There are many modifiable lifestyle factors that research now demonstrates have the capacity to influence the success of fertilization and implantation. These modifiable lifestyle factors are vastly contributing to our dramatic rise in fertility challenges. These include: macro and micronutrient status, allergies to certain foods, insulin resistance, nerve dysfunction, thyroid dysfunction, adrenal exhaustion, nutrient depletion, methylation challenges, improper exercise and exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals.
To enhance fertility naturally consider some of these modifiable lifestyle factors:
- Avoid synthetic hormones like the pill which causes multiple nutrient depletions, made worse by the MTHFR gene abnormality.
- Being over or under weight -Having an abnormal body mass index including being underweight or overweight — can affect fertility in both males and females.
- In underweight bodies, a hormone known as leptin is reduced. Leptin is important in regulating all functions that the body needs fat for, including ovulation. With low levels of leptin the body lowers the metabolic rate and can shut down many important bodily processes like reproduction.
- With obesity, adiponectin decreases, this protein is released by fat cells and assists in fat burning. Adiponectin would normally help to make the body more sensitive to insulin (which enhances ovulation). Without sufficient adiponectin, over-weight people become resistant to insulin and fertility is compromised.
- MTHFR issues that are untreated or mis-managed can affect fertility. Be sure to check for these mutations and treat them properly. Remember individuals positive for MTHFR actually make inflammation in the presence of FOLIC ACID and it should be avoided in food products and supplements.
- Consider the Impact of “TOXidative Stress” -TOXidative stress is a constant over burden of chemicals, poisons and pollution from our environment, this is heavily linked with many chronic diseases and fertility challenges. Cell damage created by free radicals. When we are exposed to environmental stress such as pollution, radiation, toxins in the home and work place, the body accumulates toxicity. This may result in significant damage to cell structures.
- High TOXidative stress may damage sperm cell development and cause damage to DNA. Damaged sperm can also contribute to and birth defects.
- For women, TOXidative stress impairs follicles and ovaries, increases inflammation, decreases fertilization and the likelihood of implantation, increasing the chance of miscarriage.
- TOXidative Hormone Disruptors -influence the endocrine system. Xeno-estrogens, (xeno meaning foreigner in Greek) mimic estrogen and other important chemicals, excess xeno-estrogens cause massive disruption in biochemistry especially in ovulation and fertilization. There are Hundreds of known synthetic chemicals now identified xeno-estrogen producers found in household cleaning products, medications, and some foods, ALL should be avoided to optimize fertility.
- Nerve Dysfunction- Nerve messages can be impaired by spinal subluxations (a malpositioned spine or nerve signal channel) which occur when there are misalignments of the spine or pelvis. This results in altered joint motion and nerve irritation which can with time, lessen organ function and general health. In essence the body moves further and further away from perfect balance, which alters the body’s ability to clearly communicate proper signaling to clearly manage and oversee functions such as reproduction. When nerve messages are compromised reproductive processes may be compromised. If subluxations are left uncorrected a domino effect of body processes could be impaired been left uncorrected that dictates the impact on body function. Visit your local qualified Chiropractor to restore clear function of the nervous system supporting total body balance, optimizing reproduction.
- MicroNutrient Deficiencies –Although food based nutrition is optimal for the humans, there are certain instances where these deficiencies need to be addressed through supplementation. These deficiencies can result from many things including stress, smoking, methylation dysfunction, other toxins, poor diet, and prescription medications such as “the Pill”.
- Positive outlook- Focus on health and resilience, and that can improve the capacity to naturally conceive, as well as put the body in a healthier state for a healthy, complication-free pregnancy and a healthy child
- It’s never too late to start eating a healthy diet
- Good fat (coconut oil, avocado, etc) is essential for fertility
- When women who eat low fat diets, they have been shown to have a harder time getting pregnant
- A preconception diet is important to focus on for several months to a year or more before getting pregnant
- Both Men and Women should be eating traditional fertility foods in preparation for pregnancy
- Shift the focus from getting pregnant to improving the health and nutrition of both partners before pregnancy, so that the focus is on having healthy and raising healthy kids
- Dental health is related to overall health, and can be an important indicator of nutrient deficiencies
- Avoid hormonal contraceptives and eat a traditional fertility diet for at least 6 months to a year before even trying to conceive
- Vegan and vegetarian diets can impair fertility; in general avoid a vegan or vegetarian diet until childbearing is finished.
- Good gut health and emotional health are directly associated with the health of your baby
- Need more info on diet check out my book!
In order to understand conception, first look at menstruation
Day 1: The first day of a period is also the first day of the cycle. Unless pregnancy occurs, hormone levels plummet and the blood and tissues lining the uterus break down and shed. The next 28 days are all about the uterus prepping for the possibility of a pregnancy.
