During my 15 years of experience helping patients overcome fertility challenges, I have found four key factors to be critically important to achieving a successful pregnancy. I am honored to share these factors with you here:
1. Functional Medicine and Nutrition is a way of getting to the ‘root-cause’ of any health issue. Functional endocrinology lab tests are used to assess a number of different fundamental body systems and how efficiently or inefficiently they are performing. If problems in these areas are left unchecked, the body remains vulnerable to fertility challenges.
Important for both males and females, these tests enable me to evaluate key areas of health to focus on for quick gains and symptom improvement — all the while getting to work on the root cause of the problem. Through testing we gain information on thyroid function, liver and digestive health, vitamin and mineral levels, and more. For example, testing might reveal that you lack sufficient stomach acid to break down food correctly, or are deficient in b-vitamins due to stress and overworked adrenal glands. These problems can be addressed with supplements. The goal is fine tuning the symphony that is our bodies, allowing it to play perfectly and beautifully with everything is working as it should.
Functional medicine will also show if the body is not properly hydrated or receiving enough good fats. Nutritional adjustments would then be in order because proper nutrients are essential for both mother and future baby. Together we strive towards healthier dietary decisions. Do you really need all those biscuits with your tea? I know I have been naughty with those at times. Just do your best! Learn more about Functional Medicine.
Nutritional Options: No soy whatsoever. Eat sweet potato, protein bars and shakes daily, green veggies – any and all you can get your hands on – both cooked and raw, spirulina, chlorophyll, bone broth, good fats like avocado and coconut oil. Do not allow fluctuations in your blood sugar and snack on something healthy every few hours. Avoid GMO’s, artificial sweeteners, food coloring and minimize pastas and carbohydrates.
2. Bio-identical Hormone Replacement / Optimization. Hormonal balance is so important for conception to occur and for pregnancy to be maintained yet many women are frighteningly low in essential hormones. Hormone testing can determine if ovulation is occurring and, in certain instances, egg health and ovarian function. It can also reveal what is causing a decrease in sex drive and some options for treatment. Remember, if at all possible, you want to use these hormones in their bio-identical state rather than in synthetic form. This is for effective results and minimal side effects. Learn more about BHRT.
There are even some safer ways to balance hormones without actually using hormones. Without actual hormone replacement, ‘adaptogens’, via effective supplementation, help push the body to produce and convert hormones on its own. Making your endocrine and immune systems work with adaptogens, rather than just feeding it bio-identical hormones directly, is a type of metabolic exercise that will ultimately strengthen your body.
3. Restoration of reproductive organ blood flow through proper positioning is something I can’t stress strongly enough as it substantially increases the chance of pregnancy. Mercier therapy (visceral manipulation of the reproductive organs) is a fantastic technique for this. I saw profound changes in my patients the first day we used Mercier therapy in my office. If you are not in the Huntington area, please find a therapist in your local area versed in this important technique for pelvic floor work. If this is not something you can find, please research using castor oil packs, stretching, yoga, and magnesium bathing. These are wonderful at-home techniques that can help improve reproductive organ blood flow and reduce pregnancy-inhibiting inflammation. Learn more about Mercier Therapy.
Additional ideas to improve reproductive organ health: Try Castor Oil Packing, 2-3 times per week, when you can. Don’t be hard on yourself but do all you can to get healthy and increase the blood flowing through your body. Remember though, overdoing it isn’t necessary. A brisk walk is better than a hard run any day. Please avoid aggressive exercise regimes like weight lifting, barre and CrossFit until 12 or so months after your delivery. Learn more about how to apply castor oil packs.
4. Stress Management. Please take some time for you! The strong correlation between stress and infertility cannot be ignored. Many families facing these challenges feel broken like something is wrong with them. You are not defective! Do what you can, maximize your potential, relax, breathe, and let go. There are so many things in this life we can’t control. Maybe you will get pregnant, maybe you don’t – but I can assure you the more you worry, the harder it will be for you to conceive. Eat healthy, chill and meditate, and allow your body to store some desperately needed resources. This is for your health too, not just the little one that hasn’t arrived yet. Worst case in all this, is you will feel better for having done what you could to heal your body. Best case – we grow your family. It’s a win-win situation. Learn more about what our Stress Relief Treatments include.
Stress Management Ideas
- Essential Oil Options: Lavender, Calendula, Clary Sage, Germanium. Essential Oils are wonderful for relaxation and many of them taste great as additives to your water. When buying, make certain they are organic and you must get the edible oils which can be consumed. Learn more about essential oils for fertility and progesterone production.
- Take Epsom salt baths, use flotation tanks, relax at the beach, take a trek in the mountains, pray, and meditate for optimal health and wellness. If an official prescription could be written for those items, you can bet your bottom dollar I would write them for you and your expedited healing. Please take this seriously and consider any modalities which will help you relax (e.g. breathing exercises).
- Use Rescue Remedy from Bach Flower or consider taking their Bach Flower Questionnaire online to find out which remedies best suit your emotional and physical needs.
What Are Some Common Obstacles to Conception?
These can be so varied and extensive from digestion, anemia, thyroid issues, compromised immune system, vitamin deficiencies, physical and structural problems like adhesions, to blocked tubes and scar tissue. With that said, it is so important to find a practitioner who fits your needs, addresses your concerns holistically, and is capable of addressing all of your health priorities. If your provider shuts you down, doesn’t listen, or is reluctant to answer your questions, find one who will! There are lots of great healers in the world whose purpose in life is to serve you.
To wrap it up, functional medicine and hormone testing are ‘root cause analysis’ techniques to educate us on how your body is performing and identify gaps, so we can bring your body back to its optimal and fertile homeostasis. Thanks to modern medicine and readily available laboratories, these tests can most likely be completed in your area. And do not discount the power of body work to ensure the reproductive organs are properly positioned and receiving the essential blood flow they need to function properly. And, never forget to manage your stress. Good luck on your journey of health, healing and growing your family.