Every day I work with women who struggle to conceive, and I give a lot of thought to the subject of preserving fertility.
As the science behind egg freezing advances, choosing to delay conception through preservation of eggs is becoming more prevalent and accessible; some progressive employers even fund the process.
But, just as flu shots aren’t the only way to support the immune system and prevent influenza, egg freezing isn’t the only way to preserve and support your fertility.
Here are 7 lifestyle habits that, along with a holistic health consultation and treatment plan with our integrative fertility experts, will help maintain and improve your fertility naturally.
1. Eat real food
It’s true, you are what you eat. Look around and you’ll see evidence in all those around you. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: the ‘right’ diet always includes whole, unprocessed foods.
Cut out refined sugars and flours, and eliminate artificial sweeteners that dump synthetic chemicals into your precious tissues.
Include plenty of cruciferous vegetables like kale, arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. They contain a compound that helps break down and excrete unwanted, excess estrogens in our environment—like those from plastics.
2. The Elixir of life. Every cell in your body needs it.
Choose filtered water. Most tap water contains chlorine, an unwanted chemical that may act as an endocrine disruptor that can affect thyroid function.
Eating a lot of plants and whole foods, along with keeping consistently hydrated, ensures plentiful delivery of nutrients antioxidants that help protect against the aging of your cells, and assists the body in eliminating inflammation.
You can monitor if you’ve consumed enough water for your body and lifestyle by checking that your urine is pale yellow.
3. Party sparingly and avoid inflammation.
The key is balance.
There’s a saying in Chinese medicine texts: “80% is perfection.” If health is balance then you should absolutely enjoy a favorite treat from time to time.
Indulge and savor, but temper the sugars and carbs you let in. If you have a freshly baked scone in the morning, choose fish instead of pasta for dinner.
Is your morning coffee ritual a spiritual practice? Then go for it and enjoy an eight-ounce cup, but offset the acidity beforehand with a glass of filtered water. Choose organic coffee whenever possible; coffee is one of the most chemically treated plants in the world.
Remember a time when you could have more than one drink and pop right out of bed the morning after? Eventually, too much alcohol catches up with you. If you do drink alcohol, always pair it with lots of water and protein for optimal processing and, if you feel any side effects in the morning from last night’s happy hour, take note that you overindulged and lower your limit next time.
Smoking is an absolute “no.” Any type of smoking is harmful to your reproductive system.
4. Keep Moving.
Exercise is FREE healthcare. It increases circulation, decreases stress, and helps balance hormones. Imagine, all that for no financial investment. Movement does not have to be at a gym, though. Small changes yield consistent results because they become habit.
- Park a little further away from the store. Increase this distance each visit.
- Get off the MUNI a stop early—it’ll become second nature.
- ‘Step away from the desk.’ Gift yourself an energy break with some lunges. Or, ‘carpe scalaria’ (seize the stairs). Go up and down a flight or two whenever the opportunity presents itself.
5. Practice relaxation.
In a culture that rewards overworking and overachieving, it can be a challenge to allow yourself to relax and actually feel good about the choice.
Plan a weekend with no plans, when you can truly sleep as much as you need. After this ‘sleep reset,’ allow your body at least 7-8 (even 9) hours each night. Your body heals at rest.
Oh, and pssst—put down your electronic devices. Go celebrate nature. Your adrenal glands will thank you.
A biased suggestion, we know. However, acupuncture delivers a healthy increase in circulation to the reproductive system, strengthening the brain-ovary communication loop, and helping to keep hormones in balance.
Acupuncture benefits overall health as the gentle needle stimulation supports your nervous system to move into the ‘rest + digest’ state, promoting healing and repair.
7. Don’t worry, be happy.
Because Chinese medicine is truly holistic, we practitioners consider the emotional state when addressing the physical. Your body chemistry responds positively to healthy brain chemistry. Your thoughts, positive or negative, subtly affect the choices you make and the actions you take; your whole system is interconnected.
Train yourself to respond to anxious, stressful thoughts by immediately stopping and naming three things that bring you happiness. The ‘right’ next step in your fertility journey may just hit you while you’re busy living, focusing on all that brings you bliss.
Lifestyle and diet absolutely affect the quality of your eggs, the health of your organs, your hormonal processes, and more. Treat your body like the incredible, intelligent machine it is.
Providing yourself with excellent care can not only support your fertility but optimize your overall health. If you are preparing to freeze your eggs, or want help extending your fertility naturally, please come visit us. Our mission is to support you through, and optimize, the process. Visit us here.Posted in Women's Health