I can understand the incredible desire to start a family and the frustration associated with infertility.
For this reason, I do truly believe that fertility specialists and fertility treatments have a place in society. However, as I have written about before, these “specialists” do nothing more than force fertility on a woman’s body that is screaming that it is not ready for such an important event like pregnancy.
The vast majority of cases of infertility are lifestyle in nature. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, accounts for about 75% of anovulatory infertility in women. PCOS is, in almost every single case, a symptom of prediabetes. Prediabetes is a lifestyle choice and I have covered the relationship between the choices we make and prediabetes in literally hundreds of previous article. If you’re really devoted to make changes, you can begin to read them by clicking here.
Another big contributor to infertility includes environmental chemicals like BPA in plastic water bottles and phthalates in vinyls and plastics. Thyroid function also plays a role (which, ironically, is also heavily affected by environmental chemical exposure).
And never forget that it’s not always the woman’s fault. There are plenty of situations where male infertility if the critical factor.
Overall, though, this means that, in couples who are experiencing infertility, the answer lies with lifestyle. This means leading an anti-diabetic lifestyle and maintaining an ideal body weight. All of this should be explained to you by your fertility specialist, but I find that it rarely is. Lifestyle is pushed to the back row and treatments like Clomid and metformin get the spotlight. If these are not effective, more advanced forms of fertility treatment like in-vitro fertilization are used.
But, regardless of the tools available, lifestyle changes are NOT OPTIONAL. If a couple (notice I said couple and not just “woman”) are unwilling to make whatever lifestyle changes are necessary to become pregnant, then I would strongly suggest that they are not ready to become parents at this point in their lives. This may sound harsh, but consider this–children born to couples using assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are at greater risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
If a couple is not willing to make the needed changes on the front end for the pregnancy, this means they are not willing to make the same sacrifices for the child. Not cool. Just to clarify, I am not talking about that small subset of women who truly cannot become pregnant despite an anti-diabetic lifestyle (and I’ve had one or two in my practice lifetime).
Just in case you think I’m being too dramatic about the whole thing, I present this particular article. While it is a mouse study looking at the long-term effects of assisted reproductive technology on the baby growing into an adult, previous research on vascular dysfunction in humans born to ART make me believe the results should translate well into humans. Here’s what they found:
- The blood vessels from the ART mice had definite dysfunction (endothelial dysfunction, arterial hypertension, reduced nitric oxide production).
- Worse, ART mice fed a high fat diet had a 25% shorter lifespan.
Yes–when ART was used, the mice died 25% sooner. This is a serious issue. And many may step back and think that, because the mice were fed a high fat diet it is not the reality of what a human child would experience in his or her life, it is not relevant. I disagree. To me, if a couple never learned and adopted the right lifestyle for their genetics (which is likely if they had to resort to ART), they did not learn what they needed to learn to raise a healthy child. They will pass on this not-matched-for-genetics lifestyle to the child as he or she grows and creates his or her own lifestyle for the future.
The bottom line is that, for any couple having a hard time conceiving, before you visit a “fertility specialist” to help, you should visit someone knowledgeable in teaching you how to live an anti-diabetic lifestyle. Your future kids will thank you.