2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Knowledge Base

Welcome to our extensive library of articles on health concerns and ailments, alternative therapies, nutritional supplements, and much more. Please mouse over the letters to get started. We hope you enjoy browsing.

Thoughts on Infertility, Part 1

Click here for the original post.

I don’t care much for the infertility industry, and let me say right up front that I know some of you are deeply grateful to it for helping you create your precious child. I love kids too. I simply don’t care for the business that infertility has become.

My first issue with infertility clinics is their utter lack of interest when it comes to approaches less drastic than all the tests, hormones, and surgical procedures. Part of the problem is the gynecologists themselves. Largely because of malpractice fears (their premiums are breathtaking), gynecologists follow the straight and narrow menu of high-tech fertility enhancers. However, it’s worth mentioning too that infertility centers are businesses that wouldn’t make as much money offering nutritional counseling as they do by performing in vitro fertilization.

I’ve never been pleased with the one-size-fits-all mentality at these clinics. Every woman gets the same blood tests (and there are plenty of them), x-rays, ultrasounds, and so forth. There is far less individual treatment than I’d endorse. Plus, with each test stress levels soar. Some tests can be quite uncomfortable, and for many women each appointment spikes anxiety as they await test results. Looking at waiting room photos of couples holding their babies, many women agonize “Why not me?”

Which leads me to the second issue with these clinics: they don’t seem to acknowledge the role of stress in infertility. From the moment you decide to use a fertility specialist, your stress level escalates, and to a far greater degree than when you were simply worried because you weren’t getting pregnant. The costs alone are enough to ramp up mental and emotional strain, especially if you don’t have precisely the right kind of health insurance.

On the home front, the full range of your infertility work-up can come to dominate your life. Dinnertime conversation centers on pregnancy and your desk is covered with temperature charts and medical bills, while your body is swimming in high doses of the same hormones farmers use to increase livestock production. A calendar replaces both love and lust as the cue for having sex, and you might even find yourself saying things to your loved one like “I told you not to wear Jockey shorts. They can lower your sperm count!” and “I don’t care how horny you are. You’ll wait until Thursday when I’m ovulating.”

What most infertility centers neglect to mention is that all mammals, humans included, are programmed to limit the number of offspring they produce during periods of stress. If a herd of deer senses there won’t be enough food in the coming months, hormone levels change and the females simply have fewer babies.

Significantly, stress also reduces the function of your thyroid and adrenal glands, and your ovaries too. Understand that you need all three functioning in relative harmony to coordinate a pregnancy.

If you’re already working with an infertility clinic, try these steps to help reduce the stress of treatment:
• Attend yoga or tai chi classes.
• Use this excellent meditative CD about infertility by the always reassuring Belleruth Naparstek.
• Consider a session or two of Healing Touch, especially after procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

I’ve also never been thrilled with the explanations infertility centers offer when, after months of trying, nothing seems to work. Rather than saying honestly that they don’t know why you can’t get pregnant, they too often take a blame-the-patient approach, using unhelpful phrases like “your uterus just won’t accept the fertilized egg” or “you have premature ovarian failure.”

Before you refinance your condo to pay for IVF, consider these free or extremely affordable ways to boost your odds of getting pregnant:
To increase fertility…
• Replace animal sources of protein with vegetable sources.
• Substitute high-fat dairy products for low-fat products.
• Take these useful supplements: a daily multiple vitamin with iron, a good antioxidant blend, a fish oil product , and zinc.
• Try herbal fertility enhancers, such as chasteberry, raspberry leaf, false unicorn, red clover, and Damiana. A skilled herbalist like Seanna Tully at WholeHealth Chicago can prepare a blend for you.

Avoid these pregnancy inhibitors…
• Coffee, tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs.
• Eating too many soy products.
• Excessive exercise or dieting with rapid weight loss.
• Low levels of folate, vitamin B-12, vitamin D (get tested for all three), and iodine (just use iodized salt).
• Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) should be under 2.5, not the “old normal” of under 5.0. Try this self test. Then ask your doctor to test you. If your TSH is over 2.5, start taking thyroid replacement.

Next week, I’ll focus on Chinese medicine and fertility.

Leave a Comment


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Upcoming Workshops

Finding Unity – Movement & Meditation

Sunday, February 5th
12:00pm to 2:00pm; $40 Registration Fee

Our world is in a constant state of flux and uncertainty. This can cause occasional turmoil in our lives when the fluctuation feels overwhelming. At these moments it is important to pause and reconnect to our true nature, which is to feel safe, content, and whole.  More>>

 

Facial Guasha Class

The Ultimate DIY Anti-Aging Facial!

Join us and learn a traditional Chinese facial rejuvenation technique that you can do yourself!

Facial guasha is an easy to learn technique that:
* encourages blood flow and promotes radiance
* prevents wrinkles
* activates cells to regain facial elasticity
* drains fluids to detoxify skin and reduce puffiness
* sloughs off dead skin cells
* uplifts and tones skin
* firms up facial muscles
* minimizes dark circles
* promotes a healthy, younger and more radiant look

Your skin will thank you and will look more radiant, smooth and younger!

When: Monday, March 20th, 7-8:30
Where: WholeHealth Chicago, 2265 N. Clybourn Avenue
Cost: $50 includes guasha tool and anti-aging facial oil

Space is limited, pre-registration required by calling 773-296-6700.

Mari Stecker has practiced acupuncture at WholeHealth Chicago for over 20 years. She offers acupuncture facial rejuvenation as well as treatments for many dermatological conditions including acne, psoriasis and eczema. She also treats a full range of conditions including pain, fertility and allergies.
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • Navigating Your Health Care Without Going Broke

    Navigating Your Health Care Without Going Broke

    Last week I talked about the problem many of you are facing with skyrocketing insurance premiums and deductibles so astronomical you wonder if you have any health insurance at all. We got into this fine pickle because: US healthcare prices are the highest in the …Read More »
  • Treacherous Times In Healthcare

    Treacherous Times In Healthcare

    Two related ideas come together in this Health Tip and I want to convey why this is all happening. First, a large part of our day at WholeHealth Chicago is spent dealing with insurance companies denying you benefits. Second, many patients have been telling me …Read More »

January Sale: 20% off the UltraLux IV HD-LED Light Therapy Module.

SAD doesn’t stand a chance!

More>>