Can a Naturopath Help with Fertility?

Naturopath for Fertility

Embarking on the journey to parenthood is an incredible and sometimes challenging chapter in many people’s lives. While conventional medical approaches play a vital role in fertility treatments, an increasing number of people are exploring complementary therapies like naturopathy for fertility, to enhance their chances of conception.

Naturopathy is a holistic approach to health and wellness that emphasises the body’s ability to heal itself through natural medicine. It incorporates various therapies, including nutrition, herbal medicine, and lifestyle counselling. Naturopaths view fertility holistically, considering physical, emotional, and environmental factors. At Fertile Ground, our naturopathic practitioners work towards identifying and addressing underlying issues that may impact fertility, such as hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, environmental disruptors and stress.

In fact, we’ve written a free ebook guide all about strategies you can start to put into place immediately to begin enhancing your fertility. It’s called ’12 Steps to Create Your Fertile Life’ and you can get it here:

Download Our Free 12 Step Fertility Guide

Balancing Hormones Naturally

Hormonal imbalances, often silent disruptors within the intricate dance of the human body, can wield substantial influence over fertility. Understanding this intricate interplay, naturopaths adopt a multifaceted approach to rebalance hormones, fostering an environment conducive to fertility. Let’s delve deeper into the nuanced strategies employed by our naturopathic practitioners for fertility:

Lifestyle Modifications for Hormonal Harmony: Our fertility naturopaths recognise the profound impact of lifestyle choices on hormonal equilibrium. Through personalised assessments, individuals are guided towards lifestyle modifications tailored to their unique needs. This encompasses recommendations for adequate sleep, stress management techniques, regular exercise, food choices, weight management and a multitude of nutritional nuances. All of these things are pivotal in promoting hormonal balance.

Nutritional Support as a Foundation: A cornerstone of naturopathic intervention lies in the power of nutrition. Nourishing the body with the right balance of nutrients is crucial for hormonal health. Naturopaths, therefore, curate dietary plans rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This nutritional support aims to fortify the endocrine system and create an optimal hormonal milieu for fertility. Fertile Ground naturopathic practitioners analyse specific dietary and nutritional requirements and prescribe supplements where necessary for optimising fertility.

Herbal Medicine: Nature’s Balancers: Harnessing the potency of botanical allies, naturopaths may prescribe specific herbs renowned for their hormonal balancing properties. Herbs such as Vitex, known for its impact on the menstrual cycle, or adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha, revered for their stress-modulating effects, are carefully chosen to address hormonal imbalances. These natural remedies act synergistically with the body, gently nudging it towards hormonal equilibrium. (It’s very important to know that any herb suggested on the internet or by well meaning friends may not be right for you – always consult with an expert naturopath/herbalist before taking anything).

Fertile Ground practitioners use the prescription services of The Melbourne Apothecary for dispensing both nutritional and herbal supplements. The Melbourne Apothecary is one of Australia’s largest fertility specific prescription only naturopathic dispensaries, located in Collingwood, Melbourne. You can collect or arrange to have your prescription posted to you.

Mind-Body Techniques: The Art of Hormonal Harmony: Stress, a ubiquitous companion in modern life, can exert a profound influence on hormonal balance. Naturopaths recognise the intricate mind-body connection and often incorporate stress management techniques into their approach. Mindfulness practices, breath coaching for nervous system regulation, relaxation exercises, and techniques like yoga and meditation are woven into the fabric of naturopathic care and many of these are often recommended by Fertile Ground naturopaths, all with the aim to  help you reduce stress hormones and promote hormonal harmony.

Individualised Treatment Plans: A Tailored Approach

Naturopaths champion the uniqueness of each individual, acknowledging that hormonal imbalances are diverse and multifaceted. Consequently, treatment plans are meticulously crafted, considering a person’s medical history, lifestyle, and specific hormonal and fertility challenges. This bespoke approach ensures that interventions are precisely aligned with the individual’s needs, optimising the chances of restoring hormonal balance and optimising fertility.

Education and Empowerment: Equipping Individuals for Hormonal Health: Beyond prescribed interventions, naturopaths embrace an educative role. Understanding that empowered individuals are better equipped to navigate their health journey, naturopaths provide insights into the intricate dance of hormones. This education empowers individuals to make informed lifestyle choices, reinforcing the principles of hormonal balance in their daily lives.

Holistic Monitoring and Adjustments: A Dynamic Process: Naturopathic care is an ongoing, dynamic process. Fertile Ground naturopaths monitor progress closely, adapting treatment plans as needed and working closely and collaboratively with your healthcare team. Regular check-ins allow for adjustments, ensuring that the approach remains responsive to your evolving needs. This holistic monitoring contributes to the sustainability of hormonal balance and promotes enduring fertility.

By addressing hormonal imbalances through this comprehensive and holistic lens, naturopathy emerges as a supportive and integrative ally in the journey towards enhanced fertility. Through lifestyle adjustments, nutritional fortification, herbal medicine, mind-body techniques, individualised care, and ongoing monitoring, naturopaths seek not only to balance hormones but to cultivate an environment where fertility can flourish. In the realm of naturopathy, hormonal harmony becomes a key orchestrator in the symphony of reproductive wellness.

Fertility Naturopath Services in Melbourne

In the pursuit of parenthood, an increasing number of individuals are seeking holistic solutions to complement conventional fertility treatments. Naturopathy, prioritising natural medicine and holistic well-being, has emerged as a invaluable ally in the journey towards conception. With over two decades of providing fertility naturopath services in Melbourne, Fertile Ground has witnessed the integration of our natural approaches yield exceptional outcomes. Collaboration between naturopaths and fertility specialists is becoming more common and we are proud to know that we have paved the way for this as it has always been our highest value at Fertile Ground since the practice began back in 2001.

If you’re captivated by the potential benefits of fertility naturopathy, we invite you to connect with Fertile Ground’s expert practitioners in Melbourne. Schedule a free 10 minute consultation with one of our fertility naturopaths to discover how naturopathy can be intricately tailored to your unique needs, providing a holistic and supportive approach throughout your fertility journey.

Book your naturopathic appointment

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Springtime Raspberry Lime Smoothie Bowl

Raspberry Lime Smoothie Bowl

As we launch ourselves into Spring, let’s let our cells and microbiomes sing with dietary delight and variation – and what better way to do that than putting your feet up with a Springtime Raspberry Lime Smoothie Bowl and bringing the essence of beachside Bali to your living room. Organic frozen berries are a beneficial and nutritious addition to your plate, bowl and drink all year round. Spring heralds the bonus of using fresh berries, with fresh raspberries starting to hit the shop shelves in the third month of Spring in Australia (early November). This recipe is safe and delicious at all stages of your fertility journey, whether you are trying to conceive, pregnant, or have already birthed your bub.

