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Crowded Waiting Rooms: It’s Time for Women to Wake-Up to What’s Beneath Rising Infertility Rates

 

photo-AumatmaShah

I’d like to introduce Dr. Aumatma Shah, ND. She is an absolute delight and I’m blessed to know her as a friend and colleague. Below, I’ve reprinted an article she recently published. I know you’ll find her words encouraging, informative, and useful.
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Infertility is increasing at every age, from adolescence to mid-life. However, doctors have been ignoring the “toxic soup” which evidence suggests is at the cause behind so much “unexplained” infertility. By addressing the underlying causal factors, programs and treatments that restore vibrant reproductive health may be a pro-active response to increasing fertility in couples that want to start families.

Infertility studies by the Center for Disease Control in 2005 showed that 1 in about 8 women were unable to carry a child to term, a large decline from past surveys. One of the concerning discoveries of the study was the observation that the decline in fertility for women 15-24 of age

was very similar to the decline for women aged 25 years and over. Ages 15-24 are normally very fertile years—thus a decline in the youngest category of fertility that closely matches that decline in older women indicates the existence of a developmental threat that is fundamentally affecting adolescents’ natural development into fertile young women.

Another study noted that the rate of unexplained fertility 20 years ago was 20%. Today, it is 40%, double the rate, reinforcing the case for an unseen yet highly prominent threat to fertility at all ages. More so, infertility—though a topic that is intensely important to patients struggling to have a child—remains a taboo topic in social settings. Women (and men) frequently do not talk about their infertility issues, out of shame that something is wrong with them, and perhaps the feeling that no one else will understand. And yet, fertility clinics have waiting lists months long.

Medical procedures now available include in-vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and a vast array of drugs that help to increase the number of ovulated eggs per cycle. Certain statistics, ignoring other variables of women’s health, do seem to show that these procedures can be effective in helping some couples conceive, though success rates are considerably low.

From the Naturopathic perspective, procedurally inducing what the body is unwilling to do spontaneously indicates an underlying root problem that we would be ignoring or covering up if we opt into what modern science has to offer. Please do not misunderstand, there is a place for these technologies and they have helped a significant number of couples have children. However, pushing the body and overpowering the body with high doses of medications, can have its share of consequences.

From the holistic, integrative, and naturopathic medicine perspective, the reproductive system is one of the first body systems to be compromised when the rest of the body is struggling for optimal function. Though important from an evolutionary perspective, the reproductive system is not required for day-to-day functioning of the body and hence, likely to be compromised if the body is under high amounts of stress, or has other issues that take priority.

From the holistic perspective, what are some of the root causes of infertility? From my experience, I have summarized the root causes down to three major factors: Environmental Toxin Exposure, Stress, and Nutritional Deficiencies.

Any integrative fertility program that incorporates and addresses all three of these components, along with discovering and treating any hormonal imbalances is likely to be successful. And, not only that, a program such as this should leave couples feeling healthier, more energized, and with greater balance in their lives.

It is a very personal choice if and when to conceive a child. However, as a Fertility Specialist, I know that reproductive health is the first to decline when the body has too much to handle (stress, toxins, etc). The decreasing rates in fertility, including in adolescents, is a call to action. We, society-at-large, need to take action to have our reproductive health back to the level it should be, even if some never want to get pregnant, because fertility is a significant indicator of the overall health of the body conducive to better quality of life.  Declining fertility is a problem not only for couples wanting to start families, it is a global problem—indicating simply that our environment has become toxic for an increasing population of the human race, and we need to take global action against things like GMO foods, toxins in our water, and other compromises to fertility and overall health.

Dr. Aumatma Shah, ND, is a graduate of University of Bridgeport, College of Naturopathic Medicine (2006) with a dual Master’s degree in Nutrition. Dr. Aumatma Shah, ND, MS is the developer of the Fertility Success ProgramTM and she currently practices in Silicon Valley and the East Bay and works virtually with long-distance clients.  Her practice is focused on working with couples who want to start a family, whether they want to use only the natural approach or they want to work in an integrative setting. Dr. Aum is also a sought out speaker in Holistic Fertility Care. In her past notables, Dr. Aum founded the Karma Clinic Network- a service based, volunteer network for gift-economy health practitioners. More info about her and her services can be found at www.conceivenaturallynow.com.

