If you are dealing with infertility, you are not alone. About 10% of couples experience infertility problems at some point in their lives. One-third of cases occur due to female infertility issues, one-third due to male infertility, and one-third due to both or unidentified causes.
Having children changes life for the better. You love watching them grow, interact, discover the world and grow into their personalities while teaching them how to be good people.
Children are a gift from God: “To Allah belongs the power over the heavens and the Earth.” He creates what
to love He gives girls to whom he wants and boys to whom he wants. To some he gives both sexes: boys and girls; and he leaves whomever he wants childless. Indeed, He is All-Knowing and All-Powerful.” [Surah Ash Shura, 49-50].
In this article we will learn what infertility is. We will learn about male and female infertility. We will understand the main causes of infertility, some laboratory tests for infertility to identify the underlying causes, nutrient deficiencies and possible health issues. We will also share key natural support strategies to improve health and overcome infertility naturally.
What is Infertility
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infertility generally means not being able to get pregnant after a year of unprotected sex and actively trying. At this point, it is recommended to visit a fertility specialist. Since women’s fertility declines steadily with age until they reach menopause, women 35 and older may see a specialist for evaluation even after only 6 months of not getting pregnant.
Women who are able to conceive but are unable to conceive several times over time may also face infertility. In the United States alone, about 6.1 million (10 percent) of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a child. Some couples, especially when they are older or at risk of infertility, may seek evaluation even before trying to conceive.
Male versus female infertility
Many assume that infertility occurs due to problems in the female body, however, infertility can occur due to male or female infertility or both. Pregnancy is the end result of a complicated process with many steps. First, the female body must release a healthy egg from one of her ovaries during ovulation.
A man must produce healthy sperm, and the healthy sperm must unite with the released egg to fertilize it. There is a short period of one to several days for fertilization to occur. After fertilization, the fertilized egg must move through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Once there, it needs to attach itself to the uterus during implantation.
As you can see, many issues can arise in this process that can occur in both the female and male bodies. After implantation, it is also important that the pregnancy lasts. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, early pregnancy loss or miscarriage before 13 weeks is common and occurs in 10 percent of pregnancies.
While it is common, if it happens again and again it could be due to infertility. Impaired fertility is a condition that refers to women who are experiencing difficulty conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy.
This is how the Qur’an describes the stages of human creation, in Surah Al Mu’minun: “12. Indeed, We created man from an extract of clay. 13. Then We made him (man) a drop of seed that settles in a safe place (womb). 14. Then, We made the drop of the seed into a contagious blood clot; we made the drocha of blood into a piece of meat; We made the lump of flesh into bones and clothed the bones with flesh, then We made him (man) another creature (with a soul). Exalted and Blessed is Allah, the best Creator! 15. Then, after that, you will surely die, 16. then, surely you will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection.”
About 9% of men of reproductive age and 11% of women of reproductive age have experienced problems with infertility. About a third of infertile couples experience infertility as a result of a health problem in the woman, a third as a result of a health problem in the man, and a third either because of a health problem on both sides or because of a reason that cannot be identified.
aging in both men and women. In men it happens more gradually, while in women in a shorter period of time. Women in their 30s are half as fertile as they were in their 20s, and their chances of pregnancy drop sharply after they reach age 35.
Male causes of infertility can include problems with effective sperm production, sperm count, sperm shape, and sperm motility. Female causes of infertility can include problems related to ovulation, fertilization and implantation.
Infertility can occur due to many factors related to diet, lifestyle, health, toxicity, medical conditions and medications. Below we will examine some important root causes of infertility.
Root causes of infertility
While a number of problems can cause or increase the chance of infertility, here are the main causes of infertility to consider:
Hypothyroidism is a common thyroid condition in which the thyroid hormone does not produce enough thyroid hormone resulting in fatigue, weight gain, irritability, slow heart rate, dry skin, hair loss and other problems. Hypothyroidism can affect the health of other hormones and can also increase the risk of infertility.
According to a 2015 study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrine Metabolism, 53.7% of 95 female participants with infertility had hypothyroidism. 33.3% of them were able to get pregnant only after 6 weeks of thyroid treatment.
Another 2012 study published in the Journal of Applied Basic Medical Research also found that hypothyroidism is prevalent among infertile women. 23.9% of the 394 infertile participants had hypothyroidism. After 6 weeks to 12 months of thyroid treatment, 76.6% were able to conceive successfully.
