FERTILITY 101

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This is a handout that I give to all my new patients who are seeing me to work on fertility. -SS

Im very excited to work with you on your journey to a happy, healthy baby. Below are some of my favorite tips to help you optimize your fertility.

THROW THE INS OUT- Repeat after me. “I believe in my body’s ability to heal and I can improve my fertility.” Stop telling yourself that you are INfertile, INable and INcomplete. Of course, it is normal to feel anxious, sad and frustrated over fertility challenges, but negative thinking does nothing to help, and in many cases can make things harder. YOU are not broken. You have the power to make changes that can positively impact your fertility. 

KNOW YOUR WINDOW- The most important part of conception is getting the timing right. If you have a normal 28 day cycle it is safe to assume you ovulate around day 14-15, but ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) and/or basal body temperature charts (BBT) can help you figure that out for sure. Your body’s #1 sign that ovulation is imminent is “egg white” cervical mucus. The CMs job is to create little channels to aid sperm along its journey. Seeing this is a good sign that your are in your window. Remember, sperm can live for up to 5 days, and eggs live for 24-36 hours, so your window is 4-5 days before ovulation through one day post ovulation. While regular sex throughout your cycle is important, these days are your most fertile, and you should be having sex every day or every other if there are no know sperm issues. All it takes is one sperm, but the more the better :) 

JUNK THE JUNK- completely eliminate processed foods, especially those with added sugars, artificial sweeteners, additives and food dyes. For many people, gluten and dairy belong in this category too, as they can be highly inflammatory, so consider an elimination diet. Cutting out Sugar, Gluten and Dairy are game changes for many people. If it feels restrictive, remember that this is just temporary to help you achieve your fertility dreams. I promise it’s worth it ;) 

FOCUS ON FAT- a diet with plenty of healthy fat is vital to egg quality and hormone production. High quality fats can be found in avocado, nuts, coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed meats and free-range eggs. But make sure you are eating a balanced diet, and avoid trends like Keto and Intermittent Fasting, which can negatively impact hormones. 

SNACK ATTACK- okay, we’re not talking potato chips and candy here, but you do want to make sure you are eating small amounts of nutrient dense foods and protein every 2-3 hours throughout the day to keep your blood sugar stable. 

EAT THE RAINBOW- Fruits and Vegetables are natures most nutrient and antioxidant rich foods. Eat 10-12 servings a day, focusing more on veggies than fruit, and try to get something from each color group. 

GO ORGANIC- Pesticides are hormone disruptors, and they can affect many systems of the body, but really reek havoc on our endocrine (hormone) and reproductive systems by mimicking estrogen and throwing off our bodies production of hormones. Follow the EWG Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen for a guide on what conventionally grown produce is safe to eat and what isn’t, but when in doubt, go organic. 

DRINK (AND EAT) WATER- You need to be getting half of your weight in ounces of water a day. So if you weigh 150lb, aim for 75 oz of water. Eat Your Water?! Yup, that’s what I said. In addition to what you drink, make sure you are getting hydrating fruits and veggies every day. Think Cucumbers, Grapes, Melon & Watermelon. 

ELIMINATE DAILY- Your poop habits are a vital sign... your frequency to the throne can tell us a lot about your overall health. Elimination is one of the most important functions of the body, and if its not happening daily, you are reabsorbing food waste back into your blood stream and causing extra stress on your detoxification organs. Magnesium Citrate taken before bed can be SO helpful in getting things moving. Start with 400mg nightly and if you don’t start having regular morning morning eliminations in a few days, go up to 600mg or 800mg. The goal is to have well-formed, easy to pass poop. If you swing too far in the other direction, try a smaller dose. Potty talk is embarrassing, I know, but if you have any questions about this, don’t hesitate to ask, it is SO important! 

EFAs are ESSENTIAL- Omega 3 EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) are so important for optimal fertility. Cod Liver Oil is a great way to get these EFAs as well as vit A, but you can also look for a supplement like Nordic Naturals Omega 3. 

CLEAN UP YOUR CLEANING & DITCH THE PERFUMES- Chemicals in our household cleaning and beauty products are also endocrine disruptors and can negatively impact fertility. Toss heavy chemicals or limit their use, and stick to natural cleaning supplies (vinegar and water can take care of most things!), and check your beauty and personal care products for perfumes and harmful chemicals. If you are a daily perfume sprayer, PUT THE BOTTLE DOWN! Try essential oils instead! Check out EWG for a database on healthy products. 

SUPPLEMENT- Most women trying to get pregnant should be on a combination of supplements including a Daily Prenatal, CoQ10, Probiotic, and an Omega3/Fish Oil. I have several great and trusted brands in my Fullscript Dispensary, located at https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/sarah-swanberg

READ YES, YOU CAN GET PREGNANT- My friend Aimee Raupp MS Lac has a wonderful book called ‘Yes, You Can Get Pregnant’ that I recommend for every woman hoping to, or thinking about, getting pregnant. Pick it up on amazon.com. 

Sarah Swanberg