More and more women today are seeking fertility assistance. Stats Canada noted a decline in women having children in their 20’s and an increase in women conceiving in their 30’s. Overall, up to 15% of Canadian women from 18-44 years of age are having difficulty conceiving (a twofold increase from 1992).
Fertility declines in the woman’s 30’s and progressively becomes more difficult after age 35. Physiological reasons for lowered fertility rates include:
Traditionally, medical support for fertility involves mainly Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) (including in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination). Alternatives to ART and supportive care for ART include Naturopathic Medicine (NM) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). If a woman is considering conception, a year of preconception care is recommended, but a minimum of a 4 month fertility optimization plan is recommended.
NM and TCM approach fertility in different ways and can be used adjunctively to balance hormones, maximize the health of ovaries and eggs and treat pre-existing pelvic and health conditions.
Lifestyle options for women planning to conceive include:
Informed decisions about the path of preconception care and the ability to choose the best combination of care for the individual woman creates favourable fertility conditions. To discuss options for fertility talk to your naturopathic doctor.
– by Dr. Jennifer Schmidt-White