Currently one in seven couples has difficulty conceiving, and many experts in the field predict this could double over the next decade. That infertility rates are rising suggests that specific factors in modern day living are responsible. Pinpointing these reasons is essential, since there is always a good reason why someone cannot have children. Natural health care can help couples get to the root of why they cannot conceive and help them have the child they desire.
Increasingly, would-be parents are turning to natural medicine when faced with fertility issues. Science is beginning to prove its validity, and people are not only producing their dream child, they are also improving their own health and optimizing the chances of having a healthy baby. Natural medicine is safe, effective, and the main side effect is improved well being! Holistic therapies benefit both men and women since infertility seems to touch both genders fairly equally.
1. Get a Food Intolerance Test
We all know the benefits of a healthy diet but it is imperative that both partners eat the right foods when trying to become pregnant. Food intolerances put stress on the body, leaving fewer resources for conception. The most common foods linked to infertility are gluten, wheat, alcohol, and caffeine, although there are others that may be the culprit. Having a food intolerance test is a wise idea for anyone wishing to become pregnant, especially those who are having difficulties. Generally, the diet should consist of fresh, home-prepared meals containing a variety of vegetable and fruits. Organic foods should be used where possible, since they have a higher mineral content, and pesticides may be another unwanted stress on the body. Meat and Dairy should be as close to the source as possible and organic to avoid toxins and hormones used in commercial rearing.
2. Increase Your Vitamin and Mineral Intake
There is a wise saying that zinc puts lead in the pencil! It is vital that vitamins and minerals are plentiful in both men and women when working towards conception. Deficiencies can cause a variety of problems in the body, infertility being one of them. Taking a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral is advisable. A vitamin and mineral screening can help to establish if there are any deficits that need an extra boosting. Some of the most important nutrients for a fertile system are the B vitamins, selenium, iron and Vitamin E.
3. Remove Heavy Metal Toxicity
There is much evidence to suggest a connection between heavy metal toxicity and subfertility. Lead and cadmium are particularly related to conception issues in addition to miscarriage, pre-maturity, and low birth weight. Other heavy metals such as mercury or aluminium may also be involved. Cigarette smoke (first hand and passive), unfiltered water, tinned tuna, and old paint are some of the instigators of heavy metal toxicity. Again, a screening through hair analysis or kinesiology is recommended so that the appropriate nutrition and lifestyle changes can be determined for detoxification.
Acupuncture and reflexology have gained recognition for assisting many couples to conception. These therapies work on the energy systems of the body to create harmony and allow the body to heal itself. Other energy therapies that have been praised by new mums and dads are tuina, reiki, and bowen technique, which fight stress and bring the body back into balance, increasing the chances of conception.
4. Avoid Radiation and Other Risks
The radiation from mobile phones has been linked to low-sperm count and other infertility issues, especially in men. Remember to keep mobiles away from trouser pockets and off when possible.
Other factors that may result in subfertility are candida, hormonal imbalances, infection, endometriosis, and ovarian cysts. A practitioner of natural medicine can advise on how to individually treat these issues, often with the use of herbs.
Natural medicine identifies the imbalances of each unique body, then repairs and nourishes the system, leaving it sturdy, balanced and ripe for conception. If this were achieved for everyone, then the trend of infertility could be reversed and more babies conceived naturally, as they are designed to be.
5. Eat Healthy Fats and Avoid Unhealthy Fats
The first and most important dietary fat-related recommendation is to avoid trans fats. Eating trans fats typically leads to higher blood sugar and insulin levels, as trans fats hurt your ability to clear sugar from your bloodstream after a meal. And higher blood sugar and insulin levels lead to reduced fertility.
Eating trans fats can also lead to increased inflammation throughout your body, which can disrupt ovulation, conception, and the early stages of your baby's development while in your womb.
The most common and concentrated sources of trans fats in the North American diet are margarine, shortening, French fries, fried chicken, doughnuts, cookies, and pastries. To give you some numbers, about 30 to 50 percent of the fat in most commercially prepared French fries, cookies, and doughnuts is trans fatty acids.
Foods that are rich in healthy fats, and that can be eaten regularly to increase your chances of getting pregnant are:
- Olives and olive oil
- Coconut and coconut oil.
- Fresh, unroasted nuts and seeds (about a handful per day)
- Wild caught fish
- Organic eggs
6. Avoid Processed Carbohydrates
Eat foods that are naturally abundant in complex and simple carbohydrates; avoid foods that are rich in heavily processed carbohydrates.
One of the most common causes of infertility is chronically high blood sugar and insulin levels, which are often seen in women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Foods that are rich in heavily processed carbohydrates, and should be avoided whenever possible, include:
- French fries and potato chips
- Foods made with white flour
- Soft drinks and fruit juices
- Beer and wine
Foods that are naturally rich in complex and simple carbohydrates, and that don't lead to reduced fertility include vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
7. Ensure Adequate Intake of Folate and Iron
Folate (folic acid) is essential to the process of building and replicating DNA, and DNA is built and replicated rapidly during conception and pregnancy.
Folate is also essential to keeping your homocysteine level at a healthy range; high homocysteine can increase your risk of experiencing high blood pressure and miscarriage during pregnancy.
Healthy foods that contain folate include:
- Lima beans
- Romaine lettuce
Though you need both heme and nonheme iron to be optimally healthy, for the purpose of ensuring an optimal supply of iron for fertility. Nonheme iron (found in legumes, vegetables, fruits, and plant-based, whole food nutritional supplements) can improve your fertility, most likely because iron, like folate, plays an important role in DNA synthesis. Healthy heme iron foods are from animal sources and can include organic liver and organ meats.
Healthy foods that contain nonheme iron include:
- Goji berries
- Lima beans
- Navy beans