Sherry has been trying to get pregnant for over 2 years, and she and Richard are getting discouraged. After doing some reading she was surprised to find out 25% of couples under age 35 have not been able to conceive within a year, and it’s even worse as you get older. She is just 30, and cannot believe she might need a fertility specialist when she is so young and healthy. Or is she healthy? Her periods are irregular, she has terrible PMS, and half the time she doesn’t notice any fertile mucus.
What Sherry needs to know is that the health of her menstrual cycle and signs of ovulation are an indicator of her fertility. If she wants to get pregnant, she needs to work on her overall health and do what it takes to normalize her cycles. This is often easier than many people realize, because how we live our life contributes directly to our health. There are some often needed changes in nutrition and other habits that can make a huge difference.
Do You Have Healthy Signs of Ovulation?
The first thing is to understand what a normal healthy menstrual cycle is like. Learn to chart the details of your own cycle so you know where you stand. This includes the length of your cycle, what the blood flow is like, signs of ovulation, ovulation itself, and any signs of PMS.
Healthy signs of ovulation include:
- Fertile mucus
- Saliva ferning
- Strongly positive LH surge
- The cervix becomes soft and high, and the os more open
- A rise in the basal body temperature following ovulation
All of these signs should be present. A lack of any of them tells you that you have a less than healthy menstrual cycle. Other menstrual cycle abnormalities to note include:
- Spotting between periods
- PMS signs or symptoms
- Menstrual cramps
- Heavy bleeding or clots
- Cycle shorter than 26 days or longer than 35 days
If you are experiencing any of these abnormalities, and are not seeing all of the healthy signs of ovulation, it is time to address your health. You are much less likely to get pregnant with these things going on, even using Clomid or IVF. It is very much worth your while to make any needed changes in your life that will help your health.
What lifestyle changes can be helpful? Here are two critical ones.
- Better nutrition
- Less stress
Better nutrition means stop eating junk, and start eating foods that supply the things your body needs. Eat whole natural foods, especially those containing vitamins A, D, E and K2. These foods are egg yolks, shellfish, liver, animal fats (such as butter), meats, and raw dairy products. All animal foods should come from healthy pasture raised animals. Avoid fish from contaminated waters. Eat plenty of organic vegetables, especially green leafy ones like kale and chard.
Manage the stress in your life. It is your interpretation of events that make them stressful, not the events themselves. It is very important to understand that stress severely compromises your health, and you have to find ways to keep a good attitude. Another stressor is lack of quality sleep. You must have enough rest for your body to regenerate and restore your health on a daily basis. This means 7-10 hours per night for most people, especially being asleep between 10 pm and 1 am.
To Your Vibrant Health!
Veronica Tilden, DO