Fertility Tips From A Naturopathic Doctor

Fertility Tips From A Naturopathic Doctor

By Cynthia Thaik, M.D.

How To Get Pregnant Naturally

Did you know that 1 in 6 couples in the US could deal with the issue of infertility? That alone is not a pleasant statistic but what complicates it even more is that 25% of infertile couples have more than one contributing factor to their fertility problem. This can seem very daunting for any couple trying to build a family, but is especially frustrating if you are having a problem achieving that goal.

The good news is that there is help for those struggling to get pregnant. It starts during the preconception period, which is 4 months before actually conceiving. This preparatory period is not just about the woman. It is important to evaluate the health of the man as well.
There are many things to consider when trying to ensure you have the right recipe to achieving your goal of growing your family. It involves improving the health of both the mother and the father by testing, tracking and maintaining optimal general and reproductive health along with the health of the egg and sperm. By taking the necessary steps during this preconception period, you are creating a nurturing environment within the uterus.

The first and very underestimated factor of infertility is lifestyle. There are many contributing factors that can potentially impact fertility of both the woman and the man. But the one that has the most significant impact is the choice to delay conception. Many times, there may be certain life goals such as saving money, being “ready” for children, living in a certain location, or even ensuring your career will be safe if you start a family. Unfortunately, the longer you wait, odds are the more difficult it will be to conceive and progress with a healthy pregnancy. Women over the age of 35 are almost twice as likely to present with unexplained fertility issues. So let’s talk about the biggest barriers to conceiving.

Obesity & Fertility

When the woman who is trying to conceive is overweight she is more likely to experience the following:

  • Menstrual disorders
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Poor pregnancy outcome
  • Gestational Diabetes & hypertension
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Impaired fetal well-being
  • Delivery complications

Men who are overweight or obese have to be careful too, as they may experience:

  • An increased incidence of low sperm concentration or motility. This issue will get worse with increasing BMI.
  • With increasing BMI, ejaculate volume decreases and there is an increase in the amount of DNA damaged sperm.

The Smallest Weight Loss Can Improve Fertility

Simply stated, if you are experiencing difficulty conceiving, lose weight. It only takes a 5% weight loss to positively affect things like Insulin resistance, androgen ratios, and reproductive system dysfunction and fertility. If we are talking about just the benefits of losing weight in anyone at any age, adolescents with PCOS have been found to have better hormone levels in Testosterone, Androstenedione, and Cortisol. If you are struggling with obesity, consider getting expert help from our wellness service or weight loss specialist.

Fertility and Sugar

Sugar, foods that are high on the glycemic index, and the resulting advanced glycation end products (AGEs) can end up triggering inflammation in the womb and might actually decrease the likelihood of a woman becoming pregnant. What happens is that those sugary “by-products” (AGE’s) can negatively affect the cells that line the uterus, making it more difficult for an embryo to implant. And, they can interfere with placental development and might actually result in complications during pregnancy.

If you are undergoing IVF or IUI, things like drinking soda, or even fruit juice, can detrimentally affect the quality of the egg itself – even on day 2 or 3. It was also noted that when consuming these beverages the implantation rates and the chances of having a successful pregnancy decreased.

For men, drinking sugary drinks means slowed sperm motility, decreased sperm concentration and even a decrease in total sperm count. Studies also found that when men consumed caffeinated energy and soft drinks, they might experience decreased fertility issues too.

Everyday Factors Linked To Infertility

Diet sodas are no better when it comes to trying to get pregnant. These supposedly “healthier” alternatives to regular soda have been implicated in the destruction of the DNA in cells. Artificial sweeteners have been found to be problematic with health concerns that lie outside the realm of conceiving, but who wants to take the chance?

Cell phones can hinder a couples chances of getting pregnant too. The recommendation is to avoid putting them in the pockets of your pants. Keep them away from the genital area all together.

Find A Natural Fertility Specialist

If you are interested in improving your fertility naturally, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Galina Mahlis, our Los Angeles Hormone & Fertility Specialist.  More than just nutrition and lifestyle tips, Dr. Galina can help you get all the proper testing, put you on the right track with natural supplements, work on hormone correction and replacement (if necessary) and provide the necessary tools that will help the infertile couple in their goal to conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy.

Furthermore, if you are not experiencing infertility, but would like to make sure you are healthy and ready to conceive, Dr. Galina can help put you on the right track for the best possible outcome before you start your journey of growing your family.

 

References:

americanpregnancy.org/infertility/male-infertility/
Maheshwari A, Hamilton M, Bhattacharya S. Hum Reprod 2008; 23(3): 538-42
Norman RJ, Clark Am. Reprod Fertil Dev 1998; 10(1): 55-63
Schidler AE, Zentralbl Gynakol 1998; 120 (5): 241-244
Faghfoori Z, Fazelian S, Shadnoush M et al. Diabetes Metab Syndr 2017: S1871-4021 (17): 30011-5. PMID: 28416368
Reinehr T, Julie A, Rothermel J et al. Endocr Connect 2017; 6(4): 213-224. PMID: 28373267
hudson.org.au/latest-news/sugar-by-product-link-to-womb-pregnancy-health-uncovered/
Halpren G et al. ‘Artificial sweeteners – do they bear an infertility risk?’, Fertility and Sterility 2016; 106(3): e263
Chiu YH et al. ‘Sugar-sweetened beverage intake in relation to semen quality and reproductive hormone levels in young men’, Human Reproduction 2014; 29(7): 1575-1584
Wesselink AK et al. ‘Caffeine and caffeinated beverage consumption and fecundability in a preconception cohort’, Reproductive Toxicology 2016; 62: 39-45
Jensen TK et al. ‘Caffeine intake and semen quality in a population of 2554 young Danish men’, American Journal of Epidemiology 2010; 171(8): 883-91

About the author

Dr. Cynthia Thaik, M.D. is a Harvard-trained cardiologist serving the greater Los Angeles community at her holistic health center in Burbank and Valencia, CA. Dr. Thaik is the author of Your Vibrant Heart: Restoring Health, Strength, and Spirit from the Body’s Core. To learn more about Dr. Thaik or the Holistic Healing Heart Center, or to schedule an appointment, please contact info@drcynthia.com or call (818) 842-1410.