Episode 69 | THE FIFTH VITAL SIGN | Lisa Hendrickson-Jack

Master Your Cycle & Optimize Your Fertility

Description:

Lisa Hendrickson-Jack is a certified Fertility Awareness Educator, Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner, and author of The Fifth Vital Sign. She joins the show today to speak with Hillary about using Fertility Awareness as a primary method of birth control, ovulation as a health marker, important things to know about hormonal birth control, and an evidence-based approach as to how to set ourselves up for success when it comes to our menstrual cycle and fertility tracking. They discuss the realities of the public education system regarding this topic, hear more about her Fertility Friday Podcast, and ways in which women can connect more with their cycle and fertility.

 

Takeaways:

[7:11] Lisa herself didn’t discover fertility awareness until about age 18 or 19, and even after that, there has been very little that has progressed in terms of teaching about menstruation and fertility in the public education system.

[9:12] Woman are often made to feel as though the menstrual cycle is something dirty or a nuisance that must be stopped or contained. Their concerns are dismissed and side effects which can be very serious and painful are diminished.

[12:26] Our ovulation is a marker of our health. In the same way that we have come to learn more about men’s health and their fertility being intertwined, Lisa and Hillary hope the same for the near future regarding ovulation and women’s health.

[15:58] Menstruation is a vital sign of what our body needs, how it is doing and is connected to many layers of health.

[24:54] The hormonal birth control pill stops ovulation to some degree, which dramatically reduces the natural production of our bodies estrogen and progesterone, and affects our free testosterone.

[27:02] Although how it plays out is different in everyone, all women who take hormonal birth control do experience effects in their hormones and organs.

[28:54] It is important for women to be upfront and aware of the side effects of the hormone birth control pill. Depression is a big one, along with mood swings.

[29:41] Research shows that hormonal birth control is associated with a temporary delay in the return of normal fertility. The shot is the worst offender, with other methods falling in after.

[33:56] Some women may hear about the side effects of hormonal birth control and decide it’s not for them, while others decide they will still use it but modify the use. Whatever choice that works best for you is the right one, but it’s important to be informed and aware.

[37:16] Birth control stops your normal cycle and replaces it with a fake one, but it doesn’t address or fix the real root of irregular menstrual cycles.

[45:12] Since birth control shrinks the ovaries, there is an established delay between when we come off birth control and when our body is normalized and fertile.

[52:35] There are many options for tracking our menstrual cycle and fertility. Because there is only about one week out of the month we can get pregnant, knowing this fact alone can be a total game changer.

[60:30] Devices such as wearable thermometers can be very helpful, but nothing trumps fertility awareness and training from a professional instructor. Much like learning to drive a car, it is a one-time investment that can lead to years of knowledge and empowerment.

 

References:

The Fifth Vital Sign: Master Your Cycles & Optimize Your Fertility, by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack

Fertility Friday Podcast

 

Continue Your Journey:

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

 

Disclaimer *

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

 

EPISODE 59 | COULD YOU BE A CANDIDATE FOR EFFORTLESS IVF? | Drs. Kathy & Kevin Doody

Description:

This week’s episode is all about innovation in IVF. The highly esteemed reproductive endocrinologists, Drs. Kathy and Kevin Doody came on to talk about their process of what they call “effortless IVF” and how it helps couples conceive. The Doodys talk about their clinic in Bedford, TX,  the specifics of their process, and the changes they have witnessed in over 30 years in the field of assisted reproductive medicine. In my opinion, their use of the INVOcell™ helps to make IVF as close to natural as possible. If you are someone that has hit a wall in terms of the all-natural route or is over the age of 35 and looking to check out your options, I highly recommend you have a listen.

To share your own fertility story, please email me at hillary@ladypotions.com. I look forward to connecting with you, as you are what this podcast is all about.

Takeaways:

[2:06] Dr. Kathy is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and subspecialty board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology/Infertility. She has received multiple recognitions as one of Fort Worth's Top Docs, as well as one of Texas’ Super doctors. Dr. Kevin is is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and sub-specialty board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology/Infertility. Dr. Kevin has received multiple honors as one of Fort Worth's Top Docs, one of Texas’ Super Doctors and one of the Best Doctors in America for the last several years. In 2017, Dr. Kevin was recognized with the Resolve National Infertility Association’s Hope Award for Achievement in recognition for his contributions. While Dr. Kevin was serving as president of the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), he was instrumental in updating the SART National Summary Data to assist patients in making informed decisions about medical care. Dr. Kevin was also recognized as Microsoft Physician of the Year 2004. And they are married! Which is super cool.

[7:04] Their Center for Assisted Reproduction, CARE Fertility, in Bedford, Texas has an outstanding number of firsts in their location: the first ICSI pregnancy in the geographical area, they were first to successfully implement a blastocyst culture system, first in the world to use the INVOcell™ device in a blastocyst embryo transfer, and even trained the doctor in Virginia who helped the first same-sex couple both carry their baby.

[9:22] IVF, or In Vitro Fertilization, means that the egg is fertilized outside the body. ICSI, or Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, is the placement of a single sperm into the egg. It was invented in Brussels, and the Doodys were at the forefront of its discovery and implementation.

[10:36] A personal happy story! The Doodys had a hand in creating their nephew through ICSI.

[11:11] The INVOcell™ is a plastic capsule shaped like a champagne cork. It is an incubator and allows for the woman to provide the right environment and atmosphere for embryo development. It enters the uterus at the blastocyst stage.

[13:41] Dr. Kathy says it’s important for patients to understand why it makes sense to put the embryo into the body because it reflects what happens naturally in the different stages of ovulation.

[15:30] Part of the quality control is being able to make sure that the egg has normally fertilized, and it does take the place of IUI.

[17:47] The Doodys believe it is better to allow the natural competitive process when you can.

[18:20] Effortless IVF decreases the cost by about 50% and the amount of medication and monitoring that usually come with traditional IVF. The two main factors that are taken into account in a woman are her egg count, which is determined by her Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) levels, and her body weight. The appropriate candidates need to have an AMH higher than 0.8, a body weight less than 190 lbs, and a BMI less than 35.

[23:40] There is a 59% success rate with frozen embryo transfers with no monitoring and transferring only one embryo in patients.

[26:41] The approach is closer to mother nature, as they are able to discern which embryo will transfer successfully.

[30:01] Dr. Kevin explains why the process is so streamlined from a laboratory standpoint, and the minimal interventions that take place in the process.

[33:21] Complex organic systems like variance and the human body is certainly an example of that.

[34:54] The INVOcell™ was founded by Dr. Claude Ranoux, a fertility specialist.

[36:47] This discovery has been a huge win for same-sex couples, as it is opening up new avenues and options for fertilization.

[41:02] Dr. Kathy’s advice for couples looking to conceive, is to realize you aren’t alone, and it is important to be proactive and seek out the options in your area. Dr. Kevin reminds us to not get discouraged, and not to let fear of failure hold you back. It is hard to give up control, and effortless IVF makes the appointments more convenient and less daunting.

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

@ladypotions4u

Center for Assisted Reproductive Care

American Society of Reproductive Medicine

Ep #30: “Male Infertility with Dr. Paul Turek”

Effortless IVF

“Comparing blastocyst quality and live birth rates of intravaginal culture using INVOcell™ to traditional in vitro incubation in a randomized open-label prospective controlled trial”

INVO Bioscience

@CareFertilityUS

 

Continue Your Journey:

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

 Disclaimer *

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 57 | A CONVERSATION ABOUT CYCLING WITH THE MOON | Sharna Langlais

Cycling With the Moon — What Does That Even Mean?

Description:

In this week’s episode, we welcome back the highly credentialed Reiki master and Meditation Facilitator Sharna Langlais, what moon cycles have to do with fertility, how you can work with the moon when it comes to your emotions and energy levels, and what exactly it means to cycle with the moon. We give you a brief history of how we have connected with La Luna over the years, ways to practice that honor and respect tradition of connecting with the moon’s deep energy, and a view of how to navigate the moon’s cycle with grace and ease.

 

To share your own fertility story, please email me at hillary@ladypotions.com. I look forward to connecting with you, as you are what this podcast is all about.

Takeaways:

[5:51] When Sharna talks about the moon with her clients, she also talks about the larger cycles of nature and the solstice energy that comes with releasing and shedding the old to welcome the new.

[7:15] Mercury Retrograde usually happens 3 times a year and is typically a 3-week cycle where Mercury appears to be going backward in the night sky. From an astrological standpoint, Mercury rules communication, travels and thought, and is thought to affect decisions, conversations, technology, etc. Sharna sees it as an opportunity to slow down and get more intentional to reevaluate and repurpose our life.

[13:54] As we cycle more with the seasons and look for the opportunities to connect to spiritual traditions, it even goes further back to times in history where we experienced cultural appropriation for our beliefs and traditions. Sharna would like to reframe “paganism,” not as a demonic and satanic term, but as a way to show that we are aligning ourselves with the elements of nature.

[19:28] Moving ourselves out of fear and into research is a huge element of growth and reclaiming information that was lost and taken away from women, from the structures of power and control.

[23:45] To Sharna, cycling with the moon is about being connected to nature, physical bodies and everything that feminine is about: mystery, chaos, observation, openness. Hillary thinks of it as a time when we are most fertile.

[26:35] White moon is the idea that you bleed at the new or the waning moon, and the period is a time and rest and recovery. The red moon means your cycle follows the full moon, and you are most fertile during the new or waning moon. In ancient times, the red moon cycle was said to demonstrate their creativeness outward, and they are focused on self-growth, mentorship, and creativity. The feminine energy allows us to observe and accept what our body is doing on any different day.

[33:40] One of the first things Sharna recommends to get aligned with the moon is just to observe what it is that is happening with their body for three cycles.

[36:11] In olden times they used to offer menstrual blood to the land and fertilize their plants with it. Sharna finds that the “messiness” itself is a feminine energy and our creative energy at our core. She also recommends charting our cycle, moon gazing and spending time with nature and trees.

[44:54] Sharna says all releases are good releases, no matter how society has told us to be shameful of them.

