Frequently Asked Questions

 

What are the side effects of the Natural Fertility Management Programme? +
There are many side effects of our programme, all of which I am sure you will enjoy!

Some common side effects include:

  • Increased energy levels and an overall feeling of vitality
  • Improved emotional and hormonal balance
  • Healthy weight important for hormonal balance
  • Ability to cope calmly with life’s stresses
  • Conception and birth of a healthy baby

When you look at the above side effects don’t you think you owe it to yourself and your baby to follow the preconception protocols?

I don’t have an issue with conception but I have now had three miscarriages. Can Natural Fertility Management help us to carry our baby to term? +
 miscarriage is devastating loss, from the minute a couple know that they are pregnant they start planning for their arrival of their baby. To experience the emotional pain of one miscarriage is heartbreaking for both partners, let alone going through this pain two or three times. Women often feel that it may be their fault or that there is something wrong with them. There are a number of causes that we address with recurrent miscarriage and a number of studies have shown that low sperm count and poor morphology can be a causative factor in miscarriage.

“Women experiencing miscarriages typically had husbands with low sperm counts and 48% ‘visually abnormal sperm’. Men who fathered normal pregnancies had 25% higher sperm counts and only 5% ‘visually abnormal sperm'”. Dr’s. Mirjiam Furuhjelm & Birgit Johson — Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sabbatsberg Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm Sweden. International Journal of Fertility, 7 (1): 17-21, 1962.

The good news is the number of sperm and their morphology are one of the easiest causes of miscarriage to treat with; lifestyle changes, nutritional and herbal medicine.

Other causes which Natural Fertility Management can treat include:

  • Fibroids, anti-phospholipid syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
  • Luteal phase defect
  • Obesity
  • Toxic exposure
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
How lifestyle can lead to miscarriage

Many couples who have a miscarriage are told that the laboratory tests have shown that there is a chromosome abnormality. This sounds very serious doesn’t it? It is serious and these problems can lead to the birth of a handicapped child. Usually, however, the problem is not inherent and in most cases can be overcome by changes in lifestyle. The couple can become extremely anxious unnecessarily.

Almost all miscarriages are abnormal in some way. The pregnancy is lost because the embryo did not develop properly. The cause of this is usually because either the man or woman has been exposed to chemicals or one or other of them has a dietary deficiency or a bad habit of some type. Bad habits include not drinking enough water, taking drugs, having too much alcohol, smoking heavily and in the case of the man, exposing his testes to too much heat. Infections, both of the common flu variety and of the STD – sexually transmitted variety – can also be involved. Viruses can break chromosomes in exactly the same way as chemicals, radiation and serious dietary deficiencies. In some rare cases the problem is ongoing and can be inherited. It is important that each case is investigated properly.

The types of chromosome abnormalities that are found in miscarriages are most frequently changes in chromosome number. Changes in the structure of chromosomes can also occur but they are far less frequent than changes in number.

Most people reading this article would know that the normal number of chromosomes is 46.

So how can this change?

The answer lies in the process of fertility and conception. Fertility in both the man and the woman involves a special form of cell division – called meiosis – in which the chromosome number is halved. This ‘reduction’ division occurs so that when the sperm fertilizes the egg, the child will have the same number of chromosomes as the parents. Half the child’s chromosomes come from mother and half from father.

Sometimes this very specialized division process makes errors and one or two chromosomes end up in the wrong place. The resultant egg or sperm then has one or two extra chromosomes. Of course there is also a complementary egg or sperm that is missing those chromosomes but these cells usually die. In fact the only cells that can survive with missing chromosomes are those that miss sex chromosomes. Some miscarriages have only 45 chromosomes, including only one X chromosome and occasionally babies are born with only one X chromosome. They grow up with a special set of characteristics known as Turner’s syndrome.

Fertilized eggs that result from eggs or sperm with extra chromosomes usually miscarry although those with an extra copy of one chromosome 21 might survive with Down’s syndrome. However the couples that have these miscarriages or babies with extra chromosomes are themselves, usually normal. It is the conditions in their bodies at the time of creating the eggs and sperm that are the problem. These unfavourable conditions can usually be corrected by correcting the bad lifestyle unless the problem is advancing age.

