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Personal Battle

9 Sep. 2011 Posted by Hannah Mich

With great consideration I have decided to write a brief blog about a personal battle of mine - infertility. I am 29 years old and my husband and I have been unable to conceive like so many people today. And at this point you may be wondering how this pertains to our environment and health. The answer is, it relates in many ways. As I have searched for answers in our western medicine, I have discovered, surprisingly, many holes or gaps in the understanding and science behind western medicine. Initially, I was told there is absolutely nothing wrong with me and that it is basically "unexplained"; which many couples struggling with infertility are told this very same explanation of "unexplained," and yet it lacks that scientific reasoning that we are told our western medicine is based upon.

"...in the not too distant future we may not be able to reproduce without intervention."

In reality, it is not that it is just "unexplained." There is an explanation and many contributing factors to infertility, but some of this information tends not to be well-known or openly discussed within the medical community - at least it appears that way to me. So, what have I found on my search for some answers? Well, after ultrasounds, blood tests and other exams....this is what I have,

1. Many chemicals, such as pesticides, are considered hormone disruptors. We have seen drastic changes in reptiles around farmland due to these chemicals. Some even consider these chemicals to possibly play a role in the obesity epidemic. The accumulative affect of these chemicals might also affect human beings fertility as well. [I grew up in a rural community exposed to whatever the farmers sprayed on surrounding fields]
2. The diagnostic tests used to check different hormones may not be sensitive enough and cannot always pinpoint the location of the exact problem of the infertility. I have discovered eastern medicine, such as acupuncture, appears to be better at correcting small imbalances that western medicine cannot accurately detect with tests or effectively correct with synthetic drugs. But very rarely do western doctors prescribe acupuncture and herbal medicines for infertility. One reason for this is that there is little research [or scientific studies per western standards] on these alternative methods. But if infertility is unexplained, how can western doctors properly treat your infertility without knowing a cause? They cannot and yet many people receive [western] infertility treatments for "unexplained infertility." Again not too scientific is it.
3. Many western infertility solutions [such as the drug Clomid] do not treat the female body [just the reproductive organs and a handful of hormones] and do not help create a healthy balance between hormones. Instead, these so called solutions treat a symptom - infertility - and are merely quick fixes, not a solution at all. [I should add that industries, such as the pharmaceutical industry, make lots of money "treating" infertility.]
4. Our lifestyle is not helping our fertility either. High stress, inadequate sleep, high fat and high sugar diets and a lack of physical activity are common components of the American lifestyle and can decrease fertility. If you smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol [especially in excess], consume caffeinated beverages and are overweight or obese your chances of infertility increase even more.
5. Age is another factor. Women's fertility can start to decline as early as 30 years of age. Yet women continue to wait longer and longer to start families. This includes my husband and I, which waited until I was 28 years old to start trying to conceive. Men are not immune to fertility problems associated with age either. However, this decline in fertility for men usually does not happen until they are in there 40's or 50's. Furthermore, I read or heard [I cannot remember where] that men over the past decade have had a decline in overall fertility, such as reduced sperm count.

So not only is are environment, pollution and lifestyle affecting our quality of life it is also affecting our ability to create life. Right now I think it is hard to think about a sterile human population because we are experiencing such a boom in population; but we need to be aware that in the not too distant future we may not be able to reproduce without intervention. I don't need to say what that would mean for the future of our species.

I, therefore, have decided to not pursue western medicine and synthetic drugs to help with my infertility. Instead, I am getting acupuncture, taking herbs and modifying my eating habits. I don't want a quick fix, I want a real solution that will create harmony and balance. We need to take this same approach with our environmental problems.

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