[48:89] The new moon symbolizes new beginnings, and it begins to wax or become fuller leading to when it’s at its fullest at the full moon. We are usually intention-setting around a new moon, and looking at what we would like to create over the next period. Traditionally, full moon cycles honor fertility and celebrate releasing what is no longer necessary.

full.png


[56:02] When you start to observe how the moon cycles affect your energy and period, it becomes fascinating to watch and plan life changes and interactions accordingly.

[58:53] The more Sharna does energy work, the less she finds herself affected by her menstrual cycle.

[63:07] Moon energy is feminine, and sun energy is masculine. Sharna compares it to a dance of two lovers.

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

@ladypotions4u

Sharna Langlais

Seek Spark Shine

Ep #055: “Could Your Fertility Challenges Be An Unexpected Spiritual Awakening?”

Kissing the Hag, by Emma Restall Orr

Miranda Gray

Ep #035 “Mastering Mindfulness During a High Risk Pregnancy”

Ep #037 “TCM Wants to Help You Conceive”

Sharna’s Full Moon Gathering

Leah Whitehorse

Continue Your Journey:

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

Disclaimer * You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.








EPISODE 51 | NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS THAT WON'T WRECK YOUR FERTILITY PT2

Description:

Hillary first opens the show with an amazing keynote from her mentor, the late Ray Rubio from the Integrative Fertility Symposium last year. Ray shares a story about Dr. Shen, and why often times the simplest answer right under our nose is the one that will give us our answers. Then, she welcomes back her friend Katrina to share Part 2 of their top picks for yummy (and effective!) green and clean beauty products.

 Takeaways:

[4:10] Hillary plays a clip of a Keynote from the Integrative Fertility Symposium where her mentor, Ray Rubio, discusses the beauty of using common sense as a practitioner, and a story regarding his mentor Dr. Shen and the fashion icon Chanel.
[14:53] Hillary and Katrina discuss more of Katrina’s top picks!

Dry Shampoo (Katrina recommends putting it in our hair before bed instead of in the morning)

●      Kaia Naturals

●      Captain Blankenship

Shampoo

●      Innersense

●      Avalon Organics

Conditioner

●      Acure Conditioner

Body Wash

●      Aleavia

●      Saje Soap Bars

●      Meow Meow Tweet

Deodorant

●      Agent Nateur

●      Meow Meow Tweet

●      Kaia Naturals

●      Meow Meow Pit Primer

●      Once a week do an armpit detox with bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar mask to pull out all of the old aluminum. Leave it on for about 10 minutes.

Beauty Boxes

●      Beauty Hero

●      Art of Organics

●      Organic Bunny Box (@organicbunny on Instagram)

 

References:

Fertile Minds on iTunes

@ladypotions4u

Ep #049: “Part 1 of Natural Beauty Products Worth Your Money That Won’t Wreck Your Fertility” 

Integrative Fertility Symposium

Parents on Demand App

Disclaimer * You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 49 | NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS THAT WON'T WRECK YOUR FERTILITY PT1

Natural Beauty Products that are Worth Your Hard Earned Pennies & Won’t Interfere with your Fertility

Description:

Today, Hillary and her friend Katrina talk about beauty products and how they could be interfering with your fertility. They list the top ten chemical and ingredient offenders (out of 1,300!) to look out for and avoid, give recommendations on natural beauty product and product lines, and share some practical ways to make small shifts away from slathering ourselves daily in a chemical cocktail. More women are becoming savvy as consumers, and aware of how much of an effect what we put on our body has in with what happens inside of it. 

Takeaways:

[1:37] The United States Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (abbreviated as FFDCA, FDCA, or FD&C), has not been changed since 1938. Europe and Canada have higher regulatory standards, and hopefully, the United States will catch up in the close future.

[9:30] Top 10 ingredients we don’t want in our personal care products:

  1. Sunscreen Chemicals. Common Names are Benzophenone, PABA, Avobenzone, Homosalate, and Methoxycinnamate.

  2. Parabens. Parabens are widely used preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast in cosmetic products. Read more on parabens.

  3. Synthetic Colors. FD&C or D&C represent artificial colors. F (food) and D&C (drug and cosmetics).  These letters precede a color and number (e.g., D&C Red 27 or FD&C Blue 1).

  4. Synthetic Fragrance.

  5. Phthalates. The main phthalates in cosmetics and personal care products are dibutyl phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate in hairspray.

  6. Triclosan. Triclosan is a widely used antimicrobial chemical found in toothpastes, antibacterial soaps, and deodorants.

  7. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) / Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). This surfactant can be found in more than 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products (think foaming products).

  8. Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are used in many cosmetic products to help prevent bacteria growth.

  9. Toluene. A petrochemical derived from petroleum or coal tar sources and it can be found in nail polish, nail treatments, and hair color /bleaching products.

  10. Aluminum. Used in antiperspirants. Read more on aluminum.

[18:21] Now on to… what to actually use? Hillary’s friend Katrina Hall shares her evolution into natural beauty, and some of the top natural products she finds to be the ones she can trust the most with great results.

[22:55] Katrina’s gateway product was an oil cleanser from the Crude Personal line, and she still uses it to take off her makeup.

 Cleanser

●      Marie Veronique Gel Cleanser

●      Probiotic Skin Cleanser

Sunscreen

●      HYNT

●      Suntegrity

●      Marie Veronique

Foundation

●      Sappho Essentials Foundation

●      Crunchi

  Setting Powder

●      100% Pure Bamboo Blur Powder

Bronzer/ Contour

●      RMS

●      Lily LoLo

Brows

●      Ecobrow

●      Plume

Eyeshadow

●      Lily LoLo

Mascara

●      Tarte Amazonian Clay

●      Harvest

●      Fitglow Lash Serum

Eyeliner

●      ZuZu Luxe

Lip Gloss

●  Sign up for the newsletter & receive 15% off @    Fitglow Lip Serum

Chapstick

●      Zi Zai

Lip Sticks

●      Axiology

Lip Liners

●      Gabriel Cosmetics

●      ZuZu Luxe

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

@ladypotions4u

Think Dirty

EWG’s Healthy Living App

Parents on Demand App

Crude

 

Continue Your Journey:

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

 Disclaimer *

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 43 | HOW TO REVERSE PCOS NATURALLY, GET HEALTHY & GET PREGNANT

Description:

September was PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) Awareness Month, so it is only fitting to do an episode centered around this condition. One in 10 American women, which is somewhere around five million women, suffer from symptoms on the PCOS spectrum. Today, we talk about what exactly PCOS is and the root causes, how the diagnosis occurs, the five Categories of Treatment, some myths surrounding it, and how you can go about reversing your PCOS in 9-12 months naturally.

To share your own fertility story, please comment below. I look forward to connecting with you, as you are what this podcast is all about.

Takeaways:

[2:12] Hillary shares her acceptance into the Women’s Functional and Integrative Training Program, offered by Dr. Aviva Romm. This is a huge honor, and Dr. Romm has been one of Hillary’s trusted teachers and an inspiration for shaking things up in the medical world and applying wisdom and evidence-based medicine.

[2:42] Just because something has been traditionally used, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for us. Hillary gives examples of pharmaceutical debacles from the 1950s up until recently.

[6:52] Hillary recounts her experience with Accutane and the severe side effects.

[8:28] It’s important to know what you are taking, the potential side effects, and whether it is traditional or alternative treatment.

[10:46] How we take care of our bodies in the 12 months prior to falling pregnant has a huge impact on the next two generations. For the first time ever in the United States, children are being born with a lower life expectancy than their parents. And if we are sending down copies two generations at a time of our genes and we’re not teaching people how to ensure that these genes don’t trigger or mutate into various health issues, then we’re not actually practicing preventative medicine.

[12:11] In the U.S., one in 10 American women will have a diagnosis of PCOS at some point in their life, which is the equivalent of five million women. There are about 10 different types that can present and are not what a majority of healthcare physicians think of as PCOS. Usually, they consider it to be someone that’s overweight, with high testosterone, and a 2:1 LH: FSH ratio, and having cysts show on an ultrasound around the ovaries. But in reality, there are so many different presentations that it’s more like a spectrum with women being affected to different degrees causing different symptoms and severities.

[13:43] Although 85% of women affected with PCOS can reverse it naturally, a lot of physicians don’t look at it like it’s reversible.

[16:44] Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome was previously considered a gynecological problem, diagnosed on the presence of polycystic ovarian cysts by ultrasound. Now, it’s actually recognized as a complex endocrine disorder with multiple possible causes and clinical manifestations. Only one of those actually yields polycystic ovaries on an ultrasound.

[18:23] When women begin to understand that it was likely a predisposition was from their mother in utero, based on changes in the food supply, they can have a little more grace and compassion with themselves as well as motivation to try and stop it for the next generation.

[19:23] How is it diagnosed and what are the symptoms? PCOS is a clinical diagnosis and it is primarily diagnosed based on having some or all of the classic symptoms and having other medical conditions being ruled out. While testing the blood on day three, looking at the ratio between LH and FSH, estrogen and testosterone, can certainly be one of the ways that we diagnose PCOS.

[20:31] Traditionally, PCOS was thought to cause weight gain and abnormal hair growth from the excess testosterone, which does happen in one phenotype, but not all.

[21:30] Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can include any of the following: infertility, irregular periods, lapses between periods for months at a time without being pregnant or breastfeeding, acne, weight gain, unwanted facial hair, hair thinning or hair loss, which oftentimes looks like male pattern baldness in PCOS, and then less commonly, you can have darkening of the skin in the armpits, the back of the neck or the groin. The other aspect to consider is that women with PCOS are also more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, or they have eating disorders, particularly binge eating.

[23:31] You are 20 to 40% more likely to experience a miscarriage due to the insulin resistance and the hormonal problems that it creates. Oftentimes, there is estrogen dominance and there’s not enough progesterone to actually hold a healthy pregnancy. I do see a lot of chemical pregnancies or early stage miscarriages in women that maybe didn't even know that they had PCOS. But then after we do a little bit of deeper digging we find that they have these symptoms, and then it’s really important to control for blood sugar dysregulation as well as the hormones when they’d go to get pregnant again. Diet becomes super important in those women.

[28:00] You have to understand, the key is getting your blood sugar under control first, and the insulin resistance under control, before you start experimenting with the fasting. In terms of the science behind the diet, low inflammatory, low glycemic Mediterranean diet or a modified ancestral diet, meaning Paleo with lots of vegetables in it, not just all meat, has been the one that has been shown in the evidence to have the most dramatic effect on PCOS. And the bottom line is that most patients with PCOS will respond to a diet that is no more than 80 grams of carbohydrates a day and has about 60 to 90 grams of protein, and the rest being good fat.

