The Path to Pregnancy:
Natural Fertility Work
Fertility is something that only couples that can't seem to get pregnant think about. Many women take fertility for granted, even going to great lengths to prevent pregnancy. But for those women who are desperate to become pregnant, the path of infertility is overwhelming, painful, expensive and often unsuccessful. I was very lucky to study with my friend Dr. Angela Hywood, ND, a world-renowned lecturer and researcher into natural options for fertility. She has developed an incredibly successful program of evaluation and treatment for all of our couples experiencing infertility. Her success rate is evidenced by the many happy couples we have helped to bring new life into the world. There is nothing more rewarding than helping couples experience healthy conceptions, pregnancies and deliveries of some of the most beautiful babies imaginable.
Infertility is becoming more and more common for a variety of reasons. Couples are wanting children later in life, often as part of a second marriage. Some couples delay pregnancy due to careers, travel, living conditions or illness. When a couple has tried to become pregnant for more than six months without success, or when a couple has experienced miscarriage, then the traditional path if one of IVF, surrogacy or adoption.
Natural medicine offers more opportunities for a couple to have a healthy pregnancy. This is because in natural medicine we are looking at the whole person including stress conditions, lifestyle, environment and toxic load. Most fertility physicians simply administer blood tests to determine fertility, but we go much further in order to ascertain the reasons for difficulty. In my experience almost 75% of couples are experiencing infertility for reasons that will be undetectable to conventional medical testing. Some of the most common reasons are:
- Female history of pelvic inflammatory disease or other undiagnosed infective condition.
- History of STDs, high viral load or chronic autoimmune condition.
- Male low sperm count or motility issues.
- Male varicoceles.
- Exposure to heavy metals or electromagnetic fields.
- Heavy toxic load in the body.
- Undiagnosed or insufficiently supported low thyroid condition in the female.
- Adrenal stress, emotional trauma or grief in the female.
- Weak blood volume, anemia, low blood pressure or poor circulation.
- History of uterine trauma including miscarriage history.
- Smoking or use of pharmaceutical drugs.
- Dietary and nutritional factors.
Is one person to blame?
One of the first misconceptions about infertility is that it is someone's fault. In fact, it often is a blend of both parents that create a situation where fertility is compromised. Statistics tell us that in situations where only one parent has a low fertility profile, 40% of the time it is the male and 60% of the time it is the female. Also the rate of sterility in men has risen in the past 40 years from .5% to 12% today. Studies have shown that women experiencing miscarriages often had partners with lower sperm counts and half had visually abnormal sperm.
The reason for the rise in male infertility can be for a number of reasons as well. Smoking, alcohol consumption, drug use (including prescription drugs), exposure to chemicals in their job, poor nutrition, excessive physical injury are all at much greater levels in recent years. Women are suffering from chronically imbalanced menstrual cycles, loss of fertility due to contraceptives that prevent monthly periods, environmental pesticide exposure including BHA and PVC, unregulated estrogen dominance due to excessive exposure in foods, water and OTC drug remedies.
But the problem that seems to appear again and again is undiagnosed low thyroid in women and immune rejection issues between the pregnancy partners. This is something that conventional medicine fails to address in couples.
Where to begin ...
The first step is to agree that both partners need to go through pregnancy preparation together. This will help to reduce the tendency for an immune rejection between the partners, and resolve undiagnosed issues that may be latent or invisible to testing.
The second step is to address the elements that have come up in conventional testing including hormonal imbalances, low sperm quality, poor blood quality or reproductive failure (this is a term for a structural or anatomical problem preventing pregnancy).
What is the success rate of this natural program? 85% to date!
21 Day Purification Program
We always begin with a complete detoxification of both partners. This involves a special, healthy diet with herbal and whole food supplementation to eliminate toxins and heavy metals while increasing the nutritional reserves of both partners. Daily smoothies, healthy meals, fiber and herbal capsules are done at home for 3 weeks to really clear the body's detoxification pathways.
Common Infertility Challenges
Then we recommend both partners going through one month of treatment for common infertility challenges that have been diagnosed or are likely given the history and symptoms of each person. Here are some common protocols we use:
We suggest you review the most common issues of infertility for suggestions that may be applicable to your situation:
Low Libido - chronic low libido can mean that the body does not have the ability to support the needs of reproduction. Adding glandular support, Tribulus, B vitamins and Fe-Max Iron Tonic can make the difference.