Reprinted with permission from The Shift Network’s The Catalyst

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Free Fertility Support for You from 20 Holistic Experts!

onphoneholdingbellyI know you’re struggling to conceive or panicked about miscarriages or you wouldn’t be visiting this blog. Well I’ve got something totally exciting to share today!! My friend Mayer Goyer has put together a series of training calls to support you — with the help of 20 fertility experts. Learn how you can use their advice as you develop your very own holistic plan — one that works with your body and your values.

This FREE online event is designed with your needs in mind. Mary and 19 of today’s top experts in the field know your’re looking for straight talk and proven advice on:

  • How to clear away the toxins and sources of stress that make conception difficult
  • Ways to open up constriction in your body and improve reproductive circulation
  • Natural remedies for fibroids, PCOS, and many other physical issues you face
  • Emotional and spiritual absolutes — to stay sane, peaceful, and connected

I know you’ll want to grab your spot right away. Click here to register — you’ll get 20 training call for free! And if you can’t make a call live, replays will be available shortly after each call.

Embarking on the Infertility Rollercoaster

roller_coaster
An Interview with Julie Pierce

click to listen

Have you been trying for a baby for a while now, and you’re now having to seek alternative methods to conceive successfully?

Have you been going down the road of IUI’s and IVF’s and still on that rollercoaster journey?

Have you experienced loss during your journey – with miscarriage in early stage or even late stage of pregnancy?

Wherever you are on this journey, it’s becoming commonly known that there are few things everyone experiences:

  • obsession with the fertility process
  • loss of balance with self, life and partnerships
  • a seeking for supporting the body and mind through alternative therapies
  • a confusion on which choices to make and when

and so much more…

In this interview, I’ll be sharing what to expect through this journey in much more detail and informaiton on how best to support yourself during your experience.  I’ll also share about my journey of heartache and success, and what I know you can do differently to feel whole, balanced, and healthy on your journey.

Please share this with anyone you think might also be interested.

Talk to you soon!

Pursuing Parenthood – Evolving Perspectives

Perspective BlocksWhen we are trying to conceive but don’t, or when we do conceive and then lose a pregnancy, we mourn a life that has not been realized. This can happen to us month over month or pregnancy after pregnancy. Each of these experiences of loss and missed expectation creates a growing mountain of compounding grief that we carry around, cope with, and suffer through one way or another. We can stay stuck in the perspective that there is only one acceptable way to achieve our goal around parenthood. Or, consider this … we can find a bit of relief in creating our own experience of expansion.

Once my partner and I had fully committed to the idea that we truly wanted to be parents, I approached conception like all of my other goals. My targeted focus and consequential achievement had been a reliable pattern … till now.

When I was trying to get pregnant month after month, I felt that my body was laughing in my face with the arrival of my period. I see now that my reaction was to dig my heels in even deeper with the determination that I was so totally going to do this thing. Does this ring any bells for you?

You could not tell me that I was not going to get pregnant. You could not tell me that I was infertile. The fact that none of the “experts” could give me and my partner a clear explanation about why we were not conceiving was frustrating, but it also gave me continuous hope that in the absence of any biochemical reason standing in our way, there was no real reason that we would not get pregnant. And therefore, of course we should keep doing it the good ol’ fashion way and eventually the sperm and the egg would get their acts together. As I’m sure you can relate, this was a huge tax on our relationship and our enjoyment of sex. “Perform, damn it! Now’s the time!” — we went through this pressure repeatedly.

