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Understanding the Fertility Crisis: An In-Depth Conversation With Experts: Kelly LeVeque & Dr. Mark Hyman

Understanding the Fertility Crisis: An In-Depth Conversation With Experts: Kelly LeVeque & Dr. Mark Hyman

Two leading experts in Functional Medicine, Dr. Mark Hyman and Kelly LeVeque, recently sat down to discuss the alarming global fertility crisis and share solutions for protecting reproductive health. Here's a recap of their insightful discussion:

 

 

The Fertility Crisis

 

Global fertility rates are plummeting, indicating a major crisis. According to the WHO, 1 in 6 people struggle with infertility. Since 1964, the average births per woman has dropped from 5.06 to just 2.4 in 2018. Men's sperm counts have nosedived 62% since 1973, and testosterone levels have dropped over 10% from 2006-2019. Women today in their 20s are less fertile than their grandmothers at 35, with rising miscarriage rates and more cases of diminished ovarian reserve.

 

So what's behind this dire reproductive health crisis? Dr. Hyman and Kelly LeVeque point to a few key drivers:

 

Key Contributors to the Crisis

 

  1. Exposure to Toxins: Chemicals like phthalates and BPA negatively impact fertility.
  2. Nutrient-Depleted Food: Modern agricultural practices have reduced the nutritional value of food, leading to deficiencies critical for reproduction.
  3. Stress and Poor Sleep: Increased stress and lack of sleep adversely affect mental health and fertility.
  4. Delayed Family Planning: Older parental age correlates with reduced fertility and higher miscarriage rates.

 

Proactive Approaches to Enhance Fertility

 

Preconception Preparation: A critical window where couples should focus on optimizing health for at least 3-6 months before trying to conceive.

 

Nutrient Intake: Consuming nutrient-dense foods and supplements to build reserves, improve egg and sperm quality, and support overall health.

 

Lifestyle Changes: Regular exercise, stress management, and avoiding toxins can significantly boost reproductive health.

 

Kelly & Dr. Hyman's Top Tips for Enhancing Fertility

 

Women: Focus on nutrient density from real, whole foods and high-quality prenatal multivitamins, like WeNatal for HER with optimal doses of folate, choline, B vitamins, iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin D, and antioxidants like vitamins C and E. Regular gentle exercise like walking and stress management practices like meditation, yoga and journaling are also invaluable.

 

Men: Research shows getting sufficient levels of nutrients like those found in WeNatal for HIM CoQ10, vitamin D, folate, L-carnitine, N-acetylcysteine, and zinc can significantly enhance sperm count, motility, morphology and DNA integrity. Avoiding excessive heat to the genital area, getting regular moderate-intensity exercise, and stress reduction also support healthy sperm production.

 

For Both: Taking a prenatal multivitamin like WeNatal and an Omega DHA+ Fish oil, serves as an insurance policy to build nutrient reserves and support hormonal balance. Eliminating endocrine disruptors by avoiding plastics, filtering drinking water, and choosing organic produce can lower toxic burden. Managing stress through mindfulness, movement, nature time, and controlling digital overload is crucial.

 

Beyond Reproduction: There is a two-way link between fertility and mental health. Poor mental health reduces fertility, while infertility struggles harm emotional wellbeing. Studies show elevated stress markers correlate with lower pregnancy rates and higher infertility risk. Conversely, mind-body therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups boost conception rates for women in fertility treatments. A holistic approach nurturing the mind-body connection is crucial.

 

The investment we make in optimizing our preconception health provides benefits that extend far beyond fertility. It equips us to be more resilient as we transition into the monumental physical and emotional demands of pregnancy, birth and new parenthood. It improves metabolic fitness and longevity for the whole family. Most importantly, it gives our future children the best possible start by creating an ideal environment for embryonic development and reducing their disease risk later in life.

 

While the state of global fertility is sobering, the good news is that we have a tremendous amount of power to positively influence our reproductive potential. By getting proactive with targeted nutrition, lifestyle upgrades, stress management and avoiding toxic exposures, we can help reverse the crisis - one healthy pregnancy at a time. Our investment in preconception health not only boosts fertility but enhances overall wellbeing and resilience.

 

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Ronit Menashe & Vida Delrahim

Best friends since meeting at Nike over 15 years ago. Pregnancy loss, just a week apart changed their career trajectories. As they dug into the research they realized that there was a major need in the fertility and pregnancy industry - a good quality prenatal for BOTH women AND men.

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