Health Tips | Fertility Tips

Several articles from our team on fertility below, for more information and advice, please schedule an appointment to meet with one of our team members.

Is Chronic Stress Affecting Your Fertility?

Is Cortisol the Culprit?
by Dr. Carley Akehurst, ND

How Do You Feel? Are you feeling stressed, overworked, and tired? Do you feel that there just aren't enough hours in the day? Wake feeling un-rested? In our modern world, many of us are faced with lives that are constantly busy and struggle to find the time to slow down. Unfortunately, our bodies weren't meant to operate at such a pace, and in many cases chronic stress leads to an overproduction of the hormone cortisol

What is Cortisol? Cortisol is a stress hormone that gives us the drive we need to maintain our busy lives. We require cortisol for a whole host of normal bodily functions, but too much of a good thing is not healthy. Excess cortisol blocks the release of other hormones required for fertility, energy, immunity, digestion, and proper sleep in both men and women alike.

Symptoms of Elevated Cortisol:

  • Low libido
  • Irregular cycles and PMS
  • Feeling tired but wired
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Abnormal weight gain in the abdomen and thigh
  • Elevated Cortisol Levels are Easily Treatable!

The good news is that our practitioners will work with you to:

  • Complete a thorough health history
  • Assess your cortisol levels, and the impact on other hormones
  • Create solutions for lasting hormone balance
  • Support positive lifestyle change to achieve your health goals
  • Optimize fertility and healthy pregnancy through stress management

Fertility - A weighty issue

Feel Great in the Skin You Are In
by Dr. Rida Wang, insightful Fertilty ND and Acupuncturist

Can Your Weight Affect Your Chances of Conceiving a Child?
Reproductive hormone balance is very much dependent upon healthy weight. Being under or overweight can drastically affect this fine balance and result in problems for both men and women.

Common Issues in Women

  • irregular menstrual cycles
  • lack of ovulation
  • fibroids
  • cysts
  • potential complications during pregnancy, labour and delivery

Common Issues in Men

  • irregular sperm parameters
  • erectile dysfunction

What Causes Excess Weight?

An underlying condition may be to blame for the excess weight and fertility challenges. For example, women with PCOS are more likely to experience weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles, insulin resistance and fertility challenges. For overweight couples planning on trying to conceive, it is advised that a customized weight management plan be devised and hormone levels be assessed. Identifying hormonal imbalance right away will allow for early treatment and ensure your goals will be more likely to be achieved as well as help to avoid potential complications in pregnancy.

Getting to YOUR Ideal Weight

Our Practitioner will meet with you to acquire a complete health history, assess your current body composition, activity level, diet and discuss your health goals. This information will be utilized to develop a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve your goals, including:

  • personalized diet for lifelong healthy weight
  • identification of food sensitivities
  • optimizing thyroid function
  • regulating digestion and absorption of nutrients
  • customized exercise program
  • hormone balance (insulin, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, cortisol)

Attain and Maintain

The ultimate goal of any successful weight management plan is to help one attain and maintain a healthy weight through diet, exercise, and a healthy optimal metabolism. We have assisted patients in losing 15lbs ; 100lbs AND improve their health, well-being and vitality. Whatever your reason for wanting to lose weight, we can help. Feel great in the skin you're in.

Give your Fertility a Nutritional Boost
by Dr. Kristen Brown ND (awesome mama and caring naturopath)

Had any kiwi or sunflower seeds lately?

Although we tend to hear about the importance of folic acid during the pre-conception period, there are many other scrumptious foods to choose from that will not only nourish the body but also promotes healthy fertility in both women and men.

At Crossroads Naturopathic, we will work with you to create an optimal fertility diet. Here's a few ideas to get you started.

4 Key Nutrients to Boost Your Fertility

Zinc found in rich amounts in oysters, cashews, wheat germ, beef, pumpkin seeds and cocoa powder; yes, I mean chocolate! This gem of a mineral plays an essential role in the healthy development of sperm cells and in fact a deficiency has been linked to early miscarriage and poor sperm quality.

Vitamin D; living here in the northwest can take a toll on healthy vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is a critical component in the creation of healthy levels of sex hormones. These hormones directly affect ovulation and the ability to conceive. This important nutrient can be synthesized by getting some sun on our skin each week but is also found in these yummy foods: wild salmon, eggs, mushrooms, milk and fermented soy (tempeh)

Vitamin C; This powerful nutrient has protects us from free radicals which are damaging to cells and can impact fertility. The powerful antioxidant benefits of vitamin C can be found in these deletable munchies: red and yellow peppers, dark leafy greens, guava (try it if you haven't before!), broccoli, strawberries, kiwi and cooked tomatoes (think yummy homemade pasta sauce or stew)

Vitamin E; this free radical quenching nutrient is a diet essential for fertility and is often deficient in our Canadian diet. Vitamin E, like Vitamin C, has been shown to improve sperm quality and motility in studies and is often termed a supreme anti-aging nutrient. Rich sources include: sunflower seeds, almonds, Swiss chard, spinach, asparagus, tomatoes and olive oil to name a few.

Check out the below recipe for an easy summer treat, packed with Vitamin E and C:

  • Sunny Sunflower Seed Burgers
  • Serve with your favourite condiments, sliced avocado, fresh lettuce, sliced tomato.
  • Add some veggies or homemade sweet potato fries. Yum Yum!

Makes 6-8 Burgers

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked short grain brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. each of dried thyme, oregano, ground cumin
  • 1 small carrot coursely chopped
  • 1 small handful of fresh parsley (if desired)
  • Extra virgin olive oil for cooking

Directions

Put rice into a small pot with a tight fitting lid. Add water, sea salt, cover and bring to a boil. Cover and turn to low for a slow simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 20 minutes.

In a food processor, place sunflower seeds, garlic powder, thyme, oregano and cumin and a pinch of salt and process until fully ground. Add chopped carrots and parsley and pulse a few times. Add rice and pulse a few times more being careful not to process too much as it will become gooey.

Form mixture into patties. Uncooked patties can be stored in a glass container in between pieces of parchment or wax paper in the fridge for up to a week.

For cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat and add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add burger patty and cook on both sides for 3-5 minutes.

Recipe from 'The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook'; by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre

For more fertility articles, please visit our Naturopathic and Acupuncture sections of the website for additional articles specific to those practice

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