity is at its peak.
- Bicycles—the pressure of the seat will cause decreased sperm counts. Lycra® increases the temperature of the testicles which also kills the sperm.
- Use loose-fitting, well-ventilated, natural fiber clothing to exercise in.
- Do not use saunas or wet suits during the preconception phase. The extra heat shocks the sperm.
Dietary toxins to avoid: non organic foods, tap water, acidic liquid or hot foods stored in soft plastics that leach chemicals such as take out containers, Styrofoam, polystyrene, and cling wraps.
Radiation: Radiation is a hidden hazard but an increasing concern. The three forms of radiation are ionizing, non-ionizing and electro-magnetic pollution (EMP).
- Ionizing radiation includes nuclear, x-rays, high altitude cosmic radiation, nuclear fallout and radioactive material. This type of radiation damages all cells, especially those that grow fast (embryos, sperm, gut and skin) by breaking the DNA helix, causing misshapen chromosomes, mutated genes, and embryo death. Ionizing radiation has also been linked to miscarriages and birth defects.
- Flight attendants and pilots have the highest rate of infertility. Window seats on the airplane double your exposure to ionizing radiation. Avoid travel during pregnancy if possible.
- Judy Fords’ research shows that sperm morphology and increased miscarriage rates were affected by one lower body x-ray for up to three years after the event. Even dental x-rays during pregnancy are linked to lower birth weight babies.
- Make your bedroom a radiation free zone. Eliminate all electrical gadgets except one bedside lamp.
- Make sure the head of your bed is not close to a fuse box, Fuse boxes give off electro magnetic pollution.
- Epsom Salts help absorb radiation. Put a box or brown paper bag next to your computer. The crystals will turn to dust when they are no longer effective in absorbing the radiation.
- Plants and sunflowers also detoxify radiation. Feng Shui practitioners recommend keeping a Prayer plant by your computer to absorb negative energy. Day lilies and cacti also use the radiation from the soil to grow.
- Flat screens and laptop screens emit fewer damaging rays but higher amounts of electromagnetic fields. They are best used on battery power and not plugged into the wall. One study showed two times the miscarriage rate for workers exposed to computer terminals. Plasma screens emit the least amount of radiation. Move your computer monitor and mother board as far away as possible from your body while you are working.
- Cell Phones/Mobile Phones: Don’t carry them near the lower part of the body (in your pants pockets) or by your breasts as it can affect your fertility. One study at the University of Szeged in Hungary showed up to a 30% reduction in sperm count due to cell phones. Turn them off when not in use. It’s best to store cell phones at least three feet away from your body and forward them to a land line when possible. Wear a wireless headphone when talking on your cell, if at all possible, or use an ear phone. Limit conversations to short ones. If you must use a cell phone, you should be on Pituitary PMG, a glandular/protomorphogen which repairs damage to the pituitary gland. To read more on protomorphogens-glandulars go to: (http://naturalhealthtechniques.com/BasicsofHealth/glandulars_&_protomorphogens1.htm)
- Microwave Ovens: Microwave ovens emit an extremely large electromagnetic field. Get rid of your microwave. Microwaves cause structural changes to your red blood cells, and they denature proteins within the foods. Our bodies then cannot process these proteins as efficiently.
Organic food: Most pesticide, herbicides and fungicides are fat-soluble. That means they build up in your fat and are DNA damaging. These substances often mimic human hormones and are a big factor in hormonal imbalances.
Notes about Folic Acid: The body can’t assimilate synthetic folic acid. A test called the NTRF enzyme test will determine how well Folic Acid is being assimilated. The numbers run very high in cases such as autism. The increased numbers mean that folic acid is not assimilated so there will be an increase in blood clotting problems.
Folic Acid Handout: http://naturalhealthtechniques.com/Diet_Nutrition/folic_acid.htm
Prospective mothers should also stay away from foods that could contain Listeria and toxoplasmosis. These foods are:
- Raw or undercooked meat and fish (like sushi, smoked salmon, and lox)
- Unpasteurized dairy products (Heat milk to 70degrees for 30 seconds to sterilize if buying raw milk.) There seem to be fewer allergic reactions to raw milk products because the proteins within the products have not been denatured and the body is able to assimilate them better.
- Pre-prepared salads (Some people recommend putting salad greens in a spinner after rinsing them in a very mild bleach solution. Personally I think bleach is very toxic and it is also linked to certain cancers and birth defects. I would use a product called Aerobic 07 or Nutribiotic liquid as per bottle instructions.)
