How Do You Know When You’re Fertile?

leaf

leaf

Experiencing the ups and downs of pregnancy and childbirth is something many couples dream of. For most, pregnancy happens with minimal difficulty, but for approximately 10% of women in the United States, fertility issues interfere with that dream.

There are ways, however, to support your body during attempts to conceive. Conceiving and bearing a child is possible for many who are struggling with infertility; this is not hopeless. And one of the first vital steps to conception is to understand fertility so that you know when it is time to schedule that romantic date.

What does normal fertility look like?

Healthy fertility in a woman encompasses several components:

  • Ovulation, or the monthly release of an egg from the ovaries
  • Travel by the egg through the fallopian tubes to the uterus
  • Implantation of the fertilized egg into the lining of the uterus

Under normal circumstances, ovulation occurs roughly every 28 days, with each ovary releasing an egg every other month. If a sperm does not fertilize the egg upon reaching the uterus, your body eventually sheds the thickened uterine lining during your menstrual cycle. This is the regular system when all is functioning as planned.

If there is a problem in any of these reproductive areas, however, a woman is likely to experience infertility.

What is infertility?

For women up to age 35, most doctors agree that it is time to seek help if you’ve been unsuccessful getting pregnant after a year of trying. If you are over 35 years old, fertility experts suggest seeking help after six months of trying unsuccessfully.

Additionally, women who can conceive but struggle to maintain the pregnancy also benefit from seeking help from practitioners who specialize in women’s health and fertility.

What causes female fertility struggles?

There isn’t a simple answer to this question. At its most basic level, infertility is caused by a glitch somewhere in the reproductive system, but the key is determining which component isn’t functioning as it should. Struggles with conception or maintaining a pregnancy could be related to any of the following:

  • Lack of regular ovulation. If your menstrual cycle is highly irregular or absent, it is likely that you are not ovulating, or that you are ovulating at very irregular intervals.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Although the exact cause of PCOS isn’t yet clear, it is a hormone disorder that impacts your body’s levels of androgen, insulin, and progesterone.
    Women with PCOS tend to have too much androgen, the “male” hormone, and not enough progesterone, the “female” hormone. This imbalance can lead to facial hair and acne, as well as irregular or missed periods. The name is a bit misleading, however, as not every woman with PCOS has cysts.
  • Damage to the fallopian tubes or uterus. Problems with the transport and implantation of the egg can arise from several possibilities. Endometriosis occurs when part of the uterine lining attaches itself to organs that are outside of the uterus.Fibroids in the uterus are masses that are typically non-cancerous but interfere with a fertilized egg’s ability to implant. Polyps, scar tissue, and infection can also impact a woman’s fertility.

How is female infertility treated?

Typical western medicine tends to start immediately with pharmaceutical treatments, usually with a medication such as Clomid. It can induce ovulation and attempts to balance hormone levels. Surgery to address endometriosis and fibroids is sometimes a choice as well.

At Balanced Care, we work to get to the cause of a woman’s infertility and then help her body do its own healing and regulating whenever possible. Fertility and reproductive health are very complex, and it may take time to get your body on the right track, but here are some of the natural methods for addressing infertility

Dietary changes: Women may experience extreme weight loss or weight gain, both of which can make it difficult to conceive. Eating plans such as the Mediterranean Diet are linked to higher chances of conception. Opt for fruits and vegetables, fish, plant-based proteins, and healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.

Avoid processed foods, plastics, and items with added sugars or refined grains. Choosing grass-fed beef and free-range chicken helps reduce your exposure to added hormones.

These dietary changes can help get your weight and hormones back into proper balance, increasing your chances of getting pregnant.

Lifestyle changes: Aside from the obvious and well-documented no-nos of smoking and drug use, many other lifestyle factors can hinder your chances of conceiving.

Sleep problems, stress, environmental toxins, and poor exercise habits can all impact a woman’s ability to achieve and maintain pregnancy. And keep in mind, poor exercise habits include both too little exercise and too much.

Women who work out so intensely that their body fat percentage drops lower than is healthy often find it hard to conceive.

Supplements: The proper use of vitamin and mineral supplements can do wonders in helping a woman’s body regulate its reproductive system and hormones. Herbs and nutritional supplementation can help regulate hormones and a good quality multi-vitamin can improve fertility as well.

Dr. Katie and Dr. Rachel take a close look at your hormones to determine what the best treatment is for your body.

plant

How do I know when I’m fertile?

One of our goals at Balanced Care is to help you understand your body and its processes. Learning to recognize the signs of fertility will help you to know when your body is at its most ready to support conception and pregnancy.

  1. Temperature changes: Once an egg is released from an ovary, your body temperature starts to rise. Charting your temperature each day, before getting out of bed, will help you see your body’s patterns. A rise in your temperature may signal that you are ovulating.
  2.  A change in cervical mucus: As your progesterone levels go up with ovulation, your cervical mucus increases in volume and becomes stretchier and more slippery to allow the sperm a better chance of reaching the egg.
  3. Regular periods: One of the best signs that your body is ready to conceive is the regular arrival of your menstrual cycle. If your periods are coming about every 24-35 days, the odds are you are ovulating regularly midway through your cycle.

