One of the most frustrating diagnoses I encounter in my practice is “Unexplained Infertility.” Most couples that come to my office with this new medical label are despondent and teary-eyed. My role as a Naturopathic Doctor is to inform them that besides ultrasounds and hormone tests, there are other ways to evaluate fertility. What about the role of stress? What about dietary deficiencies? What about the role of the mind and the countless messages we send ourselves daily? Do you love your body? Do you believe you can get pregnant? Naturopathic medicine aims to uncover the “unexplained” with a new paradigm of understanding the human body and fertility.
Biofeedback is yet another tool that may be able to support women on this journey.
What is Biofeedback?
Biofeedback is a treatment technique in which people are trained to improve their health by using signals from their own bodies. It is a therapeutic tool that may help people to change the way their bodies respond to a variety of conditions, including stress and anxiety.
The National Institute of Health has approved biofeedback for the management of pain and insomnia. Biofeedback has applications for the use of many health concerns including anxiety disorders, constipation, fibromyalgia, ADHD, headaches, mild depression, stress, PMS and other conditions.
Role in Fertility Management?
Research indicates that women who are trying to conceive often experience elevated levels of stress. One study revealed that women who had higher levels of alpha-amylase (a biomarker for stress) showed a 29% decrease in the ability to conceive. Another study suggested that reducing levels of cortisol (another biomarker for stress) prior to IVF could improve the chances for conception.
At Aspire Health, our goal is to support fertility and to promote a healthy pregnancy naturally. One of the ways that we seek to achieve this is by reducing stress levels. Biofeedback is a recognized therapy for addressing stress and anxiety. Biofeedback may be beneficial for fertility support, particularly when there is a diagnosis of unexplained infertility.