Long Term Fertility
by Sarah Choi on Apr 05, 2021
Making a baby may seem like it is a straightforward process, but if you have ever tried to conceive — or witnessed one of your girlfriends trying to do so — then you know that getting pregnant is not always as simple as it is made out to be! Many women will or have already experienced heartbreak(s) through different pregnancy tribulations such as miscarriages and/or stillbirth. There is no easy way to deal with the emotional pain that a mother or family would face because of living through experiences such as those.
Let’s begin with discussing your fertility cycle! For starters, cycles vary from woman to woman. Knowing how your cycle occurs will help you to create a targeted time frame or window of opportunity for you and your partner to create a baby. Tracking and understanding your fertile window is the most optimal way to reach your desired goal of pregnancy. If you use a smartphone ‘app’ to track your cycle, then that is great, as you will know your fertility window. If you do not use a smart phone application, or have not yet began tracking your cycle, then I encourage you to do so as there are some amazing apps currently out there available to mothers.
Remember that “Failure to plan is planning to fail”, so optimize your chances at success by being organized and educated! If you do not want to use technology, then the old-fashioned paper calendar and a pen work quite well too! Be sure to make note of the first day of your cycle. Do this for a few months! Not everyone is a 28-day cycle, some women are shorter, and some are longer! Now, once you know the predicted first day of your next upcoming menstrual cycle, proceed by counting backwards 12 days. Leave a mark on that date and continue to count backward until you hit the 16th day and again, mark that day on your calendar. That window (12-16) are your potential ovulation days or fertile window of opportunity! This is the range of when you might be ovulating. Before this 12-16 window, you have a very little chance of getting pregnant. After this window, you have ZERO change of getting pregnant.
Outside of not knowing your own cycle, there are many other reasons why one may experience infertility or miscarriage. The following are potential reasons that can lead to the prenatal issues; PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), fibroids, cystic ovaries, depression, thyroid issues, adrenal issues, irritable bowel syndrome, poor gut microbiome, inflammation, cycle irregularities, weight (too low or too high), blood sugar regulation issues, and more. Every woman is different in how their body presents these conditions or ailments, so the treatment and action plan for healing your body will require an individualized approach.
The birth control pill is another reason many women struggle to conceive when they want to/plan to. Birth control strips your body of nutrients vital to the body’s optimal function. It hinders or diminishes the chances of conception, and overall egg quality/health. Furthermore, prolonged use will destroy the good bacteria in your gut which will ultimately lead to many potential poor health conditions. That lack of healthy stomach bacteria will increase the risk of complications or delay your potential successful conception. Destroying the good bacteria often leads to an overgrowth of bad bacteria. This will take form in multiple ways as you will see this appear as any of the following: yeast infections, white coating on your tongue, urinary tract infections, and/or many chronic digestive issues. The result of this being a decrease your fertility rates.
Inflammation is a big deal. Skin inflammation is a great way to identify whether or not your liver is congested, so the presence of things such as; acne, eczema, rosacea, rashes and other irritations could mean you are suffering from inflammation. If your liver is congested, it can lead to a compromised ability to metabolize estrogen. This will result in the ideal hormone ratios being dramatically shifted. Estrogen dominance is a serious condition that will impact your long-term fertility success.
Here are some basic tips to support your body, and to reduce complications long-term.
- Follow a whole food, primarily plant based lifestyle (ideally). Having an intake of at least 50% vegetables (I’d say carbs, but that is hugely misleading), 25% good quality fat (see previous blogs for more details), and 25% protein is optimal.
- Eat with the goal of achieving regulated blood sugar levels.
- Aim for 3 meals a day that include a full complement of vegetables, protein and fat, while reducing the frequency and quantity of starches, some grains, and breads, pastas and packaged/processed foods.
- Include fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, miso, or kombucha. These will help to deliver as many bioavailable nutrients as possible!
As I stated earlier, each body is different, each woman is different and thus, what is required to restore health and in order to achieve the goals you have set for yourself will vary from woman to woman. Therefore, it is very useful and beneficial to connect with a RHN, Naturopath, or another qualified practitioner who will create an individualized, step by step program for you, addressing your specific health concerns as a whole-person approach. “One size fits all”... is a fallacy. We are all different, we are all unique, but the nutritional rules of the body are beneficial to all of us mothers and perspective mothers.
Cara Janzen, H. BSc. RHN is an AURA Community member with a belief to help make you rich – nutritionally! As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, she is equipped with a B.Sc. and have a background in Biological Sciences and Psychology.