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,
Recently, I had the pleasure of catching up with a friend from college. She explained to me that last year she was attempting to have a child on her own. She was explaining this to her brother, when he replied, “In this day and age, why would you do that on your own?” Perhaps he had good intentions, however, I could not help feel insulted for her. My question is, “In this day and age, why would she not do that on her own?”
In recent years, as many of my girlfriends hover in their late 30s to late 40s, I’ve had a handful that have decided to do parenthood on their own. I commend them. No more waiting or wishing for Mr. Right, no more hoping for Prince Charming or a knight in shining armor, no more sacrificing what they really desire for the sake of making another happy. They became a parent on their own, alone, and consciously.
Don’t get me wrong. A fantastic partner would have been ideal. Nobody can deny the fact that it takes a village let alone another human being to help raise a child. However, that opportunity never presented itself to these women at the right place, time, or situation. So, like strong women do in many situations, they decided to go it alone.
Going It Alone.
Grief and loss are accepted in our society when it concerns the death of a loved one. In my opinion the loss of miscarriage is better understood and accepted than it ever was before. However, there is an undeniable grief that occurs when having a child does not happen naturally… or unnaturally for that matter.
I equate this feeling like telling a diabetic they can’t have sweet dessert or a smoker they must quit smoking cigarettes. However the pain is deeper, much deeper. It’s like having your heart set on something, and then having someone say, “just kidding” or “never mind.”
The difficult part of this is the grief is not observable to the laypersons eye. “How could you possibly miss something you never had?” others may ask. However, I disagree with this lack of sentiment. To have this kind of undeniable grief means this longing may have there all along. There comes a certain part in your life when it’s beyond the status quo. This point your life for you really want to show and give your love to something, anything, and hope that it will love you back. The most innate form of this would be a child.