Holistic Approach to Endometriosis

Amy Day, Naturopathic Doctor, outlines in this great article 6 strategies to consider when approaching endometriosis holistically:

1) Anti-inflammatory & Antioxidant Considerations

2) Estrogen/Progesterone Balance

3) Environmental Toxin Reduction

4) Optimization of Digestive Health

5) Spiritual, Emotional, and Social Support

6) Manual Therapy / Acupuncture

Read Full Article Here

Your Spiritual Journey

From working with more and more couples on fertility, I have noticed that those who have incorporated some sort of spiritual aspect into their fertility journey have been able to create a shift towards success!  The good news is that starting your own spiritual journey is whatever you want to make of it and what resonates with you the most.  Some may gravitate back to their roots to some sort of organized religion, but others may chose to create their own unique path by exploring and discovering different spiritual philosophies out there- the internet has created much more awareness on a variety of spiritual avenues.  It could be community-based or highly personal to the couple.  Whatever it is, it doesn’t hurt to start somewhere, and see what opportunities open up for you that may not have been there before you embarked on your own spiritual journey.

Your Fertility Journey Is Unique

Fertility involves so many different factors- it is a miracle that it does happen at all.  It is easy for healthcare providers to make assumptions about couples who are labeled as having infertility issues, but your challenges and fertility factors are totally unique to you and your situation.  If you find that you are being treated like a ‘cookie cutter’ case, where everyone who goes through the door gets the same recommendations, consider looking for a practitioner who will work with you holistically, comprehensively, and as a person who has feelings and specific needs.  This is critical since what you are going through can be the most emotionally trying time in your life.

Recent Study on Stress & Fertility

A recent study investigated the relationship between stress & fertility, by measuring levels of a stress enzyme alpha-amylase in the saliva of 400 women trying to get pregnant over 12 months.  Unfortunately, “women with higher levels of the stress biomarker had a two-fold increased risk of infertility,” said study author Courtney Lynch.  Statistically, the women with the highest alpha-amylase levels had a 29% lower probability of pregnancy compared to women with the lowest levels.  Though stress may be a factor involved with infertility, it is by far not the only factor on whether or not you’re going to get pregnant.  Other factors indicated were age, cigarette smoking, and obesity.  Dr. Suleena Kansal Kalra, a reproductive endocrinology & infertility specialist at the University of Pennsylvania, is launching a fertility wellness program that will combine yoga, meditation, nutrition counseling and a psychologist-led support group to help women who are hoping to become pregnant.

Read more here.

Iron and Fertility

Your iron levels are very important for fertility and a healthy pregnancy.  That is why it is a standard to test your iron levels during pregnancy to make sure they aren’t too low.  Good iron sources are clams, blackstrap molasses, spinach, pumpkin, tomatoes, beets.  Even cooking with an iron skillet is a good way to get more iron.  Check out Circle + Bloom’s blog for 4 Favorite Fertility-Friendly Recipes:

Pump Some Iron Into Your Diet to Help Promote Fertility

Phthalate Levels and Fertility

It is no surprise that high phthalate levels may be a contributing factor to infertility.  Phthalates are hormone-mimicking chemicals found in food packaging, plastics and personal products such as shampoos that use fragrances.  In a new study, the researchers measured urine concentrations of phthalates in about 500 couples who were trying to get pregnant.  It took couples 20% longer to get pregnant if the man had high levels of 3 common phthalates.  The delay in pregnancy are comparable to those seen for smoking or obesity.  This may be a factor if you have been given the diagnosis of ‘unexplained fertility,’ as phthalate testing is not a common practice.  Start taking a look at decreasing your exposure to these chemicals at home and at work . . . it will also be better for your baby in the long run too.

Read more here: http://www.livescience.com/43897-mens-phthalates-pregnancy-trouble.html

New Option for Infertility Due to Varicoceles

Many men don’t even know that they have varicoceles until a fertility work-up may discover them, as many are asymptomatic.  Varicoceles are similar to varicose veins that can occur in our legs caused by defective valves or compression of the veins.  Surgery was the primary option, but now there is an alternative called Varicocele Embolisation, using coils to block blood flow to the dilated vessels in a varicocele.  This can be an outpatient procedure without general anesthesia, and one can return to normal activities after 24 hours.  Almost 95% of those who have undergone this procedure at one hospital has had improved semen analysis and fertility success.  Read more here.

Infographic of Thyroid and Your Fertility

Thyroid and Fertility

Focus On Your Health!

Sometimes just focusing on the end result of having a baby causes a stress-response in the body.  To help buffer the possible monthly disappointments, it may be less stressful to shift your focus to your health instead- this is an area that can constantly be improved and progress seen.  For example, here are areas to track: energy levels, quality of sleep, mood swings, stress levels, body pain, glow in your complexion, skin health, cravings, bowel movements, interest in sex, interest in a passion, attracting quality relationships.  Because once you have your health, it is more likely that a baby will follow.  But focusing too much on the baby part can keep you astray from the path you need to take to get there.

Father’s Diet Also Important

Mothers usually have the added pressure of having a good diet since they will be carrying the baby.  But a study with researcher Sarah Kimmins suggests that the father’s diet before conception is just as important for the health of the baby.  It is no surprise that the father’s folate levels is just as important as the mother’s folate levels.  “Our research suggests that fathers need to think about what they put in their mouths, what they smoke and what they drink and remember they are caretakers of generations to come,” said Kimmins.

Read more at Science Daily.