Infertility – by Kelly Brown

Infertility

Infertility is diagnosed after trying to conceive for a year.  It is a complicated issue because of the multiple disease and conditions that can effect fertility.  Female infertility accounts for 35% of cases, male factors account for approximately 18% and combined issues, roughly 18%.  There are about 10% of cases that are undefined.  This is an issue that causes a great deal of emotion in people such as fear, sadness, depression, guilt and anger.

Naturopathic Doctors can help immensely in the process of addressing infertility, the first step being to determine the cause.  Taking herbal supplements or different vitamins and minerals unknowingly can exacerbate infertility if taken incorrectly.

 

Potential Causes of Male Infertility

-Birth defects
-Decreased sperm count
-Ejaculation problems such as premature ejaculation, etc.
-Tight clothing or underwear, hot baths
-Testicular problems, e.g. varicocele (varicose veins in the testicle) and erectile dysfunction
-Stress, medications, lack of sleep, infections, alcohol, tobacco

A fertility specialist should be sought to determining infertility in males where they can complete a semen analysis.

 

Potential Causes of Female Infertility

-Diseases and Conditions (i.e. Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome etc.)
-Hormone Imbalance (low or high levels) – Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone.  Can be caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, high stress, hypothyroidism, etc.
– Alcohol, tobacco, excessive exercise, inadequate diet with extreme weight loss
-Age: changes egg quality and count, as well as chromosomal abnormalities

A naturopathic doctor and fertility specialist can help determine the cause of infertility in females.  A variety of tests and evaluations need to be performed to diagnose the root cause.  Common laboratory tests are performed to rule out hypothyroidism and low iron which can be associated with infertility.

Saliva hormone tests are currently the most useful tests used to discover if and why hormones are imbalanced.  It has been proven to be more accurate than blood test.  This is done on specific days of the cycle and measures Estradiol (estrogen), progesterone, DHEA, Testosterone, and cortisol (stress hormone).  Hormones are complicated and it is always important to determine which ones are out of the normal range and why before taking supplements to alter them.

Multiple other tests can be performed by a Naturopathic Doctor, working alongside a fertility specialist (MD).  Testing to rule out structural issues, such as a blocked fallopian tube are important.  If this is the case, it would be impossible for the egg to reach the uterus.

 

Treatments from a Naturopathic Doctor

-Diseases and Conditions (i.e. Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome etc.)
-Hormone Imbalance (low or high levels) – Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone.  Can be caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, high stress, hypothyroidism, etc.
– Alcohol, tobacco, excessive exercise, inadequate diet with extreme weight loss
-Age: changes egg quality and count, as well as chromosomal abnormalities

A naturopathic doctor and fertility specialist can help determine the cause of infertility in females.  A variety of tests and evaluations need to be performed to diagnose the root cause.  Common laboratory tests are performed to rule out hypothyroidism and low iron which can be associated with infertility.

Saliva hormone tests are currently the most useful tests used to discover if and why hormones are imbalanced.  It has been proven to be more accurate than blood test.  This is done on specific days of the cycle and measures Estradiol (estrogen), progesterone, DHEA, Testosterone, and cortisol (stress hormone).  Hormones are complicated and it is always important to determine which ones are out of the normal range and why before taking supplements to alter them.

Multiple other tests can be performed by a Naturopathic Doctor, working alongside a fertility specialist (MD).  Testing to rule out structural issues, such as a blocked fallopian tube are important.  If this is the case, it would be impossible for the egg to reach the uterus.

Kelly Brown, B.Sc., N.D. is currently practicing at Birch Wellness Center at 34 Carlton Street.
Please call 204 505 0325 to book a consultation. She also has a mobile clinic, for more information go to www.drkellybrown.ca

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