Fertility does not need to be one big guessing game as there are plenty of tests that can be run within our clinic, with your doctor or with a fertility specialist that can access you and your partner’s fertility status before you even try to get pregnant. We recommend that you spend the 4 months before you aim to conceive reaching optimal fertility fitness- this means, being the healthiest you can be. Some of the following tests can be run by our naturopaths at Better Health to gain a deeper understanding of just how “Fertility Fit” you really are.
Hair Trace Mineral Analysis
Hair is now used as the tissue of choice to determine toxic heavy metal exposure. The reason hair is used for this particular test is because it is exposed to the internal environment of the body and then when it reaches the surface, the outer layers harden and lock in information on your essential mineral status and toxic metal status for the last 12-16 weeks. This test is particularly useful in assessing exposure to toxic or heavy metals, and is very important when considering the ratios of one mineral to another. For example, zinc and copper are antagonistic minerals and therefore can displace each other which would also affect fertility. To get pregnant you don’t want to carry high levels of heavy metals such as mercury or lead which can lead to poor sperm and egg health as well as miscarriage. This test can be done via clinic and would benefit both the male and the female as part of your preconception plan.
Live Blood Screening
Some of you may already be familiar with the live blood screening as we have been conducting this test in clinic for many years now, but you may be unaware of the benefits of a screening for optimising fertility. This blood screen is done via a finger prick test in which we look at your blood alive under a microscope. We are able to look at your current nutritional status, immune status, liver function and gastrointestinal health. We also look for signs of inflammation and oxidative stress which can both affect fertility immensely. This gives us a great snapshot to ensure you are in optimal health which is obviously where you want to be whether you are trying to get pregnant or not.
Zinc Tally Test
As zinc plays such an important role in fertility for both men and women it is essential that we test your zinc status and this can be done simply in clinic. Zinc is one of the most important mineral for hormone production and the number one most important nutrient needed for sperm health. In fact, men lose between 3-5mgs per ejaculate!
A good way to pinpoint ovulation in women is by using a basal body temperature chart. This is done using a fertility thermometer and taking your temperature under your tongue every morning at the same time- called your basal temperature. At ovulation, your basal temperature will normally rise and will remain elevated for the remainder of your menstrual cycle. If your temperature remains the same or is excessively low, this can indicate that you are not ovulating. The chart below illustrates how observing your fertility signs can show you when you are fertile, when you should be aiming to have intercourse for conception, when you have ovulated, and when to expect your period or a positive pregnancy test result. This is a great way to learn more about your menstrual cycle in the lead up to pregnancy- come in and see us for more information.
Hormone level testing
Measuring hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone, FSH, LH and testosterone in women gives us a good indication of hormone health and helps us to detect regular ovulation. Progesterone is particularly important for women as low levels can lead to early miscarriages. In men, it may be useful to check that testosterone levels are high enough to produce healthy sperm and for optimal reproduction function. These tests can be conducted by us, either via a blood or saliva sample.
We hope this gives you some insight into some of the important ways that you can check your fertility status with us, without having to head straight down the medical route. Come in and see us if you would like some testing conducted or more information! Callus on 9518 0722
By Hayley Stockbridge and Aimee Gardiner (Better Health Naturopaths)