- Soft cheeses
- Cat litter boxes are also a source of toxoplasmosis (animals should be wormed with round wormer twice a year to prevent this. If unknown cats use the litter boxes, then have someone else clean them during your pregnancy. Also, it takes over 24 hours for the eggs to hatch, so if the litter box is cleaned daily, the chance of picking up Toxoplasma is very small—if the animals have been wormed.)
- Soil is also a source of toxoplasmosis
- Leftovers over 48 hours old have also been linked to higher amounts of Listeriosis
Water is very important for detoxification and hydration. Water should be chlorine free. This means you should get a shower filter or whole house system that filters out the chorine and fluorine.
Chlorine has been linked to birth defects. Some studies have shown up to two times increase in miscarriage risk from drinking tap water.
Fluoride is linked to thyroid disease. The body cannot tell the difference between fluoride and iodine, so it prevents the thyroid from working properly. Iodine is necessary for the conversion of the inactive to the active form of thyroid hormone.
Did you know that it takes 7 years to break down hydrogenated oils in the body? This is significant because most processed and fast foods contain high amounts of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (like Crisco and partially hydrogenated soy or cottonseed oil.) Polyunsaturated fats compete for the same receptors as the saturated fats, except that the unsaturated oils can’t penetrate the cell with this cement-like layer of saturated fats. For more on this, read the Eicosinoid Survey. (http://naturalhealthtechniques.com/Diet_Nutrition/eicosinoid_survey.htm)
Body Weight and Its Affect on Fertility:
One in every three women is overweight.
- Increased fat levels disrupt ovulation. This means that sometimes the eggs will be released and sometimes they won’t.
- Obesity also is associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (40-60% of all women with PCOS are overweight and also have insulin resistance.)
- Excess body fat leads to relative increases in estrogen which then throws the other hormones out of balance (like testosterone and androgens)
- Fat increases heat in the testicles. The testicles need to be two degrees cooler than the core body temperature for the sperm to survive. That’s one reason why men should wear loose-fitting pants and boxer shorts instead of briefs.
- In men, increased estrogen (from the extra fat stores) decreases testosterone production.
Obesity increases the risk of:
- Birth defects
- Gestational diabetes
- Premature birth.
Slower thyroid function (a challenge that is in almost epidemic proportion these days) can lead to a Down’s syndrome child.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: Another cause of infertility is Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). If a woman can lose 10% of her body mass, she can get to normal cycles again. Exercise is necessary for conception and fertility as it increases circulation to bring nutrients and blood supply to the ovaries, testes and uterus.
KY Jelly kills sperm. Pre-seed is the best lubricant to use for intercourse when trying to conceive as it is sperm friendly. There are resources for this available on line if you can’t find it at your local pharmacy or drugstore.
Genitourinary Infections: Genitourinary infections have been shown to be responsible for infertility, miscarriage and fetal growth problems. Genitourinary infections are not always passed via sex and may be hidden in the upper reproductive tract. The carrier may be asymptomatic. Not all infections are routinely tested for during an evaluation by a medical fertility specialist. Both parents must be tested to rule these diseases out before conceiving.
Genitourinary infections to be tested via swab and culture include:
Streptococcus B, Enterococcus, Herpes Type I and II, Anaerobic bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenza, Streptococcus millerii, E. coli, Klebsiella, Garnerella, and Candida.
A separate swab is required to check for Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma which are both linked to miscarriages.
Chlamydia infections tend to scar the fallopian tubes. There is a blood test for this infection using IgG antibodies. The woman may need a hysterosalpingogram to diagnose the scarring. A hysterosalpingogram is a procedure where dye is injected into the uterine tubes. X-rays are then taken to see if scarring is visible as the dye passes through the fallopian duct. Chlamydia is the most common organism leading to female infertility. If an active agent is present, both partners will need to be treated with antibiotics or natural antibiotics and immune modulators to prevent recurrences.
Herbs and supplements to use for genitourinary infections include: Goldenseal, Andrographis, Cat’s Claw, Garlic tablets (enteric-coated), high doses of Zinc, Calcium Lactate, and Immuplex.
There are also homeopathics to overcome and manage (maybe not cure) Herpes, Human Papilloma Virus and Sexually Transmitted Diseases. They can be taken just prior to birth as well so the baby won’t contract herpes via normal birthing. You should be tested and take the appropriate ones.
