October 21 2020
It might sound too good to be true… but our comprehensive natural approach to fertility has already helped SO MANY women. We’re talking 1,000s of women in the past 16 years.
Women who thought they might never conceive and have a successful pregnancy… who now have a beautiful child because of our time working together.
We’ve always known our calling in life is to help as many women as possible to have a healthy fertility journey.
That’s why today, we’re debunking 5 common myths we hear all the time about what might contribute to fertility issues.
Whether you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a while or you’re just starting to think about it, these tips might help you as you start your family.
Myth #1: We can never know the potential causes of “unexplained infertility”
There’s SO MUCH more to infertility than just what’s on the surface.
A lot of modern medicine overlooks the impact of a person’s overall health and wellness, looking at the reproductive system as though it’s separate from the body.
Things like nutritional deficits, environmental toxins, diet, and even dehydration can all contribute to infertility.
Here’s just one example…
Chemicals like pesticides, BPAs & phthalates have been proven to cause:
- Hormone imbalances
- Damaged egg quality
- Damaged sperm quality
- Increased risk of miscarriage and birth defects
According to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the leading global voice of reproductive health professionals:
"Exposure to toxic chemicals in the last four decades are threatening human reproduction and health...Miscarriage and still birth, impaired fetal growth, congenital malformations, impaired or reduced neurodevelopment and cognitive function, and an increase in cancer, attention problems, ADHD behaviors and hyperactivity are among the list of poor health outcomes linked to chemicals such as pesticides, air pollutants, plastics, solvents and more, according to the FIGO opinion."
There’s a lot of research on negative effects of environmental toxins, but even with all that, most people don’t consider this when they’re trying to get pregnant.
And while we can’t completely eliminate our exposure to environmental toxins, we can take measures to minimize our overall exposure to support our bodies, including our reproductive systems.
Doing simple things like eating organic to reduce pesticide exposure, avoiding processed foods, and buying a good quality air filter can help you decrease the toxins in your environment.
Another overlooked contributor to infertility is dehydration.
Dehydration results in poor egg health and less cervical mucus secretion which is vital for transportation of sperm to the fallopian tubes.
According to Chinese medicine, dehydration acts as a yin deficiency in our bodies. This is what we want to avoid, as it has a drying effect on your fluid balance and hormone health.
Myth #2: Your diet has nothing to do with your fertility
A lot of people think that because we have access to great food options in this day and age, we must be getting all the nutrients we need… which isn’t necessarily true.
Even people who eat organic and consciously shop for healthy food options can be lacking in nutrients that are vital for a successful conception and healthy pregnancy.
And most of us aren’t getting frequent blood work done to make sure we’re not nutritionally deficient. (When was the last time you got tested for nutrients?)
People just don’t realize how common nutrient deficiencies are.
We’ve helped thousands of women over the years prepare their body for successful conception and full-term pregnancies by making dietary changes.
Myth #3: Most prenatal vitamins have all the nutrients a hopeful mother needs
We see this all the time: patients come in with a prenatal vitamin that we take one look at and want to throw in the garbage.
Why? Because not only does it lack the nutrients a new mother needs, but it’s full of unhealthy fillers!
The #1 prenatal vitamin on the market right now doesn’t have the recommended amount of iron for a pregnant woman.
It’s a public health issue that most people never think about.
Not only are we wasting money on supplements that don’t support our bodies… but a lot of those vitamins are full of fillers that are bad for us. Things we wouldn’t want to put in our bodies if we knew what they were.
Vitamins & supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States… but they’re largely unregulated.
Products go to market without any safety, purity, or quality testing by the FDA. And the bottles carry unsubstantiated claims about what they can do.
Prenatal vitamins fall into this same trap!
There are so many options on the market, but a lot of them lack the nutrients that we need. And some of them do more damage than help.
That’s why it’s so important to know:
- exactly what is in your supplements
- exactly what nutrients your body needs through the stages of contraception, pregnancy, and birth
We often see these 3 common nutrient deficiencies:
Women who are getting the recommended amount of iron often get pregnant more easily than women who are low in iron. Heavy menstrual bleeding is a significant risk for iron deficiency and is often overlooked.
Iron deficiency is common. According to the CDC 13.2% non-pregnant women of child-bearing age have iron deficiency, and 25.4% of pregnant women are iron deficient. In our clinical practices we find iron deficiency in around 25% of our patients.
Women ages 25-39 overall have borderline iodine insufficiency according to the CDC. Children born to mothers residing in even moderately iodine-deficient areas develop behavioral, psychoneurological and intellectual difficulties. Our ovaries have the second-largest iodine concentration in the body so make sure you get enough in your diet and prenatal vitamin.
Folate is critical in cellular replication and is known to boost natural pregnancy rates and IVF success rates. Better folate status in the body is associated with lower the risk of pregnancy loss. Folate deficiency is one of key nutrient deficiencies associated with oral contraceptives, so we pay special attention to this with women who are coming off of their birth control.
Depending on your specific body and circumstances, you may need more of these vitamins than you’re currently getting through generally prescribed vitamins.
Myth #4: Mental health and stress don’t affect fertility
Your brain is a part of your body, which means your mental health can affect your physical health.
Stress, lack of sleep, depression, and other mental health issues can all contribute to infertility.
Of course… infertility can also cause all those things.
Feelings of shame, guilt, despair, anxiety, and stress are all common in women and couples facing infertility. And there’s nothing wrong with feeling that way.
But in over 30 years of practice as natural fertility doctors, we’ve discovered that when a woman feels held, heard, and seen it can be totally transformative in her fertility journey.
We’ve seen the way that having a community who supports and understands you in your fertility journey can actually have a huge impact on someone’s health.
Why? Because it creates a space where she can release the guilt and stress most people who struggle with infertility have felt at one point or another.
That’s why we emphasize whole-body health in our practice.
Myth #5: You don’t need to prepare your body for pregnancy
Most of us think of pregnancy as the most natural thing in the world.
But the truth is, taking time to prepare your body for pregnancy will help you conceive, carry, and birth a healthy baby.
In earlier times in human history, a mother’s first baby was often the biggest and healthiest child. This is because the baby would chelate (or absorb) the nutrients that the mother had been building in her body for years. Children born after that would have less of a storage of nutrients to pull from, so they were smaller.
Nowadays, it’s the opposite. The first baby is usually smaller and weaker than consecutive babies, because it has absorbed all the toxins that built up in the mother’s body.
It’s worth considering how these dietary and lifestyle changes might be contributing to your overall wellness, including your ability to conceive.
We’d like to invite you to join us in the PREPARE FOR PREGNANCY PROTOCOL… all about how you can naturally prepare your body for conception & pregnancy.
Dr. Hillary & Dr. Kara
Founders, Cultivate Fertility