For most women, starting a family is one of the most joyous times in life. For some women, however the pain of infertility can turn one of life’s greatest joys into an emotional and heart-wrenching endeavor.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Survey of Family Growth, an estimated 7.3 million women have used infertility services[1]. This number is staggering. Some may believe that these women are just unfortunately unlucky. However, if we look into infertility in more detail we may find that women can reduce their chances of infertility through a number of methods, many of which are naturopathic in nature.

Birth Control and Infertility

From pills to patches and shots to IUDs, the variety of birth control currently available to women has grown. In addition, approximately 62% of women of reproductive age are using one form of birth control or another[2]. Most studies will tell you that birth control does not affect fertility, however when we alter the natural way our bodies were made to function, there is always a risk that something may go wrong.

Most birth control releases hormones into the body. When birth control is used for long periods of time and then discontinued once a woman is ready to have children, hormonal imbalance may result in the body.

Hormonal imbalance is one of the leading causes of female infertility. Symptoms that one may experience as a result of hormonal imbalance include irregular menstrual cycles, excessive or little bleeding, the absence of menstrual periods for long periods of time, pelvic cramps and excessive weight gain or weight loss.

If you are considering the use of birth control, non-hormonal options are a safer bet if fertility may be a concern in the future. If you suspect that you might be suffering from a hormonal imbalance and in turn are experiencing infertility issues, Balanced Care can help. We can first run a thorough examination to determine your exact issues and once identified, provide natural remedies to balance your hormones, with the goal of increasing your fertility.

PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS, infertility

Polycystic Ovaries

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, better known as PCOS, is a health detriment that many women experience. PCOS occurs when cysts grow on the ovaries. As a result of this growth, hormonal balance and menstruation are disrupted, making it hard to get pregnant.

The cause of PCOS is not well known, but your risk of PCOS can increase if you are overweight or if PCOS runs in your family. PCOS causes infertility problems because it can interfere with your ovulation cycle. Some women with PCOS will ovulate occasionally, while others don’t ovulate at all.

PCOS symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, excessive hair growth, acne and obesity, although women who are of normal weight can have PCOS too. If you are having infertility issues and can identify with the symptoms of PCOS, you may benefit from getting tested. Once diagnosed, we can help you determine the treatment for PCOS that will be most beneficial to you. We do everything we can to use natural remedies for PCOS treatment.

Secondary Infertility

What often gets overlooked when discussing infertility is the fact that some women who are facing infertility are already moms. When infertility strikes while attempting to conceive a second or third child, this is known as secondary infertility. Women undergoing secondary infertility did not have fertility issues when conceiving their previous children.

Although secondary infertility can be correlated with age, sometimes there are bigger issues that go undiagnosed. To determine whether you’re suffering from the ticking of the biological clock or whether you’re facing a more serious health concern, consult your naturopathic physician if you are still unable to get pregnant. The idea of secondary infertility is often not discussed and sometimes it may be hard to believe that infertility can strike after the successful birth of previous children.

In addition to getting pregnant, women experiencing secondary infertility may also have trouble carrying a baby to term. Both of these issues are hard to deal with. After having successfully birthed children, some women may be in a denial with regard to their fertility issues. However, like any health issue, it’s best to not wait too long to seek treatment.

The Emotions of Infertility

Whether you are experiencing infertility in your attempt to conceive your first child, or whether you are confronting fertility in the hopes of adding more children to your family, the emotional toll that infertility can take on a family can be distressing.

At Balanced Care we do everything we can to use natural medicine to increase your fertility. Our goal is not only to provide you with natural healing remedies, but to also relieve some of the stress and frustration you may have endured as a result of your infertility struggles. Don’t wait to get started on a natural journey to fertility.

 

Dr. Katie CorazzoNaturopathic Doctor, Edina, Minneapolis, Bloomington, Minnetonka

Dr. Katie and Dr. Rachel are Naturopathic Doctors practicing in Edina and Woodbury, MN. Their goal is to address the underlying cause using natural medicines and nutrition. Call to schedule 612-564-2218.

 

 

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infertility.htm

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr060.pdf

holistic, skin care, vitamin D, depression, MN, naturopathic doctor, edina, woodburyThe official start of summer in Minnesota is only a couple of weeks away, so it is probably safe to say that the sun is finally here to stay – for the next few months at least.  With that said, we should all be thinking about and protecting our bodies’ largest organ – our skin. Most of us will be spending many hours outdoors this summer, which means we will probably be using plenty of sunscreen. With hundreds of brands on the market, how can we determine which one is best?

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, sunscreen should actually be used as a last resort. Things like dressing properly and spending time outdoors in the early mornings or late evenings when the sun is not at its peak are more natural ways to avoid sunburn. Most sunscreens contain an abundance of chemicals. The effects of many of these chemicals on human health have not been studied well enough to deem them truly safe for use.

The EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens

Each year, the EWG publishes a sunscreen guide. The guide offers the general public information on specific sunscreen brands. The guide also provides the EWG’s picks for best and worst brands. The brands are chosen after extensive study of their ingredients, consideration of potential health hazards, and how well they actually work.

