A kitchen interview with Dr. Catherine Price about the things you can do to help with fertility and infertility issues.
There are lots of ways to think about conception, unfortunately when we are actively trying to have a baby, there is the added pressure of our own expectations that don’t necessarily help our bodies relax. This interview was very casual, recorded in my kitchen, so please bear with the audio quality. I was asked a very straight forward question: “What are some things I can do to help with my fertility” The answers that follow are more nuanced but very applicable and similar to what I would tell my patients and friends alike.
Here’s the transcript of the interview:
After you’ve been trying to get pregnant for about 8 months, it’s time to go get checked out to make sure that everything is functioning properly so the first thing would be is to send your significant other who we’re assuming is a male to check a sperm count and motility. The sperm count is about making sure that there’s enough semen in his ejaculate and then also checking his motility to see how well the sperm are moving. I mean, maybe he has plenty of sperm perhaps on the lazier side of moving. And then for yourself that means going to just your OBGYN and having your FSH levels checked to make sure that they’re not too high. If they are too high it means that you are not ovulating properly and also to make sure that there’s not an obstruction in your fallopian tubes.
The next thing after doing that would be to – assuming there is not any physical reason why you’re having a hard time being pregnant – it’s good to look into other things. So basically the doctors find out that there’s nothing wrong and they can’t figure out why you’re not getting pregnant, here’s some of the things to do.
If budget allows, try going on vacation. Lots of people conceive on vacation perhaps because their stress levels are reduce, their cortisol levels also are reduced and there’s more time to have sex and the conditions are more hospitable for conception because everybody has the time to have sex and also can be more relaxed. It helps with fertility.
Another thing you can do, of course, is try acupuncture. That is about 90% of what I see in my practices in fertility. What can acupuncture do to help if you’re having issues with fertility? Well it can help with stress and that can help greatly.
If you are under great stress, your body thinks there’s a fight or flight situation and you can imagine if you were a cavewoman being chased by a saber tooth tiger it would be pretty hard to conceive a baby. The body feels that the world is unsafe and inhospitable and so it really doesn’t lend itself to procreation.
So acupuncture can reduce the stress which is such a big deal when you’re trying to get pregnant and in addition it can increase blood flow to the pelvic region and thicken the endometrium. The endometrium is the lining of the uterus and thick and spungy endometrium is essential for implantation.
What else can you do?
So, we’re talking a lot about reducing stress. Also, adequate sleep – doing your best to try and get 8 hours of sleep at night.
Lots of people have trouble sleeping. Lots of people wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep or it takes an hour or two to fall asleep at night because she’s thinking about all kinds of things – overthinking and really worrying. So, getting more sleep if possible and like I said, that’s a challenge for lots of people so it might be necessary to have some kind of preamble to going to sleep. That might include a glass of wine, a warm bath, maybe even warm milk – sex is also an option, too.
Also, if you get enough exercise – most people feel like if they exercise enough they sleep better so add that as a part of the recipe for good sleep and that brings me to the next bullet point which actually is exercise.
I think that exercising on a regular basis is helpful to getting pregnant assuming you’re not a triathlete who exercises too much and does not have a period because of rigorous exercise.
So, if you’re just the average person who probably needs a little more exercise this is a great time to get it.
I think that’s a good start for now. END TRANSCRIPT.
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