How to Improve Your Egg Quality

4 Tips to Improve Your Egg Quality

One of the most common challenges in infertility is that of egg quality.

We are born with a set number of eggs that decrease over time until we reach menopause. As we age, we not only have fewer eggs, but the quality declines with time. Both make it more difficult to get pregnant and harder to carry a healthy baby to term.

There are additional factors that can contribute to lower egg quality as well, such as PCOS, endometriosis and premature ovarian aging. While we cannot change the number of eggs we are born with, we can influence the quality of our eggs.

The good news is that it takes 90 days for an egg to mature for ovulation and you can influence developing eggs over the course of several months.

Here are 4 tips to improve your egg quality to improve your chances of getting and staying pregnant.

1. Clean up your diet

What we take in as food and drink ends up building and fueling our cells, so we want the best possible building blocks. Focus on veggies and low-sugar fruits like berries, healthy protein and fats like pasture-raised poultry and fish, avocados, olives, nuts and seeds. Keep your carbohydrate intake on the low to moderate side (30% or less of your total daily food intake) from foods like starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, beets, potato, whole grains and legumes.

2. Supplements

Consider adding supplements to help support mitochondrial function and reduce oxidative damage to cells. These include CoQ10, NAD, inositol, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants like açaí, resveratrol, and alpha-lipoic acid. Talk to your practitioner about a regimen that will be the best support for you.

3.Reduce damage to existing eggs

By severely limiting or eliminating alcohol, processed foods and added sugars, you reduce damage to existing eggs. Additionally, reducing caffeine intake is helpful to ensure maximum blood flow to the ovaries. Stress reduction techniques like meditation, mindfulness and movement release built up tension and increase endorphins.

4. Get Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a great way to promote egg health by improving circulation of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the ovaries. We use microcurrent electro-acupuncture to boost the effects leading up to ovulation or an IVF retrieval.

Not only does acupuncture help to improve blood flow, but it also reduces stress and balances hormones, which can also influence egg quality. Lokahi Acupuncture offers a free 15 minute consultation if you have questions about how acupuncture can help you on your fertility journey.

Cathryn Davidson, L.Ac. is a senior fertility specialist at Lokahi Acupuncture.

Click here if you would like to schedule a free online consultation to evaluate if acupuncture might be right for you.

Cathryn Davidson, San Jose Acupuncturist
408.279.9001
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Coping with Grief in the Face of Infertility

Coping with Grief in the Face of Infertility (Part 1)

By AmarAtma Singh Khalsa
Board Certified chaplain, Adv. Grief Recovery Specialist

My wife is sweet, loving, kind, and generous. Above all, she’s the most creative person I know! She’s also 11 years older than me.

I was 28 years old when we dated, and she was 39. She had just come out of a toxic relationship that led to a divorce. Much of the strain of the relationship came after a miscarriage she had near Christmas a couple of years earlier.

When I proposed to her, we had several long conversations about children.

We both understood that with her age also came an increased risk to her health if she were to become pregnant. My love for her was undaunted, though I paused in the reality that I may not be a father. Grief arose within.

After marrying, we were excited to try. We were sure that she would get pregnant right away. We began making videos for our future children so they could see us before we were their parents. We were quirky and silly, and had a lot of fun. But, alas, after the first year of trying, we were unsuccessful. We were stunned when it didn’t happen.

As time moved forward, it became clearer that parenting wasn’t going to be a reality.

It was a loss.

I was able to face this grief when I became a chaplain. I began working in the acute care hospital setting, (often called in for night shifts in the L&D department supporting families who lost their babies late-term).

As a chaplain, we are specially trained in grief and bereavement. Within our training is “formation,” the work we do to become aware of our unresolved grief. When working with the bereaved, our role is to console the soul, and to do so is to have done the internal work. A chaplain can’t sit in the dark spaces of other people’s lives unless they can sit comfortably in the dark space of their own life.

