Unexplained infertility is a term we hear a lot in the reproductive world. Basically, it is the term used when there is no found cause for infertility. Usually, a couple has gone through all of the testing available and everything comes back clear. This is good news, but can be so frustrating if you have not gotten pregnant yet. In the case of unexplained infertility, it can be hard to figure out what to do next. A diagnosis of unexplained infertility is given to about 25% of couples with infertility.
Unexplained Infertility: The Basics
Sometimes it could be as simple as a nutritional deficiency, low cervical mucous, inaccurate timing of sexual intercourse, a pre-existing health issue, or it may be that you need to explore options for more in-depth testing. It is important to cover all the basics, including additional testing that may need to take place. We are going to cover key areas that need to be addressed, some areas may or may not apply to you, but some may have not been taken into consideration when you were given your diagnosis.
Approximately, a quarter of all consultations we do involve couples who are given a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, yet they also have other health related conditions, may have poor dietary and lifestyle habits and many even have fertility issues that directly impact reproductive health. If you have been diagnosed with a fertility issue such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, Fallopian Tube Blockage, Hormonal Imbalances, etc., those issues may be what are causing your infertility struggles. It is very important to address those issues individually, prior to trying to conceive.
If the hormones are not balanced or the menstrual cycle is off, pregnancy can not occur. If pregnancy does occur, the risk of miscarriage increases. This is important for the male partner as well. Men can have hormonal imbalance as well, which may contribute to difficulties in impregnating a woman due to poor sperm health, or other health related issues.
Menstrual cycle irregularities may be a sign of hormonal imbalance, or other more serious fertility issues. If any of the below hormones are not at the correct levels, the menstrual cycle may become irregular. Hormonal imbalance may cause a variety of other health related issues that may affect quality of life. For example thinning hair, heart palpitations, low libido, depression, ect.
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
- Androgens for example DHEA, Testosterone
- Thyroid hormones
The number one hormonal imbalance in men is with testosterone and estrogen. Other health related problems may contribute to hormonal imbalance in men. Poor diet and lifestyle choices are the most common reasons for hormonal imbalance and low sperm count and health. Common signs of hormonal imbalance in men are low libido, abnormal hair growth, and erectile dysfunction.
The most common hormonal imbalance in men:
Low cervical mucous is one of the simplest yet most important factors to becoming pregnant. If the cervical mucous is scanty, non existent or too acidic, then the sperm will not be able to make there way to the cervix.
Causes of Low Cervical Mucous
- Not enough water intake each day
- Poor circulation to the reproductive organs; sedentary lifestyle
- Hormonal imbalance may cause changes to the entire menstrual cycle, which may inhibit production of fertile cervical mucous. Both low progesterone and estrogen levels may cause low cervical mucous production.
- Fertility medications containing hormones can alter fertile cervical mucous production
- Cervical fibroid (very rare)
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) and cryosurgery damage for cervical dysplasia or HPV. These procedures can in some cases cause cervical scar tissue damage which may close off the ducts that secrete the cervical mucous. This is very rare.
Other Health Related Factors and Problems that Affect Both Women and Men Fertility
Other health related problems may cause hormonal imbalance, poor egg health, low ovarian reserve, or poor/abnormal immune response which may affect conception. Many times, doctors may overlook these other health issues or not link them to a couples fertility troubles. If you have any of the below health issues, it is important to first address those problems, because problems with any of the below may directly impact your ability to conceive.
- Thyroid issues
- Poor Adrenal Health
- Very low body weight
- Autoimmune disease
- Cancer (chemotherapy and radiation may cause Premature Ovarian Failure or low sperm count and health)
- Injury or trauma to reproductive organs, or one of the endocrine glands
- Drug Addiction
- Long-term use of medications
- Heavy exposure to radiation or other environmental pollution
You may not know it, but your bodies are equipped to prevent conception from occurring during times of extreme stress. The presence of adrenaline, the hormone that is released by your bodies during stressful times, signals to the body that conditions are not ideal for conception. Adrenalin inhibits us from utilizing the hormone progesterone, which is essential for fertility. It also causes the pituitary gland to release higher levels of prolactin, which also causes infertility to occur. High stress levels can impact fertility for both female and male partners.
Recent research tells us that stress boosts levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, which inhibits the body’s main sex hormones GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone) and subsequently suppresses ovulation, sexual activity and sperm count. GnRH is responsible for the release of Luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone by the pituitary, the suppression of testosterone, estrogens, and sexual behavior.
Chronic stress may cause lack of libido as well as a decrease in general fertility.
Have You Had All the Necessary Testing?
There are a wide range of tests that doctors perform before they diagnose a couple with unexplained infertility, but through the hundreds of consultations we have done, most couples have not had complete tests performed. Be sure you get the following hormones tested.
