I love my job and feel very fortunate to work with fertility. I talk about fertility all the time. I talk about it with my friends. I talk about it with my family. I even talk about it on dates and recall drawing the internal reproductive system on a bar napkin once. What really amazes me is that everyone seems to have an opinion on it. Pre-covid, two retired gentlemen at a restaurant even had questions and insights about infertility. Maybe it touches everyone’s lives now. (remember the Handmaid’s Tale). Regardless of where I am, it does seem to come up in conversation. So, if you ever get stuck next to me at the dinner table, and decided to ask about fertility here is some basic questions and advice I might share:
When trying to achieve pregnancy you’re the top things to ask yourself:
Do you ovulate? When?
Females only actually ovulate one day a month a normal cycle. If you’re having sex on the wrong days conception will not happen. This can be done by tracking your body temperature, using an ovulation predictor kit, or even a new ovulation tracking bracelet, called, Ava. I want to try it next.
Are you eating green stuff and drinking fresh spring water while avoiding pesticides?
Mother nature has the best plan for increasing fertility. Trust that the foods that we are given in nature are exactly what we need. Animals eat little buds off the branches because they are full of phytonutrients which our body’s cells need. Are we getting those same nutrients? They’re certainly not in this coffee I’m holding right now.
Are you using nutritional supplements actually bioavailable to your body?
The truth is we are probably not going to get everything we need in our diet in a short amount of time if we want to increase our fertility. Proper nutritional supplementation is the quickest, most proven way to do this. Choose whole food or liposomal products so you’re not wasting your dollars and pills you’re not even absorbing. You can even get your vitamin levels checked with lab testing if you’re concerned about what is lacking.
Are you enjoying caffeine, alcohol, and sugar you take in on a daily basis?
We all know these items are not really good for us. Over time, excess of these indulgences will definitely decrease your fertility. Everything in healthy moderation ladies. Enjoy these items in their more natural, organic, and pesticide free whenever you can.
Are you smoking cigarettes and marijuana?
The substances have a profound negative effect on female follicles and male sperm cells, particularly if one has been using these substances over a period of time. So if you just have a few, on the weekends, or after the bar but just with your friends I can guarantee it is not helping. Cutting back and quitting these will help give your cells the oxygen they so desperately need to create new life.
How much stress is actually in your life?
I didn’t ask how much stress you can handle. That’s a different question. When we have high amounts of stress we produce cortisol. When we produce the hormone cortisol it is absorbed by our sex cells instead of our proper sex hormones. This decreases fertility. So when push comes to shove, we have to take a good hard look at how much daily stress you really endure on a biochemical level, and how this is affecting your sex hormones. Counteracting the ill effects of stress is hugely important.
Is your life as balanced as you would like it to be? Are you happy the way it is?
Make sure your life is indeed balanced. In cultures where they make time to laugh, worship, relax, spend time outdoors, and get plenty of sleep fertility is not an issue. It is only a problem in our modern, industrialized society. Are you getting everything you need in your current life?
Are you getting all the right tests performed with your doctors?
There are more reasons you may not be getting pregnant than you may even be aware of. Of course it’s a good idea to check for possible blocked tubes or see if hormone levels that are in normal range. This is a standard in any physicians office. However, if you have unexplained infertility then it may be time to re-think that term. I believe there is no such thing as unexplained infertility. You just have not found the reason yet. There are many more tests to check for the hidden culprits of infertility.
Have you found the right doctor?
Does your Ob/Gyn doctor or nurse listen to you? Does your IVF doctor have optimism or enthusiasm? Do you fully trust them with your genetic material and future child? Have you met more than one IVF doctor? You test drive more than one car before you . You purchase it, right? You also went on more than one date before you married. IVFand IUI’s are expensive. Do your research before you buy. I havehad the luxury of meeting with many doctors over the years. Believe me, they are all unique and practice differently. I certainly did not choose the one I met in the beginning of my career.
Be patient with yourself, your partner, and nature.
If you spent 20 years training your body not to get pregnant then do not expect your body to get untrained overnight. Mother nature wants us to have children and for life to continue on this planet. Fertility is on your side. When the body is ready to conceive and bear a child it will do so. All we need to do is to get your body ready for what it naturally wants to do (procreate), and do it in a healthy manor.
Finally, Get an advocate or sounding board.
Throughout history women have always stuck together through onset of menses, pregnancy, fertility ceremonies, childbirth, and childrearing. Only recently have we decided to do it alone as an independent nuclear family unit. Women need and deserve support from other women. Not a “negative nelly” that perpetuates and complicates the problem. Look for positive, open minded, pro-active people to help you get you through this.
Ladies, we are changing history. For thousands of years we have been having children early in life and continuing until we are middle aged. Now, we are often waiting until we are a little older. This is ok. This is how evolution happens. So, if your body needs a little extra help through acupuncture, herbs, detoxes, supplements, hormone testing, medical intervention, massage, meditation, prayer, hypnosis…or whatever it may be, well…that’s okay with us. Use these basic tips to know that you are indeed doing the right actions to increase your fertility. Follow your gut intuition, and feel free to contact our office for a more in depth consultation.
lots of love,
convalesce (per Merrium-Webster)
con·va·lesce | \ ˌkän-və-ˈles \
Definition of convalesce
: to recover health and strength gradually after sickness or weakness. He is convalescing from influenza.
