Hormones are crucial to a woman’s reproductive health. If the hormones aren’t happy, falling pregnant can be difficult, but there is a whole host of other possible causes that are easily rectifiable. Professor Bettina Toth, Park Igls consultant and Director of the University Clinic for Gynaecological Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine in Innsbruck, advises that early diagnosis of infertility is important in order to determine possible causes: ‘we recommend that women over 35 who have been trying to conceive without success for six months come to see us, because after that the chances decrease.’
There are so many possible causes. ‘Sometimes it’s simply that women are not aware of when they are ovulating; they just need to learn to recognise the signs,’ Professor Toth suggests. She has even had success treating women suffering from hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which affects the development of eggs, or endometriosis, where the lining of the womb grows outside of the uterus. Park Igls Medical Director Dr Peter Gartner agrees that something can be done in these cases: ‘An international study from 2019 shows that a healthy gut with an intact microbiome (gut bacteria) improves the symptoms of polycystic ovaries and increases fertility.’ Modern Mayr Medicine programmes at Park Igls have a strong focus on gut health, and can therefore be beneficial to women trying to conceive.
Of course lifestyle plays a role in fertility, too. External factors like being either obese or underweight, consuming excessive alcohol or coffee, and smoking all affect fertility. Mayr therapy can help: ‘Exercise and a thorough detoxification with a Mayr programme are known to improve sugar metabolism [and therefore fertility] considerably,’ Dr Gartner says. And women’s hormones or health are not always to blame; in 30% of cases, a low sperm count or poor-quality semen are the cause of a couple’s infertility. Professor Toth advises that this can be down to easily rectifiable genetic or hormonal causes, or even environmental factors that can be reversed. Knowing the cause is half the battle, and once diagnosed, couples can receive the right support in their fight against infertility.
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