My Fertility Journey
First, I want to say that I went into this understanding that while I may try my best to prepare my body to have a little one, it might not be in the cards for us and that was okay. I honestly truly felt great abut having a baby, but also about being the cool aunt. That made the whole process a lot less stressful for me but I also want to acknowledge how hard it is for those who just yearn to have children. The pain, frustration, and shame that comes with not being able to conceive is so real and hard. It's becoming more and more common that couples are having difficulty so please know that you are not alone. <3
Another thing I'd like to say about fertility is that it's not just about children! A big part of the fertility journey is getting to know your own cycle which is the 5th vital sign! Just like checking a pulse, or a respiration rate a cycle can tell us a lot about our own bodies and what is going on with them. Focusing on healing your personal cycle and also getting into a rhythm with it does make you more fertile but not just for children... for anything! If you want to start a business, a project, create a work of art, write a book, anything! The conception of all these things can be amplified when we work WITH our cycles. All those hormones really are super juice for people with uteruses we have a beautiful built in clock called the infradian rhythm that is synced with the moon that has moments of pause, rest, creation, and outward energy. When we start to forget about the 24h clock of people with testosterone and work with our own biology magic truly starts the happen! So that is to say, even if you don't want to procreate this is still valuable. Focusing on healing the reproductive system will honestly change your life.
My Personal Hurdles
Everyone has a different body that needs different things. This is about my body and what I needed so it's not meant to be medical advice for anyone. I did this with a lot of help but also with a lot of personal research and just trying weird things! I love reading other people's stories because it's so nice to just hear all the unique paths that people have taken! So please keep in mind that this is not a built in plan for fertility, this is just what worked for me!
Here are my main "issues" that I had:
This is the order that I dealt with things and it took me years and A LOT of work. It took me a year alone to get a period then was completely disheartened to find out I had endo which makes fertility hard. It felt like it was just one thing after the other and it was extremely hard. I cried A LOT, it was painful, and I felt like giving up a lot. I'm going to go through each hurdle I had, discuss what I did about it and what resources I used that helped guide me a lot.
Secondary Amenorrea and Eating Disorder
I won't go too far into my ED because I don't want to trigger anyone reading this. Starting in my late teens I was anorexic and underweight for a big portion of my life which led to so many skin issues, brittle hair, no period, I was on the pill on and off for a few years in my early twenties to "regulate" my cycle but every pill caused me to throw up a lot so I stopped using birth control. I tried an IUD but it also made me sick so I took it out. It wasn't until I was around 28 that I learned that birth control was a fake bleed and not actually regulating my cycle. After I stopped with birth control I didn't have a natural period for years.
My favourite resources for this time in my life was:
After a year of following the No Period Now What? protocol which was no high intensity exercise, more food, and the 12 steps I got my period in a yoga studio washroom and cried lots of happy tears.
I lived in a house in Toronto from the ages 23-25 which had a moldy basement. I progressively got more and more sick while living there. I was depressed, had no energy, my digestion was really off, my skin was a mess, and had no motivation. When I found the mold in the basement I moved out immediately after looking up how harmful it was. It was difficult to find information on mold at the time so I never tested for it nor treated it formally. By some miracle chance I ended up getting a new mold-free home, a job with a infrared sauna that I used a few times a week, and also got very into charcoal and spirulina just because those were the health fad foods at the time. My symptoms really change after about a year, but the only thing that stayed was my skin and digestion issues. If you have mold I highly recommend the books Toxic and The Better Baby Book. Toxic is filled with tips on how to heal from mold and The Better Baby Book is not mold specific but discusses how mold can affect fertility and also affect the baby. Better Baby Book is a great book for preconception. Also, if you do have mold I really recommend testing with Great Plains Labs to see which mold. Each type of mold requires a different treatment and if you try to do it blind like I did you might not get lucky and waste a lot of time and money. It's way better to know what you're working with and also see it clear up. Also, if you live somewhere moldy just move. It seems crazy but living in a house with mold is never ever ever ever worth it, especially if you have kids in there. My partner lived in a moldy house as a child and at 38 is still trying to recover.
