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Infertility and Miscarriage Holistic Solutions

Infertility may be due to a single cause in either you or your partner, or a combination of factors that may prevent a pregnancy from occurring or continuing. Current data suggest that environmental levels of endocrine disruptor's (EDs) such as pesticides, GMO food, fluoride and other chemicals may affect the development and functioning of the reproductive system in both sexes, particularly in fetuses, causing developmental and reproductive disorders, including infertility and miscarriage. Scientists believe that endocrine disruptor, including BPA, prevent your hormones from functioning normally, sometimes leading to fertility problems. The natural approach to treating infertility solves the root causes of infertility by addressing all body systems, rather than just focusing solely on the reproductive system.

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Increase Your Chances of Conceiving and Preventing Miscarriage

Natural Treatments for Recurrent Miscarriage For an increasing number of couples, the joy of achieving pregnancy results in a devastating situation in which a miscarriage occurs with the loss of a pregnancy, usually in the first trimester. Miscarriages occur in about one-sixth of all pregnancies, and many of them are due to a disarrangement of chromosomes during cell division. This usually doesn’t happen two times. However, some patients are plagued by repeated miscarriages. In these cases, miscarriages may be due to hormonal imbalances, abnormalities of the uterus, genetic abnormalities or exposure to endocrine disruptor's. Numerous synthetic and natural substances have endocrine-disruptive effects. In many couples there’s an immunologic cause for multiple miscarriages. A simple blood test can be done to look for abnormal antibodies which attack the early placenta as it tries to develop its root system into the wall of the uterus. For most causes of miscarriage, there’s a cure or a corrective procedure available.

Is Your Body Baby-Friendly?

Dr. Alan Beer explains for the first time ever why "unexplained" infertility, IVF failures and recurrent miscarriages happen. This book shows how the immune system can behave in a way that prevents a pregnancy from continuing. High levels of Natural Killer cells, genetic compatibility between partners and blood clotting problems are all significant causes of reproductive failure. Autoimmunity either inherited or environmentally triggered—is a major reason for the increase in infertility and miscarriage today. In addition to medical treatments, there are also natural ways that the immune system can be moderated to create a more "baby-friendly" environment. For the first time, readers will be able to see that their reproductive problems have a root cause and that in many cases, they can be addressed with immune therapy and possibly by making certain changes to their lifestyle.

This is because the vast majority of women are deficient in higher order beneficial omega-3 fats like DHA. DHA is responsible for: Preventing the vast majority of premature deliveries, Maximizing intelligence and Optimizing vision in infants. Supplementing your diet with omega-3 fat from fish oil or cod liver oil is also an excellent way to treat depression. If this subject interests you, I highly recommend Dr. Stoll's book The Omega-3 Connection . He is a Harvard psychiatrist who has done a great job of compiling the evidence supporting the use of fish oils for depression. But in addition to treating the depression, omega-3 will also do wonders for improving the intelligence of the child and protecting them from the epidemic of brain injuries such as autism, pervasive developmental delay and ADHD".

Risk of Miscarriage Linked to Antidepressants

thousands of women struggling with infertility Women who take the popular antidepressant Prozac while pregnant might negatively affect the development of their babies. Prozac in Pregnancy Toxic to Fetus, as researchers found some of the consequences included babies that were born lighter and sleepier than normal. Respiratory problems were another reported consequence. A report revealed that the effects of taking the drug were more likely to happen in utero exposure during the late stages in gestation.

The report involved the study of Prozac, known generically as fluoxetine. Although the studied toxicity of this drug was considered to be reversible, long-term studies have yet to be performed to observe residual effects. Experts also found that Prozac could affect sex drive in both adult men and women, and it was discovered that the drug was getting into the blood of newborns through breast milk. It was also reported that mood disorders in women of childbearing years was common and statistics showed that 15.6 percent of women met the qualifications for major depression while in their third trimester of pregnancy. Researchers suggested further examination of how and why antidepressants could trigger the production of new brain cells, which could affect a fetus or newborn in ways that haven’t yet been explored. CNN April 28, 2004

A research published study in CMAJ (the Canadian Medical Association Journal) reports that expectant moms taking antidepressants may increase their risk of having a miscarriage by 68 percent, Canadian researchers report. Antidepressant use is common during pregnancy, with up to 3.7 percent of women taking the drugs during the first trimester. Stopping treatment can lead to a return of depression and other symptoms, and previous studies of the medications' effects on the fetus have been small and had contradictory results. But the Canadian case-control study on more than 5,000 women found that by controlling for other factors associated with miscarriage, taking antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy led to an increased risk of miscarriage.