[29:59] Vitamin D has been associated with insulin resistance in low amounts. Having your vitamin D tested to see where you’re at is super easy and then supplementing depending on how low you are, with 2,000 to 5,000 units a day, and then re-testing again in 30 to 60 days to see if it’s making a difference on the levels themselves can be really helpful. One of the supplements that Hillary uses when encountering a woman with diagnosed or suspected PCOS is inositol. Inositol comes in a couple of different forms and a lot of the studies that have been done actually show that it’s advantageous to have a combination of Myo-inositol with D-chiro-inositol, at a ratio of 40:1 of Myo-inositol to D-chiro-inositol. The reason for that is, it’s naturally occurring in the body in that ratio. With the Myo-inositol you want to take up to 4 grams a day and the D-chiro you can go up to 1,200 milligrams a day.

[33:19] Another herb or supplement that is used in blood sugar regulation is cinnamon and we use this all the time in Chinese medicine. In fact, the main formula by which most others are based on for treating PCOS is derived from is Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan.

pcos insulin & HPA.png

[34:03] The second category to consider when treating PCOS is HPA Axis Dysregulation. Now, HPA Axis Dysregulation is the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal axis. One of the biggest things that you can do for yourself is getting adequate amounts of sleep. The most restful hours of sleep for fertility are actually between 9:00 PM and 11:00 PM.

[40:43] Adaptogens are one of the greatest weapons we have, as they regulate cortisol and change our perception of stress. Adaptogens are ginseng, and things like ginseng, Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, licorice, Dang Shen or known as Codonopsis from Chinese medicine, milky oats, Schisandra, also known as Wu Wei Zi in Chinese medicine. Oftentimes if you pick up an adrenal axis formula or some are even named HPA Axis Formula, you will find that it’s a combination of these herbs.

[42:22] The only adaptogen that has been studied specifically for PCOS is licorice. Licorice tends to raise the blood pressure, so if you already have high blood pressure, this is one that you would want to avoid. And in terms of ginseng, even though it’s a great adaptogen, it’s very hot energetically. If you have a lot of symptoms of heat, you’re sweating at night, maybe you’re having hot flashes with it during the day as well. You’ve got red itchy skin, loose urgent bowls, ginseng is not the one for you, you would want something more cooling like Dang Shen. Dang Shen is often substituted for ginseng or Ren Shen.

[46:04] Not only do adaptogens regulate the cortisol, but they also help to regulate blood sugar and insulin.

[48:59] If you aren’t properly eliminating those toxins in your bowel, they circulate back around to your liver which only lessens your liver’s ability to get rid of excess hormones. Making sure that you’re having daily bowel movements and detoxifying to the best of your ability is super important. On the flipside, if the bowels are too loose and you’re seeing undigested food, you’re not absorbing everything that you should be from your food.

[52:46] The other aspect of gut health is leaky gut and that is caused by all kinds of pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medications, antibiotics, improper gut flora, improper diet, and any major abdominal surgeries, including C-sections. You want to find out if there are any inflammatory food triggers — anything that is causing thinning or permeability of the gut. If you’re intolerant to gluten or dairy and you’re eating it every day, this can build so much inflammation that it eventually thins the lining of the gut, causing toxins to leak into the bloodstream.


pcos gut & toxin.png

[56:41] If you do have histamine intolerance, if you think you’re having an immune response to sperm or you suspect that, that’s part of your infertility, you could include strains in your probiotic that actually help degrade histamine and an overactive immune response, which would be Bifidobacterium infantis (this is found in breast milk), Bifidobacterium longum, and Lactobacillus plantarum. These are helpful as well as soil-based organisms, meaning prebiotics that act as a food source for the good strains of probiotics you are using, as these can help to lower the immune system response.

[58:09] The other category that needs to be considered when you’re cleaning up PCOS and trying to reverse it is environmental toxins and detoxification overload. Oftentimes, this is happening through your skin and beauty products, as well as your foods that are genetically modified and cause what are called xenoestrogens — bad estrogens — to dock in your hormonal receptors. These are huge causes of dysregulation, as are things like BPA, which is found in the lining of cans, so all those cans of tuna and LaCroix that you’ve been consuming thinking that you’re eating healthy, the BPA inside can be detrimental to your estrogen/testosterone balance.

[1:00:57] The last category: Energy production and mitochondrial function. If you are someone that has insomnia and or fatigue, this category is for you. There’s been evidence that’s been accumulating for the role of CoQ10 in the treatment of mitochondrial disorders and infertility for some time now.

References:    Fertile Minds on LibSyn    Fertile Minds on iTunes    Aviva Romm MD    Thalidomide    DES    Accutane    Gaia HPA Axis    Episode 7    Additional Research    Continue Your Journey:    @ladypotions4u on Twitter   @ladypotions4u on Instagram  My Website:  Ladypotions.com    Disclaimer *  You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

Aviva Romm MD

Thalidomide

DES

Accutane

Gaia HPA Axis

Episode 7

Additional Research

Continue Your Journey:

@ladypotions4uon Twitter

@ladypotions4uon Instagram

My Website: Ladypotions.com

Disclaimer * You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 41 | WHAT TCM HAS TO SAY ABOUT YOUR CYCLE | PT 2 Your Period & Aging

 

Description:

Our periods are signs of how we are interacting with our environment, both internally and externally, and a way for us to use certain signals for fertility. Today, Hillary talks about what to stop and consider about your own period, how to change the quality and quantity of your uterine lining, decreasing inflammation to help clotting and cramping, certain foods to build up the blood, and how to turn back the clock in aging. 

Takeaway:

[1:45] The symptoms of your period are not something to be flushed and forgotten. They are your body’s way of telling you that something is out of balance.

[2:36] The amount that you bleed is important and should be a steady flow with 1 or 2 days that are heavier, for a total of about 4 to 5 days. In order for the embryo to be nourished and grow, the lining has to be thick and well-vascularized. One important thing that often gets missed is the shedding of the lining every single month, so you don’t have old blood sitting on top of the lining. If you are a scanty bleeder, it is a good indication that your uterine lining is insufficient.

[5:26] Foods that help build up the blood include eggs with the yolk, clean sources of red meat, full-fat dairy and healthy fats such as seeds and avocado. It is also advised to not over-exercise during this time and resort to light stretching, walking, and gentle movement.

[6:53] The clot that you see in your menstrual blood has been forming way before you have your period. So what’s the problem? Implantation depends on establishing a healthy, thriving blood supply. But the whole job of a clot is to stop the flow of blood! A clotted uterine lining is one that is stale and stagnant. It doesn't have the fresh surface it needs to allow implantation to succeed at a high rate. It is important to stay away from inflammatory foods, and employ abdominal massage, and possibly employ a vaginal steam bath.

[9:29] When you feel cramping, it really is your uterine wall spasming. Severe cramping — also called dysmenorrhea — isn’t just a drag, it’s counter-productive for conception.

[11:07] It is common to have one day of heavy bleeding, but the other days should be more even with bright red blood rather than just one day of intense bleeding then right to spotting. Heavy bleeding can indicate an issue with spleen chi deficiency, where your body doesn’t have enough energy to open and shut the uterus and control the blood flow, leading to a feeling of strong fatigue.

[12:02] Red raspberry leaf may be used to tone your uterus, and then Cramp Bark when you are having your period. Some traditional Chinese formulas that include herbs from blood building and breaking categories.

[13:33] Many factors including diet, stress, environment, and even things we were exposed to while in utero can affect our eggs. Even more so for the eggs in our 120-day queue, for what’s called a germ cell to become a ripe and fertile egg.

Does age really matter when it comes to conceiving?

[15:13] You can turn back the clock. The Chinese had the idea of two ages which we can scientifically prove now using telomeres or a structure at the end of a chromosome. If you are interested in seeing what age you are according to this science, you can order a telomere test.

[16:28] The Chinese had a different take on the Western idea of the advanced maternal age of 35. They say men and women mature differently, and every 7 years for a female and 8 years for a male was a huge transition. Age 27 is when we see the first decline in FSH and AMH, two hormones that collectively approximate what a woman’s ovarian reserve is. There is an even more steep decline at 35, especially in egg quality increasing the risk for miscarriage or birth defect There is hope if you have waited! Egg quality can be positively affected by things like acupuncture, herbs, meditation, proper nutrition, and other various stress reduction techniques.

[18:31] Paternal age matters as well. You can reference a previous episode with Dr. Zev Williams from Columbia for more information on how much paternal age matters when it comes to single gene mutations that can cause things like autism, bipolar disorder, and other mental/emotional disruptions.

[19:02] There are categories of herbs that are said to have been taken by royalty because they were said to help them live forever. Zinc has been shown to help sperm fragmentation, and alpha lipoic acid has been touted to help egg quality in a woman of advanced maternal age when taken 3-6 months. DHEA is a precursor for the other steroids in our body, and studies have shown it helps the quality of the eggs. It is recommended to get your levels tested before taking this, and talk to your provider to see if it’s something to consider.

  

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

Ep #37 — Part 1

Ep #27 with Dr. Zev Williams

Art of Acupuncture  

 

Continue Your Journey:

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

 Disclaimer *

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 39 | CAN BLOOD SUGARS AFFECT YOUR FERTILITY & PREGNANCY w/ Lily Nichols RDN, CDE

This week, we are joined again by the very knowledgeable (and one of our most popular Fertile Minds podcast guests) Lily Nichols. Not only is Lily a devoted mom, but she is a stellar author and a registered dietitian/nutritionist with a flair for interpreting scientific data and applying it to the modern-day woman. She speaks with Hillary today on her work helping women learn how to prevent or manage their Gestational Diabetes. She also discusses how we test for it, what makes someone more susceptible to acquiring it, and what the long-term complications are for both mama and baby once they are diagnosed with it.

Lily presents a unique approach in helping women manage their diet and lifestyle in her bestselling books, Real Food for Gestational Diabetesand Real Food for Pregnancy.

Takeaway:

[2:13] Lily describes what Gestational Diabetes is and is not. It is a type of Diabetes that develops or is diagnosed during pregnancy. Typically, your body is having trouble processing carbohydrates, causing high blood sugar.

