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Category: Age Related Infertility (Page 1 of 3)

Natural Fertility Consultation? Why You Should Consider One!

Natural Fertility Consultation with a Natural Fertility Specialist

Consider the benefits of booking a Natural Fertility Consultation today!

Are you feeling like you have no idea where to begin; feel you need to make changes in your life to improve your fertility?  Maybe you have made some natural fertility changes, but are wondering if supplements or herb choices are right for you.  A Natural Fertility Consultation is the cornerstone of your Natural Fertility Program.  Our goal is to help you achieve a healthy, fertile body.

Our Natural Fertility Consultation will provide you with a road map to the best natural therapies, herbs, supplements protocols for your unique fertility needs.  Are you wanting to prepare for your upcoming IVF, or wanting to boost your overall fertility in preparation for pregnancy or desiring to learn how to support uterine, ovarian or fallopian tube health?  Maybe you would like learn more about charting your cycle and how your cycle affects your fertility.  If so, our Natural Fertility Consultation can help.

What Our Natural Fertility Consultations Provide for You –

  • Personalized holistic healing approach to your fertility needs
  • Information on the best dietary, exercise, natural therapies, herbs, supplements and stress reduction techniques for your fertility needs
  • Help to identify areas in your life that may be negatively impacting your fertility with information on what can be done to positively change those areas to create optimal fertility in preparation for pregnancy.
  • Support and direction on fertility testing and how to communicate with your healthcare provider so you can make the most informed decisions about your health.
  • Programs to get you pregnant!

Our Fertility Consultations Are Offered in Three Formats

  • Video or Skype – you will receive a written guide after we have gathered information
  • Phone Consultation (U.S. only) – you will receive a written guide after your scheduled for a 30-50 minute phone consult
  • In-Person Consultation – you will receive your guide after we have met and gone over all of your information

What to Expect When Booking a Natural Fertility Consultation

  1. After filling out the form below, you will be brought to the scheduling page where you can schedule your consultation.
  2. You will be forwarded an intake form that we will use when we meet.
  3. We will meet via the way that works best for you.
  4. After we meet, you will be forwarded the road map we have talked about with specific guidelines for your goals and health needs.
  5. You will have the opportunity to do a more in-depth follow and programming so you can have more support after our consult.

No Need to Wait any Longer – Start Your Natural Fertility Program Today

Book your consultation below!  We look forward to hearing from you and helping you to develop a plan for optimizing your fertility and on your way to a healthy, happy pregnancy!

Top 5 Ingredients For Your Fertility Smoothie!

Looking for a way to boost your fertility naturally?  One of the top 10 fertility boosters is an easy to make Fertility Smoothie.  No matter if you are just beginning to learn about a Fertility Diet or if you have eaten a healthy, whole food diet for years, consider making a Fertility Smoothie part of your daily routine.  They are a fun, delicious way to consume a huge amount of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omegas and fiber in an easy to digest form.

what makes a smoothie a fertility smoothie?

The bulk of the smoothie should come from raw, fresh whole fruits and vegetables (frozen works also) with a nutritious liquid added to them to achieve the perfect consistency.  To turn your smoothie into a fertility smoothie, add superfoods known to boost fertility, along with protein and healthy fats to make the smoothie a  balanced meal.

Top 5 Ingredients to Create a Fertility Smoothie

There are five ingredients that can turn your typical smoothie into a fertility boosting powerhouse by increasing the nutritional value.

  1. Fruits and Vegetables:  Because they are packed with vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and fiber, fruits and vegetables are essential to healthy fertility.  Any raw fruit would do.  Popular fruits are berries, mangoes, peaches, apricots, pineapples and bananas.  As for vegetables, add a big handful of dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, or try adding pureed carrot, sweet potato or squash.  Another way to “eat your veggies” could be through just two teaspoons a greens powder.  These greens powders contains mixtures of dried powdered leafy greens, wheat grass, spirulina, barley grass, with the added bonus of nourishing herbs.  Look for an organic brand.
  2. Nourishing Liquids:  Some liquid, about 1 cup, is necessary to make a smoothie the perfect consistency.  Try fresh squeezed orange juice, coconut water, or a nut milk such as almond or cashew, even hemp, oat or flax milk are good choices.  (for dairy alternatives, fill out the form below and receive a copy of our Your Nutritional Guide to Healthy Fertility.  It includes dairy alternative recipes, smoothie recipes, tips for success, meal planners and a fertility food checklist and lots of other great info-and it’s free!)
  3. Protein:  Men need to consume 52 grams of protein daily and women need at least 46 grams of protein every day.  That number increases greatly for women in pregnancy (80-90 grams a day).  Protein added to a fertility smoothie can support balanced blood sugar levels and sustained energy levels.   Great sources of protein are whey, nut and seed butters and spirulina.  The blue-green algae spirulina is considered the highest quality plant protein available.  It also provides a number of vitamins and minerals.  FertilWhey protein powder is another excellent choice because it is derived from grass-fed cow’s milk, and is minimally processed.  This means the whey in FertilWhey maintainsthe full range of fragile immune-modulating components naturally found in fresh, raw milk.  Just one scoop contains 16 grams of protein, helping you to meet your daily protein requirements.
  4.  Good Fats & Omega 3’s:  Healthy fats support proper immune system function and a healthy inflammation response.  Fat is also essential in helping the body manufacture hormones.  Try canned organic coconut milk (full fat) or refined organic coconut oil, avocado, organic raw full fat dairy (milk, yogurt, kefir) and hemp, chia or flax seeds.     Fertility Boosting Facts:  Hemp, Chia and Flax seeds are excellent sources of fiber, protein and maybe most importantly omega-3 essential fatty acids.  Omega-3s help the body regulate hormones and inflammatory response, increase cervical mucous production, promote ovulation and increase circulation to the reproductive organs.
  5.   Fertility Superfoods:  Superfoods should be a part of every couple’s fertility diet to help bridge the gap for proper nutrition, nourish the egg and the sperm and help to balance hormones.  An easy way to get fertility superfoods into your diet daily is to drink fertility smoothies.

