5 things that can lead to “unexplained” fertility issues…and how to fix them
Unexplained infertility is a common yet frustrating diagnosis to receive. Approximately one in four couples seeking help with fertility issues are told there is no explanation for why they can’t conceive. Unexplained infertility does not, however, mean that you have no options. There is a reason for hope. Here are 5 issues that can lead to “unexplained” fertility and solutions for you to put into action.
1. Too much sugar leading to low sperm count
This may seem like an explained cause but 15% or lower viable sperm can easily cause problems with conception. The official rate of low sperm count is 4% viable sperm so even if you’ve had this tested and it’s come back as ok, sperm count may still be causing issues.
It’s a good idea when you get any test results back to find out what the normal range is and where your results sit on that scale. This gives you a better indication of what’s happening.
Luckily there are 3 things you can do to boost sperm count:
1. The right nutrients
Make sure you’re rich in sperm-building nutrients. Check out this blog on Mother&Baby: “8 foods to boost his sperm count (and increase your chance of conceiving!)”
2. Keep your testicles cool
They are outside the body for a reason. Loose trousers/underwear, no phones in pockets and no laptops on laps all helps sperm production.
3. Eat less sugar
This may be the most important.
Every client I’ve had where sperm count has been an issue they have a high sugar diet. Your body uses chromium to balance your blood sugar so any high sugar diet has low chromium. One of the deficiency symptoms resulting from low chromium is low sperm count.
Swap some sugar for fruit and reduce sugar intake (don’t swap for sugar-free sweeteners as these have a proven increased risk of a stroke when taken regularly) and take some food source chromium supplements. This will really boost sperm production.
2. Hormonal contraception causing zinc deficiencies
If your cycles are not regular or are over 30 days apart, if you have less than 2 weeks between ovulation and period, or if you get very bad mood-swings during your cycle, your hormones may not be working at their best. There is a lot around that can mess with your hormones – toiletries with sls, circulation, stress, diet etc – but one of the most common is low zinc.
Zinc is what your body uses to make fertility hormones and if it’s low they aren’t going to be optimum. It’s a pretty common deficiency anyway but hormonal contraceptives suppress your zinc levels so if you’ve been on them for over 2-4 months at anytime you are probably zinc-deficient unless your diet is brilliant.
Best thing to do is take a food source zinc supplement for a couple of months or so to get the zinc levels back up. Food source is crucial for zinc or it’s really tough to absorb.
Zinc is present in many foods and is most readily absorbed from meat, which provides about a third of zinc in the UK diet. It is also present in milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, wholegrain cereals, nuts and pulses. For cereals and pulses, zinc’s availability is limited by phytates (taken from nutrition.org.uk).
3. Uterus tilt, colon blockages, scar tissue causing reduced circulation to the ovaries and womb
If the circulation to your womb and ovaries is reduced then it’s going to be hard to conceive. Place your hand over your womb and feel the area above it. Is it cool to the touch? Can you feel a temperature variation here to elsewhere in the abdomen?
If this is the case, or if digestion is bad, your uterus is tilted, or you have scarring in this area, then you have probably got reduced circulation to your ovaries and womb. Around the ovaries this affects hormones and how they get around the body which in turn can be very disruptive to conception.
Around the womb, poor circulation can stop decent womb-lining forming and make it harder for an embryo to implant.
Abdominal Massage is a fantastic way to boost circulation to the area. It also helps realign the womb, relieve muscle tension and improve digestion so also works on the causes of poor circulation to improve things long term. If you’d like to book a session contact me.
4. Poor immunity causing fertility problems
In studies (such as this one) there appears to be a link between poor immunity and poor fertility. People with a poor immune system are around 30% more likely to have trouble conceiving. It makes sense that if your body is struggling to fight off bugs it’s going to have trouble with things like building up a nutrient rich womb lining or maintaining a pregnancy.
Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, iodine,and sulphur are all important for a good immune system and if your immunity is poor you probably need a boost in one of these. Vitamin D, Zinc and Selenium are the most common deficiencies of these nutrients. Vitamin C you need to replenish daily – plenty of fruit is good for this. Most people are deficient in Vitamin D (especially in winter) and the GP will test it for you.
Find out more about recommendations for a healthy diet when trying for a baby from the Fertility Network UK.
5. Emotional distress creating conception problems
Ok so emotional distress may not be that easy to fix but it is easy to work on. One problem is many people don’t consider the impact it can have on fertility.
Adrenaline plays a role in your cycle so stress really messes with your fertility hormones and can even stop your cycles altogether. It also increases tension, reduces circulation and that’s just the physical stuff. Plus it affects how you conceive because of how you’re feeling.
Stress and baby-making do not go well together. If you are having trouble conceiving trying some emotional therapy to help work through any issues, such as meditation, journaling or yoga, could really help.
EFT is a very versatile emotional therapy. It can be used to help you figure out what’s going on even when your not sure what’s causing the stress. It’s great for stress-relief too and this tapping technique is one that you can use anytime, anywhere without a therapist once you’ve learnt it so it’s really useful to come for a session and try it. To book an eft session contact me.