During this professional development, I cared for hundreds and thousands of grievers. I learned that grief is massively misunderstood, and our typical ways of coping fall short when it comes to grief.

Insights around grief that may support you on your fertility journey:

  1. Grief is often misidentified. It sometimes shows as depression, chronic pain, burnout, or trauma.
  2.  

  3. We often relate grief solely to death. However, dreams, visions, or hopes for the future that do not come to pass are losses we grieve. This form of grief can be confusing because these are losses that we’ve never held in our hands. They’re an intangible form of loss.
  4.  

  5. There are over 40 different types of loss. These range from deaths, to divorces, to finances, to health, to shifts in careers, to changes in education. The grief you may be experiencing may be exacerbated by unresolved grief of the past.
  6.  

  7. Grief is the normal and natural response to loss of any kind. It’s not an emotion as much as it is a process that comes with many emotions simultaneously. We call it the tangled ball of emotions.
  8.  

  9. What makes grief so difficult is that it draws us into our heart, and in some ways, we’ve never learned about the heart. We’re rarely taught about emotional resilience, emotional intelligence, or how to emotionally cope. “We’ve learned how to acquire things, not what to do when we lose them” is a quote from the program I teach called the Grief Recovery Method[1].
  10.  

  11. Grief is often categorized as the 5 stages of grief based on Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ work, though misappropriated to represent all grievers when it was only meant to help identify a grief process for those facing terminal illness in end-of-life scenarios. We don’t often grieve in stages or in a linear fashion. Grief doesn’t fit into categories nor do we all grieve the same way.
  12.  

  13. Grief is an emotional response, not an intellectual one. We cannot think our way through; we have to feel our way through.
  14.  

  15. Our culture is “emotion-phobic[2]”. We’re petrified of “negative” feelings. We often cope through suppression or  repression of pain. Often grief is unbearable because the coping mechanism of our past fails us in the current and acute situation. It calls us to go deeper into areas of life unexplored.
  16.  

  17. We often think that emotions equate to fragility or weakness. Actually, connecting to our emotions is a super-power.
  18.  

  19. While we want to maintain an attitude of positivity, negating raw emotions creates a complex of toxic positivity[3-5] that prevents authentic or emotional honesty. Avoiding or denying emotions leads to further emotional unrest.
  20.  

  21. Emotional tension often manifests somatically lodging itself in tissues, muscles, tendons, bones and our immune systems. Our neuro-endocrine functions are modulated by the increase of unresolved emotional stress. We refer to this as ‘somatic grief’[6].
  22.  

  23. Emotional releases like crying contain stress-relieving hormones that allow the physiology to return to homeostasis[7]. Often the most difficult thing to do is what’s necessary – to cry. Courage is often required to face and embrace the reality of the situation. Emotional release provides physiological equilibrium.
  24.  

  25. While we may put grief in the back of your mind to avoid pain, it’s difficult to deny. It consumes our thoughts, mind, and spirit. It’s ever-present and overwhelming. The way through grief is to move through grief.
  26.  

  27. Grief is one of the essential life skills we’ve never been taught.
  28.  

  29. Grief often feels like an uncomfortable presence that takes an indefinite residence in our heart. However, there are effective ways to “give notice” and reclaim some internal peace.
  30.  

AmarAtma is a Grief Coach with advanced certification as a Grief Recovery Specialist. He has spent the better part of the last decade helping hundreds and thousands of grievers working in a Trauma-1, University Hospital as a board-certified chaplain. He has a Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and uses a mindfulness and mind-body-spirit approach to teaching and helping grievers from the many losses that occur through life. He currently offers 1:1 virtual grief coaching teaching and helping grievers to cope and release emotional pain.

 

[1] James, John and Friedman, Russel. The Grief Recovery Handbook. Harper Collins. 2009. https://www.griefrecoverymethod.com.