(1 serve = 250mL)

INGREDIENTS – Springtime Raspberry Lime Smoothie Bowl

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ¼ raw zucchini
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • 1-2 tablespoons protein powder
  • ½ cup Greek, natural or coconut full-fat yoghurt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • To serve: ¼ cup each of toasted nut, seed and coconut mix and fresh berries

METHOD: 

  • Add all ingredients to blender and blitz until well-blended.
  • Serve with yoghurt and toasted nut, seed and coconut mix and fresh berries sprinkled on top.

NOTE: 

If you’re in the postpartum stage, add in 1 serve of collagen powder along with your protein powder for tissue healing support.

This Springtime Raspberry Lime Smoothie Bowl recipe is brought to you by senior fertility naturopath and nutritionist, Georgia Marrion. Keen to get some dietary support in your fertility, pregnancy or postpartum journey? Book in with Georgia for a free 10 minute telehealth consult to find out what’s possible for you > navigate to heading Naturopathy – Fertile Ground > 10 minute Free Naturopathic Introduction

Find Help for Recurrent Miscarriage

recurrent miscarriage

Miscarriage is a difficult yet (unfortunately) very commonly experience during pregnancy where a loss occurs prior to 20 weeks’ gestation. Recurrent miscarriage, where 3 consecutive miscarriages occur, while less prevalent, is still common and a condition we see and help manage in our patients frequently at Fertile Ground.

While in some cases the cause is unknown, there are many reasons associated with an increased risk and incidence of miscarriage including: anatomical, age, genetic, autoimmune, infectious, endocrine, chromosomal abnormalities, lifestyle and environmental factors. (1,2)

Following a thorough investigation to assess potential causes in each individual case, we usually recommend a broad range dietary, lifestyle, nutritional and herbal strategies to ameliorate the specific risk factors that may be contributing to miscarriage specific to each person/couple.

Dietary strategies we frequently recommend include reducing your consumption of refined sugars, processed, fried and vegetable fats, ‘junk’ proteins and processed foods and increasing your intake of vegetables, fruits, beneficial fats and whole food protein foods.

Why? Because such a dietary pattern will support both egg and sperm quality and many aspects of hormonal health (we know that this along with other therapeutic strategies is effective based on the many couples we have helped become parents).

Recently, a study has come out confirming what we see clinically in regards to diet quality and miscarriage – so let’s review what the investigators looked at and what they found:(Chung 2023)

What was the study asking?

The study was a systematic review and meta-analysis (which is an analysis of the findings of multiple studies) to summarise the association between preconception dietary intake and miscarriage risk in women of reproductive age.

What did they find?

It was found that eating a wholefood-based, seasonal, antioxidant-rich diet comprising increased consumption of vegetables, fruit, wholegrains and protein foods (eggs, seafood, dairy, meat) reduced the risk of miscarriage and was associated with good pregnancy outcomes.

They also found an association between a high intake of processed foods and increased miscarriage risk.

So quality matters – but so does timing and duration, as they also found that such benefits for miscarriage and pregnancy outcome involved following such a dietary pattern for between 1-4 years prior to conception.

Take-home message

If you have experienced miscarriage, or are starting out on your journey to conceive, preconception health for both females and males can make all the difference to your fertility and pregnancy outcomes. If you feel you need some help improving your dietary intake for fertility or general reproductive health, reach out and book an appointment today so we can help!

Written by Senior Fertility Naturopath & Nutritionist, Georgia Marrion

MHNut, BHsci (Comp Med), Adv.Dip HSci (Nat)

MNSA, MANPA, MFSA

Georgia is available for naturopathic & nutrition appointments at Fertile Ground Health Group, click here to book online.

REFERENCES

1. Hecthman L. Advanced clinical naturopathic medicine. Elsevier: Chatswood, 2020.

2. Chung Y et al. The association between dietary patterns and risk of miscarriage: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Fert Ster 2023 Apr; S0015-0282 (23) 00296-0. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37061157/

Postnatal Depletion Recovery

Postnatal Depletion

Georgia Marrion, Senior Fertility Naturopath and Nutritionist at Fertile Ground Health Group, joined Andrew Whitfiled-Cook from Natural Medicine Partners on their podcast – Wellness by Design, to discuss postnatal depletion recovery.

We know that pregnancy can take a toll on a woman’s body and involves prioritisation of nutrition to the fetus (foetus) at the expense of the mother.  We also know that this can result in significant depletion of nutrients, and furthermore can even result in  structural changes to the mother’s brain tissue.

It’s no wonder, then, that there’s a thing called pregnancy brain, and that women suffer from extreme fatigue, sometimes months, or even years after giving birth.

Stress hormones play havoc with maternal hormonal balance and immunity. When does this depletion become pathological? When does postpartum fatigue become a problem? And what other issues face women after giving birth?

Today we are joined by Senior Fertility Naturopath and Nutritionist, Georgia Marrion. Georgia is an expert in supporting women both during their pregnancy and in the postpartum period.

Join us as we delve into the aetiology and supportive measures we can offer women who suffer from prolonged fatigue, stress and ensuing mental health issues which impede optimal family functioning.

Listen on your preferred medium, see links below:

Apple Podcast

Buzzsprout

Book your free 10-minute introduction telehealth consult with Senior Fertility Naturopath & Nutritionist, Georgia Marrion to get started. Navigate to Naturopathy – Fertile Ground > 10-minute Free Naturopathic Introduction TELEHEALTH

References

Huntley R. What is postnatal depletion and do I have it? ABC Everyday. Posted 6 Mar 20196 Mar 2019, updated 19 Oct 2020. (Accessed 3023 Apr 3).

Hoekzema E, Barba-Müller E, Pozzobon C, et al. Pregnancy leads to long-lasting changes in human brain structure. Nat Neurosci. 2017 Feb;20(2):287-296. DOI:

10.1038/nn.4458

Barba-Müller E, Craddock S, Carmona S, et al. Brain plasticity in pregnancy and the postpartum period: links to maternal caregiving and mental health. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2019 Apr;22(2):289-299. DOI: 10.1007/s00737-018-0889-z

Chenko N, Dukart J, Tchaikovski S, et al. The expectant brain-pregnancy leads to changes in brain morphology in the early postpartum period. Cereb Cortex. 2022 Sep 4;32(18):4025-4038. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhab463

Kim P, Leckman JF, Mayes LC, et al. The plasticity of human maternal brain: longitudinal changes in brain anatomy during the early postpartum period. Behav Neurosci. 2010 Oct;124(5):695-700. DOI: 10.1037/a0020884

Zeisel SH, Niculescu MD. Perinatal choline influences brain structure and function. Nutr Rev. 2006 Apr;64(4):197-203. DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2006.tb00202.x

Dhiman P, Pillai RR, Wilson AB, et al. Cross-sectional association between vitamin B12 status and probable postpartum depression in Indian women. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2021 Feb 17;21(1):146. DOI: 10.1186/s12884-021-03622-x

Houghton LA, Yang J, O’Connor DL. Unmetabolized folic acid and total folate concentrations in breast milk are unaffected by low-dose folate supplements. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):216-20. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26564

Williamson JM, Arthurs AL, Smith MD, et al. High Folate, Perturbed One-Carbon Metabolism and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Nutrients. 2022 Sep 22;14(19):3930. DOI: 10.3390/nu14193930

Are Contraceptives Harmful?

