Fertility Awareness Week
How to help with Fertility, Pregnancy Planning and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Making babies is not always a clear straightforward process. For some, it can be a more complex and confounding journey. More men and women are finding the process of conceiving and maintaining healthy pregnancies more difficult and so Fertility is one of the fastest growing fields in medicine. It is fortunately also an area of healthcare that involves the most collaborative care between practitioners of varying specialties. Conventional and complementary health care are often together exploring the ways medicine as a whole can look at fertility challenges and optimize health for anyone hoping to expand their family. After all, it takes a village.
When planning to conceive it is always important to check-in and assess with a qualified healthcare practitioner on your health status. The time before conception has been shown to be very important to both health of pregnancy and health of baby. To know your health status at this stage may involve physical assessments, blood testing for nutrients and hormones, food sensitivity testing, stress tests, and reproductive organ testing including Advanced Semen Analysis (ASA) and Ovarian Assessment Reports (OAR). The OAR is an effective popular blood testing method that provides an accurate picture of female reproductive health at any age. From these any man or woman can help determine his or her reproductive health:
There are many reasons why someone may experience difficulty conceiving including hormone imbalance, advanced maternal age, luteal phase defect, chronic infections, male factor fertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), insulin resistance, stress, adrenal fatigue, food intolerances, toxic environment, premature ovarian failure, and autoimmune disruption. Each one of these problems can be helped significantly through holistic care. Medical modalities such as nutrient therapy, acupuncture, hormone therapy, and lifestyle counseling are good ways to help support efforts to maximize fertility. Once baby is conceived, the goals should always be to maintain a healthy pregnancy especially past the vulnerable stage of the first trimester and keep the remainder of the pregnancy symptom free as well as prepare for delivery.
Unfortunately, recurrent pregnancy loss has become more common for many different reasons. Often genetic, anatomical and hematological problems result in a pregnancy that cannot be maintained, however over 50% of the time other preventable factors that are involved could be readily investigated and prevented.
Two of the most important issues we see today are undiagnosed progesterone deficiency and undiagnosed thyroid disorders. Progesterone deficiency is common for women who have irregular menses as well for women with PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, PMS and painful menses. A thorough assessment of the thyroid needs to include thyroid antibodies, which is often not done but many times is the reason for lost pregnancy. Conventionally, women are suggested to wait until they have had three miscarriages before identifying whether these hormonal problems could be factors. It is heartbreaking to have to go the process of conceiving only to lose multiple pregnancies and be told only then it’s time to look into hormones. For that reason, we find in practice it’s very useful to test for these hormone levels for anyone wanting to know their status before conceiving, for anyone who is not successfully conceiving after many months, for anyone who has miscarried, and especially for multiples miscarriages. Once identified, if a woman has a progesterone deficiency or produces thyroid antibodies simple treatments can correct these problems and make it easier to achieve successful pregnancy.
There are many other factors involved in optimal pregnancy planning. For more information or to book an appointment with a qualified healthcare practitioner contact evolve Nurturing Vitality.
Dr. Bobby Parmar