Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Can Probiotics Help You Increase Your Fertility and Get Pregnant?

I have some interesting news to share with you today that are based on some recent findings in Melbourne Australia.

These findings emphasize a particular part of our program that I have been suggesting for some time now and hope that this email serves as a reminder to those of you who are already our patients and using these products and I hope this serves as information for those who aren’t addressing this very important part of your fertility. Also at the end of the tip I will share with our a creation story.

In a study performed in Melbourne Australia on the follicular fluid (the fluid that the egg grows up in, where nutrients, hormones, toxins etc are present) found that bacteria was present in the follicular fluid of women and it seems to be correlated with less than optimal results.

Some of this bacteria that was present appeared to be a result of the procedure itself, the bacteria normally found in the lower genital tract was transferred to the follicular fluid thru the process of egg pick up. However some of the bacteria was unique and not what is commonly known to be in the lower genital tract. This could be because not all bacteria in the genital tract has been identified yet, or it could be that it is a sign of bacterial overgrowth in the body.
Only 25% of women with the unique bacteria present in the follicular fluid created a pregnancy (no statistics were sited on how many of them actually gave birth because in IVF a successful pregnancy doesn’t always equal a live birth).

So hospitals need to find a better way of making sure they are not part of the cause of the problem by transferring “bad bacteria” to the follicular fluid during the procedure, but for the other unique bacteria, if this is the result of an overgrowth versus the procedure itself, then you may be able to have a huge influence on addressing this bacteria and hopefully stop it from influencing your fertility

How do you do this? It’s a four step process.
STEP 1 REMOVE ANY ADDED SUGAR (did I say that loud enough?) Glucose can effect the activity of neutrophils, one of your white blood cells that goes around the body attacking bacteria. Therefore the body’s defenses are weakened as a result of adding glucose/ sugar to the diet.
Eliminate high glycemic carbohydrates from your diet (ref: i.e white flour, hi gi white rice, white potatoe, etc, which cause significant increases in blood glucose levels that are difficult for the body to handle, eventually causing inflammation and suppressing immune system function.

STEP 2 Look at the rest of your diet
Does your diet consist of highly processed foods which do not support healthy good bacteria growth in the gut to address and outnumber the more damaging bacteria? Does most of your diet come from a wrapper, a box, a can or from a drive thru?
If so move more toward whole food diets where you are eating 70% fresh foods in your diet.
For example, have fruit instead of fruit juice.
Eat salads and vegetables with protein instead of sandwiches and packaged foods.
Give up sodas whether regular or diet. Drink mostly water.
Decrease alcohol consumption no more than 4 per week (another source of excess sugar)

Step 3:
Make sure in your diet you are getting enough foods that help you create healthy good bacteria. You can accomplish this by eating foods that contain prebiotics. Prebiotics help the body make good bacteria.
Examples of prebiotics include:
chicory root
raw oats (if you are not gluten free)
unrefined wheat (if you are not gluten free)
unrefined barley (if you are not gluten free)

Step 4
Top it off with a high quality multi strain probiotic (good bacteria) each day.
I recommend in Australia either Nourishing Flora or Polybac 8. (Synbac is another I recommend in certain circumstances). In the US, I recommend Primal Defense.
How do you take these? Ideally if you can remember to take a minimum of 30 min before food, this gives the probiotic time to settle into and support the flora of the gut.
If this is too hard for you to remember I do recommend to take it right before bed.
If you are just starting on a probiotic then take one before bed. But if you have been taking a good multi strain probiotic for a while now and have an IVF procedure coming up, I would double the dose you normally take for 6-8 weeks leading up to the procedure.
If you take a probiotic for the first time or for a short time and you have lower abdominal cramping, try another brand and if you still get the cramping, its not likely the probiotic but the fact that your digestive system needs some work. So see a naturopath or physician who understands and works with the gut and how to optimize its health.
If you are in Australia, you can order polybac 8 from our website at in the Vitamins section once you log into the site with your email and password (contact us at if you prefer powder instead of capsules).
Nourishing Flora is located in some health food shops but my patients have been reporting some difficulty finding this at times.
In the US, Primal Defense can be found at Whole Foods and some smaller health food chains.
In other countries as for a multi strain probiotic with a minimum of 8 strains if possible.
Hi There,
Just wanted to give you a update on events here in Melbourne with us and thank you for all you have done for me in helping me achieve my dream.
This has been a long journey for us of eight years full of up's and downs! After 4yrs of seeing a fertility specialist for PCOS we tried clomid, sugery ect...our last resort was IVF. I saw your story on ACA and decided to try one last thing before going to IVF.
3mths later ON YOUR HERBS l was pregnant with our beautiful daughter Paige (she is nearlly 4yrs old) We decided to try again in 2007 and after 2 miscarriages we eventually concieved early 2008 again. On the 29th of December with gave birth to our second daughter whom we called Regan.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done for us and for our 2 little miracles. They are both healthy and beautiful little girls that bring us much joy and happiness.