Are Contraceptives Harmful?

One source of chemical exposure that particularly affects women are pharmaceutical contraceptives, which while providing important birth control benefits, can also have adverse effects on the body, particularly when we have systems, organs or tissues with suboptimal functioning or diseases or nutrient deficiencies. (4)

In our modern world, we are all exposed to a significant amount of chemicals from food, water, medications and the environments we live in and ongoing research increasingly indicates a link between such exposure and the presence of disease and/or health imbalances. (3) In this blog, I’ll dive into the specifics around contraceptive toxicity and what you can do to help yourself clear it whilst 

What types of contraceptives are there?

The most common contraceptives used by women are combined oral contraceptive pills (COCs), progestin-only contraceptive pills (POPs) and intrauterine devices (IUDs – such as the Mirena). Lots of abbreviations there!

COCs contain various combinations and doses of synthetic oestrogen and progesterone (known as progestins), while POPs are progestin (synthetic progesterone) only medications. Each are available in pill, patch or vaginal ring dosage forms. 

The most common type of synthetic oestrogen used in these medications is a compound called ethinyl estradiol (EE) (others that can be used include chlorotrianisene, dienestrol, diethylstilbestrol, fosfestrol, mestranol or quinestro). 

Progestins (the synthetic version of progesterone) can contain old (norethisterone, levonorgestrel, gestodene) or new forms (drospirenone, dienogest, trimegestone). The two types of IUDs are available are the copper-bearing (Cu-IUD) and hormonal-releasing forms. [1,5-7] 

How are contraceptives processed by your body?

So, you either ingest these contraceptive medications orally or they are present in your body following insertion. What happens to these hormones once they are in your body?

The pharmacokinetics (how they are absorbed, distributed and removed from the body) varies depending on the different types and dosage forms used, with oral medications generally having more significant biological effects compared with topical, vaginal or intrauterine forms. (But not always). [4

For the oral dosage forms, once it makes its way down the gastrointestinal tract/gut, EE is absorbed quickly (though the rate of absorption can vary from 20-65% between individuals, from day to day and with long-term use). 

Nerdy fact 1: this can be one of the reasons why one woman will respond differently to these medications to another (the fascinating joys of physiology!) 

Once the contraceptive medicine is absorbed, it undergoes metabolism (conversion) in the liver. This produces a range of oestrogen metabolites (substances that have been converted to a different form) that then either leave the body via the kidneys or bowels, or are altered by bacteria in the large bowel/intestine and reabsorbed and recirculated throughout the body. [4,8

Nerdy fact 2: this is one of the reasons why gut health influences hormone levels and activity in the body and therefore menstrual health and fertility). 

So, what about progestins (our synthetic progesterone)? They only go through the step of conversion in the liver (they aren’t reabsorbed and recirculated like oestrogens are). Though (you know what I’m going to say here…) the rate (how quickly or slowly) that progestins are metabolised will be different depending on the type of progestin in the medication used. [8]

How do synthetic contraceptive hormones get processed in your body?

The summary so far:

  • How these synthetic hormones are absorbed and distributed in the body will vary from one woman to the next depending on the type and duration of medication used. 
  • It will also vary because of the wide range of differences between us all in our physiology (which body systems and organs are working well and which ones need some love). This will influence the degree to which such substances can adversely affect our bodies in one way or another. 

Contraceptives and their side effects

The types of adverse impacts associated with such contraceptive medications and devices can include our gut and vaginal microbiomes, liver function, oxidative stress levels, chemical accumulation and nutrient status. [9-16

That sounds like a lot, right? Keep in mind we will all respond differently to such medications, so it’s important to consider your own individual response and if a particular contraceptive is right for your body or not. 

It’s all about the bugs….(gut and vaginal microbiome) 

The link between contraceptive medications and the gut microbiome is complex/complicated. 

Certain intestinal bacterial species with a particular enzyme called beta-glucuronidase and beta-glucosidase in the colon (you may have heard of the term ‘estrobolome’ which this is referring to these type of gut bugs) alters the structure of oestrogen in bile. How is this relevant? This will influence the amount of oestrogen that is reabsorbed and recirculated around the body. [17,18

Nerdy fact 3: intestinal dysbiosis (an imbalance between beneficial and non-beneficial bacteria in the gut) can mean more oestrogen is recirculated in the body, and in this case, more is not better when it comes to too much oestrogen!

And here’s the thing…both oral COC and IUDs can alter gut microbiota and vaginal microbiome composition and the integrity of our small intestinal lining (which can cause, contribute to or exacerbate dysbiosis). [9-16] This means that contraceptives may indirectly contribute to body toxicity by adversely affecting the capacity of the gut to metabolise and excrete other environmental chemicals we are commonly exposed to (xenobiotics including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrotoluenes, pesticides, polychlorobiphenyls, heavy metals, benzene derivatives, azo dyes, artificial sweeteners). [20

Take home message 1: the balance of your bugs matters when it comes to hormone health and fertility. 

Contraceptives and your liver function

Contraceptives can also affect how happy your liver is, which is important because one of the key functions of this important organ is to detoxify a HUGE range of substances from the outside (chemicals from our food, drink, environment and medications, including the hormones from these contraceptives) and inside our bodies to make them safer for removal from the body.

That is, certain contraceptives (and our gut bugs) can affect the activity of our liver enzymes (the good guys that carry out these detoxifying reactions). [21] This can present a problem when the level of our chemical exposure exceeds the ability of these liver enzymes to detoxify them, resulting in higher levels of circulating (unconverted) toxic metabolites, further contributing to an overload of these liver detoxification pathways. [4,8,22

Take home message 2: healthy liver function is another key aspect of hormone health and fertility. 

Contraceptives and their impact on nutrient and trace mineral status

Contraceptive medications may also contribute to endogenous toxicity by modifying endogenous nutrient, heavy metal and trace mineral levels, subsequently influencing (nutrient-dependent) hepatic detoxification and cellular antioxidant enzyme activity.

A range of studies have shown that nutrients that can be lower with use of OCPs, IUDs or injectable contraceptives include zinc, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin B12 while higher levels of iron, copper and cadmium can also occur. [31,32, 33, 34, 35]

Lower levels of selenium, zinc and magnesium can influence body toxicity as they are required for the synthesis and activity of antioxidant enzymes in the body (including glutathione (magnesium), superoxide dismutase (zinc), glutathione peroxidase and selenoprotein enzymes (selenium). [36

The toxic effects of the heavy metal cadmium in the body include by depleting glutathione levels, inhibiting antioxidant enzyme activity and increasing the synthesis of free radicals/oxidative stress [37] Copper, when it’s too high, can contribute to pathological oxidative processes in much of the body, including inactivation of glutathione peroxidase and oxidation of hepatic mitochondrial cells, while excess iron results in the formation free radicals. [33,38,39] When there are excessive levels of oxidative stress in body cells and tissues with use of contraceptives, this can have a detrimental impact on detoxification processes and overall body toxicity and functional capacities.   