Radiation exposure - many occupations and geographical locations can subject the body to chronic radiation exposure over time. Working in television or radio, near power lines, with electronic machinery or even near power plants, can cause elevated toxin or radation exposure and high levels of infertility. We recommend a complete liver detoxification program and Eleuthero tablets.
Excessive anovulatory cycles - treat with Chaste Tree, nervine tonics and Blue or Black Cohosh.
Defective luteal function - treat with Chaste Tree and Blue Cohosh.
Viscous nature of cervical mucous - Wild Yam Complex and an alkaline diet can help to normalize mucous production. Celery Seed may also help to stabilize vaginal flora and alkalinize the reproductive system.
Immunological rejection of sperm - immune-regulating herbs such as Echinacea Premium and Rehmannia Complex are essential as well as addressing any factors which may cause immune dysregulation. This can often happen as a result of protein recognition, where the immune system mistakes proteins in the sperm for proteins encountered with a previous infection.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease - this is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes and pelvic structures, often caused by Chlamydia or Gonorrhea. This needs to be treated with Echinacea Premium and Picrorrhiza with Wild Yam to support the female organs. Golden Seal is a mucous membrane tonic and corydalis can relieve the associated pain. Many times antibiotic therapy is highly recommended to prevent scar tissue formation or immune dysregulation.
Stress - stress and emotional factors are known to increase prolactin release, which may affect reproductive function. Oviductal spasm can be one of the results of stress, treatable with Cramp Bark. It is the incredible effects of stress that often lead us to suggest a long, tranquil vacation. And if you can't take a vacation, at least take Adrenal Complex, described as a Tahiti vacation in a bottle.
Diet - many factors in the diet can affect the body's ability to conceive. It is not just lack of nutrition or low body weight, but even 16 ounces of coffee per day can cause up to a 40% drop in fertility.
These are just some of the common challenges to fertility that we see. And all of these are treatable with natural options, meaning your chances of falling pregnant increase dramatically with each challenge that you are able to resolve. The less challenges, the fewer roadblocks to pregnancy.
Pregnancy, The Ultimate Hormone Test
Fertility planning and natural treatment relies on super-infusions of supplements, antioxidants, glandular support and hormonal factors in order to provide everything the body needs to be pregnant and to carry that pregnancy to a successful and healthy birth.
Pregnancy is one time in a woman's life where many hormones come into play that otherwise have little use. It is the ultimate test of a woman's endocrine system. Throughout pregnancy there are many biochemical changes and also significantly increased material that must be eliminated so as not to toxify the mother's blood. Many of these materials are actually excess amounts of hormones, such as Human Growth Hormone, and also protomorphagenic material from the heavy reproductive action of the growing fetus.
"Pregnancy is a condition in which there is enhanced mitotic activity in the developing embryo. Such enhanced mitotic activity must, necessarily, result in the production of abnormal amounts of protomorphogen; these must be eliminated, otherwise the effect on the fetus and the mother would be disastrous. The presence of urea [an elutogenic factor] in the allantoic and amniotic fluids, the intense thromboplastic activity of placental substance, as well as fibrinolysin of embryo substance, all indicate that the protomorphogen produced by the dividing embryo are prevented from remaining in the embryonic locale and are, instead, passed through the placenta into the maternal circulation where they must be eliminated. The onset of pregnancy is often accompanied by nausea, the so-called "morning sickness." We feel that this may be caused by the additional protomorphagens eliminated by the embryo into the maternal circulation. Nausea is often associated with the symptoms of traumatic shock and is a characteristic influence of free protomorphagens. After a period of a month or more the nausea normally disappears. This we believe is due to the appearance of natural tissue antibody whose activity is that of promoting the elimination of the embryo protomorphogen from the maternal circulation. We have received reports that the administration of vitamins, particularly vitamin C, is helpful in some cases in overcoming this nausea." Protomorphology, p. 272-273 - Dr. Royal Lee
Nutritional & Factor Support for Conception
We generally suggest a 2-3 month preparation nutritionally before trying to conceive. During this time, both partners have a regimen of super infusions of antioxidants, food factors, herbal glandular support and hormonal essentials to build the reserves necessary for a successful conception and early pregnancy. This is to be done after the preparatory 21 Day Purification Program.
Male Partner Protocol - the main focus for male nutritional support is Tribulus terrestris which is an incredible Bulgarian herb shown in clinical research to increase sperm quality substantially. This along with high protein, natural hormone precursors and large amounts of minerals help create a healthy contribution to the conception challenge. The male protocol is generally selected from the following options:
Catalyn - whole food vitamin/mineral complex.
Trace Minerals B12 - nerve-based minerals with whole food B12 which reduces the stress response in the body.
