Female Infertility: Case Studies Using Naturopathic Interventions
Infertility affects as many as 12.3% of women ages 15-44 (or 7.5 million women) in the United States.1 Consequently, it is imperative to find methods to help women overcome infertility so that they may conceive a healthy child. Many of the current treatments for infertility are costly, have low success rates, and have the potential to negatively affect long-term health.2,3 The common medical interventions used for infertility include fertility medications, in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and intrauterine insemination (IUI). Fertility medications, such as clomiphene and gonadotropins, stimulate growth of the ovarian follicle, followed by follicular rupture induced by a human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) trigger shot. These medications are often used in conjunction with IVF and IUI. IVF is an assisted reproductive technology that includes combining an egg and a sperm in a laboratory and then transferring the fertilized embryo into the uterus. IUI involves placing the sperm inside of the uterus to help with fertilization. Although less invasive and expensive than IVF, in IUI the sperm has to fertilize the egg on its own within the woman’s reproductive tract.
Research suggests a link between a variety of health conditions and subsequent infertility, including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, advanced maternal age (AMA), high body mass index (BMI), the MTHFR genetic mutation, hypothyroidism (both clinical and subclinical), and poor ovarian reserve.4-14 In this article, we provide case evidence for alternative methods for managing infertility that are effective at improving the underlying condition leading to infertility – methods that are less expensive than medical intervention and are supportive of long-term health.