Infertility is a big concern for many couples. Here is how to optimise your chances – the natural way, says Dr. Colin La Grange
The most important growth step any couple can take after their commitment to each other is the choice to have children. Very few people know what they are in for when it comes to having a baby. Apart from the fact that nothing quite prepares you for having a child, there is the whole fertility issue that most people are completely unaware of until they start trying to conceive.
It’s a shock to any couple when they find out that it is not as easy to conceive as they originally thought. Understanding infertility is a minefield of hormone cycles, period symptoms, complicated blood tests and timing issues around ovulation.
As stress plays such a large part in infertility, lifestyle changes are necessary to optimise your chances of having a baby. Ensuring that you have at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night, reducing caloric intake, especially of wheat and sugar, reducing coffee and alcohol intake, together with some form of moderate exercise, will greatly improve your reproductive health.
Often the question is: Who do I turn to for help? Each practitioner has your best interests at heart, but will give you a solution according to the form of medicine that they practise, as this is what they know best. I feel that fertility falls within a hierarchy of degrees of pathology, and many people who, in my opinion, do not have a severe fertility condition, may seek extreme fertility treatment measures only because that is the advice of the first practitioner that they consult.
Lifestyle and stress issues can have a profound impact on your hormones, resulting in a system imbalanced enough to be “temporarily sub-fertile”. This usually responds well to a natural balancing approach. There are unfortunately, however, pathologies that require advanced surgery and artificial hormonal manipulation with IVF procedures to achieve a pregnancy.
There are multiple options of treatments. If you start with your gynaecologist doing tests on your hormones, internal scans and semen analyses in order to establish the degree of the problem, it is prudent to explore all your options before settling on one form of treatment.
The alternative medicine option has some wonderful practitioners trained though the University of Johannesburg in reproductive health. These particular practitioners will be able to perform tests to decide whether or not you’re a candidate for their therapy, or whether you may need a surgical or ART option. Many cases benefit from a combined approach, where natural medicine may prepare your body for an ART procedure to ensure an enhanced outcome. Be fully informed and do not be afraid to get multiple opinions to assist you in making the best choice.Dr Colin La Grange
Here’s a checklist of things that need to be in place to conceive:
• Regular menstruation every 25 to 30 days.
• Bright-red, non-clotting bleeds.
• Mild to moderate menstrual pain.
• Mild to moderate PMS symptoms.
• Absence of sudden weight gain after stopping the contraceptive pill.
• Mid-cycle mucus discharge (varies between women).
• Timed intercourse from days 12 to 16 of a +/-28-day cycle.