Fertility Enhancement with Natural Medicine
It is difficult to determine what makes a couple sub-fertile or infertile. Unknown factors account for about 10% of infertility difficulties while up to 50% of the time it can be traced to the female and up to 40% of the time to the male.
The most common causes of infertility in women are:
- irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate due to luteal phase defect, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, etc…
- glandular imbalances
- pituitary gland problems where elevated prolactin blocks ovulation
- adrenal gland problems where increased levels of androgen (testosterone, DHEA) interferes with ovulation
- thyroid problems where low production of thyroid hormones can interfere with the ovary’s metabolic activities (follicle maturation and differentiation, ovum production, estrogen/progesterone production)
- luteal phase defects – progesterone plays an important role in the second ½ of the menstrual cycle, responsible for the uterine lining thickening, length of the cycle, implantation of the embryos, etc…
- blocked fallopian tubes
- failure of the sperm to pass through the cervix and into the uterus
- stress and other psychological factors
In my experiences, other causative factors also include chronic Candida infection (gastrointestinal and/or vaginal infection), hypothyroidism, cervical mucus problem (estrogen imbalance), nutrition (hypoglycemia tendency, improper nutrition), the use of certain drugs, or heavy metal toxicity (mercury, lead, solvents, etc…).
In helping you with your subfertility issues, my job as your physician is to:
- Identify the most plausible causes of the problem
- Comprehensively review all your bodily functions to rule out ALL glandular imbalances. This is something that conventional allopathic medical doctors often overlook – the focus should really be TOTAL BODY endocrine work-up and not only ovarian work-up. The pituitary, adrenals, thyroids, ovarian functions should all be assessed and any problem from these glands should be corrected. This can be done via blood and salivary hormone testing.
- Study your menstrual cycle carefully – both the follicular (1st half of the cycle) and the luteal phase (2nd half of the cycle) to look at estrogen and progesterone cycling, their ratios, distribution, fluctuations throughout the cycle. The goal is to optimize hormone balancing, promoting regular ovulation, proper mucous production, proper lining activity, proper temperature changes (thermal shifts), LH surge, reducing any uterine inflammation to aid with sperm transport, and reducing any menstrual difficulties (PMS, cramps, etc…).
- Identify whether androgens (testosterone, DHEA) and/or adrenal dysfunctions are the probable causes and offering treatment plans to reduce androgen levels and to optimize your adrenal gland functions to better cope with stress.
- Investigate whether suboptimal thyroid functions play a role in your subfertility picture and address the problem if any
- Rule out any chronic yeast infection, heavy metal or toxin build up in your system that may interfere with all organ communications and hormone metabolizing process
- Determine if metabolic detoxification is important in helping your body clear of hormonal or chemical waste products to optimize your menstrual cycle activities.
- Provide counseling on proper rest, nutrition, and stress-relieving techniques which are essential in fertility success
- Work with your spouse if there’s a known male fertility factor (sperm count, sperm quality, prostatic functions, sperm antibody issues, etc…) and offer effective treatment plans for it.
Infertility, sub-fertility and miscarriage are medical problems that affect millions of couples today who desire to start a family. My primary goal is to provide my patients greater understanding of how their body work and so they can seek in-depth information about what is “out of balance” with their reproductive system and how I can help them solve the infertility problems. I offer nutritional supplementation, herbal treatment, and bio-identical hormone therapies as part of the fertility enhancement treatment plan. Please call the office and schedule a consultation with me – once I have studied your case and listened to all your concerns, I can offer you ways to enhance your fertility and your chance of getting pregnant naturally by optimizing your health and your endocrine system.
By Dr. Mylinh Vo, ND, ABAAHP