Jul 13, 2022
I ask you to imagine you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself at the point you decided to try to start or extend your family. What would have been useful and what do you wish you had been told.
I also go into detail about what you should have been told and how my dream is that anyone who is thinking of starting or extending a family should be informed abut. In ancient times the elder women of the village would share key information, would have cultures in place including foods believed to support fertility. All of which has been lost to a medical model that provides no support until you are 6 months to a year down the line. Even at that point there is no real support or advice just interventions.
Welcome to this episode of the fertility rewire podcast. And in this episode, I'm going talk about, well ask you really, what did you need to know really before you even started trying to conceive?
When you first thought about starting a family, what did you really need to know then? And if you could travel back in time to when you first decided you wanted to start a family or to get pregnant this time, if you're looking at extending your family, what would you say to your former self, from what you've learned so far on this journey, what would that be?
Are there certain actions you would've taken sooner? Would you have stood up to the medical staff sooner than perhaps you have, or, or perhaps you haven't?
My dream is that anyone who is thinking about getting pregnant, whether their first or the next time, that they would get access to this information straight away, that you don't have to wait the six months, or one year before anything is even looked at, and then you get no answers. That you would be given access to testing and that you would have a pre trying checkup.
A preconception checkup, a preconception MOT, if you like now, you can't have access to that, unless that is something that potentially you are paying for. And even then it doesn't necessarily fit into the medical health models, but you can do home testing. You can seek therapists or consultants in different areas that do testing. If you're going to do home testing and I talked last week about the stress of ovulation.
So I do want to bear in mind about this potential stress that can be caused by the home testing too, because you do need someone to interpret it potentially because even with the home tests, the normal is not what we consider optimal actually for fertility. So you've heard me talk about the MIRA home testing, and to use their Max ones, where you're looking at the progesterone as well. You can use the code FERTILITYREWIRE at checkout to access a discount on the MIRA Website
You can do basal body temperature yourself. So you've got an idea of what's happening in your cycle and you can use something like Ovusense, which can take the stress away from having to wake up and, and take that. If you are looking at male fertility factors and I do urge you to, from the very, very start, because all too often, I see clients where, you know, as a female you are looking at what it is wrong with you, you and generally the medical profession seems to go down that line a little bit as well.
But even though you'll only get basic sperm test results from a home test, I do think it's worthwhile still looking at that. And you can use a company called ExSeed and there are others available, of course, but this is one that, that I've come across recently. You can use code FERTILITYREWIRE to get a 15% discount.
And I'm hoping to do an interview actually with somebody from ExSeed soon so we can explain a little bit more about that. So you're looking at basic information for sure and what I would say in any home tests, if it's coming up as suboptimal or even outside of normal ranges, I would still urge you to take advice from elsewhere and get this looked at in more detail. Definitely. So when we're looking at home testing, you can test your hormone levels. You can test your follicle stimulating hormone now in home tests, you can test your progesterone also. You can test your estrogen and this can be in urine, or this can be with a blood test. Remember a blood test is a snapshot of that day, a urine test, you're generally looking at more regular frequency of that. So that can give you a bigger picture with those and the fluctuations, especially when it comes to progesterone.
You can do home tests for thyroid and increasingly a wider panel of thyroid, and also to look for thyroid antibodies, which I've seen in quite a few clients recently. And then we have our autoimmune factors that are coming in there. So even though you wouldn't necessarily be medicated for your thyroid, you can look to natural ways to support your thyroid and to boost it because we know that an underactive thyroid, or let's not say underactive, because then we're in normal and abnormal ranges again, aren't we? A suboptimal thyroid, a thyroid that isn't functioning as you would want it to function is something that needs supporting.
Vitamin D is a huge, huge factor when it comes to fertility. So that's the test you can be looking at as well. Now, how can you get these tests? Well, as I said with, you've got mirror for your, um, urine analysis of hormones.