IBS, SIBO, Candida, and Parasites
I was diagnosed with IBS and SIBO by an ND and had them for a very long time (I think). lol The candida and parasites were diagnosed via live blood analysis and the stool analysis test and it was wild to see them. I believe I got the parasites from traveling but it could have also just been from low stomach acid from years of malnutrition. The candida was also probably from low immune system and low microbiome from years of malnutrition too. I didn't find that any diet or protocol or herb or cleanse really helped heal these things. I tried, keto, paleo, and cleanses. They did help a little for sure though--especially autoimmune paleo / paleo. It was also very difficult to heal from an ED then try therapeutic diets, I had to be very careful and honest with myself about my intentions. These diets brought my symptoms down, but did not eliminate them. I still had to avoid a lot of trigger foods and it was annoying to not be able to eat anything. After getting my period back we got an ozone machine which is said to help with endometriosis but it also REALLY helped my gut. It's anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and it great for candida. I did rectal ozone daily and retested with the gut analysis and that cleared things up in a few months. I can now eating literally anything and it feels fine! I don't remember the last time my stomach hurt after eating or getting bloated which is INCREDIBLE after years of suffering. Ozone forever. I got mine from RecoverU and if you purchase please tell them MJ Renshaw sent you.
Ugh. I'm so sorry if you have this. This is the worst. Just as I got my period back I was like WOAH is the a fricking period because they suck. I had about three hellish periods until I saw an ND and she was like "girl, that's not normal". Basically I couldn't walk after I ovulated, I had extreme bloat, and SO. MUCH. PAIN. So for 2 weeks of a month I was a grumpy, in-pain, woman. Not fun. So, I continued eating paleo, I did a lot of pilates to help with my mechanics of my uterus, and my ND put my on loads of curcumin, omega 3, and I did a herbal tincture from Rosewood and Silver (custom). I get my herbs from here specifically because a lot of care goes into sourcing to make sure there are no extra heavy metals. I did this protocol for three months and saw a tiny change but not much. Maybe it would have worked if I did it longer but everything in my life from work to relationships were suffering greatly so I was despite. Ian gifted me with two things that were GAMECHANGERS for endo: the infrared sauna and the ozone machine. I used these daily and after one month my periods started to feel a lot less painful and started to shorten from 45 days to 38 days. When I noticed the ozone helping I started using it morning and evening. For a sauna, please do not go cheap. Cheap saunas will give of VOCs and EMFs which will just make you more sick. Moving to the country made my cycle a lot more regular and down to 35 days.
I am one of those rare cases where after pregnancy my endometriosis did go away. I know there are many different schools of thought on this, but I am fairly certain I had endo, that it was on my colon because I was perpetually constipated, and that somehow during pregnancy my body figured itself out and reabsorbed the tissue. I did take enzymes for a while away from food (not during pregnancy) and this did help a bit with the endo tissue--enzymes will basically "eat" anything that shouldn't be there if you take them away from food. Our bodies should do this naturally but since endo is an autoimmune it makes sense that it wouldn't easily do it in that case. I had the pregnancy loss at 12 weeks and never had another endo symptom after. I had read about that happening to people but most drs said it was an old wives tale but maybe it isn't! Pregnancy is truly magical in weird ways we don't yet fully understand.
Another big ugh. After the pregnancy loss Ian tested positive for this just by chance when working with a functional dr. She then said I would be positive since it's sexually transmitted so I would need treatment too. I ended up working with her and she sadly told me this would have caused my pregnancy loss. Neither Ian or I had symptoms of ureaplasma but some people get intense burning sensations like a UTI. I tested for this with my GP by doing a urea swab (wow painful) and it came back positive. If you GP won't test you then you can do it privately with a genetic company via blood or urine. I was put on antibiotics for 7 days and then returned to my GP to retest. He let me know they didn't retest after treatment so I left his office very frustrated because the way I wound know is if it worked essentially would be to try and conceive again and see if the baby died. I ended up testing privately and was still positive so thank god I did. I was put on another round of antibiotics for 10 days and also took a high amount of allicin and also did 2 x daily ozone in my urethra (woah). I finally tested negative after 4 months of treatment and testing. For these whole 4 months Ian and I couldn't kiss, or have sex to risk passing it to each other again (another woah). If you ever want to spice up for sex life abstain for a while lol.