Take home message 3: nutrient status and oxidative stress can be adversely affected by contraceptives, particularly if you have used them for an extended period of time. 

What can you do if you think contraceptives are adversely affecting you?

The use of pharmaceutical contraceptives has an important place in the population for birth control and family planning purposes – this blog is not a directive to come off all your contraceptives! 

However, their potential detrimental impact on the body (and your reproductive health and fertility in many cases) is an important consideration. This means it is important to identify if the health issues you are experiencing are associated with your contraceptives and getting individualised support with strategies including functional pathology, dietary modifications, nutrient, herbal and lifestyle changes to address such imbalances. 

Written by Senior Fertility Naturopath & Nutritionist, Georgia Marrion MHNut, BHsci (Comp Med), Adv.Dip HSci (Nat) MNSA, MANPA, MFSA

Make a free 10 minute booking with Georgia to get started on your journey towards better health.

References
  1. Lackie J. A dictionary of biomedicine. Oxford University Press, 2010. DOI: 10.1093/acref/9780199549351.001.0001.  
  2. Sharma B. Hormonal contraceptive chronic toxicity in females: a review. J Forensic Sci Toxicol. 2018 Aug; 1 (1): 1003.
  3. Bijlsma N, Cohen MM. Environmental chemical assessment in clinical practice: unveiling the elephant in the room. Int J Environ Res Pub Health 2016; 13: 181. 
  4. Mattinson DR, Karyakina N, Goodman M, LaKind JS. Pharmaco- and toxicokinetics of selected exogenous and endogenous estrogens: a review of the data and identification of knowledge gaps. Crit Rev Toxicol 2014; 44 (8): 696-724.
  5. IARC Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans, volume 72. Oral Contraceptives – combined. 1999. Accessed 14 December 2018 from https://monographs.iarc.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/mono72-6.pdf https://monographs.iarc.fr/iarc-monographs-on-the-evaluation-of-carcinogenic-risks-to-humans-49/
  6. Farman M, Tripathi SK, Babu DK, Nandi S, Kumar G. Influence of estrogen, progesterone and their synthetic derivatives on ovarian functions. J Infertil Reprod Biol 2015; 3 (4): 250-254. 
  7. Amy JJ, Tripathi V. Contraception for women: an evidence-based overview. BMJ 2009; 339: b2895.
  8. Lee CR. Drug interactions and hormonal contraception. Trends Urol Gynecol Sex Health 2009 May/June; 24: 23-26. 
  9. Khalili H, Granath F, Smedby KE, Ekbom A, Neovius M, Chan AT, Olen O. Association between long-term oral contraceptive use and risk of Crohn’s disease complications in nationwide study. Gastroenterol 2016; 150: 1561-1567. 
  10. Khalilli H. Risk of inflammatory bowel disease with oral contraceptives and menopausal hormone therapy: current evidence and future directions. Drug Saf 2016 Mar; 39 (3): 193-7. 
  11. Rezek M, Sayyed T, Maood A, Dawood R. Risk of bacterial vaginosis, Trichomonas vaginalis and Candida albicans infection among new users of combined hormonal contraception vs LNG-IUS. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care 2017 Oct; 22 (5): 344-348.
  12. Aminzadeh A, Sanat AS, Akhtar SN. Frequency of candidiasis and colonisation of Candida albicans in relation to oral contraceptive pills. Iran Red Crescent Med J 2016 Oct; 18 (10): e38909. 
  13. Zhou Z, Zhang L, Ding M, Luo Z, Yuan S, Bansal MB, Gilkeson G, Lang R, Jiang W. Estrogen decreases tight junction protein ZO-1 expression in human primary gut tissues. Clin Immunol 2017; 183: 174-180. 
  14. Chen L, Zhang W, Hua J, Hu C, Lai NLS, Qian PY et al. Dysregulation of intestinal health by environmental pollutants: involvement of the estrogen receptor and aryl hydrocarbon receptor. Environ Sci Technol 2018; 52 (4): 2323-2330. 
  15. Morkl S, Lackner S, Meinitzer A, Mangge H, Lehofer M, Halwachs B, Gorkiewicz G et al. Gut microbiota, dietary intakes and intestinal permeability reflected by zonulin in women. Eur J Nutr 2018; 57: 2985-2997. 
  16. Fosch SE, Ficoseco CA, Marchesi A, Cocucci S, Nader-Macias MEF, Perazzi BE. Contraception: influence on vaginal microbiota and identification of vaginal lactobacilli using MALDI-TOF MS and 16S rDNA sequencing. Open Microbiol J 2018 Jun 29; 12: 218-229. 
  17. Kwa M, Plottel CS, Blaser MJ, Adams S. The intestinal microbiome and estrogen receptor positive female breast cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2016 Apr 22; 108 (8). 
  18. Fuhrman BJ, Feigelson HS, Flores R, Gail MH, Xu X, Ravel J, Goedert JJ. Associations of the fecal microbiome with urinary estrogens and estrogen metabolites in postmenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2014 Dec; 99 (12): 4632-4640.
  19. Donders G, Bellen G, Janssens D, Van Bulck B, Hinoul P, Verguts J. Influence of contraceptive choice on vaginal bacterial and fungal microflora. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 2017 Jan; 36 (1): 43-48. 
  20. Claus SP, Guillou H, Ellero-Simatos S. The gut microbiota: a major player in the toxicity of environmental pollutants? Biofilms and Microbiomes 2016; 2: 16003. 
  21. Greenhaigh K, Meyer KM, Aagaard KM, Wilmes P. The human gut microbiome in health: establishment and resilience of microbiota over a lifetime. Environmental Microbiology 2016; 18 (7): 2103-2116. 
  22. Jacobs CL. An analytical method to investigate the estrogen metabolism in women taking combined oral contraceptives. NWU 2018.  
  23. Ekhato CN, Osifo UC, Akpamu U. Effect of oral contraceptive pills (containing low doses of synthetic hormones) on liver function in adult female rabbits. Asian J Biotech 2014; 6 (1): 15-20. 
  24. Onyesom I, Osioma E, Etagar EE, Ofili MI. Activities of some liver enzymes in serum of humans receiving DMPA and Cu-IUD contraceptives. Schol J Appl Med Sci 2013; 1 (2): 62-64.
  25. Jonderko K, Skalba P, Kasicka-Jonderko A, Kaminska M, Bizior-Frymus D, Dyja R. Impact of oral contraceptives containing ethinylestradiol on the liver microsomal metabolism. Eur J Contracept Reproduc Health Care 2013 Aug; 18 (4): 284-92. 
  26. Mawet M, Maillard C, Klipping C, Zimmerman Y, Foidart JM, Coelingh Bennink HJT. Unique effects on hepatic function, lipid metabolism, bone and growth endocrine parameters of estetrol in combined oral contraceptives. Eur J Contra Repr Health Care 2015 Jul; 20 (6): 463-475. 
  27. Sirtuk-Ware RL, Menard J, Rad M, Burggraaf J, de Kam ML, Tokay BA, Sivin I, Kluft C. Comparison of the impact of vaginal and oral administration of combined hormonal contraceptives on hepatic proteins sensitive to estrogen. Contraception 2007 Jun; 75 (6): 430-437. 
  28. Sitruk-Ware R, Nath A. Metabolic effects of contraceptive steroids. Rev Endocr Metab Disord 2011 Jun; 12 (2): 63-75. 
  29. Dilbaz B, Ozdegirmenci O, Caliskan E, Dilbaz S, Haberal A. Effect of etonogestrel implant on serum lipids, liver function test and hemaglobin levels. Contraception 2010; 81 (6): 510-514.
  30. Archer DF, Thomas MA, Conard J, Merkatz RB, Creasy GW, Roberts K, Plagianos M, Blithe D, Sutruk-Ware R. Impact on hepatic estrogen-sensitive proteins by a 1-year contraceptive vaginal ring delivering Nestorone and ethinyl estradiol. Contraception 2016 Jan; 93 (1): 58-64. 
