When a couple is trying to conceive, the last thing they may expect is a lengthy process.
As in most things in life, timing is everything. Couples have to consider a woman's ovulation cycle, among other factors. But what if the issue is infertility?
In the U.S., about one-fifth of couples of child bearing age are considered infertile, meaning they've tried unsuccessfully to conceive for a year or more [source: Page].
With the miracles of modern medicine, many people having a hard time getting pregnant may consider treatment options. Assisted reproduction technology, like in vitro fertilization and other procedures, have helped women get pregnant since the early 1980s. But assisted reproduction technology, or ART, is often costly and time-intensive. In addition, there are associated health risks, like preterm delivery and low birth weight [source: CDC].
If you're trying to get pregnant and ART is out of the question, there may be a simpler solution -- an increasing trend that could deliver a simpler approach.
Cleanses are nothing new and have been around for ages, similar to the concept of fasting. With a fertility cleanse, the idea is to rid the body of as many toxins as possible to prepare it for conception.
The question is, of course, do they work? While little medical research points directly to the effectiveness of a fertility cleanse, research has linked toxins to a number of human ailments, including infertility in both men and women [source: AFA].
And note that as with any treatment, conception is not 100 percent guaranteed. Of the many self-proclaimed experts on fertility cleanses, not one can make the promise that a cleanse will guarantee successful conception. But there are numerous first-hand accounts of women who have successfully conceived following a fertility cleanse.
On the next page we'll consider if a fertility cleanse would be right for you.
Would a fertility cleanse benefit you?
Now that we've established what a fertility cleanse is, you may be wondering if it's something that would benefit you.
As we've mentioned, assisted reproduction technology helps many people get pregnant, but it has its downsides too. Alternately, a fertility cleanse is a great first step for women seeking help conceiving [source: Baker].
Before taking the various vitamins and supplements suggested by those in the know, consult with your medical professional. Certain supplements have interactions with medications or serious health conditions, and only a professional can consult you on the best course.
There are options with a fertility cleanse. Some Web sites promote certain herbal supplements to be taken for a time, while other proponents focus on a healthy diet.
For those interested in a cleanse, a good first step would be correcting your diet to better correspond to a healthy lifestyle. This is both simple and more cost-effective than purchasing herbal supplements.
According to one expert, the human body avoids conception under less-than-ideal conditions, including lack of nutrition, obesity and toxicity [source: Page]. A cleanse focused on removing certain foods and adding others can help with all three.
A beginner's cleanse can last anywhere from three to five days, with an emphasis on eating fresh foods [source: Page].
Start with what to eliminate: caffeine, sugars (refined or unrefined), alcohol, red meat and foods containing gluten (a protein found in grains that's difficult to digest).
What to add? That's the fun part. There are numerous fresh fruits and vegetables that naturally cleanse the body, as well as probiotic food like yogurt. Vegetables with great cleansing properties include spinach, carrots, beets, asparagus and broccoli [source: Baker].
While there's no guarantee a fertility cleanse will work for you, it can't hurt to focus on staying as healthy as possible, preparing your body to take part in the miracle of life.
- The American Fertility Association. "Infertility Prevention." 2012. (June 10, 2012) http://www.theafa.org/family-building/infertility-prevention/
- The American Society for Reproductive Medicine. "Infertility." 2012. (June 10, 2012)
- Baker, Donielle. Naturally Knocked Up. "Natural Fertility 101: Cleanse with Whole Foods." Jan.10, 2011. (June 9, 2012) http://www.naturallyknockedup.com/cleanse-whole-foods/
- Centers for Disease Control. "Assisted Reproduction Technology." April 19, 2012. (June 10, 2012) http://www.cdc.gov/art/
- Page, Linda. "Healthy Healings Detoxification: Programs to Cleanse, Purify and Renew." Healthy Healing Inc. 2008. Pages 76-80. (June 9, 2012) http://books.google.com/books?id=TsEzlmaL2ygC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Healthy+Healings+Detoxification:+Programs+to+Cleanse,+Purify+and+Renew&hl=en&sa=X&ei=DdXXT-CeEYGG8QSuoJjHAw&ved=0CFAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Healthy%20Healings%20Detoxification%3A%20Programs%20to%20Cleanse%2C%20Purify%20and%20Renew&f=false