Infertility affects 6.1 million people or about 10% of those at child-bearing age (American Pregnancy Association). The search for an affordable solution and complementary treatments can lead patients down a path of trying multiple rounds of in-vitro fertilization (IVF), medications, etc. However, there are many natural fertility methods that can work alone or in combination with traditional medical approaches.
Natural Infertility Treatments
You have probably heard of IUI or IVF to treat infertility and increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Natural infertility treatments may not be as widely known; they can not only help boost the likelihood of conceiving a baby, these methods can help improve your overall health and wellness.
Visit a Chiropractor.
Seeing a chiropractor for infertility may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Chiropractic care is more than treating back pain. It is about wellness and treating the whole body through adjusting spinal misalignments or subluxations.
Spinal health is imperative to having a healthy reproductive system. According to the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, spinal misalignments can cause the nervous system to function improperly which can affect the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and other organs vital to fertility (ICPA).
Consider these research stats about chiropractic for infertility:
- On average, chiropractic was an effective fertility treatment after 5 months with no adverse reactions (Journal of Canadian Chiropractic Association).
- In vitro fertilization can average $10,000 or more per treatment. By comparison, chiropractic is an affordable treatment that has been effective for many women by itself or as part of a complement to IVF (American Pregnancy Association).
Acupuncture is similar to physical therapy in that it is a process-oriented health treatment. The more treatments you receive, the more effective it is. Acupuncture is the process of inserting hair-thin, sterile, acupuncture needles into specific points on the body to help regulate different functions. It can help issues such as:
- Hypo-thyroidism (under-functioning thyroid)
- Hyper-thyroidism (over-functioning thyroid)
- Sleep irregularities
- And more
Think about these stats and professional opinions about acupuncture for infertility:
- Fertility and Sterility reported in April 2002, that researchers have found acupuncture significantly increased pregnancy success for those undergoing IVF.
- “ ‘It can allow you to cross the line from infertileto fertile by helping your body function more efficiently, which in turn allows other, more modern reproductive treatments, like IVF, to also work more efficiently,’ says James Dillard, MD, assistant clinical professor, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and clinical adviser to Columbia’s Rosenthal Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.” (WebMD)
- Acupuncture is a safe treatment for those with unexplained infertility when conducted by a licensed professional (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine).
- “Acupuncture increased the odds of a live birth by 91% compared with the control groups.” (BMJ)
- “TCM [Traditional Chinese Medicine] can be either applied alone or combined with Western medicine to up pregnancy rates and treat infertility. With the help of TCM [i.e., acupuncture], treatment for infertility can be more effective while producing much less adverse effects.” (Health Medicine Institute)
Eat Foods That Increase Fertility.
Eating nutrient rich foods can help you increase your fertility. Foods that may decrease infertility include:
- Organic foods: Organic farming requires that that the food is free from traditional pesticides and synthetic pesticides which can affect estrogen or other hormones.
- Fruits and vegetables: Green vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and Brussel sprouts are rich in folate, vitamin E, and indole-3-carbinol which helps the liver metabolize estrogen. These are essential for a properly functioning endocrine system. Eating fruits high in vitamin C is also necessary for increasing iron abortion. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, red peppers, and kale.
- Omega rich foods: Foods that are rich in Omega fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the body. Foods that are high in Omegas include fish (just be sure to avoid those high in mercury), walnuts, flaxseed, soybeans, chia seeds, eggs, avocados, Brussel sprouts, winter squash, and more.
Foods that may decrease infertility include:
- Anti-Inflammatory foods: Foods that increase inflammation in the body may increase cortisol and estrogen levels which can lead to infertility and hormonal imbalances ex. Vegetables, fruits, turmeric, green tea, chia seeds, and olive oil. Foods that increase inflammation in the body include grains, high-fat processed meats, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.
Sleep is extremely important to help your body regulate hormonal functions and help the whole body work properly. Individuals with sleep disorders are 3.7 times more likely to experience infertility (Reuters). Having a regular sleep routine and getting a full night’s rest is needed to help boost fertility.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day. Moderate exercise has been shown to improve fertility, decrease stress, increase health, and improve self-esteem (Fertility Society of Australia).
Adding specific supplements to a healthy diet may help boost fertility, including vitamin C, Evening Primrose Oil, Omegas, vitamin E, vitamin B-complex, Vitex (Chasteberry), L-Carnitine, L-Arginine, Beta-Carotne, Selenium, and Zinc.
Be sure to consult your physician about which supplements and what amounts are right for you.
Fertility treatments can be stressful. The old adage, “Just relax” isn’t an effective method to increase fertility. However, making positive changes to your body like eating healthy foods, sleeping, and exercising can decrease stress and boost fertility.
Other ways to cope with infertility stress include joining an infertility support group (there are many groups on Facebook) and meditation.
Meditation is more than the power of positive thinking. In a study published in Fertility and Sterility, researchers studied 184 women over the course of 1-2 years to see if a support group or meditation techniques would increase pregnancy. At the end of the study, 54 percent of women in the support group and 55 percent in the meditation group became pregnant (Fertility and Sterility).
Mind-body techniques to decrease stress include:
- Progressive relaxation exercises.
- Therapeutic imagery and visualization exercises.
- Mindfulness techniques.
Natural Infertility Doctors
If you live in the Springfield, MO or Weaubleau, MO area, schedule an infertility appointment with our specialized physicians today. We have doctors specializing in chiropractic, acupuncture, and nutrition. Dr. Steven Loehr also has additional specialization in oriental reproductive acupuncture. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.