Selenium is an antioxidant that helps to protect your body from highly reactive chemical fragments called free radicals. For this reason, selenium can prevent chromosome breakage, which is known to be a cause of birth defects and miscarriages. Good levels of selenium are also essential to maximise sperm formation. Blood selenium levels have been found to be lower in men with low sperm counts. These essential fats have a profound effect on every system of the body, including the reproductive system and they are crucial for healthy hormone functioning.
Omega 3 fatty acids also control inflammation which may interfere with getting and staying pregnant.
For men essential fatty acid supplementation is crucial because the semen is rich in prostaglandins which are produced from these fats. Men with poor sperm quality, abnormal sperm, poor motility or low count, have inadequate levels of these beneficial prostaglandins. Many of the women I see in the clinic have been taking evening primrose oil supplements — an Omega 6 fatty acid — for years and have not been eating enough Omega 3 oils, or taking them in supplement form, to counterbalance this. Some women are also taking combinations such as Omega 3, 6, and 9 in supplement form because they have heard that we need a good balance of all the Omega fatty acids.
This is true, but you have to take into account what your own levels may be in the first place. It is no good adding in more Omega 6 if you have already got enough or in fact too much in your body. You can now have a blood test to tell you if you have the correct levels of Omega 3 to Omega 6 in your body see below. Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant and has been shown to increase fertility when given to both men and women.
Men going for IVF treatment with their partners have been given vitamin E, and fertilisation rates have, as a result, increased from 19 to 29 percent. It has been suggested that the antioxidant activity of vitamin E might make the sperm more fertile. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, and studies show that vitamin C enhances sperm quality, protecting sperm and the DNA within it from damage.
Herbs and Fertility Don't Mix
Some research has indicated that certain types of DNA damage in the sperm can make it difficult to conceive in the first place, or it can cause an increased risk of miscarriage if conception does take place. If DNA is damaged, there may be a chromosomal problem in the baby, should the pregnancy proceed. Vitamin C also appears to keep the sperm from clumping together, making them more motile.
One study has shown that women taking the drug clomiphene to stimulate ovulation will have a better chance of ovulating if vitamin C is taken alongside the drug. Clomiphene does not always work in every woman, but the chances are often increased when vitamin C is supplemented. This is the vegetable precursor to Vitamin A and is completely safe during pregnancy. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant which helps to protect egg and sperm DNA from damage by harmful free radicals which can affect the quality of both the egg and sperm.
Free radicals are highly unstable and set off a process called oxidation which can have harmful effects on the every cell in the body.
Beta- carotene will be contained in your multivitamin and mineral. This is an amino acid found in many foods and the head of the sperm contains an exceptional amount of this nutrient, which is essential for sperm production.
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Supplementing with L-arginine can help to increase both the sperm count and quality. Note: People who have herpes attacks either cold sores or genital herpes should not supplement with L-arginine because it stimulates the virus. This amino acid is essential for normal functioning of sperm cells.
According to research, it appears that the higher the levels of L-Carnitine in the sperm cells, the better the sperm count and motility. Furthermore, by adopting a healthier lifestyle you will be more likely to prevent fertility problems which is discussed in detail in the rest of this ebook which you can read by clicking on Understanding Fertility ebook at The Natural Health Practice. This is the herb of choice for helping to restore hormone imbalance and increasing fertility. In one study 48 women diagnosed with infertility took agnus castus daily for three months, 7 of them became pregnant during that time and 25 of them regained normal progesterone levels.
Agnus castus is particularly helpful for those women who have a luteal phase defect shortened second half of the cycle or those with high prolactin levels, because it stimulates the proper functioning of the pituitary gland which controls the hormones. Agnus castus works to restore hormonal balance and can be used where there are hormone deficits as well as excesses it:. You should not take any of the above herbs if you are taking, The Pill, Fertility drugs, HRT or any other hormonal treatment or other medication unless they are recommended by a registered, experienced practitioner.
I suggest that you follow this three month plan and do not try to conceive within that time.
