What does fertility treatment look like from an integrative perspective? Integrative care brings together the best of both Western and Eastern medicine, combining more modern tools like lab testing with ancient wisdom and practices, including acupuncture, nutrition, herbal medicine, supplement therapy and more.
Integrative fertility treatment means whole person care, and no two people are alike, which means no two plans are alike.
Integrative Fertility Treatment Can:
The saying “you are what you eat” is only partially accurate. A more correct statement would be “you are what you absorb (without pissing off your gut).” Not quite as catchy, we know, but the truth is, healthy digestion is the foundation for optimal health and fertility.
Our bodies (and our follicles/sperm!) are utterly dependent on us to supply it with nutrient dense, nourishing food. If your digestion is in poor shape (and you won’t always be able to tell by common symptoms alone!), you could be eating the most beautiful diet on earth, and still not be absorbing and using the nutrition you’re consuming. Frustrating?! Absolutely. The good news is, with a little time, persistence and keen guidance, you can heal your gut, and when the gut is healthy, the rest of healthy will begin to fall into place, too.
Clean Up Your Detox Systems.
Once your gut is in tip-top shape, it’s important to look at how the body’s detoxification systems are functioning to keep hormones and waste products metabolizing efficiently. This is where we’ll look at liver and kidney health, blood sugar metabolism, sleep patterns and more. Often, people with fertility challenges are not metabolizing nutrients and hormones efficiently, resulting in estrogen dominance, insufficient progesterone levels, PMS, irregular cycles and more.
Fuel Your Fertility with Deep Nourishment.
Good nutrition is arguably one of the most powerful tools available for promoting fertility. Unfortunately, the nutrition information that most of us were taught (think food pyramid) is just not adequate to promote optimal nourishment for fertility. In fact, many of the foods recommended in the Standard American Diet may actually be depleting nutrients and working against fertility (arg!). Each persons dietary recommendations will be different depending on their own unique biochemistry and family background. Generally, though, whole foods are where we start. Then we’ll look at each patients unique background and come up with a nutrition plan that will super charge their own unique fertility needs.
Get You Acquainted with Your Cycle.
People who menstruate have an invaluable wealth of information at their fingertips. What your cycle is doing (or not doing) at various phases of the month will provide us (and you!) with great information about your cycle health and fertility. While we’re working together, we will be coordinating care with the various phases of your cycle. These phases include the menstrual phase, the follicular phase, the ovulatory phase and the luteal phase. We will often prescribe custom herbal formulas to coordinate with these various phases as well, with the ultimate goal of supporting our body and your endocrine (hormone) system in operating like the harmonious, “well oiled machine” that we know it can be.
Promote the Practice of Self-Compassion:
This is a big one. This journey is not easy, and likely, if you’re considering integrative care, you’ve already been through the wringer trying to create a healthy baby. We are here to support you in every way we can. We also ask that you take the time to practice gentle self-compassion and loving-kindness towards yourself and your partner. This will look different for everyone. For some it may mean monitoring that negative self-talk and replacing it what something positive, or maybe it means stepping away from social media for a while. For others, maybe a meeting with a therapist, or simply taking an hour out of the week to sit quietly and read or get tea with a friend. This is a time to be gentle with yourself.
Help You Learn how to Effectively Manage Stress:
Equally as important as self-compassion, taking inventory of your daily stressors and cultivating tools to help keep unnecessary stress at a low is vital right now. Studies have shown that stress has a profound impact on fertility. Fortunately, acupuncture can help naturally bring stress down, but for sustainable stress reduction, you’ll also need to do a little exploring at home. What stress is necessary, and where can we reduce unnecessary stressors?
These are just some of the ways that integrative fertility treatment can support you in achieving your dream of having a baby. We believe that your body can heal, and we are so excited to support you through the process.
Have questions? Ask us!