Full hormone panel including:
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
- Androgens (ex: testosterone/DHEA)
- Thyroid hormone levels
- Prolactin levels
- Homocysteine levels
- Immunological markers
It is very important for both couples to be tested. Many times the female partner will be given an unexplained infertility diagnosis, but her male partner has not had any testing performed. Male partners need to be tested as well!
Natural Treatment Options for Unexplained Infertility
Medical Practitioners often jump to aggressive fertility medications or give the couple the option of IVF if they are not able to conceive on their own naturally. It seems like there should be a better way, right? So if you have been diagnosed with infertility for unknown reasons, what should you do? Let’s start by taking a good look at daily lifestyle and eating habits and then what we can do naturally to prepare for pregnancy.
The great thing about herbs and natural therapies is that the focus is on bringing the body back into balance. With unexplained infertility there are couple of areas you can look into. A simple program to follow is outlined below.
1. Eat a Nutritious Nutrient–Dense Whole Foods Diet
Nutritional Status: Eat a Fertility Diet
Diet is the most important way to support fertility health. What you put into your body and what you avoid are the foundation for cellular health, this includes the cells that make the egg and sperm. We are what we eat. Nutritional deficiencies contribute to almost all fertility issues.
Having a nutritional deficiency can cause the menstrual cycle to become imbalanced, may cause a lack of beneficial hormones to be produced, contribute to poor sperm count and health or cause the body to lack overall health. For example iron is necessary for ovulation. Calcium is vital to healthy menstruation. And folic acid is required prior to conception to prevent birth defects in the baby. Vitamin C is essential for sperm health.
Changing the diet should always be the first thing anyone with unexplained infertility should do. Keep a journal of everything you eat a day, what areas are lacking?
So, what does eating a whole food diet mean? This means that the foods you consume should be minimally processed, as close to their natural state as possible. Harvard performed a study that showed an 80% decrease in infertility by switching to a fertility diet.
Key tips to follow:
Eat Whole Foods- Fresh vegetables, fruits, raw seeds and nuts, whole grains, lean grass fed free range organic meats and dairy products (limited).
Examples of Whole Foods:
-Dried beans you make yourself vs. canned beans.
-Homemade organic leftover meat vs. deli meats.
-Raw, lightly steamed, or lightly sauteed veggies/fruit vs. canned. Frozen is a better option than canned, but raw is still best.
-Raw dairy products vs. pasteurized and homogenized dairy products.
-Fresh vegetable/fruit juices vs. concentrated and pasteurized juice.
-Whole grains vs. pastas and breads.
Take a whole food multivitamin. This can help to ensure you are getting all the proper nutrients needed daily! This means both partners, men need to take a multivitamin just as much as a woman does!
Avoid anti-nutrients- Processed foods abound. Most things in the grocery store that come in a box are highly processed and contain preservatives, dyes, and fillers. Some of these anti-nutrients may actually harm fertility health because they disrupt hormonal balance.
Drink clean water- Drink filtered water, try to avoid tap water. Be sure you are drinking at least 8 full glasses of water. This will not only keep you hydrated, but will help you to flush toxins from the body daily.
2. Lifestyle Management
Take a look at both partners stress levels. If you have high stress there is a possibility that this may be hindering conception efforts for multiple reasons. The body is designed to prevent conception from occurring during times of high stress. High stress impacts hormone levels, sperm and egg health as well as libido. Work to reduce stress levels. Try meditation, calming herbs, daily exercise, ect.
Get your body moving! Exercise is extremely important for a variety of reasons. Regular exercise strengthens the muscles, builds stamina, may increase flexibility, increases circulation, keeps stress, depression and anxiety at bay, and promotes regular detoxification of excess hormones and toxins in the body. It is important to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week. Make sure that the exercise you choose to do promotes sweat. Sweating is not only the body’s way to cool itself off, it is it’s way to naturally detoxify daily. All of this is very important for healthy hormonal balance and circulation to the reproductive organs. Regular exercise also is beneficial for preparing the body for the hard work of childbirth.
Cut out bad habits!
Consider daily habits you have that are not so healthy. This could be smoking, drinking alcohol regularly, high caffeine or sugar intake. All of these are known to directly negatively impact fertility for both men and women.
Beginning your natural fertility treatment plan by choosing to do a Fertility Cleanse may help to reduce the impacts of bad lifestyle choices and prepare the body for healthy conception. Twice yearly Fertility Cleansing for both the female and male partners may greatly support hormonal balance while promoting natural detoxification of environmental toxins.
We offer complete Infertility Remedy Kit for both females and males that contains Fertility Cleansing products, Detoxification, Natural Hormone Balancing products, Uterine and Vaginal Cleansing products and so on. Whatever the cause of the infertility is, it will be taken care of and you will regain your natural fertility. We record 100% success on this.
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