Couples who are suffering from infertility undergo emotional stress and family problems. But there are natural ways to manage infertility to live a happy life.
The traditional definition of infertility is the failure to achieve pregnancy after 12 months without unprotected intercourse with the same partner. Based on this definition, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that between 48 million couples and 186 million individuals experience infertility globally.
The common factors that caused infertility for men are problems in the ejection of the semen, low levels of sperm, or the abnormal shape and movement of the sperm. For females, the common factors noted by WHO are abnormalities of the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, and endocrine systems.
With years of in-depth research and studies, medical practitioners have found natural ways to manage infertility. These natural methods don't only make fertility possible, but they also make the journey to fertility less stressful and more meaningful.
Natural Ways to Manage Infertility
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight helps in managing infertility.
Being overweight and underweight, both in men and women affects fertility and lowers conception. For women who are overweight, it can result in hormonal imbalances, problems with ovulation, and menstrual disorders. Underweight women may also experience hormonal imbalance, affecting their ovulation.
Men who are overweight encounter problems with their fertility. Obesity is associated with low testosterone level, poor sperm quality, and lesser fertility than men with average weight. A study also suspected that obesity alters sperm count, sperm concentration, motile sperm count, sperm morphology, and DNA fragmentation.
Weight loss is the solution that optimizes fertility. Avoiding unhealthy food and choosing nutritious meals will help couples to lose some weight. You can start by removing processed grains from your diet, eating more nutrient-dense carbohydrates, choosing healthy fats, having enough protein, and drinking a lot of water.
Besides that, regular exercises will also help you achieve the average weight needed to make pregnancy possible. Walking is a low-impact exercise that will help your cardiovascular system. You can also do some dancing to improve your blood flow and burn your calorie. Swimming, pilates, and bicycling are some exercises that you can add to your daily activities.
One of the benefits of yoga is increasing blood flow in the uterus and ovaries.
Stress affects the fertility of couples due to its harmful effects physiologically. Whenever the body feels that its energy is draining because of stress, it shut down the less important functions such as reproduction.
The poses, breathing, and relaxation techniques practiced in yoga help open the muscles around the hips and the pelvis. The practice also eases struggles for women trying to conceive due to its philosophy of letting go of controlling the process. Some women were reported to conceive by adopting the yogic philosophy.
One of the poses that is beneficial for conception is Viparita Karani. It calms and brings energy to the pelvis. Instructors also recommend practicing Supta Baddha Konasana since it is a restorative hip opener. Paschimottanasa and Uttanasa are poses that offer relaxation.
Some of the notable benefits of yoga to the body are the increased blood flow in the uterus and ovaries, increased sex drive, improved endocrine function, protected organs from inflammation, and developed body awareness.
Acupuncture balances the hormones and strengthens the immune system.
According to the principle of traditional Chinese medicine, infertility occurs when there is a disruption in the vital balance and blockage in Qi energy and blood circulation flow. The blocked energy flow causes deficiency, stagnant, and heat syndromes.
The deficiency syndrome disrupts the reproductive functions of both men and women. The stagnant syndrome restricts the blood flow to the tissue and reproductive organs. Heat syndrome, on the other hand, affects semen quality and causes gynecological infections.
Acupuncture is the cure for these syndromes. By inserting needles to specific points in the body, the problems are addressed, making conception easier. Acupuncture is a treatment practiced for more than 5,000 years, and it is continuously used since it is highly effective.
The treatment helps in balancing the hormones, strengthening the immune system, regulating the energy and the blood flow, removing stasis and phlegm, and stimulating the nervous system. Combined with herbs, acupuncture is also effective in improving ovarian and follicular function and increasing the blood flow to the endometrium.
Various herbs help can improve the fertility of couples.
There are varieties of herbs that can help you manage infertility. Herbal medicines can also treat any infertility condition such as maternal age, luteal-phase defect, premature ovarian failure, male factor, and unexplained symptoms. However, you need to consult your doctor first on what herbs would best suit you.
For those under an in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, herbs improve the effects of gonadotropins, the hormones responsible for stimulating the sex glands to perform their reproductive or endocrine functions. Using herbs also does not pose any risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
Herbs are beneficial in regulating hormone balances, stimulating ovaries, relieving the feeling of menstrual cramps, producing fertile cervical fluid, and thickening the uterine lining leading to better implantation and fertility.
Some known herbs that improve fertility are chaste berry, black cohosh, false unicorn, evening primrose oil, and red clover. If you want to start taking herbal medicines, it is wise to speak to a naturopathic doctor for recommendations.
Dr. Yaron Seidman DAOM