[4:06] Lily uses a hybrid approach when screening for Gestational Diabetes, mixing traditional glucose tolerance tests with discussing their diet and lifestyle choices.

[7:08] Diet and lifestyle are two factors we can be proactive about in pregnancy, as well as in pre-conception.

[8:26] We are seeing that even mildly elevated is an issue, so it’s important women find out early. 49 to 52 percent have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, and most of them have yet to be diagnosed.

[8:50] We want to use A1C readings in pre-conception and in the first trimester and after that look at blood sugars. If A1C has not gone down later in pregnancy, that is a warning sign that something is going on. We recommend getting an over-the-counter glucometer and monitoring your blood sugar at home first thing in the morning and one to two hours after meals to get an idea of how your body responds to specific foods.

DOWNLOAD BLOOD GLUCOSE TRACKER

[12:58] Lily discusses the acceptable levels of fasting and non-fasting blood sugars in pregnant women. We naturally see lower blood sugar levels in a typical pregnancy, along with changes in the significant thyroid and the burning of more fat to send fatty acids to the baby.

[17:32] During pregnancy, if your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, there is a direct line from you to your baby to via umbilical cord. There’s also a physiological reason that women may not feel like eating during pregnancy, to try and push towards ketosis. This makes sense as to why breastfeeding is the best diet ever, as it pulls all the fat to give to the baby.

[22:19] When we have been on a sugar binge and try to come off of sugar, that is happening to the baby the first couple days, so you can imagine how jarring that is until they re-regulate.

[23:34] Even with a diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes, the recommendation of allowable daily carbs is still very high. Lily observed her clients blood sugar getting worse when they followed the protocol and found that a lower level of carbohydrates is ideal.

[27:34] The second part of Lily’s research was looking at ketones and the different part of ketosis. The benefit of the ketogenic diet becoming popular is now there is more discussion on what it means to be in ketosis and what types of ketosis are safe to be in.

[33:39] Lily observes that most women gain their weight in the second and early third trimester and tend to level out unless there is fluid retention.

[36:06] The pancreas is not accustomed to pumping out a large amount of insulin consistently.

[39:11] While it may be annoying and tedious, testing your blood sugar levels daily is well worth it for acquiring interesting data.

[40:41] We discuss the risk factors of how blood sugar issues may affect our children’s fertility and generations down the line. What we may be seeing now may be the epigenetic effect from our low-fat diet from the 1980’s.

[45:21] As you tend to get beyond the 35 and 40 BMI, you do see more pregnancy complications and macrosomia with an epigenetic carryover effect through generations and beyond.

[48:59] People feel like they have acquired a disease, but really your body is adapting to the environment in which it is currently in.

[49:18] Plan of action:

●     Start monitoring A1C & post-meal blood sugars pre-conception, if possible.

●     Pull an A1C in the first trimester and if it’s suspect get in touch with someone like Lily to get it under control. Check out Lily’s books AND video course, or join her Facebook group.

●     Eat real food throughout your pregnancy and a reasonable amount of carbs that works for you.

●     Continue to eat the same way, maybe even more good fats while you are breastfeeding to enhance your breast milk.

●     Bring up your children on the same diet they were exposed to in utero and educate them about blood sugars and food in general so they can affect the next two generations in a healthy way.

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

Pilatesnutritionist.com

http://pilatesnutritionist.com/why-i-drank-the-glucola/
http://pilatesnutritionist.com/i-failed-the-glucola/

Gestational Diabetes Course

California Diabetes and Pregnancy Program

Real Food for Gestational Diabetes: An Effective Alternative to the Conventional Nutrition Approach,
by Lily Nichols

Does Gestational Diabetes Occur in Pregnant Mares?  

Twitter.com/LilyNicholsRDN

Lily’s Instagram

 

Continue Your Journey:

Link to sign up for free 29-day meditation challenge

@ladypotions4uon Twitter

@ladypotions4uon Instagram

Disclaimer * 

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 37 | WHAT TCM HAS TO SAY ABOUT YOUR CYCLE | PT 1 Timing, Length & Temperatures

I was listening to other podcasts as I often do, and one happened to be about the basics of TCM diagnosis. It dawned on me that I have yet to demystify this system of medicine that I love so much.  Today’s podcast is my attempt to explain some basic diagnostic terms in TCM, especially how they relate to your menstrual cycle and your fertility.

I believe that symptoms are God’s gift when it comes to figuring out what exactly is going on in your body. This reigns especially true when it comes to trying to figure out what exactly is happening internally when it comes to your fertility. If you’ve noticed subtle changes in your menstrual cycle in regards to timing, length or amount of bleeding and have wondered if this effects your fertility or how to rebalance it, this episode is for you. If you’ve ever had acupuncture and wondered what the heck your practitioner was referring to when they mentioned you had Kidney Yin Deficiency or Liver Qi stagnation, this episode is also for you. If you have considered getting acupuncture, but never really understood how it could help your fertility, this episode is for you. If you just want to know what your BBT or AVA charts mean through a lease of TCM and what to do about it, this episode is definitely for you. 

 

The Eight Principles (辩证) are:

1. Yin: Yin, along with Yang, is the most general classification for pattern diagnosis and it describes the relationship between the other three pairs of the Principles. Generally speaking, Yin is Cold and the fluids of the body.

2. Yang: Yang, along with Yin is used to describe the relationship between the other three pairs of the Principles. For example, Heat is Yang or the energy / Qi of the body. 

3. Interior: Interior describes diseases that manifest themselves in the Zang-fu organs or deep inside the body, such as Qi, blood, and bone marrow. In menstrual terms, this may mean scanty menses,  late menarche, or erratic cycles in general. 

4. Exterior: Exterior describes diseases that manifest themselves on surface of the body, such hair, skin, nails, and meridians. In menstrual terms, this may mean the symptoms of external pathogen that has invaded the body, like an STD that presents with a rash.

5. Heat: Heat describes the absence of an aversion to Cold. In menstrual terms, it can mean BBTs above 98.2, high temps above 97.2 in the follicular phase that provoke early ovulation, or cramps that do not respond to a heating pad. 

6. Cold: Cold describes an aversion to Cold. In menstrual terms, we see it as low BBT temps, dark blood with pain, or menstrual cramping that responds to a heating pad.

7. Deficiency: Deficiency is used to describe a vacuity in Qi, blood (Xue) or body fluids (Jinye).  In menstrual health we see it as cramping that gets worse as the period goes on, low temps on a BBT, short luteal cycles meaning Kidney Yang Deficiency or short follicular cycles meaning Kidney Yin Deficiency.

8. Excess: Excess is generally classified as any disease that can't be identified as a Deficiency pattern. Usually, it means that one of the Six Excesses is present. In menstrual health we may see it is as STD, yeast infections, bacterial infections,  growths (like fibroids), certain types of PCOS that involve the concept of phlegm and dampness, or even in certain presentations of endometriosis. 

It’s important to decipher if an imbalance is truly excess or deficiency because it will often mean completely different herbal preparations to balance the body. 

 

After a basic diagnosis of the diseases is given via the Eight Principles, the diagnostic continues and focuses on more specific conditions. After evaluating the present symptoms, a person’s condition is further evaluated as to how the specific entities (Qi, meridians, Zang-fu, etc.) are affected. This where we start to get into concepts like stagnation. You may hear about blood stasis or Liver Qi stagnation, where flow is disrupted. We still have to use the above pillars to decide if it stagnated due to deficiency or excess, but knowing what organ it is affecting by asking questions helps us to target the herbal formula to a greater degree and ensure the system is balanced. 

Causes of Imbalances

Traditional Chinese Medicine does not strongly differentiate between the cause and effect of a disease. However, there are three major categories that are considered to give rise to disease. The three major categories of disease causes are:

1. External: Disease caused by the Six Excesses. These have to do with the environment in which we live,  too much cold, too hot of environment, too damp of an environment, too dry of environment. For example; I reside in South Florida and it’s currently August at the time of this taping. It isn’t just hot out, it’s downright slimy. For a male that has worked outside all day, he might be exposing himself to super high temperatures all day long and  that could drastically affect his quality and count of sperm. 

2. Internal: Disease caused the by Seven Emotions or Seven Affects: Anger, Fear, Anxiety, Fright, Grief, Pensiveness, and Joy. These are said to affect the Zang-fuorgans. Constant high stress without a constant relaxation response have been shown to negatively impact sperm and egg health as well as ovulation.

3. Other Irregularities: Disease caused by something that is neither external nor internal, such as having unbalanced diet, damage done by parasites or in this day & age- toxins. In modern day you could think of this as the quality of the food we eat, and what toxins we are exposed to including those we slather on our skin in our beauty products. This is often the one cause of imbalance that we have the most control over. 

Timing Matters and How Do You Time a Cycle Anyways?

Ideally a menstrual cycle (from the start of one period to the next) is 28 days, the same as a lunar cycle. It's not uncommon for cycles to shift in accordance to new moons, full moons, changing time zones with travel, or with extreme stress or changes in diet, but when it comes to your fertility, the length can have a huge impact, in some cases it can decrease your chances of conceiving by up to 50%. 

Length Matters

Length of your cycle as well as how long you bleed for equally matter but for different reasons.  

Three main consequences of shorter cycles include lower egg quality, inability to sustain a pregnancy, and early ovulation.

Temperature matters

Most couples are shocked when they have a miscarriage. They are often even more shocked when they find out the chances of having one for any healthy couple is 30%. The good news is, that by simply tracking your basal body temperatures and waiting to conceive the following cycle after a "healthy" one is detected you can drop your chances of miscarriage to less than 5%.

* healthy cycle means having an average of 97.2 BBT in the follicular stage of the cycle and an average of 98.2 BBT in the luteal cycle, with a mid-cycle ovulation and a luteal phase lasting at least 10 days.

Did you know that you could get the same custom herbal formulas I use with my acupuncture
clients, shipped right to your door? When you sign up for a 3 Month
Subscription, your evaluation is free, a $100 value, and you receive email access to ask me
any questions you have pertaining to your fertility.