Gastrointestinal Diseases and Allergies and their role in Fertility:
Gut flora imbalances can be very important for achieving optimal fertility. The gut flora can affect hormone availability as the gut flora metabolizes hormones like a second liver (the liver is the most important organ for processing hormones.) If you don’t have healthy gut flora, you can waste a lot of money on supplements and food. The goal is to get as much detoxification and purification as possible to make your body as healthy as it can be so you can produce eggs and sperm that will, in turn, create healthy and happy babies.
Food allergies need to be addressed individually and managed. I often see that the safest thing to do for most diseases if to follow the Eat for Your Type program. This works for most of the population in that it eliminates most of the foods that irritate the body causing the body to respond with all kinds of allergic symptoms.
Celiac Disease is linked to malabsorption, recurrent miscarriage, premature menopause, lowered fertility and reduced semen quality because the body is not absorbing the nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues.
Wheat and Dairy sensitivities are linked to endometriosis. In endometriosis, the uterine tissue thickens and is covered by very thick mucous which prevents embryos from implanting.
About Soy Products:
Traditional forms of soy are preferred (eg. Tofu, tempeh, miso, and soy sauce) because these have been fermented or soaked to remove phytates. Phytates are a toxin that block mineral and protein absorption. If you are using soybeans, soak them overnight and throw away the water before cooking them in new water. Soy milk is a problem for this reason. Soy milk is made from raw soy products and is also often high in aluminum (mostly in the past), sugars, and cyanogenic glycosides among other things. Also, at this point in our history about 80% of all soy products come from genetically modified strains.
Raw soy products (such as soy milk and soy ice cream) prevent the thyroid gland from working properly because it blocks the conversion of the inactive to the active form of thyroid hormone.
Soy also acts as a phytoestrogen. This means that the body may recognize it as estrogen. These phytoestrogens cannot be used like our own estrogen hormone, but the body tries to do the best it can with what it is presented with. This can lead to decreased fertility rates. If you like soy milk and are allergic to cow’s milk, then try rice milk, oat milk or almond milk.
Increase your alkaline reserves.
Eat lots of raw fruits and raw vegetables. I would recommend 2-3 cups of each daily for the first month for the detoxification period. For more information on alkalizing your body, and the symptoms of an acid body (which is usually and infertile body,) go to: http://naturalhealthtechniques.com/BasicsofHealth/alkalize_your_body.htm
Normal values for male sperm:
- The volume of ejaculation should be greater than 2.0 ml.
- The sperm concentration should be 20 million or more sperm/ml.
- Sperm motility should be greater than 50% with forward motion
- 15% of the sperm should be healthy and intact with no visible abnormalities.
- There should be less than 1 million white blood cells per ejaculation
- It takes sperm 74 days for sperm to develop. Therefore, when trying to detox and create healthy sperm, the man should use a barrier contraceptive (like a condom) so that the female will not recognize unhealthy sperm and build sperm antibodies against her partner’s sperm. Using a condom give the female body time to forget and identify unhealthy sperm and toxins, so that the allergic reaction to them will be weaker and less frequent.
The male actually has quite a bit of influence on conception, fetal health and pregnancy issues. He should take the time to become actively involved in his own health so that his sperm will be top-quality. Men are more often in toxic occupations, so detoxification is important. If he can minimize, alleviate, or use homeopathics to get toxins such as fertilizers, pesticides, cigarette smoke, medical drugs and organic solvents out of his system that affect his fertility. The process of conception will work better and fertility will be higher. Antioxidants are very important for men as well. Read more about Antioxidants and the best foods to eat: http://naturalhealthtechniques.com/Diet_Nutrition/antioxidant_list_&_foods.htm
The man will want to ejaculate three days before the woman ovulates so that nice, fresh sperm will be available to fertilize the egg. Ejaculation should be outside the vagina for women who have an allergic response to the man’s semen. Contraception is a must during the pre-conceptive period until the couple has completed their detoxification program and are ready to conceive.
Zinc: An Important Mineral for Fertility
Add Wheat Germ Oil, wheat germ, or Wheat Germ Pearles to the diets of both the prospective mother and father. Wheat germ has lots of zinc and selenium in it and works on the body to dilate both the fallopian tubes and the seminiferous tubules. This makes the transport of both egg and sperm easier. Three capsules, ½ teaspoon oil, or two tablespoons wheat germ is the usual dose. Natural food sources of Zinc are on my Best Bet Mineral Sources page.
Eat two tablespoons of raw, hulled Pumpkin Seeds each day. Pumpkin seeds bind up harmful byproducts of testosterone breakdown in the male and act as a building block for a balanced hormone system in the female. If a little is good, a LOT is NOT better, so stick to only two tablespoons max. Most other disease processes need only one tablespoon per day.