Our Favorite Fertility Superfoods:

  • Maca contains a variety of micro-nutrients.  It is considered foundational for improving hormonal balance, energy levels, and libido.  It is extremely useful for those experiencing high stress levels.
  • Royal Jelly has a superior nutrition profile containing amino acids, lipids, vitamins, sugars, proteins, fatty acids, iron,  calcium and Acetylcholine (which transmits nerve impulses from cell to cell).  It is beneficial for men and women with a hormonal imbalance of any kind.  Because of its high nutritional content we use it as part of our protocol to improve sperm and egg health and to encourage healthy endocrine and immune system function.
  • Wheatgrass is one of 5 Fertility Superfoods because it aids the body’s natural detoxification processes and purifies the blood.

Fertility Smoothies – best way to prepare for a healthy pregnancy!  This is a great fast fertility food and you will probably end up craving!    Get your copy of Your Nutritional Guide to Healthy Fertility by filling out the form below.  It includes recipes and many nutritional guidance and meal planners, snack recipes a fertility food checklist.

guiding you on the path to creating fertile ground for your  baby’s first home and empowering women. . .one birth at a time

 

All Things Progesterone!

Progesterone Fertility Guide

article overview
  • How Progesterone Works
  • Progesterone Deficient?
  • Hormone Testing
  • Support Progesterone Levels
  • How to Use Progesterone Cream
  • Progesterone & Miscarriage
  • Progesterone & PCOS
  • Progesterone & Endometriosis
  • Progesterone During Pregnancy
  • Summary

Hormonal balance is an important factor when it comes to healthy fertility and getting pregnant as well as feeling balanced overall.  During the course of a menstrual cycle various hormones are working together in a complex symphony to trigger the various components of ovulation and menstruation.

Progesterone is one of these key hormones.  After ovulation, progesterone production is triggered by Luteinizing Hormone (LH) which stimulates the corpus luteum (remanant egg sac) in the ovary to produce progesterone.

One of the main actions of progesterone with fertility is to help support a developing embryo

If pregnancy occurs, the production of progesterone from the corpus luteum continues for about 7 weeks (it is then produced by the placenta for the duration of the pregnancy.  If pregnancy did not occur, the period begins 14 days after ovulation.  When fertilization does not occur the corpus luteum disintegrates, which causes the level of progesterone to fall and the endometrial tissue to disintegrate and shed as menstruation.

What Does Progesterone Do?

  • Maintains the lining of the uterus which makes it possible for a fertilized egg to attach and survive
  • Makes cervical mucous accessible by sperm
  • Allows the embryo to survive
  • Prevents immune rejection of the developing baby
  • Allows for full development of the fetus through pregnancy
  • Helps the body use fat for energy during pregnancy
  • Prevents secondary sexual development
  • Increases libido around ovulation
  • Activates osteoblasts to increase new bone formation
  • Protects against endometrial, breast, ovarian and prostrate cancer
  • Normalizes blood clotting

Are Your Progesterone Deficient or Estrogen Dominate?

Too much estrogen in the body

One of the main reasons women are progesterone deficient is because they have too much estrogen in the body.  Estrogen dominance can happen for many reasons:

  • Commercially raised meats and dairy contain large amounts of estrogens, and consuming them can cause hormonal imbalance
  • Pollution and stress mimic estrogen at the estrogen receptor sites.
  • Eating a large amount of processed soy products can also mimic estrogen.
  • PCOS and endometriosis can also have an estrogen dominate action.
Not enough progesterone in the body

There are many signs that may show up in the body if you do not have enough progesterone in your system during the correct times of your cycle.