The art of convalescing…what is that really? Does it paint a picture in your head of Victorian women, pale and sickly, in their beds? Or perhaps soldiers wrapped in bandages, unconscious in their hospital ward with nurses attending to their many needs? I tell you what it does not paint. It does not paint anything I’ve practiced with ease in this lifetime. I am assuming not you either. Let us backtrack.
I was born prematurely by three months. I assume I used all my coupons for convalescing the first few months in the incubator, because since then life, the world, my parents, school systems, and work rarely granted me permission to slow down.
I am now a grown woman and cannot point my fingers at anyone. It is all on me. I hate telling people no. I will work often always grateful for the opportunity. Admittedly, I foolishly have gone to the doctor to have a “nodule” removed (totally cancer btw), and promptly returning two hours later; white as a ghost, almost fainting in the hallway. I have literally had two surgeries where I put myself back on the work two days later, sore, peaked and fatigued. A third surgery went all wrong. I found myself incapacitated for several months. These months later turned into over a year with subsequent chemo/ immune therapy treatments. The treatments were rough and made me quite ill. My well-trained brain allotted myself that one single day to be sick. Again, foolish. I felt the need to be productive. I’ve certainly should have been cleaning, organizing, taking online classes, trying to work or something?!? I think I failed at every attempt at all these things listed above. I could do nothing well or safely. At the time, I had a remarkable oncology social worker, Dr. Sheridan. She who gave me permission to stay home and watch TV or sleep. I barely listened. I could not I could not accept this fate. This is the statement that finally resonated with me. “Lorri, unfortunately, we do not live in a society that values the sick or elderly.” She proceeded to tell me I needed this time to heal. It would be a good year after finishing treatment before I felt better, and this disease and treatment does not discriminate. Even a top neurosurgeon would be pigeonholed into the sick and or elderly category during cancer treatments. I was shocked. We, the previously busy and successful, were the modern convalescents.
” Lorri, unfortunately, we do not live in a society that values the sick or elderly.”-Dr. Sheridan
This shaming of convalescents is not exclusive to the chronically ill. I have had friends break a limb, patients returned to work weeks after having a baby, a family member retire, a cousin that sleeps a lot, and people that grieve the loss of a loved one. What is the message? It is always, “Get out there and get busy!”
I am not proposing laziness, because that would be counter-intuitive to my Midwest hard-working All-American upbringing… but jeez let us rest! Is there really any shame in that? My European friends seem to be better accustomed to relaxing and taking “down time.” Also, so does my dog and cat. Those two are collectively awake less than four hours a day and are not stressed about it.
So let us look at the present times. Now, it is not only our loved ones battling illness or disease needing to rest. Like a lightning bolt, Covid-19 struck us down. Globally, we are being forced to convalesce collectively on a multitude of levels we have never endured before. We are forced to sit and be. I do not know what your experience has been, but I know closing in my office was not an easy decision. However, I was going to be alright because I was going to: clean my house, clean my car, organize my paperwork, design a new website, paint ten paintings, learn a language, learn to play piano, create a garden, get amazing abs and possibly learn salsa alone at home. The joke was on me. Four days into social distancing I fell off a ladder and hurt my back. I, once again, (thank you God and Universe) am convalescing. But then again, aren’t we all?
We have all been home long enough to spend some time with ourselves and possibly with others. It is true. I have done some my chores as you probably have also. The truth is, I rested my back, I decompressed, I thought to myself and others, I have reached out to people I’ve meant to do for months if not years, I’m getting to know my neighbors and fellow dog walkers, I’m picking fruit from neighbor’s trees, cooking, sleeping…and reading all of my own pace (which happens to be slow.) So, through years of great illnesses and injuries, through societal expectations and economic needs, I never let myself truly convalesce. Now, through the threat of a global pandemic, I am finally convalescing; physically mentally and spiritually. I cannot imagine this is an easy for anybody out there. Our lives have changed rapidly, but I sincerely hope you have taken the time to nurture yourself. Convalesce the ills of the modern world and get back to who you were before this crazy life got a hold of you.
This too shall pass, and we will all the back to our somewhat normal lives. So please take this time to care for yourself, your family, your needs, and your dreams. May you wrap up in a blanket, bask in the sun or pull out that favorite album that you have not listened to in years. Whatever it takes, take advantage of this rare time in history to properly practice the art of convalescing. sincerely, Dr.Lorri
Stress, Anxiety, and that Endless Chatter Inside of our Brains-A Discussion with Dr. Liz and Dr. Lorri
“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics”.-Albert Einstein
Lately it seems like the subject of words and how we use them has shown up repeatedly in my life. Throughout the past several years I read many books related to the subject. For example; books about water molecules and words, Books like “The Secret” or “You’re a Badass” or anything by Tolle. Recently, I watch Ted Talks on the power of words. My own mentor continues to advise me to be mindful of spelling and my choice of words, and a good friend asked me if I would “talk to a stranger the way I talked my own self inside of my head?” Hmmm. The chatter inside my own brain isn’t always so positive. Interesting, right?