  31. Akinloye O, Adebayo TO, Oguntibeju OO, Oparinde DP, Ogunyemi EO. Effects of contraceptives on serum trace elements, calcium and phosphorus levels. West Indian Med J 2011 Jun; 60 (3): 308-15.
  32. McArthur JO, Tang H, Petocz P, Samman S. Biological variability and impact of oral contraceptives on B6, B12 and folate status in women of reproductive age. Nutrients 2013 Sep 16; 5 (9): 3634-45.
  33. Babic Z, Tariba B, Kovacic J, Pizent A, Varnai VM, Macan J. Relevance of serum copper elevation induced by oral contraceptives: a meta-analysis. Contraception 2013 Jun; 87 (6): 790-800.
  34. Imperato F, Perniola G, Mossa B, Marziani R, Perniola F, Stragapede B, Napolitano C. The role or copper-releasing intrauterine device or levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system on uterine bleeding and iron status (prospective study of 8 years). Minerva Ginecol 2002 Jun; 54 (3): 271-8. 
  35. Luque-Ramirez M, Alvarez-Blasco F, Alpanes M, Escobar-Morreale HF. Role of decreased circulating hepcidin concentrations in the iron excess of women with polycystic ovary syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2011 Mar; 96 (3): 846-52. 
  36. Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Centre. Selenium, Zinc, Magnesium. Accessed 16 December 2018 from https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/ 
  37. Rahimzadeh MR, Rahimzadeh MR, Kazemi S, Moghadamnia AA. Cadmium toxicity and treatment: an update. Caspian J Intern Med 2017; 8 (3): 135-145. 
  38. Ashish B, Neeti K, Himanshu K. Copper toxicity: a comprehensive study. Res J Rec Sci 2013; 2: 58-67. 
  39. Kohgo Y, Ikuta K, Ohtake T, Torimoto Y, Kato J. Body iron metabolism and pathophysiology of iron overload. Int J Hematol 2008; 88 (1): 7-15. 
  40. Kowalska K, Milnerowicz H. Pro/antioxidant status in young healthy women using oral contraceptives. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 2016 Apr; 43: 1-6. 
  41. Zal F, Mostafavi-Pour Z, Amini F, Heidari A. Effect of vitamin C and E supplements on lipid peroxidation and GSH-dependent antioxidant enzyme status in the blood of women consuming oral contraceptives. Contraception. 2012 Jul; 86 (1): 62-6.
  42. Cauci S, Buligan C, Marangone M, Francescato MP. Oxidative stress in female athletes using combined oral contraceptives. Sports Med Open 2016 Dec; 2 (1): 40.
  43. Palan PR, Strube F, Letko J, Sakikovic A, Mikhail MS. Effects of oral, vaginal and transdermal hormonal contraception on serum levels of coenzyme Q10, vitamin E and total antioxidant activity. Obstet Gynecol Int 2010; 2010. Pii: 925635.
  44. Rush EL, Singer AB, Longnecker MP, Haug LS, Sabaredzovic A, Symanski E, Whitworth KW. Oral contraceptive use as a determinant of plasma concentrations of perfluoroalkyl substances among women in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort (MoBa) study. Environ Intern 2018 Mar; 112: 156-164. 
  45. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and your health. Accessed 16 December 2018 from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/health-effects.html 
  46. National Institute of Health US Department of Health and Human Services. Perfluorinated chemicals July 2016. Accessed 16 December 2018 from https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/materials/perflourinated_chemicals_508.pdf 
  47. Khan U, Nicell JA. Contraceptive options and their associated estrogenic environmental loads: relationships and trade-offs. PLoS One 2014 Mar 26; 9 (3): e92630.
  48. Adeel M, Song X, Wang Y, Francis D, Yang Y. Environmental impact of estrogens on human, animal and plant life: a critical review. Environ Int 2017; 99: 107-119. 
  49. Kumar V, Johnson AC, Trubiroha A, Tumova J, Ihara M, Grabic R, Kloas W et al. The challenge presented by progestins in ecotoxicological research: a critical review. Environ Sci Technol 2015; 49 (5): 2625-2638. 
  50. Roberts H. Combined oral contraceptive: issues for current users. BJP; 12.
  51. Peachman RR. Weighing the risks and benefits of hormonal contraception. JAMA 2018 Mar 20; 319 (11): 1083-1084.
  52. Jordan SJ, Wilson LF, Nagle CM, Green AC, Olsen CM, Bain CJ et al. Cancers in Australia in 2010 attributable to and prevented by the use of combined oral contraceptives. Aust New Zeal J Pub Health 2010; 39 (5). 
  53. Morch LS, Skovlund CW, Hannaford PC, Iverson L, Fielding S, Lidegaard O. Contemporary hormonal contraception and the risk of breast cancer. NEJM 2017; 377: 2228-2239.
  54. Hilakivi-Clarke L, de Assis S, Warri A. Exposures to synthetic estrogens at different times during the life, and their effect on breast cancer risk. J Mamm Gland Biol Neoplas 2013 Mar; 18 (1): 25-42.
  55. Oedingen C, Scholz S, Razum O. Systematic review and meta-analysis of the association of combined oral contraceptives on the risk of venous thromboembolism: the role of the progestogen type and estrogen dose. Thromb Res 2018 May; 165: 68-78.
  56. Dragoman MV, Tepper NK, Fu R, Curtis KM, Chou R, Gaffield ME. A systematic review and meta-analysis of venous thrombosis risk among users of combined oral contraception. Int J Gynecol Obstet 2018 Feb; 141 (3). 
  57. Glisic M, Shahzad S, Tsoli S et al. Association between progestin-only contraceptive use and cardiometaboic outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Prev Cardiol 2018 May. 
  58. Skovlund CW, Morch LS, Kessing LV. Association of hormonal contraception with depression. JAMA Psychiatry 2016; 73 (11): 1154-1162.
  59. Faryal U, Rashid S, Majra B, Hassan M, Saqib J, Ali MA. Effect of hormonal contraceptives on serum serotonin in females of reproductive age group. J Ayub Med Coll Abbot Pak 2016; 28 (1). 
  60. Meier TB, Drevets WC, Teague TK, Wurfel BE, Mueller SC, Bodurka J, Dantzer R, Savitz J. Kynurenic acid is reduced in females and oral contraceptive users: implications for depression. Brain Behav Immun 2018 Jan; 67: 59-64. 
  61. Erol O, Simavli S, Derbent AU, Ayrim A, Kafali H. The impact of copper-containing and levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine contraceptives on cervicovaginal cytology and microbiological flora: a prospective study. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care 2014 Jun; 19 (3): 187-93.
  62. Chagas BS, Gurgel APAD, Paiva Junior SSL, Lima RCP, Cordeiro MN, Moura RR et al. Synergic effect of oral contraceptives, GSTP1 polymorphisms, and high-risk HPV infection in development of cervical lesions. Genet Mol Res 2017 Aug 17; 16 (3).  
  63. Jatlaoui TC, Riley HE, Curtix KM. The safety of intrauterine devices among young women: a systematic review. Contraception 2017 Jan; 95 (1): 17-39.
  64. Batur P, Bowersox N, McNamara M. Contraception: efficacy, risks, continuation rates and use in high risk women. J Women’s Health. 2016 Aug; 25 (8): 853-6.
  65. Klug CD, Keay CR, Ginde AA. Fatal toxic shock syndrome from an intrauterine device. Ann Emerg Med 2009; 54: 701-3.
  66. Herzer CM. Toxic shock syndrome: broadening the differential diagnosis. J Am Board Fam Pract 2001; 14: 131-6.
  67. Cho EE, Fernando D. Fatal streptococcal toxic shock syndrome from an intrauterine device. J Emerg Med 2013; 44: 777-80.