You can use this checklist as a guide for determining estrogen dominance or progesterone deficiency.

Hormone Testing

There are a couple of test options.  Tests range from charting your menstrual and basal body temperature, finding out the length of your luteal phase taking a saliva or blood test to find out your progesterone levels.  The questionnaire above will help to point out signs of progesterone deficiency while tests help to confirm it.

BBT Charting

Basil Body Temperature charting can help to determine the availability of progesterone in the luteal phase.  There will be a slight rise in temperature after ovulation has occurred and progesterone has increased.

Length of luteal phase

If the date of ovulation is fewer than 11 days before your period, this could suggest luteal phase defects.  You can detect ovulation using BBT charting, OPK strips.

Saliva testing

Saliva tests are better for testing progesterone and estrogen levels.  You can order an “at home” saliva test that you will take at a certain time during your cycle and then send away to a lab for analysis.  They will mail you back the results so you can find out if you have any hormonal imbalances.

You can find more info on hormone testing here!

Contact us if you would like some help determining which tests to do and with help for deciphering your results and how to correct any imbalance.

How to Support Progesterone Levels

Reduce your exposure to xenohormones

We have become an estrogen dominate society from all the excess estrogen in our foods and environment.

Reduce your exposure by avoiding these xenohormone producers:

  • Solvents and adhesives
  • Meat from conventionally raised livestock (non-organic)
  • Car exhaust
  • Almost all plastics
  • Petochemically derived pesticides, herbicides and fungicides
  • Emulsifiers found in soaps and cosmetics

Go here for more help with reducing toxins in every day living.

Vitex for hormonal balance

Vitex is one of the most powerful herbs for women’s fertility and menstrual health.  Vitex supports hormonal balance in the body by having an effect on the hypothalamic-pitituitary-ovarian axis (hormonal feedback loop), correcting the problem at the source.

Directions for use:

Capsules:  1,000 mg a day – take vitex all month except during menstruation

Vitex works slowly to normalize the body.  Maximum benefits are often achieved after 6-12 cycles with vitex.

Use Natural Progesterone Cream

Natural progesterone cream can help to supplement your body’s own progesterone levels and lead you back to a state of natural balance.

Natural progesterone cream comes from plant fats and oils called diosgenin which is extracted either from Mexican Wild Yams or soybeans.

How to Use Progesterone Cream

Application through the skin has been found to be one of the most effective ways to use natural progesterone.  It is absorbed through the skin into the underlying fat which helps to slowly allow progesterone into the blood.  This way of application helps the progesterone to be “time released” into the blood stream.  To mimic the body’s progesterone cycle, it is best to use progesterone cream twice a day.

The best areas for application are places that have capillary blood flow such as:

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Upper Chest
  • Breasts
  • Inner arms
  • Palms of hands and feet

When it comes to dosage, more is not better.  Too much progesterone can  cause hormonal imbalances, just like too little can.  General suggested dosage is 15-30 mg during the two weeks before your period.

Begin using progesterone directly after ovulation which is usually day 12 – 14 in our cycles and ending usage once menstruation begins.  Once you become pregnant, stay on the progesterone and contact your healthcare provider.

loading dose

A loading dose is useful for women who have had many months or years of anovulatory (no ovulation) cycles, which can create extreme progesterone deficiency.  Each cycle that passes without ovulation can increase estrogen dominance as progsterone stores are depleted.  Very thin women who have little body fat can become estrogen dominant very easily s there is not fat to store extra progesterone.  In either of these situations, use a higher dose of progesterone the first one to two months of progesterone cream use.  This helps to replenish the progesterone stored in the fat of the body.  After 2-3 months the dose can be lowered to the usual dosage.

Loading dose:  1/4 tsp twice a day (40mg a day) for two weeks before to your period

Regular dose:  1/8 tsp twice a day (20mg a day) for two weeks before your period

inducing ovulation using progesterone

Use natural progesterone from days 5 – to 26 in the cycle (stopping on day 26 to bring on menstruation).

Using the progesterone prior to ovulation effectively suppressed ovulation.  After a few months of this, stop progesterone use.  If you still have follicles left, they seem to respond to a few months of suppression with the successful maturation and release of an egg.

Preventing miscarriage and progesterone

Low progesterone during pregnancy can be one cause of recurrent miscarriages.  Progesterone is responsible for creating a healthy environment in the womb by maintaining the uterine lining.  It also reduces the chances of blood clots ad the immune system responding to the fetus as if it was a foreign substance.  Progesterone is one of the main pregnancy hormones

Progesterone and PCOS

Progesterone cream can help to oppose the estrogen dominance that occurs with PCOS.  By using progesterone cream you are able to mimic a natural cycle and help the body to establish its own cycle, including ovulating again.  With progesterone cream, changes in diet and exercise, PCOS could become obsolete.

