Struggling with fertility can be one of the most devastating experiences a couple can endure. Unfortunately, the incidence of infertility is on the rise and the prevalence of infertility has nearly tripled since 1984. It is estimated that one in eight Canadian couples will have fertility related concerns. Thankfully, there are numerous natural approaches that patients can take to improve their chances of conceiving.

Naturopathic doctors are in a unique position to offer expert support in the area of fertility. They use a comprehensive approach to assess patients and to help to optimize their overall health. Using a wide range of natural therapies, a naturopathic doctor will address the root cause of any infertility issues and apply traditional medical wisdom with modern medical research to create individualized treatment plans.

Why the increase in fertility issues?

Here are are some simple things you can start to consider if you are looking to optimize your fertility.

Turn Back the Hands of Time

Increasing numbers of women are waiting to start a family, and research has found that it is more difficult to conceive over the age of 35. A 2012 study published in Human Reproduction estimated infertility rates as high as 28 percent in women aged 35 to 44 who haven’t yet had a child. One of the concerns is egg and sperm quality – the better quality, the higher likelihood of conceiving.

While it’s true you can’t turn back time, there are a number of naturopathic therapies that can help mitigate the effects of age on the egg and sperm.

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, can help improve the quality of eggs and sperm. CoQ10 is one of the most potent antioxidants available to us and it decreases with age. Supplementing with CoQ10 can dramatically improve the quality of both eggs and sperm. Fish oil supplements can act in a similar way. They are also essential for the health and development of your baby once you are pregnant.

Note: Always check with a licensed health care practitioner before beginning a new supplement to ensure it’s safe for you to use.

Detoxify your Body

Many of the toxins we are exposed to on a regular basis can interfere with hormone production and the health of eggs and sperm. Everything from cigarettes and BPA and phthalates found in plastics to over-the-counter medications like anti-histamines and pain medications can affect fertility.

Ongoing detoxification is important. Something as simple as warm water with lemon can help improve your body’s natural detoxifying pathways and clear some of the junk out of your system.

Eat a Healthy Diet

A diet chock full of fruits and veggies, lean proteins, lots of fibre from whole grains and legumes can boost your overall fertility. It’s also important to limit your sugar intake and steer clear of trans fats. Adequate nutrient status and reducing your junk food intake increase conception rates and help maintain a healthy pregnancy, helping to prevent negative pregnancy outcomes such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia.

*A good diet helps to maintain a healthy weight. A 10 percent reduction in weight for an overweight person can substantially improve conception rates.

Stress management

We all experience stress on an everyday basis, and the fertility process can increase stress exponentially. I cannot overemphasize the effect stress has on fertility.

Stress can impact the quality of sperm, negatively impact the immune system, and decrease the hormones essential to conception.

Manage your stress levels by deep breathing, yoga, meditation and talking to a practitioner about ways of reducing and coping with stress. There are many herbs and nutrients naturopaths can provide to help manage the effects of stress. A naturopathic doctor can also do acupuncture, which can be extremely relaxing and effective at reducing stress.

*According to research published in the British Medical Journal acupuncture can increase the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF) by 40 to 60 per cent!

By: Cristina Meffe, ND

Naturopathic doctors can work with fertility patients to help optimize fertility, assess and treat any health concerns that may be preventing pregnancy, and work with fertility clinics to complement and enhance conventional treatments. They can also help maximize the health of mother and baby during pregnancy. Interested in working with naturopathic doctor? Please visit www.rsnc.ca/reproductivehealth for more information or call 416-498-9763.

– See more at: http://www.vivamagonline.com/natural-fertility-boosters/#sthash.3HBo3AR2.dpuf

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