Zinc Liver Chelate - increases immunity balance and DNA development.
Fish Oil - essential Omega 3 fatty acids support nerve development.
Ganoderma & Shitake mushroom extract - this helps prevent immune rejection while supporting DNA development.
Vitanox - this is a plant-based herbal antioxidant.
Livco - herbal liver detoxifier.
Symplex M - food-based growth hormone control for male glandular balance of the thyroid, adrenal, pituitary and gonads.
Tribulus - Bulgarian herbal Tribulus increases sperm motility, formation and quality, and is a natural testosterone precursor.
Cataplex E - oxygenation vitamin factor for increased oxygen availability to sperm.
Chlorophyll Complex - sexual hormone precursors and high blood quality agents in natural plant-based chlorophyll.
Protefood - high food-based heat labile amino acids for protein synthesis.
Female Partner Protocol - the main focus for female nutritional support is to increase food factors of calcium, folic acid B12, trace minerals and essential fatty acids. In addition it is important to prepare the uterus for its role in conception and pregnancy while increasing female hormonal levels and balance. The female protocol is generally selected from the following options:
Catalyn - whole food vitamin/mineral complex.
Cataplex E - oxygenation factor to increase oxygen availability to the ovaries and uterus.
Folic Acid B12 - whole food factors are essential for fetal neural development in early pregnancy.
B6 Niacinamide - this is a B6 food formula that increases circulation to the extremities including the uterus.
Calcium Lactate - lactate-based calcium is great for muscle development and balanced contraction of the uterus.
Organically Bound Minerals - iodine infused minerals for balancing the thyroid and nervous system.
Evening Primrose Oil - essential fatty acids for female hormonal support.
Fish Oil -essential Omega 3 fatty acids support nerve development.
Vitanox - this is a plant-based herbal antioxidant.
Adrenal Complex - a high grade blend of Licorice and Rehmannia for adrenal fatigue, high stress, urinary history and sleep issues.
Chlorophyll Complex - includes female hormone precursors as well as vitamin K, which reduces bleeding.
Thytrophin PMG - this is essential for women over 35 during pregnancy because the thyroid controls the child's development. *The fact that women over 35 tend to have a higher risk of mental retardation or stunted growth patterns may be due to the fact that more women over 35 have thyroid problems, many of which go undetected.
Utrophin PMG - this is growth hormone support for the uterus, essential for any history of uterine insufficiency, trauma or miscarriage.
Chaste Tree - this herb helps to balance female hormones to keep estrogen and progesterone steady and cycling normally.
Once pregnancy has been established (generally after the first 6 weeks), everything shifts to the woman to support the pregnancy. More antioxidants will be introduced along with oxygenation factors, more uterine support and adrenal and thyroid factors continue. During this period of time we suggest lots of protein and vegetables, avoid wheat, soy, corn and any typical allergens in food. Also we recommend taking your temperature every morning so you can establish a norm for your body during pregnancy. Generally when there is a problem, the body temperature will rise ahead of any pregnancy risk, so it gives time to address the problem before it becomes a problem.
We also provide support for common pregnancy symptoms:
Morning sickness - peppermint tea and ginger tea all the time. Symplex F, Antronex, Super EFF and Bentonite clay all help to reduce the flood of excess growth hormone that is common in early pregnancy. Truthfully, the more morning sickness you have, the more your baby is growing!
Early uterine cramping - Utrophin PMG and Cataplex E help to oxygenate the uterus and reduce spasms.
Breast tenderness - massage your breasts with shea butter and take Mammary PMG with Black Currant Seed oil.
Allergies or eczema during pregnancy - you need some liver detoxification. Try Dandelion root, Livaplex, Livco and lots of cruciferous vegetables.
Possible Eclampsia - Eclampsia occurring later in pregnancy is due to the excess production of protomorphogen decomposition products, i.e. guanidine, resulting from the over activity of the protomorphogen hydrolytic systems, overloading the eliminative functions. It is probable that the parathyroid normally converts this guanidine into creatine phosphate with the assistance of methyl groups, which form methyl-guanidine. In lay terms your body cannot process the side products of pregnancy and it overloads the kidneys. So for eclamptic tendency we recommend the following: Arginex, Antronex, Renatrophin PMG, Hepatrophin PMG, Renafood and Chlorophyll Complex. We may also add Magnesium or additional Thytrophin PMG.
We can also help you with natural suggestions for colds, illness, muscle cramping, swollen feet, sore backs and all the little difficulties on the road to mommyhood!