Because when you follow the plan, your fertility will begin to increase. Everything needs to be working at optimum levels before you conceive, both to prevent a miscarriage, and to give you the best possible chance of having a healthy baby. Susan had many problems with her periods: she had a regular cycle, but bled heavily with spotting and headaches before her period. At ovulation, her abdomen swelled up and she felt nauseous.
Infertility in women
Both Susan and her partner were tested for infections and the tests came back positive to one infection, which was easily cleared up by antibiotics. Susan was deficient in a number of nutrients, including zinc, selenium, calcium and magnesium, and her partner had low zinc and high aluminium levels.
I therefore recommended that he cut out tinned soft drinks and switch to an aluminium-free deodorant. Susan and her partner followed the three month programme and waited until their mineral levels were back to normal. Nine months from their first appointment day, they conceived, and, not surprisingly, had a baby another nine months later.
If you are under the age of 35 and have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for six months, follow the dietary and supplement suggestions given below for three months. At the end of this period, begin trying to conceive again. Give yourself six months before embarking on any fertility treatments or investigation by your doctor or a gynaecologist.
If you have been trying for six months and are over 35, follow the recommendations but visit your doctor and ask for tests to begin during that first three-month period. If you are given a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, then try for six months on your own before going for medical treatment. If you are under the age of 35, follow the suggestions below for three months. Then try on your own for six months before embarking on fertility tests.
Fertility Mineral Deficiency Test with Supplement Programme hair Find out what the mineral and heavy toxic levels are in your body. This test measures the deficiencies and excess levels of 12 different minerals including calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc and 6 heavy toxic metals including aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel that may be present in your body.
Online Personalised Supplement Assessment Programme Discover what vitamins and minerals you need and should be taking. The analysis of this comprehensive questionnaire will give you a three monthly supplement programme to help balance any vitamin and mineral deficiencies you may have.
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Female Hormone Test saliva A total of eleven saliva samples are collected at home at specific times across one cycle, and sent to the lab for analysis. This simple test will chart the level of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone across the month, to work out a pattern that may reveal:.
This test can be done even if you have irregular cycles. Vitamin D Deficiency Test at home blood finger prick With all the news in the press about the benefits of having good levels of vitamin D e. There is an increasing wealth of research linking low levels of this vitamin with infertility and immunological problems.
By making mice deficient in vitamin D they can actually make them infertile. Having an optimum level of vitamin D is also crucial for men as it has been associated with sperm motility and having a good amount of normal sperm. Omega 3 Deficiency Test at home blood finger prick If you want to find out if you are getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids from your diet and whether you have the correct balance of essential fatty acids.
Fish oil has also been shown to help prevent blood from clotting inappropriately so it can be beneficial to women in whom recurrent miscarriages have been linked to a clotting problem. The Omega 3 oils also control inflammation. Infection Screen urine Find out if an infection is stopping you conceiving or staying pregnant.
Infections in the vagina may have a serious impact on your ability to conceive and to hold on to a pregnancy. These infections may have existed for many years with low activity and often present no symptoms. If you are having problems conceiving or have suffered from successive miscarriage or IVF failure or if you have a persistent vaginal secretion it may be worth considering having an Infection Screen.
Chinese Herbs and Fertility
Infections in the prostate gland may affect both the quantity and quality of the sperm, so an infection screen is advisable, especially if everything else has been ruled out. It is advisable to get this organised at a specialist clinic like my one as the NHS infection screens can be very basic. Semen Analysis semen A comprehensive test to assess both quality and quantity of sperm. A good semen analysis not only assesses the sperm for quantity and motility but quality and is best done in a specialist clinic as the quality of the results can vary considerably.
A man can now have a comprehensive semen analysis to check for sperm count, motility, abnormal sperm, agglutination sperm clumping and sperm antibodies. It is then possible to use nutritional interventions to improve the semen analysis. The success of a viable embryo depends to a certain extent on the genetic DNA of the egg and the sperm.