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Infertility – What can we do about it?

September 19, 2019

It’s tough. When you’re two and want to be three so badly. When that wish for a baby becomes all-consuming and you’ve been through every medical check in the book and you just really would prefer to have a baby naturally. Well, perhaps you should take a break from the tests and see if there is something else you could be doing – the natural way? Karin G. Reiter looks into what we can do from a functional medicine perspective:
Infertility is a sign from the body that it is not ready for a pregnancy. You might be, but your body thinks otherwise.
  • Perhaps it’s struggling with inflammation
  • Perhaps you have nutritional deficiencies (your health determines the baby’s health)
  • Perhaps your immune system is weak
  • Perhaps your hormones have been affected by chemicals or toxins that we are all exposed to on a daily basis
  • Perhaps you are underweight
  • Perhaps you are overweight
  • Perhaps you are too stressed out- overstretched
The body thinks that you need to take care of it- before you take care of another human. Your health determents your fertility.
So if you are struggling with fertility you might want to look into the following:

1. Get a good, in-depth blood test.

2. Check nutritional markers like (zinc, selenium, Iodine, RBC magnesium, Ferritin, B 12, folate and Vitamin D.  If these are not in functional ranges (note: functional ranges are not the regular ranges) you might need to supplement.

3. Check your hormones out, look at your thyroid, adrenals (I recommend a saliva test) and your sex hormones. If out of balance- optimise them.

4. Get your Methylation checked out- DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism used by cells to control gene expression. If your methylation is not optimal you might need to supplement with methylated B complex supplement. A good functional medicine Doc can help you figure out supporting methylation.

5. De-Stress – as much as you can. Meditation, nature walks, music, massage, friends whatever makes you feel good

6. Get 7-8 hours of deep sleep a night

7. Get physical and move daily. Walks, swims, yoga, pilates and weights are fantastic options. BUT be careful not to overdo it in this department, too much fitness might stress the system.

8. Optimize your diet:

  • Get in the probiotic foods: sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, miso paste and kefir are great examples
  • Go plant-based; eat meat as a condiment and not as a main.
  • Eat the rainbow and aim for 10-15 different veggies a day
  • Load up on the different seeds they are nutritional powerhouses
  • Get in the good fats: avocado, nuts and seeds, olive and the respected oils
  • Avoid the bad fats: man-made oils like canola, vegetable and sunflower oil
  • Cut the sugar
  • Significantly reduce the alcohol
  • Avoid processed foods

9. Help yourself detox naturally

  • Buy a water filter and filter out fluoride, chlorine and other nasties.
  • Look into your personal care products- the big offenders are parabens, SLS and scents that are not from essential oils. Many of the chemicals in skin and hair care mimic estrogen in the body and mess up your hormones
  • Go organic, especially with your animal protein.
  • Eat your greens, especially your brassica family: broccoli cauliflower, brussels sprouts & cabbage.
  • Cut the tuna and other large fish from your diet. They are loaded with heavy metals and PCB’s.
These are basic steps towards improving your health and chances of falling pregnant. If you are still struggling despite these healthy changes it’s time to dig in further and explore other root causes that could be affecting your fertility. If this is the case I highly recommend that you find yourself a functional medicine practitioner that will help guide you through the journey of health.
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