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Infertility Chemical Found in Perfumes

The Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association condemned the report as inaccurate. It said: "Consumer safety is the first priority for the cosmetic industry and consumers can have complete confidence in the cosmetic products they use, and in the regulatory framework which ensures cosmetic safety." Numerous studies on rats and mice have shown phthalate exposure causes genital abnormality. The latest research was conducted by a Swedish government-accredited laboratory for Health care Without Harm, a US-based organization representing 300 consumer pressure groups around the world.

Researchers at the Analycen lab analyzed 34 leading brands of cosmetics and found more than three-quarters contained phthalates, which help prevent loss of fragrance. The investigation found other forms of the chemical in Tommy Girl perfume, Impulse Body Spray, Nivea Deo Compact, Sure Ultra deodorant, Shockwaves hair mousse and four hair sprays including Elnett Satin, Pantene Pro-V Extra Hold and Vidal Sassoon.

Per Rosander, who wrote the report, said: "What we know about these chemicals is that they cause damage to the reproductive system. That is why they have been classed by the EU as reproductive toxins." Sharpe, of the Medical Research Council's Human Reproductive Sciences Unit in Edinburgh, said: "If you wanted to produce a list of environmental causes of the reproductive health problems in boys, phthalates would be pretty near the top of the list."

Actor Julia Sawalha, who played Saffy in Absolutely Fabulous, supports the Women's Environmental Network, a backer of the Swedish research." Chemicals that pose a risk to fertility do not belong in cosmetics, and manufacturers should be made to list ingredients," she said. During both the conception process and throughout pregnancy it is important that hopeful moms maintain their physical wellbeing and as well as their psychological health. This broad field of women’s health includes psychological issues surrounding mood, stress and relaxation, as well as physical areas such as infertility, nutrition, morning sickness, labor and delivery and more.

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Artificial Sweeteners Interferes with the Fertility Process

James Bowen, M.D. told the FDA years ago "Every known metabolite of aspartame is of marked or questionable toxicity and patently unsafe for human use." In Aspartame Murders Infants he said: "At every point in the fertility process aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, Canderal, Benevia, etc.) destroys.It ruins female sexual response and induces male sexual dysfunction. Beyond this, aspartame disrupts fetal development by aborting it or inducing defects. And if a live child is born, aspartame may have heinously damaged the DNA of the baby cursing future generation."

  • "I have observed severe intellectual deterioration associated with the use of aspartame product (NutraSweet, Equal/Spoonful, Canderal, Benevia, etc.) It was usually manifest as great difficulty in reading and writing, obvious problems with memory and grossly impaired orientation to time, place and person." H. J. Roberts, M.D.
  • "Aspartame has a profound effect on mood and cognition....depressed mood, anxiety, dizziness, panic attacks, nausea, irritability, impairment of memory and concentration." Ralph Walton, M.D.

Infertility and Birth Defect Linked to water Fluoridation and Chlorination

Scientists from Imperial College, London University, will carry out the research after doctors in Norway, Canada and the United States reported higher levels of birth defects in areas where chlorine is used, compared with drinking water treated by alternative methods. A Norwegian study of 141,000 births over three years found a 14 per cent increased risk of birth defects in areas with chlorinated water. Scientists have already found an association between chlorine and an increased risk of bowel, kidney and bladder cancer, but it is the first time that a link has been found with higher levels of spina bifida.

Ultrasound - More powerful, more dangerous, more unethical

Ultrasound equipment bombards a fetus for up to one hour with megahertz radiation. This radiation, which cycles millions of time per second, can cause mutation and bleeding in the intestinal cells of rodents. Swedish scientists say routine ultrasound scanning of pregnant women may be causing subtle brain damage in unborn babies. Approximately half of all pregnancies in the U.S. result in prenatal or postnatal death, or an otherwise less than healthy baby.33 Many wonder if routine exposure of America's fragile unborn to megahertz radiation might be a factor, among others, of this shocking national statistic. Is fetal ultrasound exposure playing some part in the national epidemic of delayed development in infants, plus learning and behavior difficulties suffered by millions of our school children? Exposing the unborn to ionizing X-radiation at airport checkpoints is an even more dangerous game of roulette.

