Hormonal imbalance is the main cause of infertility.
The efficiency of your reproductive cycles as well as your overall conception processes are totally dependent on the optimal balance of your hormones.
Every day more than 50 chemical messengers (hormones) flow through your body sending signals and instructions everywhere.
Your hormones are like wireless signalling messengers that ‘orchestrate’ an elaborate symphony of messages instructing your organs, tissues and cells what your brain wants them to do.
Our Endocrine system is the biological system that manufactures all our hormones.
It is comprised of glands such as the Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Ovaries, Testes, Thyroid, Pancreas, Adrenals, and Pineal gland.
Think of your endocrine system as your orchestra.
Your hypothalamus is like the conductor, your pituitary, the baton relaying the conductor’s messages to the instruments i.e., your ovaries, testes, thyroid, pancreas and adrenal glands.
These instruments (glands) make the music (hormones) e.g., oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormones, insulin, cortisol and DHEA that translate the instructions into actions.
Our hormones influence so many bodily functions such as reproduction, metabolism, blood sugar, energy levels, sleep patterns, sex drive, aging, appetite and so much more.
In the same way an orchestra requires well-tuned instruments to all play in perfect pitch to sound good, so your hormones need to be in a fine balance, working in harmony together to set the tone for how you feel.
When they’re at their optimal levels, your body cruises along with a nice even rhythm, without any major interference with your life.
Your body uses a feedback system to keep your hormones in perfect balance…. when one hormone is present in abnormally high or low levels, your body picks up on these signals and sets up a chain of coordinated reactions in its attempt to keep your system in perfect balance.
Sometimes this delicate balance can be upset for example by genetic inheritances, poor diet, stress (physical / emotional), or sleep issues.
Your hormones will give you real-time feedback on how all these factors are impacting you – alerting you that something isn’t quite right.
In women, these alerts might include painful, irregular or heavy periods, fibroids, premenstrual irritability or mood swings, headaches, migraines, depression, anxiety, low sex drive, recurrent UTI’s, fatigue, brain fog, weight issues, bloating, sluggish bowels…. or you may have been diagnosed with PCOS, Diabetes, Insulin resistance, Hypothyroid, Endometriosis or Premature ovarian Insufficiency (POI).
Miscarriages and many fertility-related problems can also be a sign that your hormones are not behaving as they should.
Men may be alerted to hormonal imbalance if they experience symptoms such as fatigue, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, depression, anxiety, weight issues, insulin resistance, thyroid disturbances, sleep apnoea.
Low sperm count, poor sperm morphology or motility as well as other fertility-related issues, may also be a sign of hormonal imbalance.
When couples see me for help with their fertility issues, I will always suggest they have certain hormonal and other fertility-related tests done. Running these tests will identify whether they do in fact have a specific hormone imbalance and I will then be able to work out what areas need assistance so I can provide them with accurate, personalised advice and care.
I hope this has helped you understand your hormones and how their function and balance contribute to your health and fertility.
In my next blog, I will discuss 5 ways to Balance your Hormones and Improve your Fertility.
Joanne Lipinski – Fertility Naturopath Melbourne