Before You Start TTC
There are 3 vitally important things I think you should know before jumping into TTC. Discovering these 3 elements can save lots of time and sometimes even unnecessary heartbreak and frustration.
Hello, my beautiful, gorgeous, smart, brave, caring fertility which is out there. How are you all doing? Happy June. Summer is almost here. Days by the pool, lounging in the sun, getting some relaxation in. Sounds wonderful. Almost here. Alright. But today we are going to talk about three things I think you need to know before trying to conceive. Now, even if you’re further into trying to conceive right now, don’t hit the skip button. Some of these things may apply to you still as well. Still really important information and knowledge to be gained here. So let’s jump right into it.
Tracking Your Cycle
The first thing that I think you need to know before trying to conceive is your menstrual cycle. Trying to conceive is an opportunity to get to know your body better and to connect with it in a new way. Tracking your menstrual cycle can be the first step in achieving this. Now, if you’re using a period tracking app, those are really popular right now and it definitely does help to see where your cycle is at. But a lot of period tracking apps automatically Mark down your ovulation as occurring on day 14 of your cycle based on a typical 28 day cycle. But many people don’t have a typical 28 day cycle and even people who have cycles between 24 to 35 days is completely normal. However, if you are not sure of the signs to look for of ovulation and the different phases of your menstrual cycle, this can mean that your fertility tracking app is saying, okay, you are ovulating on this day. However, you may not be. So knowing the actual length of your cycle and when you’re ovulating is key to having successful, productive sex that hopefully will lead to a baby and getting pregnant.
Tracking your cycle from the first day of your period to the first day excuse me of your next period. You can do this several different ways. You can notice when your period is and Mark it down in your calendar. In terms of ovulation, some things that you can look for is using a basal body thermometer to take your temperature at rest and see when your temperature increases slightly, indicating ovulation. However, this doesn’t always happen for everybody when they ovulate. So what I like to encourage my own clients to do is to really pay attention to your cervical mucous. When you ovulate, cervical mucous becomes clear egg white consistency like stretchy mucus and this is the best sign of peak fertility and ovulation. I always tell my clients to note physical symptoms throughout their menstrual and follicular and ovulation and luteal phases as well. Certain symptoms can point to hormonal imbalances or other root causes that could be getting in the way of getting pregnant and it’s important to address those to really avoid experiencing infertility.
Because here’s the thing. Maybe there is a hormonal imbalance and maybe you’re not ovulating. Maybe you’re having a very short Follicular stage of your menstrual cycle or alludial phase. Our bodies do talk to us. They talk to us by how we feel. So if you’re experiencing symptoms that have changed all of a sudden for you and your menstrual cycle, or if you have a history of very painful periods, this is our body telling us that something is going on. And it’s important to look at the root causes of that instead of jumping into trying to conceive. Because then what can happen is you spend months trying to get pregnant and then you go to the doctor and you’re saying it’s not happening. And oftentimes what happens in the medical world can be that you can get labeled as being infertile when in fact you’re really not. It’s just a matter of knowing your cycle, knowing the timing, and seeing if there are any root causes and hormonal Imbalances going on which can be fixed and treated through lifestyle changes.
All right, let’s get to number two. One of the also really important things I think you should know before trying to conceive is how to nourish your mind and body for healthy, fertile eggs for a healthy reproductive system. You already know, if you’ve been listening here that I’m not a fan of super restrictive diets. I believe this causes a lot more stress, ultimately a lot more cravings and more binge eating, which is not going to help us because when we eat things that aren’t good for us or that is kind of like eating crappy foods, we kind of take on that condition. We sort of feel crappy ourselves. And eating better quality foods will help us make us make us feel better as well. Giving your body the nutrients it needs to increase your fertility and to help balance your reproductive health can create better quality, fertile eggs. For conception, there are key nutrients that we need to help balance estrogen and progesterone throughout our menstrual cycles. For healthy egg production, some of these nutrients include folate, zinc, selenium, and having healthy fats in our diet.
