Fertility

Preconception health is important for every couple. It takes 3-6 months to ensure the healthiest start for your baby. If you have not conceived within 6-12 months you could be part of the one in seven couples who experience fertility problems. The good news is that 25% of couples diagnosed with infertility actually have no medical explanation, which means you have good fertility health. Preconception care can more than double your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby, and if used alongside an IVF program can increase their chances by 41%.

What is the Natural Fertility Program?
Our natural fertility program consists of utilising the latest in Natural Health and combines a range of services to suit you. We advise you undergo a health assessment and naturopathic consultation with our medical herbalist, see the counsellor for stress management and mind-body assisted conception. We offer a range of natural treatments:

  • Nutrition
  • Herbs
  • Hypnosis
  • Counselling
  • Acupuncture
  • Fertility Yoga
  • Meditation and visualisation

Nutrition

Nutritional deficiencies can affect fertility status in both men and women. Many cases of unexplained infertility respond well to natural remedies and correcting nutritional imbalances.

The argument that additional vitamins and minerals are unnecessary when a “balanced diet” is eaten is losing validity in these modern times. As research shows we are likely to have higher than average needs for one or more of the forty or so essential nutrients for various reasons. Many therapeutic drugs deplete the body of vitamins; for example some antibiotics destroy folic acid, and aspirin lowers levels of vitamin C, vitamin K and iron. Those who smoke, drink alcohol, take the oral contraceptive pill, exercise vigorously or suffer acute or chronic illnesses have a higher requirement for nutrients than is provided in a “balanced diet”.

There is a connection between adequate nutrition and adequate functioning of the fertility cycle. Hormones that are necessary for normal processes are produced by the body and need certain nutrients for production and proper function. Therefore, natural fertility processes function normally through proper nutrition, an important part of enhancing fertility status.

A healthy pre-conception diet has also been shown to lead to children who have well-balanced emotions, freedom from mental retardation, freedom from allergic response, good posture, advanced development and well formed skulls.

Some Statistics

Changes in fertility patterns

  • Over the last 30 years, the % of births in women over 30 has doubled
  • One in six couples require referral for fertility assistance
  • 15% of couples have more than 1 cause for their infertility
  • 25% of couples will have no apparent cause for their infertility, even after comprehensive testing
  • Male reproductive failure now comprises 70% of infertility cases in western countries

Causes of Infertility

Causes of infertility and their approximate frequency (adapted from Hull et al 1985)

Sperm defects or dysfunction 30%
Ovulation failure 25%
Tubal infective damage 20%
Unexplained infertility 25%
Other causes 13%

Total exceeds 100% as 15% of couples have more than one cause of sub-fertility

‘Unexplained’ infertility may be associated with:

Toxins in body
Immune reactions
Nutritional deficiency
Inflammation
Prolonged Stress

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine is one facet of natural fertility management. Whether or not you have been diagnosed with a fertility problem, (explained or unexplained) herbal medicine can often assist with one or all of the following:-

  • normalising hormone function in both partners
  • nourishing and toning the reproductive organs for the woman
  • reducing stress and relaxing the nervous system
  • balancing sexual desire

By taking herbs in a program that includes good nutrition and a stress free healthy lifestyle, there is an increased chance of conceiving and a reduced incidence of miscarriage. Both partners are usually treated at the same time in a pre-conception period to ensure the healthiest baby possible.

Often other health issues or aspects of well being improve during the pre-conception phase such as a reduction in irritability or mood swings or an improvement in energy and sense of well-being.

Herbal remedies are not intrusive and can work well for both male and female pre-conception health. In many cases Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) is not required, however for the small number of couples who do require it, the pre-conception health care period is a great way to prepare the body for an increased chance of successful ART program.

Herbal medicine is prescribed and tailored to individual needs and may be adjusted according to progress during the treatment program.

Acupuncture

Information on Acupuncture in fertility coming soon..

Hypnotherapy

Mind-body assisted Conception
Our mind modulates the biochemical functions within the cells of all the major organ systems and tissues of the body via the autonomic nervous system. Most of us are familiar with the mind triggering a physiological response such as hearing a police siren when driving slightly too fast, or mistaking a stick for a snake. Perhaps you have a fear or phobia which can be triggered by a memory or thought.

