Is 2016 the year you want to get pregnant? I hear a lot of women say they’re trying to get pregnant without success, but they feel they just have to ‘wait for it to happen’ or that ‘there’s nothing they can do’ about it. That couldn’t be further from the truth!
Read it: you are in charge of your fertility.
Let’s look at the numbers… roughly 1 in 6 couples in Canada struggle with fertility, a number that has doubled since the 1980s!
40% of the time, infertility can be traced to the woman of the couple. Common causes of infertility commonly include:
- Age (we only have so many eggs, ladies!)
- Problems with ovulation – PCOS, undiagnosed hypothyroidism, estrogen deficiencies
- Estrogen dominance conditions – endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts
- Progesterone deficiencies – this key hormone is depleted by chronic stress
- Other hormonal imbalances – for example, irregular cycles after the birth control pill
While trouble with fertility is on the rise, it doesn’t mean it’s an inevitable fate. The truth is that being a fertile woman means you are hormonally balanced. And being hormonally balanced is possible.
Here’s the deal: there are things you can do that promote hormonal balance, or things that you can do that will destroy it. Take your chances, or start taking your health into your own hands.
Getting your cycle regulated and optimizing ovulation can take time – are you working on that? In the meantime, here are my top 5 tips that you can start doing RIGHT NOW to boost your fertility:
- Ditch the toxic tampons. Tampons contain pesticide laden cotton, bleached rayon and toxic chemicals like dioxins that come into intimate contact with our lady parts. The average woman menstruating for 5 days a month for 38 years will use more than 10,000 tampons in her lifetime! Let’s think about what we’re sticking up there, shall we? Detoxing your vagina might is, believe it or not, an important aspect of improving fertility. The best alternative available is the Diva Cup. Your vagina’s best friend, the Diva Cup is made of medical grade silicone, making it toxin-free, durable, form fitting, hypoallergenic, long-lasting and yes, reusable.
- Clean with your food. Most conventional cleaning products also contain toxic chemicals that are known to be hazardous to our health and our environment – they’re labelled as poison! Chronic exposure to these chemicals can have an effect on your fertility, as many of these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors. That means they can actually interfere with your hormone receptors, making it harder for estrogen and progesterone, key hormones involved with fertility, from working properly. Make your own all-purpose cleaner with vinegar and citrus peels, or use baking soda and vinegar to clean your kitchen and bathroom.
- Kick the plastic. You’re probably getting the picture – plastic equals another way we are inundated and exposed to unwanted chemicals and hormone disruptors, BPA free or not. Swap out plastic utensils for wooden or steel ones and use glass containers instead of plastic ones. Drink from a glass or stainless steel water bottle instead of plastic. Never heat food in plastic, and avoid storing it in plastic if possible – you can even freeze things in glass if you do it properly!
- Exercise more. Move your butt! Exercise burns off stress, boosting levels of testosterone to make us feel sexy and strong. By lowering cortisol (your stress hormone), exercise helps keep levels of estrogen and progesterone where they should be, ensuring you ovulate every month and have best chances of conceiving. Exercise also improves circulation to the pelvic area and reproductive system, optimizing its overall function.
- Go easy on the drinks – that means coffee and alcohol. While I’m a coffee lover, limiting it is key. Over consumption of coffee and caffeine can raise cortisol levels and interfere with optimal estrogen metabolism. Stick to one a day, or consider switching to green or herbal tea, which will have less of a stimulating effect and will offer additional anti-oxidant benefits. In the same cup, over consumption of alcohol not only requires your liver works a little harder, but also causes inflammation to increase in your body. When either of these things happens, hormone balancing takes a back seat as your liver also processes all of your hormones! Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum and consider taking a B vitamin complex to mitigate its effects.
Hormones are complicated, but incredible things. The most important thing for you to know if that you will ultimately be the one to have the greatest impact on your fertility – only you have control over the choices you make – and they can either help or hinder hormonal balance.
Now I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below, or email me at [email protected] with your questions. Stop waiting and start balancing your hormones now to make that beautiful baby you deserve!