And I think I have mentioned before that you can get a discount with Mira. If you use the code fertility rewire or one word, you can look at temperature so you can look at Ovusense. You can also look at ExSeed for sperm tests here in the UK for blood tests, Medichecks is an example. There's lots of home testing, finger prick, testing services that you can use equally within Europe, the US and Australia as well. You will have your own home testing companies. You do, but I urge you to get those looked at now. That's something I do with my clients. There are other therapists that offer the similar services, but do get those looked at because of course you can just become hugely stressed by the test themselves because you haven't necessarily got that feedback from someone or to know your next steps or your proactive next steps also to give yourself some preparation.
So, for some people maybe don't do tests, but just assume that there could be an issue, not in a worrying sense, not in a, oh there's something terribly wrong sense, but just assume that there could be an issue. So what could you do to counter that? So can you look at your hormonal balance? Can you see what your cycle is telling you? Remember the bleed can tell us so much about our balance of hormones, the length of your cycle, when you ovulate within the cycle, how long that follicular phase is, how long that luteal phase is, can tell us so, so, so much, but having that interpretation and I urge you not to do that in forums because when you are in a forum often, not all the time, but often you are looking at opinion of others, we're back to “what Jane did”.
Whereas you want to be speaking to someone who can actually guide you and interpret these for you, and maybe even point you onto somebody else that can test at a further or deeper level or additional support that you might need. So you need to know about that hormonal balance through the whole cycle. You need to know what your period is telling you, what your strength of ovulation is and what your ovulation signs are. Also consider your own pelvic health. Now, I alluded to this again last week, when we think about pelvic congestion, any previous surgeries, if you've had a child already, if you're trying for your next child, then were there situations possibly at the birth, did you have a cesarean section? Are there impacts there physiologically that we can look at and also taking proactive steps to improve your pelvic health? There is lot you can do about that.
What's your emotional level like?
Where are you at with things? Are you stressed anyway, do you experience anxiety and worry? Is there a lot going in your life that could be causing your stress hormones to be switching off or down your reproductive function? Are you feeling safe? You know, and I, I don't mean that in a sense of imminent danger, but I refer to that in that, you know, design of our bodies of our brains to keep us safe about the adrenaline, about the fight or flight reaction, where is your level of worry? And increasingly when we like to have control, we can find that when we're into something like trying to get pregnant, where we seem to have no control, that can really spin us out emotionally, particularly people who are demonstrating levels of a high functioning anxiety. So often you're in a high achieving position you've always achieved.
Well, you are organized, lots of very positive factors around this, but the, the downside is that you've got that constant ‘what if’ chatter going on in your brain and you might tend to catastrophize and struggle with that feeling of not being in control. And that's something I'm seeing quite a lot with clients that I'm working with at the moment also consider your cellular health. So we can look at optimizing nutrition, of course, but let's specifically as well look at that cellular health because the egg is a cell and the sperm is a cell. So that's really, really important and something that you need to add to your toolkit in terms of preparation. So we are preparing our minds and our bodies to be at that optimal level for conception and the biggest thing… And I have, I've already said this in this podcast and I, I drone on about it constantly perhaps, but do not accept normal.
We want optimal, don't think about normal as being okay. And also if we can shift our focus perhaps to not to getting pregnant, but to actually having a healthy baby. And I know that can be difficult in terms of getting ahead of ourselves, but it is our ultimate aim. So it is good to see that as the top aim when we're trying to get pregnant.
So I'm wondering, did you undertake any of this when you first stepped out on your journey and chances are you wouldn't because why would you? It's not something we're educated about. And even when you started to experience difficulties and you've gone to the doctors and you've had tests, these tests have never been suggested maybe the, the hormone profile, but not over a longer period of time.