From about age 35 in both men and women, cell division can be compromised. The problem lies in changes in the body that affect the function of the energy systems in the cells. Optimizing all aspects of lifestyle can often overcome these problems but the effects of any poor habits will be amplified with aging.

The other problem that can affect chromosome number is delayed ovulation. When the egg is over-ripe it can be fertilized by more than one sperm. In such cases the fertilized eggs has one or more extra sets of chromosomes and is often given the unfortunate name of a ‘molar pregnancy’. Fortunately, this problem can also be overcome by correcting poor diet and lifestyle.

If you have had a pregnancy in which a chromosomes abnormality was detected but you, yourselves are normal, make sure that you take the time and effort to correct your lifestyle. You will be rewarded by feeling much healthier and hopefully also by giving birth to a healthy baby.

My doctor has recommended to take Metformin. Is there anything I can do to regulate my cycle? +
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a very common condition, affecting around 35 000 Australian women. It is an extremely common yet largely unnoticed condition. Many women with PCOS only find out they have it when they fail to get pregnant.

PCOS is due to a hormonal imbalance or insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is linked to both genetic and lifestyle factors. When the body’s insulin is not as effective because of this insulin resistance, the body compensates by making more and it’s this high level of insulin that compounds the problem. High insulin causes an increase in male hormones, such as testosterone, and also disrupts normal ovulation, causing small cysts to accumulate within the ovary.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

Although having multiple cysts on your ovaries is common, not everyone with cysts has PCOS and not everyone with PCOS has the same set of symptoms. If you have PCOS you may have:

  • Periods that are irregular, infrequent or heavy
  • Difficulty becoming pregnant
  • Immature ovarian eggs that do not ovulate, forming small follicles
  • Increase of fat in your upper body
  • Excessive facial hair
  • Acne on both the face and the body
  • Pre-diabetes or diabetes
  • Higher levels of blood fats, including cholesterol and triglycerides

Women with increased body weight have worsening symptoms

Up to 25% of the reproductive aged women have small cysts on the ovary. These women can have some, or all, of the above symptoms, but as many as 75% have no other symptoms. Those with cysts alone are described as having polycystic ovaries (disease), but no the polycystic ovarian syndrome.

The Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health and Monash University have confirmed that women with PCOS have higher levels of insulin, higher cholesterol levels and evidence of early blood vessel damage. Furthermore, women with PCOS have an up to a seven-fold increase in diabetes risk.

Women with PCOS should be regularly monitored by their GPs for pre-diabetes and diabetes. This involves an oral glucose tolerance test because a fasting blood glucose test may not be definitive in women with PCOS. Reference: The Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health (Winter 2006).

Treatment for PCOS

You may have heard about or been told by your health professional to eat a low GI diet, but why exactly is this necessary?

Eat low GI – Low GI foods raise your blood sugar levels more slowly than high GI foods.

When you have polycystic ovary syndrome, it is vital to eat foods with a low GI. Because sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly with low GI foods, less insulin needs to be produced. Lower insulin is desirable because too much insulin can stimulate the production of testosterone, the male hormone that is responsible for many of the symptoms of PCOS such as acne, excess hair, scalp hair loss, and menstrual irregularities. It also has the effect of ‘switching off’ fat burning in cells, making it harder to lose weight.

Low GI eating can help to reduce your insulin levels and balance hormones, keep your energy levels stable for longer, and reduce sweet cravings. Try eating wholegrain breads, oats, apples, basmati rice, and sweet potato instead of potato. You can find out more about the GI by visiting www.glycemicindex.com.

Eat low GL – An advanced strategy is to also eat foods with a low GL, which is a low glycemic ‘load’. This takes into account both the GI of the food, plus the amount of carbohydrate (sugar) in the food. A low GL food is one that is 10 or below. You can calculate the GL by this formula;

(GI value x carbohydrates per serving) ÷ 100

(Formula courtesy of the book: ‘The new glucose revolution – Shopper’s guide to GI Values’, by Jennie Brand-Miller & Kaye Foster-Powell).

