Gut - Fertility Connection - Make sure it is in your treatment plan

Updated: May 13, 2021


Gut Healing can often be one of the missing pieces of the puzzle when I see patients who say to me “I’ve tried everything”… I can however tell you most patients who come to me saying this, also say “no” when I ask if they have done any Gut Healing treatment.


Even if you believe you do not have any gut symptoms, although I can tell you most people do, there is a lot going in your gut contributing immensely to your immunity, hormones, and inflammation. How you think and feel via the gut-brain axis is also affected, which all ultimately do affect your fertility and hormones.


Reproductive health and hormones tend to be the focus for fertility treatments understandably, however, let’s look at the Gut - Fertility Connection so you can understand the importance of Gut Healing to help you improve your fertility and hormones to create new possibilities for your body.


The Gut - Fertility Connection:


· The bacteria in your gut can translocate (aka move, transport, relocate) from your gut to other areas of your body, including reproductive organs.


· Studies have found that a driver of endometriosis is gram-negative bacteria which may initiate in the gut and is able to move to the endometrium and beyond.


· The bacteria in your gut also impacts oestrogen functioning efficiently, in particular converting bound estrogen to free oestrogen. Ineffective oestrogen metabolism is a well-known driver of PCOS, endometriosis, and infertility.


· One of the drivers of PCOS is insulin resistance which studies have shown an association with toxicity, chronic inflammation, short-chain fatty-acids, and bile which all have a role and presence in the gut. A significant imbalance of gut bacteria is observed in PCOS sufferers.


· Pregnancy loss has been linked to intestinal permeability, aka leaky gut where the lining of the small intestine is damaged causing inflammation. Inflammation occurs from undigested food particles, wastes, and non-beneficial bacteria that move from the gut and into the bloodstream.


· A 2018 study found lower testosterone levels in men with leaky gut. The study also injected men with gram-negative bacteria and also found a decrease in testosterone levels.


· Inflammation may reduce progesterone levels which may contribute to implantation failure as well as ineffective fertilisation with anti-sperm antibodies.


· Inflammation is also a driver of an inefficient immune system that is involved in every function of the body. It is also well known 70% of your immune system is located in your gut-associated lymphatic tissue which lines your gut.


· A 2016 analysis has found unexplained infertility has a 6% higher chance of having coeliac disease and it is suggested unexplained infertility can be the first sign of coeliac disease in some women.


So next time you say to someone “I’ve tried everything”, make sure your everything includes Gut Healing in your treatment plan.


If you would like to chat with me about how Gut Healing can improve your fertility or hormones, see the booking link on my website.





References

Bakera, J., Al-Nakkash, L., & Herbst-Kralovetz, M. (2017). Estrogen–gut microbiome axis: Physiological and clinical implications. Maturitas, 103, 45-53. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.06.025

Brazdova, A., Senechal, H., Peltre, G., & Poncet, P. (2014). Immune Aspects of Female Infertility. Royan Institute, 10(1), 1-10. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4845518/pdf/Int-J-Fertil-Steril-10-1.pdf

Ghadir, M., Iranikhah, A., Jandaghi, M., Joukar, F., Sedigh-Rahimabadi, M., & Mansour-Ghanaei, F. (2011). Unexplained infertility as primary presentation of celiac disease, a case report and literature review. Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 9(2), 135-140.

He, F., & Li, Y. (2020). Role of gut microbiota in the development of insulin resistance and the mechanism underlying polycystic ovary syndrome: a review. Journal of Ovarian Research, 13(73). doi:10.1186/s13048-020-00670-3

Kekkonen, R., Lummela, N., Karjalainen, H., Latvala, S., Tynkkynen, S., & Järvenpää, S. (2008). Probiotic intervention has strain-specific anti-inflammatory effects in healthy adults. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 14(13), 2029-2036. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2701523/pdf/WJG-14-2029.pdf

Lin, Y., Chen, Y., Chang, H., & Au, H. (2018). Chronic Niche Inflammation in Endometriosis-Associated Infertility: Current Understanding and Future Therapeutic Strategies. International Journal of Molecular Science, 19(2385). doi:i:10.3390/ijms19082385

Prashant, S., Shubhangi, A., Suman, L., Tor, S., & Govind, M. (2016). Celiac Disease in Women With Infertility. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 50(1), 33-39. doi:10.1097/MCG.0000000000000285

Sirota, I., Zarek, S., & Segars, J. (2014). Potential Influence of the Microbiome on Infertility and Assisted Reproductive Technology. Seminars in Reproductive Medicine, 32(1), 35-42. doi:10.1055/s-0033-1361821.

Tersigni, C., D’Ippolito, S., Di Nicuolo, F., Marana, R., Valenza, V., & Masciullo, V. (2018). Recurrent pregnancy loss is associated to leaky gut: a novel pathogenic model of endometrium infammation? Journal of Translation Medicine, 16(102). doi:10.1186/s12967-018-1482-y

Tremellen, K., McPhee, N., Pearce, K., Benson, S., Schedlowski, M., & Engler, H. (2018). Endotoxin-initiated inflammation reduces testosterone production in men of reproductive age. Amercian Journal of Physiology, 314(3), E206-E213. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00279.2017



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