There are two ways to use progesterone cream for PCOS.  The first is the suppression cycle.  To suppress the cycle one would use progesterone cream on cycle days 7-26.  If you do not have a menstrual cycle you would choose a date on your calendar and mark it as day 7.  Suppressing the cycle allows the body to rest by stopping the cycle of eggs not being released and estrogen/androgen dominance.  Use 60-100mg of progesterone cream a day during the suppression cycle and repeat this for 3-4 months for best results.

establish a cycle with progesterone cream

To help your body create a cycle including menstruation and ovulation, use progesterone cream on day 12 of your cycle and continue until day 26.  By stopping on day 26 your progesterone levels will drop, helping to start your menstrual cycle.  If your cycle does not start, just treat your cycle like you are having one and start again on day 12.  It is best to use a calendar so you can keep track of everything.  After 3 or so months it is suggested to take a break for 1 month so you can see if yur cycle has jump started itself.

Progesterone and endometriosis

If you have endometriosis, use progesterone from days 8-26 of your cycle to reduce the effects of estrogen on the body (estrogen stimulates endometrial growth).  Take a short week off to refresh your receptor sites.  Once the outbreaks of endometriosis are tolerable reduce the usage to days 12 till menstrual cycle.

Progesterone use during pregnancy

Natural progesterone is safe to use during pregnancy with the consent of your doctor or midwife and may prevent first trimester miscarriages that are due to low progesterone but should be used with caution when nursing as it may stop lactation.

In the first trimester of pregnancy progesterone is the sole responsibility of the ovaries, but they often fail to produce sufficient levels to maintain the pregnancy.  By the second trimester, the placenta itself is responsible for producing progesterone and it hikes the level of this hormone to 486% higher than the non-pregnant norm.

If you are taking progesterone and get pregnant, you must continue taking progesterone until  at least the 16th week.  Work with your practitioner; they will monitor your levels to make sure they are healthy for pregnancy.

Summary

Healthy progesterone levels are important during conception and pregnancy.  You can find out if your levels are where they should be by getting tested.  If you do find your levels are low there are many natural ways to promote healthy progesterone levels such as:

  1. Reducing Xenohormones
  2. Using Vitex
  3. Applying progesterone cream

If you become pregnant, continue to use the cream and consult with your doctor or midwife right away.

Let us know how we can help!

 

 

 

 

cinnamon

Cinnamon – Benefits PCOS, Endometriosis, Uterine Fibroids and Menorrhagia

Cinnamon is one of the world’s most beloved spices, but did you know it has useful benefits for fertility as well?  It has been used for years to curb heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia), including heavy bleeding due to endometriosis and uterine fibroids.  Over the last 10 years it has been used to aid women with insulin resistance associated with PCOS and those with type 2 diabetes.

Cinnamon for PCOS

Resistance to insulin increases the body’s insulin levels.  A pilot study showed cinnamon to greatly reduce insulin resistance in women with PCOS.  The study showed that cinnamon reduced insulin by increasing phosphaidylinositol 3-kinase activity in cell function.  Half of the women who took part in the pilot study took cinnamon extract for 8 weeks, while the half of the women took a placebo.  After the 8 weeks period, both groups of women were tested using fasting and 2-hour oral glucose tolerance tests.  The group who took the cinnamon had greatly reduced insulin resistance compared to the placebo group.

Another study showed cinnamon to improve glucose levels in type 2 diabetes patients.  The double blind study used 79 patients who normally managing their diabetes with diet, or medication like Metformin, a medication often prescribed for PCOS patients as well.  Patients were randomly assigned to take 1 capsule, 3 times a day of cinnamon (equal to 3g. or 1 tsp.), or a placebo for 4 months.  At 40 days fasting glucose levels were taken; patients taking cinnamon had a significantly reduced level of 10.3% compared to 3.4% in the placebo group.  These findings are promising to PCOS patients because of the similar insulin resistance associated with both type 2 diabetes and PCOS.

One study suggests cinnamon may also reduce insulin resistance by slowing the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine.  This slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, which is important for people with diabetes and women with PCOS.

Research at the Human Nutrition Center at Tufts found that cinnamon triples insulin’s ability to metabolize glucose (blood sugar), protecting people against diabetes, lowering hunger, lowering sugar cravings, while increasing weight loss.  Weight loss is often a difficult part of living with PCOS.  Many women find that losing weight is next to impossible when living with PCOS.  Cinnamon may be one natural way to improve weight loss in women with PCOS.