Lack of Luteal Phase
Many women who struggle with infertility also face the absence of the luteal phase. The luteal phase is an important phase of the menstrual cycle and occurs after ovulation and before menstruation. This is the time when the lining of the uterus becomes thicker to prepare the female body for pregnancy if it occurs.
The absence of the luteal phase means that the mucous membrane does not grow and thicken, making it difficult to get pregnant or carry it. A 2017 community-based cohort study published in Fertility and Sterility has found that a shorter luteal phase may be associated with infertility.
Insulin resistance and PCOS
Insulin resistance refers to a resistance to the hormone insulin that causes blood sugar in the body to rise. Insulin resistance can increase the risk of diabetes and a number of other health issues. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal problem in women of reproductive age.
Women with PCOS also often deal with insulin resistance, which can increase the risk of infertility.
Chronic inflammation, autoimmunity and endometriosis
Chronic inflammation is the root cause of most chronic health issues, including autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune conditions develop when the body mistakenly attacks its own cells. Endometriosis is a condition where tissue grows outside the uterus affecting the fallopian tube, ovaries and intestines causing pain and menstrual problems. All these issues can be related to infertility.
Chronic stress and poor sleep
Lifestyle and mental health play an important role in our emotional health. A number of studies, including a review published in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience published in 2018, have discussed the link between stress and infertility. Women with infertility often also report anxiety and depression, which increases stress and can lead to a vicious cycle.
Psychological studies that address stress and psychological distress have helped improve pregnancy rates in women dealing with infertility. Poor sleep can also increase chronic stress. Chronic stress and poor sleep can not only affect one’s psychological and emotional state, but increase inflammation in the body that can increase the risk of autoimmune and hormonal problems that can increase the risk of infertility. Not to mention that chronic stress and being constantly tired may not be the best psychological environment to support conception.
Exposure to mold and environmental toxins
Exposure to mold and environmental toxins can also increase the risk of infertility. Mold and toxicity can compromise the health of the microbiome, increase inflammation, disrupt hormones, and contribute to a variety of symptoms and health issues, so it can counter
lead to infertility.
Chronic infections can increase the risk of inflammation, gut microbiome imbalance, and a variety of health issues, including infertility. According to a 2014 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, H. pylori infections can affect cervical mucus, follicular fluid and sperm motility and increase the risk of infertility. Herpes simplex virus can contribute to infertility in humans while cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) do not.
What we eat and what nutrients we put into our bodies can seriously affect our health and can increase the risk of infertility. The following nutrient deficiencies have been linked to infertility:
– Lack of iron
Iron deficiency is common in women, especially those with heavy periods or a diet low in iron. According to a 2006 study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, low iron levels may increase the risk of ovulatory infertility in women. It is important to watch for signs and symptoms of anemia and test your red blood cells, iron, and serum ferritin levels several times a year to make sure you are not iron deficient.
– B vitamins
A lack of B vitamins can also affect infertility, especially in men. According to a 2017 study published in Biomolecules, B12 deficiency can decrease sperm quality and cause infertility. According to a 2011 study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology, vitamin B12 and folate deficiency can cause male infertility.
Zinc levels may also play a role in fertility. According to a 2018 review published in the Journal of Reproduction and Infertility, zinc levels may affect sperm quality and male fertility. Another 2018 study published in the American Physiological Society found that zinc deficiency can affect egg quality and contribute to infertility.
– Vitamin D
Spending time in the sun and optimizing vitamin D levels appear to be important for fertility as well. According to a systematic review published in the Journal of Endocrinology, vitamin D deficiency can affect fertility in both men and women by affecting sperm motility, testicles, ovaries and uterus.
According to a 2018 review published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vitamin D deficiency can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes and complications with breast milk production.
Main blood tests
If you are dealing with infertility or want to optimize your chances of pregnancy by identifying and correcting certain potential health issues, a number of laboratory tests are recommended. Since men and women can both be affected by infertility and the health of each partner is critical to a healthy pregnancy, these tests may be appropriate and recommended for both partners.
CBC, serum iron and ferritin levels
We recommend a complete blood count (CBC) to look at red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets (PLTs). This test can identify infections and health problems, including anemia. Since iron plays an important role in fertility, we recommend that you check serum iron and ferritin levels as well.
Complete thyroid panel
As you have learned, hypothyroidism can increase the risk of infertility, and problems with thyroid hormone can also affect other hormones that can affect fertility, so we recommend a full thyroid panel, including TSH, T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3, TPO Ab and TG Ab.
