Infertility is when a couple is unable to conceive after 1 year of unprotected intercourse OR in 6 months if the women is over 35 years old.

Globally, the rates of infertility have been increasing for both men and women. 

If you are a healthy female in your 20s or early 30s, the chances of conceiving each month is 25–30%. But by the time you reach 40 years old, the chances are 10% or less.

Our biological clocks are real so it's important for younger women to plan ahead and prepare their bodies if wanting to conceive successfully in the future.

Unlike the younger age group (with flexibility in their efforts) older women should NOT wait.  It is critical that women over 35 years old focus on developing a healthy diet and lifestyle targeted at normal ovulatory cycles, healthy reproductive cells, tissue and fluids and a nutritional status that will properly nourish the baby and mother during and after pregnancy.


Leading Causes of Infertility

Who is at Risk for Infertility?




Women over 35 years old are considered advanced maternal age.  They have about 6% of their 1-2 million eggs (at birth) remaining.  Egg quality also declines with age:


At age 20, 20% of eggs are abnormal          

At age 40, 80% of eggs are abnormal


Irregular or abnormal ovulation accounts for 25% of female infertility. Causes of this are many and include polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), high stress, elevated prolactin, thyroid dysfunction, premature ovarian failure or low ovarian reserves. 


Healthy weight is important and 12% of infertility problems can be related to women who weigh too much OR too little.  The right amount of body fat is necessary for the body to process hormones needed to ovulate.  Obesity can also contribute to pituitary dysregulation which is important for healthy follicular growth and stimulation.



Conventional Treatment of Infertility

Many people are aware of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) where a women’s eggs are surgically removed from her ovaries, fertilized in a petri dish with the sperm and surgically replanted into the woman’s endometrium. 



The average cost of one treatment is about $12,000 and does not usually include the medications required for Step 1.  If the first attempt is unsuccessful, you can see how expensive having a baby can become.

For many women, especially those with advanced maternal age and low ovarian reserves, it may be the only option. For others however, there are several interventions that can be implemented before having to resort to IVF therapy. 

Many of these same treatments used in a Functional Medicine Approach to Infertility can help a woman maintain her healthy pregnancy even when using IVF therapy.

What can be done to improve your chances of a successful pregnancy?

The most important thing to understand is WHY you are having problems conceiving.  This will allow us to create targeted therapies to address your bodies unique imbalances, deficiencies and infertility related factors.

Is there too much stress in my life?

Is my sleeping poor?

Am I not eating enough nutrient dense foods?

Do I have blood sugar imbalances or PCOS?

Have all of the anatomical factors been ruled out by my gynecologist (endometriosis, pelvic adhesions, etc)?

Has my sperm been analyzed to make sure they are healthy, mobile and in sufficient enough quantities?

Is my weight too little or too much?

Am I exposing myself to elevated levels of pesticides or environmental toxicants?

Could my alcohol or caffeine intake be playing a role?

Is my pelvic pain a factor in infertility?

My doctor said I had an “unhealthy microbiome” Is this is a problem?


There are many Dietary and Lifestyle Factors that can impact fertility and should be addressed no matter what the underlying physiologic causes are.


Dietary for Men to Improve Sperm Health





Eat organic to lower pesticides

Healthy fatty acid intake

Avoid processed meals and fried foods


High Fiber in diet

High anti oxidant foods (fruits and veggies)



Lifestyle for Men to Improve Sperm Health





Proper coping strategies for stress management

Avoid Cell phones in pockets and lower EMF exposures

Avoid daily alcohol intake


Avoid daily soft drink intake

Avoid hot spas

Avoid tight underwear



Dietary for Women





Eat organic to lower pesticides

Healthy fatty acid intake

Avoid processed meats and fried foods


High Fiber in diet

High anti oxidant foods (fruits and veggies)

Eat Magnesium rich foods


Eat complex carbohydrates (vs. simple) and avoid excess sugar

Lower overall inflammation with low gluten and dairy and add green tea



Lifestyle for Women





Proper coping strategies for stress management

Daily physical activity but avoid overtraining

Avoid pesticides


Maintain a healthy weight

Avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals

Avoid tobacco and illicit drugs



A Functional Medicine Approach to Infertility

Dr. Denia Tapscott will look at the total picture of your health and use a step-by-step approach to optimize your chances of conception.



No matter what step you are on, let's work together to have a healthy pregnancy, healthy baby and full recovery!

CALL 202-237-7000 or click to  Request an Appointment with Dr. Tapscott.