A Holistic Approach To Infertility: Can Naturopathic Treatments Help With IVF?

A Holistic Approach To Infertility: Can Naturopathic Treatments Help With IVF?

Treat Infertility From All Angles

About 14% of married couples struggle with infertility, with men and women equally contributing to the problem. Infertility is a significant concern today, especially as couples have children at later ages. For people with infertility, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the best options to increase the chances of pregnancy. Concurrent naturopathic methods can help improve the chances of IVF success.

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Understanding IVF

During in vitro fertilization, a fertility clinic can create mature embryos outside of the body. The woman will use specific hormone medications to develop more mature oocytes or eggs. Next, a doctor will surgically extract these eggs. The fertility clinic will then use the sperm sample provided by the man to create embryos. The best embryos are selected for implantation back into the uterus.

Add the natural approach

Naturopathic medicine has been around for over 100 years. The goal is to use natural means to help the body treat chronic conditions and prevent diseases affecting the quality of life. By treating the mind and body, the patient can target the cause rather than mask the symptoms. Naturopathic doctors believe the body has self-healing abilities. The specialist will first find and remove any obstacles to these healing abilities. Next, the patient can improve overall health by using tools like diet, exercise, acupuncture, herbal supplements, and counseling. Naturopathy is common in treating conditions like infertility, chronic pain, hormonal imbalances, lifestyle diseases, and many more.

Can acupuncture help?

Patients deep into the IVF process can benefit from naturopathic treatments like acupuncture. During acupuncture, multiple tiny needles are inserted into specific parts of the body. These needles help improve circulation, relieve stress and chronic pain, and enhance energy flow. Studies show acupuncture can improve IVF success, particularly when done around the time of implantation.

The power of diet and supplements

Diet and supplementation are the most powerful tools in the holistic toolkit. Treatment involves a deep dive into the patient's eating and lifestyle habits. Certain conditions can be reversed by eliminating specific foods and adopting healthier dietary practices. A whole-food, anti-inflammatory diet can positively affect fertility and may help during the IVF process. Supplements, another naturopathic tool, can also help improve fertility. However, patients should always let the fertility doctor know of any planned supplement use as some may affect treatment or cause side effects.

Release the stress

Both naturopathic doctors and fertility specialists understand infertility is an emotionally stressful diagnosis. Undergoing IVF can place additional emotional and financial stress on patients. Additionally, stress can impact hormone levels, which must remain in optimal balance for IVF to work. A naturopathic doctor will aim to help the body and mind, and counseling is another type of treatment offered by this type of practitioner. Regular counseling sessions can help patients navigate the IVF process. Studies assert that stress does not have a direct effect on IVF outcomes. However, stressed couples are more likely to make poor health decisions or have hormonal imbalances that impact success rates.

Nature and medicine working together

IVF can help infertile couples, but the success rates depend on several factors. Adding a holistic approach to treatment can only serve to help the process. In many clinics, naturopathic doctors work alongside fertility specialists. However, if patients seek external help, any herbal supplements or dietary changes should be reported to the IVF clinic. Together, IVF and naturopathic treatments can help with infertility.

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