A woman’s body is designed to do amazing things, and with the right support and treatment, many women can reverse infertility and get their bodies ready for pregnancy.

The doctors at Balanced Care take a natural, holistic approach to your reproductive health. We understand that your journey toward parenthood is unique to you, and we are here to support you.

Can Food Allergies Really Be Cured?

Sleeping

Sleeping

Wouldn’t it be great if all of us could eat any food we wanted, and the only reaction we have is the pleasure and satisfaction it gives us? What would our lives be like if we never had to wonder how to get rid of food allergies? And this leads to asking, “Can food allergies really be cured?”

Think about what you or the people in your life need to do to rearrange your lives around food allergies, insensitivities, and intolerances. Your response to spotting food that your body doesn’t like can be a slight inconvenience, like not choosing the strawberries at your friend’s barbecue. Or your response may require calling ahead to every restaurant to make sure they don’t cook in pans with traces of nuts.

Peanut butter toast may cause a foggy brain or a bit of bloating for you, but for your toddler, it could start a bout of wheezing or worse: a quick series of reactions that turn into anaphylactic shock. And when there’s a violent immunological reaction like that, it’s terrifying for you and your child.

Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health researchers reported that food allergies are linked to childhood anxiety. They discovered that among children with a food allergy, 57 percent reported having symptoms of anxiety.*  That’s understandable.

At Balanced Care, we have a lot of compassion for everyone who rearranges their lives, even to the point of vigilance, for the foods that trigger negative reactions.

We have an alternative to the way you’ve been tolerating food intolerances! Write to us today to get started on a new path of vitality.

Now, do we believe that food allergies really can be cured? The answer is a qualified yes for many foods, and we have clients who’ve followed our guidance and recommendations and been very happy with the results. There are other foods we’ll identify that you will need to avoid the rest of your life.

We qualify our answer a bit because the partnership we form with you, steps you take, and coaching that you follow can make all the difference. You may need to manage a regimen for weeks, months or the rest of your life to see how to get rid of food allergies.

Medicines

Let’s get to the source of your symptoms

We know how hard it is to say “no” to wonderfully-flavored temptations, especially in those situations where family traditions and memories compel you to eat what you know gives you a headache, makes you wheeze, or puffs you up like a balloon.

What’s unique about naturopaths is that we focus on the causes of your food allergies. So in the end, maybe you can eat that traditional family ice cream dessert because you’ve gotten to the source of the bloating it usually triggers.

We want to create a flow of energy and healing in your body that will have you feeling so much better. And yes, it can mean that some food “allergies” may not bother you again!

Let’s look at a simple example of a very common food reaction. It’s not something that causes anaphylactic shock but can have serious health consequences nonetheless. And most people are entirely unaware of this.

Millions of Americans get heartburn. The typical American response to mild or moderate heartburn or acid reflux is to pop antacids, most of which are lined up right at the checkout counter of every convenience station or drug store — that’s how prevalent the problem is! You can turn to any group of people and ask for heartburn help, and at least one person likely has a roll of antacids.

Heartburn is the awful irritation you feel right beneath your breastbone. It’s easy for people to pop a couple of dissolving tablets into their mouths and feel temporary relief — until they don’t. And then they pop them again. It’s a distressing solution because too much calcium carbonate, the main ingredient in these tablets, can damage our kidneys.

Taking antacid medications can cause issues with B12 and calcium absorption as well.

So what seems like a barely tolerable daily problem can debilitate the functioning of our kidneys, a major organ with the job of keeping our body chemistry in balance all the time.

Kidneys also control our blood pressure, make urine and red blood cells, and help maintain a good pH balance in your system and more.

Taking handy over-the-counter medications that help you avoid dealing with the cause of heartburn, bloating, brain fog, etc. for many common ailments and complaints rob us of our vitality over time.

Naturopathy is an alternative health care approach. Traditional American medical care focuses on symptoms and prescribes drugs to mask them effectively.

Naturopaths look at your symptoms and then ascertain and treat the causes of heartburn, and food allergies and intolerances. We get to the source to eliminate or greatly reduce your symptoms.

A naturopath treats heartburn and food allergies differently

Let’s follow our heartburn example, and you’ll see what we mean.

Naturopaths know that a common cause of heartburn is low stomach acid. This natural, internal hydrochloric acid starts working the minute food reaches our stomachs. It helps us digest our foods, breaking it down, and making the vitamins and minerals available to our bodies. We need these to feel well and perform normal bodily functions.

We’re all born with stomach acid to varying degrees. Its production is impacted by stress, eating too much sugar, inflammation in the lining of our stomach, and more. There’s even a doctor that says that our blood type impacts how much stomach acid we have. There is a lot to know, and we know it.

At Balanced Care, we create a drug-free regimen of digestive enzymes and more. We’ll start with food sensitivity and allergy testing through a simple blood test. This is especially helpful if someone is reacting to food, but doesn’t know what exactly is triggering it.

We don’t prescribe something for your symptoms. We address the root of the problem.

We encourage you to start your natural healing with us at Balanced Care. Contact us today. We’ll work together to restore your health and alleviate food allergy symptoms.

* You may want to read our blog post, 4 Tools For Your Adolescent Child With Anxiety