Infertility can be a hard reality that many patients have to deal with. When we hear something is wrong with our health, our natural inclination in this day and age is to “Google it.” This ultimately can take you down a seriously confusing rabbit hole. There is so much information out there, including many different products, diets, and therapies including many that can help, but others that may not. Online researching can end up leaving you feeling overwhelmed, confused and more anxious.
Patients often end up in my office after hearing about naturopathic medicine from a friend, or the couple is looking for more options in terms of what they can do to optimize their fertility success. I believe that naturopathic medicine can have a strong impact in supporting couples while first trying to conceive naturally, or as an adjunctive therapy alongside IUI or IVF procedures. Below are what I consider to be the Top 5 Ways a Naturopathic Doctor can help support you through infertility.
- Identify the underlying cause and build a plan
One of the biggest impacts we have as Naturopathic Doctors is the ability to look at the body as a whole and determine how all the pieces of the puzzle are connected. We are very good at doing a deep dive into analyzing all body systems and how they can impact your ability to conceive. Using lab reports and information gathered through consultation we can identify where the problem could be arising from and work to provide the body with support, using diet, natural supplementation, botanical medicine or therapies such as acupuncture.
- Identify the supplements that are right for YOU
It can be overwhelming choosing the right products sold at health food stores or your local pharmacy. My job is to filter out which supplements are best for you based on what your individual needs are. All therapies and prescriptions that are used in my practice are evidence based. The prescription supplements are third party tested, meaning they have the highest standard of quality and are at the highest therapeutic dose to support the natural processes of the body.
- Provide acupuncture
You’ve heard that acupuncture can help, but you are hesitant to give it a try…there is more and more curiosity about how acupuncture can really help with fertility success and reproductive health. Acupuncture has two main goals, to bring more blood flow to the reproductive organs and to help relieve stress. There are many studies now showing the benefit of acupuncture in fertility patients. For example, acupuncture has been shown to help induce ovulation in PCOS patients, improve success rates for patients going through IUI/IVF procedures and prevent recurrent miscarriages. Naturopathic Doctors are trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine and can help support you using acupuncture if you are going through infertility.
- Educate on food and lifestyle management
Knowing what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat can also be confusing. Focusing on nourishing your body with high quality nutrients from your food and exercising will ensure your body is ready to become pregnant. Working with a Naturopathic Doctor can be very helpful in setting goals and becoming educated on what foods would be best for you given your current food intake as well as coming up with which exercises would be best for you. These recommendations are individualized to the patient depending on their current health status. It can also be helpful for someone to analyze what you are currently eating and help you create a plan that addresses any challenges while providing opportunities to eat a healthier diet.
- Recommend Specific Botanicals
Naturopathic Doctors are also trained in botanical medicine. Botanical medicine is the use of plants or plant extracts to treat illness and assist in the natural functions of the body. The botanicals used in my practice are evidenced based, high quality and by prescription. It can be tempting to purchase a herbal supplement from the health food store but remember – it is important to get advice from a Naturopathic Doctor in terms of choosing the correct botanicals in your case since these herbs can have a direct impact on your hormones and some botanicals can interfere with your fertility medications.