Alternative Fertility Treatments
Examining Alternative Fertility Treatments
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after a year of unprotected sexual intercourse. It affects as many as 10 percent of couples, and of those, six percent of the women are between the ages of 15 and 44 years. Many couples are looking for ways to boost fertility naturally, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, and nutritional supplements, nutritional therapy, and stress reduction. Acupuncture is supposed to improve blood flow to the reproductive organs and increase endorphins. Numerous nutritional and herbal supplements are used for fertility, such as L-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, and others. Certain foods that are high in zinc, selenium, vitamin C, and vitamin E are often eaten for fertility enhancement. Many experts believe that high stress levels affect a couple's ability to conceive. If you have fertility problems and prefer natural treatment, you do have options. Making lifestyle changes and trying alternative therapies have proven to work for many couples.
Overview of Alternative Fertility Treatments
High-tech answers are not the solution to everyone's fertility problem. Many people are not comfortable with conventional medical fertility treatment options. Fortunately, there are alternative fertility treatments. These complementary medical options tend to focus on balancing things within a person, to align with the Eastern philosophy more than Western medical science. If you are open to new and different ways of thinking, these alternatives could be right for you!
Acupuncture is a process where a trained professional inserts needles into specific areas along the body to offer relief of a health disorder, medical condition, or stress. Acupuncture is said to regulate the body system to increase the production of necessary reproductive hormones. Additionally, this technique improves blood flow to the reproductive organs, which can help enhance the function and health of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Research has shown that acupuncture increases the amount of endorphins that are released. These are the "feel good" hormones that lessen pain and improve mood.
Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Supplements
Supplements have been around for years, and manufacturers allege that they do all sorts of wonderful things. In the East (particularly China) herbs have been helping women conceive for thousands of years. A recent clinical study done in China found that women with fertility problems who took herbal supplements were able to get pregnant. Like vitamins and minerals, herbal medicines are good for specific things. Many women have had success by taking an all-natural fertility blend of herbs, which is made from a collection of plants that are believed to improve fertility. Also, there are many nutritional supplements that have helped couples conceive, such as vitamin E, selenium, zinc, and vitamin C.
Herbal and Nutritional Supplements to Improve Fertility
- L-Carnitine. For male infertility, many research studies show that men who take a combination of acetyl-L-carnitine and L-carnitine had increased sperm production and improved sperm motility.
- Vitamin E. Several studies found that men with low sperm counts who took vitamin E combined with selenium had a higher fertility rate than men with low counts who took a placebo.
- Selenium. When combined with vitamin E, studies found that this mineral increased fertility rates in men with low sperm counts.
- Coenzyme Q10. There are a few clinical trials that suggest that coenzyme Q10 improves sperm motility and counts.
- Folic acid. This vitamin is necessary to prevent neural tube defects in developing fetuses, but studies also show that when it is combined with zinc, it improves sperm counts.
- Zinc. Many studies found that zinc can aid with conception. When combined with folic acid, it has been found to improve sperm counts.
- Vitamin C. Many health experts claim that taking vitamin C impacts fertility, but more research is needed to verify this.
The theory behind nutritional therapy is that different foods affect you in varying ways. Some foods are nutritious and promote fertility, while others offer little nutrients and inhibit conception. Some common dietary approaches involve the avoidance of processed foods and the consumption of organic foods. Yams are supposed to improve estrogen levels in women, and zinc-rich foods are said to increase sperm count. Plant protein (think beans, peas, and peanuts) is associated with increased fertility. Complex carbohydrates from whole grain breads and cereals help regulate blood sugar and insulin utilization. One Harvard study found that women who consume whole dairy products have fewer ovulation problems than those who eat low-fat or no-fat diary items. Additionally, fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, which are known to promote reproductive health and general wellness.
Foods High in Zinc
- Sesame seeds.
- Pumpkin seeds.
- Green peas.
High stress levels are believed to inhibit conception by many health experts. While there is no direct proven link between infertility and stress, it does affect the way you feel and your ability to take care of yourself when you are trying to become pregnant. Yoga and meditation are two great ways to relax and manage stress. Many retreats offered to couples with fertility issues offer relaxation therapy for the mind and body. The aim of this type of therapy is to reduce stress levels, give the participants a positive outlook, and improve a person's sense of control over the situation. Numerous studies have found that couples who engage in stress reduction therapy become pregnant within a year of attending a retreat compared to a low percentage in the control group.
Common Stress Reduction Measures
- Deep breathing.
- Visual imagery.
- Physical exercise.
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