New research has raised doubts over the safety of ultrasound scans used to view fetuses in the womb. Scientists have called for further research to determine whether safety limits should be reviewed for the tests, which are also used to check internal organs in children and adults. Since the early 1990s, when American researchers showed that ultrasound tissue heating can cause bleeding in mouse intestines, ultrasonographers tune the power of scans to reduce heating. The latest discovery, by scientists at University College Dublin, is the first to find that scans create changes in cells. Patrick Brennan, who led the research, said: "It has been assumed for a long time that ultrasound has no effect on cells. We now have grounds to question that assumption." The researchers gave 12 mice an eight megahertz scan lasting for 15 minutes. Hospital scans can last for up to an hour, using frequencies of between three and 10 megahertz. According to today's New Scientist, two significant changes in the cells of the small intestine were detected in scanned mice compared with unscanned mice. Four and a half hours after exposure, the rate of cell division had reduced by 22 per cent and the rate of programmed cell death had approximately doubled. Mr Brennan believes there will be similar effects in humans. New Scientist ISSUE 1476 Thursday 10 June 1999

Link found between food packaging and miscarriages

Scientists in Japan have found evidence of a link between recurrent miscarriages and a chemical widely used in food packaging. Women with a history of miscarriages were found to have higher levels of the compound in their bodies. The scientists admit that their findings are based on a small preliminary study, but say further research into the chemical's effect on human reproduction is "definitely warranted". The compound is called bisphenol-A or BPA. It is used in plastic food containers, cans and dental sealants. Research suggests it leaches from products and is absorbed in low concentrations by the human body. A separate study last month suggested it might be a contributing factor to women developing breast cancer.

Hormonal imbalance
Hormonal problems, in either partner, are readily treated with herbs. Whilst not containing hormones themselves, some herbs stimulate the glands concerned, bringing about production of the right proportions of hormones and in their right sequence in the menstrual cycle to promote conception. Vitex agnus castus is the key to success here. Research carried out in the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, found that although it does not contain the hormone progesterone, it affects the pituitary gland in such a way that it corrects and regulates the secretion of progesterone from the ovaries. Vitex also corrects any hormone deficiency of either oestrogen or progesterone.

Chamaelirium luteum also has the effect of correcting hormonal imbalances. In Britain, the most frequent use of this remedy is for female infertility, as well as impotence on the part of the man. Herbalists have been known to warn people of the potency of this plant should they not want to conceive! It is an effective tonic to the uterus and ovaries, and is useful to redress almost any imbalance in either male or female reproductive systems. It helps to prevent miscarriage, uterine hemorrhage and over-relaxed conditions of the uterus, even to the extent of prolapse.

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Boosting Fertility Naturally

A study conducted by the University of Surrey showed that couples with a previous history of infertility who made changes in their lifestyle, diet and took nutritional supplements had an 80 percent success rate.

Glutathione's Role for Sperm Quality and Male Fertility

A decrease in levels of reduced glutathione (GSH) during sperm production has been shown to cause disruption in the membrane integrity of spermatozoa as a consequence of increased oxidative stress. Intracellular glutathione levels of spermatozoa are shown to be decreased in certain populations of infertile men. At the 94th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association, andrologists presented strong clinical evidence that men diagnosed with infertility have high levels of oxidative stress that may impair the quality of their sperm.

Glutathione Compared with a control group, the infertile men in all groups had significantly higher levels of ROS and lower levels of total antioxidants. In some groups, higher levels of ROS were associated with lower sperm counts and defective sperm structure, while lower antioxidant levels correlated with reduced sperm movement. Their results supported previous evidence showing that oxidative stress can decrease a sperm's life span, its motility, and its ability to penetrate the egg cell. Up to 40% of men with male infertility without a known cause have higher levels of free radical activity in their bodies. Because men with high levels of ROS have a seven-fold lower likelihood of inducing a pregnancy than men with lower levels, researchers recommend that treatment for infertile men should include strategies to reduce oxidative stress and improve sperm quality.

