IVF Treatment on Hold?Read my 4 key Steps to prepare for conception
whilst in quarentine
Your body needs 3 months in preparation time to support healthy follicular growth, healthy hormones and an optimal fertile environment for an embryo to thrive.
futureIs your IVF treatment on hold due to Covid-19?
It’s upsetting and frustrating, sure. You wait so long to commence your journey down the medical fertility route, after 2 years or more of trying to conceive. You then get put on 6 months of Clomid with no avail, often just being left with unpleasant, lingering side effects.
THEN, after being poked and prodded some more with HSG’s, scans and bloods, you’re getting somewhere… Until quarentine hits and IVF treatment is being put on hold, indefinitely.
I’ve heard it from the horses mouth (Care Fertility) that they are OPTIMISTICALLY hoping for fertility treatments to continue again in the next 4 weeks. But that was said through gritted teeth and significant hesitation.
BUT, there is a silver lining!
We know that our follicles take 120 days to mature and blossom into ovulation. When one health follicle is cherry picked by our HPO Axis to become the strongest, dominant cell primed for fertilisation.
If we have an irregular cycle one month, we just have to look at what was happening in our lives 3 months ago. Was it boozy, stressful, uncertain, indulgent? All things I am hearing reportedly being the case during this lock-down period.
So what does this mean?
In its most simplistic terms, it means that the quality of our eggs is dependant on our environment. A goldish will wither and die if it isn’t bathed in beautiful, fresh, clean water. So why would we expect the cells in our body, in particular the BIGGEST cell in our body, our egg, to thrive?
This lock down period creates a unique opportunity to prepare the body for conception, be it natural or assisted.
Don’t think that because IVF treatment is assisted that you don’t have a role to play in preparation. Your internal health is PARAMOUNT for healthy ovulation, growth of endometrial lining, implantation, sustaining pregnancy, embryo development and the long-term health of your child too!
So… Just about EVERYTHING! Embryologists can work the basic nuts and bolts of the conception process but the responsibility lies with you as to the health of your pregnancy and health of your baby.
How to prepare your Body for conception + IVF treatment
Stress contributes towards hormonal imbalances and blood sugar destablisation and it can divert our body’s resources away from the process of conception and pregnancy.
So you’ve all heard about our primary stress hormone, cortisol? When stress levels go up, the body has to make cortisol to balance out adrenaline.
The problem? Your adrenal glands can only make so much cortisol during a day. Once you burn through your adrenal reserve, you need more cortisol to keep up with demand and then triggers a process called the “pregnenaolone steal”.
Pregnenalone is a horme that plays a role in the production of other hormones in the body, including cortisol and our primary fertility hormone PROGESTERONE. When your body needs more corisol than is readily available with will “steal” the pregnenalone dedicated to creating progesterone and instead use it to produce more cortisol. This results in a higher level of oestrogen vs. progesterone.
This is why our cycles often become irregular when we are under stress because this act of “stealing” and redistributing “vital” hormone production impacts both ovulation and implantation (progesterone being the hormone responsible for implantation in the luteal phase).
What’s worse? Under a constant state of stress, your body will stop producing pregnanolone all together which means your body stops making enough of ALL your sex hormones.
Keys to managing stress and flushing out cortisol: Meditation, exercise, diet, supplementation and orgasm.
Treat food as medicine. Your body needs nourising micro-nutrient rich foods to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy.
Now is a time to place great emphasis on foods that are rich in hormone balancing, phyto-oestrogens. These include dark green leafy vegetables, maca, flaxseeds (in fact all seeds!), brocolli, oranges, carrots and blood-sugar balancing legumes (beans and pulses).
These types of foods support your natural oestrogen levels, oestrogen detoxification, healthy follicular development and ultimately healthy ovulation.
Good fats are also integral for supporting fertility. Did you know what hormones are manufactured from cholesterol, and cholesterol relies on the consumption of good fats in our diet.
This includes things like avocado, flaxseed oil, olive oil, oily fish, eggs, nuts and seeds. Royal Jelly is also a super-food rich is fat that support fertility and hormone balance.
There is so many other wonderful, nourishing, fertility rich foods but this is a great place to start. Think WHOLEFOODS, SEASONAL and HOME COOKED!
Clean up your environment
As mentioned, environment is key! And this doesn’t just mean our internal environment but also how external things in our environment can impact our hormonal and fertility health too.
This includes endocrine disrupting chemicals found in pesticides on foods (most common is Organophosphate) which can actually increase the risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy. Of the 45 most popularly used on fruit and vegetable, 16 are suspected hormone disruptors, 6 known to have developmental and fertility toxins, 7 are neurotoxic
BPA and BPF found in hard plastics are known endocrine disruptors and are also associated with weight gain and insulin resistance. Did you know that tinned food also has a BPA lining?
Phthalates in cosmetic products, household products and shower products are also known endocrine disruptors that can have an impact on our delicate hormonal balance.
All these chemicals have significant health side-effects and have been shown to impact the cognitive and physical development of our children – even 3 generations down the line!
Key points to take away? I don’t say this to scare you ! But rather, to encourage you to start making healthy choices for the health of your pregnancy and the health of your child (even grand, grand children) in the future.
The body sees pregnancy as a form of detox and if we are loaded with harmful chemicals, we may off load this toxicity either into our child our or through miscarriage.
This is why it’s key to start “cleansing” our body of harmful toxins by buyin 80 % organic food, ditching the plastic tubberwear and replacing it with glass, and slowly start replacing your household/costmetic items with Phthalate free alternatives.
We know that making these healthy changes is the right thing to do, but it’s not always the easiest. Not when doing it alone. We often need support to implement and sustain these positive, healthy changes.
This is why I have created the Fertile Flow Formula – a 12 week online immersion to support women create the most optimal, fertile environment and prepare the body for IVF.
Over the next 12 weeks you will be hand-held through the most effective, evidence based techniques that both YOU AND YOUR PARTNER can implement to prepare your body for conception.
What’s more, you will be joining a community of like-minded women so you will never feel alone in your struggles and fears regarding conception again.
This is a course like no other. It is pioneering the powerful fusion between Western and Chinese medicine philosophies, insights and techniques.
Your understanding of your health and hormones will go deeper than you have ever been before so we can begin healing and finding strength on a truly mind, body and spiritual level.
I am only taking 6 ladies on in the May 2020 intake. Ladies who have sadly had their IVF treatments cancelled due to COVID-19 and are looking for the best ways to prepare their bodies to hit the ground running when the doors of their fertility clinic re-open again.
If this is you, I want to hear from you! Find out more info here: The Fertile Flow Formula.
Acupuncturist + Founder of Life + Lemons Integrative Health Clinic.
Kimberley, Acupuncturist and Clinic Director at Life + Lemons, is a registered TCM (Traditional Chinese Medical) Acupuncturist, passionate about helping women reclaim their feminine edge. After graduating with a First Class Honors in York, she has undertaken specialist training in the area of pain management, natural conception, IVF support, menopause + pelvic pain (endometriosis/dysmenorrhea).
Find Out more about IVF and natural conception.
Drop us an email and we will get back to you shortly!