Do you have any dietary recommendations to reduce PMT? +
Dietary and lifestyle guidelines that may assist in the management of PMT:

  • A diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Essential fatty acids (fish, tuna, salmon, sardines) and lean protein sources are essential
  • Minimise intake of alcohol
  • Eliminate foods that increase oestrogen levels in the body and the liver’s ability to metabolise it. These include non-organic poultry, dairy, red meat, sugar, white flour and refined foods, methylxanthines (coffee, tea, chocolate, colas)
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower etc.) is important for the detoxification of hormones
  • If possible eat organic foods such as beets, carrots, yams, garlic, dark leafy greens, lemons and apples
  • Fibre facilitates the excretion of metabolised hormones and toxins
  • Minimise refined foods, as they deplete the body of magnesium and other essential nutrients, which are needed for normal hormone production
  • Correct nutritional deficiencies by supplementation (health professional)
  • Exercise and dietary restrictions (e.g. avoid salt, caffeine, alcohol, chocolate) are attempted first, as improvement may result. Stress reduction may also result in relief of symptoms
  • Reduce exposure to internal and external toxins (using a blood type diet) in conjunction with digestive repair and liver regeneration
  • Water intake: 4-6 glasses per day (herbal tea count as water)
  • Herbal Teas: rosehip, chamomile, dandelion, green tea, lemon grass, red clover
  • Add to your cereal 1-2 tspns linseeds, sunflower and sesame seeds. Ensure bowel functioning, if needed a herbal tonic can assist regularity or 1 dessert spoon of psyllium daily
Avoid or reduce:
  • Caffeine and saturated fats (both induce inflammatory prostaglandins that exacerbate symptoms)
  • Sugar (increases urinary excretion of magnesium, which is depleted in PMT sufferers)
  • Salt (fluid retention)
  • Non-organic dairy, meat and poultry (to decrease exogenous hormones and improve magnesium absorption)
  • Alcohol
What are you risking if you take the pill? +
While many drugs do provide some benefit in certain situations, birth control pills are rarely, if ever, necessary or beneficial.

In exchange for the convenience of preventing pregnancy (which you can do naturally just as well, and I’ll explain how below), you are putting yourself at risk of:

  • Cancer: Women who take birth control pills increase their risk of cervical and breast cancers, and possibly liver cancer as well.
  • Fatal blood clots: All birth control pills increase your risk of blood clots and subsequent stroke. And if your prescription contains the synthetic hormone desogestrel, your risk of fatal blood clots nearly doubles!
  • Thinner bones: Women who take birth control pills have lower bone mineral density (BMD) than women who have never used oral contraceptives.
  • Impaired muscle gains: A recent study found that oral contraceptive use impairs muscle gains from resistance exercise training in women.
  • Long-term sexual dysfunction: The Pill may interfere with a protein that keeps testosterone unavailable, leading to long-term sexual dysfunction including decreased desire and arousal.
  • Heart disease: Long-term use of birth control pills may increase plaque artery buildups in your body that may raise your risk of heart disease.

These are the more serious, chronic health risks. On top of these, many women also report awful more immediate side effects including:

  • Migraines and nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes
  • Irregular bleeding or spotting
  • Breast tenderness
  • Yeast overgrowth and infection

Despite this long and varied list of risks, many physicians recommend the Pill because studies have shown it may lower your risk of ovarian and uterine cancers and ease the symptoms of PMS. But even a simple side-by-side comparison shows that the risks are clearly greater, particularly since using the Pill is not a necessity by any means to begin with.

If you’re using birth control pills for reasons other than birth control, such as to regulate your menstrual cycles or treat irregular bleeding, cysts or endometriosis, you are not treating your underlying dysfunction, simply covering it up with a potentially dangerous drug.

In these situations, it is essential to balance your adrenal glands, as cortisol levels modulate and control the female hormones, especially progesterone. The Pill only treats the symptoms instead of the disease, and causes its own side effects as your body continues to remain in an unhealthy state.