[2] Greenspan, Miriam. Healing through Dark Emotions. Shambala. 2004

[3] Quintero, Samara and Long, Jamie. “Toxic Positivity: The Darkside of Positive Vibes.” https://thepsychologygroup.com/toxic-positivity/. 7/12/2022. The Psychology Group 2019

[4] Villenes, Zawn. “What to know about Toxic Positivity.” https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/toxic-positivity. 7/12/22. Medical News Today. Posted 3/30/21

[5] Marie, Simone. “Toxic Positivity is Real – And it’s Big Problem During the Pandemic.” https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/toxic-positivity-during-the-pandemic. 7/12/22. Heathline. Posted 7/22/20

[6] Prashant, Lyn. “Transforming Somatic Grief.” https://bhdp.sccgov.org/sites/g/files/exjcpb716/files/transforming-somatic-grief-in-ones-personal-life-and%20-professional-world.pdf 7/12/22. County of Santa Clara Behavior Science. Posted 2/7/19

[7] Mukamal, Reena. “All About Emotional Tears.” https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/all-about-emotional-tears. 7/12/22. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Posted 2/28/17

 

 

Why Support Detoxification Before Trying to Conceive

Why Support Detoxification Before Trying to Conceive

By: Bonnie Burgess

If fertility is on your mind, one of the best things you can do to prepare is to support your body’s natural detoxification processes.

Detoxification is a function of natural bodily processes.

The hitch is that the world we live in puts an extra burden on these innate detoxification processes. We have to deal with heavy pollution, processed food with manufactured additives and preservatives, and manufactured chemicals in our environment. This is especially true if you live in the United States where we have banned a small fraction of what the European Union has deemed harmful to the public.[1]

Many feel this extra burden later in life as it contributes to chronic disease. However, you may be impacted well before you notice symptoms. In fact, impaired detoxification affects fertility. It disrupts hormone balance and increases inflammation.

Disrupts hormone balance

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, are an unfortunate reality of living in our modern world. They’re found in items like cosmetics, our food packaging, nonstick pans, mattresses, carpet and electronics. In fact, there are over 700 estrogen-mimicking chemicals which can dramatically increase estrogen levels relative to other hormones in the body. Some, like PFOS and PFAS decrease testosterone levels which impact male fertility.[2]

We are exposed to EDCs on a daily basis, and even low doses of exposure can have an impact capable of influencing our hormones. Our thyroid, metabolic, and sex hormone signaling are at risk for disruption, directly affecting reproductive processes. For example, flame retardants have been associated with thyroid disease, and phthalate exposure interferes with androgen production. While that certainly doesn’t sound good, studies have investigated exposure to flame retardants and to phthalates, chemicals commonly found in flexible plastic. Both may negatively affect success rates of IVF[3].

Increases inflammation

With a burden of toxins that exceeds our detoxification capacity, they accumulate in our system. Both the cache of toxins and the processes to deal with them are stressful on the body. This stress interferes with hormone function and contributes to chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a factor in many of the conditions which commonly affect fertility, including; polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS,) endometriosis, and repeat pregnancy loss (RPL.)

Affects baby’s health

Unfortunately, the impact of toxin exposure doesn’t end with conception. It can also affect a baby’s health. Stored chemicals in the body can easily cross the placenta and affect the baby in the uterus. Some of the effects include; low birth weight, breastfeeding challenges, and cognitive development[4].

What can you do?

Reducing your exposure is one important strategy, but EDCs are so pervasive that avoiding all exposure is unlikely. Supporting your body’s detoxification processes is the other critical strategy to reduce their negative effects:

1. Take care of these 5 easy, everyday changes to make to your diet and lifestyle.

2. Support detoxification with an intentional 10-day program, like Replenish & Reset: A 10 Day Real Food Reset.

Bonnie Burgess - Burgess WellnessWe’d like to offer $20 off Replenish & Reset (levels 1 and 2) which begins August 21st.

Pre-register with the code “Lokahi” in the message field.

For any questions about the program, you can reach Bonnie Burgess at bonnie@burgesswellness.com.