Lowering insulin resistance before PCOS turns to type 2 diabetes is important.  Cinnamon may help, along with specific diet changes for PCOS and diabetes.

why is insulin resistance a problem for women with pcos?
  • Insulin resistance affects normal ovulation by preventing he body from ovulating or limiting the maturation process of the released egg.
  • Women who are insulin resistant are also 4-5 times more likely to have a miscarriage.  Imbalanced insulin levels due to PCOS make it difficult for the embryo to attach properly to the uterus.
  • Insulin resistance may lead to type 2 diabetes

Cinnamon Reduces Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Cinnamon has been shown to be a useful tool for women with heavy menstrual bleeding associated with endometriosis, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis and primary menorrhagia.  Cinnamon has bee used traditionally for hundreds of years to stop excessive menstrual bleeding, hemorrhage during childbirth and miscarriage and today for any fertility condition where heavy menstruation is present.  Cinnamon taken internally may curb heavy bleeding.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is when excess endometrium lining of the uterus that normally grows in preparation for implantation of the egg does not completely shed during menstruation.  It then begins to attach to other places of the body besides the uterus.  When menses comes not only does the lining in the uterus bleed, the endometriosis that has grown in other places of the body also bleeds.  Some women with endometriosis have abnormally heavy bleeding or long-term menstrual bleeding.

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are lumps of tissue that form on the uterus or within the uterus.  They may cause excessive mentrual bleeding.

menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding)

Most women who are experiencing excessive bleeding during their menstrual cycle have ovulatory dysfunction, in other words, they are not ovulating correctly. This is most often due to hormonal imbalance.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda has used cinnamon for thousands of years to bring warmth to a cold uterus.  A cold uterus is defines as boggy, congested, poor circulation and menstrual irregularities, including PCOS, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, amenorrhea of for women with sedentary lifestyle.  The increased circulation and warming effect also may help reduce menstrual cramping.

Cinnamon may also help to prevent yeast infection.  High blood sugar levels increase the risk of chronic yeast infection (Candida overgrowth), remember that cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar.

Suggested Usage:

Daily for PCOS or type 2 Diabetes

Dried bark powder:  1 capsule, 3 times a day or 3g = 1 tsp of loose powdered cinnamon root

Tincture:  2-4 mL or 45-115 drops a day in a little water

Acutely for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Dried bark powder:  1 heaping teaspoon in 1 cup hot water per day or 3 capsules right away, then 1 cup two more times that day.

Tincture:  115 drops right away, 3 drops two times in the day after that.

Note:  only to be used this way during heavy bleeding times.

Not to be taken at high doses long-term, may be caustic to the mucosal lining of the digestive system.

Caution:  When NOT to use Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a slight blood thinned – it is best not used by those on blood thinning medications.

If you are experiencing PCOS, endometriosis, uterine fibroids or heavy menstrual bleeding, let us know.  We can help you manage these issues.  You can schedule a complimentary consult for more information here:  

For more info on fertility and how we can help can be found here.

 

blood types ad FSH

Improving Fertility by Lowering FSH Levels

How to Lower FSH Levels and Improve Fertility

High FSH levels can be a sign of poor ovarian reserve, poor egg health and quality and a symptom of failure to ovulate (anovulation).

A recent study of 560 women who sought fertility treatment at the Yale University IVF program and the Montefiore Institute in New York revealed that blood type may play a factor in fertility.  According to this study women with blood type O have, on average, higher FSH levels when compared to other types (A, B and AB).  The researchers discovered that women with blood type O were twice as likely to have an elevated FSH level of above 10 (which is right on the cusp of fair to diminished ovarian reserve).  The study also found that women with blood type A were the least likely to have elevated FSH levels.  The reason suggested was that women with blood type A carry a antigen which is missing in blood type O.

How can you lower high FSH levels and produce higher quality eggs?

First and foremost is optimal nutrition with adequate intake of protein, good fats and complex carbohydrates.  Iron and vitamin E are crucial for healthy egg development and maturation.  Many women are low in iron which leads to general fatigue, pallor and heavy periods.  The herbs Shatavari, Dong Quai and Rehmannia have traditionally bee used to treat poor egg quality and are often prescribed to women in their late thirties ad early forties.

extra considerations for o blood types

Consider having a Anti-Mullerian hormone test.  This test will show  you what level of ovarian reserve you have (the amount of primordial follicles you have left).  This will indicate whether low ovarian reserve may be a cause of your elevated FSH levels.

Consider some dietary adjustments.  It has been suggested that type O’s eat a predominantly paleolithic diet, which is largely meat based, and that they avoid dairy and wheat (gluten).  Negative effects of dairy and gluten on human fertility have been well documented.  For example, the first country to country comparison study found that fertility declined with age faster in countries where women drank a lot of milk than in countries where they drank lower quantities of milk.  Similarly, women with undiagnosed intolerance to gluten are more likely to experience difficulties getting pregnant and to enter menopause earlier.

One large study found that following a diet high in animal protein may in fact increase your chances of ovulatory infertility.  According to a study from Harvard, the longest running study of woman’s health in America which started in 1976 and initially included over 120,000 married 35-55 year old female nurses – ovulatory  infertility was 39 percent more likely in women with the highest intake of animal protein then those with the lowest.