Now, did you know that it can take three to four months for an egg to mature for ovulation? I know. Who knew? Maybe you already knew this. It can take a few months. This means that in order to have lifestyle changes actually sort of take place and take hold in your body to make a difference for your fertility and for your egg health, it can take that much time as well. It can take three to four months. This is why when I work with my clients, I have a twelve week program so that we are implementing those lifestyle changes, those nutrition, exercise, mental wellbeing, changes that are more manageable throughout those twelve weeks so that through our work, once we’re able to get everything into place, you’re then by the end of our work making even healthier eggs and having an even healthier, fertile reproductive system. It’s almost like when you have any type of machinery you need to give it what it needs. You need to grease the wheels. You need to give it maintenance. And our bodies are often the same. And just like anything else in nature, right? We need nourishment, we need the sunlight, we need the water. We need the soil to be right in order to be fertile, to grow, to produce. And it’s the same thing here. So knowing what your body needs, which you can learn from tracking your cycle, you can actually learn. Okay, my body is giving me these signals. I’m getting these symptoms. I have a really painful period. Maybe you’re dealing with an underlying hormonal imbalance.
Maybe you are dealing with PCOS, but you haven’t been diagnosed with that yet. We can look at that together, or you can look at that with your doctor and see where you can fill in the gaps of your hormonal imbalances, with nutrition and with lifestyle changes, because you are a once again whole person and having some one size fits all sort of diet may not actually work for you. So this is why the personalization of your health is really important and why I’m a really big advocate for it. And another layer in nourishing your mind and body for a healthy reproductive system is also stress management. We’re not just physical people. We’re not just mental and emotional people. Our minds and bodies are connected and should be treated as such. When we experience chronic stress and that’s overwhelming stress over long periods of time, our bodies produce more cortisol and adrenaline, and our body prioritizes hormones that are going to vital organs, which means our reproductive hormones often take a backseat and ovulation can even stop sometimes.
So mental wellbeing is also imperative for your overall and fertility health. My goal for you and for my own clients is of course, to help them get pregnant and to have a healthy, safe pregnancy. But I also want you to feel good where you are in your journey now as a birth doula, which is also my profession. One of the things I always stress to my clients and it’s really obvious and really important is that, yes, of course, at the end of labor, we want healthy mom, healthy baby. But your journey to getting to that point also matters a lot. So creating that environment for yourself, nourishing yourself now before you start trying to conceive, or even if you’re in the middle of trying to conceive, if you haven’t been doing this, it’s never too late to start getting pregnant can be challenging. You don’t need me to tell you that, right. But it’s the reality of it. And motherhood itself brings challenges as well.
Your wellness can’t wait, and it shouldn’t wait. So being able to get the tools you need to nourish yourself and restore your body and manage stress and feel good now are all really imperative.
Toxic Products To Avoid
Number three and last on my list of things that you should know. While trying to conceive Is which chemicals and products you should avoid for your fertility health. So you’ve heard me discuss endocrine disrupting chemicals before. Maybe I sound like a broken record about it, But I am really passionate about this topic. Trying to avoid chemicals and products with like phthalates, parabens, dyes, pesticides Is all really important to your own overall health, but also for your reproductive hormones. Because all of these chemicals and toxins build up in our bloodstream over time, and our body recognizes these chemicals as hormones, they’re kind of in disguise in our bodies. So being able to swap out some of these harmful chemicals and products for cleaner products and low tox products like ditching anything that has fragrance in the ingredient list Because that’s where companies really like to hide some of those endocrine disrupting chemicals that is going to make a difference for your fertility and hormonal health.
And I know that there is privilege in being able to get rid of things that are in your home and replacing them with, let’s face it, More expensive products Because they’re using better quality ingredients. My advice to anyone who is looking to go low talks but can’t go all out all at once. And of course, I totally get that. I don’t do that myself. I still have some things in my home that I’m waiting to swap out for, and doing it gradually over time Is examining what you’re using the most on a daily basis and if those products are not helpful for your reproductive health. So if those products do contain toxic chemicals in them, Maybe choose a few of the things that you’re using the most every day and replace those with cleaner, lower tax products that are in your budget.
After my discussion with Dr. Leah Gordon a few weeks ago about endocrine disrupting chemicals, Lots of people reached out to me about having a more simple guide and more information about being able to make out swaps to lower tax products. So I did make a free guide for everyone who out there was asking. I made a low tax fertility guide that you can get for free off of my website. Just go to thefertilitywitch.com/free to download your own copy. Okay, so those are my three things that you need to know before trying to conceive that I think are super important to one save you time, help you get healthier now before spending months trying to conceive with possible hormonal imbalances and really figuring out your fertility health before you start to conceive, or even if you’re in the middle of conceiving and you’ve been trying and maybe some of these things are new that you learned today from this episode, but you can implement them now. All right, I hope that this was helpful, and I will see you next week. Bye.