In a double-blind cross-over study of 20 infertile men, treatment with glutathione led to a statistically significant improvement of the sperm quality. The study concerned men in whom the sperm quality was poor due to unilateral varicocele or germ-free genital tract inflammation - two conditions in which ROS or other toxic compounds are indicated as causative factors. Treatment with glutathione was found to have a statistically significantly positive effect on, among other things, sperm motility (in particular forward motility) and on sperm morphology. The findings of these studies indicate that glutathione therapy could represent a possible therapeutic tool in cases where ROS or exposure to toxins is the probable cause of male infertility.

Male infertility is associated with increased oxidative stressand low GSH levels. Elevated GSH levels may enhance the quality of sperm and increase fertility. And GSH also feeds hair follicles and may prevent or delay hair loss especially that suffered as a side-effect of cancer chemotherapy. Many complicated factors play a part in the infertility that affects about one fifth of American couples. Ovulatory dysfunction accounts for 20%, tubal dysfunction for 3o% and abnormal cervical mucus for 5 % . These are all female problems. But male sperm disorders account for 35% of cases. The problem may be low sperm count or another abnormality of the sperm, such as impaired swimming ability. A growing body of evidence implies that oxidative stress may cause loss of sperm function. Sperm generate an excess amount of oxyradicals and these reactive oxygen molecules may lead to lipid peroxidation (oxidation of fatty substances) in the cell wall of the sperm itself. This leads to poor movement characteristics of the sperm and their impaired ability to fuse with the female's ova or egg. This understanding has opened doors for the development of innovative techniques in the treatment of male infertility.

Patients with idiopathic male infertility were compared to fertile volunteers by measuring oxidative stress, antioxidant activity and glutathione levels. Urologist I. Alkan and his team found significant differences among all parameters of both groups, suggesting that oxidation may cause infertility. Similar studies conducted by F.R. Ochsendorf at the Center of Dermatology and Andrology in Germany support these findings.

A group of reproductive biology scientists led by D.S. Irvine in Edinburgh, Scotland, is raising GSH contents in male infertility patients. In a paper entitled `Glutathione for male infertility,' he showed that GSH seems to act at the epididymis and during sperm formation as well as improving the function of ejaculated spermatozoa. Another German team headed by T. Oeda experimented with NAC (N-acetylcysteine) and showed that it reduced oxidative stress and improved impaired sperm 4 function.

Magnesium Deficiency, Infertility and Miscarriage

Magnesium Miracle for Infertility A small clinical study of infertile women as well as women with a history of miscarriage found that low levels of magnesium may impair reproductive function and increase the risk for miscarriage. The authors of the study suggest that one aspect of the treatment of infertility (particularly in women with a history of miscarriage) should include magnesium along with selenium. More research in this area is needed.

Magnesium is nothing short of a miracle mineral in its healing effect on a wide range of diseases as well as in its ability to rejuvenate the aging body. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency may include agitation and anxiety, restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep disorders, irritability, nausea and vomiting, abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure, confusion, muscle spasm and weakness, hyperventilation, insomnia, and even seizures.

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Homeopathy for Infertility

Jacob I. Mirman, MD - "Since homeopathy is meant to treat the whole person, it affects the reproductive organs just as surely as all the rest. If there is no irreversible pathology there it will create conditions favorable to reproduction, since this is what those organs are meant to do. This fact is well known among homeopaths and stories of making babies in infertile women abound."

Homeopathic medicine developed much of its popularity in the United States and Europe because of its success in treating people with cholera, scarlet fever, yellow fever and other infectious diseases that were ravaging populations. Homeopathy also provides many valuable medicines in treating people who suffer from accidents and injuries. When these medicines are used in conjunction with conventional first aid procedures, the risk of long-term damage from an injury can be significantly decreased and the healing process can be noticeably enhanced.

Jacob I. Mirman, MD - "Since homeopathy is meant to treat the whole person, it affects the reproductive organs just as surely as all the rest. If there is no irreversible pathology there it will create conditions favorable to reproduction, since this is what those organs are meant to do. This fact is well known among homeopaths and stories of making babies in infertile women abound."

Homeopathy can offer good health to women in all stages of their lives from infancy through old age. It is beneficial for the full range of emotional, mental and physical problems that a woman is likely to experience, and can help her through the transitional and developmental milestones of her life. Homeopathy is truly a friend to women. It is a comprehensive system of medicine which is able to meet the needs of people in all facets of their lives, and through all of life's transitions. By strengthening the immune system and helping to balance the mind and the emotions, homeopathy can help women achieve the higher purposes of their lives, and feel their very best.