Links to take you further

Episode about Cervical Mucus

LadyPotions.com/episode27

Artofacu-stpete.com

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16357595

Disclaimer :

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 31 | REAL FOOD FOR REAL PREGNANCY w/ Lily Nichols RDN, CDE

How to Feel Good, Build a Healthy Baby and Avoid Gestational Diabetes

Description: Today we welcome Lily Nichols, Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator,  researcher and an author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Lily draws from the current scientific literature and blends it with the wisdom of traditional culture and nature. We talk about the Western expectation of women managing it all directly after pregnancy and giving birth, and Lily’s prescription for healing and self-care. She shares how she began backing philosophy with results and clinical data to author two of her groundbreaking books, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes and Real Food for Pregnancy. She also gives some of her top picks for pregnancy food, embracing mindfulness, and how she feeds her family for months at a time using only two animals. Let your intuition guide you, and then use Lily’s book to prove these decisions with scientifically proven data.

Get the first chapter of Real Food for Pregnancy Free

To share your own fertility story, please email me at hillary@ladypotions.com. I look forward to connecting with you, as you are what this podcast is all about.

 

Takeaway:

[2:26] Lily wrote Real Food for Pregnancy when her son was 10 months old, and she herself was healing from pregnancy and birth.

[3:48] Lily encourages prioritizing food and self-care at all stages of pregnancy, including the preventative stage prior, and the fourth trimester, the postpartum months.

[7:38] It was almost by accident that Lily got into the nutrition field. She was looking for a part-time role in the nutrition field that did not include a hospital, saw an opening for California Diabetes and Pregnancy Program and starting working clinically in Gestational Diabetes. As she implemented the nutrition element of the protocol in the clinic, she noticed a lack of improvement. The common sense side of her observed the current guidelines didn’t emphasize real foods, and were pretty high-carb.

[8:47] Women with Gestational Diabetes are often not able to tolerate large amounts of carbs without elevated blood sugar. These findings led Lily down the path of researching a low carb and nutrient dense diet from real foods. She started using it clinically and knew she was on to something with excellent results. This led her to author her first book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes. This changed the course of how many viewed their philosophy in the nutrition and pregnancy field.

[14:38] Lily comes at the information from a proactive and informed outcome, not a fear-based one.

[18:12] Lily shares some sample meal plans compared to the current recommended ones, and the breakdown of the ratio between protein, carb, etc.

[21:20] Carbohydrates are in many vegetables and fruits.

[22:07] There is very little nutrition education for MD’s, and much of what they are learning is outdated. One example is the hesitancy for the low carb diet due to ketones in the urine.

[24:27] Organ meats and liver are the most nutrient dense parts of an animal. Supplying a high amount of iron, choline and B12, Lily supplies recipe ideas in her books on incorporating it dishes, so you aren’t eating a whole plate of just liver.

[35:07] When choosing animal products, Lily is a proponent of choosing the highest quality and best sourced meat. Nothing goes to waste and she encourages families to purchase from a farmer and utilize the whole animal.

[38:57] Even the most culinary-challenged person can develop basic skills to make a flavorful and nutritious meal.

[45:14] Lily gives us some good news — her opinion is that small amounts of caffeine are okay. A lot of the foods that are mentioned to avoid due to food borne illness are also ones that provide critical nutrients. She suggests eating foods sourced from high quality places, and the risk is extremely low. 

[52:58] Eating well is one of the ways we can be mindful in pregnancy. Mindful moments, spiritual self-care and moving our body are also key elements to keep our body aligned through the process. It’s not about pushing and resisting, it’s about being mindful and going with the flow in a gentle. guided way.

 

Continuing your journey:

Lily Nichols Blog

Real Food for Pregnancy- amazon

Real Food for Pregnancy — Get the First Chapter Free 

Gestational Diabetes info and course by Lily Nichols

Real Food for Gestational Diabetes

California Diabetes and Pregnancy Program

@lilynicholsrdn on Instagram

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Disclaimer * 

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 30 | MALE INFERTILITY w/ Dr. Paul Turek

Could IVF Be Good For Men's Health?

Maybe, If That’s the Only Thing That Gets Them to the Doctor to Check Their Overall Health Status!

 

World-renowned reproductive urologist Dr. Turek joins us today. He has been at the forefront of IVF and ICSI since the early 90’s. He shares the latest happenings in both his research and his clinics in San Francisco and Beverly Hills, along with the ways Eastern Medicine compliments Western treatment, his thoughts on prenatals, single gene vs. chromosomal gene mutations, the sobering reality of advanced paternal age and some groundbreaking discoveries that are both provocative and backed by science. He is a soulful and lighthearted clinician and is committed to making things as easy and relatable as possible for his clients.

Takeaway:

[:01] Dr. Turerk advises the ABORM board that I am a fellow of, and is a graduate of both Yale and Stanford University. He teaches at Yo San University and has countless studies he has both authored and advised. The first time I heard him speak at the International Infertility Symposium in Vancouver in 2015, I was blown away. He was so intelligent and generous with his ideas and research and really was the first person that made male fertility issues relatable to me.

[3:01] Dr. Turek explains his comparison of a semen analysis to a game of cards. When the motility is not normal, that is an indicator to him that something isn’t right.

[9:18] The whole story is not all about the semen analysis, but it’s a good way to begin the conversation of man’s habits when it comes to diet, recreational drug use, lifestyle, weight, etc. Dr. Turek is captivated by the thought of going into a deeper dive of the cause behind the semen’s quality and performance.

[11:17] As a TCM practitioner, I feel like I was taught about epigenetics with different languaging, referring to our Jing or essence being affected by our lifestyle dictating what we will pass down. Dr. Turek confirms that science has proven it correct in epigenetic studies that lifestyle really does matter.

[14:02] Dr. Turek explains what epigenetics is, and how he helped to develop Episona, a test for epigenetics and sperm quality through sperm analysis.

[17:15] We discuss how epigenetics may be related to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is about 30-80% of the cause of male infertility.

[18:05] The data for men taking a prenatal is very strong, and is something Dr. Turek recommends and actually developed a supplement for men. The data is still getting more compiled on this, and the research in the field is still new and emerging. Men are not the easiest subjects to keep engaged in study, however, and he is committed to making it easy and sensible for them to share information and data in his studies.

[25:34] The richest man in America lives 5-7 years less than the poorest women. Dr. Turker has an attitude of wanting to engage men and building their trust so they are part of the solution in making their own health better. One of his main goals out of his career is to have men live longer.

[27:25] Dr. Turek shares the current state of advanced paternal age. Himself and co-author Alex Yatsenko published a review entitled, “Reproductive Genetics in the Aging Male” This is a recent problem, as we haven’t lived this long, people are waiting longer to reproduce and we are exposed to more toxicity than ever, affected our epigenetic expression.

[32:56] Dr. Turek talks about the chromosomal issues that occur in women, vs. the single gene mutations in men. He also addresses birth defect rates differing in other countries, and if low sperm counts are being passed on through generations.

[43:33] Dr. Turek has created what I think to be the first Natural Selection Obstacle Course for sperm .

[54:14] A lot of unexplained infertility can be cleared with a simple visit to a trusted source. Dr. Turek makes it as easy as possible and does virtual consultations. He likes to first see if it’s a good fit, and speak with both partners at the start to select the appropriate care for their situation.

[56:57] Work with what you have. IVF could be good for men's health if that's the only time you get them to the doctor and you work with a responsible physician that views an abnormal semen analysis as a marker for health and goes looking for the cause of that poor semen analysis. 

[60:40] Clinic by the Bay, Dr. Turek’s free clinic, just had a big fundraiser to help people from all walks of life receive medical care.

 

References & Links to Take You Further:

American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Reproductive genetics and the aging male https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29524155

Turek on Men’s Health Blog

Turek Clinics

Episona

Clinic By the Bay

Yo San University

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

 

Disclaimer * 

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 28 | FERTILITY HOPE IN THE FACE OF CANCER w/ Alice Crisci

MedAnswers with Alice Crisci

Today’s episode is full of hope and maybe even some perspective changers for some of you, especially when it comes to what you can handle at once. Our guest today is Alice Crisci. She is an author, fertility preservation spokeswoman and social entrepreneur, and most importantly, a mother on a mission. Her story is incredible. I talk with Alice about the non-profit she founded, Fertile Action, for fertile women touched by cancer, along with her new app MedAnswers, that seeks to connect patients experiencing fertility challenges, oncology issues, or even genetic questions with industry vetted experts.


Within weeks of her own breast cancer diagnosis, Alice harvested her eggs to protect her opportunity to become a mom after surviving cancer, had a nude photography session, launched Fertile Action and published her first book, Too Young for This. She is a game changer in legislation and technology, and an inspiration for women looking for expert education, support, and courage.

Takeaway:

[3:43] Within a few weeks of her diagnosis, Alice learned about the scariest potential side effect of breast cancer and it’s treatment: infertility. Egg freezing was still considered experimental, and she needed more insurance than just a 2-3% chance. She then realized embryo freezing was a better way to go, and continued down her path to single motherhood and faced with the tough decision of picking a donor, all while dealing with the severity of her current diagnosis.

[9:59] When picking a potential donor, Alice encourages women to be truthful with who they are, and who they see themselves with. Be specific and rule out any health history concerns that matter to you. Alice picked a donor that spoke to her and matched her own internal values, as it was important that her child know the story of both sides having grit and tenacity.

[17:44] Alice is on a private Facebook group with other families that used the same donor that she used for her son, and she calls them his ‘diblings.’ They share anecdotes and stay connected.

[18:20] Due to all the genetic testing that is available, open donorship has become way more prevalent and necessary.

[21:43] Alice developed her non-profit Fertile Action as a way to take on insurance coverage and a fee reduction for women who found themselves in fertility preservation cases. She created a network of discounted fees for cancer patients and found it required a large amount of effort and resources.

[24:39] Alice gives recognition to the legislators who also helped take Fertile Action and their partnered organizations as their cause.

[27:03] Alice has now turned a major part of her attention and focus on the app MedAnswers. This helps to connect those struggling to conceive with seven different types of fertility experts. Digital tools are critical, especially when facing a health crisis and MedAnswers is a way for women to connect with experts while maintaining anonymity.

[33:46] Both Alice and I are big proponents of empowering people with data about their own bodies, and not waiting until it is too late to have information.

[35:49] Alice brings up a very interesting point about sex education benefiting from being more about reproductive health than the current topics of just pregnancy prevention.

