Naturopathic Medicine & Fertility
There are many causes of infertility, and while some individuals respond well to surgical or medical intervention, others achieve better results through more natural methods. Naturopathic treatments to infertility are aimed at adjusting hormonal imbalances, correcting nutritional deficiencies, and improving overall reproductive health.
Naturopathic medicine promotes health and wellness through natural therapies. Rather than turning to chemical medicines or surgical intervention, naturopathic doctors implement treatment courses involving dietary and nutritional modifications, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, homoeopathic medicine, and lifestyle counselling.
Originating in Eastern medicine, acupuncture is the practice of inserting ultra-thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body to achieve a therapeutic effect. These points are believed to regulate the way in which the body functions, and has been used to address problems that affect fertility.
Acupuncture has been used to help treat any type of fertility disorder, including elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), repeated pregnancy loss, unexplained (idiopathic) infertility, poor egg quality, endotmetriosis, polycystic ovarion syndrom (PCOS), and more. It has been reported to promote blood circulation in the pelvic cavity and improve ovarian function. And although research is still ongoing, there is reason to believe that acupuncture treatment may be beneficial in promoting follicle production and enhancing uterine blood flow.
Though acupuncture has seen more than anecdotal success (in 2007 review of seven trials found it improved IVF success rates), overall, study results have been contradictory – a 2010 study by the British Fertility society concluded acupuncture didn’t change pregnancy rates.
Contradictory scientific results aside, acupuncture therapy has been proven to improve mood and boost your overall health, results which can definitely beneficial to anyone – both men and women – on the stressful journey to conceiving.
While there are many factors you as an individual don’t have control over when attempting to get pregnant, you do have control over how you feed your body, and naturopathic medicine stresses the importance of a healthy diet.
The female reproductive system, like everything else in your body, requires proper vitamins and minerals to function optimally. A healthy diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds will help fuel your body naturally, without pumping by-products and preservatives into your sensitive system.
Dieting itself is difficult, so you can start slow – eliminate processed and refined foods, like white flour, junk food and sugars. Cook with pure, cold pressed or extra virgin olive oil and avoid saturated fats and hydrogenated oils. Stay well hydrated – the 8×8 rule is a good rule of thumb. Though there is little evidence to support how much an adverse affect the intake of alcohol and caffeine have on fertility, you should cut back on your coffee and alcohol consumption nonetheless.
Combined with a healthy lifestyle, naturopathic medicine can help help to enhance your overall health, including your particular fertility concerns.