What causes infertility
Most cases of infertility are caused by a wide range of problems that disrupts proper ovulation. Ovulation is the release of the egg from the woman’s ovary (occurring every month) about two weeks before the first day of each menstrual period. Without proper ovulation, a woman will not become pregnant. Ovulation problems are a result of hormone imbalances from a wide variety of causes. Here are some of the additional factors that may cause infertility:
- Poor Diet
- Heavy alcohol use (more than three to four drinks a day).
- Over training
- Being obese or underweight
- History STDs, especially ones that cause pelvic inflammatory disease
- History of endometriosis or PCOS polycystic ovary syndrome
- Thyroid issues
- Radiation treatment and/or chemotherapy for cancer
- Being age 30 or older
The Conventional Approach To Treating Infertility
Conventional treatments for infertility range quite a bit, dealing with both female and male issues. While they can be successful, they are almost always based on prescribing medications or using surgery, and rarely looking at the root causes of infertility.
While these treatments are usually successful what you may not know is that conventional fertility treatments do create higher-risk pregnancies. These treatments many times create a higher risk for both the mother and child compared to a natural pregnancy. While some of these methods may need to be used if natural means aren’t effective, oftentimes, doctors will automatically suggest these higher-risk, more aggressive methods because they are simply not trained in other methods.
While many cases of infertility are easily diagnosed, there are also cases of “unexplained infertility.” In fact, approximately 30% of couples can’t find a cause for why they can’t get pregnant. This is most likely linked to the fact that conventional medicine does little to examine the real root causes of infertility. Unfortunately, they also do limited hormone testing, and oftentimes may miss a hormone imbalance (like in the case of thyroid), which is typically part of the infertility equation.
While the conventional treatment approach may result in a pregnancy and shouldn’t be ruled out as a last resort, this treatment approach does nothing to address the major imbalances that cause infertility in the first place. This is concerning because any hormonal imbalances can impact your health long-term, whether or not you are trying to get pregnant, and should be addressed.
The Functional Medicine Approach To Infertility
The biggest overlooked “root” cause of infertility in America today, is our lifestyle. This includes the toxicity of our food, our water, environment, and other factors that can greatly imbalance your hormones including stress, infections, lack of sleep and overuse of stimulants like caffeine and cigarettes.
We find, that once we upgrade these lifestyle factors, it’s the best way to balance your hormonal health and can increase your fertility. After all your fertility is really based on how healthy you are overall. In Functional medicine, balancing these factors that can block fertility are just a normal protocol of our 6 pillars of health, that every functional practitioner includes in all their healing protocols.
Not only are these pillars essential for fertility but they are important for vibrant overall health. What we’ve realized, through current medical studies and advanced medical testing, is that environmental toxins and gut health hugely impact hormone health and fertility. This is why we work with patients in our programs, not only to help them discover which areas need the most care in terms of hormonal health but also how to upgrade the health of their whole bodies, from proper liver detox, make smarter, less toxic food choices (even though they think they are eating healthy), and decrease their toxic load. If hormone replacement is needed, we look at bio-identical hormone replacement that is better adapted in the body and can be tested with blood work to ensure correct dosage.
That’s why at Enlighten Functional Medicine we follow a functional medicine approach to identify what factors that can be at the root cause of infertility, which are many times the same factors that can harm other areas of your health as well. Together, we can create a custom-tailored protocol to address all the issues that are causing the imbalances, to approach infertility more holistically.
Take The First Step On Your
Perhaps you have questions you’d like to ask before you make a decision to become a patient. My patient coordinator, Laci, is standing by, happy to answer any questions you have to determine if Enlighten Functional Medicine is right for you.