Male and Female Infertility, Preconception Care

by Savvas Ioannides N.D.

Definition

Infertility is the inability to conceive after at least a year of regular sexual intercourse without the use of contraceptives, can be due to causes that lie either in the man or the woman or both. Infertility can be either temporary or, in a small percentage of cases, permanent.

Preconception care

Preconception care aims to ensure that there is an adequate supply of all of those nutritional factors which are essential for the health of sperm, ova and foetus and an absence of those factors which are known to compromise general health or which are harmful to germ cells and to foetal development. Preconception care for both parents takes a minimum of 4 months before an intended conception since ova are susceptible to damage for 100 days before ovulation and sperm formation takes approximately 116 days.

Preconception health care involves identification and detoxification of heavy metals, avoidance of environmental toxins such as smoking and pesticides, treatment of allergies, treatment of infection and treatment of any reproductive or fertility problems. Nutritional supplementation addresses many of these factors and provides the essential nutrients for healthy foetal growth and development.

The importance of Preconception Care

  • Improve fertility and resolve infertility issues in both male and female.
  • Presence of all the factors required for the creation of a healthy foetus.
  • Absence of all factors detrimental to the creation of a healthy foetus.
  • Ensure a normal, healthy full term pregnancy, i.e. prevention of miscarriage, stillbirth and congenital defects.
  • Successful and long-term breastfeeding.
  • Mother free of postnatal depression.

Goals prior to conception (minimum 4 months)

  • Protection and detoxification from radiation, toxins, pollutants including caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
  • Adequate nutritional status.
  • Adequate exercise program.
  • Adequate sperm count, motility and morphology.
  • Regular cycles and balanced hormones.
  • Adequate stress management programs.
  • Positive thinking.

Causes of Infertility

  • 30% Fallopian Tube Disorder
  • 20% Ovulation Disorder
  • 15% Endometriosis
  • 10% Mucus problems
  • 5% Mechanical problems e.g. Fibroids
  • 50% Sperm problems
  • 30% Sexual Intercourse problems

Overall causes of couples’ infertility are approximately assessed as:

  1. 30% female fertility problems
  2. 30% male fertility problems
  3. 20% mutual problems
  4. 20% unexplained problems

Other factors that may contribute to infertility are psychological stress, systemic diseases such as diabetes, poor diet and nutrition, autoimmune diseases such as female antibodies to sperm/male antibodies, sexual transmitted infections and genito-urinary infections such as Chlamydia trachomatis, previous use of contraception programs or terminations and finally greater age of prospective parents.

Dietary Changes and Nutritional Supplements

Preconception Care Nutrition

  • A gentle detoxification and protection from all toxins, radiation and pollutants including caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and recreational drugs.
  • Diet should be preferably wholefood and organic
  • Water should be purified and filtered
  • Adequate exercise program
  • Foods high in Zinc for fertility and immunity such as seafood, spinach, nuts, seeds, beef and chicken.
  • Flax meal for Omega 3 fatty acids for the development of the brain of the foetus.
  • No alcohol or stimulants.

Supplements

  • Zinc for the health of the female and male reproductive system.
  • Vitamin E with Selenium are antioxidant and increase sperm count.
  • Vitamin A is needed for cell development and differentiation.
  • Vitamin C with bioflavoids are antioxidant and improve immunity and is required for the production of sex hormones.
  • Essential fatty acids are essential for proper development of the foetus’s brain, eyes and nervous system.

Herbal Treatment

Adaptogenic, hepatic, reproductive, tonic, antioxidant, hormone modulator, hepatoprotective, nervine, circulatory stimulant and other herbs are indicated depending on the case.

Examples

Paeonia lactiflora (Peony)

PeonyThe active constituent in Peony seems to be paeoniflorin, a monoterpene glycoside. It is thought to act directly on the ovary to reduce the production of androgens in a dose-dependent manner. It increases the activity or aromatase, which promotes the synthesis of oestradiol from testosterone. Formulas containing Peony may also improve progesterone levels by normalizing ovarian function when the activity of aromatase is inhibited. It has been used to treat hyperprolactinaemia, ovarian failure and androgen excess. The biofeedback in the pituitary and hypothalamus rely on aromatase to regulate prolactin and GnRH. It is indicated in infertility, irregular cycles and ovulatory failure, any hormonal irregularity including elevated androgens, low progesterone, high or low oestrogen and elevated prolactin.

Tribulus terrestris (Tribulus)

Tribulus terrestris

It is a male sexual tonic, enhances the motility of spermatozoa and increases sperm count. Clinical studies have shown improvement in libido, sexual activity and intracavernous pressure in rats (2.5–10 mg/kg/day), and a proerectile effect on corpus cavernosum smooth muscle of rabbits (tissue isolated after treatment, 2.5–10 mg/kg/day). Also, there was a marked stimulation of spermatogenesis, increased density of Sertoli cells, increased tenacity and viability of spermatozoa, and accelerated and emphasised sexual activity in rats (70 mg/kg/day). Female rats treated with the saponin fraction produced more offspring.

Many Tribulus products on the market are quite different in phytochemical profile from the Bulgarian extract. Only leaf from Bulgaria was high in protodioscin (the active ingredient of Tribulus).

For more information about nutritional and herbal supplements for the treatment of male or female infertility see your naturopath, since each case needs a different approach.

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About Naturopathy by Savvas Ioannides
Savvas Ioannides is a Naturopathic, Herbal and GAPS Diet practitioner who studied at Nature Care College in Sydney. Savvas uses holistic and natural therapies including Herbal remedies and Nutrition to boost your vitality and help you achieve optimum levels of health.

4 Responses to Male and Female Infertility, Preconception Care

  1. Pingback: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – Herbal Treatment | Naturopathy by Savvas Ioannides N.D.

  2. Pingback: Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris) | Naturopathy by Savvas Ioannides N.D.

  3. Pingback: Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) | Naturopathy by Savvas Ioannides N.D.

  4. There is a lot of ways on how to get pregnant or in other words Infertility treatment, such like this Blog Post. Its Incredible!

    This really helps giving tips to those longing and desiring kids for themselves. It is a pleasurable thing to help others who need to build their own family. Giving the couple the right to have become a father and mother.

    Lets spread love to those barren or married couple get rid of the problem of having no kids or even to those who are planning to build their own home.
    Just sharing couple of Tips and advice for everyone

    Like

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