In the last 25 years, we've seen a tremendous increase in infertility cases visiting us here at DBC. Defined as the inability to conceive after one year of trying or the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth, infertility affects 12% of women, or 1 in 8 couples (Resolve, 2013). Though commonly thought of as a woman’s problem, about one-third of infertility cases involve men (Women’s Health, 2013). Through a variety of methods mainly focused on balancing lifestyle and hormones, we’ve had great success treating even the most difficult of infertility cases.
The Main Causes of Infertility
For females, issues like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, irregular menses, and pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) involve hormonal imbalances that can have a detrimental affect on fertility. Unfortunately, these "commonplace" conditions are not normal and signal that imbalances need to be addressed to achieve optimal fertility and health.
For males, sperm counts have decreased 50% in just 50 years’ time, as has sperm quality. Anatomical problems, hormonal imbalances, and/or genetic defects, as well as radiation exposure from mobile phones and electronic devices are all major implications for male infertility (Gammon, 2012).
While the causes of infertility are vast and multifactorial, additional root causes include but aren't limited to the following:
- Environmental cheicals and xenoestrogens
- Refined and processed foods
- Poor gut health
- Decreased ability to detoxify hormones
- Electromagnetic radiation (Baste, Riise & Moen, 2008)
- Insulin resistance and obesity
- Chronic stress placed on the adrenal glands, one of the main controllers of our hormones
Additionally, our bodies are stressed structurally, as we have become an immobile, “sit down” society. Frequent sitting and lack of movement directly affect the low back, and because everything is connected, this affects neurological and reproductive function. When we see a case of structural problems in the lower back, it often closely corresponds to an increase in menstrual cramps, erectile dysfunction, or prostate issues.
Natural Ways to Restore Fertility
At DBC, we aim to restore overall health on all fronts, which has a tremendous effect on restoring fertility. We focus on these three things:
- Optimizing nutrition: This is the first place to start! Consuming a chemical-free, anti-inflammatory diet is paramount to boosting fertility levels and balancing hormones.
- Optimizing lifestyle: Managing stress, getting 7 - 9 hours of quality sleep, exercise, and regular chiropractic adjustments are all key components to boosting fertility.
- Optimizing hormones (see below)
For women, taking Opti-Woman, a powerful combination multi-vitamin packet, is a great way to support healthy hormones. It also doubles as a prenatal vitamin!
When ovarian dysfunction is an issue, I recommend Cenitol®, which contains inositol, a vital nutrient for healthy cell signaling and healthy ovarian function. I also recommend Chasteberry Plus®, which supports progesterone metabolism and relieves PMS-related symptoms.
Estrogen dominance is another common issue, which occurs when excess inflammatory estrogen outweighs the level of progesterone in the body. Symptoms of estrogen dominance include breast tenderness, skin issues especially around menstruation, weight gain, and an irregular cycle. Unfortunately, this condition is commonly misdiagnosed because conventional medical tests only measure active estrogen levels. In the case of estrogen dominance, there is too much inflammatory estrogen crowding out the healthy levels of active estrogen, so conventional blood tests indicate low levels of estrogen. Most doctors see this and treat it with synthetic or bio-identical estrogen, which just worsens the problem.
To decrease estrogen dominance, we promote liver function to help detoxify inflammatory estrogen and boost methylation with products like Intrinsi B12 / Folate™. We also use nutraceuticals like Meta I-3-C®, which contains a broccoli extract to help balance out estrogen dominance. In more severe cases, we recommend that patients go through an estrogen detoxification program, where the centerpieces are eating anti-inflammatory foods and taking specific estrogen detoxification nutraceuticals.
For males, achieving healthy testosterone levels is critical. Studies show that males who stay fit and eat a Mediterranean diet have just a 1% decline in testosterone for each decade of life, on average. Yet, the majority of our male patients have only 50% of their testosterone levels by the age of 50. Low testosterone levels, which involves increased levels of inflammatory estrogen and decreased levels of healthy estrogen, includes symptoms like feminization of moods and personality, overall decreased drive, erectile dysfunction, decreased ability to gain muscle mass, and decreased energy.
Beyond recommending lifestyle changes such as weight lifting to boost muscle mass, we recommend Wellness Essentials® Men’s Vitality to support hormone balance and prostate health. If needed, we also recommend Testo Tonic, which contains precursors to naturally build testosterone in the body. Vitality Support is fantastic for boosting healthy sexual function, too.
Depending on the person and their diligence in rebalancing nutrition, lifestyle, and hormones, we see improved fertility in just a few months’ time. The power of the human body to normalize itself and optimize fertility is incredible, and helping folks achieve this is what we love to do at DBC.
Baste, V., Riise, T., Moen, BE. (2008). Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields; male infertility and sex ratio of offspring.European Journal of Epidemiology. 23(5): 369-77. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18415687
Fast Facts About Infertility. (2013). Resolve. http://www.resolve.org/about/fast-facts-about-fertility.html.
Gammon, K. (2012). Sperm Quality & Quantity Declining, Mounting Evidence Suggests. Live Science.http://www.livescience.com/22694-global-sperm-count-decline.html.
Infertility Fact Sheet. (2013). Women’s Health.gov. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/infertility.html#b.