For those of you using the Pill for its original purpose, birth control, rest assured there are natural options for you as well.

Natural Birth Control Options That Really Work

There are two routes to take when using natural birth control: barrier methods and natural family planning methods. Using the latter, many women feel empowered and more in touch with their bodies as they learn to track and notice subtle signs of fertility and ovulation. However, although natural family planning can be very effective, it is not always foolproof, especially when you’re still learning the process.

So if preventing pregnancy is an absolute must for you, you may want to use barrier methods such as the following as well:

  • Male condoms: Condoms have a 98 percent effectiveness rate when used correctly. A water-based lubricant will increase the effectiveness; do not use an oil-based lubricant, as they break the latex.
  • Female condoms: These thin, soft polyurethane pouches fitted inside the vagina before sex are 95 percent effective. Female condoms are less likely to tear than male condoms.
  • Diaphragm: Diaphragms, which must be fitted by a doctor, act as a barrier to sperm. When used correctly with spermicidal jellies, they are 92 to 98 percent effective.
  • Cervical cap: This heavy rubber cap fits tightly against the cervix and can be left in place for 48 hours. Like the diaphragm, a doctor must fit the cap. Proper fitting enhances the effectiveness above 91 percent.

Many people are familiar with these barrier methods, and less familiar with natural family planning tools. Again, these are methods a woman uses to track when she is ovulating, and then avoids sex during that time (or does so only using a back-up barrier method). Of course, these tools can be used the other way around as well, to help couples who are trying to get pregnant.

Natural Family Planning Methods

Some of the most popular methods include:

  • Calendar Method: Abstention from sex during the week the woman is ovulating. This technique works best when a woman’s menstrual cycle is very regular. The calendar method doesn’t work very well for couples who use it by itself (about a 75 percent success rate), but it can be effective when combined with the temperature and cervical mucus methods described below.
  • The Temperature Method: This is a way to pinpoint the day of ovulation so that sex can be avoided for a few days before and after. It involves taking your basal body temperature (your temperature upon first waking) each morning with an accurate “basal” thermometer, and noting the rise in temperature that occurs after ovulation. Illness or lack of sleep can change your body temperature and make this method unreliable by itself, but when it is combined with the mucus method, it can be an accurate way of assessing fertility. The two methods combined can have a success rate as high as 98 percent.
  • The Mucus Method: This involves tracking changes in the amount and texture of vaginal discharge, which reflect rising levels of estrogen in your body. For the first few days after your period, there is often no discharge, but there will be a cloudy, tacky mucus as estrogen starts to rise. When the discharge starts to increase in volume and becomes clear and stringy, ovulation is near. A return to the tacky, cloudy mucus or no discharge means that ovulation has passed.

As you transition over from the pill to natural methods of birth control, there are many resources available on the Internet, in a classroom setting and in books.

Three great choices to start with are:

  • “The Ovulation Method: Natural Family Planning”, by John J. Billings
  • “Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health”, by Toni Weschler
  • “Honouring Our Cycles: A Natural Family Planning Workbook”, by Katie Singer

No matter which method for birth control you use, opting for one that does not involve hormonal manipulation of any kind will be one of the best steps you can take for your health.

Why test Hormones? +
ith the onset of modern day laboratory technology, we find a number of tests can now be done by minimal invasive methods, requiring saliva which can be collected by the patient at home. All these methods offer accurate assessment to help the patient and practitioner decide on a course of action. Enabling treatment with objective assessment and monitoring of the treatment in progress, I believe the NLS self-assessment test kits are an excellent tool that can be used by any clinic, medical, holistic or naturopathic. Patients like the fact that a quantitative assessment is obtained that helps custom tailor supplements and medications to their exact requirements.”
REFERENCE: Bill Anton, Senior Lecture and Consultant to Integrative Medicine and Anti-Aging medicine at Swinburne University, Graduate School of Medicine.

