Optimize Your Fertility- Essential Tips

At Double Happiness Health we are board specialized in reproductive Chinese medicine. Our client base varies but about 70% are women dealing with hormonal issues or fertility. Our culture still thinks about women as having the “issues” with fertility.  Of couples seeking treatment for infertility, 30% have female factor issues, 30% have male factor issues, and the rest are unexplained. 

Our approach uses the “twin lenses” of Chinese medicine- which has it’s own very particular system of assessment, diagnosis and treatment that we relay on for deep healing. We also integrate functional medicine lab testing in our practice because keeping an eye toward the systems of the adrenals, digestion and liver detox pathways is so important for hormonal balance and optimizing fertility.

We start by connecting with our patient, hearing their story and getting a full health history, including a review of lab results and doing our Chinese medical assessment to form a clear diagnosis. From there we create a customized Treatment Plan is much like a road map that outlines our treatment goals and our recommendations around herbs, supplements, diet, lifestyle and any further testing needed that will help get you to your optimal fertility. Depending on where the patient is starting from, we build out small or large changes that will give them the biggest results to get to optimal health.

Many women in the Bay Area already have super clean diets and a healthy lifestyle but may still have issues with fertility. We see people every day with ovulation disorders, recurrent miscarriage, endometriosis, diminished ovarian reserve, advanced maternal age, immunological fertility issues, and more. Our assessment works to drill down to the root issues and help you restore balance naturally with acupuncture, diet, botanicals and lifestyle changes. .

BBT charting: Basal body temperature charting is when you take and record your oral temperature first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. These readings change in different phases of your menstrual cycle and the emerging pattern over a month’s time gives us a way to look at the whole cycle and see if there is a healthy follicular phase, ovulation and luteal phase happening. Charting this way can help a woman get in touch with her body and feel more in control of knowing her body’s signals. She also learns to recognize her own phases.  Clinically this gives our practitioners information to work with; for example we can sometimes see signs of subclinical thyroid issues, luteal issues or ovulatory problems. I like to have my female patients track their basal body temperature along with tracking cervical mucus and some other signs for a month or two. This provides us both with a ton of info that is useful to help you conceive.

Bible of BBT-For more information about basal body temperature and signs of your fertility check out this classic gem: Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Weschler.

BBT Apps- There are many good fertility apps out there. We like Kindera and Fertility Friend best as they are easy to use and focused on empowering by using your data to know your own body better. .

Regarding diet- Rather than a one size fits all diet, our suggestions will also be guided by our diagnosis. Food is the original medicine and is applied in a particular manner to balance you. Each flavor imparts a medicinal influence on the body- bitter foods clear heat, spicy food is warming, salty food softens hardness, etc. Your practitioner will help guide you on simple and yummy ways to focus on foods that are best for you.

Generally speaking we teach our male and female patients to eat seasonal foods, eat a rainbow of veggies, eat more cooked than raw. get pasture raised, organic meats, poultry and eggs and wild caught fish, Eat plenty of healthy fats like ghee, or grass fed butter, olive and coconut oil , avocado nuts and seeds and if you eat grains, and legumes go for the whole grain over flour-based products. Most folks do better off gluten but we take that case by case. Get rid of bad fats like PUFA. ( unstable, oxidation,  free radicals, bad for BS reg, skin, digestion)

Stress- We all talk about stress so much you may give an eye roll with the mention of it- but stress actually has hormonal effects that impact fertility. Women are busier than we’ve ever been in history, but not necessarily happier. It is hard to balance career goals and family goals. When we are over-stressed, we can experience mood issues like anxiety, depression and irritalbility. We have trouble falling or staying asleep or both. We develop chronic digestions problems. We may have more muscle tension and pain. Our periods may become irregular. Some women report that they give up on trying to conceive due to stress.

Pregnenolone Steal- Pregnenolone building block for both the stress and sex hormones. Under stress, body will “steal” pregnenoleone to make stress homones like cortisol over sex hormones like estrogen progesterone and testosterone. The body cannot discriminate between a big work deadline and being chased by a tiger.  Our body will prioritize staying alive over making sex hormones. 

Acupuncture and lifestyle changes can make all the difference in regulating sex and stress hormones, relaxing your nervous system, increasing blood flow to your reproductive organs, regulating your cycle and putting you on the path to conception. We always try to educate both male and female patients that it takes at least 90 days for the full maturation of sperm and eggs. How you eat and drink and live today will impact your fertility three months from now. It takes about 12 weeks to experience the biggest impact of our work together.

Essential Fertility Tips

  • Plan for a three-month “pre-mester” to get your body baby-ready.

  • Women: Choose a pre-natal with methylated folate vs. folic acid.

  • Eat a rainbow of seasonal, organic veggies- at least 6 cups per day.

  • Choose pasture-raised, organic meat, poultry eggs and wild caught fish.

  • Eat healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, nuts and seeds. Avoid polyunsaturated fats such as corn oil, safflower, sunflower, soy oil.

  • Avoid alcohol, processed foods, refined sugar, additives, and any foods to which you are sensitive.

  • Prioritize 8 hours of sleep. Make sure your sleep environment is cool, dark and quiet

  • Reduce your toxic load- check out your body with the Skin Deep database and home products with Healthyliving.org.

  • Restoring Fertility Yoga stream it at home for a way to optimize fertility, improve mobility and reduce stress all at once.