It takes 90 days for the egg to renew itself and 70-80 days for the life cycle of the sperm. In a very short period of time you can make dramatic changes to your health and you fertility. Remember unless your doctor is trained in functional medicine, they will not tell you the link between diet, lifestyle and fertility.
This is a 90-day protocol. It is completely individualized, depending on specific infertility diagnosis.
Study after study proves that when we address the underlying cause of dysfunction or disease, that we can heal and achieve optimal health. Our current disease care model is broken. We are managing symptoms only!
When we look at the whole person as we do in Functional Medicine we heal the mind, body and spirit. My goal is to educate and empower couples to know that they don’t need to wait for someone else to FIX their health issues; they can take steps today!
If there is any part of you that whispers or maybe it’s shouting to you, YES, here are some tips that I recommend to my clients (remember these are guidelines and each person’s is unique, the approach may vary per individual).
Stage #1 (Day 1-30)
Add in more home cooking with whole foods, pack lunch, eliminate processed foods, get to know your local farmers market, shop the periphery of the grocery store (fewer boxed items), become a food detective (read ingredients), try new foods (kale, quinoa, chia)
Drink more water – glass/stainless steel bottle due to the toxins in plastics which impact endocrine system, water helps improve cervical mucus (helps sperm get to egg)
Balance Blood Sugar
This is crucial for hormone regulation, (as unbalanced blood sugar spikes cortisol and then affects sex hormones), cravings are a sign that you blood sugar is unbalanced, get glucometer or use food diary to determine imbalance, add in more lean protein and healthy fats (avocado’s, nuts) to keep satiated and minimize cravings
If you are at a restaurant don’t look at the menu, decide what you want protein/veggies/potato/olive oil, talk to chef for healthy options
Identify stressors both emotional/structural (use wheel of life to determine areas for focus/improvement eg. Relationship/career/finances/health/spirituality)
Remove technology from bedroom, aim 7-9 hours sleep (notice if sleep is disrupted (could be due to blood sugar imbalance)
Start with 10 minutes/3-4x week
Try deep breathing exercises
Professional grade prenatal
Stage #2 (Day 31-60)
Switch to 100% organic due to pesticides/herbicides (studies prove that glysophate (herbicide used to kill weeds) negatively impacts male/female fertility)
Take out top inflammatory foods (gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, peanuts) for 10 days and systematically re-introduce
Gluten is linked to a number of health issues, autoimmune issues including infertility. Eliminate for 90 days for further healing.
Dairy has excess estrogen and antibiotics which impact ovulation and fertility. This is especially important for estrogen dominance such is the case with PCOS, endometriosis fibroids. Eliminate for 90 days for further healing.
Consume more plants
Aim for 3-4 servings of animal per week, excess protein impacts ovulation, reduce red meat if have endometriosis , add in living plants such as spouts, parsley, cilantro, stevia (plant form), more leafy greens (kale, collards, chard)
Bowel movements should be 1-3 times per day to ensure toxins are leaving body, dry skin brushing, Epsom salt baths for further detoxification
Avoid processed sugar
Switch to honey or maple syrup, natural sweeteners unless insulin resistant then could try stevia (not if you have PCOS can impact ovulation), coconut nectar may be good to try. Keep blood sugar stable as this can then impact your cortisol levels, which then can have an impact on your sex hormones.
Personal Care/Cleaning Chemicals
Check all personal care/cleaning chemicals on www.ewg.org, skin deep database, switch to organic
Get really honest about your stressors (start to integrate changes, work/life balance, setting boundaries, button pushing, limiting beliefs)
Start sleep ritual (cool room, no technology, essential oils)
20 minutes 3-4x/week, add in weight trainin
Add in meditation, journaling, yoga, deep breathing
Prenatal, fish oil, probiotic, CoQ10, digestive enzymes
Stage #3 (Day 61-90)
Consider eliminating foods with histamines, oxalates, salicylates (30 days, then re-introduce
Add fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, homemade coconut yogurt, probiotic drinks), pineapple, papaya and celery
Adrenal stress index (hormonal testing), DUTCH test (hormonal testing), food sensitivity testing (IgG, MRT), full thyroid panel, MTFHR gene mutation, stool testing for parasites, heavy metal testing, gene testing 23andme
Getting honest about stressors (understand link between thoughts, emotions, actions, uncover what could be holding you back (gremlin, reframing, triggers)
Consistently getting 7-9 hours sleep, wake up feeling rested
Exercising consistently 3-4 times per week 30-60 minutes (brisk walking, interval training, fertility yoga, weight training)
Add in meditation, journaling, deep breathing, hypnotherapy, Letting Go Coping, principles positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy
Prenatal, fish oil, probiotic (play with FOS or no FOS), CoQ10, consider probiotic therapy, L-Glutamine (gut healing), Support Mucosa (gut healing), digestive enzymes, amino acids, genetic testing (can provide customized supplement recommendations)
In a very short period of time you can make dramatic changes to your health and fertility. It’s important to get support as you go through this journey. Join my Fab Fertile Support Group for weekly challenges, motivation and inspiration. The group also contains many free resources such as the Fertility Diet Challenge, Symptom Checklist, Fertility Supplement guide and more!
Sarah Clarke is a Fertility Coach and the author of Fabulously Fertile