Infertility is defined as no pregnancy after having unprotected sex for a year or more. Fertility issues can affect men or women.
What are the symptoms of Infertility?
- A long menstrual cycle (more than 35 days) or too short a cycle (less than 21 days)
- Inability to conceive over one year of unprotected sex
- Irregular periods
What causes Infertility?
- Lack of ovulation – due to hormone imbalances.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Blocked or scarred Fallopian tubes
- Increasing age – for females from the mid 30’s and for men a gradual reduction in sperm quality occurs with age.
- Being overweight – this can be both for men and women.
- Toxins – such as from smoking, heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, and alcohol can affect fertility.
- Stress – can reduce sex drive, reduce sperm production and ovulation.
- Genetic issues – certain genes can affect the ability to conceive or maintain a pregnancy.
- Sexually transmitted diseases – can cause damage to reproductive organs
- IVF – in-vitro fertilisation
- Artificial insemination
- Medications to improve and enhance ovulation
Things you can do:
- Reduce stress levels – take up meditation, relaxation, yoga, tai chi. Stress is inflammatory and can be directly linked to the ability to conceive.
- Eat whole, organic real food. This means 10 portions of vegetables a day with protein and healthy fats. Omega 3 fats can reduce inflammation and improve egg quality to support fertility. Organic is best as chemicals can affect hormone production. Vitamin C foods help to increase sperm count in men. Foods high in folate (dark green leafy vegetables, beans and citrus) help build new cells and maintain pregnancy.
- Exercise regularly. Support positive changes in hormones and can increase libido. It is also vital to maintain a healthy weight.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for balancing all hormones. Look at your sleep hygiene and make some changes where you can – regular bedtime, avoiding stimulants, having a relaxing routine before bed and aiming for 8 hours a night.
What can Functional Medicine do to support?
- Use functional testing to determine hormonal balance and use foods, supplements, and herbs to support better hormonal balance.
- Functional testing can also help to get to the root of other issues that may be preventing conception; heavy metals, chemical load, genetic issues.
- Include foods, supplements, and herbs to support fertility; improving ovulation and improving sperm quality, addressing possible PCOS.
- Use lifestyle medicine to manage stress, support exercise for healthy body weight.
5 Pillars of Functional Medicine
Infertility and Functional Medicine
Do you suffer from infertility and have tried all the usual approaches?
Functional Medicine can help you, simply book an online consultation or arrange a free 15 minute discovery call and ﬁnd out how we can help.