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Natural Awakenings Boston

Improve Fertility by Boosting Core Health

Oct 01, 2014 11:23AM ● By Angela Bell

Getting pregnant isn’t always easy. In fact, in the most recent National Survey of Family Growth, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that one in eight couples has trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Unfortunately, these statistics are getting worse as sperm counts are declining, the number of couples choosing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is increasing, and women are struggling to conceive at younger ages. It’s therefore more important than ever for women to understand what’s impacting their fertility.

In any given cycle, assuming both partners are healthy, couples have about a 15 to 25 percent chance of becoming pregnant. If the man or woman involved is dealing with health challenges, whether severe and obvious or subtle and subclinical, these percentages quickly decline. The question then becomes: How healthy must a person be to conceive a child? While there’s no simple answer, the point is that health is directly related to one’s ability to conceive. If people focus on getting their bodies to function more efficiently, they will be making huge strides toward enhancing their fertility.

The Standard American Diet, combined with high stress and an ever increasing exposure to chemicals and toxins is making many people sick. Dr. David Ludwig, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, goes so far as to say that, “Obesity is such that this generation of children could be the first basically in the history of the United States to live less healthful and shorter lives than their parents.” This national health crisis is affecting fertility.

The good news is that people can regain control of their health and, with a new generation of healthy living gurus, there are strong leaders to learn from. Such natural health and healing specialists as Kris Carr, Meghan Telpner, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Sara Gottfried, Vani Hari (aka “The Food Babe”), Dr. Mark Hyman and Jamie Oliver are proving time and time again that the human body has an amazing capacity to heal. For example, Hyman teaches ways to eat, exercise, manage stress and reduce exposure to environmental and food based toxins in order to heal the dysfunctions and deficiencies that are compromising health and, inevitably, fertility.

Couples can start getting healthy before they even begin trying to get pregnant. Those who are already struggling to conceive must take the time to nourish and heal their bodies, whether they plan to try naturally or move forward with artificial reproductive technologies. Those seeking additional expert help can turn to acupuncturists and functional medicine practitioners to support overall health and improve the chances of conception and a healthy pregnancy.

Acupuncturists and naturopaths are trained to diagnose underlying conditions that may be hindering a person’s ability to conceive, and treat these issues with non-invasive, natural protocols. Addressing one’s core health, and treating imbalances in the body naturally, will go a long way to support fertility.

Angela Bell, MAOM, is a licensed acupuncturist who specializes in fertility and pregnancy. She is owner of Angela Bell Acupuncture, located at 186 Alewife Brook Pkwy., Ste. 302, Cambridge. For more information, call 617-512- 3193 or visit

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