Did you know that the success rate of infertility clinics is only 25-30%? Dr. Hotze discusses two common causes of female infertility that are often overlooked and easy to correct. Learn the signs and symptoms of this common disorder and what you can do to promote fertility.
Stacey: Welcome to Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution. I’m Stacey Bandfield here with Dr. Steven Hotze, founder of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. And as always, you can download any and all of our podcasts at HotzePodcast.com, that’s H-O-T-Z-E podcast.com. A very common problem that we find with women is infertility. They call us all the time about it, and a lot of times, people do look at it as a riddle or puzzle, very complicated, why I can’t get pregnant but then when you really get to the heart of it, there are two main reasons why a lot of women aren’t getting pregnant, isn’t that right doctor?
Dr. Hotze: Right. Infertility, of course, can occur because a woman is unable to conceive, she doesn’t…she can’t, maybe she doesn’t ovulate properly or the fertilized egg doesn’t stick to the womb and she can’t get pregnant for that reason or she has miscarriages. So, a woman can have problems and we’re going to talk about female problems causing infertility but, of course, men can have problems as well, infertility problems, so it takes two to tango, as they say. But we’re going to talk primarily today about female infertility.
Now, female infertility is a direct result from an imbalance, an improper production of the female sex hormones and thyroid hormones. So, one of the causes that women have problems with infertility is because they have poor production and poor balance of the sex hormones or, secondly, they may have poor production or poor utilization of thyroid hormones, and this may work together synergistically to enable a woman to become pregnant, after having problems with one…having problems with your female hormones, maybe causing you to have problems then with your thyroid hormone function and vice versa. So, the hormones work together synergistically.
The Female Menstrual Cycle
Let’s talk about the normal female cycle. There’re two phases, they’re called the follicular phase and that’s when the ovaries make primarily estrogen hormones, and there are three estrogen hormones. There’re estrone, estradiol and estriol, all three made by females, human females. And those hormones are made in the first half of the month, primarily, they rise starting on the end of the menstrual period the body begins then to secrete from the ovaries these estrogen hormones which are proliferative hormones, they cause proliferation of tissue in the inner lining of the womb or the uterus, and it causes it to beef up and become bulky as you would prepare soil for seeds. Well, the seed if it’s fertilized is the ovum which comes from the…also, comes from female ovaries, that ovum is then transmitted or travels down the fallopian tubes into the womb, and may be fertilized if intercourse has occurred during that time. The egg is given off when ovulation occurs, which is at about day 14 of the menstrual cycle.
The menstrual cycle normally has 28 days, day one is the first day of the period, day 28 would be the last day before your period. That’s the normal cycle. In some women it’s every 30 days, some it’s every 25, that may vary, but on an average every 28 days a woman would go through her cycle. And so the first 14 days of the follicular stage, that’s when she’s producing estrogen hormones singularly, then she ovulates and she begins to produce from the area where the egg erupted out of the ovary and then travels into the fallopian tubes, from that area that’s called the corpus luteum, and it secretes progesterone.
Progesterone matures the tissue, it balances the estrogen, and it prepares it for a pregnancy. Progesterone literally means promoting gestation, gestation is a pregnancy. So it promotes pregnancy, so it gets the inner lining in the womb, once it’s been beefed up in it, matures, getting ready to have the egg…fertilized egg implanted. If there’s no fertilized egg implanted, then the body would quit making from the ovaries and the woman’s body, she quits making her hormones, and then she slops the inner lining in the womb and the whole thing starts over. It’s a cycle, so there’s a cycle on this.
1. Low Progesterone Production
So, if a woman does not ovulate or if she does not produce adequate amounts of progesterone, then she will not be able to promote gestation, she will not be able to maintain a pregnancy. So this is a common problem in women particularly having miscarriages, they’re not producing enough progesterone. So, women that have this problem will oftentimes see their physician and they would prescribe for them progesterone. And they give it oftentimes in the form of injections, they’re to take on a frequent basis to help maintain progesterone levels high enough that the pregnancy is maintained.
