Suffering from Infertility
The inability to have children is a traumatizing aspect of a relationship that exposes the affected to stigma and a lot of unhappiness. Infertility is the inability to conceive by natural means, failure to get pregnant after regular unprotected sex, or having constant miscarriages. Although the problem affects both men and women, society links it more to the woman.
According to the CDC, in 2010, 6.7 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 suffered from infertility; 6% of these were married women. Thankfully, impaired fertility is rarely a permanent problem, and 85% of women go on to have healthy pregnancies after miscarriages. You must wonder, however, why conception does not occur in a healthy and sexually active female.
The Odds of Getting Pregnant
Before you contemplate the various things you must do to conceive, take time to enlighten yourself on the process of conception. Visit your doctor to talk about tracking your menstrual cycle. He’ll help you to pick out your most fertile days in a month. Consulting an OB/GYN helps a lot especially if you have an irregular monthly cycle that makes calculating ovulation days tricky.
The odds of getting pregnant also depend on the frequency of sex, weight, the health of reproductive organs – such as the fallopian tubes and the uterus – and the age. As you advance past 30 years, your chances of getting pregnant diminish; when you turn 40, they drastically reduce. A medical condition can also impair your fertility. If you suspect you are infertile, go for fertility tests and get advice on how to improve your fertility.
Natural Fertility Treatments
Today, natural fertility treatments are no longer a myth and many doctors using them record good results. Examples include homeopathy, diet and stress management, use of herbs, and acupuncture. These treatments are at times combined with artificial remedies for the best outcome. They solve the root cause of infertility by addressing the body’s systems, not just the reproductive system.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
What Is IVF?
IVF involves harvesting of eggs and sperm which are put together in a glass dish in a lab for fertilization to take place. After fertilization, one or more of the fertilized eggs are implanted in the uterus. For this method to work, hormone treatment is required to control ovulation. The hormone therapy involves injection of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) which is grouped into two types: agonist and antagonist.
After the hormone treatment, the doctor conducts tests after a week to ascertain whether your follicles are producing any eggs and adjusts subsequent doses depending on the results. Eventually, the matured eggs are harvested and fertilized in the lab and the embryo is implanted. You can opt to use donor eggs if you suffer from ovarian failure or if the eggs in the ovarian reserve are of low quality. Another reason is if you carry or suffer from a genetic disease that you can pass on to your child. The use of donor eggs is lately on the rise.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
This is an alternative to IVF. It involves placing the sperm in the uterus during ovulation. Fertility drugs are given to boost ovulation. IUI is simpler and cheaper than IVF. With IVF, the doctor may implant more than one embryo to boost the chances of conception. This may lead to multiple pregnancies which have their own risks, the major ones being miscarriages and complications such as hypertension and anemia.
Before seeking medical intervention, you can try herbs and supplements to raise your chances of conceiving.
Why Use Herbs for Fertility?
- Most herbs cost less than fertility drugs and help women to get pregnant without giving them side effects. Many of them are available in drug stores.
- Evening Primrose oil improves the quality of cervical fluid, making it more receptive to sperm.
- When taken throughout a monthly cycle, red raspberry leaf extract strengthens the uterine wall and prolongs the luteal phase.
- Vitex (chaste berry) balances hormones when consumed throughout the entire cycle or from menstruation to ovulation.
Traditional oriental medicine offers some tried and tested remedies such as:
- Black Cohosh which reduces miscarriage by minimizing cramps.
- Dong Quai which regulates hormones and tones the uterus.
- False Unicorn which reduces ovarian pain.
These herbs for fertility come in many forms such as teas, tablets, tinctures, and capsules. You should take just one or combine a few. But you shouldn’t take all herbs together. Consult a specialist to get the right doses and combinations of the herbs. Remember, results will be evident after at least two months of use. Another option is to use vitamins to enhance fertility.
Although it may not be commonly considered, emotions have a great deal to do with every aspect of our health. Occasionally there are deep, unconscious fears that can actually create a hormone imbalance or other shifts which can interfere with ovulation and conception.
One woman I worked with realized after some coaching that she had a deep concern whether she would be a good mother because in her evaluation, her mother was the worst. After working through this belief she became pregnant.
It is helpful for both potential parents to look deeply at how they feel about the long term commitment to having a child. It sounds romantic to some but when the details of the long term commitment and expense are considered, emotions or doubts may arise.
I suggest emotions and real ‘truth telling” be part of the case study when looking at infertility.
Do Fertility Vitamins Work?
Folic acid and zinc are elements found in food and fertility treatments. Zinc enhances ovulation. Folic acid is a B vitamin that increases blood production and reduces chances of congenital birth defects which may cause miscarriages.
Some important fertility vitamins include:
- B vitamins which enable the ovaries to release eggs during ovulation. They also increase progesterone which supports healthy pregnancy.
- Vitamin C which promotes progesterone production and iron absorption. Low progesterone causes a luteal phase defect.
- Beta-carotene which regulates hormones and prevents miscarriages.
- Vitamin D which increases overall fertility and reduces ovarian dysfunction.
- Vitamin E, an antioxidant which improves the health of the ovaries.
Suffering From Infertility? Turn the Tables
Infertility is a temporary problem that can be solved with some patience, commitment, and adherence to a fertility treatment plan. Ensure you consult a qualified medical professional for appropriate treatment. Even if some treatments are tailored for women, it is advisable that you and your partner seek help together. This can help alleviate stress which is a major factor of infertility. You will also appreciate the emotional support.
For immediate help, visit a doctor for tests to analyze the cause of infertility. You should also start tracking your monthly cycle to confirm how regular it is and to calculate your prime ovulation days.
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Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.