In the last 25 years, I’ve noticed a tremendous increase in infertility cases visiting us here at DBC. Defined as the inability to conceive after one year of trying or the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth, it affects 12% of women during their childbearing years, or 1 in 8 couples (Resolve, 2013). Though commonly thought of as a woman’s problem, about one-third of infertility cases are due to the man, and one-third of infertility problems are due to the woman (Women’s Health, 2013). Through a variety of methods mainly focused on balancing lifestyle and hormones, though, we’ve had great success treating even the most difficult of infertility cases at DBC.
The Main Causes of Infertility
Let’s first discuss the main causes of infertility.
For females, hormonal issues like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, irregular menses, and pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) have become so commonplace that it seems to be a subject of everyday discussion. To have a normal period without incident, or to be perimenopausal without hot flashes is increasingly becoming a rarity.
For males, sperm counts have halved in just 50 years’ time, as has sperm quality (Gammon, 2012).
Going even further, the root causes of these issues are vast, and include but aren’t limited to the following:
· Refined and processed manmade foods
Decreased ability of the liver to properly detoxify
· Electromagnetic radiation (Baste, Riise & Moen, 2008)
Chronic stress placed on the adrenal glands
, one of the main controllers of our hormones
Additionally, our bodies are stressed structurally, as we have become an immobile, “sit down” nation. Frequent sitting and lack of movement directly affect the low back, and because everything is connected, this affects both neurological function and reproductive function. Case in point, when I see a case of structural problems in the lower back, it often closely corresponds to an increase in menstrual cramps, erectile dysfunction, prostate issues, etc.
Natural Ways to Restore Fertility
At DBC, we aim to restore overall health on all fronts, which has a tremendous effect on fertility levels. We focus on these three things:
1) Optimizing nutrition
The first place we start in restoring health is to optimize nutrition, as outlined here
. A chemical-free
, anti-inflammatory diet is paramount to boosting fertility levels and balancing hormone levels at the core!
2) Optimizing lifestyle
, getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night, and exercising
are all major components as well.
We also highly recommend chiropractic adjustments and have seen great results with boosting fertility.
3) Optimizing hormones
For women, I recommend a multi-vitamin from Nature’s Remedies, Opti-Woman, to support healthy hormones. It can also be used as a prenatal vitamin.
When ovarian dysfunction is an issue, I recommend Cenitol, which contains inositol to greatly help ovarian function and improve fertility issues like PCOS. I also recommend Chasteberry Plus, which has over 60 years of clinical research behind it and restores progesterone to normal levels, helping to rectify PMS, dysmenorrhea, and overall fertility.
Estrogen dominance, or when excess, inflammatory estrogen outweighs the level of progesterone in the body, is another common issue. Symptoms of estrogen dominance include breast tenderness, skin issues especially around menstruation, weight gain, and an irregular cycle. Unfortunately, this condition is commonly misdiagnosed and treated, as conventional medical tests only measure active estrogen levels. In the case of estrogen dominance, there is too much inflammatory estrogen crowding out the healthy levels of active estrogen, so conventional blood tests indicate low levels of estrogen. Most doctors see this and treat it with synthetic or bio-identical estrogen, which just worsens the problem.
To improve estrogen dominance at DBC, we promote liver function to help detoxify the inflammatory estrogen, and boost methylation with these methods
. We also use compounds like Meta I 3 C, a broccoli extract, which greatly helps balance out estrogen dominance. In more severe cases, we have the patient go through an estrogen detoxification program, where the centerpieces are anti-inflammatory foods and specific nutraceuticals from Nature’s Remedies, such as Estrium.
For males, achieving healthy testosterone levels is critical. Studies show that males who stay fit and eat a Mediterranean diet only have a 1% decline in testosterone for each decade of life, on average. Yet, the majority of my male patients have only 50% of their testosterone levels by the age of 50. Such low testosterone levels include symptoms like feminization of moods and personality, overall decreased drive, erectile dysfunction, decreased ability to gain muscle mass, and decreased energy.
With low testosterone, inflammatory levels of bad estrogen and decreased levels of healthy estrogen are also present, which is responsible for a sagging body shape.
Beyond recommending lifestyle changes and especially weight lifting to boost muscle mass, I recommend Wellness Essentials Men’s Vitality to support hormone and prostate health. If needed, I recommend Testo Tonic, which contains testosterone precursors to naturally build testosterone in the body. Vitality Support is also fantastic for boosting healthy sexual function.
For both men and women, achieving adequate vitamin D
levels is very important, because it acts like a hormone in the body and has a huge effect on hormone balance.
Depending on the person and their diligence in rebalancing their nutrition, lifestyle, and hormones, we see great results in just three months’ time. The power of the human body to normalize itself and optimize fertility is incredible!
Baste, V., Riise, T., Moen, BE. (2008). Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields; male infertility and sex ratio of offspring. European Journal of Epidemiology.
23(5): 369-77. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18415687