Accessing Your Most Fertile Self
Being challenged with fertility issues can overwhelm even the strongest, most joyful and grounded individual. It can take us from feeling like life is going our way to the worst feelings of self-doubt and hopelessness. Even women who feel like they have a successful life can suddenly feel empty and incomplete.
As an acupuncturist with a sub-specialty in fertility for 18 years, I’ve been on this path with hundreds of women and I’d really like to provide you with some hope. Please read slowly… many infertility issues can be overcome. Yes- this is true. But everyone is unique - there are so many variables that can cause infertility — mood, diet, age, lifestyle, pre-existing health issues — all of these factors combined make each case highly complex. Here are my top 3 recommendations to get you on the right track.
1. Get help! Fertility issues are very unique and it’s hard to figure it out on your own. Recently a 38-year-old woman came into my practice who had been trying to get pregnant on and off for 8 years. She had already seen a reproductive endocrinologist as well as an acupuncturist and was given the all too common diagnosis of unexplained infertility. After digging into her case, I suspected she had a very mild blood sugar instability that affected the development of her follicles (eggs). This is not a widely understood/acknowledged phenomenon and most likely why it was missed.
We worked to stabilize her blood sugars and I gave her acupuncture and herbs to help nourish her follicles. After 5 short months (and 8 long years), she was pregnant. I often bring up her case when training other fertility acupuncturists because without understanding those subtle nuances, she could have easily continued on and missed the opportunity of having a child.
2. Stress management and breathing are at the core of revitalizing fertility. Cortisol, your main stress hormone, has a direct impact on your reproductive hormones. If you are constantly in the “fight or flight” or sympathetic mode, your body's biochemistry opens blood flow to your chest (lungs and heart) and constricts blood flow to secondary organs like your ovaries/uterus (yikes!). When revitalizing your fertility, we want as much blood flow to your ovaries as possible! If you cannot quell the anxiety yourself, breath deeply into your abdomen for a minute or two a few times throughout the day. Certainly don’t stress about stressing - just do your best! The good news is that if the right acupuncture points are chosen, you can also re-establish the blood flow to your ovaries and developing follicles.
3. When choosing foods, think nutrient-dense, easily absorbable. When revitalizing your fertility, the most effective diet is tailored-made to your body’s specific needs. There are also a few foods that can help anyone’s fertility. Focus on eating the most colorful fruits and veggies - the color holds most of the nutrients and antioxidants to nourish the developing follicles. So dark berries and dark greens are on the top of the list! If you can’t get those veggies, I highly suggest spirulina, green juices, and bone broths - all are easily absorbable, highly nutrient-dense, and go right into your blood stream to feed the ovaries!