Female infertility is well-treated using naturopathic medicine.
Female infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after one year of frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse.
The cause of female infertility is difficult to identify owing to the complexity of the reproductive system. To become pregnant the ovary must release a mature egg, which must be fertilized, transported to (via the fallopian tubes), implanted in, and grown in the uterus. In women, there are a number of factors that can disrupt this process at any stage – therefore many potential causes of infertility (e.g., hormonal imbalances, inflammation of fallopian tubes, uterine fibroids, etc.).
To learn more about factors affecting fertility and our approach to addressing these, please visit our page on Natural Fertility.
Seek professional healthcare if you are younger than 31 years of age and have not had success becoming pregnant in one year of “trying”, or are 35-40 years of age and have not had success becoming pregnant in six months of “trying”.
If you are planning to “try” to become pregnant, and are over the age of 40, or have a history of irregular or painful menstrual periods, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), repeated miscarriages or endometriosis, consider seeking professional healthcare without delay.
Symptoms of Female Infertility
Possible symptoms of female infertility include:
- Inability to become pregnant after one year of frequent, unprotected intercourse
- Abnormal menstrual cycle (either too-short or -long)
Treatment of Female Infertility at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, the goal of female infertility treatment is a healthy, viable pregnancy.
Conventional treatment for female infertility may include a variety of medications, including fertility drugs that affect hormone levels, metformin and aromatase inhibitors. These treatments may have short- or long-term side effects.
For this reason, you may choose to try natural treatment to possibly avoid use of conventional medications, or together with conventional medications in order to decrease dosages of conventional medications required to manage your infertility symptoms.
Naturopathic treatment of any chronic health concern must be recognized as a process that involves:
- Identifying specific treatment goals
- Development by your naturopathic doctor, of a thorough understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
- Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
- Implementation and maintenance of that plan through periodic monitoring and adjustment.
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, a typical approach to treating female infertility may be to:
- Identify and address underlying factors in your lifestyle (e.g. difficulty managing stress or weight ; poor diet; tobacco, caffeine or heavy alcohol use) or general health (e.g., polycystic ovarian syndrome [PCOS], endometriosis, hypothyroidism, obesity) that may be affecting your ability to become pregnant
- “Balance” hormones using botanical (herbal) medicines
- Optimize your body’s ability to support a successful, healthy pregnancy using nutritional counseling and acupuncture
Where appropriate, a number of therapeutic options are available, to be used alone, or more often in a complementary fashion, including:
- Nutritional counseling
- Nutritional supplements
- Metabolic detoxification protocols
- Botanical (herbal) medicines
- Bowen Therapy
- Exercise prescription
- Relaxation (meditation) training
- Lifestyle medicine and counseling
- Registered massage therapy
Treatments provided by naturopathic doctors and registered massage therapists are covered by most extended healthcare plans.
Female infertility [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2010 Jan 29]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/female-infertility/DS01053.