When you look at the statistics regarding infertility the number of young couples trying to start a family is on the rise year after year. It has reached epidemic proportions. 1 in 6 couples are diagnosed with some sort of infertility in SA – this info is from the Infertility Awareness Association in SA. Is it our modern day lifestyles, stress, what we eat, sugar, alcohol, caffeine? Most likely all of the above. More women than ever are also choosing to delay starting a family until established in their careers and after 35 we know that fertility falls at a drastic rate.
We are also exposed to so many environmental toxins that can affect our reproductive health, among them – BPA (only been banned in baby bottles, this toxin is still found in food containers and tin cans), Phthalates, Dioxins, heavy metals. These are found in the water we drink, the food we eat and all over the environment we live in.
So faced with these problems what can you do?
Here are some tips to try:
1. Try Acupuncture
Research has shown that during Acupuncture, the body releases endorphins and enkaphalins which help other hormones and systems within the body to function optimally as well as relaxing the entire body. During Acupuncture for infertility treatment specific points are stimulated such as the ovaries and ovarian follicles to help boost the whole reproductive system, blood flow is also increased. It’s definitely worth a try!
2. Go organic as much as possible
Not always easy to do in SA as organic foods are not always accessible or affordable! However organic is out there. Get rid of all your cleaning products, soaps, shampoo, beauty products and go organic and eat organic as much as possible. These won’t have the insecticides and pesticides as well as other chemicals and antibiotics that are widely used.
3. Cut the Caffeine
Research has shown that caffeine interferes with the muscle contractions that help the eggs travel down the fallopian tube. Caffeine can also decrease the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals and it also elevates cortisol in the body – the–good old stress hormone.
4. Reduce stress
Unfortunately your body’s response to stress can adversely affect our hormones. Adrenalin inhibits us from utilizing the hormone Progesterone which is essential for fertility while cortisol inhibits the gonadotropin releasing hormone and this will supress ovulation, sexual activity and sperm count.
5. Reduce sugar and alcohol intake
Sorry ladies but that glass of vino does no good and neither does that bar of chocolate! Alcohol affects the levels of oestrogen and progesterone which disrupts the normal menstrual and ovulation cycles and too much sugar causes insulin spikes which is linked to all sorts of health problems and fertility issues.
6. Watch what medications you are taking
A lot of over the counter medications can affect fertility. Watch out for things like antihistamines, antidepressants, steroids and diuretics – some of which can be found in cough mixtures and normal pain killers