In today’s episode of The Whole Circle Podcast we talk to Dr Gabriela Rosa from Natural Fertility Breakthrough.
Who is Gabriela Rosa?
Gabriela Rosa is a world-renowned fertility specialist. She is the Founder and Clinical Director of Natural Fertility Breakthrough – an organisation dedicated to helping couples create healthy babies, despite previous fertility difficulties.
Using her unique F.E.R.T.I.L.E. Method ®, Gabriela and her team of clinicians blend evidence-based science into a holistic, supportive and education-based approach to fertility treatment.
Since 2001 Gabriela and her team have worked to deliver babies to couples who previously struggled with years of infertility and recurrent miscarriage, and to overcome fertility issues – even when multiple other treatments had failed.
Gabriela is an inspiring and motivating presenter, as well as the creator of The #FertilityChallenge – a free, online education and activity series that has empowered 85,000 couples in more than 100 countries worldwide to apply her F.E.R.T.I.L.E. Method ® and to transform their fertility results.
She is the author of 3 (soon to be 4) books on natural fertility solutions including Eat Your Way To Parenthood: The Diet Secrets of Highly Fertile Couples Revealed. She has featured in major media publications including The Daily Telegraph and magazines such as Woman’s Day and New Idea. She has been interviewed on various radio programs in Australia and overseas and is a sought-after commentator on the topics of natural health and fertility.
Gabriela holds a Master of Science in Medicine (Reproductive Health and Human Genetics) from Sydney University, a Bachelor of Health Science and is trained in numerous disciplines including naturopathy, nutrition, herbal medicine, counselling as well as mind-body and energy therapies. She is currently undertaking a clinical research program at Harvard University, Boston to widen her focus on running clinical trials and further research in her area of expertise.
Together with her team, Gabriela works diligently to help couples transform every aspect of their lives to create one healthier family at a time.
How did Gabriela become a fertility specialist?
It was incredibly important for Gabriela, after all her studies, that she wanted to specialise in an area where she could have the greatest impact.
Given that she had a passion for good health and nutrition as well as having worked for a Gynaecologist/Obstetrician whilst studying, the realisation came that she wanted to specialise in fertility. Now, nearly 20 years later, she has managed to impact thousands of people in her incredibly rewarding role.
When you look at the observational data over the last 50 years, it is evident that sperm health has declined and in fact, in the last 50 years, sperm count has dropped by 50%!
The statistical data for populations around the world show that we can see that the rates of infertility haven’t increased necessarily, however people are definitely taking longer to get pregnant than what they used to. They are also having to do more to get pregnant than what they used to by optimising their health in order to optimise their fertility.
People are also becoming more aware of their fertility as well as it is a subject that is more freely talked about than what it used to be.
1 in 6 couples will have complications regarding their fertility!
Unfortunately, in this day and age, we all seem to know someone who is going through fertility challenges. It can be a stressful and heartbreaking time in a person’s life.
Certainly, at this time of year, people get asked the question all the time ‘so when are you having kids?’. Gabriela suggests to not ask that question because you just never know if they are having fertility issues and cannot get pregnant. By asking that question you are just reinforcing what they may be desperately longing for and it can be a painful subject.
What impacts our fertility?
There is so much more now that we are beginning to be aware of and still lots of things that we don’t know about or that we are still unsure about in regard to fertility.
However, we do know that there is a multitude of things that impact fertility and health.
Gabriela likes to explain it with the following analogy:
You need to act pregnant now to get pregnant later. So, if we act like we are all pregnant right now, men included, and we all had babies, then essentially every single one of us would be worrying about the impact of our environment on our unborn child. For example, we see women worrying about whether they can continue with their normal routines of life with things such as waxing, hair dying etc because it may affect their unborn child.
The reality is, it takes about 8 months for the egg to mature and about 4 months for the sperm to fall. So, our health and fertility today are dependent upon what happened over that previous 4-8 months. Therefore, anything that both men and women do leading up to a conception attempt is going to have an impact on the ability to conceive as well as the health of that child.
