Treating infertility with natural solutions

Whether you’re a woman thinking about family planning, a teenager going through puberty or a woman past the years of welcoming a baby, taking charge of your fertility can improve your overall health and give you control over your own wellness.

Many women experience pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and infertility symptoms for years but are told that it’s just part of being a woman. Deal with it.

“Women don’t have to deal with it. As a society, we’ve normalized it, but it’s not normal,” said Robin Bigger, RN, a fertility care nurse for OSF HealthCare. “There are natural ways to recognize and treat gynecological issues and improve fertility.”

What is infertility?

Infertility can be an isolating and frustrating road. But unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon problem. Infertility affects many women and couples. About 10% of women age 15-44 struggle to get or stay pregnant.

“If a couple has been trying to get pregnant for a year and hasn’t been successful yet, or they’ve been having intentional intercourse during the woman’s most fertile days for six months without achieving pregnancy, then we consider it infertility,” Robin said.

If you’re in the midst of planning a family, but struggling to achieve pregnancy, identifying where there is a problem can help you and your provider find the solution.

Signs of infertility

“A lot of times women look at their periods and think that their symptoms are normal – that it’s just what women deal with,” Robin said. “Spotting or brown or black bleeding for two or more days before the start of the period or at the tail end of the period is not considered normal.”

This could be a sign that something else is going on, like low progesterone.

“PMS and other gynecological issues that cause pain and problems for women throughout their lives are not normal,” Robin said.

Conditions that may cause infertility

Infertility usually doesn’t occur on its own. There’s often something going on inside that may lead to a woman struggling to get pregnant.

“It’s good to be on top of your cycle before even trying to get pregnant. A lot of times there are problems that women don’t even realize,” Robin said.

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS): This is when too much of the hormone androgen is produced, which can cause cysts to form on the ovaries. This can cause severe abdominal pain, irregular periods, abnormally long periods, insulin resistance, weight gain and other symptoms.
  • Endometriosis: This occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus grows in other areas where it’s not supposed to. It can cause severe pain, long periods, digestive issues, internal scarring and other issues.
  • Uterine fibroids: These are made up of tissue that grows in and around the uterus. They can lead to heavy or painful periods, lower abdomen or back pain, frequent urination and pain during intercourse.
  • Thyroid issues: Too much or too little thyroid hormone can also cause infertility or increase the likelihood of miscarriage.

The conditions listed above disrupt the natural process of releasing an egg, interfere with a fertilized egg implanting in the uterus or don’t allow the body to produce enough hormones to sustain a healthy pregnancy.

A woman may also experience infertility if she is over 35, has diabetes or has a poor diet.

Infertility treatments that work with your body

There are natural infertility treatments that work.

“Getting to the root of the problem is the key to treating infertility,” Robin said.

Using a fertility tracker system like the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System can lead to discovering ways you can increase fertility and increase a woman’s chances of getting pregnant.

Using the Creighton model or some other natural fertility system can help to identify health issues that may be causes of infertility.

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The Creighton Model, for example, allows a woman to observe cervical mucus throughout her entire cycle. This can help recognize days of fertility or even when something isn’t quite right.

Contrary to popular belief, irregular periods don’t cause infertility. A woman’s body “communicates” when things are healthy and unhealthy through cervical mucus and periods.

Irregular periods are a sign to the body that there may be something else going on inside, like endometriosis or PCOS. These types of conditions often cause a woman to struggle with fertility. So, learning to observe those signs can help recognize gynecological issues that may point to a fertility problem.

The first step of treating irregular periods is getting to the root of the problem. That’s where the Creighton Model or other natural charting systems come in. Women and their providers can identify the problem that is causing infertility and work with the body to heal that condition, preserve natural fertility and increase the likelihood of achieving pregnancy.

One of the best parts about treating infertility naturally is that there are no side effects and it has a high rate of success. It also leaves women more educated about their overall health and feeling more empowered to make informed health decisions.

NaPro technology

If you and your provider recognize a problem through your charting, your provider may recommend the help of natural procreative (NaPro) technology, which treats women’s health abnormalities naturally – for fertility treatment and for overall health and wellness.

NaPro is a fertility care-based medical approach to family planning and gynecological health as opposed to fertility-control measures. Once a woman and her provider pinpoint what may be causing infertility, the provider can recommend a natural treatment option.

Treatments can be medical or surgical and aim to correct what’s really causing the infertility. Sometimes treatments can be as simple as taking an over-the-counter medication to improve the quality of cervical mucus.

“Limited mucus cycles can be treated with medicines. Natural progesterone supplements can be used to help increase chances of achieving pregnancy and reduce risk of miscarriage,” Robin said.

Sometimes treatment includes minimally invasive surgical procedures to address things like endometriosis, PCOS or fibroids.

Charting can help women to stay on top of their own reproductive health, and, if need be, get fertility treatments quickly. It can help with not only fertility but also PMS and other menstrual symptoms – whether minor or debilitating. It also allows women to advocate for themselves and their own health and take charge of their own fertility.

Last Updated: June 16, 2024

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About Author: Katie Faley

Katie Faley is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare. She graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in English Studies. Before joining OSF HealthCare in 2021, she worked in magazine editing, digital marketing and freelance writing.
Katie is often found listening to ‘60s folk music, deciding on a new skill to learn, losing track of time in a library or spending time with her family and friends.

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Categories: Birth & Maternity, Women's Health