NaPro is a medical specialty that is definitely getting more time in the spotlight lately. As pregnancy complications and infertility rates rise, it’s no wonder! I first heard of them through someone on Instagram, and I know there are several people who have now heard about them through me. We’ve talked through our fertility journey on a couple different posts. They describe the process and different testing that we went through to find out why we were experiencing infertility. However, for those struggling this summary of my NaPro infertility findings may be the most helpful because it could show you some elements that you may have missed so far.
Low Vitamin D
Did you know that vitamin D plays a crucial part of fertility? I certainly did not. In the height of summer, when I’m outside the most, the tests show that my vitamin D is extremely low. It was shocking to me because I’d spent so much time outside working in the garden. In fact, I felt like I’d spent more time outside that summer than the last couple combined. We started supplementing my vitamin D heavily and it’s something I do constantly now (even in pregnancy).
Years ago I suspected that I had a thyroid issue. I no longer felt like myself and felt exhausted constantly. All of the standard labs- TSH- came back totally normal. Even on this round of testing my TSH wasn’t technically out of range. The problem was, it wasn’t at the ideal level for fertility either. They want your TSH to be at or below 2.5 to make it optimal for fertility.
The marker for Hashimoto’s is TPO antibodies. If these antibodies are in your blood at a level greater than 35, you likely have Hashi’s. Mine was in the 200s which definitely indicated that I had it. Another marker is T4. A low T4 can also help show that it could be Hashimoto’s.
Why is Hashimoto’s Important?
Just want to take a second to explain why Hashimoto’s is important and different than just normal hypothyroid. Hashimoto’s causes hypothyroid but it’s also an autoimmune disorder. That means it causes more inflammation within the body. It’s important to know that because the protocol for treating it is going to be different than a typical hypothyroid case. Both before and during pregnancy they put an emphasis on medicines that would help keep my levels of inflammation lower to try to have a higher success rate.
Majority of people in the fertility world have already heard about progesterone levels and how they impact pregnancy. Did you also know that they can be impactful to fertility too? Low progesterone levels can lead to failed implantation or can impact egg development. Mine was chronically low. It was low before we got pregnant and then it was low the entire time during pregnancy. I’m almost 29 weeks now and still supplementing progesterone! The doctor warned me I will likely be on it the entire time. The purpose switches as the pregnancy progresses but it’s definitely important at every stage. Right now, we are using it to make sure to prevent preterm labor.
This NaPro infertility finding was quite possibly one of the most frustrating. Ureaplasma is a silent infection in your body. You could go your whole life with it and never know. Unless you have infertility. The frustrating part is that it’s hard to get rid of and both you and your partner have to be treated. The NaPro doctors are not your husband’s doctors though, which makes it more complicated. My husband had to convince his doctors that he had to be treated for this infection and they had to be willing to give him the right antibiotic. This was a lot for us because my husband didn’t have a doctor at the time. Finding one to get him in at a reasonable time frame was super difficult.
Then, if you tested positive again, like we did, you had to go through the entire process again. Two rounds of antibiotics later, I finally tested negative right when we found out that we were pregnant.
Protein S Deficiency
This is the most rare and likely the most important diagnosis. Protein S deficiency is nothing like it sounds, it’s actually a blood clotting disorder. Meaning, I have blood that clots easily and could cause clots in the baby’s placenta that would stop the blood flow. To combat this, I am on blood thinners for the entire pregnancy and then for six weeks afterwards as well. From what I understand, it’s very rare and it’s definitely not a common test either. It can be caused by either genetics or by environmental factors. Without knowing what caused it, they also treated my sister for this as well.
It’s important to note that you can’t test for protein S during pregnancy, it won’t produce an accurate result.
In Summary: NaPro Infertility Findings
5 factors. There were 5 pretty simple tests that helped us figure out why we weren’t getting pregnant and why we had 2 miscarriages. Yes, I had all of the standard testing done after our second miscarriage. In fact, I even had the tissue testing done on the baby to try to find out what could have gone wrong. For nearly 2 years, we found zero answers. I tried oils, foods, supplements, books, etc. I researched constantly. Yet, I continued to get zero answers.
Everyone on the internet means well. They want their fertility tea to work and, in some cases, I truly believe that it does. However, don’t be afraid to see external help too. I would not be where I am today without these doctors and without these NaPro infertility findings.