Avoiding the Baby-Making Industry: Natural Approaches to Infertility

By Dr. Fred Lisanti, ND

Despite the toxic environment we’ve created for ourselves, humans have evolved. However, evolution is still trying to catch up to such adverse conditions. The result? Scores of physical challenges, including infertility, which now affects 7 million men and women in the United States alone.

Americans’ desperate search for a remedy has led to invasive, potentially toxic medical approaches, from in vitro fertilization to surgery. It has also created a booming industry. Profits from infertility drugs and procedures are staggering, and the cost can be staggering, too—sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, not covered by insurance.

While the United States has one of the world’s highest infertility rates, China has one of the lowest. Chinese medicine and acupuncture—accepted techniques in naturopathic medicine—offer successful remedies for afflictions that can cause infertility, like hormone imbalance, low sperm count and endometriosis.

To understand the naturopathic approach to infertility, consider these cases from my own practice:

Patient #1 was a 49-year-old man diagnosed with low sperm count and sperm motility. He’d had a negative reaction to hormone treatments. I noted that he had low sex drive, sexual dysfunction and impotence—all symptoms of a kidney yang deficiency. In classical Chinese medicine, the kidney is considered critical to healthy reproduction.

I prescribed acupuncture twice a week for six weeks and then once a week for two months, as well as a kidney yang tonic of Chinese foxglove, a yam called dioscorea, peony root, and a wood fungus called poria. After three months, the patient’s sperm count and motility had significantly increased. Today, he has a healthy 2½-year-old daughter.

Patient #2 was a 39-year-old woman diagnosed as infertile due to endometriosis (a cellular malfunction that causes pain, bleeding and in some cases, infertility). After evaluation, I diagnosed her as having “congealed blood with phlegm accumulation”—a liver meridian blockage. In classical Chinese medicine, phlegm is considered a pathological condition often caused by diet; accumulated phlegm thwarts the balanced flow of qi (life force energy) and blood.

I prescribed raw herbs boiled as tea (their most powerful form), administered acupuncture twice a week, and restricted my patient’s intake of phlegm-causing foods, like dairy, sugar and ice-cold drinks. Within four months, she conceived. (A side note: Naturopathic treatment for endometriosis alone often reduces painful menstruation, which was the first positive sign my patient experienced.)

While Chinese medicine and acupuncture offer excellent remedies for infertility, there are also effective, nutrition-based Western approaches. Among them:

Folic Acid (B6): Studies show that increased B6 heightens fertility in women, while B12 improves low sperm counts in men.

Vitamin A: This excellent antioxidant can enhance gestation. (Note: Take the vegetable-based beta-carotene formula, not the animal-based retinol.)

L-Carnitine: This amino acid improves sperm count and motility.

Vitamin C: This powerful antioxidant protects sperm DNA.

Zinc: This metal protects against chromosome damage and enhances the effects of estrogen and progesterone.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs): EFAs contribute to healthy sperm and are essential for proper functioning of reproductive hormones.

Selenium: This antioxidant facilitates chromosome health and sperm formation.

L-Arginine: This amino acid boosts sperm quality and count. (Caution: If you suffer from herpes or cold sores, do not take L-arginine.)

Chaste tree berry (Agnus Castus): This herb can help restore hormonal imbalances that may impede fertility.

Digestive enzymes: Many doctors theorize that age-related infertility results from a reduction of digestive enzymes, which compromises the absorption of nutrients like folic acid and zinc, critical to women’s reproductive health.

 

Dr. Fred Lisanti, ND, practices at Integrative Med Solutions, 281 White Plains Rd., Eastchester, NY. Contact him at 914.337.2980 or Info@IntMedSolutions.com.

One Response

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