The obstacles to impact health typically come from those types of things that we know we would stop doing immediately if we were pregnant or that we would avoid for optimum results.
As an aside to this, we know that what may impact one person may not impact another person the same way. This is due to our genetic make-up. For example, one person who may seem to be a picture of health and has never smoked a day in their life may develop lung cancer whereas a person who smokes like a chimney won’t develop lung cancer. Our bodies are predisposed to certain things and like this our bodies can be predisposed to reproductive health issues as well.
Whilst, as stated above, there are many things that impact fertility health, the main things can include:
- Food – A massive issue given all the additives and preservatives that are in food nowadays.
- Chemicals in body care products
- Chemicals in cleaning products
- Radiation from mobile phones, especially when men carry them around in their pockets right near where their sperm is produced.
Typically, we see that people are doing their best to give themselves optimal chances of reproduction, however, they don’t know what they don’t know, so we have to look at the whole picture of someone and figure out what’s impacting their fertility health and go from there.
It’s about teaching people how to change what they can control and how to manage what they can’t control. There may be situations where people have certain occupational hazards that will pose a problem and whilst changing jobs may be the long-term solution, this may not be an option in the short term. So, to counterbalance that, wearing protective gear needs to be the short-term solution. Making sure that what is going on in their daily lifestyle is being optimised in every way possible.
We also need to look at how we can enhance the body’s ability to detoxify, regenerate and recover from these exposures as well as how we can dramatically reduce the body’s exposures in the areas of which we can control.
For example, Gabriela has had 85,000 people complete their fertility challenge which gets them to question what may be in their daily environment that could be impacting their fertility and which they need to remove or make better choices about.
More often than not it’s found that chemical exposures are high on a lot of people’s lists, especially given the work they may be performing. It forces people to look at what changes they can make to have a positive impact on their fertility health and overall health.
Gabriela has set up the Rosa Institute which is aimed at conducting more research around this topic so that they can hopefully provide specific evidence to back up what they already know, in that environmental factors have a huge impact on fertility. From there they can educate the public on the effects.
It will also be about educating our GP’s about the impacts on fertility health so that they are giving out this information to their patients, given the GP is the first stop for most people on their fertility road.
On the other end of this spectrum is big pharmaceutical companies. It doesn’t serve their purpose on the public being educated on how people can positively impact their fertility holistically because it means their multi-billion technologies/drugs are no longer needed.
What can you do to help your fertility?
It’s a given that quitting smoking, not drinking alcohol and eating better are tops of the list of what you can do to assist your chances of conceiving, but here’s what else you can do too:
- Removing toxic chemicals from your life
- Removing additives and preservatives from your diet.
The key thing, as detailed above, to think about is what would I not put on my body, in my body or expose my body to if I was pregnant? This will be your guiding principle!
The other key thing to think about is fertility isn’t just a woman’s issue. Fertility is a team sport! Both men and women need to work on their fertility health.
What most people don’t realise is that at peak fertility, a couple has an average of 3 months to pregnancy. As soon as you start adding in an impediment to optimal fertility, you go from an average of 3 months’ time to pregnancy to an average of 2 years. Add in another impediment and it takes it out further from 2 to 7 years and then add in another impediment and it takes it drastically out further from 7 years to 40 years’ time to pregnancy! And obviously, a woman doesn’t have 40 years’ time to get pregnant.
This is why it’s incredibly important to be very systematic and methodical in the way that they assess a fertility situation because, especially for the types of couples they treat who have tried everything without success, you need to dig deeper into what has been looked at and done before. Therefore nutrition, diet and supplementation, all medically prescribed and not self-prescribed, play a big part.
It’s also important to look at stress, relaxation and the biochemistry of the body in how it communicates from one end to another and what they need to do to optimise all of those areas.
Fertility really is a holistic process and is not just about sperm or egg.
Gabriela feels it such an honour and privilege that she gets to serve her patients to help and guide them into unearthing their best life so that they can achieve the outcome they want to create as a family.
If you want to find out more about the AMAZING Gabriela Rosa then head to her website here where you will also find her free fertility challenge that is run online 4 times per year.
Links and Resources