Has the environment increased infertility rates?

It seems that more and more people nowadays are having a hard time conceiving a child. For some  it’s an ongoing battle, for others they have given up entirely and was probably told by their doctors that they’ll never be able to conceive. It’s immensely sad but very true. I’ve known people who have tried for many years and are still unable to conceive. Some are still unwavering in their mission to have their own child; others have decided to give up.

There are many reasons that causes infertility. And the ironic thing is – age isn’t necessarily a factor in the inability to conceive. I’ve heard from friends who’s doctors have told them that they are past their “age” which I thought was pretty ridiculous. I told them to get a second opinion – or several more. Yes, age does matter in the whole biological-physiological spectrum and science has proven that the health of  the sperm and egg does decrease after a certain age and even the ovaries ability to release eggs for fertilization may become affected with age. But I have also met women well in their 40’s and 50’s who have conceived albeit with a little medical intervention. And then on the other side of the scale there are women who are in their early 20’s and 30’s who have had problems conceiving.

Infertility or any aspect of it is such a sensitive topic. No one really wants to discuss it outside of their spouses let alone hearing from their doctors that they are infertile. It’s a dreaded word for couples who so desperately want to have a child of their own. But the reason I’m writing this is because I want people to know that there is hope! First of all, the most important thing is to take a deep breath and realize that there are many options out there (besides adoption). You just have to find the underlying problem.

My husband and I always knew we wanted to have children. But before we started I knew I had to get my body and mental health in optimum shape. I’ve always considered myself to be pretty healthy – I try to eat well, I exercise, I don’t drink alcohol or smoke.  So I started to take my prenatal vitamins as suggested by my OBGYN, I practiced Dayan Qigong more regularly to enhance my internal health, I ate better, and I eliminated caffeine products entirely. After a few months of trying to conceive, I decided I needed an extra boost of help – and help came along the lines of my father and sister who are both doctors. I wasn’t infertile by any means, but with  certain obstacles in the way (such as age and stress) I wanted to be sure to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.  Realistically, getting pregnant isn’t as easy as you think – forget about soap operas where the girl spends one night with the guy and then discovers months later that she’s pregnant. That happens all too rarely. And if you happen to get pregnant on the first try – then that’s great news. So I decided to do a little research of my own and realized that the environment actually has a great part in this whole infertile scheme.

So you factor in age, and you factor in the environment, add a little prayer and what is the result? Well, the ability to conceive relies a whole lot on how well your body can ovulate, on the health of your eggs and your partner’s sperms, and timing. But there is more to that and most regular doctors won’t concede to the fact that our environment plays a key role in how our bodies work. Some fertility specialists have done research of their own and can count that as part of the reason and while recent research and data has supported the evidence that the environment and what we eat can contribute to infertility, I hope people can become more aware of what they do to their bodies prior to conception.

So you may ask why is the environment a culprit in infertility? Because the environment is the air we breathe and the atmospheric substances that travel into our bodies through our skin. If our bodies are consistently exposed to toxic chemicals whether through the foods we ingest or through skin contact, these toxic chemicals start to break down our delicate endocrine system thus resulting to various health problems. Toxins stay in our body and not all toxins can get eliminated through the daily excretion process. Our liver and kidneys work strenuosly to eliminate these toxins, but if one has an overexposure to certain toxins (like cigarette smoke and harmful chemicals), then those toxins stay in our body and eventually corrupt our major organs, including the ovaries and the women’s reproductive organs. Once these reproductive organs become compromised then it’s harder to reverse the damages.

My father who is a retired doctor has treated many women with infertility issues. He became worldly known as an infertility specialist although his specialty is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture. He explained to me that the kidneys govern the reproductive organs and if the kidneys are weak or hold too much toxins, then the reproductive organs will become greatly affected. I then went through a series of acupuncture from my sister (who is a doctor of TCM and acupuncture as well) and special herbs targeted at strenghthening the kidneys and the reproductive organs. I figure that this will give Mother Nature a helping hand and a slight advantage over other women who aren’t doing anything to help their fertility.

After a series of acupunture treatments and ongoing herbs, my dad read my pulse (proper TCM and acupuncture practice) and noticed that my kidneys have become stronger and my overall health better. By eating a strict diet, avoiding toxic chemicals in the house and in my body, and reducing my stress level, I felt it greatly increased my chances at conceiving.

So if you’re thinking about conceiving a child or have had endless problems, then examine your lifestyle first and do your best in eliminating all kinds of toxins in your body and your environment. I stayed away from people who smoked, stopped using my not-so-environmentally safe cleaning materials, and upped my intake of organic produce.


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