Treatments to deal with infertility are immense. While many couples today are opting for high tech methods like IVF a growing number of people are also trying alternative and mostly natural ways to boost the functioning of their reproductive system. There are many lifestyle changes you can make to help improve your fertility.
Alternative or natural treatments have proved beneficial for those who are not comfortable with conventional fertility treatments or drugs. Also, those who have had to deal with repeated failures with IVF and other assisted reproductive techniques.
Women who are currently undergoing IVF or some other form of traditional fertility treatment for infertility issues may want to consider supplementing this treatment with an alternative therapy. Various studies have found certain alternative treatments, like acupuncture, actually help increase the success rate with medical treatment.
If you are concerned that alternative treatments may be too “new age-y” or “out there”, don’t be. Most alternative treatments have been adopted from the east, though certain factors like balancing your diet, and exercising, are ways of life that have been accepted by everyone around the globe.
This ancient technique is a Chinese way of healing pain, stress and other ailments through the use of thin, sharp needles. It is based on a belief that the body should have a balance in the energy flow to remain healthy; if there is some malfunctioning of an organ, then the balance will not be there.
Depending on the problem, different acupuncture points are stimulated with different size needles to rebalance the body’s energy and trigger the natural healing process to do its work. Research done on acupuncture shows that, when the needles are inserted at certain points of the body, the central nervous system receives signals to release neurohormones that start the natural healing process. Additionally, acupuncture helps regulate blood flow and helps release endorphins to tackle pain.
Infertility treatment through acupuncture is proving to be beneficial, especially for those who have functional disorders, like irregular ovulation.
In men too, male infertility can be helped through the use of acupuncture. Because it can correct hormonal imbalances and increase blood flow to the pelvis, acupuncture can lead to increased sperm count.
In women undergoing in vitro fertilisation, this Chinese technique has shown to improve pregnancy rates, although it is not entirely clear how. What is known, though, is that women who received acupuncture during clinical trials reported feeling more relaxed. Additionally, various studies have reported that about 50% of women receiving acupuncture in addition to IVF become pregnant and have lower rates of miscarriage and stillbirth compared to control groups. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have also reported positive changes when undergoing acupuncture treatment, most notably improvements to their ovulation cycle.
Acupuncture is a relatively painless procedure with few side effects and, if performed by a properly trained professional, can definitely help heal the body in many ways.
Homeopathic remedies look to treat symptoms rather than conditions, as each case of a particular illness can manifest differently in different people. Before any drugs are prescribed to an individual, her medical history, family history, moods, likes, dislikes, sexual history and emotional state are discussed thoroughly.
It is believed that a person showing infertility signs may not be having direct problems related to the reproductive organs but something less obvious, like an emotional condition, depression, fear of conceiving or dietary problems that may be leading to infertility. Through homeopathy, these problems are eradicated by using plant, minerals, or even metal sources. The pills prescribed are usually sweet and taken at regular intervals throughout the day.
Homeopathy is said to be one of the safest medical treatments with no known side effects, thus being a good option to treat infertility. However, it is important to make sure you go to a fully qualified, licensed practitioner.
Herbs have been traditionally used as fertility enhancers for centuries in many parts of the world, though the western countries have become familiar with the concept only recently. Some naturally available plants, like red clover, partridgeberry, chasteberry, and liferoot, show immense possibilities to enhance fertility, though their use should only be done after proper consultation from a properly trained naturopath.
Red clover flowers are usually dried and mixed with water to get an infusion. It is thought that these flowers can heal scarring of the fallopian tubes, irregular menstrual cycles, abnormal cells in the reproductive tract and “unexplained” infertility.
Similarly, a small dose of liferoot can help regulate hormone production, relieve menstrual pain and improve fertility.
The use of chasteberry as a fertility herb has shown prolific rise in western countries. It has been known to stimulate the pituitary gland, which is responsible for the secretion of hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. This can help regulate menstrual cycles, increasing your chances of conceiving.
Most people are aware of the importance of a balanced diet during pregnancy, as it helps both the mother and the baby to remain healthy. But the fact is that maintaining a healthy diet when you are trying to conceive and also during the post natal phases are equally important. If you’re hoping to conceive, there are special foods for fertility that you can try, and a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals will be beneficial as these nutrients improve the health of sperm and eggs.
Usually, the recommended diet for men and women is one rich in natural or organic foods, fruits, vegetables, yoghurt, yams, lean meat, olive oil, etc. For an easy rule of thumb, try to avoid processed, canned or fried food. Another convenient tip: consume those foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. The more a food is handled and processed, the fewer nutrients it contains.
Foods rich in vitamin C, E and beta-carotenes help are good for maintaining a proper ovulation cycle as well as increasing sperm count and motility in men. It is also recommended for men to increase their zinc intake, as it helps increase the sperm count and create healthy sperm.
There are also special diets known to improve fertility like the dairy diet for fertility. Also find out more about how carbs can affect fertility and find out what role your weight may play in your infertility problems. And of course it is beneficial to find out more about how exercise, in conjunction with your special diet, can help with fertility.
Reflexology is based on the principle that there are certain reflex points on the feet, which are linked to different organs of the body. When certain points are stimulated, they in turn stimulate specific body parts. The main use of reflexology is usually as a stress inhibitor, as it helps the whole body to relax and increase the endorphin secretion, which elevates the feel good factor.
Reflexology as a treatment for infertility is useful as a complementary therapy. Apart from relaxation, it can also boost the blood circulation, help balance hormonal levels and regulate the menstrual cycle. It has also been found to be of assistance to those women suffering from endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome.
As with any alternative treatment, it is always best to opt for a trained professional when going for this particular therapy.
his unique technique is a method of healing the complete body by moving the hands in a particular way over the body. It is performed by an osteopath who has sufficient anatomical knowledge of the body structure. Initially developed to treat skull injuries through manipulation, this method has now evolved to heal the whole body, as the maze of muscles, ligaments, and tendons are present everywhere.
Osteopathic therapists are trained to feel subtle body motions and they can easily locate areas where there are restrictions or congestions. Through hand movements on these specific points, osteopaths remove the stress on those organs and improve their functioning. Backaches during pregnancy, emotional problems, exhaustion, impotence, infertility, and menstrual pain along with other ailments have been helped through this therapy.
The pelvic bone, which is attached to the spinal chord, has especially been found to heal better using this technique. Since the reproductive system is located in the pelvis, people with infertility issues are likely to notice positive changes through this therapy.
Many physicians and experts believe a stressful life to be one of the major roadblocks to pregnancy. Though a direct link between stress and infertility has not been seen, it is always better to keep your mind and body relaxed if you want to conceive. Methods like hypnotherapy, yoga, and meditation are helpful stress busters and also make the body more agile and physically fit. These can also help regularize your menstrual periods, balance hormone levels and in general bring a more positive attitude towards life.
Certain yoga positions have been known for ages to build a stronger reproductive system in both men and women. Because of the helpful properties of these yoga positions, numerous yoga studios and mind/body classes have begun to incorporate fertility yoga into their offerings.
Other stress management techniques like aromatherapy, flower therapy, essence therapy, imagery or guided visualisation also have an overall healthy effect on your body.
While there is no conclusive evidence that alternative fertility treatments boost fertility levels, many experts believe that herb and vitamin supplements, in addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise like yoga and meditation can help women who are trying to conceive. However, in some cases, surgical procedures are still necessary.