Essential steps to having babies (2) by Prof. Oladapo Ashiru
Do you think that excessive consumption of these hormones could disrupt your hormonal balance? You bet! The use of milk in some instances cause male infertility. Excess estrogen and exposure to pesticide have been related to PCOS and Endometriosis. Studies have found higher concentrations of pesticides in cheese than in non-organically grown fruit and vegetables. The first line of naturopathic treatment I recommend for PCOS and Endometriosis is to minimise intake of animal products. Animal products have a high content of hormones, pesticides and herbicides, known as endocrine disruptors. They play havoc with your hormones and this can lead to anovulation.
Avoid the two most common allergens
The link between food intolerances and anti-sperm antibodies is now well established. Studies have found that women with multiple allergies and food intolerances were more likely to miscarry. An overactive immune system is more likely to attack its body cells. From an immunological point of view, an embryo and sperm cell are foreign bodies. But Mother Nature was so smart that she programmed our immune systems to distinguish between an everyday invader and a sperm cell or embryo.
The cytokines orchestrate a healthy immune response to a foetus or sperm cell. They suppress your killer cells to leave the embryo unharmed. Because of this protection, many pregnant women are sick wound healers and can come down with a cold or flu. Your natural protection is suppressed so that your baby can develop properly.
The cytokines orchestrate an abnormal immune response to the implantation of the fertilised egg. Rather than suppressing your killer cells, they stimulate their activity. The abnormal response can lead to defects and the loss of the foetus. The two most widely spread food intolerances are gluten and dairy products. I recommend all my patients to have an IgG immunoglobulin test done to check if they are dairy products and gluten intolerant. But since most people have some level of allergy to gluten and milk, it is advisable to avoid gluten and dairy products altogether during the preconception and pregnancy period.
Have an STD check
Most couples believe that they are free of sexually transmitted diseases. However, there are some STDs that can be asymptomatic, meaning that you may not be aware you have them, as there are no visible symptoms. One such STD is Chlamydia. In men, a Chlamydia infection can lead to sperm abnormalities, including sperm antibodies. In women, it can lead to scarring, blocked tubes and miscarriage. In women, vaginal discharge that has an offensive odour indicates a degree of STD.
A study found that 60 per cent of asymptomatic male partners of infected females attending a fertility clinic were infected with Chlamydia. Most STDs are easy to treat and so it pays for both partners to have an STD check. There is no point in only one person going for a test as his or her partner can re-infect them again.
Allow yourself 120 days before trying to conceive
There is a common misconception that egg and sperm quality cannot be improved. In fact, it is possible to improve the quality of your egg and sperm. However, it takes 120 days because it takes approximately 120 days for eggs to mature and sperm to develop.
The 120 days timing is the reason why it is crucial to follow a proper preconception plan for a minimum of four months before conception. A baby is a 50-50 product of his or her parents. Therefore optimising the quality of eggs and sperm is of paramount importance.
Sperm disorders contribute to 40 per cent of infertility cases. A woman who suffers from recurrent miscarriages has partnered with low sperm counts and visually abnormal sperm. Therefore, both partners should detox, follow a fertility diet, take preconception supplements and avoid reproductive toxins discussed in this article for the minimum of four months before conception.
Avoid coffee, smoking and alcohol
You may not want to hear this, but drinking coffee decreases fertility. An extensive study from Connecticut found that as little as one cup of coffee per day increases the risk of not conceiving by 55 per cent, with two or three cups of coffee per day that risk rises to 100 per cent and continues to expand with an additional cup up to 176 per cent. And did you know that women who drink coffee before and during pregnancy have twice the risk of miscarriage?
Alcohol is harmful to women’s eggs and men’s sperm and as little as one glass can reduce fertility by 50 percent! It can further lead to damage to the developing embryo and may result in miscarriage.
Drinking before pregnancy is mostly ignored; however, for a long time that drinking while pregnant is a no-no. The same warning doesn’t stop with coffee and alcohol. Smoking and recreational drugs can also reduce your odds of conception. A study tested the effects of cigarette smoking on semen quality in men and found that sperm motility (ability to propel forward) decreased in light smokers while heavy smoking produced abnormal sperm shape. Scientists have discovered that quitting smoking may increase sperm count in men who quit smoking for 5-15 months from 50 per cent to 800 per cent respectively.
Take the right quality preconception and pregnancy supplement
Regardless of whether you are eating organic produce and a healthy diet, you are unlikely to be getting all the nutrients that your body needs for optimal fertility from your food. This is why supplementation is essential.
Getting pregnant and growing a new human being with your reserve, require a surplus of nutrients and energy. In your body’s accounting terms, pregnancy is a luxury, a splurge of energy and nutrients. Some of the critical nutrients for fertility are Zinc, Selenium, Magnesium, Calcium, B12, B6, Folic acid, Vitamin C, Omega-3 fats.
IVF does not address the root cause of infertility
Conventional IVF and other assisted reproductive technology treatments don’t address the root causes of infertility. These reasons include nutritional deficiencies, toxin exposure, stress, food intolerances, allergies and immune deficiencies. These subtle but critical factors interact synergistically to impact the quality of your eggs and sperm, affecting your ability to conceive and the health of your embryo.
Counting the financial cost of IVF
Recent media reports of grandparents funding their children’s IVF treatments in the hope of a grandchild illustrate the financial strain these procedures can pose to couples.
IVF as the final option after preconception care
IVF should be the last option after all natural treatment options have been exhausted. It should never be the first option. The rate of success of IVF is (on the average) 25 per cent per single attempt. Studies show that by following a natural preconception programme before attempting IVF, the success rate increases to 47.1 per cent per the only effort. I always advise couples to undertake a preconception programme as a first step and reserve IVF as a final option. Most cases of infertility are treated without IVF. However, if IVF is needed, the success rate of each attempt increases by combining it with a natural preconception programme, such as proper exercise, body cleansing, regeneration, rejuvenation, and detoxification.