It is important to review these with a functional health practitioner to ensure you are producing and converting enough active thyroid hormone. In particular, TSH should be below 3 uIU/mL and free T3 levels should be between 3-4 pg/mL
HbA1C and fasting insulin
Insulin resistance can affect fertility, so we recommend testing your hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) and fasting insulin to check your blood sugar levels and see if you have insulin resistance or blood sugar problems. HbA1C should ideally be between 4.5 – 5.2 to be metabolically healthy. Fasting insulin should be below 5 for good metabolic health.
To detect possible inflammation, we recommend testing for a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (Hs-CRP), a protein that can measure overall levels of inflammation.
Hs-CRP should be below 1.0. If it is above 1.0, there are n
an inflammatory problem going on in the body.
Folate, B12 and Homocysteine
Folate and B12 deficiency has been associated with infertility, so testing for these vitamins is critical. Also check your homocysteine levels. It is an amino acid that at high levels has been associated with B12 and folate deficiencies.
Serum folate levels should be above 5 ng/ml and B12 should be above 800 pg/mL while homocysteine levels should be between 6-9 umol/L. If homocysteine is above 9 umol/L it is a sign of poor methylation and this can be a major factor in the development of infertility.
Since low zinc levels are associated with infertility in both men and women, we recommend serum zinc testing that can help monitor zinc levels and indicate deficiencies. Ideally, serum zinc should be between 90-135 ug/dL and should be slightly higher than serum copper levels.
Comprehensive blood analysis
To control all these health factors, to better understand your health, to exclude possible health problems and to identify the underlying causes of infertility and other health problems, we recommend a comprehensive blood analysis.
It’s a simple blood test that looks at a number of areas of your health and can help you use the right natural support strategies to improve your health and well-being. This includes all the tests mentioned here, as well as others that can tell about what is going on in your body.
Natural Support Strategies
To improve your health, support your fertility, and support a healthy pregnancy, we recommend the following natural support strategies. Getting pregnant is a team effort and infertility issues can arise from both parties. Whether you are male or female, you can take advantage of these tips and improve your health to ensure a successful and healthy pregnancy.
Anti-inflammatory nutrition plan
No matter what health issues you’re dealing with, identifying issues with your diet and improving it is always a key part of recovery. This is the same for fertility issues. We recommend an anti-inflammatory eating plan.
Eliminate all inflammatory foods, such as refined sugar, all refined, conventional meat and dairy, gluten, food sensitivities, artificial ingredients, junk food, and processed food.
Focus on anti-inflammatory whole foods, including greens, vegetables, herbs, spices, low-glycemic index fruits, healthy fats, fermented foods, and clean animal proteins. Make sure to hydrate your body with clean, filtered water.
Reduce stress and improve sleep
Stress and poor sleep can contribute to infertility, so it is very important to reduce your stress levels and improve your sleep.
Develop a relaxing bedtime routine that works for you. Follow a regular sleep schedule that supports your body’s circadian rhythms and make sure you get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
Movement and regular exercise
Physical activity is important for overall health. Start the day with morning prayer, exercise or a short walk outside. Get up and stretch regularly throughout the day. Take a walk during lunch.
Exercise at least 3-5 days a week for 20 to 30 minutes each time doing what you enjoy most. Do resistance training a few days a week to strengthen your body and add some cardiovascular exercise like walking, running, etc. to slightly increase the heart rate as well.
While regular exercise and movement are important, it’s crucial not to overtrain and fuel your workouts with the right anti-inflammatory nutrition and get enough rest and sleep.
Improve digestion and microbiome
Gut health is connected to everything. An imbalanced microbiome can increase inflammation, blood sugar problems, and autoimmunity, all of which can affect your fertility. It is important to support your digestion and microbiome by eating an anti-inflammatory eating plan, eating plenty of foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics, taking probiotics daily, and supporting your digestion with the herbal remedy ProbioHerb.
Improve detoxification pathways
Mold and environmental toxicity can negatively affect your fertility. A poor diet and lifestyle, a microbiome imbalance, and chronic infections also affect your health and require some cleaning. Improving your ways of dethoxification is critical.
Increase detoxification through sweating by exercising and using an infrared sauna. Support elimination through bowel movements through a healthy diet and ProbioHerb. Supports lymphatic health and detoxification through dry brushing and recovery. Improve detoxification through urine with proper hydration.
Desert plant cures for the safe treatment of infertility in both sexes
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