General dietary and lifestyle recommendations prescribed by naturopaths for couples unable to conceive may therefore be summarised as follows:
• Stop smoking
• Avoid alcohol
• Avoid caffeine
• Avoid refined carbohydrates
• Avoid animal fats, meats, and fried foods
• Reduce salt intake
• Eat plenty of pulses, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables
• Take light, regular exercise
Vitamin E is an important nutrient which should not be overlooked in cases of male infertility according to recent research undertaken at the Jessop Hospital for Women, Sheffield. Thirty healthy men (all with high levels of reactive oxygen species generation in semen and a normal female partner) participated in a double-blind, randomised placebo cross-over controlled trial. The subjects were randomly allocated to two groups and over a period of three months, the first group were given daily vitamin E supplements (600mg/d ) and the second group were given a placebo tablet. Then after a break of one month ‘clean-out’ period, the first group were given a placebo tablet while the second group were given vitamin E supplements.
Problems with ovulation that can cause infertility
It can be difficult and complicated to determine the cause of ovulation problems. Possible causes may include:
Hormonal imbalances. 70% of all women with ovulation problems have hormonal imbalances related to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). 1Other ovulation problems can originate in the ovaries, or in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which produce hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. These hormones are vital to normal ovulation.
Structural problems. Abnormalities in the structure of the ovaries (such as ovarian cysts) or structural problems in other reproductive organs can cause changes in a woman's ovulation schedule.
General medical problems. Medical problems that affect the metabolism (such as thyroid problems), serious illness, emotional stress, low weight, or excessive exercise can affect a woman's ovulation schedule.
Cancer treatment. Exposure to certain kinds of chemotherapy or radiation can damage the egg supply in the ovaries.
Commonsense Recommendations - Female Infertility
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol consumption can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.
Avoid vigorous exercise, hot tubs, and saunas, as they may lead to changes in ovulation.
Do not take any drugs except those prescribed by your physician.
Do not smoke, and avoid being around cigarette smoke.
A balanced diet is important. Do not consume animal fats, fried foods, sugar, or junk foods. Do eat pumpkin seeds, bee pollen, or royal jelly.