Difficulty to conceive is becoming a greater problem each year, resulting in enormous heartbreak for millions of couples.
Infertility is defined as failure to achieve pregnancy after 12 months of regular, unprotected sex. It is classified as either primary infertility – the inability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth, or secondary infertility (60% of infertility cases) – the inability to become pregnant following a previous successful pregnancy.
Fertility declines as we age, usually due to a reduction in quantity and quality of the follicles in the ovaries and sperm in the testes. This is partly due to genetics, partly due to lifestyle and general health issues, and partly due to environmental factors, such as exposure to BPAs, PCBs, parabens, phtalates, and pesticides, such as glyphosate.
More women than men are diagnosed with fertility issues. Women struggle with PCOS (the most common cause of infertility, affecting about 10% of women), fibroids (up to 50% of women of reproductive age), endometriosis (is present in up to 50% of infertility cases) and hormonal issues, which are all common contributors to infertility.
Aging is the primary cause of decreased ovarian function and lower ovarian reserve, cessation of ovulation, decreased health of sperm, increasing rates of miscarriage due to genetic and chromosomal abnormalities, impact of declining health of the parents (autoimmune diseases, endocrine/hormonal imbalances, environmental toxicity, obesity) and accumulation of toxins.
Naturopathic medicine, including homeopathy, can offer enormous support – to optimize the health and function of the reproductive system in both men and women, and, if still no pregnancy, then as support during IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF (in-vitro fertilization) procedures.
Here are some sobering facts:
*Overall, 1 in 6 -7 couples will experience infertility, which increases to 1 in 3 couples if the female is over 35 years of age.
*Fertility tends to bestable until 30 years of age, generally producing more than 400 pregnancies per 1000 healthy women having unprotected sex/year. It gradually decreases after age 30 until 35, after which it decreases rapidly year to year. At around 40 years of age, roughly half of women will have completely lost theircapacity for reproduction. By 45 years of age, fertility is reduced to 100/1000 women, or 10%.
*Said another way, up to the age of 35, more than 95% of healthy couples will conceive within 3 years of trying, by 38 years old, this drops to 77%, by 41, less than half will conceive.
*At age 30, a woman has a 20% chance of conceiving each cycle, at 40, it is 5%.
*From 1973 to 2011, there was a 59% decline in sperm count, and an average decline of 1.6% per year (this figure is a result of 185 studies of 43,000non-smoking, un-medicated, healthyWestern men – Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand), likely due to exposure to chemicals and pesticides, smoking, stress, alcohol consumption, obesity and poor diet and nutrition.
*Causes of infertility are estimated at 10% male-only factors, 30% female-only factors, 12% combined factors, and 45+% are unexplained.
*Miscarriage also increases with age – the rate of pregnancy loss is 25% between ages 35-39 and 51% between 40-44. However, 40-50% of miscarriages remain unexplained, though many are likely due to faulty chromosomes, which become more prevalent as we age.
Studies have shown that naturopathic interventions – such as dietary counseling to support weight loss, lifestyle counseling about exercise, sleep, stress management and smoking/alcohol cessation, evaluating nutritional status and addressing deficiencies known to influence fertility – can greatly help!
With modifications in these areas, there have been noticeable improvements in egg/sperm quality and quantity, endometrial receptivity to implantation, hormonal balance, detoxification of environmental toxicity, and general health, as well as better recovery from medical interventions such as IUI and IVF.
Homeopathy can enhance fertility, especially unexplained fertility, which is often the hardest to treat simply because it is difficult to know where to focus the treatment. Because homeopathy enhances the health of the whole person, instead of focusing on a part or disease, it can be effective in even the most difficult and unexplainable fertility cases.
On another level, working with subconscious limiting beliefs, especially after repeated miscarriages or failed IUI/IVF attempts is also greatly beneficial. Making sure that the woman believes that her body is health and can become pregnant and has everything it needs to carry a baby to term, and that she is ready, willing and able to become pregnant, and clearing out any beliefs that might be obstacles in achieving this goal – are all very important.
After watching two seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale, I found it chilling to come across the statistics shared earlier. Mankind seems to be just smart enough to have learned how to kill itself off and threaten the continuation of the species!
My advice: consider homeopathy and naturopathic medicine to improve your overall health and reproductive health if you or someone dear to you is struggling with infertility.