Explaining unexplained infertility; why you need to go beyond conventional testing to get answers

Root causes of ovulatory infertility beyond conventional testing

 Are you ready to make a baby, but don’t understand why it’s taking so long?

Do you want an explanation for your “unexplained” infertility? 

Do you have PCOS or endometriosis and want to know what it will really take for you to defy the odds and have a healthy pregnancy? 

In many cases, despite what you may have been told in your doctor’s office, there are answers to these questions. Most ovulatory infertility can be explained – if you dig deep enough. 

First, we’re not talking about anatomical issues, like a blocked tube. This discussion is about what causes the hormone imbalances and poor ovarian reserve that make it harder to get pregnant (it’s not just age!)

What can cause ovulatory infertility

With our detective hats on, there are three systems that we need to investigate to figure out why you’re not getting pregnant and explain “unexplained” infertility: 

1.Neuro-endocrine pathways 

(from your brain to your hormones). The same building blocks make both cortisol, the stress hormone, and your sex hormones. If there’s chronic stress at play, then your body is making more cortisol and less progesterone. This chronic stress can be mental, emotional or physical, things like: 

  • Poor sleep
  • Over-exercising or under-eating
  • Emotional burnout 

2. Digestive health

If exposed to a trigger (like gluten for those with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance), your GI tract can be a source of chronic inflammation. Inflammation signals danger, warning your body that now is not a safe time to reproduce.

Your digestive tract is also the primary home of your microbiome – the colonies of beneficial bacteria that help you absorb nutrients, eliminate excess estrogen, stave off infection and control inflammation. A healthy microbiome is the seed to optimal health, and thus, fertility. 

3. Toxic burden

Although we’re all bombarded with environmental toxins as a part of modern living – think pollutants in the air, pesticides on food and chemicals in skincare – your body has natural defense mechanisms to prevent toxic overload.

Problems arise when the amount of toxins coming in surpasses the capacity of your liver, kidneys and GI tract to eliminate those toxins.

Many of these toxins mimic estrogen and interfere with hormone balance, making it harder to get pregnant. 

Root Causes of Ovulatory Infertility: Mental & Physical Stress, Digestive Issues, Detoxification Overload.
Conventional fertility testing fails to explore all of these possible root causes

In my nutrition coaching program, the first step is to assess your overall health and wellbeing, looking at all the components- stress, digestive health, sleep, liver function, toxin load, etc. With this full, holistic picture of your health, we can identify what might be blocking your fertility and get to solutions more quickly. 

Your body is meant to reproduce – it wants to make a baby! Through functional testing, my job is to help you figure out what’s getting in the way and remove those barriers. 

Functional vs Conventional Testing

Functional testing differs from the conventional testing you will get with an OB/GYN or a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) in two key ways: 

1. Conventional testing only looks at a snapshot of your reproductive hormones. Functional testing looks upstream of your reproductive hormones at the brain-to-hormone pathways (see above) to get answers about what causes the hormone imbalances.

2. Conventional medicine defines “normal” lab values at a just enough to prevent disease. In functional testing, desired lab ranges are based on what will promote optimal health, not just prevent sickness and disease.

Conventional medicine defines "normal" lab values at a just enough to prevent disease. In functional testing, desired lab ranges are based on what will promote optimal health, not just prevent sickness and disease.

I use conventional and functional testing in my practice to understand your unique physiology and take out the guesswork about what will work to get you pregnant. 

If you haven’t done all of this testing, your infertility is far from “unexplained”! 

Learn more about testing and services I offer.

What testing should you do?

I offer a free Fertility Strategy Session to help you interpret the testing you’ve already done and what further test you might need to fill in the gaps. 

Making a baby is natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! I’m here to help you understand why and get to the solution faster.

Rooting for you,

Anna

This post will help you get crystal clear about whether estrogen dominance is to blame for your symptoms and if so, what diet changes and natural treatments you can get started on right away to get your hormones in balance and give your fertility a boost. Let’s dive right in. 

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