For sure. When you think back to ancient times, when we had more of a sense of tribe and more of a sense of community there would've been elders, you know, the wise women in the community who would've educated about fertility, you know, couples who were going to get married or were just married, were given lots of information. And there's lots of cultural diets and specific foods that would be used to enhance and encourage fertility. And there would be that preparation, that sense of preparation and education, which fertility now falls into a medical model of trying to step in when something's wrong and bypass, we’re losing that. We're certainly losing that sense of education.
And in schools I've talked about before, we're not being educated about what could be an issue when it comes to getting pregnant. You know, we're told it's really easy to get pregnant, and it would be the worst thing that could possibly happen to you. We're not taught about fertility and equally, we're not taught about it in a sense that we might be able to show some understanding and empathy to those that are experiencing fertility difficulties. You know, that saying to anybody, oh, when are you having children next? You know, when they, they haven't had children in your timeframe that you're expecting or, or making assumptions, or as I mentioned before about offering platitudes, when people have miscarriage or loss, and that's something that needs to be educated about so that we have not only a wider understanding of what may potentially happen to us as individuals in the future, but also to have that understanding of what could be going on for other people, we need to be managing diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis better.
We need to, you know, not be telling girls and young women when they're diagnosed that we can manage this for now, but they'll have trouble getting pregnant because that's set in an emotional barrier and block already, um, which doesn't serve to support the condition itself. And we need to see P C O S and endometriosis as symptoms. And we need to be doubling back further to look for the root cause.
So is any of this resonating with you? if you think, gosh, you know, this would've been useful to be told earlier on in the journey, what would that have changed for you? And it doesn't mean that you can't have that education now, if you haven't already received it.
But the medical model needs to change. There needs to be a fertility health check. It could save millions of pounds in IVF, and it could be offering IVF absolutely where it's needed. Because as I've said before, I'm not against IVF. Sometimes that is the option that, you know, clients I'm working with go with. And I support them absolutely through that, but it shouldn't be a first line treatment. It shouldn't be the first thing that's offered in terms of fertility, we should be taking a step back and actually giving this information and this education sooner.
So if you haven't already looked at the things that I've suggested, if you haven't had that fuller assessment to be that fertility detective yourself, and be supported on this journey, it might be time to reach out, to look at reputable sources of information, to have someone by your side, to support you on this fertility journey, to teach you or to tell you the right questions you need to ask to get the right answers that can then lead you to the correct proactive steps you need to take.
And there are many people out there in the fertility community who can help you with this. It might be that IVF is your preferred option, that it is the right option for you. I'm not the only person who supports people in fertility. Of course you can reach out to whoever speaks to you, speaks to your heart and is answering your questions about fertility. But if you did want to talk to me about it, then you can reach out to me on socials at fertility rewire, or you could drop me an email, at Kat@fertilityrewire.com, book a call with me.
What I wanted to do in this episode is just to make you think, but hopefully wider. Think about not only what would've been helpful to you, and actually maybe if perhaps you haven't gone down those lines already, maybe it's time to look into those things. And I hope I've given you a steer on what you can do. If you want to know more about what tests you, you could do again, just drop me a line. Um, and we can chat about that. If you need more support emotionally, you know, be aware of that, be aware of your emotional health, where are you at now? What are those thoughts that go through your head and what effect do they have on you in your daily life?
It's important, so important that we consider emotional health, not just before we start to try to conceive, but actually the effects of this fertility journey may have taken or are taking a huge toll on your emotional health. And if that's something that you need support with, then, you know, watch this space, I'm bringing an online resource to you soon, so if you're not on the mailing list, perhaps jump on that and you will hear about that. When I say soon, I'm recording this in July 2022, just for context.
I just wanted to provoke some thought and to you to look back and maybe take a step and consider.
Let's just start again. Let's really start fresh and see if we can get some answers, but I'm aware of the huge emotional toll potentially already on you. So it's important to get some support there. And if you're just starting out on your journey or, you know, anyone that's just starting out on your journey, then this is in on their journey. This is useful advice. I hope for you. So as ever take care until next time.
If you wanted to chat then please book a call with me.