 

Bio:

Bonnie is a holistic functional nutritionist who specializes in women’s health and fertility including patients undergoing ART. She uses a “food first” approach to determine individual nutritional needs coupled with lifestyle modifications and possible nutrient supplementation. Bonnie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she serves an international client base through a 100% virtual consultancy at Burgess Wellness.

 

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/22/chemicals-in-cosmetics-us-restricted-eu

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8038605/

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28858831/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26545148/

[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26955061/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16217675/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27150949/

Nutrition for IVF | Acupuncture and IVF San Jose

Nutrition for IVF

3 Nutrition Goals when Pursuing IVF

Prior to and during an IVF cycle, there are 3 major goals when it comes to nutrition.

  • Replenish with key nutrients
  • Support stable blood sugar
  • Reduce inflammation

Attention to nutrition offers best possible IVF outcomes due to the impact on egg quality, sperm health, uterine lining, hormone signaling and more. The benefits impact you beyond IVF. You also maintain mom’s future health throughout pregnancy and postpartum, and lay the foundation for a healthy baby.

It’s a great idea to be conscientious about your nutrition at least 3 months before starting fertility medications. Then throughout the IVF cycle, each of the 3 nutrition goals must be addressed: replenish key nutrients; support stable blood sugar; and reduce inflammation.

Replenish with key nutrients

In the weeks leading up to egg retrieval, replenishing key nutrients tops the list of the 3 nutrition goals. While a good-quality prenatal supplement is a good idea, also focus on nutrients from fresh food.

Amp up your diet by including:

  1. A wide diversity of vegetables helps to ensure you’re getting a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to prepare your body for the nutrient-intensive journey to come. Make it a goal to incorporate dark leafy greens and seasonal produce every day.
  2. Omega-3 fats from cold-water fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring), oysters, flaxseeds, chia seeds and pastured eggs.

Some key nutrients come from animal sources, so if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, we suggest seeking the support of a nutritionist.

Reduce inflammation

Leading up to and through transfer is the time to place extra attention on reducing inflammation in the body. Excess, chronic inflammation leads to high output of cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol disrupts hormone balance, egg maturation, as well as implantation.

In addition to actively incorporating a diversity of seasonal vegetables and sources of omega-3 fats:

  1. Avoid processed and fried food as much as possible. Packaged food is an unfortunate source of chemical additives and industrial vegetable oils, and fried food also delivers a dose oftrans fats. Cooking at home or selective sourcing of meals is the best way to avoid these inflammatory ingredients.
  2. Reduce refined sugar. Excess sugar is known to be inflammatory for anyone, and not only problematic for those with metabolic conditions like PCOS or diabetes. Instead, experiment with including a portion of sweet whole foods into your meals. For example, sweet potato, beets, carrots, butternut squash and seasonal fruit.
  3. Reduce gluten and dairy. They’re known to be inflammatory for many, and while you may not need to remove them entirely, you can benefit from minimizing them on your plate. For example, instead of a sandwich, toss the same fixings on a bed of quinoa and leafy greens. If you had cheese on the sandwich, add vitamin and mineral-rich avocado instead.

Support stable blood sugar

Blood sugar that stays relatively stable throughout the day is optimal for health, especially during an IVF cycle. Otherwise, extreme dips and spikes in blood sugar negatively affect IVF outcomes, in part due the impact on hormone balance and inflammation which have implications on egg quality and implantation.

A couple key principals do wonders to help keep blood sugar relatively stable: 

  1. Eat regular meals. An IVF cycle is not the time to skip meals. Rather, have breakfast within 90 minutes of waking up or soon after morning physical activity. Eat a satiating meal midday and again in the evening at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. If there’s longer than 6 hours between meals, be sure to have a snack as well.
  2. Fill your plate with PFF, that’s protein, healthy fats and fiber. These combine to slow the impact of higher-glycemic foods on your blood sugar. Protein can come from animal or plant sources. Healthy fats include avocado, olives, coconut, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds and organic dairy. For fiber, think about adding a plant, especially a vegetable to your plate. Each time you eat, do a check for PFF.