[36:08] Alice created a webinar just for Californians when it comes to insurance and the appeals process.

 

References and links to take you further:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Fertile Action

MedAnswers

Dr. Paul Turek 

Alice Crisci on Huff Post 

Too Young for This 

Egg Whisperer

Helix.com

@InfertilityAnswers

 

Continue Your Journey:

Link to sign up for free 29-day meditation challenge

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

Disclaimer *

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.

EPISODE 27 | ADVANCEMENTS IN TREATING RECURRENT PREGNANCY LOSS | Dr. Zev Williams, M.D, PhD

Today’s episode features Zev Williams, M.D., Ph.D. He is the Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center and is a nationally-recognized clinician and researcher in the area of recurrent pregnancy loss and infertility. Not only is he one of the most brilliant minds I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing, he is incredibly humble, gracious, and passionate about his work. His intentions to help couples overcome recurrent pregnancy loss by building healthy happy families came through so clearly during this chat.

We touched on why miscarriage rates are so high and why the public has false perceptions about it being a rare event. He spoke about how his research has even uncovered a way to find out if the cause of a miscarriage was chromosomal even years after the fact in some cases. He explained the differences in PGD and PGS testing when using IVF and when and for whom it might be highly beneficial. We also spoke about MTHFR gene mutation, and what it really means in regards to treatment strategy and further testing. We even touched on his work with stem cells and the potential they have for one day helping women who experience premature ovarian failure to overcome this devastating diagnosis. He explained new ways to treat endometriosis and preserve fertility and new ways to diagnose PCOS. 

Takeaway:

[1:15] Dr. Williams completed his M.D. and Ph.D. training in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine before continuing to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital for his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. After completing his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Weill Cornell, Dr. Williams then did a post-doctoral fellowship in RNA biology in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Tuschl at Rockefeller University.

[1:45] Dr. Williams has also achieved success in federally-funded research projects in several different areas of study, having received numerous NIH grants to support his work. Currently, as part of an NIH R01 grant, Dr. Williams is engaged with a research project intended to use placental RNA as a screening tool for diseases and complications of pregnancy, to enable early intervention, and to provide insights into disease pathogenesis for things like pre-eclampsia.

[4:35] Dr. Williams works with couples and doctors all over the world, and the research that he and his colleagues find benefits those all over looking for answers on fertility.

[5:16] The PEARL Program that Dr. Williams started stands for Program for Early and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. It is one of the only centers in the world that is both clinically focused, and a basic/translational research program dedicated trying to understand what causes unexplained miscarriages and trying to find ways methods to prevent them in the future.

[12:22] One of the realities of human reproduction is that is a very inefficient process. Of the eggs that get fertilized, very few result in a live birth.

[19:22] Dr. Williams explains the difference between PGD and PGS testing when using IVF, and who may benefit from these tests.

[26:54] We cover the MTHFR gene mutation and antiphospholipids, and what it really means in regards to treatment, strategy, and further testing.

[32:45] Dr. Williams explains the work on helping the brain to produce its own FSH (follicle stimulating hormones) which is the bodies own version of that hormone compared to traditional injections with his CORAL IVF which is an oral IVF requiring only one shot instead of 30.

[41:23] Dr. Williams shares the new ways to treat endometriosis and preserve fertility and new ways to diagnose PCOS.

[45:27] Diet is, of course, important to overall health, but also very important to pregnancy success. There are some factors that lead to Dr. Williams’ recommending a diet low in carbs and sugar.

[46:12] Egg freezing has become successful, but the challenge is that often women are thinking about freezing their eggs in their 20’s when the eggs have already lowered in quality. And fertilized eggs freeze better than eggs which require a partner.

[49:58] Once you are trying to conceive (and of course through all of the process), make sure to support each other. It’s a tough journey and you want to be going through it together.

Take the Fertile Minds Meditation challenge and see what a fertile mind feels like. Each day you’ll receive access to a 15 minute guided meditation designed to yield more clarity and calm no matter where you are on your path to building a family.

If you are feeling frustrated and wish you could experience feeling more patient this challenge is for you.

If you are finding yourself resentful and want to feel empowered instead this challenge is for you.

If you are feeling lost and overwhelmed with all things fertility and long to be more centered during the process of striving for a family this challenge is for you.

If you’ve wanted to add meditation to your self care routine but had no idea where to start this challenge is for you.

You'll learn how to shift your attention from the future to the present moment helping you to feel more fulfilled and patient with the process, your life, your partner and maybe even God.

You won't know though until you commit to the challenge. I'll be there with you every step of the way, one complete menstrual cycle, until it becomes your new favorite habit. Meditate, Listen, Trust, Repeat

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Dr. Zev Williams 

Dr. Zev Williams Bio 

Columbia University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology  

Efficient Differentiation of Steroidogenic and Germ-Like Cells from Epigenetically Related iPSCs Derived from Ovarian Granulosa Cells

FMR1 targets distinct mRNA sequence elements to regulate protein expression 

Nytimes.com/2015/11/26/health/progesterone-may-not-help-women-with-history-of-miscarriages-study-finds

Huffingtonpost.com/science-of-us/miscarriage_b_8000760.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

Wsj.com/articles/solving-the-mystery-of-miscarriages-1434389396

Columbiaobgyn.org/profile/s-zev-williams-md

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26000502

Nyp.org/enewsletters/advances/2018/gynecology/2018-Advances-Gynecology-Issue1.html

Continue Your Journey:

Link to sign up for free 29-day meditation challenge

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

 

Disclaimer *

You must not rely on the information in this podcast as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website or in this podcast.


EPISODE 25 | USING CERVICAL MUCUS TO PREDICT HIGH FERTILITY WHEN TTC

Fasten your earbuds, as our topic is rarely talked about but very important from everything to our fertility, overall health, and sexual pleasure. We talk about what the difference is between cervical mucus and vaginal discharge, how to keep our environment alkaline, the four types of mucus, ways around a hostile cervical environment, medications that can impair fertile mucus and herbs and practices that can help restore them, and why Mother Nature is all about timing.

Takeaway:

[3:30] CVM is a type of vaginal discharge that signals that high fertility is approaching. There are four types of vaginal discharge that you can notice and they will coincide with the subjective observation of dryness or wetness around the vulva.

Is it Vaginal Discharge or Cervical Mucus? How to tell

 

[4:32} All mucus is a response to the amount of estrogen being produced by the woman’s body. This is why it hopefully begins to increase about 6 days prior to ovulation as the estrogen is rising and peaking.

[6:03] I cover what different mucus consistency means, and how the pH and quality of the cervical mucus need to be just right in order for the sperm to survive their long journey to the egg.

[9:14] Steroids may help stop sperm antibodies, but they can cause huge side effects like adrenal fatigue, especially when used more than once.

[10:32] The four types and descriptions of mucus as they relate to ovulation and the fertility cycle: G-mucus, L-mucus, S-type mucus and P-mucus.

[14:31] Some medications that can impair fertile mucus: birth control, antibiotics, NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, antidepressants (SSRI), and the fertility drug clomiphene/clomid.

[20:02] : Water and staying hydrated, exercise that is not dehydrating, Shatavari Root, Dang Kuei, Ashwagandha, Omega 3 supplements, L-Arginine, probiotics with lactobacillus, licorice root, red clover blossoms and vaginal steams.

[26:20] Your cervix changes shape and position with your cycle. The ligaments that support the uterus respond to the peak of estrogen that happens just before ovulation by tightening. After ovulation, the position of the cervix is once again low in the vagina and can be easily palpated.

 

Links or Mentions to take you further. 

episode 23 basal body temp

episode 18 lab values explained in plain english

episode 13- vaginal steams

episode 7- avoiding burnout

EPISODE 23 | WHAT YOUR BASAL BODY TEMPERATURE (BBT) CAN & CAN'T TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR FERTILITY

Description: Today’s episode is going to uncover what your basal body temperatures can and can’t tell you about your fertility. There is a ton of information regarding this topic, so by the time you are done listening to today’s episode, I want you to feel confident and motivated about tracking your BBT and working with your practitioner on what it means for you. We will talk about why you should take your temperature, how to do it and then track it correctly, how to use the different methods to your advantage, and the benefits that come from tracking it.


Takeaway:

[2:14] When it comes to tracking BBTs or what is known as Basal Body Temperatures, I’ve had two main teachers — Jane Littleton and Kirsten Karchmer from Of Conceivable. Both are a wealth of information when it comes to using and INTERPRETING this technique.

[2:57] Many times when a patient comes to my office they have done BBT in the past and are fed up either with the stress it causes or they have no idea how to read it. This leads to them wanting to dismiss doing it all, or maybe they have had an MD of some sort tell them that it’s pointless and they should move on to something like IUI or IVF if they want results. I’m here to tell you that’s not always the case.

[4:12] When a woman walks into my office with 3-6 months of charts either on paper or in an app I know in all likelihood she has just sped up her chances of conceiving with Chinese Medicine. This is also a way I know how and when to fine tune her herbs, recommend lifestyle and diet adjustments and even when there is a greater chance of miscarriage after a positive pregnancy test. This gives many women increased peace of mind that they able to keep an eye on the miracle that is unfolding within them without any invasive treatments. The other positive reason I recommend charting your temps is that it can be greatly empowering to understand what is having an effect on your body, like alcohol, caffeine, or even certain foods.

[8:17] Calendar rhythm method: Consists of using past menstrual cycles to estimate the time of your ovulation. When used on its own, this is the least reliable method of birth control. It should be avoided if your menstrual cycles are shorter than 26 days or longer than 32 days.

[8:42] Temperature method. You track your BBT for several cycles by using a very sensitive basal thermometer to take your temperature before you get out of bed each morning. Due to hormonal surges, your BBT goes up right after ovulation.

[9:10] Cervical mucus method. You track the color, thickness, and texture of your cervical mucus to monitor your fertility. Your cervical mucus becomes thinner, slippery, and stretchy when you ovulate. Tracking your cervical mucus will require some practice.

[10:14] I cover how to take your BBT:

  1. Take your daily temperature first thing upon awakening, before any other activity (going to the bathroom, talking on the phone, etc). The exception is 16 seconds of focused breathing referenced in episode 22.

