The decision to start a family is one of the most exciting steps couples can take in their relationship. When pregnancy doesn’t occur, each month can be a rollercoaster of heartbreak, anger, and frustration. Sadly, rates of infertility have skyrocketed in the last few decades and more couples are turning to reproductive technology in order to conceive. Naturopathic medicine provides countless tools to assist couples in their journey of getting pregnant. From preconception counseling, hormone balancing, complementing a program for IUI or IVF, or diet and life style changes- it is the perfect whole system approach for achieving your pregnancy goals.
Many couples are unsure of when to seek help for conception; infertility is broadly defined as the inability to get pregnant after 12 months of unprotected intercourse, or 6 months if one is 35 or older, or 3 months if older than age 40. Approximately 10-15% of couples will meet these definitions. If there is a family history of difficulty conceiving, meeting with a health care provider earlier can help identify some of the obstacles to becoming pregnant. In addition, I advise all my couples to seek preconception counseling to prepare their bodies for conception. Preconception counseling may include routine blood work, a thorough family history, and an evaluation of diet and life style. Occasionally, a cleanse or detox program may be recommended.
So what causes Infertility anyway? Approximately 1/3 of infertility is due to problems in a female partner, 1/3 is due to problems in a male partner, and about 1/3 is due to challenges that exist in both partners. Some of the most common causes of infertility in women are polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), thyroid dysfunction, stress, and anatomical challenges such as endometriosis. It’s imperative that both partners are screened when investigating infertility.
Too often infertility is a pain suffered in silence and guilt. It’s important for these couples to know: there is help out there and more options available to them other than expensive reproductive technologies such as IVF. If you or someone you know is having difficulty conceiving, know there is help available and consider scheduling an appointment today.