Why do I need hormone testing? +
One size does not fit all when it comes to hormones! For decades western medicine has prescribed HRT as if everyone needed the same thing and the same amount. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your hormones are like your fingerprints and in order to achieve optimal health, you need to know what your special imbalances are.
To find out about your hormonal status you will need to have lab tests performed. But what kind? There are several ways to test (saliva, serum, and urine), but the state-of -the-art testing is through saliva. This is because it measures only the active portions of your hormones and it is these portions that determine how you feel. Saliva testing is the most accurate tool to measure and monitor your hormone status.

Which hormones need testing? +
The major players in the sex hormone arena are estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. The main adrenal hormones are DHEA and cortisol. These five hormones will provide crucial information about your deficiencies, excesses and daily patterns, which then results in a treatment approach specifically tailored for you and one far more beneficial than the old “shotgun” approach.

Below is a brief description of each of these five hormones and what each one does and how they interact.

Oestrogen: there are three forms made by the body – estrone, estradiol and estriol. The form used in past hormone replacement therapies is estradiol, often in the form of concentrated pregnant mare’s urine (Premarin). It is a proliferative hormone that grows the lining of the uterus. It is also a known cancer-causing hormone – breast and endometrial (uterine) in women and prostate gland in men.

Oestrogens are important for maintaining the health of the reproductive tissues, breasts, skin and brain. Excessive oestrogens can cause symptoms such as fluid retention, weight gain, migraines, and over stimulation of the breasts, ovaries and uterus, leading to cancer. Insufficient oestrogen levels can lead to hot flushes, vaginal dryness, rapid skin aging, urinary problems, excessive bone loss and possible acceleration of dementia.

Progesterone: is called the anti-estrogen because it balances estradiol’s proliferative effects. It is considered preventative for breast and prostate cancers as well as osteoporosis. In addition too little progesterone promotes depression, irritability, increased inflammation, irregular menses, breast tenderness, urinary frequency and prostate gland enlargement (BPH). Progesterone enhances the beneficial effect of estrogens while preventing symptoms associated with oestrogen excess, thereby having a balancing effect.

Testosterone: is an anabolic hormone (builds tissue) that is essential for men and women.. The proper level of testosterone is necessary for bone health density, muscle strength, stamina, lean body mass, libido, cardiovascular health, skin elasticity. Testosterone helps maintenance of lean body mass, bone density, skin elasticity, libido and cardiovascular health in both sexes. Women have smaller amounts of testosterone compared to men.

DHEA: is an important adrenal gland hormone, which is essential for energy production and blood sugar balance. DHEA is a precursor to other hormones, mainly testosterone. DHEA levels decline with age and research suggests that DHEA may help restore energy, improve immune status and mental function. DHEA is the principal androgen in both men and women.

Cortisol: is your waking day hormone (highest in the morning and lowest at night). It is necessary for energy production, blood sugar metabolism, anti-inflammatory effects and stress response. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stressors such as emotional, mental and physical stress. Cortisol mobilises the body’s immune response against viral and/or bacterial infections and inflammation in body. Chronic elevated cortisol levels will suppress the action of the immune system leaving the individual more susceptible to infections.

Another important hormone, Melatonin, is predominantly produced by the pineal gland, with smaller amounts in the retina and gastrointestinal tract. Melatonin is secreted with a distinct circadian rhythm – stimulated by darkness, inhibited by light and independent of sleep. The phase of the diurnal rhythm is influenced by day length (increasing in amplitude in the winter and decreasing in spring or artificial light).

Which Infertility Conditions has Kylie had experience in treating with Naturopathic Medicine? +
Kylie as a natural fertility expert has had experience treating the following Infertility Conditions:

  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Poor egg and sperm quality
  • Low ovarian reserve and early menopause
  • Implantation issues
  • Autoimmune infertility
  • Luteal phase defect
  • Poor response to fertility medication
  • Thin lining and poor circulation
  • Clotting disorders
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Ovulatory disorders
  • Hypothyroidism and thyroiditis
  • Recurrent miscarriage
  • Male factor infertility
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Stress and its impacts on fertility

BOOK ONLINEVISIT OUR SHOP

Book Now