Blood-sugar, Hormones and Fertility

Blood Sugar

As you’ve probably already learned, your diet has everything to do with your fertility. Let’s explore more about why your blood-sugar levels matter. It is well established that irregular blood-sugar, insulin resistance and diabetes have a negative effect on fertility outcomes for all involved so it is very important that we address this head on.

How to Identify if you have Blood-Sugar Issues

Many of us have trouble with blood-sugar levels without really knowing it, and these can cause physiological problems well before your test results will lead your doctor to inform you that you are at risk of developing diabetes. Once you get to this stage, you’re well down the path of disease development.

You are likely to be pre-disposed to blood-sugar problems if you have:

  • A family history of Type 2 diabetes.
  • PCOS.
  • Experienced gestational diabetes with a previous pregnancy. 

You are likely to be struggling to control your blood-sugar levels if you suffer from any of the following:

  • Eat a predominantly carbohydrate diet.
  • Have energy slumps in the afternoon.
  • Get regular headaches.
  • Crave sugary foods, cordial or fizzy drinks, chocolate or carbs.
  • Have energy drinks, colas or coffee to give you a lift.
  • Easily become ‘hangry’ (angry when you’re hungry), shaky, or faint.
  • Faint or foggy-brained.
  • Have an ‘apple’-shaped body

How to Blood-Sugar Issues Affect My Fertility?

Blood-sugar issues not only lead to an increased risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia and some cancers, your blood-sugar is directly related to many causes for suboptimal reproductive health and infertility as well. There are a number of ways your blood-sugar can create problems with your fertility including impacting your hormonal imbalance and creating inflammation. The good news is that this is totally within your control! What you put in your mouth dictates what happens to your blood-sugar levels on a biochemical level.

Carrying extra weight negatively affects your fertility. In fact, one of the main suspected causes of impaired fertility related to weight is the underlying issue of insulin resistance, affecting hormone expression and inflammation. This can lead to compromised ovulation and egg quality, and impaired sperm production. Not only will managing your blood-glucose levels through diet and exercise help you to lose the extra kilograms but getting your blood-sugar and insulin sensitivity under control will improve your hormones and fertility.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you’re not overweight that your blood-sugar is spot on. If you tend to crave sweet, sugary or carbohydrate-rich foods, get shaky or irritable if you are late eating or miss a meal then this is still highly relevant for you.

Do I have blood-sugar issues if I only get sugar cravings before my period? 

Many people experience a particular increase in cravings for sugar and chocolate when they are pre-menstrual. Of course, hormones play a role here, and following our advice on balancing your hormones usually helps with these premenstrual sugar cravings. But just as importantly, managing your blood sugar fluctuations by following the dietary recommendations here will also help to improve your premenstrual symptoms, plus benefit your early pregnancy outcomes should you happen to have conceived in that cycle. 

Sugar and stress

Eating excess sugars and refined carbohydrates can also contribute to higher stress levels. Blood-sugar spikes trigger your adrenal glands to produce higher levels of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone. A common experience when ‘quitting sugar’ is one of improved stress tolerance and relaxation, plus broader benefits such as concentration and productivity. Higher levels of cortisol can adversely impact your fertility, so breaking the sugar habit is crucial in improving your fertility when you have blood-sugar issues.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Some people with weight problems and insulin-resistance issues find they are diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS. This is the most common endocrine disorder affecting female fertility, with 8-13% of women of reproductive age having the syndrome. (1) It seems to have a significant genetic component, and you are likely to find your mother, sisters, aunts or cousins have similar symptoms, or that you have a family history of Type 2 diabetes. But there is no need to despair if you’ve been diagnosed. Successful management of PCOS is something we regularly achieve in our practice, very often resulting in improvements in symptoms and successful pregnancy within months of treatment. 

Common symptoms of PCOS include long or absent menstrual cycles, acne, male-pattern hair growth, weight gain especially around the abdomen and upper body (the apple shape), and a tendency to crave sugar and carbohydrate-heavy foods. PCOS is diagnosed via ultrasound to confirm the presence of multiple cysts on the ovaries, taking a patient history to determine irregular or absent periods and related hormonal signs and symptoms, and blood tests to confirm high testosterone (or symptoms like acne and hirsutism). You only need two out of these three criteria to be diagnosed with PCOS – you don’t have to have multiple cysts on the ovaries to have PCOS.(2)

Being a ‘syndrome’ rather than a ‘disease’, symptoms and test results vary from person to person. It is not uncommon for someone thin with irregular cycles to be diagnosed with PCOS, or for someone with irregular cycles and multiple cysts to show normal blood-glucose and hormone levels. Clinically, we often find these people present with some of the other secondary symptoms (hair growth, acne), and respond well to breaking their sugar addiction with a low carbohydrate diet. These individuals are often told they have polycystic ovaries, but without the syndrome (PCO). 

