NOTE: This is a semi-fictional story compiled from my experience working with a wide range of fertility clients. I commonly see these issues in clinic, and often multiple issues with the one couple. My hope is that by providing you with information which is often overlooked you might find also find the key to fertility success and a happy, healthy pregnancy and baby.
This is Tim and Jane’s Fertility Story…
Tim and Jane had been trying to have a baby for the last year with no success. They didn’t expect it to be this difficult. Their fertility tests came back as normal; and they were told by doctors to just keep trying.
This left them feeling disillusioned and unsupported until they met me. Below is a description of what clinical assessment revealed and how I was able to support both Tim and Jane’s fertility.
Jane was anxious and this combined with her stressful lifestyle meant her adrenal glands were constantly being asked to pump out cortisol.
Excessive cortisol production reduces the body’s ability to produce those all-important reproductive and thyroid hormones which can reduce fertility, and in Jane’s case this was contributing to her infertility.
I asked Jane to alleviate stress with dietary/lifestyle changes, adopting calming techniques and we supported her adrenal health with adaptogenic herbs. Jane gave up endurance running in exchange for restorative yoga which really helped her rebalance her reproductive and thyroid hormones and improved her fertility.
Timing Intercourse for Ovulation
Tim and Jane had been using ovulation kits to determine when to time intercourse for conception. As a woman in her late 30’s Jane’s egg was only viable for 12-18 hours at the time of ovulation before it began breaking down. Using an ovulation kit meant she and Tim were waiting too long to have intercourse and Jane’s egg was no longer viable.
By learning to how to identify their signs of fertility and impending ovulation with fertility awareness charting, Tim and Jane were able to time intercourse prior to ovulation increasing their chances of conception.
NOTE: it is very common for my clients to time intercourse too late. Interestingly results of an NZ study of women attending a Fertility clinic due to unexplained infertility indicated that 74% of women had an inadequate understanding of their fertility and when to time intercourse to optimise conception.
Like all 42 year old men, Tim had ageing sperm which can affect a couples ability to conceive.
Research indicated that Tim’s sperm quality (and his future baby’s health) could be improved with adjustments to diet and lifestyle and a preconception multivitamin containing zinc, vitamin C & E, folate, B12 and selenium; along with some CoQ10 and some additional Omega-3 fatty acids.
It takes 64-days (about 2.5 months) for new sperm to be produced, so it was really important Tim follow the treatment recommendations for this length of time before trying to conceive to ensure he was producing healthy sperm.
Low Levels of Iron and Vitamin D
Blood tests showed that Jane was low in both iron and vitamin D.
Low levels of iron and/or Vitamin D are both linked with infertility and a higher risk of miscarriage. Optimal levels of ferritin (iron) for fertility are > 50 ug/L; and optimal levels of Vitamin D for fertility are between 80-150 nmol/L. Jane was well below these levels so I asked her to increase her intake of meat and fish (particularly red meat), increase her exposure to sunshine and take supplemental iron and vitamin D.
I also asked Jane to increase her overall intake of protein and good fats to support production of reproductive hormones.
While fertility charting, we noticed Jane’s post-ovulatory length was too short (under 10-days).
It takes about 9-10 days from the time an egg is fertilised before it is fully implanted in the uterus lining and a pregnancy begins. In Jane’s case, a post-ovulatory length of 9-days meant the fertilised egg may not have had time to implant before her uterus lining began to break down resulting in menstruation and early miscarriage.
We introduced specific herbs which improved Jane’s production of progesterone; and lengthened her post-ovulatory length to 12-days. In New Zealand an adequate post-ovulatory length is anywhere from 10-16 days.
NOTE: Blood tests won’t necessarily show sub-optimal progesterone levels. This was picked up by me through Jane’s fertility charting, along with a range of symptoms associated with low progesterone levels.
Well as it turns out all that hard work paid off and Tim and Jane conceived 5-months after they began working with me. Jane had a health pregnancy and they now have a happy healthy baby girl.
It is always an honour to work with couples who are trying to conceive. They place their fragile trust in me in the hope that I can help them. And while I can never guarantee pregnancy will happen, I can guarantee that I will work as hard as I can to support optimal fertility in both prospective parents, along with increasing their understanding of how to time intercourse to optimise their chances of conception. And by doing this I have been privileged to witness some pretty incredible success stories against all odds.
Please read my testimonials for some of those inspirational stories; and feel free to contact me for a chat if you think there is any way I can help you achieve your dream of a family.