Leadership Blog Series: The Therapeutic Order in Fertility Support

Welcome to our leadership blog series! This month Agi Wrobel, Chapter President of the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL., discusses how to use the therapeutic order to address fertility- related concerns.

The Therapeutic Order in Fertility Support

When it comes to starting a family we need to think about the health of the sperm and the egg. Naturopathic Medicine can help in many different ways before turning to higher force interventions. One of the Naturopathic principles is: First, do no harm- that we must use the lowest force treatment possible. In this principle we find the Therapeutic Order. One may enter at any level necessary but don’t forget to address the levels before it as well.

Therapeutic order
1. Establish the conditions for health. How? Address the determinants! There isn’t a process in the human body which isn’t made up of what you eat or your exposures so one of the first aspects we work on is diet and nutrition. In terms ofhealthy fertility, these are the basics: Eat only organic produce – dirty dozen at least, to eliminate exposure to toxic pesticides); if you enjoy meat choose organic grass fed (and finished)/free range meats because the hormones used in lower quality meat can affect yours; eat cold water fish (healthy fats are needed to produce cholesterol which leads to hormone production (avoid hydrogenated and vegetable oils), avoid caffeine, alcohol, processed juices, sugars, packaged foods (5+ ingredients); eat whole/ sprouted grains.

Specific fertility supportive nutrients and the foods they’re found in: – ALA increases sperm count and motility. Small amounts are found in potatoes, spinach and red meat. Most effective dosing is around 600 mg per day and a supplement may be best. – B6 is a hormone regulator and regulates blood sugar, alleviates PMS and morning sickness. It is found in tuna, bananas, turkey, liver, salmon, bell peppers, celery, cabbage, dark leafy greens, and asparagus. – B12 increases sperm count and decreases the incidence of miscarriage and helps to regulate the menstrual cycle. A deficiency can cause menstrual irregularities and anovulation. B12 is found in animal products such as clam, oysters, beef, lamb, liver, lobster, mussels, caviar, fish, cheese, and eggs. Vegan options include fortified foods and supplements. Fun fact: B12 is created by microorganisms. For adults, aim for 2.4 mcg, and during pregnancy aim for 2.6 mcg and 2.8 mcg during breastfeeding. – Folate is really important in fetal development. A deficiency in folate increases homocysteine levels which can lead to a spontaneous abortion. Folate is found in liver, lentils, beans, asparagus, spinach and collards. – Selenium is an antioxidant which protects eggs and sperm. It can be found in liver, cod, halibut, tuna, salmon, turkey, shrimp, cremini mushrooms and, 1 Brazil nut contains nearly 100% of one’s daily selenium needs. – Zinc plays an important role in regulating estrogen and progesterone. Zinc is the most important nutrient for men to increase count, form, function and quality. Zinc can be found in calf liver, oysters, beets, lamb, venison, sesame, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, turkey, green peas, shrimp. The trouble is that it is denatured in heat. – Omega 3’s increase cervical mucus, promotes ovulation, tonifies uterus, increases blood flow. Found in flax, walnut, salmon, sardine, halibut, shrimp, chia, snapper.

Don’t forget to check sleep, environment, lifestyle and genetic aspects of the determinants as well. *Note on environment in our tech world: 4g has been shown to decrease sperm count and motility, interferes with oocyte differentiation, increases pms symptoms, decreases folliculogenesis (decreasing ovarian reservoir), increased oxidative stress And endometrial apoptosis. Keep it more than 2 feet away from your body, don’t carry in your pocket and turn off WiFi at night if you must have it at home. EMF exposure right now is correlated with increased miscarriages and birth defects by affecting differentiation, the HPA axis and oxidative stress. Keeping it in your pocket (or texting, holding phone) can change uterine architecture leading to placenta disorders, low birth weight, preterm labor, malpositioning, subclinical hyperprolactinemia, amenorrhea, and spontaneous abortions.

2. Stimulate the vis. Here you’ll find energetic treatments. Our bodies have electrical components affected by treatments such as acupuncture which has been shown to improve fertility health. You may also try homeopathy, hatha yoga, massage and hydrotherapy. Avoid strenuous exercise because it can increase bleeding and decrease chances of conception. This does not necessarily mean you have to stop running or weight training. If you’ve been doing these things for a while, chances are it’s safe to continue. Just don’t go from a sedentary lifestyle to training for a marathon.

3. Support organs and systems. When we think about what supports our fertility we find that the organs engaged include cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine, reproductive and liver/digestive. liver – why liver? Because it removes excess hormones so we do a liver and uterine detox. Milk thistle and dandelion support the liver. The liver cleanse should begin the first day after the period ends to ovulation. The uterine cleanse begins at ovulation and goes til the first day of the period. For the uterine cleanse, the most nutritious teas can be red raspberry leaf and nettle. Teas, caps and extracts tend to be the best. The cleanse should not exceed 2x/year with at least a 6 month break in between. Other helpful herbs include gelatinized maca, tribuluus terrestris (for both men and women), saw palmetto, vitex, maca and shatavari.

4. Correct structural integrity. Improving structural integrity can increase bloodflow to stagnant areas – even in the pelvic organs. Ways to do this is manipulations, acupuncture, cranio-sacral techniques, massage, and exercise. Yoga oses which help with balancing the pelvis such as viparita karani, dhanurasana, supta baddha konasana, paschimottanasana, and uttanasana, salamba sirsasana, setu bandha sarvangasana, and malasana. Yoga has been shown to decrease stress and boost fertility in a study by Alice Domar PhD of Harvard Medical School. This same study found that women struggling with infertility issues have stress rates similar to those battling cancer and HIV. Dr Domar found that 55% of her participants struggling with infertility became pregnant within 1 year of her 10 session program which included yoga, meditation and acupuncture.

5. Natural substances. It’s impossible to eat perfectly all of the times. Because ofthis, there are some key supplements in preparation for a healthy pregnancy. These include: whole food multi, omega-3, and D3/K2 which is necessary for healthy bone and teeth growth.

The last two steps of the therapeutic order are Synthetic Symptom Relief followed by Higher Force Interventions. I believe these two hold a special place in fertility support but I also believe that these should not be the first line of therapy due to increased risks.

Sources: www.naturalfertilityinfo.comhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5896334/https://rbej.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12958-018-0432-0

Author: Agi Wrobel

Agi is a 3rd year student at National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL. Her clinical interests include botanical medicine, fertility, and chronic issues. Personally, She’s a mom to a smart and sweet 10 year old boy and doting auntie to 2 cuties. She loves spending time in nature, gardening, traveling, and getting creative with DIY projects usually found on Pinterest. Agi is looking forward to growing professionally through networking, refining her current skills and gaining new ones. More importantly, She’s excited to share her knowledge and resources with all of her colleagues in an effort to help bridge the gap between the allopathic and Naturopathic schools of thought.


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