It’s important to remember that every person with multiple cysts and ovulation problems can have a different presentation, and it is unlikely you would have all the signs and symptoms commonly listed. 

The signs and symptoms of PCOS 

  • Infrequent ovulation and irregular, prolonged or absent menstrual cycles.
  • Subfertility and fertility issues.
  • Weight gain, especially associated with abdominal fat deposition, but just as often under or normal weight women can present with PCOS. Weight and body shape changes after stopping the oral contraceptive pill are common.
  • Excess dark body hair around the nipple, chest, belly, chin and upper lip. 
  • Hormonal acne. 
  • Poor blood-glucose control with frequent cravings for carbohydrates and sugary foods.

What makes a person susceptible to PCOS?

Unfortunately, you may feel as if your biology is working against you. PCOS is more likely if you have a family history of Type 2 diabetes or if your mother had gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with you. You are also at increased risk of developing gestational diabetes once pregnant and Type 2 diabetes later in life. But it’s important to remember that you have some control of your health outcomes at the end of the day. The tools available to you to learn to help manage your PCOS symptoms and improve your fertility will also benefit your health long term and reduce your risk of developing disease later in life.

For more information or to get help managing PCOS generally, or for fertility and / or pregnancy care

Book your naturopathic appointment

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References

  1. Teede HJ, Misso ML, Costello MF, et al. Recommendations from the international evidence-based guideline for the assessment and management of polycystic ovary syndrome. Hum Reprod. 2018;33(9):1602-1618. doi:10.1093/humrep/dey256.
  2. Fritz MA, Speroff L. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility. 8th edn. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams
    & Wilkins; 2011.

How To Create A More Fertile Life

fertility naturopath melbourne

Are you looking to create a more fertile life, grow your family or begin trying to conceive? The irony is that for many of us and for most of our lives, having a baby seems as simple as falling off a log – in fact, it seems so easy that most people spend the majority of their adult lifetime trying to avoid falling pregnant! It is a bitter pill indeed when it turns out that fulfilling that dream perhaps doesn’t necessarily happen so easily, and is something that our fertility naturopath, Melbourne team, work with people daily to support.

Addressing Infertility in the General Population

If you are reading this, you probably already know many of the facts around the increasing rates of infertility in the general population, which is around one in six couples experiencing fertility issues: 35% due to women’s reproductive issues, 21% due to male factors, 12% combined male and female, and 28% of infertility cases have unknown causes.1–3 Infertility is a challenge for couples (as well as single people or same sex couples trying to conceive), regardless of who has the diagnosed issue, and especially if the fertility problem is unclear.

There is no doubt that trying to conceive is an incredibly emotional and stressful journey for couples to whom it does not come easily. Family-making seems like a birth right and it feels unjust when this right appears to be denied. And the worst thing is that if you are having trouble conceiving, it appears that absolutely everyone around you is pregnant – older women, young women, women who weren’t trying, women finally achieving their miracle baby … it can be unbearably frustrating, even devastating for some to celebrate another’s joy when they are facing a future without children. Many couples end up feeling isolated, alone in their grief, trauma, struggle and stress and ultimately, helpless. Seeking the one magical answer that will provide the solution becomes an obsession for some, as they spend hours online with others in similar circumstances looking for answers. Our fertility naturopath, melbourne team, understand this deeply, having worked with thousands of people in this space for decades and having supported so many to successfully birth their babies and grow their families.

All crisis has the potential to transform

One of our favourite sayings is: “all crisis leads to transformation”. You may see this as another useless platitude, or it could be a mantra that leverages you out of helplessness and into a shift of perspective to identify what this opportunity means to you, and how to make the most of it. If you’re currently experiencing a struggle to conceive, you can choose to go through it and remain unchanged, or you could allow it to be your greatest teacher, giving insight into what makes you feel good, what a truly healthy lifestyle is, what is damaging your health, well-being and fertility and, most importantly, how to make lasting change that will affect not just your health, but that of your whole family – for generations to come.

Are you healthy enough to conceive – for your body?

When they first start trying, many people think they are ‘healthy enough’ to conceive, but sadly in some cases good enough is not enough to get across the line. Each person is unique and responds to all that life throws at them differently. While one couple seems to have a poor lifestyle and are able to conceive, another feels they are much healthier yet still struggle. It doesn’t seem to make sense and it certainly doesn’t seem fair.

How can you improve your fertility even when doctors say you can’t?

If you have undergone IVF treatments, you will know just how important creating a quality embryo is to achieving a pregnancy. If you are trying to conceive naturally, this still stands. It is estimated that over 90% of genetically normal embryos will result in a live birth, whereas at least half of all miscarriages are due to chromosomally abnormal embryos.4 Therefore, achieving that quality embryo is the first step in every successful parenting journey. Get started on your way to optimising your fertility with this free 12 step guide from our expert fertility naturopath, melbourne team.

Download Our Free 12 Step Fertility Guide

When achieving quality starting ingredients (eggs and sperm) is understood, the reasons for preconception care are more obvious. Both the sperm and egg take around three months to develop/mature, and in this time they are both vulnerable to damage, creating interruptions to normal, healthy development and even chromosomal abnormalities. The embryo and developing baby are significantly influenced by their environment and their genetic development is profoundly altered by outside influences. So we focus on reducing risk factors, optimising the environment in which they develop and hopefully creating the most positive outcome possible: a sweet, healthy baby. 

Access preconception care with our Fertility Naturopath, Melbourne team

Our lifestyles, diet, toxic load and life stages play a significant role in influencing the expression of our genetic code as new cells are made. It seems it is not such a lottery after all. Healthy choices can strongly impact your chances of conceiving a healthy baby – and even your baby’s chances of healthy fertility! There are many well-known and medically-researched factors that impact directly on your fertility and outcomes, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, being overweight or underweight, advancing age, certain environmental and home chemical endocrine disruptor exposure and other factors you will learn about in consultation with Fertile Ground Fertility Naturopaths.

There are also many factors that, while not directly affecting your fertility, can have an indirect effect. Things like chronic health problems and complaints (digestive problems, periodontal health, asthma, sleep issues, stress, nutritional factors, even emotional considerations) may add up to an unhealthy load that compromises the whole organism and puts fertility right at the bottom of your bodily priorities – even in so called healthy individuals. Certainly, starting your pregnancy from a basis of optimal health will help to ensure minimal pregnancy discomforts and disease as well as positively impacting on the health of your developing baby at every crucial stage. 

Are you ready to get started with improving your fertility?

Download Our Free 12 Step Fertility Guide

Kylie’s Story

Kylie came to see us after 9 months of trying to conceive. She complained of weight gain (her BMI indicated she was 10-12 kilos overweight), sugar cravings and recent blood tests indicated she was pre-diabetic. In addition, Kylie also had food intolerances to dairy and wheat. Due to her regular consumption of these foods, she experienced multiple digestive symptoms including constipation, indigestion, and heart burn. Her energy was low, and she struggled to get out of bed in the mornings.

