If you’re planning to have a baby, taking natural medicine can help you conceive. In America, one in eight couples seek treatment for infertility, and 10 to 15 percent of those couples are diagnosed with “unexplained infertility.” This means they are not suffering from common medical causes of infertility such as ovulatory dysfunction, cervical and pelvic problems (including scarring or fallopian tube disease), or poor sperm quantity or quality.
Natural medicine helps in many ways, such as creating a strong foundation of health. Women in great health are more apt to conceive because they are more likely to have balanced hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers released by glands in order to target tissues elsewhere in your body. A woman’s menstrual cycle is dependent on hormones from her hypothalamus and pituitary (glands located in her brain). They signal her ovaries to release estrogen and progesterone and allow for ovulation to occur. If not released at the right time, it can lead to late ovulation and imbalances in women’s hormones, resulting in infertility.
A strong foundation of health is built on a lifestyle that allows you to achieve and maintain optimal vitality. This includes getting adequate exercise and sleep, managing stress, and eating a healthy diet. It also includes avoiding exposure to environmental chemicals that could wreak hormonal havoc. A number of ubiquitous environmental toxins, such as PCBs and DDT, can mimic estrogen in the body. Reduce exposure to them by buying organic food and use a water filter.
Natural medicine from an Eastern perspective also has much to offer couples interested in enhancing their fertility. The book “The Infertility Cure,” by Randine Lewis, can help women use Chinese medicine, including acupuncture and herbs, to impact fertility. Dr. Lewis refers to a number of studies showing that acupuncture can normalize the signals between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and ovaries, increase blood supply to the uterine arteries, and enhance ovulation.
For women undergoing infertility treatment, a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility in 2002 found acupuncture increased pregnancy rates when used before and after in vitro fertilization.
Article was originally printed in the Honolulu Advertiser, honoluluadvertiser.com