What should you do?

The same Harvard study found that replacing 25 grams of animal protein with 25 grams of plant protein would lower your risk of ovulatory infertility by 50%.

O blood types should consume adequate amounts of iodine or sea algae (Kelp) as it acts as a blood tonic for O blood types and as such has a medicinal effect.  What’s interesting to not is the fact that iodine, selenium and zinc (found in Kelp) are crucial for healthy thyroid function.  Ovaries have recepters for thyroid hormone thyroxine, which is required for follicle production.

For more help with egg quality and fertility issues, contact us below.

Egg Health

Could What You Are Eating Be Making Your Eggs Old?

Have you ever considered that what you are eating may be aging you faster and therefore leading to poor quality eggs and the diagnosis of “OLD EGGS” – making your eggs old?

I have talked to so many distraught women who have been told their eggs are too old for conception.  Some of these women are in their 40’s and some are still in their 30’s while some are just in their 20’s!  Many of these women go on to conceive with their own eggs and give birth to healthy babies despite this poor outlook.  Those who do make some changes to their diet and lifestyles and followed them religiously for a minimum of a year.

One substance has been on the research radar for years.  It’s been linked to tooth decay, acne, diabetes, weight gain, poor immunity, ADD (attention deficit disorder), hyperactivity and aggression, cancer proliferation and now aging!  SUGAR!

Sugar causes you to age and lowers your egg quality

Read More

healing after pregnancy loss

Healing After Pregnancy Loss

How can we facilitate healing after pregnancy loss?

Ways to heal after miscarriage from an energy medicine perspective

First, losing a baby is no easy thing.  It shakes your world.  It can break your heart.  The due date will come and go and can be a challenging timeHealing after Pregnancy loss once again.   When a close family member had a loss, I came face to face with the depth of that experience.  We were making plans, filled with lots of excitement.  Then loss happened.  Our hearts were shattered.  Healing from pregnancy loss is no easy task.

As a “Fertility Doula”, I quickly came to realize that when you are in labor, you have to process all previous losses before being able to open and delivery this baby.  Many of my clients come to me after numerous losses through IUI or IVF.  Each time they have conceived and I was privileged to be present during their birth, we had to go through a process of grieving and accepting all previous pregnancies or possibilities of pregnancies.  Sometimes we worked on this prior to the birth process, and sometimes it is during the birth process.

moving through loss

So how do we move through loss and at the same time move down the path to motherhood?

Here are some tips for you to try so you, too, can move through miscarriage and shift your energy as you continue on your path to motherhood.

  • Connect with your body.  Go inward on a daily basis and give yourself the opportunity to see which parts of you may have something to say.  Tune in to things like – is your stomach in a knot?  Are your shoulders tight?  Is you chest feeling sunken in?  All of this information will give you insight into what your physical body is hanging onto stuck energy.  Invite breath into those areas to help get the energy moving once again.
  • Connect with your whole self – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  When all of these are not connected you are more likely to feel fear, disconnection and judgment of yourself and those around you.  A lack of flow in our energies in our systems can make this happen.  Make sure there is enough room for all aspects of you so that different feelings don’t rule and take over your energetic space.  As space is given to the different aspects of yourself, energy will shift and flow.
  • Acknowledge your thoughts and remember that energy follows thought.  If you are filled with fear about having a miscarriage, do what you can to work through this fear.  Affirmations are great for working through this process.  A helpful one may be – “I trust that my body knows what to do”.  You can find more helpful affirmations here!  If you don’t trust your body, start with saying loving affirmations towards your body such s, “I choose to send love and appreciation to every part of my body.”  Small changes can make a huge difference from an energy medicine perspective.
  • Make sure you feel and process all of your emotions.  Emotions are energy. When an emotion arises, even if it is difficult and challenging, be with it.  It has something important to tell you.  When you allow space to process your emotions, you can move the energy.  You may be in resistance if you are looking for distractions or not wanting to process your emotions.  This creates energetic blockages.  Owning your emotions and not blaming others is the key.  It’s powerful when you do and will help to move the stagnant energy.
  • Having a goodbye ceremony may be helpful.  Oftentimes when there is a loss, we hang on to the person who is gone from an energetic perspective.  This also creates stagnant energy.  Have a goodbye ceremony to honor your time with your baby that you miscarried.  This ceremony can help to create a sense of closure and help to free up energy for a new baby to arrive.  Contact me for info and help creating a Blessingsway of some other form of ceremony if you think  this may be helpful to you.
  • Find a safe person to talk with about the miscarriage.  A therapist, energy practitioner, friend or relative who is good at listening may be helpful.  Feeling safe as you talk can help to move stagnant energy.
  • Balance and align your chakras, the main energy center in your body.  I have included a fertility chakra meditation for you to listen to.  I have also included an Yoga Nida meditation for your use for relaxation as you move through this process.