Kylie experienced long menstrual cycles (36 days) with cervical fertile mucus apparent around Day 19 as well as PMS symptoms including tearfulness and irritability

Her naturopath designed a diet high in protein, vegetables, and good fats with some additional whole grains to help shift Kylie’s excess kilos and improve her energy levels and fertility. She also removed dairy and wheat to ensure her digestion was functioning properly, resulting in an almost immediate improvement in her digestive symptoms. Kylie was advised to always carry healthy snacks (with a list of ideas provided to her) and looked at healthy meal options when she was very busy at work. As Kylie needed extra support to help balance her blood-sugar levels, herbs and supplements were prescribed that helped reduce her sugar cravings and supported her nervous system during times of stress. Kylie also began a regular exercise routine and enlisted the help of a personal trainer to help achieve her weight-loss goals.

Within a month Kylie had mastered her diet and was finding she had far less sugar cravings than before. Within six weeks she felt she could avoid processed sugar almost completely. Kylie had also started to lose weight and felt she had more energy every day. By the two-month mark, Kylie’s menstrual cycle had reduced in length to her first ever 29 day cycle and this was maintained for the following three months, indicating an improved hormonal balance. During this time Kylie had also lost seven kilos. She fell pregnant the following month and went on to have a healthy baby boy.

How to book with our Fertility Naturopath, Melbourne team

For more information or to get help on your fertility and / or pregnancy journey, book in with one of our highly experienced Fertility Naturopath, Melbourne practitioners.

Book your Fertile Ground Naturopath

Buy a gift voucher for someone special

Excerpt adapted from our book, Create A Fertile Life, written by Gina Fox, Charmaine Dennis, Rhiannon Hardingham, Tina Jenkins, Milly Dabrowski.

References

  1. Fritz MA, Speroff L. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility. 8th edn. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams
    & Wilkins; 2011.
  2. Thoma ME, McLain AC, Louis JF, et al. Prevalence of infertility in the United States as estimated by the current duration approach and a traditional constructed approach. Fertil Steril. 2013;99(5):1324-1331. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.11.037.
  3. Loxton D, Lucke J. Reproductive Health: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health.; 2010. http://www.alswh.org.au/ images/content/pdf/major_reports/2009_major_report_d_r149.pdf.
  4. Rai R, Regan L. Recurrent miscarriage. Lancet. 2006;368(9535):601-611. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69204-0.

Are you our next Fertility Naturopath?

Fertility Naturopath

An exciting opportunity is available now for an experienced Fertility Naturopath to join our team at Fertile Ground Health Group.

Fertile Ground Health Group practitioners have been leaders in their respective professions for IVF support, fertility, pregnancy-related treatments and general reproductive medicine care for over 21 years. Our practitioners are well respected amongst medical specialists and experts within this area of practice.

We pride ourselves in providing exceptional standards of patient care and believe that collaboration and co-creation create the best learning environment where everyone involved benefits – practitioners, patients and the team supporting both. We have a large influx of new patients ready and waiting for the right new practitioner.

To be eligible for this position, you already have passion, interest and experience in reproductive health, pre-conception care, infertility, IVF/ART, pregnancy, birth and beyond. Mentoring and supervision with seasoned practitioners on our team is also available if required.

You will receive

You will not only receive dedicated business management and administrative support, but will also be immersed in a collaborative team of well-known professionals to grow, work and co-create with. We provide support and opportunities from all angles to guide, develop and expand your professional profile. You will have new patients waiting to see you and the established reputation of Fertile Ground Health Group including professional and collaborative referral networks to provide you with a consistent flow of patients to work with on an ongoing basis.

Is this you?

  • You value collaboration and your ability to develop referrer relationships and patient results are a must.
  • You want to establish yourself as a leader in your profession and you are willing and ready to raise your profile through opportunities that excite you (we have opportunities for exposure and growth rolling in all the time).
  • You understand the value of writing blogs and social media, marketing contribution, relationship building, speaking opportunities (to health professionals or patient groups), running workshops, classes or support groups (in person, on zoom or on social media).
  • You may feel ready to be a mentor in the naturopathic field or run masterclasses of your own, for practitioner or patient audiences (or both). In either instance, we are fully set up to support you to take off in this arena too.

As a member of our team you receive full access to all the foundational goods that come as part of the extensive springboard that is Fertile Ground Health Group, providing you with endless opportunities to accelerate your practice.

What we’re looking for

We are looking for an experienced naturopath who would like to simplify the work involved in running a business and dispensary, who is ready to focus on being a fully supported, fantastic practitioner, dedicating efforts to growing patient reach, enhancing their profile and growing their career with Fertile Ground Health Group. Ideally you are ready to let go of all the (often unpaid) work of running your business and ready to fully immerse in what you love most – seeing patients and being  the best practitioner you can be (without wearing so many different hats).

Prerequisite

We require up-to-date fertility and IVF knowledge in order to continue serving our patient base with the high standard of care that they enjoy. The successful applicant will, of course, be well supported and integrated into the existing naturopathic team, with mentoring if desired. A solid baseline understanding of current research and confident clinical application is required as a baseline and completion of relevant reproductive medicine courses or demonstration of equivalent experience is considered favourably.

Practice session times

You will need to commit to a minimum of two sessions per week with room to grow over time. Sought after Saturdays are encouraged even if alternating. Practicing options include both in person and/or Telehealth (Zoom or phone). Appointments can be conducted from wherever you are – providing you have a stable internet connection. In light of this new Telehealth paradigm, if you are interstate you are also welcome to apply.

If you are able to offer face to face sessions from our practice at 6 Smith Street, Collingwood, Melbourne, you will be working in one of Australia’s most intentionally beautiful and vibrant clinic spaces with an extensive dispensary at The Melbourne Apothecary, which supplies all of your prescription needs. At present, our naturopaths work both from home via Telehealth and in person at the practice, depending on preference.

What is The Melbourne Apothecary?

The Melbourne Apothecary (The MA) was created in 2020 to provide Melbourne’s first prescription-only naturopathic dispensary, serving the Fertile Ground Health Group team as well as filling prescriptions for naturopaths all over Australia. The MA serves to protect the privacy of our fertility and IVF patients (for those who want it) along with opening up to the general health population as a street-frontage “shop” and growing general health practice. It is a truly beautiful space and strives to be an example of what is possible.

Apply

To apply please email a cover letter detailing your interest, availability and ideal scenario along with your resume to Charmaine Dennis at charmaine@fertileground.com.au

Applications close December 15th December 2022. Apply asap as we will be interviewing as soon as the right candidates land in our inbox.

“It always feels too soon to leap. But you have to – because that’s the moment between you and remarkable.” Seth Godin