Infertility – Natural causes
Infertility – natural causes of infertility can be widespread but most factors come down to diet and lifestyle.
Natural fertility treatments are just that tackling your infertility with a loving and natural approach to your body. Looking at the way you live your life and the food and drink you put into your body.
We have found that in recent years that this simple and natural approach has been enormously successful, largely because a person's natural fertility is affected by a number of lifestyle factors. This means that there are many, many elements that can be at the root of your fertility problems. However, the majority can be tackled head on in a natural and loving fashion.
An interesting study conducted by the University of Surrey concluded that couples with a previous history of infertility who made changes in their lifestyle, diet and took daily nutritional supplements and vitamins had an 80 percent success rate. Given that the success rate for assisted conception is around 20 percent; it's definitely worth considering these options even though we may have to put a little hard work into actually changing our lifestyles.
Natural treatment plans are, by their nature, extensive and really do need to be adjusted to suit your individual needs. I will, however, go through the most important points below. Remember that it takes at least three months for immature eggs (oocytes) to mature enough to be released during ovulation. It also takes at least three months for sperm cells to develop, ready to be ejaculated.
This means that when you are trying to improve your fertility, you need to have a four-month period before conceiving. This is called 'pre-conception care' and it's as important to take as much care during this period as it is during a pregnancy itself.
Infertility – Natural Causes
Both you and your partner should follow the dietary recommendations explained in the Nutrition Section (The Foundation of Health), although it goes without saying that a healthy diet is crucial to a successful pregnancy. It is also just as important once you are pregnant to ensure you are carrying a healthy baby. Many people are unaware of the fact that diet can help to correct hormone imbalances that may affect your ability to conceive. There are also certain foods and drinks that are known to lower fertility. I have highlighted these below and suggest you start eliminating these from your diet as soon as you are thinking about conceiving.
Alcohol will affect both you and your partner. In fact, drinking any alcohol at all can:
- Reduce your fertility by half – and the more you drink, the less likely you are to conceive
- Cause a decrease in sperm count
- Cause an increase in abnormal sperm
- Result in a lower proportion of motile sperm
- Inhibit the body's absorption of nutrients such as zinc, which is one of the most important minerals for male fertility
One study showed that women who drank less than 5 units of alcohol a week (equal to five glasses of wine) were twice as likely to get pregnant within six-months compared with those who drank more.
As difficult as it may seem, you should eliminate alcohol from your diets for at least three months in order to give yourself the best possible chance of conceiving. If you are to drink a very small amount it would be advisable to perhaps start to look at organic wines and beers, as they have much less of the things that are bad for you.
There is plenty of evidence to show that caffeine, particularly in the form of coffee, decreases fertility.
Drinking one cup of coffee a day can:
- Halve your chances of conceiving
- One study showed that problems with sperm count, motility and abnormalities, increase with the number of cups of coffee consumed each day
- Associated with a delay in conception, especially for the over 35s
Drinking 2 cups of coffee a day can:
- Increase miscarriages compared to those who don’t drink coffee at all
- Affect all of the above
Once again, it's important to eliminate all caffeine-containing food and drinks for at least three months before trying to conceive. That includes colas, chocolate, black teas and coffee, among other things.
Try swapping tea and coffee for good quality organic decaffeinated teas and coffees such as green teas and calming teas such as camomile tea, fennel tea and hibiscus tea. You should still watch your intake unless they naturally contain no caffeine as most standard decaffeinated teas and coffee still contain a small amount of caffeine.
Carbonated / Fizzy Drinks
Extensive research has been carried out into the affects of drinking fizzy drinks and findings have concluded that they do impair fertility, the extent of which is not yet finalised but is known to be significant.
It is believed it is the carbonation of the drink that causes the infertility as opposed to the caffeine contained within the drinks. More research is being conducted to ascertain the level that this impacts on both male and female fertility. But the fact is that it significantly affects both and so advice is to reduce or to stop your intake of carbonated drinks whilst trying to conceive.
Xenoestrogens are essentially environmental oestrogens, coming from pesticides and the plastic industry. When you are trying to conceive, one of the most important things you need to do is to balance your hormones.
It is extremely important to avoid anything that might cause an imbalance, and one of the main culprits is the xenoestrogens.
One of the best ways to eliminate an excess intake of xenoestrogens is to buy organic produce for the pre-conceptual period.
Xenoestrogens can be found in the following products:
- Cleaning products
Smoking has definitely been linked with infertility in both men and women.
People who Smoke any amount of cigarettes can be affected in the following ways:
- Bring on an early menopause, which is a particularly important consideration for older women who may be trying to beat the clock
- Decrease sperm count in men, making the sperm more sluggish
- Increase the number of abnormal sperm
- With men, the effects on fertility are increased with the number of cigarettes
Stress could possibly be determined as the number one factor affecting fertility for both men and women. Unhealthy amounts of stress is the underlying reason for most illnesses, if we can try to reduce the amount of stress in our lives or learn techniques and ways to react differently to stressfull situations, we can significantly reduce our chances of getting ill, but also significantly boost our chances of getting pregnant and staying pregnant.
Stress from any factors can:
- Affect your body and its ability to conceive
- Cause issues in your relationship, work and friendships
- Cause illness
- Lead to depression and stifled goals
Work / Life Balance
Getting the perfect work / life balance, believe it or not is essential for a happy mind and body, and can be a key factor in infertility. You have to make time for fun for obvious reasons but, when facing infertility problems many people throw themselves into their work as a consolation and a means of being good at something. Therefore, getting the right balance and a healthy outlook on work and life can significantly affect your chances of conceiving.
Having a poor work / life balance can:
- Mean not enough time to be with your partner
- Not enough time for baby making!
- Cause issues in your relationship, work and friendships
- Cause illness
- Leads to depression and stress
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