10 Natural Ways to Address Your Root Causes of Infertility – Iva Keene
Infertility is an alarming modern epidemic affecting more couples than ever. 1 out of 6 couples today experience difficulty falling pregnant. What was once seen as a woman’s problem is now known to affect men equally. The natural approach to treating infertility solves the root causes of infertility, by addressing all body systems, rather than just focusing solely on the reproductive system. Many couples that can’t become pregnant suffer from a combination of sub-clinical conditions. These conditions can’t cause infertility on their own but – in combination – they can substantially reduce a couple’s probability of conceiving. For example; gluten intolerance alone cannot cause infertility however, the resulting inflammation in the gut can minimize your absorption and lead to deficiencies in nutrients you need for optimal sperm, egg and hormone production and a healthy pregnancy. Exposure to radiation, heavy metals, and toxic chemicals in some food, drugs and other products can damage DNA. Recent nutrigenomic (a study of the effects of nutrients on gene expression) research suggests what we eat can influence our gene structure and expression,
Minimize you exposure to chemicals
Exposure to environmental toxins (in the form of industrial chemicals) both in utero and neonatally may dramatically affect adult fertility. Most chemicals used in everyday life do not go through the same checks medicine do. Consequently, poisonous chemicals end up circulating in our environment, food supply, air and water. The strongest evidence of heavy metals and environmental pollution adversely interfering with healthy reproductive function in women has been found for lead. Other compounds that can alter hormone function and result in adverse reproductive health effect include:
Ovotoxicants, which can disrupt or even stop ovulation.
Endocrine disruptors may interfere with hormone function and cause endometriosis and PCOS.
Phthalates in plastic food containers, cling wrap, IV bags, medical supplies, vinyl flooring and packaging at high levels have been associated with miscarriage and testicular toxicity. At low levels they disrupt hormonal balance.
VCH chemicals used in rubber tires, plastics and pesticides.
PAH released from cigarettes, car fumes and road tar.
Men are not spared
Sperm seems to be more sensitive to heavy metals and industrial pollutants than eggs. Many sperm abnormalities have been linked to these toxins. The majority of these chemicals can be found in the atmosphere, on the ground in the cities and in the waterways. They have also been termed “reprotoxicants” for their negative effects on sperm development and maturation. Studies confirm male sperm counts are declining, and environmental factors, such as pesticides, exogenous estrogens (xenoestrogens), and heavy metals may negatively impact spermatogenesis (formation of sperm).
The top 6 environmental toxins to avoid:
- Pesticides found ion non-organic fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy and unfiltered tap water.
- Formaldehyde found in air fresheners, deodorants, floor polish and upholstery cleaners.
- Bisphenols found in plastic containers which can bleach into food and water.
- Organic solvents: petroleum based liquids found in household products, electronics, car repair, health care, photography, agriculture, printing, construction and cosmetics, dry cleaning chemicals, paint fumes and many more. Occasional exposure to one or the other toxic chemical is not of concern. What is of concern is the accumulation of these chemicals over a long period.
- Don’t drink unfiltered tap water. Our waterways are constantly being polluted by industrial waste and byproducts, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides and herbicides and commercial cleaning products. There are many companies polluting the water regardless of the country you live in. either there is no environmental law at all, or there are loopholes in the law or there is no law for the XYZ chemical getting into the water.
- Heavy metals are the most common of the reprotoxins reaching our water supply through industrial waste; jet fuels exhaust residue and a variety of other sources. Pharmaceutical drugs are commonly found in tap water. 74 percent of the US population takes prescription drugs. Because the drugs do not metabolize fully, small quantities are excreted via feaces and urine and flushed away. Toilet water is often treated and filtered before being discharged into lakes and rivers thereby reentering the water supply. The trouble is many drugs are not filtered out via the regular filtration process. Minute quantities of chemotherapy drugs, contraceptive pills, antidepressants, anabolic steroids, HRT (hormone replacement therapy), heart drugs etc. have been found in tap water. The pollutants are worse in Nigeria.
- Use a dual filtration system. Buy a dual filtration system that filters particles smaller than 1 micron (this will filter out the drugs as well as the heavy metals). Use the filter in your shower and your kitchen. Shower steam contains the same chemicals, which you can end up inhaling and can be absorbed through your skin.
Aim to eat an optimal fertility diet
In the first trimester of pregnancy, your growing embryo will increase 20 million times. In the first eight weeks your baby’s organs, fingers, legs, feet, head, eyes, nose, ears etc. are being constructed. To ensure the best possible foundations are laid down during this phase, you want to make sure there are plenty of building blocks in the form of the right nutrients in the right combinations.