Very few couples expect fertility problems when they begin trying to start a family. For many, the simple act of expressing love for each other is enough to create a child. However, for millions of people, this is not enough. Approximately one third of the problems that they face can be traced back to female health problems but as many couples are unable to conceive because of male health concerns. The last third are made up of men and women who are both infertile. However, many of the obstacles that infertile couples face can be prevented. Here are some of the common fertility problems many couples face.
Common Fertility Problems
What Is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most frequent of the female fertility problems. This condition causes excess production of male hormones. These hormones are naturally found in small amounts, but can prevent ovulation if present in large amounts. Other symptoms of PCOS include weight gain and hair growth.
What Causes Low Sperm Count?
The most common cause of infertility in men is having insufficient viable sperm. Low sperm count can be caused by many things, ranging from diet, drinking five or more alcoholic beverages a day, exposure to environmental toxins and using illegal drugs or tobacco. While chemicals like mercury have a cumulative negative effect on male fertility, most other toxins are able to be flushed from the body. Given three months to produce healthier sperm, men are often able to improve their fertility with relatively little effort.
What Causes Recurring Miscarriages?
The third most likely of the fertility problems is recurring miscarriages. Miscarriages, or spontaneous abortions, occur in ten or fifteen percent of recognized pregnancies. Some studies show that as many as 40 percent of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage, many times without the mother being aware that she had been pregnant. Over half of early losses are caused by chromosomal abnormalities. Health conditions that affect maternal fertility, such as diabetes and other hormonal imbalances, infections or autoimmune conditions, are responsible for many other miscarriages. Most of the remaining miscarriages can be attributed to exposure to toxins such as mercury, alcohol, illegal drugs or even excess caffeine.
How Can We Prevent These Obstacles?
While it is not possible to avoid these fertility problems in all cases, there are ways to reduce the chances of miscarriage. The most effective way to conceive a healthy baby is to make sure that both parents are in optimal health before trying to conceive. Scheduling visits to see a naturopath will help to identify potential obstacles prior to beginning the conception process. A naturopath is familiar with both allopathic medicine and alternative health practices, helping patients to coordinate the different methods of health care in order to achieve fitness.
Limit Exposure To Social Toxins
Women should limit coffee consumption to one cup per day, though the studies are inconclusive as to whether it affects men’s fertility. Social drinking, defined as under five alcoholic beverages per week, will impair women’s fertility. Men do not experience decreased fertility unless they are drinking at least five drinks per day. Cigarettes and illegal drugs are also directly responsible for reduced fertility in both men and women.
What Supplements Will Help?
Supplements can aid couples in increasing their chances of getting pregnant. Vitex (also called chasteberry), wild yam, black cohosh, cinnamon and whole food prenatal vitamins all may help women, depending on the fertility problems. Men also benefit from nutritional supplementation. Chia seeds are rich in zinc, critical for the production of healthy semen. Maca root flour does not directly contain hormones, but supports the production of hormones. It has been shown to counter the reduced libido that many men experience when taking antidepressants in the SSRI family.
Reduce Stress To Get Pregnant
Remember to take the time to make love, rather than to merely try to get pregnant. Reducing this act to merely a way to get pregnant compounds the stress for both partners. Stress has been shown to reduce fertility or even cause early miscarriages, if the situation is sufficiently upsetting.
For couples experiencing fertility problems, the seemingly simple act of conception may prove to be inexplicably difficult. With the aid of knowledgeable health care providers, achieving this goal can be accomplished more quickly. Common fertility problems can be treated naturally and you should aim to resolve them naturally before reaching for assisted reproductive technologies.
Are you faced with fertility problems? Have you tried to treat your fertility problem naturally? I would love to hear from you!
Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.