Bonnie Burgess - Burgess WellnessIf you are interested in nutrition support for IVF, but have more questions, we encourage you to reach out for a free consultation with Bonnie at Burgess Wellness. Bonnie is a holistic functional nutritionist who specializes in women’s health, and a trusted partner of Lokahi Acupuncture.

Bio:

Bonnie is a holistic functional nutritionist who specializes in women’s health and fertility including patients undergoing ART. She uses a “food first” approach to determine individual nutritional needs coupled with lifestyle modifications and possible nutrient supplementation. Bonnie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she serves an international client base through a 100% virtual consultancy at Burgess Wellness.

 

 

Castor Oil Packs for Fertility & Painful Periods

Castor Oil Packs for Painful Periods and Fertility Support

Castor oil therapy is used frequently in acupuncture for fertility, and it’s a versatile tool in your acupuncturist’s healing toolkit. We use a warm castor oil wrap over the abdomen in order to stimulate blood flow to the uterus and ovaries.

Castor oil is absorbed easily into the tissues below, delivering healing directly into the abdomen. This natural method is often used to treat gynecological disorders related to blockage in the body such as endometriosis, adhesions or scar tissue, painful menstrual cramps, fallopian tube blockage and cysts. 

Castor oil packs for fertility 

Fertility is predicated on a healthy uterus. When our uterus is provided with a healthy, rich supply of oxygenated blood, it helps create an optimal environment for an embryo to implant. 

Castor oil packs for menstrual cramps

A healthy uterine lining sheds more easily, and likely with less menstrual cramping. Castor oil packs bring the nutrient rich blood to the uterus, which supports a healthy lining that will shed at the end of a cycle. A good lining makes for a smoother menstrual cycle.

In addition to bringing blood to the uterus, if a blockage is causing the cramps, regular application of castor oil packs can encourage blood flow to move micro-adhesions and clots out of the body during menstrual flow.

Castor oil packs for the immune system

A congested lymphatic system can cause swelling. It also means that toxins are not being efficiently removed from our cells and tissues. We clearly see this when we fly – our legs swell from lack of movement, and our tongues become swollen and slightly purple.

This congestion is not optimal for health and can compromise our immune system. Scientific studies have shown that Castor oil treatments can boost the immune system by increasing the total lymphocyte count, which is an indication the immune system is upregulating.

Considerations:

Castor oil is a generally safe and effective therapy; however, please do not use it on broken skin or if your are pregnant. At Lokahi Acupuncture, we individualize each recommendation, but as a general rule of thumb, please avoid castor oil packs during your menstrual period, or uterine bleeding for any other reason, and stop therapy after ovulation if you are trying to conceive. Additionally, Castor oil should not be taken internally. It causes abdominal spasms and can stimulate uterine contractions causing miscarriage.

To Make a castor oil pack you will need the following items:

How to apply castor oil packs

  1. Soak one of the flannel pieces in 1 cup of castor oil. Place the soaked flannel over your whole abdomen (make sure to include the liver and the uterus). You can re-use these afterwards by storing in a plastic zip-lock bag. 
  2. Place one piece of plastic on top and then place the towel.
  3. On top of the towel, place the warm water bottle, a heating pad, or the buckwheat pack. The pack should remain in place for at least one hour.
  4. When removing the pack, the remaining oil can be massaged into the skin or cleaned off using the other clean flannel cloth.

Tip –  Plan this for a time when you can sit down and relax, like in the evening watching TV.

Pro Tip – To make a quick and easy castor oil pack:

  • Rub a tablespoon of castor oil on abdomen
  • Place an old towel on top of the oil
  • Place a hot water bottle on top of the towel and rest for 45 minutes

If you would like to schedule a free 15 min consultation with one of our fertility specialists, you can book here.  You can place an order on our online dispensary for your castor oil essentials.

Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
408.279.9001
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Acupuncture for IVF - Your Top Questions Answered

Acupuncture for IVF – Your Top Questions Answered

Acupuncture has been used for decades to support IVF treatments.

Here are our most commonly asked questions:

1. Do I really need acupuncture if I am doing IVF?

The reason many Reproductive Endocrinologists recommend acupuncture for IVF is they want their patients to succeed in becoming pregnant. Acupuncture is an adjunct therapy that optimizes the chances of achieving pregnancy. Acupuncture increases blood flow to the uterus and reproductive organs, reduces stress, and minimizes the side effects of medication.

2. How many acupuncture treatments will it take to work?

We typically recommend 12 treatments before the IVF procedure, with a minimum of two treatments per week for the 4 weeks leading up to the retrieval itself. The purpose of acupuncture for IVF is to optimize the quality and quantity of eggs for retrieval, and to prepare the body for transfer.

3. Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture should not be painful at all. Acupuncturists are trained to insert sterilized, hair-thin needles into the skin in a way that can be hardly perceived. Sometimes it may feel like a mosquito is biting. Receiving an acupuncture treatment for IVF is typically a very relaxing experience, one that induces many patients to fall asleep, or experience a deep sense of rest and relaxation.

4. Can I have acupuncture without the needles?

Acupuncture, by definition, involves the insertion of hair-thin needles. A professional will insert the needles without pain, ensuring the patient has a relaxing experience.

5. Where will you put the needles?

One of the amazing things about acupuncture is that there are many, many options for where to place needles. Typically to support the stimulation part of IVF, we insert needles in the abdomen, over the uterus and ovaries. Additional needles are placed on the body to support as needed.

6. Can acupuncture hurt my chances of conceiving?

Acupuncture for IVF is an extremely low risk treatment. An acupuncturist specializing in fertility is trained specifically on optimizing, rather than negatively affecting, the chances of pregnancy.

Quality fertility specialists not only works in tandem with local IVF doctors, but they’re also familiar with the IVF protocols and medications, what they do and how they make patients feel. They understand the nuances and intricacies of IVF, and work with patients to support them through the process.

If you are interested in acupuncture for IVF, but have more questions, we encourage you to reach out and schedule a complimentary online consultation.

As fertility specialists, we believe that if you are going to spend the time, energy and money to come and work with us, you deserve to have every opportunity to succeed in becoming pregnant.

We invite you to make an appointment or speak to one of our fertility specialists.

Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
408.279.9001
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5 ways Acupuncture can help you with IVF

5 Ways Acupuncture Can Help You With IVF

For some people wanting to have a baby, IVF may be the only option.

Reproductive Endocrinologists know that acupuncture improves IVF outcomes. Here’s why they refer patients to acupuncturists, like Lokahi Acupuncture, who specialize in fertility medicine:

1.   Acupuncture increases blood flow to the ovaries

Correct placement of the acupuncture needles has been shown to increase blood flow to internal organs. With increased blood flow to the ovaries, nutrients are delivered and blood flow is optimized.

Since IVF medications are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce as many eggs as possible, acupuncture helps make sure that the ovaries are able to do what the medication is asking of them.

2.   Acupuncture supports egg development

By improving ovarian function, acupuncture supports the body to produce the best possible eggs. IVF stimulation requires the body to produce as many eggs as it can.

While nothing can increase the number of eggs you were born with, acupuncture can help make sure that what you do have is the best quality it can be. The IVF medications bring the eggs to the surface and get them growing; the acupuncture shunts blood and energy to the growing eggs, supporting the quality.

3.   Acupuncture increases blood flow to the uterus

By increasing blood flow to the uterus, acupuncture treatment during the transfer phase of an IVF cycle ensures the endometrial lining is as hospitable as possible for the implantation of the embryo. Blood flow brings with it nutrients as well as plumping the uterine lining to be thick enough to support implantation.