The cost of in-vitro fertilization:
Did you know that the number of artificial reproductive technique procedures have risen by 77% in the last 12 years? The average cost of one in-vitro fertilization cycle runs about $15,000. Most couples require at least 3-4 cycles of in-vitro fertilization to get a viable pregnancy. Now, the cost for a couple to do this naturally is maxed out at about $5000 for four months and it has better outcomes. Also, in the medical field, the success rate is based on the chemical outcome, NOT the number of live births. So, even though you spend the money on artificial techniques, you may not end up with a baby in the end. The number of live births with these techniques is about 6%. The body is further toxified and disrupted with the drugs that are given to force the body to release both eggs and sperm.
Herbs/supplements/homeopathics used for infertility
There are over 100 herbs, supplements, and homeopathics to use in the support of infertility issues and they should be evaluated and tailor-made for each specific couple. Here is a list of all the supplements I use in my practice. During the consultation, I muscle test which are appropriate and send home only what is needed.
Herbs and supplements used in infertility:
- Albizia Complex
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Amalgam Detox Drops
- Andrographis Complex
- Ashwaganda (Withania)
- Astragalus Complex
- B6 Niacinamide
- Betaine HCl
- Black Cohosh
- Black tea
- Blackstrap molasses
- Blue Cohosh
- Calcium and Magnesium (Calcium Lactate is preferred)
- Calcium Lactate
- Carob Powder
- Castor Oil Packs
- Cat’s Claw
- Cat’s Claw Complex
- Cataplex A
- Cataplex A-C-P
- Cataplex B
- Cataplex B12
- Cataplex C
- Cataplex D
- Cataplex E
- Cataplex E2
- Cataplex G
- Cataplex GTF
- Cat’s Claw
- Chaste Tree (Vitex)
- Chlorophyll Perles
- Cold lasers
- Copper Liver Chelate
- Cramp Bark
- Cruciferous Complete
- Cyruta Plus
- Dandelion leaf
- Dermatrophin PMG
- Desiccated Adrenal
- Dietary Fiber
- Echinacea augustiflora or purpura
- Eleuthero (Ginseng)
- Epsom Salts
- Essential Fatty Acids
- Euphrasia Complex
- Fish Oil Caps
- Flax Seed, whole
- Flaxseed Oil
- Fluoridex liquid
- Folic Acid B12
- For-Til B-12
- Ganoderma mushrooms
- Garlic Tablets
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Ginseng, Korean
- Grape Seed Extract
- Grapefruit Juice
- Green Food
- Green Tea
- Ground Flax Seeds
- Hawthorne leaves
- Horse Chestnut
- Horsetail (Equisetum)
- Increase your fiber
- Intravenous chelation
- Lactic Acid Yeast
- Lime flowers
- Linum B6
- Lipoic Acid
- Liquid Selenium
- LivCo tablets
- Lugol’s Iodine
- Magnesium Lactate
- Mer Detox Drops
- Milk Thistle
- Myo Plus
- Nettle leaf
- Nutritional Yeast
- OPC Synergy
- Organically Bound Minerals
- Parotid PMG
- Pau D’Arco
- Poke Root
- Prolamine Iodine
- Rehmannia Complex
- Saw Palmetto
- Sea vegetables
- Shatavari root (Asparagus racemosa)
- Shitake Mushroom Combination
- Shitake Mushrooms
- Silymarin or Milk Thistle
- Simplex M
- Slippery Elm Powder
- St. John’s Wort
- Standard Process Cleanse
- Standard Process Complete Shakes
- Standard Process Gastro Fiber
- Standard Process Green Food
- Thyroid Complex
- Trace Minerals B-12
- Udo’s Choice Oil Capsules
- Utrophin PMG
- Uva Ursi
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B-12
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Wheat Germ
- Wheat Germ Oil
- Wheat Germ Oil Perles
- White Peony
- White Vinegar Note: Cider vinegar contains sugar and is best avoided. It’s also toxic for blood type O and A.
- Wild Yam
- Wild Yam Complex
- Witch Hazel
- Zinc Liver Chelate
Helpful Links and References:
- Mucous Method for Fertility Testing: http://naturalhealthtechniques.com/HealingTechniques/mucous_method_fertility.htm
- Barns Basal Metabolic Temperature Technique: http://naturalhealthtechniques.com/HealingTechniques/basal_metab__temp_.htm
- Fertility clinics: www.fertility.com.au and www.tonicaustralia.com