National Fertility Week: Treating Unexplained Infertility
This week is National Fertility Awarenss Week. Especially close to my heart, helping woman get pregnant naturally has been my specialty for many years. This week, I will review the many ways to help increase fertility in both woman and men.
Unexplained infertility is a Western diagnosis which indicates the doctor cannot find any medical explanation for why there are fertility issues. When the issues listed above due not seem to exist, a diagnosis of unexplained infertility will often have a laboratory panel which shows hormonal level "within the normal range". Even though no medical explanation can be found, conception does not seem to occur. This does not mean that there is not a problem.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is one of the best way to treat this diagnosis. TCM gynecology looks at the subtle changes in the hormonal system based on signs and symptoms the body gives off as clues. The menstrual flow and menstrual cycle are the first areas that can revel a cause. If implantation appears to be the problem, then it is important to look at the menstrual blood and the consistency, color, and amount.
The main issue in TCM is stress! Stress is a fertility killer. When there is an issue of unexplained fertility, it is a good idea to look at your lifestyle. These problems can complicate fertility:
1. Balance Your Day: set boundaries with work, family, friends, exercise. To much of ANYTHING is not a good thing. Although we are constantly reminded that MODERATION is the key, we seldom recognize it in ourselves. Plan your day out on paper. Divide your time evenly and stick to it.
2. Improve How You Work: work smart. Do not allow the "fires you put out" each day to become uncontrollable. Allow a certain amount of time for these issues as well as new projects, clients or meetings.
3. Get Exercise: If you are saying, how can I exercise, when I have so much to do, this is all the more reason why you need to jump start your metabolism. Exercise is what your body instinctively wants to do especially under stress: fight or flight, and it works. It burns off some of the stress chemicals which tension produces. Therefore, a tired muscle is a relaxed muscle. Regular exercise builds stamina that can help anyone battle stress. But even something as casual as a walk around the block can help you burn off some of the tension that you carrying around as well as, increase blood circulation.
4. Take A Look At Food: Carbohydrates provide glucose for energy. Excessive carbohydrates can increase blood sugar levels to dangerous levels, which then makes your body shut down to protect itself. Protein is important because it allows the brain to synthesis the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, which help keep your mind attentive and alert. Excessive protein levels make the organs of digestion work much harder to process this food and robs your energy stores. Find the balance for YOU. Listen to your body! It will tell you what makes you feel good and what does not. Especially in the long term. If you have issues with excess heat, look at eating foods that have a cooling nature. If you have excess cold, look at eating foods that have a warming nature. Neutral foods help to regulate our system.
5. Prepare for Better Sleep: Overthinking is a culprit that will rob you of great energizing and restorative sleep. Turn off that mind by starting to wind down early. Give yourself "quiet time". Utilize the power of peaceful music, a good book, diffusing essential oils, warm milk or tea before you lay down.
6. Manage Your Best Energy Times: Take advantage of your natural energy highs. Do your most strenuous work, thinking, planning, exercise when you have your greatest energy. Note the time of day when you feel your best and when you feel your worse. Expand your energy where it is most needed, pull back where you feel you can.
7. Keep Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, especially on hot, dry, windy days. If you're doing strenuous exercise, drink some fluids before the activity begins. You should also drink at regular intervals (every 20 minutes or so) during your activity and after the activity ends.
8. Boost Your Hormones: Reduce sedentary behaviors such as watching television and using computers. Being in one place for long periods actually slows metabolism and energy production. Proper nutrition is crucial for hormone balance. Essential fatty acids and nutrients such as vitamin A, B6, zinc, magnesium, and antioxidants are key factors to hormonal balance and therefore fertility.
9. Learn To Do Nothing: Our urge to drive ourselves to greater accomplishments, creates other issues such as exhaustion. Create/allow a few hours in your week to simply relax and do nothing. If you cannot find a few hours, it is time to rethink your priorities and commitments.
10. View Your Lifestyle: If illness is not the cause of your fertility, then it is a lifestyle issue. Are you creating unnecessary stress for yourself? Are there ongoing problems in your life that may be causing prolonged anxiety or depression? Consider counseling or talking about your issues with family, career personal or your doctor. Find the issues that are taking you away from a vital, fertile life!
11. Use the Power of Positive Thinking: Trying to get pregnant can often put a major strain on your relationship with your partner. Sometimes couples feel too tired and stressed to have intercourse or it feels to mechanical due to the pressures of trying to conceive. Keeping a positive attitude is imperative to getting pregnant because it improves your overall mental health; studies have found that positive thinking decreases levels of stress and the risk of depression, which in turn led to increased odds of getting pregnant. Many women feel "hopeless", "damaged" and "inadequate". These mental processes will decrease your chances of getting pregnant. Address the emotional component.
12. Improve Your Chances: Your chances of getting pregnant each month greatly depend on your menstrual cycle and even more so, on ovulation. That is why timing intercourse is an excellent way to improve your fertility chances. In my practice, I have women begin a basal body temperature (BBT) chart. This charting is a great way of seeing and understanding your menstrual cycle, ovulation and period. Get started on your BBT chart now and learn better ways to predict your ovulation time and get acupuncture!
Andrew Pacholyk, MS L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
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