Now, as a woman marches through her menstrual life which starts, let’s say it starts at age 14, some women start younger than that, some women a little bit older, but let’s say average age would be about 14, 13, 14 where a woman begins her menstrual cycle. Well, women can have problems early in life with irregular cycles, with mood swings, when women don’t make enough progesterone, they don’t balance out the estrogen and they have what we call estrogen dominance. This can occur at puberty, it can occur in a woman’s twenties, thirties, by middle life, it’d happen at 35 to 40 – women would begin to notice they have symptoms of estrogen dominance which are: their periods may get heavier, they may be irregular, they’ll get fluid retention, they’ll get weight gain, they’ll get breast tenderness, they’ll get headaches. And it usually occurs just before they have their menstrual period. So, it may occur one or two days before their period, they may occur then as time goes on over years, they may occur three or four or five days or a week or two weeks. And some women say “I’m right in the middle of my cycle, I begin to develop these symptoms” and those are signs and symptoms of progesterone deficiency and the opposite side of that coin is estrogen dominance.
So, even as a woman ages, the progesterone levels fall much more dramatically than the estrogen levels fall, and so they have estrogen dominance. Even if estrogen levels are falling, the estrogen is a dominating hormone, and that causes these premenstrual symptoms which can be easily eliminated using natural progesterone. So, when women have these premenstrual symptoms, that’s a sign of hormonal imbalance. When women’s periods get longer and heavier and they begin to get clotted and they have break through bleeding and fibroids, that is a classical feature of estrogen dominance and the opposite side of the coin being progesterone deficiency.
So, if a woman…that’s why women tend to be more fertile when they’re younger. As women age, the ovaries age and they don’t ovulate every month and there’ll be times women would tell me, they say “I have a regular period, every other month is regular but then the next month is very, very heavy and then it lightens up the next month and it was never like that.” She’s not ovulating that much, so all she has is the impact of the proliferate hormone, estrogen. And so when she has her period, it becomes much heavier, lasts several days longer, and ends up with clotting and then when she doesn’t ovulate at all, as the ovaries get older in her early to mid forties, she’ll miss ovulation, that’s why older women have a harder time becoming pregnant because they don’t ovulate every month.
And then the primary hormone that’s governing their menstrual cycle is now estrogen so they have this chronic pressure on the uterus without any balance, so they have this proliferation, that’s why they get these fibroids and the breakthrough bleeding and the clotting. And that’s when they often turn up at the doctor’s, and she then goes “you’ve got to stop the bleeding.” They may take birth control pills, those have problems on their own, but oftentimes the doctor, the OB/GYN…remember OB/GYN’s are primarily surgeons, so once they deliver your babies, the next procedure they want to perform on you is a hysterectomy, that’s what they’re trying to do.
Early in their careers they deliver babies, late in their careers they do hysterectomies and bladder suspensions. So, they’re going to recommend that you have a hysterectomy. Now, it’s the progesterone deficiency that is a primary cause of infertility and more specifically with miscarriages when the body doesn’t produce enough progesterone to maintain that pregnancy. So, progesterone deficiency can be a big problem, so it’s important to balance out your menstrual cycles, and if you’re trying to get pregnant and having a problem with it, before you see an infertility specialist you ought to see fertility doctors like those of us, you’d see at the Wellness Center because we know how important it is to get your hormones in balance.
2. Low Thyroid Function
Now the second most important hormone, or maybe it’s the most important hormone in pregnancy to ensure that she can get pregnant are your thyroid hormones. Remember the thyroid hormone is produced by the thyroid glandule in the neck and it enters blood stream, doesn’t do anything to the blood stream, no matter how much thyroid you have in your blood, it has to enter your cells. And the thyroid hormone in the blood is primarily the inactive thyroid hormone called T4, and it has four iodine atoms attached to it, it’s T4, it’s inactive. It has to enter the cells and in the cells, one of those iodine atoms has to be cleaved off, there’s an inside that does it, that is the deiodinase inside. It cleaves off one of the atoms of iodine, and you’re left with T3, that’s the active thyroid hormone, that’s what activates the paraplasm in the cells.
