At the age of 29, I had very low AMH (anti-Mullerian hormone measuring the remaining eggs you have) and diminished ovarian reserve. I really freaked out and hit rock bottom. But then I tried to turn things around and focused on improving these three areas to boost my fertility: Mindset, Lifestyle, & Fertility. These 3 areas I mentioned are now the ingredients of my Full Circle Fertility Method which have not only worked for myself but also for so many women I’ve helped over the years to get closer to their dream of having a baby.
Written by Guest Blogger: Monika Friedman, fellow Fertility Coach and a 4 time IVF warrior.
1. Your mindset and stress levels
Keep in mind that Stress and fertility are not friends. There is an inherent amount of stress that infertility and miscarriages can bring up, so I encourage women who want to conceive to calm their nervous system and let it know that it is safe and the body ready to conceive a baby.
In times of stress, cortisol is released by the body which sends a message to the brain that there is a physical danger. When you have prolonged stress, your body releases so much cortisol that it may suppress and create an imbalance of your reproductive hormones such as luteinizing hormone (LH) – a hormone that affects ovulation; follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) – a hormone that affects egg growth; and most importantly progesterone – the hormone that is crucial for implantation and sustained pregnancy.
Try mind-body connection techniques to lower your stress levels on a daily basis. These can be daily relaxation, visualization, breathing, and yoga. One of my favorite techniques is a daily visualization of myself in a safe and happy place.
2. Lifestyle factors
A. Improve your diet. A balanced diet can help stabilize reproductive hormones, improve egg quality, improve the uterine lining, and even lower inflammation.
Think of ways on how you can improve your diet and introduce as many as possible: fresh, organic, pesticide-free, and wholesome foods possible while limiting processed, sugary foods, and saturated fats to lower inflammation.
Aim for a high ratio of protein to support egg growth as well as monounsaturated fats, such as avocado, nuts, and salmon.
Consider speaking to your health practitioner or nutritionist about taking supplements to boost your fertility. Some common ones that you can look into:
- CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant to lower oxidative stress on egg cells.
- Good prenatal vitamin that includes Folic acid/folate,
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B complex
- Good probiotic
- Fish oil
B. Exercise – If you are actively trying to get pregnant, keep in mind that this is NOT the time for high-intensity workouts. Forget about nailing your marathon time and even working on that six-pack in the meantime. High-intensity workouts can have a direct negative impact on reproductive hormones such as LH, FSH, and progesterone. So, instead of HIIT, focus on low impact exercises such as walking, biking, swimming, yoga, & even pilates. Work out as though you are already pregnant. You can go back to your old workout routine after you’ve had your baby.
C. Environmental toxins – EDCs or endocrine-disrupting chemicals include chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, and BPA. These chemicals basically mimic our hormones and send false signals giving the cells the false impression that real estrogen has docked on. False estrogen signals can potentially lead to a number of reproductive and neural development malfunctions. Exposure to EDCs can also cause lack of ovulation (anovulation), earlier menopause, lower implantation, and higher miscarriage risk.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can also increase the oxidative stress in the body cells. HIgher oxidant levels cause oxidation of the cells which in turn leads to faster aging and lower quality of the sperm and egg cells.
Here are some tips to avoid environmental toxins.
- Avoid plastics, metals, and pesticides:
- Non-eco-friendly household cleaning products – look for more natural options such as Ecover, Meyer’s, Seventh Generation.
- Synthetic personal care such as lotion, shampoo, beauty – choose natural, BPA, paraben, & perfume-free brands such as Jason’s, Weleda, Alba, C & The Moon. For make-up, try Glo Skin Beauty.
- Cookware – ditch all your old Teflon pans as they may still contain un-coated aluminum, and instead invest in non-toxic ones.
- Vegetables, fruit, and meat options – shop for organic and pesticide/chemical-free items. These may be a bit more expensive but the benefits are worth it. Nourishing your body only with the best foods is like fueling your car with high-grade gas instead of one that damages the engine.
- Counterbalance the oxidative stress with antioxidants: CoQ10, Vitamin C, all kinds of berries (try goji berries), beets, spinach, kale…oh, and acai bowls (yum!)
3. Your Fertility
Understanding your situation gives you the ability to make better decisions. Knowledge is power! So, even if you have been diagnosed with low AMH, diminished ovarian reserve, etc. it might simply mean that you must adjust your timing and manage your expectations. It might take a lot longer than you would have thought to get pregnant and may require the need for assisted reproductive treatments, such as IUI/IVF.
Do not lose hope and think that you only need one good egg. Just one good egg! Although it might take a few more rounds of IUI/IVF until you get there.
Even if you are diagnosed to have low AMH and diminished ovarian reserve, these do not define your fertility and moreover, your ability to become a mother. What you should focus on is to improve your egg health and overall fertility, while managing your expectations along the way.
P.S. Download my FREE PDF Guide: 3 Research-Backed Ways To Boost Your Fertility Today
Monika Friedman is a Fertility Coach, a 4 time IVF warrior, Yoga teacher, and working mom with an MBA and 15 years of professional experience under my belt. Her qualifications include:
– Health & Life Coach, Erickson Coaching International, Canada
– Certified Freedom Fertility Formula© Specialist, UK
– Creator of the Full Circle Fertility Method™
– MBA, Switzerland
– Yoga Teacher, UK & US
– Member of International Coaching Federation
She is a German native, but a global citizen at heart. She has lived and worked all over the world (Germany, US, Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Singapore, UK), and now residing in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband, daughter, and red Labrador Retriever.
Also, she loves re-watching Friends, has a secret crush on Trevor Noah, and can never say No to chocolate.
P.S. Catch this week’s episode of The Hormone P.U.Z.Z.L.E Podcast –Fertility Foods with our guest blogger, Monika Friedman. You can also find my podcast on Spotify, and Stitcher. Don’t forget to subscribe, follow, and write us a review on Apple Podcast (if you LOVE it).