Dr Michele Sayball was recently interviewed at her busy fertility practice:
Written By : Lisa James | Energy Times Magazine - April 2015
There are natural ways to support healthy conception.
A hormone imbalance explains why Lorelei Danilchick couldn't carry a baby to term. "I had no problem getting pregnant but right around the eighth or tenth week I'd miscarry," says Danilchick, 45, a graphics designer from Rutland, Vermont. All the medical doctors I saw kept saying, 'Do IVF, do IVF,' but I wasn't sure I wanted to put my body through that." It helps to remember that people age at varying rates. "Your chronological age is different from your biological age. "Under severe stress, the first thing the body will shut down is the reproductive system." I asked about her lifestyle; she was visiting her dying aunt daily and she had a heavy exercise schedule (which affects hormone levels)." Even the stress of worrying about whether or not she's pregnant can delay a woman's cycle, says Michele Sayball, ND, CPM, of Brattleboro Naturopathic Clinic in Brattleboro, Vermont. Stress affects daily fluctuations of the hormone cortisol. "In the morning we expect cortisol to rise because that's what makes us ready to face the day," Sayball says, explaining that cortisol levels then usually fall throughout the day. But if "cortisol levels are high in the middle of the night, that's going to really mess up your sleep. If you can't get your body on that rhythm, how can you get your body on a fertility rhythm?" Toxins can affect fertility, especially the endocrine disrupters that mimic estrogens in the body. Key toxins include dioxins, which are manufacturing byproducts; phthalates, used in everything from flooring to shower curtains to cosmetics; BPA and phenols, found in plastics, canned food liners and thermal paper; and PFCs, used in stain repellants. Other chemicals that impair fertility include heavy metals and those used in pesticides. Both genders can be harmed by toxin exposure. "Sperm development can be affected just like the menstrual cycle can be affected," says Raupp. "Non-organic foods have played a strong role. Diet is just one issue that naturopathy addresses. Sayball says, "If someone comes to me for fertility issues I have to make sure the foundations for health are there," such as regular sleep. "If your immune system is challenged before pregnancy you have to get that settled first," she continues. "You can spend a whole hour easily on a plan for sleep hygiene, for diet. People aren't getting outdoors in the fresh air. They're not getting enough water." Sayball emphasizes that both partners must make an effort. "If the woman's doing all this work, we really need the man to do it, too, at least initially," she says. "We know cigarette smoke will change the DNA within a sperm. What if a woman did all of this detoxification work and the one sperm that got to the egg wasn't a good one?" Danilchick saw Sayball on a friend's recommendation. "She blew me away; she listened to my history and diagnosed me then and there," says Danilchick, who was found to have "a huge drop in progesterone" that may have been a lifelong issue. Danilchick says Sayball put her on a regimen of natural progesterone. "It took four months of dialing in the right dosage and figuring out when the best time was to conceive. I conceived and held the pregnancy, no problem." Her first child, Adelle, was born via IVF when Danilchick was 40 and her second, Theo, was born when she was 44 after she saw Sayball. "I feel great," she says. "It was a very healthy pregnancy, healthy birth, healthy child." Danilchick is happy she took a natural approach to fertility support, saying, "I had such a great experience and it was so much more affordable than going the IVF route. Have the IVF really be the last resort." Raupp encourages all women to take that approach. "Do not lose faith in your body," she says. "You have the power to change your health and improve your fertility."