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!