My negative ureaplasma test came back the day I ovulated on Valentine's Day and we instantly made a baby!
Here are some other things that I found helpful:
Joe Dispenza Course I did his meditations literally every night with Ian for over a year.
EMDR and Reiki (this helped with trauma that def made symptoms worse)
Leaving a horrid relationship and job. This helped my nervous system A LOT.
Going from vegan/vegetarian to grass-fed meat and butter. This just helped me a lot pretty immediately. Everyone is different so eat in a way that makes you feel amazing. My skin, hair, nails and energy were all WAY better after switching.
Listening to the stories of people that fixed their fertility and ended up conceiving. Only ~3% of the population is actually sterile. There is also stuff you can try. I also loved listening to people that didn't have kids so it felt like even if it didn't work out my life would be amazing!
Hope this helps anyone! Email me if you have specific questions and I'm happy to answer!
I don't remember when my chronic back pain started for sure, but I do know when it ended. It was about a year ago and still to this day I will go on a walk with my boyfriend or wake up in the morning and be amazed that I don't need to stretch, crack my back, or take CBD. We tend to think of back pain as something wrong with our spine and while this might be the case, there are so many other factors that can contribute to back pain as well! If you've had chronic back pain for a while and seeing all the Osteopaths, Chiropractors, and Physiotherapists then maybe there is a different issue going on.
This article is going to discuss the intricacies of lower back pain and address how you can help it heal at home.
As mentioned, low back pain from be structural meaning that the bones that make up the spine may have moved slightly. We might think of our nerves as being "pinched" but nerve pain will only come from inflammation, or if an actual disk is herniated. If parts of your spine in the lower back have shifted slightly then you need to help them resume their original place. Here are some ways that are proven to help:
This is a series of exercises that are designed to help relieve low back pain and I am yet to meet someone with that doesn't get relief from it. It really integrates the muscles of your back and abdomen so that they correct your posture. It's only 12 min long and it's free!
Sometimes our back can be sore from too much compression. This could be simply gravitational forces acting on our back while we sit or stand with less than ideal posture over a prolonged period of time. If you suspect this, then lay flat on your back with an easy-to-grab heavy object above our head at an arms length distance. Slowly start to pull yourself towards the object while laying flat and not actually moving. You should feel a stretch in your low back. If this traction feels like relief then you might want to invest in a inversion table that helps decompress your back and reduces pain.
This is a simple stretch that can help unwind some facial tension that might be contributing to lower back pain. Facial tension can be from overuse, stress, trauma, and more. Stretching it out in a calm environment with deep breaths can help a lot. All you need to do it get on a flat surface on onto your side with your knees at a 90 degree angle like you're sleeping. Then twist your arm that it towards the ceiling to the opposite side twisting your entire body. Go until you feel a stretch and breath there for as long as you like. If you want more of a stretch then straighten your bottom leg.
Sometimes our microbiome can affect your back. Things like candida, parasites, and "bad" bacteria over growth can all harm your organs to the point where they send nerve signals to the spine which can result in movement of the spine, inflammation, and pain. Addressing your microbiome by working with a nutritionist, eating fermented foods, and adding healing foods like broths and garlic can help a lot!
Our organs are sensitive and can send signals to the spine that can create pain. If you have underlying sensitivity to gluten, yet keep eating it, this can surprisingly show up as back pain! Another organ that commonly creates back pain is a uterus--when it is contracting some people feel pain in the back due to the nerve reflex. Help your organs help your back by staying hydrated, eating only foods that you are not sensitive too, and doing castor oil packs to reduce inflammation.