  2. If using a digital thermometer, wait about 30 seconds until it beeps. Keep the receipt and return if you think the battery is faulty.If using glass, leave it in 5 minutes.

  3. You can take your temperature orally or vaginally, but always make it from the same place. Pick one and stay with it.

  4. Try to take it at the very same time each day right when you wake up.

  5. Make sure you get a minimum of 3 hours consecutive sleep before you take the temperature.

  6. If you use a glass thermometer, shake it down the day before.

  7. If you wake up at 5 and then plan to get up at 7, take your temperature at 5, when you wake up. Most digital thermometers will keep the temperature on it until the next use.

[14:38] When charting your temperature, you can use paper or an app. Some that I like are Fertility Friend, Conceivable, and Glow. If the temperature falls between two numbers on a glass thermometer, always take the lowest. Make dots on the appropriate temperature and connect the dots with straight lines. Note events such as stress, or illness in the miscellaneous row. Temperatures taken late should be noted in the ‘time taken’ row. 

[16:36] We cover what BBT tracking can and cannot do. It cannot tell you about your partner’s fertility, nor is it great at predicting ovulation.

[17:50] Don’t freak out if you don’t get every single day. As a practitioner. I am looking for the average in the follicular and the average in the luteal phase. It takes about one season (3 months) of working with someone to make a 50% increase in their chances of fertility.

[19:57] We cover the bleeding, follicular, ovulation and luteal phases and what I look at within each one.

[25:18] If temps are at 98.2 in the luteal phase, your miscarriage chances will drop from 30 percent to 5 percent the following cycle.

[29:16] I go over some patterns that we see in BBT and the phases, and how I as a practitioner use this information to work with the patient.

[34:12] One reason someone wouldn’t want to track their BBT is when they are taking progesterone supplements, as it affects the temperatures and if it stresses you out completely my suggestion is to meditate directly after. And if that’s still too much for you or you travel a lot or you aren’t able to wake around the same time most days due to life constraints I encourage you to check out the AVA Woman.

  

MENTIONED LINKS:

Link to sign up for free 29-day meditation challenge

affiliate link for $30 discount on Ava Temp tracker

Avawomen.com/avaworld/ava-data-means/

Jade Ashtanga retreats- join me this summer and receive one complimentary coaching session prior

 manifest your dream life with davidji retreat- $150 discount coupon code dreamlife2018

Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine, by Jane Lyttleton 

Guide to Cervical Mucus  episode 23

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram

EPISODE 21 | TAKING A TCM APPROACH TO YOUR DIET TO ENHANCE YOUR FERTILITY

Taking a TCM Approach to Your Diet to Enhance Fertility

Description: Today we will be covering one of my personal subjects in life, food! Food therapy has always been part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It can be really easy to initiate your own healing simply by eating for your current TCM disharmony. I will share with you some easy life solutions and three different approaches that you can start with your very next meal. Food has a lot of ties to our belief system, our past, and emotions we have yet to feel. Changing the way you eat can seem very overwhelming, so today I invite you to just pick a few from these three ideas that suit you and your life.

Takeaways

[4:56] Many of us have some body image issues, myself included, that we’ve worked really hard to overcome and I don’t want you to get stressed with the idea of cutting things out or calorie counting. That’s not what today’s episode is about.

[6:01] I would rather encourage you to make positive small changes that feel right to you rather than your feeling like your eating is one more thing you have to try and be perfect at. The implications of your DNA occur one full year before you get pregnant.

[8:25] Even a 2% change a day has a cumulative effect. It’s important to start small and adopt habits and a diet that feels positive and nourishing.

[10:24] The first approach is from Daoshing Ni, from his book The Tao of Fertility. He thinks of the menstrual cycle as a season, and there is a systematic way to eat accordingly along with the phases.

[12:10] The second is a general list of what not to eat, and a meal order solution like Green Chef or Hello Fresh. This is great for the on-the-go person that is working too much or overwhelmed by the idea of shopping and cooking. However, it can get pricey, especially if you cave and order take out when you have organic food sitting in your fridge.

[13:09] Third is the pattern diagnosis of TCM by symptoms that tell you how to eat based on TCM. This will often help you feel the best the quickest and make your overall constitution stronger helping you to achieve optimal fertility. It can be difficult if you both of you have completely different imbalances or constitutions. It’s a win if you love strict rules. It gives a list of don’ts and dos. 

[14:20] In the Tao of Fertility approach, you think of your menses as the season of winter. Shedding, ending and contracting. The week after your period is like spring where plants and flowers are budding and blooming, and the ovulatory phase is summer. The luteal phase is akin to autumn, where the temperature is beginning to drop. During the first two weeks of your “seasons”, you want to incorporate foods that will strengthen your egg quality and energy. This includes grains, high protein foods like eggs, meat and beans. It’s important the food is warm for digestion. If you feel extra fatigued and weak during menstruation, you want to eat a lot of blood-nourishing foods like bone broth. The second phase after ovulation shifts to leafy green vegetables and berries.

[25:44] Always choose full-fat instead of fat-free. Often times when they take the fat out, they replace it with sugar and other unhealthy additives.

[29:22] I go through the patterns of foods and symptoms depending on the body types, symptoms and deficiencies.  You can also download the food quiz here on the website for a further dive into what you should be eating for your specific constitution. I RECOMMEND PRINTING IT OUT, MARKING IT UP WITH YOUR NOTES AND REPEATING EVERY 3 MONTHS SO YOU CAN SEE HOW FOOD HAS CHANGED YOUR RESULTS!

EPISODE 19 | PREVENTING COLDS & FLU'S NATURALLY SO YOU CAN KEEP TTC

How Staying Healthy Will Save You Time When You Are TTC

Description:

Today is a very important and relevant topic, as this flu season has been one of the worst in decades! We are going to talk about when to know when antibiotics may be right for you, how over-taking antibiotics may be hurting the future of your children, how to stay healthy during cold and flu season, and what to do if you or your partner gets sick along your fertility journey during an IVF cycle. I also share what herbs and oils can shorten colds and illness, the difference between strains of the cold, and some other natural remedies you can use as preventative measures!

Takeaways

[7:29] In the United States, antibiotics are very overly prescribed. If you do get antibiotics, you want to take some extra special care. Today's episode is all about how to prevent colds and the flu, and what to do if you actually do get the bug.

[9:44] We talk flu vaccine, what it does to our body and some tips for if you and your children do decide to get the vaccine and have some symptoms.

[13:16] I share the differences between strep, sinus infection and bronchitis and some preventative measures to take before you get sick including a garlic neti pot.

[19:49] Acute and complicated bronchitis is the most common complaint that sends people to their primary care physician. It usually resolves in 1-3 weeks. Hot water with lemon and honey and elderberry are two great natural remedies to soothe coughs. If you do feel like it is extremely bad, it is important to get a lung X-ray.

[22:35] Reaching out to herbalists and acupuncturists before and when you get the common cold is a great idea. One herb to help with the common cold is gan mao ling.

[24:52] Strep throat is a bacterial infection and it does require antibiotic treatment. You won't have a cough but you will have a fever. One formula is yin chi and a stronger one is andographis.

[30:22] If you think you have the flu, the most important things are to stay hydrated, rest and stay home for at least 24 hours, and monitor your fever.

[34:37] One of my favorite immune blends is by Saje, and the oil Thieves by Young Living Essential Oils.

Cold+&+Flu.png



References:

American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine

Saje

Young Living Essential Oils

Chinese Herbal Formulas and Applications by John K Chen and Tina T Chen

Continue Your Journey:

@ladypotions4u on Twitter

@ladypotions4u on Instagram



EPISODE 18 | Fertility Lab Tests Explained in Plain English

Description: Today we will be diving into lab values, and specifically what it means to have a complete fertility workup. I cover what it means when we say a fertility workup, what they test for and why, what is “normal” to empower yourself in a non-judgmental way so you and your support system can figure out a plan of corrective action. We also discuss a semen analysis and the total, whole picture of the markers you would be looking at there. This episode is a great way to dive in with understanding what tests should be done based on your age and how long you have been trying, along with who in your healthcare network would be able to help you run the tests.

Takeaways

[1:17] When we say a complete fertility workup, we also mean having a male workup — your partner — as well.

[7:14] The first step is a comprehensive wellness panel or CBC with add-ons. Second is the semen analysis and third is the complete fertility workup for a woman.

[11:06] Most often the tests will be blood tests, however, some will be urine, diagnostic, and imaging.

[11:39] I break down what a CBC, lipid and metabolic panels are, what they test for, and how to read the different markers.

[14:41] Hypoglycemia is a somewhat common culprit when looking at disruptions in reproduction. Thyroid health is extremely important as well. The TSH and T4 and T3 Uptake are the most looked-at markers in the panel.

[19:57] Vitamin D has a variety of effects on the body, including GI health, skin health, mood, and immunity.

[25:02] The semen analysis; you want to look at the whole picture of total motile sperm, and calculate it using volume, concentration, and motility.

[33:18] High levels of prolactin may affect the ability to ovulate and the regularity of a woman’s menstrual cycle. 

[44:51] I explain the PCOS diet and why this way of eating may be beneficial.

EPISODE 14 | PLACENTAS, PUSHING & THE 4TH TRIMESTER | PT2 w/ Dawn Herring

Why we use our placenta, how to get labor going, and understanding when an intervention is medically necessary.

Description: We are thrilled to have the awesome Dawn Herring of Empowered Birth Series back as our guest today. Like myself, Dawn wants to change the conversation in labor to where it can unfold throughout the process and the woman finds it easier to trust her body through grounded knowledge and preparation. Every woman is different, every birth is different, and we are here to share our full-circle journeys to help empower and free us from an exact perception of what birth should look like. I talk with Dawn about the Bishop Score, placentas, and the importance of taking labels off any judgment of looking at any and all options during childbirth and conception. We hope our talk inspires you to allow what is and listen to your own body as a guide.


Takeaways

[7:16] Dawn shares how some of the complications of her own birth experience helped to heal her own judgment and expectations on how birth should be. Now she can provide information neutral and evidence-based.

[18:26] When discussing an intervention, it’s important to first check upon the health of mother and baby.

[19:10] Dawn discusses what a Bishop Score is, and how women can use it to their advantage as a powerful tool and dialogue to determine what type of intervention, if any, is appropriate.

