Learn how to supercharge your diet and lifestyle to enhance fertility and a healthy pregnancy! This program starts with a Fertility Cleanse to increase cellular repair and toxin removal. Gut health is checked and optimized making sure food sensitivities or nutrient absorption issues will not interfere later with fertility. Menstrual patterns are checked making sure hormonal rhythms are optimal. A "typical day's diet" is reviewed and discussed with the goal of boosting nutrient status and supplementing any deficiencies. Underlying inflammation is searched for, and if found, removed with guidance provided on natural solutions going forward.
Acupressure and gentle massage using castor oil can release local tension, stimulate bowel function, clear lymphatic congestion and increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. With reference to Eastern medicine, the reproductive meridians (penetrating and conception vessels) will also benefit from daily massage and participation in our fertility yoga and prenatal programs. Fertility yoga is a great way to strengthen pelvic ligaments, increase pelvic blood flow and enhance mind / body awareness.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) explains how Qi (pronounced chi), is the energy of life (like blood in our circulatory system) flowing along 14 different meridians or channels in the body. When this flow is obstructed at any point along its journey, it can result in disease including fertility issues.
Acupuncture takes into consideration a person's constitution by diagnosing imbalances or patterns. By inserting very fine needles at specific points on the body, obstacles are removed and Qi is allowed to flow once more facilitating physical changes in the body. Clinical studies measure increased pelvic and uterine blood flow (via inhibition of the sympathetic nervous system), modulation of neurotransmitter release (impacting reproductive hormones) as well as enhanced relaxation.
Acupuncture needles are usually not painful when inserted – in fact, most find an acupuncture session relaxing and leave rested. Although some often feel shifts in their physical state following one acupuncture treatment, multiple sessions are needed to be effective in treating infertility.
Integrative medicine offers effective tools to enhancing fertility and improving the chances of a healthy birth. Considerable clinical evidence now exists (Manheimer et al., 2008) documenting enhanced conception rates when naturopathic and conventional medicine fertility centres work together. Positive results are observed when acupuncture treatments specifically flank the egg retrieval and embryo transfer process in IVF.
Acupuncture modulates neurotransmitter release, increases blood flow to the pelvis, controls sympathetic activity to the uterus and reduces the sympathetic nervous system's stress response. By modulating neurotransmitter release, acupuncture can affect key reproductive hormones like LH and FSH vital to regulating the menstrual cycle and ovulation.
Acupuncture also increases blood flow to the uterus by inhibiting sympathetic nerve activity (aka 'fight or flight' response). Having a good blood flow supports embryo implantation. Additionally, the promotion of parasympathetic nerve activity (relaxation response) within the uterus is important for reducing the chance of an embryo dislodging from the uterine wall.
Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L, Haramati A, Langenber P, Berman B, Bouter, L. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, 2008; 336(7643):545-9.
The clinic uses only organic herbs in its tinctures and offers a selection of fertility, prenatal and postnatal herbal teas. Tea blends are recommended by our naturopathic physicians who are knowledgeable in pharmacology and botanical medicine. Every patient's medical condition is assessed prior to a herbal tea prescription to ensure compatibility with other drugs and supplements they may be taking simultaneously. For ART patients, use of botanicals is minimal to avoid potential interference with conventional approaches.
Congratulations on your pregnancy! With your pregnancy underway, we shift gears by focusing on first trimester nutrients to maintain your pregnancy, support fetal growth and development. Energy levels can be low during first and third trimesters so strategies are provided to maintain your stamina. If you are physically active (ideal) maintain your health by following our pregnancy exercise program (trimester specific). If you have never exercised, our exercise program and prenatal yoga classes can be adapted to start moving safely – just get moving!
A nutrient dense meal plan with key supplements ensure you and your baby receive the appropriate levels of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.
Natural therapies to manage complaints of morning sickness, low back pain, fluid retention and blood pressure changes can successfully give mother relief without impacting fetal health. Later in the pregnancy, the program prepares you for labour providing the appropriate herbal teas, acupressure points and acupuncture protocols to tone the uterus and prepare for birth.
Regain control and a "can do" outlook on life by participating in a constitutional homeopathic intake. The same stressors will still face you each day – but how you respond to them will be very different. Every person alive gets off-track from their natural rhythms in this challenging world we live in; Constitutional homeopathy puts you back on the path you were intended.
Taking a closer look at gut health often reveals root causes for unexplained infertility. For example, a poor digestive system can trigger autoimmunity (see Root Cause: autoimmunity) and inflammation impacting absorption of key vitamins (eg. folic acid, B12, B6, C) and minerals (eg. zinc, iron).
Imbalances in gut flora (bacteria) can contribute to dysbiosis with subsequent weakening of one's immune system. Improperly digested food and/or food sensitivities can facilitate food fermentation encouraging imbalances in the local immune system and bacteria. Maintaining an optimal gut environment is important not only for nutrient absorption but also to avoid auto-immune conditions.
The Optimizing Gut and Immune Health program targets imbalances (nutrients and bacteria) and silent food sensitivities, eliminates hidden inflammatory pathologies and regulates bowel function.
It is important to know your body's composition and nutrient stores are ready for a healthy pregnancy. Our Nutrient Blast program assesses current levels of key vitamins and minerals then offers a nutrient dense supplement and dietary program to take your energy and health to new levels!
Some of the key nutrients for fertility are zinc, selenium, calcium, magnesium, vitamins B6, C, B12 and folic acid and don’t forget healthy omega-3 fats (especially DHA) and olive oil. The best sources of nutrients are whole unprocessed foods with use of specific supplements to target any identified deficits. Our fertility promoting diet covers all the bases including wonderful recipes to try!
Heavy metals and toxins are lipophilic or fat-loving and collect easily in your body's fat. Exposure to environmental toxins (chemical byproducts of industry and today's environment) can impact your fertility. Lead has the clearest evidence for altering hormone function. Also identified as toxic to in utero health are phthalates (found in plastics, cling wrap etc), PAH (cigarettes, car exhaust) and VCH chemicals (tires, plastics and pesticides). At low levels, they can disrupt hormones; at higher levels, they can cause miscarriage and testicular toxicity.
Before trying to conceive, it is important to cleanse your body of any stored toxins/metals to not only improve your health but lower the risk of fetal harm and birth defects.
The Fertility Cleanse program starts with assessing your toxic load and exposure risk; laboratory testing of urine and hair samples can also identify which heavy metals or toxins your body is storing. Oral chelators are used to assist in safely removing elevated levels of a metal or toxin. Our infrared sauna facilities are also an integral part of the program with enhanced ability to sweat toxins out. Personal sauna use is scheduled to take place during the three week hepatic cleansing diet.