Thursday, 12 March 2015

Seeking the True Root Cause of my Infertility

We've all done it- type in a few words describing the symptoms and five clicks later, you've come to the only rational possibility:  You have cancer.

Dr. Google was my best friend in the first (4 years) of my Hippeo journey (you can read all about it starting at The Beginning). I searched and searched for a reason, answer, possibility and hope- anything that would give me something to work at, something to fix. I came up short, very short! And there's one simple reason why: Dr. Google (and I) weren't looking in the right place.
(The ironic thing here, is that you probably found this post via Google!)

I was so focused on all small simple, quick and easy solutions (tricks and tips) to getting pregnant, that I was overlooking the big picture! Also, I had never been taught or told what a major impact nutrition and lifestyle can have on health. My whole life, I (and REAL doctors) have always said/thought, that I was healthy. So I had no reason to be asking Dr. Google the correct kind of questions. And because of this I went down the narrow path of tips, tricks and major time wasting!Because infertility was my reason for loitering in Dr. Google's office, I spent a lot of waster time, not only looking for answers to my unexplained fertility issues, but also looking on chat boards- what worked and didn’t work for other women.

Now I do believe that, some of what you find is great for support and some of these tips and tricks can help fertility, but if you’re anything like me (someone with an immune or big hormonal issue), they won’t be your solution- not even if you do all of them at the same time, standing on your head! While many women have great success with these, there is a growing proportion of us, who will only find these to be time, effort and money wasters. Here's what I can tell you about these quick and easy solutions and why they may not be working for you (and YES- I’ve done them all):

Major causes of infertility (that's nice they made a little chart) and the problem of Mainstream Solutions:

Sent straight to do a full round of IVF after all the typical test were done and gave no answers.
Now, I will admit I did have the blinders on and maybe a lot of women (and men) do too, when it comes to looking at alternative solutions that are hard work. But in fairness to us all, our society is set up of easy, quick advice and fixes. I found on most mainstream websites, for all the major fixable causes of infertility, they push you straight down the path of drugs and invasive procedures. Let’s face it, most problems people have now a days, are treated with drugs and procedures, not fixed with sustainable long term healthy alternatives, by looking into the root cause.

This was so true for me- I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility and was sent straight to do a full round of IVF- NO diet or lifestyle changes necessary. As I talked about in the The Wonderful World of IVF, the first round of IVF (and the second) did not explain, give a solution, fix the problem or produce a baby! Hindsight is a b*tch - FOR REAL! Now that I have done both (IVF and dramatic diet and lifestyle changes), I can honestly say IVF is not quick and easy. Neither is dramatic diet and lifestyle changes, but I would go back in a second and make those hard changes before doing our first IVF round, which left us broken. The path of drugs and invasive procedures (on it's own), let us down as it does so many.

For the ever growing population of people who are dealing with Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Ovulation Problems, Poor Egg Quality, Over Active Immune System and Sperm Problems (to name a few), need to be told that there is another option out there- clean, healthy eating and living- basically being a Hippeo! All these issues can all be linked back to nutrition and lifestyle. Truly- In one way or another!! If you put in the hard work necessary, there's a good chance you can overcome these issues without any drugs and invasive procedures. For the rest of us,  who chose or need to use IUI and IVF, these changes in nutrition and lifestyle will give us a much better chance of the positive outcome we seek! For more information and helpful resources on how to optimise your chances of success (whatever treatment you’re doing)  click here.
The problem with Supplements and Herbs:
The pills I used to lay out for the weeks to come. And if I remember correctly, this is after I weeded out a few!
"Okay!" You say. And then if you're anything like me, you start Dr. Googling curing (fill in the blank) naturally with nutrition and lifestyle- Oh the rabbit hole we go down!! While there are loads of great little tips and tricks (especially with supplements and herbs) it will take you years with the trial and error method to figure out what combination works for you- Trust me I tried it! COENZYME Q-10, ROYAL JELLY, DHEA, PROGESTERONE, FOLIC ACID, MILK THISTLE, SOY ISOFLAVONES, RED RASPBERRY, MACA, CASTOR OIL, EVENING PRIMROSE, RED CLOVER, DONG QUAI, BABY ASPIRIN, ROBITUSSIN, AGNUS CASTUS (VITEX AGNUS CASTUS), FALSE UNICORN and that's what I can remember off the top of my head! (Good lists if you must: WebMD and Fertility Herbs)

