Working with one of our Doctors on your fertility can open the door to more comprehensive assessments on egg quality, sperm quality and cycle strength. Couples often seek supportive care when they are experiencing hormonal symptoms that they feel are interfering with their likelihood of achieving pregnancy, or when they are concerned about the impact of age on their ovarian and sperm reserve.
With age being the most important predictor of future pregnancy, women and men alike should be tested thoroughly as part of a pre-conception plan. Conventionally we often let couples go up to 12 months without proper testing before officially diagnosing them with infertility.
Being assessed by one of our Doctors enables female partners to understand their fertility more completely, and can help direct care towards better egg quality, cycle strength, sperm health or success with intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) if they become a necessary part of their care. Aging mothers-to-be can also better understand the role of their ND, or fertility clinic by having simple tests such as FSH(1,2) and AMH(3,4) completed, which when combined with age can give an indication of ovarian reserve, oocyte (egg) quality.
For women, hormones such as TSH (see our article on Thyroid antibodies and miscarriage), estrogen and progesterone, cortisol (stress hormone)(5), vitamin D(6,7) and fasting insulin can also help direct treatments to improve ovulation rates and likelihood of a positive pregnancy test.
For male partners, their testosterone to estrogen ratio is a predictor of sperm quality(8), and can be improved with simple, practical solutions prescribed by your ND. Fasting insulin(9), SHBG and cortisol(5) tests can also help your naturopathic doctor understand the cause of low sperm quality, and direct your care for the simple dietary and supplemental strategies proven to improve sperm health.
If you are working towards better fertility, we recommend a 3-6 month preconception plan to encourage better egg and sperm health. An integrative medicine approach improves success of both natural and assisted reproduction for men and women, and the first step is a pre-assessment appointment with one of our doctors.
- Abdalla H, Thum MY. An elevated basal FSH reflects a quantitative rather than qualitative decline of the ovarian reserve. Hum Reprod Oxf Engl. 2004 Apr;19(4):893–8.
- Chuang CC, Chen C-D, Chao K-H, Chen S-U, Ho H-N, Yang Y-S. Age is a better predictor of pregnancy potential than basal follicle-stimulating hormone levels in women undergoing in vitro fertilization. Fertil Steril. 2003 Jan;79(1):63–8.
- Grynnerup AG-A, Lindhard A, Sørensen S. The role of anti-Müllerian hormone in female fertility and infertility – an overview. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2012 Nov;91(11):1252–60.
- George K, Kamath MS. Fertility and age. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2010;3(3):121–3.
- Whirledge S, Cidlowski JA. Glucocorticoids, Stress, and Fertility. Minerva Endocrinol. 2010 Jun;35(2):109–25.
- Kebapcilar AG, Kulaksizoglu M, Kebapcilar L, Gonen MS, Unlü A, Topcu A, et al. Is there a link between premature ovarian failure and serum concentrations of vitamin D, zinc, and copper? Menopause N Y N. 2013 Jan;20(1):94–9.
- Grzechocinska B, Dabrowski FA, Cyganek A, Wielgos M. The role of vitamin D in impaired fertility treatment. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2013;34(8):756–62.
- PAVLOVICH CP, KING P, GOLDSTEIN M, SCHLEGEL PN. EVIDENCE OF A TREATABLE ENDOCRINOPATHY IN INFERTILE MEN. J Urol. 2001;165(3):837–41.
- Wu FCW, Tajar A, Pye SR, Silman AJ, Finn JD, O’Neill TW, et al. Hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis disruptions in older men are differentially linked to age and modifiable risk factors: the European Male Aging Study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jul;93(7):2737–45.