Female Fertility Problems
When the couple have a fertility problem, the initial reaction by most people is that there is a problem with the female partner. It is true that a woman’s reproductive system is more complex than the males and due to this there is more that can go wrong, but increasingly there is growing evidence that men’s health and the health of their sperm are decreasing.
However there are many possible problems a female can have which will reduce their fertility, a healthy conception and birth.
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Hormonal imbalance e.g. luteal phase defects
- Lack of ovulation, ovulatory disorders, premature ovarian failure
- Uterine and cervical abnormalities
- Poorly functioning fallopian tubes – congestion, blockage or damage
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Uterine fibroids
- Insulin resistance
- Chemicals, toxins, heavy metals exposure which reduce nutrients and create havoc for the hormones
- Stress interfering with the endocrine system and therefore the function of the hormonal system
- Immune issues – anti sperm antibodies
- Unexplained infertility
Yvonne has successfully treated all the above and welcomes any questions you may have.
As we all need to eat to live, being aware of which nutrients are necessary may help you make the most appropriate food choices. The following is a list of the main vitamins and minerals necessary for female fertility and a summary their role.
Folic acid is necessary is for the production of DNA, and it protects against neural tube defects, is responsible for oocyte quality and maturation, implantation, development of the placenta and foetal development. Basically everything.
There is increased need for folic acid if there is a reduced ovarian reserve (lowered AMH levels) and in women who are carriers of the MTHFR polymorphism.
Vitamin B 12 complements folic acid to reduce the prevalence of chromosomal abnormities in the embryo. Studies have shown it has a role in reducing the risk of miscarriage. There is an increased need for B 12 for vegetarians, vegans and those with absorption issues e.g. coeliac disease, IBS, Crohns. Increased supplementation may be necessary where there is impaired ovarian reserve.
Vitamin B6 is necessary for the formation of reproductive hormones. It has a role in regulation of progesterone levels, and any deficiencies can compromise both B12 and folic acid absorption. Vitamin B6 need is increased where there is a history of premenstrual syndrome or irregular cycles, if the woman is positive for MTHFR or has elevated homocysteine or if there has been a history of miscarriage.
Vitamin E supplementation, improves increased thickness or hardened zona pellucida (common after IVF cycles), improves fertilization outcomes with IVF and has a role in the prevention of miscarriage.
Vitamin C reduces oxidation and has the ability to stimulate ovulation alongside fertility drugs. It improves ova numbers and health. Some studies have demonstrated an improvement in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
Zinc is very important for all hormonal development and function. A zinc deficiency has been associated with spontaneous abortion, toxaemia in pregnancy, extended pregnancies, prematurity and low birth weight babies. Zinc status is vulnerable if there have been prior pregnancies and breastfeeding.
Selenium is an antioxidant, protects against chromosomal damage and is vital for healthy cell division. Selenium prevents early labour and premature rupture of membranes, retention of placenta; reduces miscarriage and improves birth weight. Zinc and selenium are important for miscarriage prevention where there has been a history of this.
Manganese imporves cervical mucus production is an indicator for manganese supplementation. Manganese improves ova quality, and ensures the normal development of the foetus.
Vitamin D had been researched extensively recently especially in its role in fertility. It is associated with improving maternal weight gain and foetal growth. Increased amounts may be necessary with women who have a history of cancer, asthma, auto immune disorders, MS or diabetes.
Magnesium is important in reducing any stress related to the pregnancy. It is important for both fertility and maintenance of the pregnancy and has antispasmodic properties.
Essential fatty acids are very important for prostaglandin production and hormone regulation. There is increased need where there is a history of clotting disorders or recurrent miscarriage. Several studies have linked maternal EFA supplementation to improved visual and cognitive development in babies.
A high proportion of women are low in iodine. Iodine is important in the early development of the foetal Central Nervous System. It is extremely important in the first trimester as the foetus only begins producing its own thyroid hormone at about 12-14 weeks gestation. A deficiency has been associated with miscarriage and stillbirth.
Coenzyme Q10 is important after fertilization, as the cellular division of the embryo is driven entirely by the mitochondrial function of the ova and both CoQ10 and lipoic acid are vital for this process to occur normally. Adequate amounts prevent miscarriage and support the development of a normal pregnancy.