[28:01] Dawn shares the tricks of encouraging labor to begin that she teaches in her Class 4. She is a huge fan of acupressure, herbs, a chiropractor trained in the Webster Technique, and nipple stimulation. It is very important to be in touch with your practitioner and/or midwife regarding these plans so everyone can be on board with the plan.

[35:44] Most women’s water breaks while they are in labor. If the water does break before labor, Dawn likes the use the COAT method to know what to look for: Color, Odor, Amount, and Time.

[46:53] Dawn and I both have seen a lot of information on the placenta, and discuss the possibility of eating your placenta. There have been thousands of years with research to back up that for the right situation it can be beneficial and healthy.

[57:30] Dawn’s last class talks about the 4th trimester which I think is so crucial. This is where every new mom really starts to doubt herself and I’ve seen education and grandmothers and friends make a huge difference at this stage in a woman’s life so I love that she broached this subject.

 

References:

Fertile Minds on LibSyn

Fertile Minds on iTunes

 

Continue Your Journey:

Bishop Score Research

Debra Betts — Acupuncture and Acupressure for Pregnancy and Childbirth

Placenta- buddha belly doula & placenta services

Acupressure App on google Play

More Placenta! Research

EPISODE 13 | VAGINAL STEAMS & THE ARVIGO TECHNIQUE | Jen Poll, LMT

Why You Might Want a Steam Bath for your Lady Parts and How Self Abdominal Massage May Help Your Fertility

 

Description: Our guest today is my dear friend, Jen Poll. Jen is a Licensed Massage Therapist in St. Petersburg, Florida. We have a great talk with Jen on the techniques of vaginal steams, abdominal massage, and her inspiration from teachings of Don Elijio Panti and Rosita Arvigo. Steaming and Abdominal Massage can be a great way for women to maintain and achieve uterine health, to reconnect with their own body and reclaim any power they may have previously surrendered. We cover what a vaginal steam is, and why a woman may want to steam her lady parts. The massage and steam can be as ritualized as you want or can be a scheduled simple self-care technique. We also cover what to expect during the process and situations where you may want to wait before jumping in.

Takeaways

[:49] Jen is a Licensed massage therapist in St. Petersburg, Florida. In 2008, Jen traveled to the Pacific Northwest to train as a practitioner of The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy. Having personally benefited from the techniques, Jen was eager to learn the work and share this ancient healing with others. I had the pleasure of working with Jen in a previous practice so I know first hand the transformative work she provides as I’ve referred countless patients and even been a client myself.

[3:22] Jen was having bad cramps and was working with a skilled midwife Anne Hirsch, who suggested the Arvigo massage to help alleviate some of her symptoms. She felt great relief and wanted to learn more so she could help women in all phases of life, from preconception to menopause; her passion is empowering women through transformative bodywork.

[6:41] They do a lot of work structurally and work with nerves to make sure all the ligaments are open and free so the body can do its job of maintaining balance and homeostasis within.

[12:21] Men can benefit as well, and it helps with prostate health to release congestion and blockages.

[16:03] One of the reasons we know about this work is based off the work of Don Elijio Panti and Rosita Arvigo. Jen explains how each of them carved a path for healing and didn’t give up despite many challenges and setbacks.

[21:35] The massage can be a great complement to other elements, including herbs and IVF. It can help women reconnect with themselves and partners.

[23:25] All about vaginal steams! Vaginal steam is used commonly in places like Korea and Central America. Please DO NOT use essential oils as they can burn the delicate skin of the vagina. The idea is to extract the oils safely out of the dried or fresh herbs during the steam.

[26:35] Jen explains why she uses a unit now with her clients, and during what time of the cycle it’s best to steam.

[28:56] There are many amazing herbs that can be put together for the steam, and it is important to go over each option with a trusted professional.

[29:40] Do NOT do the vaginal steam if there is a chance you are pregnant, during menstruation or an excessively heavy period.

[32:08] Focusing on the woman’s health is the safety net and most important investment.

[36:59] Post birth, it is a great practice for toning the pelvic floor and Jen recommends waiting at least 6-8 weeks.

[44:07] The uterus may retreat and hide due to stress, trauma, and age. In Chinese medicine, they call the uterus one of the “curious organs.” They can empty and fill at will and can be an outside indicator of what’s going on inside the body.

[47:48] One of the most important things we can do is love, trust, and support our own bodies.

How to Perform a DIY Vaginal Steam from the Maya Tradition or ATMAT

About five years ago a group of my friends facebook messaged me dying with laughter over an article they had found on vaginal steams asking me if this was legit? I had a chuckle because it was rather common place to me and I had forgotten about the shock value at first blush with it because I prescribed it so often in my fertility practice AND because I had such high regard for the Mayan Tradition. Long story short- I educated them all with some jokes here and there and I believe most of them have tried it by now with glowing comments like,

"It's actually quite nice."

"Who knew my lady parts deserved a facial."

and, "Why have I never heard of this?"

Recently, I sat down with Jen Poll LMT and registered Arvigo practitioner and we did an hour long podcast on all things in the Maya Tradition taught by Rosita Arvigo. Listen here to hear more about Vaginal Steaming, the difference between Maya Abdominal Massage and Fertility Massage and other techniques this heritage incorporates like castor oil packs and dietary therapy. Here are the basics on a  long overdue instructional blog post on how to DIY a vaginal steam.

Why To Do a V- Steam

  • To potentially increase your fertility both naturally or with IVF (consult an Arvigo practitioner for best times during an IVF cycle)

  • Increase cervical fluids and eliminate dryness

  • To nourish and tonify the uterine lining

  • To potentially regulate an erratic cycle

  • To release any energetic attachments to past lovers or hurts that may be a blockage in your womb

  • As a natural way to assist the body in naturally dissolving ovarian cysts or small fibroids

When To V-Steam

  • For preventative care – 1 week before the 1st day of bleeding.

  • For cysts, prolapse, pelvic pain, fibroids, endometriosis– 2 – 4 x a week

  • After a DNC or miscarriage – wait 3 weeks; make sure there is no infection prior to steaming.

  • Post delivery, wait 6-8 weeks, making sure you are not bleeding and there is no infection

  • If trying to conceive TTC, perform after period ends or before fertile window starts

  • At end of your period as a way to ritualize this monthly flow and make friends with your body

When Not To V-Steam

  • If there is any chance you are pregnant; if trying to conceive TTC, perform after period ends or before fertile window starts

  • When infection is present

  • If there are symptoms of damp heat in the pelvis, vagina or colon i.e. vaginal infection, candida, yeast infection, bacterial infection, active herpes outbreak

  • IUD- most are metal and could conduct heat and burn you

  • During menstruation- We want everything to come out, not in

  • If your periods are excessively heavy- having to change a pad, tampon or cup more than every two hours

Herbs to Consider Using For Vaginal Steam

  • Herbs that have an affinity for the urinary and reproductive organs; Red Raspberry Leaf, Juniper, Motherwort, Peony and Dong Quai/Tang Kuei, and Mugwort leaf

  • Herbs that move blood like  rosemary or Hong Hua for cramping, endometriosis or fibroids

  • Herbs that clear dampness like Pau’darco, Sarsparilla, or dandelion root for chronic conditions like cysts, non pathological cervical discharge

  • Herbs that contain volatile oils; Basil, Oregano, Lavender, Rosemary, Marigold, Garden Sage, Peppermint and Lemon Balm.

  • Herbs that are astringent or tonifying for conditions like hemmroids or prolapse; Witch Hazel, Yarrow, Cedar Berries, Rose and Juniper.

  • Traditional herbs the Maya use are dried basil, Calendula, Oregano, Yarrow and Lemon Balm. 

  • Herbs to avoid if you have sensitivity to Estrogen are Red clover, Dong Quai also known as Tang Kuei

  • Available for purchase here  https://www.arvigotherapy.com/rainforest/products3?tid=24

  • Individual herbs available for purchase at www.starwest-botanicals.com

  • If you are a patient for Hillary Talbott Roland DOM, FABORM at Art of Acupuncture or Virtually consult her for the best herbs and times related to your specific situation.

How To Steam Without a Special Chair (using your toilet or slatted chair)

  • Things you will need- toilet or slatted chair, 1-2 blankets made from natural fibers if possibly, socks or slippers, a stainless steel pot, a large ceramic or pyrex bowl to but the herbs into, your choice of herbal blend, and preferably an hour of alone time or quiet

  1. In a medium to large pot place chosen herbs (about 0.5-1 cup of dried herbs) and approximately 8 cups of preferably purified water into a vessel

  2. While putting herbs into pot, if you feel called to- clearly state your intentions for these healing herbs, say a prayer, or enter a state of pure mindfulness. This was a very ritualized practice in the Maya tradition where this was normal place, however, it is not a must for it to work so go with your instincts and what feels right for you.

  3. Bring water and herbs to a slow boil for about a 5 minutes, place lid on pot and bring down to a low simmer and allow herbs to steep for another 5-10 minutes with the lid on to contain most of the essential oils. 

  4. Place a ceramic or stainless steel bowl under a slatted chair or snuggly under the toilet seat

  5. Pour half of the water/herb mixture into the bowl. Replace lid on remaining mixture in pan and leave on stove top on low simmer.

  6. Wave your forearm above the herbal water and make sure the steam isn't too hot so you do not burn your lady parts. Do not sit down until the steam is comfortable for you. There is no prize for who can sit on the hottest pot!

  7. Remove your underwear and sit on the seat above the steaming water. 

  8. Cover your entire lower half to the ground with a blanket, sort of making a tent to keep the steam in.

  9. Make sure you are warm, socks, blanket around upper half of you if you aren't in a tropical climate

  10. You should feel warm, rolling heat for about 10 min. Try and be mindful during this time, simply observing how it feels to give yourself the gift of self care and quiet reflection without judgement.

  11. When the steam dies down dump the water mixture into the toilet or sink and repeat with the rest of the mixture starting at step 5. Don't forget to retest the heat before you sit!

If you can continue the gift of self care after this age old tradition, maybe give yourself permission to take a nap, read a yummy book or do something outside helping you to stay grounded while enjoying more of mother nature's special gifts. 

 

Continue Your Journey:

Dr. Rosita Arvigo

Jennifer Poll Website

Arvigo Therapy

Star West Botanicals

ThankYou-Mama.com