Day 2: The period continues. The second day of the cycle is generally a heavy one. And while PMS symptoms have (likely) stopped, some cramps may accompany the bleeding. This will typically be the heaviest day. Clots are common and usually mean the body has something to balance. Heavy periods that result in fainting or anemia should be checked by a professional.
Day 3: This is often the final “heavy” day of bleeding. There may also may be some changes in the vaginal pH, which could lead to yeast infections and bad odors. If a woman is prone to an infection consider a quality probiotic and some gentile diet changes to balance the pH.
Day 4: the period usually starts to lighten up, and may change in color from bright red to brown.
Day 5: period should be over at this point
Day 6: longer periods of bleeding may require evaluation by a professional.
Day 7: Small follicles will prepare to release an egg or two. Estrogen levels are starting to rise, testosterone is still low, and progesterone is still absent.
Day 8: follicles are growing and preparing to release an egg. As the eggs start to develop, they produce estrogen, so estrogen levels will start to rise. Testosterone and progesterone levels will stay the same.
Day 9: one follicle will continue to develop toward reaching maturity. That extra estrogen causes the lining of the uterus, rich with blood and nutrients, to thicken, so it’s ready if a fertilized egg implants.
Day 10: Estrogen production should now be elevated. And the endometrium (lining of the womb), continues its plans to house a potential pregnancy. Generally Libido increases at this point as well due to higher testosterone levels.
Day 11: If trying to conceive, likely ovulation will occur in the next 24-72 hours. Today would be a recommended day for an “encounter”
Day 12: fertility levels are high due to increased estrogen production — and because sperm can survive up to 5 days inside a woman’s body. Cervical mucous is flowing and stretchy, and the main follicle should be fully ready to release an egg while the others will stop developing.
Day 13: Estrogen levels are peaking, and your body is about ready for the egg to ovulate!
Day 14: at ovulation, the egg is released from the follicle. Some women feel twinge of pain or have a little spotting, this is called “middleschmertz”. Time for another “encounter”
Day 15: the egg is now travelling down the fallopian tube in hopes of encountering a sperm. Now estrogen and testosterone levels are starting to drop, while progesterone levels are rising rapidly.
Day 16: The egg is still travelling down the fallopian tube in hopes of encountering a sperm
Day 17: The lining of the uterus is thickening. If there isn’t a conception within 24 hours of ovulation the egg will die and prepare for menstruation. If conception occurs it will happen at the point where the egg and sperm meet. Estrogen levels are on the way down, progesterone levels continue to climb.
Day 18: Estrogen levels will begin a rebound. Progesterone levels continue to climb.
Day 19: even if conception occurred it is too early to know by testing or symptoms.
Day 20: PMS symptoms may start as progesterone hits near peak and bloating and moodiness may occur with or without a pregnancy.
Day 21: Peak progesterone levels, these can be tested on lab work if there is a concern.
Day 22 and Day 23: take care of yourself, take a nap, a bath or eat something delicious and nutritious. A pregnancy could be present or preparation for another cycle.
Day 24: approximately 1 week post ovulation, progesterone levels are at the highest levels. Estrogen will start to decrease. When following “basal body temperature” method and the temperature readings are still high post ovulation, it may indicate a pregnancy.
Day 25 and Day 26: due to elevated progesterone bloating may be present as well as fatigue.
Day 27: if the body is not pregnant, it will prepare for bleeding; if a pregnancy was achieved the body will prepare to continue to develop the pregnancy.
Day 28: The uterine lining is at its thickest to get ready to shed if not pregnant. If a pregnancy is present implantation will occur in the thick uterine wall. It is likely a home pregnancy test will result in a positive pregnancy test. If not pregnant the body will restart the cycle again
Periods are part of the menstrual cycle and they differ from woman to woman in frequency, duration and intensity. Periods can tell a lot about the health of a woman. In fact, your period can help you detect a minor or more serious health issue. That’s why observing your flow as well as other symptoms during your period can help you keep track of your overall health.
Color– can be an indicator of hormone levels. Optimal coloring of menstruum is a deep red. Darker coloring can be associated with high estrogen levels
Flow- should be consistent for 3-5 days any more or less bleeding can indicate progesterone imbalance or thyroid imbalance or potentially more serious issues such as dysfunctional ovaries, and birth control usage.
Period pain – severe menstrual pain that doesn’t go away requires immediate medical attention. Menstrual cramping or dysmenorrhea- is typically caused by high prostaglandins (inflammation hormones). A GYN can assess for more serious concerns such as endometriosis, infections or cysts. However, cramping can also be a sign of high levels of homocysteine related to MTHFR, malposition uterus, food sensitives and stress…all of which can be treated effectively by your provider.
In conclusion, preconception is an exciting, and empowering time. The more you know about your body and the more you understand how to heal your cells naturally, the better the outcomes will be…all the best in birthing and babies.