Boost Your Fertility14 years, 5 months ago
Posted on Jun 16, 2005, 8 a.m.
By Bill Freeman
About 6.1 million people in the United States struggle with infertility. Fertility depends on several factors including a man's production of healthy sperm, a woman's production of healthy eggs, unblocked fallopian tubes that allow sperm to reach the egg, sperm's ability to fertilize the egg, the ability of the egg to become implanted in a woman's uterus, and sufficient embryo quality.
About one-third of infertility cases can be attributed to male factors. Another third is linked to female factors. The final third is linked to problems in both partners, or as in about 20 percent of those cases, is unexplained.
MIND/BODY APPROACH: Psychologist Alice Domar, Ph.D., believes there is a connection between depression and problems with fertility. She says when women are depressed, the body senses a problem and prevents pregnancy as a protective mechanism. With this in mind, Domar began using a mind/body approach to treat women struggling with fertility. She helps women improve both their physical and mental well-being. Doctors around the country are trained in the methods she uses.
TIPS FOUND IN THE INFERTILITY DIET: Author Fern Reiss offers the following tips in her book:
VITAMIN C: She warns against taking vitamin C supplements if you are trying to conceive. However, she says the amounts of vitamin C found in prenatal vitamins are acceptable. Vitamin C in large doses works as an antihistamine and dries out the cervix -- making it more difficult for sperm to fertilize the egg.
SEEDS: According to Reiss, zinc found in pumpkin and sunflower seeds is especially good for male infertility. Zinc deficiency can cause low sperm counts. Taking zinc with vitamin B6 can help boost female fertility, since B6 protects against estrogen and progesterone imbalance and high serum prolactin levels. Reiss sites a recent Swedish study that linked zinc deficiency to miscarriages.
MILK: Reiss found several studies to show a connection between milk consumption and fertility. A Harvard Medical School study conducted in 1994 found the number of women who experienced infertility was highest in countries where milk consumption was also high. Women with high levels of galactose -- a sugar in milk -- were found to be infertile. Fertility levels began to dip in women as early as 20 years of age.
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