According to this year’s Guide to Sunscreens, one chemical that we should all avoid when purchasing sunscreen is oxybenzone. Oxybenzone is a common active ingredient that was found in over half of the sunscreens that the EWG studied this year. Oxybenzone is known to cause allergic skin reactions. It has also been linked to hormone disruptions such as altering sperm production in men. Additionally, it has been associated with endometriosis in women. Given these findings, when considering your sunscreen purchases you should avoid those that contain oxybenzone.

On top of the endless list of chemicals in most sunscreens, some individuals must be even more cautious because of their higher risk of getting sunburn. These include women on birth control, babies and toddlers and individuals with fair skin. These individuals should be especially careful with their sun exposure and would probably benefit the most from using natural holistic remedies for sunburn and sun protection, such as monitoring the amount of time spent in the sun and finding and using shade often.

Because sunscreen is applied liberally onto the skin and is often reapplied, it is a good idea to educate ourselves on what we are actually putting onto our skin.  In addition, not only can toxins and chemicals from sunscreen be absorbed through the skin, but they can also be absorbed through other means such as inhalation.

The Sunshine Vitamin

Despite the fear of the sun that has been instilled upon most of us, the sun is not all bad. It is the source of almost all of the earth’s energy and can provide humans with the vitamin D we require.  Spending a short amount of time in the sun each day can give our bodies the vitamin D we need. This is why vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the sunshine vitamin. This is also one of the reasons why it feels so good to step outside after many hours indoors. The sun’s rays are a providing us with an essential vitamin.

Vitamin D, sun care, depression

Sources of Vitamin D

Unfortunately when sunscreen is applied it prohibits the skin from absorbing the sun’s rays and producing vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is vital to regulating and absorbing certain minerals such as calcium. Vitamin D deficiency can cause soft bones in children and bone loss in adults. On top of the physical detriments, vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to depression here and here.

According to a 2009 study, about three-quarters of teens and adults in the U.S. are vitamin D deficient. At the same time, the use of sunscreen has increased dramatically. Because there are so many factors associated with obtaining vitamin D from the sun it is often hard to measure whether you are receiving enough of this essential vitamin this way.

What Can You Do?

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms range and many are vague. Common symptoms include tiredness, aches, pains, and pain and weakness in the bones, often leading to the inability to move around as desired. Some people may not have symptoms at all.

If your skin isn’t getting daily exposure to the sun without sunscreen, vitamin D supplements can be taken. If you are not receiving your vitamin D in either of these forms, or if you suspect that you may be vitamin D deficient, it is a good idea to get tested. As naturopathic doctors in MN, Balanced Care offers testing for vitamin D deficiency. If you do not fall in the optimal range we will use natural treatments to increase your vitamin D up to its appropriate level.

Did you miss a spot? Aloe to the rescue!! Apply aloe vera right away and continue applying for a few days. Skip the green goo and go for the organic stuff 😉

Naturopathic DoctorWe offer naturopathic medical services in Minnesota. Located in Edina and Woodbury. Dr. Katie and Dr. Rachel specialize in addressing the root cause using natural medicines and nutrition. For a complimentary 15 minute consultation you can schedule online here.

 

Edina, naturopath, naturopathic doctor, exercise medicine, nutrition exercise

Dr. Rachel Alioto

I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Rachel Alioto will be joining Balanced Care beginning June 7th! She is a board certified Naturopathic Doctor who is excited to begin seeing patients at Balanced Care. I have known Dr. Rachel for the past 4 years and know she is going to be a perfect fit for the patients in Edina.

You can find Dr. Rachel at the Edina office on Wednesdays from 9:30am-6pm and Friday afternoons from 1:30pm-5pm. She holds special interests in sports medicine, gastrointestinal disorders, endocrine/hormone disorders, women’s health, naturopathic oncology, pediatrics, homeopathy, botanical medicine, and clinical nutrition. To schedule an appointment you can call 612-564-2218 or schedule online here.

Taking the time to listen and understand each patient’s unique condition in order to create a personalized treatment plan is something you can expect from Dr. Rachel. Her goal is to heal, teach and inspire each patient to be an advocate for his or her own health. Time test treatments will address the whole body, stimulating the body’s self-healing processes.

Dr. Rachel has always loved athletics and healthy living. Because of Dr. Rachel’s love for swimming and working with kids, she also coaches the swim team at Life Time Fitness. She moved to Minnesota from California to attend the University of Minnesota and has since returned to the Minneapolis – St. Paul area to practice her passion for natural medicine.

Rachel loves swimming, weight lifting, cooking, doing jigsaw puzzles, reading, traveling, being in nature and spending time with her family. Although she is a California native, she has come to appreciate and love Minnesota for all it has to offer. Dr. Rachel is very excited for the opportunity to work with Dr. Katie at Balanced Care.

To read more about Dr. Rachel, you can visit her bio here