As you begin to move through this process, tend to your body, mind and spirit in a loving way.  This will help create a positive energy from which to heal.  I am available to talk or help facilitate you through this process.  Let me know if I can help.

 

 

 

Treating Thyroid Problems Naturally

Thyroid Function Must Be Controlled Before You Get Pregnant

Treating thyroid problems naturally right away is important if you are wanting to have a baby.  Preconception planning is essential to a healthy pregnancy for women with thyroid problems.  Women with untreated or neglected thyroid problems may affect their baby’s growth and brain development.  Untreated thyroid problems may also lead to infertility, miscarriage or a baby born with birth defects.

It’s important to see a doctor bout thyroid issues.  Make a plan with your doctor.  If you desire natural treatments it is important to speak with your doctor to see if that is a possibility for you.  Here I will present some ways to supplement and support proper thyroid function.  If you are interested in any of these, talk to your doctor – we can help with a plan of action to help.

Iodine Rich food sources

A diet rich in whole foods should always be the first way to support overall health, including thyroid health.  Poor diet and nutritional deficiency is one of the top reasons for thyroid problems.  Choose organic foods when possible, as the thyroid is very sensitive to environmental toxins.  Too much iodine can also cause goiter, so do not go overboard.  More is not always better.  It is about balance.  It is important to get a balanced amount of iodine in the diet.  People with hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency may benefit from increasing the recommended daily allowance of iodine rich foods.

  • Raw cranberry
  • Whole-fat yogurt
  • Raw dairy products
  • Navy beans
  • Strawberries
  • Potatoes with skin left on
  • Himalayan Crystal Salt

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Coming off Hormonal Birth Control – Part II – Natural Remedies for Bringing Back a Healthy Cycle

What is your goal after coming off hormonal birth control?  Is it a healthy menstrual cycle or wanting to try to conceive?  Either way, nourishing and supporting the entire hormonal feedback loop, egg health, cervical mucous and uterine health is the goal.

How can we do that?

Step 1:  Nourish and Cleanse

Natural Fertility Diet

Eating a whole food, nutrient dense fertility diet has been shown to increase the chances of pregnancy and helping to bring hormonal balance to your cycle.  Because hormones in birth control may affect our metabolism, digestion and nutritional levels, eating properly is going to be very important when on birth control as well afterward to replenish depleted nutritional levels.

Use of birth control containing hormones effects the levels of folic acid, riboflavin (vitaming B2), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc.  It would be wise to take a good whole food multivitamin during and after birth control use to prevent nutritional deficiency and restore already depleted levels. Women using birth control consistently for 6 months or longer have been shown to have significant lower levels of tryptophan.  Vitamin B6 supplements can help normalize tryptophan metabolism.

Prolonged use of hormone containing birth control may also lead to anemia so you may also want to consider taking a whole food iron supplement.  Birth control also changes the pH levels in the vagina which may lead to yeast infection.  Taking a good probiotic supplement Lactobacillus may support the body in maintaining healthy vaginal flora.

Prolonged use of progestin has been shown to thin the bones so be sure you are eating adequate amounts of calcium rich foods like dark leafy greens, sesame seeds, seaweed, almonds, quinoa, and chia.

Fertility cleansing for liver, hormonal and uterine support

The body may greatly benefit from some gentle cleansing of the liver and uterus when coming off birth control.  The liver has to metabolize synthetic hormones and becomes overloaded and taxed during birth control use.  When a woman has not had a regular menstrual cycle for some time because of birth control use, it may need some herbal support.  Because progestin has been linked to thinning of the uterine lining, the uterus may really benefit from uterine tonic herbs.  These herbs also support hormonal balance and healthy cervical mucous.  For help with cleansing after hormonal birth control use – contact us below.  We can guide you on what herbs to use and how to start with a clean slate within the body that will help your body to respond and utilize other natural remedies better.

Step 2:  Herbal Support for Restoring Hormonal Balance and Promoting Ovulation

If you have tried to change your diet, are taking a whole food multivitamin and you still do not have a menstrual cycle yet, you may want to learn how herbs for fertility can help to promote hormonal balance, restore ovulation and bring back a normal menstrual cycle.  Restoring a natural menstrual cycle is also important for egg health.  Hormonal birth control prevents ovulation which can decrease egg health.  Our follicles require a normalized release of our natural hormones and adequate nutritional levels.  Synthetic hormones disrupt these which may impact egg health.

Once you have stopped using hormonal birth control, your body may be confused and in shock.  One day your body was receiving hormones and then suddenly it was not.  On top of that, your liver may still contain some of those synthetic hormones which may confuse the body further.

The following may help:

Tribulus terrestris

If you know you are not ovulating and you are struggling to get your cycle back, learning about this South Asian herb may help.  One study showed that 67% of women who were not ovulating began ovulating after using Tribulus.  This herb has been found to stimulate ovulation.  Tribulus has been used traditionally for hundreds of years to promote healthy fertility in both women and men.