Mary Aspinwall is a Registered Homeopath who worked extensively in Europe from 1995 and is now based in Ventura, CA. She is currently writing a book on clients’ experiences of how homeopathy helped them overcome difficulties in conception, pregnancy, birth and post-partum. If you would like to share your inspiring story with others or work with her on fertility or other issues, you can contact her at www.ojaihaven.com

Gabrielle Traub, M. Tech (HOM), CCH, HD (Hon) is a classical homeopath. Due to her overwhelming success in helping women, Gabrielle was invited to join a traditional medical OB-GYN clinic, where she has been practicing alongside a traditional OB-GYN and endocrinologist for the last 8 years, specializes in women’s health. Gabrielle has assisted a number of natural births including the natural delivery of twins. Gabrielle teaches homeopathic childbirth classes for expecting parents, midwives and doulas and is currently writing a book on homeopathic treatment for Infertility. Gabrielle graduated from 6 year homeopathic program in South Africa, which included training in hospitals and rural clinics. She dedicated a year to research, conducting double blind clinical trials on anxiety and difficulty concentrating, including ADD and ADHD. She is nationally certified by the Council for Homeopathic Certification.

Gabrielle produces and hosts the popular alternative medicine radio show “Vital Force” and is on the teaching faculty of four colleges. Gabrielle practices in San Diego, California and offers telephone consults for those living out of town and abroad. To make an appointment, visit www.DiscoverHomeopathy.com or call 858-531-5279

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Glyconutrients, Nutrition and Fertility

Dr. William Albrecht writes in "Soil Fertility and Animal Health ", that it takes a fertile healthy soil to grow healthy nutritious crops to sustain healthy productive animals or people

Dr. Jerry Tennant, M.D. says that marine phytoplankton is a rich source of glyconutrients, and contains almost everything one needs to sustain life and to restore health by providing the raw materials to make new cells that function normally. Marine phytoplankton has been called "the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet". Containing a wide range of trace elements, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, enzymes and cellular materials, marine phytoplankton micronutrients promotes and maintains optimum health by boosting and supporting all systems within the body. Its antioxidants and unique polysaccharides can halt the genetic mutations that can lead to cancer. Both high levels of saccharides and adaptogens increase energy and stamina by improving our ability to consume and use oxygen. Adaptogens also improve cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart and

The initial section on general nutrition is a great guide to healthy eating with valuable tips about shopping and preparation. (I found Shannon's information about essential fatty acids particularly helpful.) The subsequent chapters hold invaluable information about the role that different vitamins (like B6, folic acid) and minerals (like magnesium and selenium) play in regulating and enhancing a woman's cycle and her fertility (including topics like controlling PMS and handling menopause). Table V, on recommended supplements, has become my personal "bible" for vitamin supplementation - something I never "believed in" before reading this book. As Shannon suggests in chapter 15, I hired a local (Chicago-area) nutritionist to help me with supplements. She read Shannon's book for the first time at my request and confirmed my opinion that this book is excellent. For example, not only does Shannon list recommended daily amounts for vitamins and minerals in her Table V, but she also tells you in a separate column what the latest research shows about toxicity, i.e., at what amount this vitamin or mineral may become harmful.

Nature's Answer to Infertility Problems?

Bee Pollen for Infertility Bee Pollen stimulates ovarian function. The best results were obtained with a pollen supplementation of 2 parts per 100 in the ration, and with the substitution of animal proteins with pollen in a proportion of 5 parts per 100. The intensity of ovulation increased. Parallel to this increase in ovulation, pollen also improves the ability of eggs to withstand the incubation period. The best results were obtained with a quantity of 4 parts per 100 of pollen added to the ration, resulting in an increase in the percentage of eggs in respect to the control group. The application of bee pollen is recommended whenever the end result is obtaining eggs for reproduction.

Phytotherapeutic approaches to infertility.
There is much that herbs can contribute to supporting fertility, but there is no 'wonder cure' here. The suggestions given here will help, but the practitioner is encouraged to be creative and intuitive in remedy selection. Each individual woman and man will have plants that suit them best. Identifying them is part of the skill of the good herbalist.