So, if an individual has the signs and symptoms of low thyroid and those would be fatigue, frequently difficulty with weight, inability to focus and think clearly, cold body temperature, lower than 98.6 when they’re up during the day… We’ve often seen individuals when they come in to our offices, 97s, 96s even, so they’re running cold, that tells us they’re not producing enough energy within the cells. The excess energy that’s produced within the myocardial which given off is heat, and that’s what give your body a temperature and the best temperature at which all the biochemical processes at the body works is 98.6.
So, also if you don’t get enough thyroid, you can get mood swings, you can have irregular menstrual cycles, you can have joint muscles aches and pains, abnormal bowel functions, you may be prone to infections, you get puffy, pasty pale, women’s hair will begin to fall out. And commonly these women will have problems with fertility.
So, they end up going to see an infertility specialist who takes a bunch of eggs off and tries to get the eggs fertilized in vitro and reimplanted in your body and then pump you full of a bunch of hormones that are counterfeit hormones or natural hormones to the tune of forty, or fifty or sixty thousand dollars when…and they’re calling it infertility clinics or infertility specialist because only 25 to 30 percent max ever get pregnant, they are infertility clinics. I know some of them sort of change their names since we’ve talking about fertility.
So, while we’re not an infertility clinic, we do help women balance out their hormones, and we know it’s important for hormones to be balanced in order for you…that be in a physical state to be able to become pregnant. And we’ve helped numerous women, even women that were going to infertility clinics, they come to us because “I went to the infertility clinic, I couldn’t get pregnant but I got my hormones all screwed up.” And we help regulate their hormones and we’ve had wonderful successes with that.
So, two major hormone causes that would lead to infertility. One is decline in ovarian function and decline in the production of progesterone and anovulatory cycles. Second thing is low thyroid function which governs your body’s metabolism. Think about it, if the thyroid hormone governs the metabolism of all the cells in your body, it’s going to affect your ovaries, ladies, and the function of those ovaries and their ability to produce the egg or the ovum and properly ovulate. So, if you have poor thyroid function, your ovaries aren’t going to work well and you’re going to be more likely or less likely, I should say, to be able to become pregnant, you could tend to become infertile.
So, these are two easy adjustments that could be made. Balancing with progesterone, by the way, progesterone also enhances the function of the thyroid hormones, when a person… a woman is progesterone deficient or estrogen dominant, that adversely affects the ability of the cells to be able to utilize thyroid hormone. So, those are two things that can be done to overcome.
Let me mention one other thing that can be done. Besides the hormones, clean up your eating program. Eat healthy, organic foods, drink healthy, so that means drink filtered water, stay away from canned drinks or other drinks that have all these chemicals in it. If it’s in a package, bag or box, don’t eat it. Eat whole foods, green vegetables, good healthy oils, good healthy fats and exercise. It’s the petrochemicals that…and don’t put those to your body with a bunch of lotion, cheap, bought at the local drugstore or the food market, they’re full of petrochemicals. If you read them and you have all these chemicals names, those are petrochemicals, they get into your system and the petrochemicals are counterfeit estrogens that are called xenoestrogens and they disrupt hormonal production in your body and they disrupt the receptor sites.
So, that can be a big problem, that’s why if you want to get pregnant, not only you have to balance your hormones with progesterone and thyroid but you need to take good vitamins, minerals and nutrients to help your cells detoxify from the chemicals that you get from what you breathe, eat, drink, lotions that you spread on your body, that’s really important. So, vitamin and mineral supplementation is important, as well.
Well, I want to thank you for joining us today. Remember, I believe that you and every individual needs a doctor and staff of professionals to coach on the path of health and wellness naturally, so that as you mature, you enjoy a better quality of life. Does that make sense? If it does, then give us a call.
Stacey: Absolutely. The best choice is the natural choice. We’ve got a great resource for you at Hotzehwc.com, that is H-O-T-Z-E-H-W-C.com. You can take our symptom checker, see if you might have some of the symptoms and signs Dr. Hotze is talking about and, of course, you can always give us a call at 281-698-8698, we’d love to have a conversation with you and your health. We’re so glad that you have joined us today here at Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution.