When I first met Jennifer, a 30-year old schoolteacher suffering from infertility, she was very frustrated. She had already endured 5 rounds of IVF (in vitro fertilitzaion), which were unsuccessful. In preparation for her final round of IVF, she came to my practice for acupuncture treatments to improve the outcome of the next IVF.
After taking her medical history, I learned that she had been previously diagnosed with PCOS. In addition to her diagnosis, she experienced many of the classic PCOS symptoms – amenorrhea (not having a menstrual cycle), hirsutism, insulin resistance (with a family history of diabetes and obesity) and anovulatory menstrual cycles. Since PCOS is a major cause of infertility among women and there are many ways to treat it with Naturopathic medicine, I convinced Jennifer to take 3-6 months to work with me on restoring hormonal balance before undergoing another round of IVF.
Jennifer was one of those highly dedicated patients who fully commit to my suggested nutrition and lifestyle modifications. She took the nutrition guidelines very seriously and never strayed from the plan.
She followed these nutritional guidelines:
- No dairy
- No wheat/gluten
- No sugar or processed foods
- Lots of vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes (She ate organic eggs and wild fish and really limited her grains)
- Lots of filtered water.
In addition to the nutritional plan, Jennifer exercised regularly (but was by no means an exercise fanatic), received regular acupuncture treatments and took nutritional supplements, all in preparation for her next and final IVF cycle.
However, before her next IVF cycle, her body began to change. She started menstruating again and discovered that she was ovulating on her own as well. While we knew she was regaining her health and hormonal balance, we waited to do the IVF. Shortly after, she conceived naturally (without IVF), carried the pregnancy to term and gave birth to a happy and healthy baby boy!
I can’t stress enough, the important role that diet played in the process of restoring Jennifer’s reproductive health. So many patients want to skimp on the diet. After all, it’s the hardest part. But when you do commit to feeding your body with the nutrients that it needs to run properly – the results are amazing.
So many women today are facing infertility. No one can begin to explain or understand the emotional toll this takes unless they’ve been through it – but there is hope. While PCOS is a major cause of infertility in women, with diligence and determination it often can be reversed through Naturopathic medicine.