When a couple have difficulty conceiving often the woman feels that the problem lies within her, and this is often reinforced by the attitudes of others around her. While the female reproductive system is complex this can present a range of difficulties relating to fertility. However there is growing evidence that men’s health and the health of their sperm are decreasing. Many studies are showing that sperm count, morphology and motility are declining significantly.
There are many possible problems a female can have which will reduce their fertility, the chances of a healthy conception and birth.
Female infertility – the main causes
- Stress: Studies are showing that our fast-paced and hurried lifestyles are impacting on all our body systems. Stress affects the adrenals, digestion and absorption of nutrients, blood sugar regulation, immune, thyroid and hormonal function. Our endocrine and hormonal systems are likely to be most affected by stress. The female reproductive system represents a delicate balance of hormones and stress can be the precipitating factor that tilts this balance. This is where a regular gentle yoga practice can be most beneficial, because of its effect on the parasympthetic nervous system. This part of the nervous system is associated with rest and relaxation. A gentle therapeutic yoga practice will have a supportive effect on the adrenals, immunity, thyroid, digestive and hormonal functions; all these functions are associated with fertility.
- Nutrient deficiencies: Our modern day diets of preservatives, convenience and takeaway foods can provide us with inadequate nutrients for our reproductive and general health
- Hormonal imbalance e.g. luteal phase defects, inadequate progesterone to support the implantation of the fertilised egg in the uterus. Luteal phase defects can be ascertained by analysing the menstrual cycle charts.
- Lack of ovulation, ovulatory disorders, premature ovarian failure. Premature ovarian failure can be treated and reversed.
- Uterine and cervical abnormalities
- Poorly functioning fallopian tubes – congestion, blockage or damage. Natural therapies such as herbal medicine and nutrients can reverse blocked fallopian tubes.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Uterine fibroids: Many women with fibroids successfully conceive and have children. It depends on the type and location of the fibroid.
- Insulin resistance and diabetes
- Chemicals, toxins, heavy metal exposure which reduces nutrient absorption, interferes with the balance of hormones, reduces our immunity and affects all our body systems
- Hypothyroidism: If a woman with hypothyroidism does conceive there is an increased risk of miscarriage as cells have difficulty dividing in low temperature. Throughout pregnancy the demand for thyroid hormone increases as it is needed to maintain the increased metabolic rate of mother and baby.
- Infections, history of sexually transmitted infections, urinary tract infections i.e Candida, Chlamydia, Streptococcus B., Ureaplasma, Mycoplasm.
- Immune dysfunction – anti sperm antibodies, Auto-immune conditions such as lupus, coeliac disease.
- Unexplained infertility. This could include unconscious beliefs about motherhood and fertility
- Previous surgical interventions and invasive treatments