Infertility Female - Female Infertility Nutritional Treatments
Female Infertility Nutritional Treatments
The introduction of orally active synthetic hormones in the sixties (eg the oral contraceptive pill) has caused untold damage to the population. These hormones can be up to 5000 times more powerful than naturally occurring hormones. One third of Ethinyloestradiol is not metabolised in the body and is excreted unchanged, and subsequently enters the sewers and recirculates. Although the amount of ethinyloestradiol in our water supply (2 - 10 ng/l) is small it adds to other sources of oestrogens such as mycotoxins, chlorinated pesticides and organophosphates. These oestrogenic contaminants are now being blamed for the falling male sperm count, (from 120 million/ml in 1940 to 60 million/ml in 1990), increased incidence of in undescended testes, testicular, and prostatic cancers. Superimpose alcohol intake, nutritional deficiencies and recurrent infections all magnifying the rapid deterioration of sperm numbers and quality.
Almost 90% of women have taken hormones either for period problems or for contraception - before they have had their first pregnancy. The younger the age group on the pill the higher the rate of cervical cancer in situ. 1 in 4 women have a life time risk of breast cancer, many of these are oestrogen sensitive - therefore, oestrogens may be a cause or aggravate the disease. 1 in 5 women have a positive pap smear before the age of 40.
It is a known fact that oestrogen stimulates viral replication. Breast, cervical, liver cancers and melanomas - all with a possible viral aetiology are becoming increasing prevalent. Exogenous oestrogens can cause immuno suppression by inducing the production of defective T helper cells while stimulating suppressor cells. These oestrogenic hormones develop and dilate blood vessels which can encourage the spread of infection and cancer. Most long term studies show increases in viral, bacterial and fungal infections, cervicitis, cervical cancer and serious heavy bleeding, also endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease and hysterectomies are more common in women who have taken the pill in the past.
Exogenous hormones directly lower zinc levels and raise copper levels in serum. They also lower the body's level of B vitamins, folic acid and vitamin B6 in particular. Both n-6 and n-3 essential fatty acids are often deficient in pill users. And 50% of women who have taken the pill for more than 5 years have reduced pancreatic exocrine function. This results in poor digestion with its accompanying sequelae.
The level of oestrogen in the foetus can determine brain development. Oestrogen tends to feminise the brain, while testosterone masculinises the brain. The level of these hormones are usually determined by the genetics of the foetus. However, say for instance, that we have a genetic male in the womb, whose testosterone secretion is overwhelmed by exogenous oestrogen during critical development periods of the brain, this may result in a genetic male with a female brain. Could this give rise to confused sexuality later on in life
Thus, this inadvertent mass medication of the population has, in my belief caused tremendous damage to our population. The genital infections, impairments in nutritional status and hormonal treatments (contraceptive and fertility stimulating) interact in complex ways to threaten the health of prospective parents, their ability to conceive and the outcome of the pregnancy. We must investigate further these risks, so as to minimise their effects and ensure that children are born healthy.
Causes of Infertility
Infertility is medically defined as the inability to conceive after 1 year of trying. Infertility is not sterility since many couples conceive after 1 year. Of the 20% of couples who experience infertility (by medical definition), half are unable to have a family. At present it is possible to find the cause of infertility in 80 % of couples.
Women are responsible for 50-60% of the 15 - 20% of couples that are unable to conceive. The cause can be found in 80 % of these women.
The major causes for female infertility are ovulatory disorders, 20%, tubal obstructions, 30%, endometriosis, 15%, abnormalities in cervical mucus production, 10%, uterine fibroids, 5%, and 20% of cases are unexplained, possibly undiagnosed infection and micronutrient deficiencies (eg. zinc, magnesium, potassium and essential fatty acids).
Women wanting to become pregnant should avoid being excessively underweight or overweight. For conception the ideal female range of body fat is 20-25%. If a woman's body fat falls below 17% she is at risk of amenorrhoea and anovulation. Once a woman has recovered her ideal body fat and resumes menstruation, it may take up to 1-2 years before ovulation recommences. So weight fluctuations outside of the ideal body fat range should be avoided and if anovulation is a problem, herbal treatment (e.g. agnus castus) may be needed to correct this.
Caffeine stimulates dopamine production which has an inhibitory effect on prolactin production (deficiency or excess of prolactin will promote infertility). Even one caffeinated soft drink a day has been associated with a temporary 50% reduction in conception. Excessive alcohol ingestion in women may provoke hyperprolactinemia and hence infertility. pGE1 attenuates the biological action of prolactin.
protein intake up to 1-2 years before conception and in the first trimester is positively correlated with birth weight, body length, skeletal and organ size of newborns. A low protein diet will also lead to fewer ova available for fertilisation. Folic acid deficiency can contribute to infertility. Folic acid is involved in cell division and folate is the most commonly depleted nutrient during pregnancy (e.g. postpartum alopecia is most often due to folate deficiency and is readily corrected with folate supplementation). It is considered to take 2 years to replenish folate stores after pregnancy and because of this some researchers suggest a 2 year interval between birth spacing, unless folate supplementation is given. Folate deficiency is associated with neural tube defects, cleft palate and spina bifida in the newborn.
pernicious anaemia (vitamin B12 deficiency) also leads to infertility in women and is reversible with B12 supplementation. Conception may also be prevented in women with depleted iron stores. Vitamin C aids the uptake of iron. Low stomach HCl levels will also inhibit iron absorption. Various studies have shown that women with pMS as well as infertility, when treated with vitamin B6 for pMS (100 - 800mg/day), had the infertility corrected as well. It is often expected that successful nutritional treatment of pMS and menstrual problems should also correct infertility in many cases.
Inadequate vitamin B2 may contribute to irregular menstruation by altering oestrogen and progesterone levels. Women who have been taking the oral contractive, should wait approximately six months before attempting to conceive, otherwise, there is a high risk of malformation, due possibly to nutrient deficiencies induced by the oral contraceptive.
- Begin program at least 6 months prior to conception.
- Follow a full elimination diet to test for food intolerances (Allergies can be passed on to the child if consumed, especially in high amounts, during pregnancy). If intolerances are already known, then follow a 10-day detoxification program.
- Avoid any weight fluctuations - maintain body fat percentage in the normal range of 20-25%.
- prevent or treat any cycle fluctuations.
- Increase protein intake to 15% of calories. (1 - 2 gm/kg body weight)
- Avoid drugs and medications, where possible, especially alcohol, caffeine and coffee.
- Treat all infections - genital and cervical herpes will necessitate a caesarean section being performed to prevent neonatal infection.
- Check for cytomegalovirus: If IgM levels are elevated, pregnancy is contraindicated, as the risk of brain damage to the child is too great.
- Maintain a supplement program of the following supplements for at least six months before conception. Kelamin, Heme 100, Mineral Matrix and GLA/EFA. This will ensure optimum development of the child in the womb.
Nutritional Supplement Options
Woman's Multi 3/day (Womens multi vitamin/mineral)
Take as directed on each label ( Folic Acid , Vit B12 , Iron + Vitamin C supplement )
Mega B 100 2 - 3/day ( Multi B supplement )
Selenium ACE 1 - A/day ( Antioxidant )
GLA/EFA up to 6 Capsules Daily ( Essential fatty acid supplement , pGE1 precursor)
Minerals 2 - 3/day ( Minerals Complex )
Agnus Castus As directed on the label (Herbal formula for normalising menstrual cycle fluctuations) (Stop once the woman has conceived).