20-30 YEARS ago, you never heard much about infertility, it was the exception to the rule, but just look into a gynaecologist’s office or fertility clinics and see how many cases of fertility are being dealt with today.
33% of Americans have turned to fertility treatments or know someone who has.
These rates are shockingly high! What could be the cause? Now let us look at what this all means… at this rate we are heading for extinction. But why is this happening to our species?
Let’s break it down further:
- 1 in 10 women of childbearing age have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).
- 30% of couples seeking fertility treatment are diagnosed with anovulation (being unable to ovulate and therefore unable to conceive).
- 90% of anovulation cases are caused by PCOS.
Endometriosis is often linked to fertility struggles,
- 1 in 10 women are affected by endometriosis during their reproductive years.
- 30% to 50% of women with endometriosis may experience infertility.
(Data via the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists)
This article is not written from the conventional medical narrative, but incorporates holistic medical principles, considering reasons for our infertility epidemic and offering solutions, which incorporate alternative approaches to health including acupuncture, homeopathy, and functional medicine.
Causes for Women NOT getting pregnant are often multi factorial and can include:
- STRESS- A definite in our 21st century society and our rat race lifestyle, and has far reaching negative effects on our hormonal function by raising stress hormones (cortisol) and reducing and unbalancing sex hormones (testosterone, progesterone and estrogen)- the basic major cause of infertility.
- INHERITANCE- inheriting hormonal toxic load from parents and the toxicity they hold in their cells, from heavy metals, pesticides and hormonal contraceptive action which occurred up to 20-30 years ago. Toxins are transferred to the child and this then forces the child who is now an adult to seek pregnancy help initially at her GP, then gynaecologist and then a fertility clinic. The usual treatment is invitro fertilization which is expensive and has a high failure rate. That been said, it is successful for many couples, but others are still left high and dry and search out other options.
- CIRCADIAN MISMATCH AND EMF TOXICITY – Our body’s run together with natures rhythms and circadian cycles of day and night and sleep wake cycles. Unfortunately, with the advent of artificial light and now electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and Wi-Fi our circadian cycles have been put out of sync. This has the effect of increasing inflammation and ultimately increase in cortisol, which leads to hormone imbalance.
Consider employing modalities such as homeopathy, acupuncture, nutritional therapy, dieting and exercise, which go to work to uncover the imbalance that is preventing the family getting pregnant. They have wonderful success with infertility, but mainstream people don’t know much about them. The reason behind this, is that the holistic approach, does not only address biochemical balance and hormonal function, but treats each patient individually. This means each patient gets a treatment programme specifically tailored to their needs, whether that be specific medications, lifestyle specific support and emotional counselling.
To successfully address infertility in the 21st century you need to look wider at all the possible causative factors. Unfortunately, here specialization on invitro fertilization is not individualized and standardized to all patients. The result often is that the IVF fails due to the incorrect hormonal derivatives prescribed.
Approximate success rates using conventional IVF are as follows:
- 21% success rate of IVF in women younger than 35
- 17% success rate of IVF in women 35-37 years old
- 11% success rate of IVF in women 38–40 years old
Applying alternative medicine protocols consisting of acupuncture, herbal medicine and homeopathy, in South Africa has yielded very favourable results.
- 75% success rate in women younger than 35 with no mechanical obstacles.
- 60% success rate in women above 40 with no mechanical obstacles.
That is impressive but is due to the holistic approach.
The biggest cause of infertility is our stressful lifestyle that leads to inflammation, increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which then leads to a deficiency of sex hormones, making it more physiologically difficult to conceive. Cortisol is the body’s natural contraceptive.
The body has a hierarchy of needs and when you are stressed, survival is more important than reproduction, hence you don’t get pregnant.
Another causative factor over the last 20 years that is affecting us more, is our exposure to Electromagnetic radiation from our cell phones and the blue light from our devices, and less exposure to sunlight which balances the excess blue light exposure with infra-red radiation. Excess screen time leads to poor sleep patterns and low melatonin which helps the body to sleep and regenerate. Without good sleep habits, this then again leads to excess cortisol and the stress/inflammation cycle starts again, reducing success of fertility.
The use of homeopathy is designed to get to the root cause of the issue in the body. Frequently, there is contraceptive use previously that has imbalanced the body’s hormones to such a degree that when chronic stress is added to the mix the body is not able to recover. Using HDT homeopathic protocols, we are able to rebalance hormones. I personally use homeopathy in conjunction with Functional medicine protocols and testing to be able to track hormone changes during treatment.
Excess weight is also a factor as it throws out the balance of hormones and allows the body to produce excess estrogen. Many times, there are emotional aspects that have not been addressed either.
Each infertility case using alternative medical practices is assessed on its merits, unlike traditional IVF which has a one approach fits all for all infertility cases. It’s important to get the couple to become more in tune with their environment and themselves and to slow down the hectic nature of their lives in a positive way.
Obviously, if you are addressing infertility it takes 2 to tango and the man also has to be tested to determine whether he is able to perform his responsibilities. It is a couples affair where initially both would need a consultation and lifestyle change advice.
Depending on the cause of the infertility and your state of health, it can take anywhere from 3-9 months to receive the good news that mom is expecting. Treatment does not stop there! We like to ensure support until full term, in conjunction with their gynaecologist.
Benefits of Alternative Infertility Treatment
- Favourable cost to patient and very much cheaper than regular IVF treatments
- Impressive success rates
- Nontoxic with no side effects
- Holistic approach
Should you be interested to know more contact Dr Anthony de Pontes at Nelspruit Integrative medical centre on firstname.lastname@example.org