Typically, acupuncture treatment specifically working on this would happen in conjunction with IVF stimulation medications prior to retrieval and then continue until just before transfer.

4.   Acupuncture helps minimize the side effects of IVF medication

IVF medication can have uncomfortable side effects such as anxiety, bloating, night sweats, breast tenderness, headaches and mood changes. Acupuncture helps mediate and minimize side effects, making for a more pleasant experience. As one of our local Reproductive Endocrinologists put it, “patients just do better with acupuncture”.

5.   Acupuncture reduces stress

With the combination of hormonal treatment and the busy IVF schedule, this can be a very stressful time. Acupuncture promotes relaxation in the body, calms the nervous system and allows you to experience the journey in a better headspace.

As fertility specialists, we believe that if you are going to spend the time, energy and money to come and work with us, you deserve to have every opportunity to succeed in becoming pregnant. We invite you to make an appointment or speak to one of our fertility specialists.

For further information and sources, consider reading research papers by Lee Hollender Rubin, Aaron B. Caughey, Michael S. Opsahl and Klaus Weimer Impact of Whole Systems Traditional Chinese Medicine on In Vitro Fertilization Outcomes

Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
408.279.9001
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5 Tips for Trying to Conceive Naturally

5 Tips for Trying to Conceive Naturally

We often hear the phrase “I never thought it could be this hard.” Trying to conceive naturally can be a challenge, but you can give yourself the best possible chance with a few tips.

Here are our 5 top tips for trying to conceive naturally.

Know your cycle

We are taught in school that ovulation occurs on day 14 of a 28-day cycle. What we are not taught is that we are rarely “textbook” beings. Many women do not ovulate on cycle day 14, nor do they have 28-day cycles.

The best way to know more about your cycle is to track ovulation. By far the most popular way to track your cycle is with an app, but tracking the old fashioned way on paper is just as effective. Cycle day 1 is the first day of your period. Begin by tracking the number of days between cycle day 1, and the start of your next period, or the next cycle day 1.

Once you have a few months of data, you will likely start to notice one of three patterns.

First, you may have a predictable, regular cycle.

Second, you may have an irregular length cycle that is somewhat predictable.

Third, you may have an erratic, unpredictable cycle length.

Cycle tracking provides useful information to help predict when, or if, you’re ovulating, and thus informs the best time to have intercourse. Cycle tracking can also help diagnose potential causes for a difficulty in conceiving.

Eat well

When we are trying to conceive, our cells are the building blocks upon which to start new life. Our cells require a diverse range of nutrients in order to create and sustain new life. They also need to be protected by antioxidants. Additionally fat is a major building block of our hormones.

A general rule of thumb to eat well for fertility is a diet with protein, healthy fat and vegetables at every meal and as few processed foods as possible. We will be dedicating an entire blog post to this topic in the future!

Take care of yourself

No one expects you to be in some kind of stress-free vortex while you try and conceive. However, there is no doubt that excess stress on your body can complicate matters. Recommendations here are common-sense.

Don’t sign up for your very first marathon. Don’t take on extra responsibilities at work or at home if you have the choice. Do try and prioritize rest, balance and well-being during this time.

Take your vitamins

At a minimum, take a prenatal vitamin. For most people that won’t be enough. Many of our patients come in, completely overwhelmed, with bags full of supplements. A trained professional can review your supplement needs with you.

It is important to know what vitamins you should take, and why.

Get checked out

Each partner is 50% of the conception equation. For heterosexual partners trying to conceive naturally, both partners can undergo a fertility workup to make sure nothing is impeding conception. It is important to take this step if you have been trying to conceive for a few months because there could be issues that need treatment before conception can happen.

These tips are by no means an exhaustive list.

This is a place to start when preparing to conceive naturally for optimal success. As fertility specialists, we believe that if you are going to spend the time, energy and money to come and work with us, you deserve to have every opportunity to succeed in becoming pregnant.

We invite you to make an appointment or speak to one of our fertility specialists.

Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
408.279.9001
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