Growing up it seemed as though everyone was having babies with the greatest of ease. Infertility wasn't even a topic, but I realize now it was because discussion of such an issue was considered taboo. Cousins, aunts, neighbors, teachers, random women walking down the street. Every woman seemed to have a baby at one time or another, except..my mom. As a Korean adoptee raised by Caucasian parents, I quickly learned how I came to be in their life and they into mine. My father fought in the Vietnam war and when they had settled, decided on starting a family. Mom had always told me growing up and into adulthood that being a mom was her only dream in life. She could be working any job if she had children to love at home. In the 70s during my parent's efforts in reaching viable pregnancy they discovered a detrimental roadblock that would reroute their destination dramatically. Ectopic pregnancies. This is where the egg and sperm meet, and conception occurs but does not make it to the uterine walls where it needs to implant for survival and development. Instead the embryo gets stuck elsewhere, in this instance, the fallopian tube. Because, structurally, an embryo cannot properly nourish or develop outside of the uterine walls this results in miscarriage, often accompanied by excruciating pain and emotional devastation. The issue is often structural and can typically be determined by a damaged fallopian tube, scar tissue and other unforeseen causes preventing a smooth pathway for the traveling embryos. As a result of these destructive and dangerous pregnancies my mother was advised to go through with a full hysterectomy. After her operation, my parents started looking elsewhere for answers and delved into the world of adoption.
IVF (in vitro fertilization) started in the 1970s. Although the practice was just born, perhaps my parents would have gone that route had they known it was a viable possibility. It is difficult to say, considering it was so new and unheard of during that era. Going through my own miscarriage, I was linked to groups that dealt with infertility. As I searched through the web, I discovered a myriad of causes to infertility and miscarriage. I've also found the many different routes and incredible lengths some individuals or couples go through to achieve conception and implantation. In vitro fertilization was a popular subject and it was new to me, and never had it crossed my mind that this was an option. Looking on social media I discovered how popular this method was and it seemed to be growing by the day! Reading story upon story I was so impressed by the women who went through incredible struggles to receive their babies. I had so much respect for these women and their resilience in the face of adversity. In understanding their fight and perseverance I naturally had to ask myself if this was the only way for women to conceive, when told they could not. Because of my practice I always ask WHY and what can we do through natural methods first? And was everything that could have been done, done? Could natural health practitioners help women and/or women and their partners to achieve conception naturally when told by the medical world that they are infertile? Every woman is unique and dynamic, and in celebrating ALL women I need them to know they have choices.
Hormone imbalances are often magnified during such transitions as premenstrual syndrome, menstrual cycles, and menopause. But hormones are everyday life! Balance and attention need to be on the table daily for long term health. Everyday stressors and food, YES FOOD, can and will affect hormone health! Many women who go through infertility lie in the belief that something is wrong with them. That somehow, they are defective. Chalked up to biological inheritance issues, most accept this as truth and move on in one way or another. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU! If there are structural issues it’s still not your fault. You have so much more control in your life than you think. Diet is HUGE. It impacts every aspect of health. It heals or can destroy or further damage an existing issue. So why would the effects of consumption stop at hormones and reproduction? The answer is: IT DOESN'T.
Did you know healthy fats, along with quality H2O, is the foundation of not only cholesterol but HORMONES and in this specific case SEX HORMONES. And yes, you need excellent cholesterol levels to also balance proper hormone levels. See the connection? AND, considering our SAD (standard American diet) reputation is intricately designed to support these BAD fats, it is no wonder we are not getting the relief and answers we need. What's more readily available in restaurants and fast food joints? TRANS FAT which equals BAD FAT. Fats compete for cell storage and if it’s a bad fat getting in there and dominating a cell, you can guarantee the good fats are quickly getting the boot.
THYROID health! ADRENAL support! The PINEAL GLAND! Doesn't that sound like an exciting trifecta? The thyroid is also called the 'third ovary' and not without reason. The pineal gland is considered the reproductive clock and the adrenals are intricately connected to both in managing stress support and the somewhat elusive sex hormone PROGESTERONE. Low levels of progesterone are a major marker for female infertility. Naturally occurring in many foods such as cruciferous vegetables, nuts and specific herbs it is also, thankfully, available in creams if you need that extra boost. The endocrine system needs immense support during this particular time. Nutrients, stress management and rest are all comprising factors to get a working endocrine system to fulfill its job and strengthen your overall reproductive system. Not to mention pH! Balancing pH is huge, for both female and male alike, in creating the right environment and in assimilating nutrients to assist and sustain life within.
A woman's body is the terrain that gives life to developing cells. Under the right conditions we can work to create the right environment for sustaining life! Always ask, “what can I control?” And after you've done EVERYTHING, ask “what else could there be?” A man's terrain is equally important to examine during the reproductive stage. Understanding sperm quality and learning how to support sexual reproduction is crucial. Does he have enough testosterone? What is the quality of sperm? And how does a man achieve that? Foods high in zinc support testosterone production and pumpkins seeds high in both omega-3s and zinc increase prostate health by producing the fluid for sperm to travel seamlessly. It doesn't end there. Deficiency in other nutrients such as vitamin C and omega's also can contribute to low sperm count or motility. Sound interesting yet?
The cycle of life! Would you like to learn more? Want to understand your incredible body and what you can do to support yourself to the highest degree? Come see us. We are working to help you achieve optimal health from various angles and degrees of the natural world. We look forward to seeing you!
Natural Health Practitioner
348 South Waverly Rd., Suite 220
Custom Wellness serves the West Michigan and Lakeshore area.
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