You can use supplements and herbs until you go blue in the face (I’m surprised I didn’t, with all the sh*t I took!) Until you work on the underlining issue, these are only going to mess with your bodies chemistry even more! I say this, because for many of us, we don’t know what our body truly needs. We use them thinking that they could be the answer to the problem, not as support. For a real life example: I felt I had hormonal issues (I did) so instead of finding out why I had these issues, I took Agnus Castus, because it aids in regulating hormonal balance and promotes ovulation- Simple. I wanted an easy answer and solution to my complicated problem- sound familiar? Supplements and herbs are great when you use them correctly. After I finally did testing on what was going on with my hormones, blood sugars and adrenals, was I finally able to reap the benefits of supplements and herbs. Other than the obvious (folic acid), there's only one other supplement I take now on that list. The rest of the other supplements I use NEVER showed up on any fertility list I saw!!

The problem with Natural Fertility Treatments:

Best meditation partner ever!
You'll also find these top Natural Fertility Treatments when you use Dr. Google: Acupuncture, Naturopath, Reflexology, Reiki and Iridology (and YES, I’ve used them all). I’m not going to go into too much depth with my own personal experiences, because that’s what these are all truly about-your personal experience. While all of these boast about fixing and solving the problem, what they’re really doing is (importantly) aiding and supporting. But just like the supplements and herbs, we’re looking for a quick and easy tips and tricks, and many of us throw money at these treatments thinking (again) this will be the answer!  

The problem with many naturopaths and iridologist is that they lump you into categories. Think of astrology; while some of your monthly readings are spot on, others are so vague you wonder if you’ve got your own birthday right! As I do feel there is a time and place for these practices, be very careful of the advice they give you. The iridologist I saw had great insight into my (and my husbands) habits and was amazing at reading personalities, but put me on a very low carb diet (not even root veg) and supplements I should have never been on. I naively listened and followed his advice for over 4 months. While I had a kick ass body, my hormones were all over the place- his advise was too broad and again I wasted time, money and effort!

As for reflexology, reiki and acupuncture, these are all great in aiding flow, energy and relaxation. But once again, they cannot with all the will in the world correct your chronic stress levels, PCOS, over active immune system or any other major issue for that matter. My best advice when using these treatments is to find someone you connect with (especially reflexology and reiki). Because these treatments are holistic and all have roots in mind, body and spirit, your experience will be a 100% more rewarding and beneficial when you share the connection with someone you have a bond with. I’ve been really luck and have had a great reflexologist (and reiki) practitioner to aid me in my journey, and I am truly grateful for all her support.

But in saying that, it took me a long time to understand that if you are someone who is chronically stressed (you may be without even knowing it- I was!), a once a week sessions will do little to help combat your stress levels (which may be a big reason for you issues). To do this it takes a lot more effort on your part, you just can’t lie on the table for an hour out of your 168 hour stressful week and possibly get any colossal benefits from it! Meditation and Yoga (because you usually meditate when you do yoga) are two great ways, to help truly combating your stress levels. You have to do them once a day and the more effort you put it, the more you feel the rewards (and it gets easier the more you do it)! Ohhh- one final thing: If any of these practitioners offer you any magic pills (including supplements and herbs), liquids or potions, without running any tests to see what your body is doing specifically- run, run fast!!

Keep on reading.......

Seeking the True Root Cause of my Infertility -

A group for women and men looking to gain knowledge
and support about health and wellbeing during their infertility journey.

Other great post about my journey -

    If you'd like any support in your own journey or have any questions Let's Talk
     Please remember that this is simply my story and what I have gone through. These are my opinions, that I have formed over the years, through trial and error, study, reading, listening and observing. I am open to change, challenges and new scientific developments. What works for me, may not work for you. I am not a doctor and all medical advice, should be gotten from a qualified professional. If you feel like your doctor isn't reading from the same nutrition and lifestyle book as you are (or want to be), go find one that is!

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