Female infertility is often the driving factor for couples to visit a fertility specialist. Women who have difficulties conceiving may have ovulation problems and menstrual difficulties. Such problems and difficulties include conditions such as:
- Ovulation failure including Premature Ovarian Failure, usually caused by an autoimmune response, where your body mistakenly attacks ovarian tissues. It results in the loss of the egg maturation in the ovary, as well as in decreased oestrogen production.
- Low AMH reserve (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) – low ovarian reserve.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which is a condition in which your body produces too much androgen hormones causing ovulation problems. PCOS is often associated with insulin resistance and obesity.
- Fibroids which are benign tumors in the wall of the uterus and are common in women in their 30s and 40s. Rarely, they may cause infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes. More often, fibroids may interfere with proper implantation of the fertilized egg and cause increase miscarriages.
- Endometriosis which occurs when uterine tissue implants and grows outside the uterus — often affecting the function of conception, the health of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
- Fallopian tube problems/tubal damage, which often resulting from inflammation of the fallopian tube (salpingitis). Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection can also be a cause of fallopian tube damage.
- Thyroid gland problems such as too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism), can interrupt the menstrual cycle, disrupt ovulation and cause female infertility.
- Amenorrhoea and Hypothalamic amenorrhoea, which is the absense of both ovulation and menstruation caused by a variety of factors: genetic disorder, eating disorders, stress, excessive exercise, pituitary tumour.
- Early menopause which is the absence of a menstural cycle and the early depletion of ovarian follicles before age 40. Although the cause is often unknown, certain conditions are associated with early menopause, including immune system diseases, radiation or chemotherapy treatment, and smoking.
- Elevated prolactin (hyperprolactinemia), which is too much of the hormone that stimulates breast milk production. High levels in women who aren’t lactating may affect ovulation.
- Pelvic adhesions and scar tissue which can bind organs after pelvic infection, appendicitis, or abdominal or pelvic surgery. This scar tissue may also affect fertility.
- Certain cancers and respective treatments i.e. chemotherapy or radiotherapy may cause female infertility. Chemotherapy may impair reproductive function and fertility in men and women.
- Medications – temporary infertility may occur with the use of certain medications. In most cases, fertility is often restored when the medication is ceased.
- Other medical conditions such as conditions associated with delayed puberty or amenorrhoea, such as Cushing’s disease, sickle cell disease, kidney disease and diabetes.
Increasingly common is a condition called ‘unexplained infertility’. This means that following thorough investigations, doctors can find no specific or identifiable medical problems.
This is where naturopathic medicine can help. If a couple fails to become pregnant, there is obviously something causing the problem. It’s no good labelling infertility ‘unexplained’. The answer is to look deeper at lifestyle factors, nutritional deficiencies, food intolerances, heavy metal toxicity and even emotional elements.
Normal thyroid function plays a crucial role in fertility because it has a role in reproductive hormone balance (especially ovulation) and regulates metabolism. Women with hypothyroidism, (an underactive thyroid gland) are more likely to have miscarriages and stillbirths. It is important these women are closely monitored by their doctor, fertility specialist or endocrinologist.
This resource provides essential information on preconceptual care, the best diet, nutritional medicine and support physically, mentally, emotionally during your fertility and IVF journey. This book will teach you how you can support yourself and your partner to maximise your chances of success – providing a combination of my professional knowledge and personal experience.
While there is advice out there from various sources, this book offer so much more – providing you the information you need to ensure you and your partner are as healthy as possible in the quest to have a happy, healthy baby. If you want to learn how best to improve egg quality, sperm health and to maximise your chances of IVF success, this book is for you!