Functional medicine for infertility?
For a young couple eager to start a family, the inability to conceive can be tremendously distressing. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 12.1% of women struggle with infertility. Fortunately, there are a few treatment options for those struggling with infertility.
Many patients turn to their OB/GYN or infertility expert when they experience issues conceiving. Often, patients are told they will be unable to have a baby without fertility drugs or IVF. Unfortunately, this method can be devastating, both emotionally and financially.
Functional medicine takes a alternate approach to the issue of infertility. By investigating the root cause of the individual patient’s infertility, experts have found common causes such as poor diet, lack of exercise, emotional stress, among other lifestyle behaviors. This conclusion is based on the idea that all systems in the body are inter-related. Therefore, unexpected conditions could likely be contributing to the inability to conceive.
For example, inflammation from a food allergy could trigger insulin resistance, or an undiagnosed nutritional deficiency could hinder pregnancy. Unexpected and easily resolvable behaviors such as consumption of non-organic food, lack of exercise, unresolved emotional issues, or undiagnosed illness could be silent suspects contributing to infertility.
Fortunately, this method of diagnosis leads to successful treatments in resolving the problem. Functional medicine has proven itself as an effective approach to restoring optimal health and regaining fertility.
-Annamarie Salyer, FNP