Thirty-nine-year-old Danielle and her husband, Scott, had been trying to conceive for three years. Because of Danielle's age, they feared that time was running out.
Infertility specialists advised them that their only options were intrauterine insemination, a process of artificial insemination in which sperm is placed in a woman's uterus...or in vitro fertilization, a process of fertilization in which eggs and sperm are combined in a lab and the resulting embryos are implanted. Both techniques require a substantial drug regimen. Worried about the potential side effects of these drugs and the cost, the couple decided to explore other options. Danielle had read one of my books and believed that natural medicine might help her.
The tests that I conducted showed that she did not ovulate regularly and that her levels of the hormone progesterone were too low to adequately maintain a pregnancy. Progesterone is needed to build and maintain the lining of the uterus, in which the fertilized egg can grow. Scott's tests by a fertility specialist showed that he had lower-than-normal sperm motility, the ability of sperm to move toward an egg. For the best chance of a successful pregnancy, we needed to treat both Danielle and Scott.
I conducted further tests and found that while Danielle's thyroid hormone level was within the normal range, it was slightly low, which can throw off ovulation. I prescribed Nature-Throid, a natural prescription medicine for patients who have an underactive thyroid or other thyroid problems. Because her thyroid level was within the normal range, none of her other doctors had suggested that she take a thyroid supplement. Danielle was already taking the herb
Vitex agnus-castus, known as chasteberry, which she had learned about in my book. Studies have shown that it can stimulate ovulation and normalize progesterone levels. For Scott, I prescribed the supplements coenzyme Q10 and L-carnitine, which can help to increase sperm motility.
I encourage couples struggling with infertility to be mindful of eating a healthful diet. I suggest that their diet consist of organic foods, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean protein and gluten-free grains, such as corn, rice, buckwheat and quinoa, because gluten can cause infertility. I also recommend that they consume essential fatty acids--such as cold-water fish and flaxseed-to promote gland health and hormone balance. Danielle and her husband already ate a healthful diet, so they didn't have to make any changes.
Four months after I began treating her, Danielle was delighted to tell me that she was pregnant! As of the writing of this article, Danielle is scheduled to deliver her baby any day.