Good gut health = good fertility health

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You may wonder how gut health could possibly impact on fertility. To understand this connection we need to unravel the mechanics behind digestion to see how fertility is affected and to see that it must be addressed before other measures are taken. For some couples an improvement in gut health may be the missing link to solving otherwise ‘unexplained infertility’.

The digestive system is charged with the task of extracting and absorbing all the necessary nutrients from your food and to expel waste products. Key elements for this to happen successfully include strong stomach acid to breakdown proteins into amino acids necessary for growth and repair, to provide energy and to make hormones and neurotransmitters. Most minerals are also degraded by stomach acid too. Killing off unwelcome invaders like pathogenic bacteria and parasites is another critical function of stomach acid.

Once food has entered the small intestine absorption of nutrients begins. A happy liver, via the gall bladder, and the pancreas will have supplied alkaline fluids full of digestive enzymes so absorption is successful. In the event of a ‘leaky gut’, some of the food particles, particularly proteins, can escape through the intestinal wall and into the body via the bloodsteam… to cause havoc.

The immune system attacks ‘foreign invaders’ causing an immune response. Gut permeability can lead to an interference of insulin levels, and, in turn, interfere with normal egg and sperm development. The inflammatory response is a frequent cause of PCOS, insulin disruption, menstrual problems and others associated with normal ovulation. Leaky Gut has been linked to IBS, allergies, auto immune conditions and hormonal issues. It is caused by gluten, stress, antibiotics and illness and can be healed through diet, herbs and nutritional supplements - bone broth, L- glutamine, slippery elm, aloe vera, colostrum.

 Minerals are needed as cofactors to assist the conversion of inactive thyroxine T4 to active T3. Without the availability of nutrients due to poor digestion the thyroid cannot participate in successful fertility. Thyroid dysfunction can halt ovulation by upsetting the balance of the body’s natural reproductive hormones. Common problems caused by thyroid dysfunction are anovulation (no ovulation, or release of an egg) and menstrual irregularities. With no egg to fertilize, conception is impossible.

Fertility clinics have reported that 30% of their clients have digestive issues including IBS, Crohns and Colitis while 15% have chronic yeast infections. These conditions begin in the gut and can be reversed with a correction in diet, a rebalancing of the bacterial and yeast populations, healing of the gut barrier and an increase in stomach acid to a pH around 2-3.


 For more information on the gut, healing and its impact on psychology and physiology please go to


deborah pym