On the path to parenthood, it can be difficult not to Google your symptoms. While the internet can be a fantastic tool to discover resources, it can also be a slippery slope for self-diagnosing yourself.
The same can be said about online support groups or your fellow fertility challenged friends. The trying to conceive community can offer support and an unparalleled level of empathy and understanding. They can also share what worked for them or their diagnosis and how they have dealt with it. However, even if their situation sounds similar to yours, everyone is different, and every fertility journey needs to be handled as such. Below, we unpack how not to waste any precious time with self-prescribing and ways to ensure you’re taking the best steps to conceive!
The Basics of Trying To Conceive
The recommended rule of thumb is if you’re under the age of 35-years-old and have been trying to conceive for over a year, or, if you’re 35-years-old or older, trying to conceive for over six months, you should consult with a fertility doctor. Some general aspects of your health to consider are:
- Your Age. Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have in their lifetime. Fertility particularly begins to decline around age 35.
- Your Hormones Levels. There are many hormones at work in the process of ovulation and conception. Some of the most impactful hormones to conception are the luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH), estrogen, and progesterone.
- Gynecological/Anatomical overview. This can include Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) causing scar tissue, blocked Fallopian tube(s), or a differently shaped uterus (an abnormality like this is usually present from birth).
- Your Medical history/Lifestyle. If you’ve ever had to undergo ovarian surgery, chemo, radiation, or other treatment, if you’ve ever had a sexually transmitted disease, if you’ve been a smoker, etc.
- Your Diet. Are you eating food like fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and foods rich in folates? It’s essential to consume enough fat, ensuring blood sugar is balanced, eliminating processed food, getting enough protein, and consuming foods right for your body (using food sensitivity testing as a guide).
Reasons You May Be Unable To Conceive
No one wants to have a condition that could impact their fertility, but it can help provide insight into how to address it when you have a precise diagnosis. Some potential reasons for infertility issues are:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This condition can cause ovulation failure, irregular or missed periods, and is often associated with obesity, acne, excess facial or body hair.
- Endometriosis. This is when the tissue that lines the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus, usually in the abdomen on the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
- Blockage of the Fallopian tubes. This can be caused by endometriosis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), or STD’s such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.
- Sperm Issues. This can include but is not limited to a low sperm count, an issue with the sperm’s morphology (the shape), or the motility (how well it swims).
- Problems with ovulation. PCOS can cause issues ovulating, but other factors such as being overweight, underweight, thyroid issues, or some other underlying medical issue that impacts your cycle.
- Premature menopause. This is usually categorized as either Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) or Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR). Essentially, your egg quality is diminishing, which can make conceiving on your own very difficult. Some with these diagnoses consider using donor eggs.
- Hostile cervical mucus. For sperm to survive, the cervical mucus needs to provide a “friendly” environment. In cases where a woman’s cervical mucus may be too acidic, it can cause prevent sperm from reaching the egg.
- ‘Unexplained infertility’. This is when that no specific cause can be found. It’s a difficult diagnosis because, on the one hand, it’s good that they can’t find a significant issue, but on the other hand, without a clear picture of what’s causing the problems, it’s more challenging to treat.
- For some, getting pregnant isn’t the issue. It’s that they have issues sustaining a pregnancy and may experience more than one pregnancy loss. This is referred to as Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL).
How To Fast Track Addressing Your Fertility Concerns?
You are a distinct individual, and your care must be as unique as you are! What may be right for you may not be right for another. If you are diagnosed with any of the conditions we mentioned above, we believe the functional approach can help. It determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing each individual’s root causes — this includes infertility.
With our Fab Fertile Method, we look at frequently missed health aspects that impact your fertility, and we develop a personalized diet and lifestyle protocol specifically for you. We take a very detailed health history and ask questions that your conventional doctor may not have considered. We also complete a full Blood Chemistry Review, food sensitivity, hormone (DUTCH), and DNA stool testing. Every detail can offer valuable insight into how best to move forward in your quest to be a parent.
Book your free Supercharge Your Fertility Discovery call. We’ll develop a personalized plan so that you can get pregnant naturally. Please also visit our Resources page for more information and products to help you on your fertility journey.
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance and later a gut infection.
Don't forget to check out my Resources page for more information and products that will help you on your journey to getting pregnant.
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