Just simply moving in a way that feels good can help back pain. It might seem like the last thing you want to do, but it helps reduce inflammation, and also reduces lymphatic fluid that has built up. One movement that I always found helpful for low-back pain was swivelling my hips like I had an invisible hula-hoop. This helps you integrate all your muscles of the legs, low back, and abdomen, while also sending signals to your brain that you're having fun and you're safe which helps reduce pain a lot!
Sometimes the problem is energetic and you need an energy healing to help you. If you feel like you've tried everything then this might be the path for you. There are many different types of energy works so I suggest really being intuitive about your choice--make sure you feel safe and seen with that person.
*Please note I am not a Doctor and this is not medical advice. I always recommend working with a Doctor.*
I work with a lot of people that are looking to heal themselves! Low back pain is just one of the issues we can address and figure out a safe and effective way for you to not only manage the pain at home, but help reduce it or eliminate it for good. If you're interested in working with me then send me an email or visit my website for more info.
This is by far my favourite dessert recipe because it's easy, quick, and delicious. There are only 4 ingredients and they can easily be swapped according to dietary needs. :)
Plus they're so cute.
1/2 cup Maple Syrup (can sub for other sweetener, just adjust rest for dough consistency)
1/2 cup Almond Butter (can use any nut or seed butter)
1 cup Almond Flour (can use any flour)
Chippies (desired amount)
In a bowl mix together maple syrup and nut butter. Add flour and mix until dough forms. Fold in some chippies and form into a square dish. Place in the freezer for 30 min then cut into squares and enjoy! Must be kept in fridge.
First off... what even is leaky gut? To explain it simply is that your digestive system is actually OUTSIDE of your body. It is a big tube that goes from your mouth to your butt and food passes through the tube and your body works hard to get nutrients from wheat it needs and dispose of the rest. Leaky gut is when the junctions of the digestive system become loose and toxins and food particles are able to enter the blood steam. This causes the immune system to go into overdrive which is why leaky gut is linked to so many autoimmune conditions. I knew this was the case for me when simple foods that I was able to eat before became uncomfortable for me. Garlic, kale, cucumber, melon, and apple all started to make me very bloated and uncomfortable. Now, one year later, I can now eat all of these things again with no discomfort because I healed my tummy! Here is a list of all the things I did which helped my digestion get better and better.
1. Removing all Irritating Foods.
This is hard. I removed gluten, dairy, legumes, and any food that bothered me. I did a lo FODMAP diet to figure these foods out and kept them out of my diet until I was healed. Food is not "bad" or "good" but you have to be honest about your own bodies ability to digest them. Some people can eat all the bread and feel good, and some people can't.
2. Bone Broth
I literally went from 20 years of not eating animals to drinking bone broth every morning. The minerals and aminos in the broth will help heal the junctions that have been created in your gut. If the thought of eating animals is still not one that you like then make a mushroom broth!
3. Remove all Stress
This was the hardest thing for me. I was ALMOST done a crazy long stressful program, but it was ruining my sleep and making me super stressed out. So, I took some time off and it was night and day. Sometimes it seems like removing stress is impossible but it's not. Leave the job. Leave the stressful partner. Take time away from a stressful family member. Being in a stressful situation makes you not function as well, so it's more beneficial to everyone if you step away and heal, rather than stick with it if it makes you sick.
I took a lot of omega-3, curcumin, and glutamine. I really recommend working with a naturopathic dr and or a nutritionist to see what you can take to best help you. Everyone is SO different and taking things willy nilly might make things worse.
5. Mineral Water
Every morning I drank 2 cups of water with Himalayan salt in it. Every thing that your body does requires minerals which are probably depleted if you've had weird eating habits (especially a high sugar diet).
6. Got Help.
Damien Zielinski. He's one of the smartest people I know.
Dr. Michelle Pobega - she's a tummy healing wizard woman.
Julie Krize - Osteopath
Linda Kang - Shamanic healings! Spiritual and evergy healings helped me a lot.
This took TIME. There was a lot of remission, a lot of other confusing things going on, and a lot of tears. Healing is never ever quick and there is never ever one thing that will work for everyone. But, no one will do it for you but you.
If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask! Again, this is only what worked for me, and I always recommend working with a professional!