Causes of Infertility
Around 10-15% of women experience infertility problems. It’s a statistic that appears to be increasing. But what’s causing it?
Anyone reading this is probably well aware of the main causes of infertility according to Western medicine. These include age, tube disorders, endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids and pelvic inflammatory disease.
But what are the main causes from a natural medicine perspective?
Some are similar to conventional medicine but with identified causes. And others are very specific to natural medicine, which looks at your fertility more holistically.
Cold in Your Uterus
This is an extremely common problem. Most women are too cold. This can be caused by a history of too much cold food and drink, walking barefoot on cold floors, wearing clothes with the midriff exposed, working in cold conditions or just being born that way.
To conceive, your uterus must be warm with a healthy lining and good blood flow. When you think about it, generally things don’t grow well in the cold. Natural medicine uses medicinal herbs and specific foods to warm your uterus up to improve your ability to conceive.
How do you know if you’re too cold? If your oral temperature is below 36.4 degrees, or if your lower abdomen feels colder than your upper abdomen or if you just feel flat out cold all the time then you are probably too cold.
Weak Kidney Function
In natural medicine your Kidneys are the source of your reproductive and fertility strength. Strong Kidney function = strong fertility. Weak Kidney function – weak fertility.
Age definitely affects your Kidney function. The older you get, the weaker your Kidney function becomes. Working too hard also depletes your Kidney.
We call it your Fertility Cup. If your fertility cup is full then you are fertile, but if your fertility cup is low (or empty) you will find it difficult to conceive.
A lot of what we do is to help you fill your Fertility Cup again so it overflows into new life.
How do you know the state of your Fertility Cup? Well, we do a Free 45 Minute Natural Fertility Health Check to tell you that.
Stress is a big factor in infertility. Stress reduces your internal blood flow by restricting blood vessels (when you’re stressed you get tight on the outside (neck and shoulders for example) AND you get tight on the inside (your vessels tighten up)).
This restricts blood flow. Poor blood flow to your uterus reduces the warmth, oxygen, nutrients and hormones it needs to be healthy and robust to support new life.
We help you cope better with stressors in your life with acupuncture, Western medicinal herbs and lifestyle recommendations.
Too much inflammation in the body impacts fertility. Poor diets, poor blood flow, poor digestive function and certain medications all lead to too much inflammation in the body, which can contribute to growths like fibroids, cysts and adhesions – none of which help fertility.
Even some of the medications used in IVF create a lot of inflammation.
How do you know if you have too much inflammation? Some tell-tail signs include heavy limbs, sinus congestion, bloating, foggy head, carrying too much weight and swelling.
Poor Liver function
In natural medicine we call the Liver ‘The General’. The General marshals the troupes around your period and calls the shots. In other words your Liver governs your period consistency, blood flow and PMS symptoms.
When you Liver functions well you are more likely to experience regular and relatively symptom-free periods.
How do you know if your Liver may not be functioning correctly? Look out for PMS symptoms including irritability, low mood and breast tenderness and swelling. Waking a lot at night is also another key sign.
More than ever we are subjected to heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, plastics, radiation and other toxins. The load builds up and interferes with our body’s ability to function correctly including fertility.
A high toxin load also reduces your Liver function, which in turn affects your periods.
There are two main hormones that play a vital role in getting pregnant: FSH and LH.
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles and prepares the egg to be released while Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – stimulates oestradiol for egg release. There is a specific balance required between these hormones to enable ovulation and allow you to fall pregnant.
Signs your hormones may be out of balance include: irregular or absent periods; improper ovary function and follicle development.
Often we see women who have been on a birth control pill for more than 10 years before they are ready to have a family.
When you think about it, you’ve told your body (with both the medication and your mind) not to fall pregnant for over a decade and then all of a sudden you tell it that it’s ok to fall pregnant.
Sometimes your body is so hard-wired to not fall pregnant that it has a lot of difficulty getting back to its natural state where it can.
Natural medicine is all about helping to return your body to a natural state so you can conceive.
In summary, declining fertility rates are attributed to what you inherit from your parents, stress levels, toxin exposure, diet, working too hard, age when trying and medications.
So as you can see, Chinese medicine takes quite a different view of your fertility. Often both conventional and natural medicine working hand-in-hand leads to the best result. If you live in or near Moonee Ponds, Emperor’s Acupuncture is a great place to get acupuncture.