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Excepts from Saving Tristan
Chapter Four

Infertility

"Mrs. Garber, you have secondary infertility, both of your tubes are completely blocked and you have endometriosis. It is highly unlikely you will ever conceive again." I had joined the two million women whose dreams of a family are crushed annually in our country. Young and healthy, having grown up with six siblings I desperately wanted more than one child. Since the medical world offered little hope I turned to my faith and did a daring thing.

I asked God to tell me if there would be more children, telling him I would always love and serve Him regardless of the answer, I just needed to know. I heard in my heart a gentle whisper, "You will be the mother of children." Eight years later to the day I was holding the newborn we had fought and believed for, our beautiful and only daughter Heidi. With her tiny wet fingers gripping one of mine, I cried and gave thanks for another miracle.

Many factors contribute to the inability to conceive and the problem can be with either partner. Endometriosis, scar tissue from C-sections, hormone imbalance, yeast over- growth, toxic overload, smoking and other habits detrimental to optimal health can all play a part. Be prepared to be patient if you are wanting to increase fertility through natural means. I have had the great pleasure and honor of helping many women uncover the source and go on to become mothers. In some instances it happened very quickly within a matter of weeks, while for others it took up to two years. Creating and providing natural solutions to relieve suffering is always rewarding. The file filled with birth announcements and letters from women I have been honored to help is among my most precious treasures. Herbs are an unbelievable alternative to the painful, invasive and often ineffective methods used by modern medicine. For many, the cost alone is frightening and often is not covered by insurance. Simple life style changes, prayer and dietary supplements are all within reach.

Before stimulating your body with herbs and supplements to enhance fertility, cleansing your body and your lifestyle is wise. You may discover all your body needed was relief from toxic overload caused by the many chemicals in our environment, the food you eat and habits such as caffeine, smoking and alcohol. In my experience, three months of cleansing the entire body, paying close attention to cleansing and supporting any particular organ showing signs of being in need has helped many women go on to become mothers after years of infertility. Rated number one by Natural Health magazine, the Whole Body/Colon Cleanse from the Pure Body Institute is my favorite as an excellent and affordable cleanse.

Endometriosis is considered the leading cause of infertility in women, causing painful periods and heavy bleeding as the lining of the uterus grows outside its normal boundaries. Reaching into the fallopian tubes, endometriosis can block the meeting of the egg and sperm interfering with normal conception. A combination of toning, balancing and cleansing herbs such as those found in the T&C Formula can do wonders in relieving the pain and normalizing estrogen levels which are thought to contribute to endometriosis. Yarrow and Chamomile are used to clear congestion and soothe inflammation of the female organs. Red Raspberry, Blue Cohosh, Licorice, and Mistletoe are excellent uterine tonics, Dong Quai and Red Raspberry decrease heavy menstrual flow without stopping it. Pain can be eased by adding Ginger and Capsicum while False Unicorn reduces swelling and inflammation and normalizes estrogen levels.

Irregular or absence of periods also contributes to infertility. If you have never had a period, it is important to see a doctor to confirm all female organs are present. While this is rare, for your own peace of mind it is worth finding out, and if all is well, you will be more confident in the next steps. Hormone imbalance may be the cause of both irregular and absent cycles. Chaste Tree Berry has been found in various studies to be effective in normalizing follicle-stimulating hormone (FHS) levels, lowering elevated estrogen levels, stimulating the production of progesterone as well normalizing the production and secretion of the luteinizing hormone. False Unicorn here again is valuable in helping bring on and regulating periods. When combined with other female tonics and stimulants such as Sarsaparilla, Blessed Thistle, Squawvine and Ginger irregular cycles can be corrected. HB Formula

If you are young and enjoy excellent health, your body may simply need the stimulation found in supplements traditionally used to increase fertility, some of which are now backed by scientific research. Chaste Tree Berry was found in a clinical trial to increase fertility in eighty percent of women age twenty-three to thirty-six. Dong Quai is the herb of choice among naturopaths and herbalists in addressing infertility, False Unicorn with its balancing effect on the female hormones is an obvious choice as well. Stress is thought to contribute to infertility; Eleuthero minimizes its negative effect.

In the early days of studying herbs and creating formulations I received a call from a family member struggling with infertility. I created a combination of the herbs discussed in the previous paragraph and mailed it to her. I was pleasantly shocked to receive another call six weeks later announcing a positive pregnancy test! Today she along with many others are enjoying the gift of a child through simple God given gifts found in nature instead of the local fertility clinic. In honor of the promise given to women by the Creator, the formula was named Fruitful Vine.

Vitamin C is an extremely important supplement in increasing fertility naturally. Studies indicate progesterone levels increase, and in one study the author found treatment with Vitamin C alone resulted in the commencement of ovulation in forty percent of the subjects, and twenty-one percent conceived during the six months of treatment. Up to 10,000 mgs can be taken safely on a daily basis. Select a Vitamin C made from plant food sources rather than a synthetic form. Discontinue large doses as soon as pregnancy is confirmed. As an additional precaution it is wise not to exceed 2,000 mgs per day after ovulation (mid cycle) to reduce the risk of miscarriage.

Infertility is not limited to women and nature has answers for men as well. Cleansing the whole body is a good place to start along with paying attention to any organ showing signs of stress or disease. Many men seldom receive the essential vitamins and minerals pertinent to their reproductive health. Chose a multivitamin carefully insuring it contains Zinc and Selenium to enhance sperm production and motility, and vitamins A, C, E, B12 and folic acid to increase sperm count and quality. Coenzyme Q10 was shown in studies to add energy to sperm. Avoid tight fitting under garments, trousers and sitting in hot tubs for prolonged periods.

The herb Tribulus Terrestris has become very popular among men in recent years; it is helpful in stimulating sperm production, increasing sperm survival time and seminal fluid production. The antioxidant properties of Astragulus and Eleuthero may protect and maintain sperm cells and increase their motility.

Pygeum may improve the quality of seminal fluid, Barrenwort, formerly known as Horny Goat Weed, is used to increase seminal fluid and to relieve impotence or the inability to maintain erection. Yohimbe, Ginkgo Biloba, Ashwaganda, Eleuthero and Tribulus Terrestris can improve normal male responsiveness. Lega-C-Herbs, Progentor VI

Understanding your cycles and being able to clearly identify the signals your body sends during ovulation alone can make the difference between being childless and enjoying a newborn. Taking Charge of your Fertility, by Toni Welcher is the best resource I have found on this subject. It is easy to read and thoroughly explains the Fertility Awareness Method which, in a few minutes a day, allows you to maximize your chance of conception.