How to Improve Fertility Naturally with Functional Medicine

If you’re struggling with fertility, you’re definitely not alone.  Infertility affects 10-15% of reproductive age couples.  For many couples struggling with infertility, naturopathic medicine is a treatment option explored less frequently.


What is naturopathic medicine?  How can it help with fertility?

Naturopathic medicine (commonly referred to as “Functional Medicine” in the conventional community) is an approach to healthcare that focuses on identifying and addressing underlying causes of symptoms using a systems-based approach while supporting the body’s natural capacity to heal. Conventional and functional lab tests are used to identify the root cause of imbalances.  Another critical component of naturopathic medicine is wellness and addressing imbalances before they progress to a disease (primary prevention).

Naturopathic medicine is an important part of infertility management that is often overlooked. Naturopathic medicine can be helpful in the following causes of infertility:

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  • Environmental toxin exposure (affects sperm count, sperm viability, ovulation, egg viability, hormone levels)

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Miscarriage/recurrent pregnancy loss

  • Endometriosis

  • Other hormone imbalance

  • Depression

  • Psychological stress

  • Digestive health

  • Immune system health

Addressing diet and lifestyle factors can be helpful in cases of unexplained infertility.

Naturopathic medicine can also improve success with in vitro fertilization (IVF).  

The beauty of a naturopathic functional medicine approach to fertility is couples not only being able to successfully conceive and become parents but also get the added benefit of improving their own health in the process.  Expectant moms are then beginning their pregnancies in a healthier place which then translates into them having a healthier pregnancy.

What does a naturopathic approach to fertility look like?

The naturopathic medicine approach to infertility is centered around correcting factors that are contributing to infertility in the individual.  The goal is to work on improving every aspect of the couple’s health that could be contributing to infertility.  Functional tests can be done to assess

  • Levels of toxic chemicals, heavy metals

  • Hormone balance

  • Function of the immune system

  • Nutrient status

  • Digestive health

Natural treatment modalities including diet, lifestyle counseling, herbs, nutritional supplements, bio-identical hormones can be used to correct these factors.  A fertility team comprised of a reproductive endocrinologist, naturopathic physician, acupuncturist is an ideal combination for fertility support.

 

Written by: Shayna Peter, NMD, CNS, LDN

Functional Medicine Naturopathic Doctor

Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist

If you are looking for personalized fertility support, contact Well Ahead Health Solutions in Chicago, Illinois today.

Further Reading:

https://aanmc.org/news/naturopathic-approaches-to-improving-fertility/