Several variations of nutritional counseling exist for the treatment of infertility. Techniques vary among practitioners and their traditions. Some counselors treat men suffering from infertility, as well as women. Some individuals choose to combine nutritional counseling with conventional medical treatments. Research indicates combined treatments may increase the chance of conceiving and carrying the child to full term.
Traditional Chinese Counseling
Traditional Chinese medicine treats the whole body, as opposed to just the condition. Diet is only one aspect of treatment in Chinese medicine. Counseling for infertility is rarely confined only to diet. Traditional Chinese medicine combines diet with a program of exercise, relaxation techniques, acupuncture and herbal treatments. It is believed that these combined approaches can stimulate hormone production and increase blood flow to the pelvic region.
Chinese counseling methods are also beneficial to women undergoing conventional medical treatment. Through changes in the diet and the addition of herbs, many women can reduce the unpleasant side effects of conventional fertility drugs. The use of relaxation techniques can reduce stress, which often causes uterine contractions.
Men also benefit from Chinese nutritional counseling. Changes to the diet and herbs may increase the number of viable sperm and their antibodies.
Ayurvedic Nutritional Counseling
Ayurvedic nutritional counseling is connected to Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine is recognized and regulated in India. Practitioners must adhere to proven and reliable centuries old treatments and procedures. In Ayurvedic counseling, nutrition and good health are inseparable. It is believed that diet, consumption, digestive health and weight influence fertility. Practitioners often prescribe changes to diet, along with the use of herbal teas and yoga.
It has been demonstrated that there is a link between the digestive system and infertility. Ayurvedic methods have been successful in treating infertility in celiac syndrome patients. The change in diet to provide better nutritional absorption demonstrates the importance of a healthy digestive system.
Women who are undergoing conventional medical treatment for cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease and dysmenorrhea may benefit from Ayurvedic counseling. Changes in diet with prescribed herbs and exercise may reduce the pain and inflammation caused by these conditions.
Male infertility is treated with herbal teas and dietary changes. The incorporation of certain foods to the diet is believed to increase sperm count and viability.
Western Nutritional Counseling
Western nutritional counseling is more clinical in nature. Treatment of female and male infertility is based upon the scientific knowledge of minimum daily requirements of vitamins and minerals. Counselors make a complete assessment of the patient’s current diet, health and any medical conditions.
It is believed that deficiencies, improper nutrition and medical conditions may affect fertility. For example, obesity often diminishes the capacity to conceive. In this case, the nutritionists will prescribe a weight reduction diet high in necessary nutrients.
Some nutritionists treat women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Women suffering from this condition may be put on a diet high in vitamin B, or they may be advised to take a supplement, in addition to making other dietary changes. Some women with the condition do benefit from a change in diet.
Deficiencies in vitamins D, E, K and C also affect fertility. Zinc is known to affect the hormones of both men and women. Thus, infertility in both men and women may be the result of diet.