Vitex

Vitex supports the hormonal feedback loop.  This herb also promotes and has been shown to regulate ovulation.  It has the ability to adapt to the individual hormonal needs of each woman.  Because Vitex has proven effective for a variety of menstrual issues, it may be a great choice to start off on the right foot to restoring a healthy natural menstrual cycle.  It has been shown most effective when used for 6 – 12 months consistently. Vitex is a remedy that has been shown to be very effective, but requires patience.  It can take some time to achieve desired results, especially when  coming off birth control.  This herb is specific to regulating menstruation.

Dong Quai

Dong Quai (angelica sinensis) is one of the most powerful female tonic and fertility herb.  Dong Quai tonifies and strengthes the uterus by regulating hormonal control, improving uterine tone, and improving the timing of the menstrual cycle.

Dong Quai works by promoting blood flow to the pelvis where it will stimulate an absent or scanty period. It also nourishes the blood, treats iron deficiency and anemia.  One of the best uses is it helps women who are not menstruating to invite their menstruation back.  The increased circulation also helps to strengthen and balance the uterus.

Maca

Maca is one of the best supportive tonics for our endocrine system; which controls and produces many of our hormones.  This root is very nourishing.  Maca root supports overall hormonal balance and may greatly support our bodies through times of stress.  An important factor when dealing with stopping synthetic hormones is the stress factor.  It is extremely stressful on our bodies to take synthetic hormones and then abruptly stop them.  Maca may help to restore hormonal harmony once again.

Step 3:  Restore Healthy Cervical Mucous

Once the menstrual cycle is restored, healthy cervical mucous production should be restored as well.  If you find you are still struggling with lack of cervical mucous, you may want to consider supplements that have been shown to help promote healthy Cervical Mucous production.

Cervical mucous production may be altered for some time as well since the hormones in birth control thicken cervical mucous for some time.  Supplements that have proven results for restoring healthy Cervical Mucous are Evening of Primrose Oil, Borage Oil, and L-Arginine.  Be sure to drink plenty of water daily.  Using a sperm friendly lubricant until your natural healthy cervical mucous is restored may be helpful.

Step 4:  Self Fertility Massage

This at home natural therapy is one of the most supportive ways you can heal a wide variety of fertility issues, while promoting healthy function of the entire reproductive system.  Self Fertility Massage promotes ovulation, supports communication with the endocrine system, improves circulation to the uterus and ovaries which strengthens the uterus and promotes healthy eggs.  It also supports the body in ridding of those excess toxins and hormones.  This type of massage is a great way to be directly connected to healing your fertility and menstrual cycle.

Be patient; be gentle with yourself!

The body goes through a lot of confusion and stress when coming off of hormonal birth control.  Be patient with your body and give it time to adjust to the intense hormonal shifts that have to take place.  Expect that you may feel sad, angry, depressed and simply “off”.  This is normal when any hormonal adjusting is taking place.  Be gentle with yourself and how you are feeling.  Know that you can work toward restoring your natural hormonal state and can move on to working toward a balanced menstrual cycle and/or toward trying to conceive through proper nutritional, herbal and natural therapy support.

If you would like help coming off hormonal birth control and with balancing your menstrual cycle, contact us below.  We can help with dietary, herbal and fertility massage as well as other techniques and protocols to regain a a healthy cycle.

Can You Treat Inflammation Holistically?

I am often asked, can you treat inflammation holistically?  My answer is “Yes!”  By looking at the reason we are suffering from inflammation, we can develop a plan to treat the issue holistically.

Smoking and inflammation

It’s pretty common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health and contributes to the development and exacerbation of a slew of diseases.  Researchers have recently developed a theory as to why smoking is so closely related to so many inflammatory conditions.  Apparently nicotine is able to activate a specific kind of white blood cell called a neutrophil, and while normally neutrophils work to protect the body, they are also responsible for tissue damage due to excessive inflammation.  So one way to decrease inflammation is to quit smoking.

Conventional treatments for inflammation
Non-sterodial anti-inflammatory drugs (NASIDs)

As you might know, the most common over-the-counter treatment for inflammation is a drug called ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).  These can be amazing drugs for the occasional ache or pain, but they are not designed to be taken regularly and do not treat the underlying cause of inflammation.  Symptoms of NSADIS include stomach ulcers, hypertension and rashes.  Taken long-term or too often, they can be dangerous, linked to heart attacks, strokes and stomach bleeds.

Corticosteriods

Another common type of anti-inflammatory medication are corticosteroids.  These drugs work by suppressing inflammation-causes genes.  They often come in the form of cortisone injections, and can be very effective at decreasing inflammation.  They also come with a lot of side-effects and the body can also start to build up a tolerance.

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