As time continued to tick, tick, tick away — my eggs were not getting any fresher — I reluctantly went on to open up bit-by-bit to more medical investigation and eventually intervention, otherwise known as assisted reproduction. I was standing in the attitude of, “Seriously, I need assistance with this?” I was used to being self-sufficient, independent, in charge of my own outcomes. Turns out this was really not a helpful attitude or perspective. Over time, my attitude softened … I was, in a way, forced to surrender more and more of my constricted definition of what was an acceptable way for me to become a parent. As I moved into a more expanded perspective, I experienced a lightening of the intensity and stress. This was not the ultimate magic bullet, but it was definitely a useful evolution in supporting my health, my significant relationships, and the enhancement of my ability to conceive and carry to term.

I’m wondering how your goal of family building could be requiring you to find a new perspective, one that you may not have originally planned for. How has your fertility journey changed your perspective on growing your family? Please comment below.

You’re Not Alone – Small Groups and Workshops

group_feetDo you feel like a freak?

Let me assure you, although your body is not doing what you expected it should do — and most likely what you had been actively preventing it from doing for many years — you are in good company. Knowing that fact and connecting with others who are experiencing similar frustrations and disappointments can go a long way to keeping your sanity in residence.

It’s old news that reducing stress is one of the most important things to do when you’re trying to conceive or heal in any way. But it’s also well-known that the very message “stress less” is like saying, “don’t imagine Super Man flying.”  Too late!

What if you could be part of a group that wasn’t just set up for complaining and commiserating, but provided acknowledgement of your painful reality as well as proven ways to relieve that pain?

Because I know the value and strength that you can draw from being a part of such a community, I am putting together small groups and workshops specifically for women who are facing or who have faced fertility challenges. These are small groups specifically for women like you and me.

If you’d like more information about these opportunities, please contact me to let me know which of the following small groups interest you:

  • Repeatedly trying to conceive with no conception
  • Compounding grief due to repeated miscarriage
  • Compounding grief due to late term demise

I’ll send you details as I get a feel for how many are interested and where most of us are located. And if you like being able to participate in a group remotely, there will be opportunity for that as well. So for all the details, let me know who you are and how I can reach you.

Making Healthy Choices – Considering Soy

In August this year, I published a post about food fads. I mentioned the obsession I had with nutrition and eating while trying to conceive. One of my big concerns was soy.

Recently a friend of mine came across an article in The Seattle Times about the vices and virtues of this nutritional element. In the article, author Nicole Tsong discusses what’s good and bad about soy. Although the article specifically addresses soy, points are made that can be applied to many choices we consider about what to include in our lives. It struck me as good food for thought.

Here’s the link to Nicole’s article:
Let’s talk about the virtues and vices of soy, by Nicole Tsong – The Seattle Times, November 14, 2012

Food Fads and Your Fertility

When I was trying to conceive and trying out every conceivable possibility (pun very much intended), nutrition and daily diet were on my mind constantly. I am still very food conscious, and I admit that I do not always choose the very best option — often it’s the yummiest-most-satisfying-at-the-moment option. But back when I was trying so very hard to make pregnancy happen, I wanted to know everything I could about the most current nutrition information. I thought perhaps you might be feeling that way too.

I recently came across this article from the Healthland section of Time: Is Your Problem Gluten? Or Faddish Eating? It has a lot of links to other articles on interesting questions and consideration of current nutritional and food trends. It’s not written specifically for enhancing fertility, but I believe that it still contains important considerations. And nutrition does impact overall health, which includes fertility and the ability to grow, carry, and deliver a healthy baby.

I remember being very concerned about using soy as a protein. I had been a vegetarian for many years and into the beginning of my fertility journey. I had also been strictly avoiding cow’s milk and doing most of the substitution with soy milk for multiple years. I was so confused about GMOs and the information about why you should avoid soy, while at the same time receiving information about all the benefits of soy. As with many things, it’s all in the nitty details. It sure did make my head spin and cause me stress.

Please comment here about what you think — what is confusing you on your journey and what do you think of the article? Also, what is your approach to diet and nutrition as you pursue parenthood? What have you found in the area of nutrition to be most supportive to your overall wellbeing and specifically to your fertility?