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Stork with babyHi and welcome to the first Fertile Fridays blog post! Fertile Fridays are going to be about topics related to fertility and preconception health care. In my practice, I have worked with mamas-to-be on getting their health in tip top shape prior to pregnancy – not only to make themselves healthier, but to encourage quick and easy conception, and then a healthy pregnancy and baby.

The fertility part of this blog is also fueled by our current path to trying to have another child ourselves. Valentina is 21 months as I write this, and we’ve been trying for over a year, in fact, we never “not tried” since she was born. With my 43rd birthday having come and gone this week, I’m definitely feeling some pressure and anxiousness around it (which I know, doesn’t help, but it’s hard to just magically make disappear!).

So far I have not done any Western medicine fertility interventions. I have tested all my hormones and they look good; husband tested well; in fact, my acupuncturist told me yesterday that my numbers are “perfect” – thyroid, estrogen, FSH, LH, vitamin D, all the bits and pieces (AMH level is pending, will find out probably today or tomorrow). And while that’s good news in some ways, it’s frustrating in others, because there’s nothing apparently wrong, and nothing to “fix”.

Here are the things I’ve been doing to try to maximize our chances of conception:

  • Acupuncture – I see a fertility acupuncturist weekly, and she’ll tailor my treatments to where I am in my cycle, as well as what my pulses show. She’s super awesome and I’ll be doing an interview with her one of these Fridays.
  • Thyroid – I have taken thyroid medication for many years, but I upped my dose to get my levels even better, while still being in normal range.
  • Progesterone – I take it in the 2nd half of my cycle only, since adequate progesterone is necessary for not only getting pregnant, but for carrying the pregnany.
  • Antioxidants – I take liposomal glutathione, which is one of my favorite antioxidants and I’ve taken it for years for energy and brainpower! In the past few months I added another antioxidant formula, which contains curcumin, CoQ10, green tea and Japanese knotweed, which is a source of resveratrol. Antioxidants are important for good egg quality.
  • Hormone support – I concocted a herbal blend myself which contains dong quai, chaste tree, squaw vine, red clover, withania, nettles; and I’m taking maca as well. These are herbs that are known to promote fertility.

So today is the big day – we’re off to see a fertility doctor for the first time! I mostly am interested in other diagnostic tools to see what’s going on, and to discuss the possibility of IUI. I don’t think we would do IVF, because of how hard it is on the body, and just the financial commitment of it. But we say that now and it might change as time goes by. Hopefully we won’t need to make that decision! I’m a bit nervous but also excited to be doing something more proactive! I’ll report back about how it went.