The science:
This is how it works; our emotional brain (limbic system) records and stores every experience from the womb through to adulthood either consciously or subconsciously. Family patterns and life experience positive or negative affect how we think, feel and respond now. Emotional responses are transmitted to the hypothalamus via the limbic system. The hypothalamus then mediates the signals to the autonomic nervous system via biochemical and electrical messages which are released into the bloodstream and transmitted to the body. Mind body interactions are circular in nature-each element affecting the other in both directions. The lower brain stem control centres, which serve as relay stations of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems regulate our responses (fight or flight). This network of communication can increase blood pressure, control body temperature, regulate blood flow, increase or decrease salivation and gastrointestinal activity, cause bladder emptying and sexual orgasm. Therefore all organs can respond psychosomatically. Neuron pathways are created in the brain determined by emotional responses to life events and we develop learned patterns of behaviour which we continually re enact. These patterns are held in memory; firmly held patterns create habits, and beliefs.
Yet all firmly held beliefs where once a new idea, and doubtable. Therefore all neuron pathways can be changed. Change your mind and change your bodily response.

In a nutshell:
Thoughts produce feelings which create a belief in the mind, which when repeated forms a habit or  attitude, this directly influences our behaviour contributing to our success or failure.

How stress affects conception
When we are under stress, our body releases hormones including adrenaline and cortisol as if we were truly in danger and in need of the fight or flight response. A continued flush of stress hormones tells our body: this is not a safe time to create a baby”. Cortisol has a direct impact on our reproductive system, if the stress response is activated often the body has little time to return to normal, resulting in continued and prolonged levels of cortisol associated with chronic stress. Chronic stress has been shown to:

  • Impair cognitive function
  • Suppress thyroid function
  • Cause blood sugar level imbalances
  • Decrees bone density
  • Increase blood pressure
  • Suppress immunity and inflammatory response
  • Suppress or delay ovulation
  • Interfere with implantation of fertilised ovum
  • Reduce sperm count

Hypnosis and counselling will assist you to reduce your stress levels, by teaching relaxation techniques and visualisation which assists the body towards reproductive health and well being. Hypnosis can help you remove blockages and beliefs that hold you back. What the mind can perceive the body believes. Relaxation and visualisation assist with physical and emotional problems which stop you conceiving, and carrying a healthy baby

Yoga

Yoga is widely known for reducing stress opening and detoxifying the body, therefore it is a sensible choice to promote natural fertility and preconception care. Fertility yoga is for all couples who want to ensure a healthy pre-pregnancy body and is part of our pre-conception care program. We teach specific yoga postures which relax tight muscles, encourage blood flow, and detoxify reproductive organs. Fertility yoga focuses on the sacrum, pelvis, spine, to improve gynaecological health and wellbeing. Pranayama or breathing techniques will assist in improving oxygen to the body, and help calm the nervous system. Yoga, relaxation and meditation will reduce stress hormones like cortisol and increase happy hormones like endorphins and serotonin. When you tune in to your body and honour its natural rhythms, it brings a deep connection that initiates the body’s own healing response. Couples can expect to feel healthier, more in tune with their body and more relaxed as a result of the fertility yoga course, which often aids conception.

Massage

Fertility Massage is designed to increase the blood flow to the reproductive organs.  The massage combined with acupressure/marma points which help to stimulate the body's natural hormones, thus increasing the chances for conception. Fertility massage is comprised of relaxing the muscles and using deep abdominal massage. The technique helps to loosen entangled tissue and free-up the reproductive organs. The acupressure points help to stimulate the energetic properties of the body.

It is very relaxing and feels great, it helps the body deal with stress. Stress has been linked to an increase in infertility among many women. Stress increases the amount of hormones in the body that may inhibit the implantation of the egg. Reducing the amount of stress in your life helps to improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Fertility Massage can benefit both partners who are using any form of Assisted Reproductive Technology. Whether it's AI, IUI, FAST, or IVF, the Fertility Massage can help provide a healthier environment in which these forms of reproductive technologies can do their work. All sessions are done a few days prior to the procedure, and never following the treatment.

Maya Abdominal Massage is centred on the ancient Mayan techniques that reposition pelvic and abdominal organs that have dropped and restricted the five channels of flow in the body: blood, vein, lymph, nerve and chi energy. The technique works for both men and women by relieving congestion and blockages to improve the flow of chi and fluids of the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems to prevent the progression of chronic diseases. As with any other natural healing, Maya Abdominal Massage seeks to restore the body to its natural balance, known as homeostasis. The work is best known for the correction of the prolapsed, fallen, retro verted or tilted uterus and for the relief of many common reproductive, digestive, urinary and bladder complaints. For more info go to www.mamoz.com.au