How to have a more natural IVF cycle

how to have a natural ivf cycle

a guest post by Dr. Fiona McCulloch BSc ND

Although I am a naturopathic doctor, around 30% of my practice involves working with patients who are going through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). You might ask how I became interested in this, as it seems like such an unusual combination.

I began to treat infertility early in my practice 12 years ago with natural medicine, and over time I saw many challenging cases of patients who had gone through traditional fertility treatments before deciding to try the natural route. In many of these patients, natural medicine would be the key to success. And in others, the combination of natural and traditional fertility treatment was the answer.

As such, I became interested in the whole process of what I like to call “integrative fertility”, meaning traditional fertility treatments that are supported by natural methods. I became a physician advisor to IVF.Ca, one of the world’s largest IVF related fertility communities, and I began to notice that patients, when supported well with natural medicine, began to have greater success with their IVF cycles, with more follicles of better quality and greater implantation rates. The patients’ doctors began to notice too, and slowly, over time, I’ve seen more traditional fertility clinics open their minds to natural and nutritional methods to increase IVF success, and science is following suit.

It’s an exciting timemany studies have been released on the beneficial effects of natural methods that help with IVF outcomes, and there are many more to come

Firstly, I’d like to differentiate what I’m going to talk about in this article from what is known as “natural IVF” in conventional fertility medicine.

A natural IVF traditionally involves a medication-free or low-medication IVF cycle: The woman will first go through monitoring, and then egg retrieval without heavy drug stimulation. This results in one egg that is retrieved, which is is then fertilized and allowed to develop. Then, after either 3 or 5 days, the embryo is transferred into the uterus. One benefit of natural IVF is that the lower amounts of medications reduce the impact on egg quality for older women or women with diminished ovarian reserve. The downside is that only one egg is retrieved, meaning that the cycle can result in only one embryo.

On the other hand, I get a lot of patients asking me how to make their IVF cycles more “natural”. These patients are often natural-medicine-oriented, and for various reasons are planning to do a regular stimulated IVF cycle. They want to improve their egg quality, minimize the negative side effects of IVF, and go through their cycle with optimal nutritional status.

Women who are more “natural” in their preferenceswho don’t like taking medication even for a headache, and who have always veered towards using natural medicine for their ailmentsmay feel that IVF is a quantum leap outside of their comfort zone, but there are many good reasons why a woman who would normally prefer natural medicine would need to do IVF.

In some cases, such as severely blocked fallopian tubes, IVF may be the only answer. In other cases, like very serious male factor, it also may be necessary, and there are a variety of other reasons why IVF might be needed. Infertility is a real disease: If you were at risk for a heart attack and required a medical procedure to unblock a crucial artery, would you not do it? Modern medicine does allow us to achieve many outcomes which were not possible in past years. Sometimes, IVF is the path to ending the suffering of infertility. And it’s important to remember, that even if you need IVF, you can still use natural medicine to protect your body, reduce side effects, and most importantly, improve your outcome during a medicated IVF cycle. The combination of IVF and natural medicine is indeed a powerful one.

One of the biggest points I want to make, is that the BEST way to have as natural of an IVF as possible, is to have as few IVFs as possible. Meaning, anything you can do improve your chances of success with IVF will result in less cycles, therefore minimizing the risks, stresses and side effects. So much of what I will focus on involves increasing the natural success rate of IVF, but also on making IVF a more friendly process to all of the natural mamas-to-be out there. The other thing I’d like to mention is that preparation for IVF is of the utmost importance.

Start 3 months ahead of time, if possible, preparing your body with high quality nutrition, supplements and stress reduction techniques. Your eggs go through a development process that lasts more than 6 months before ovulation time, so preparation really makes a difference.

Nine ways you can make your IVF more natural:

1. Get acupuncture treatments

It improves circulation, reduces stress and has been shown in multiple studies1 to increase the success rate of IVF.

I often do weekly acupuncture on my patients for 2 months before the cycle, if possible. During the cycle itself, I’ll typically do 4 acupuncture treatments up until and including the day of embryo transfer. Be sure to see someone highly skilled in acupuncture for fertility as the wrong protocols have actually been shown to decrease IVF success rates. http://www.thefertilesoulcefp.org is a great resource to find a skilled fertility acupuncturist in your area, as is http://www.aborm.org.

2. Take natural antioxidants to protect your follicles2.

A well-known supplement in this category is Coenzyme Q10: It has been found that women with high levels of oxidative stress have lower quality follicles3. Coenzyme Q10 is a major antioxidant that can reduce oxidative stress and improve the function of the mitochondriathe major energy producer of the follicle as it goes through its development during stimulation.

Other supplements that may improve IVF success include myo-inositol and melatonin. There are a variety of others that might be prescribed for you if you visit a naturopathic doctor who specializes in fertility.

3. Take a high quality omega 3 fatty acid

To be as natural as possible, choose one that is ethically fished, and third-party-tested for heavy metals and pesticides. Omega 3 fatty acids improve embryo morphology4 and lower inflammation.

4. Eat a clean and natural diet

A diet that’s full of whole foods, and avoid gluten, dairy and sugar. Eat organic foods whenever possible, especially those from the Dirty Dozen list .

5. Meditate or do yoga

The effects of yoga and meditation can be quite profound on stress, and being in as relaxed of a state as possible may actually improve the outcome of your cycle 5.

6. Avoid environmental estrogens in beauty products, plastics and other harmful chemicals

Check out the EDF’s Toxic Ten http://environmentaldefence.ca/reports/just-beautiful-personal-care-products-pocket-shopping-guide to learn about which beauty products have hormonal effects.

7. Try to keep your life in as normal a state as possible

Continue doing the activities you enjoy, and try not to spend excessive amounts of time Googling during the “two week wait”. Although your life is on hold in a way during your cycle, don’t let it get a hold of YOU. Socialize with supportive friends, laugh, and have fun.

8. Minimize estrogenic risks

High levels of estrogen are produced by the ovary during an IVF cycle, which can disrupt the natural hormonal balance of your body. Although the long-term risks of IVF still need more research and study results on cancer risk in IVF patients are conflicting, many patients are interested in preventing breast and ovarian cancer. Other risks of high estrogen may include increased growth of fibroids, endometriosis, or cysts. Genetic testing is now available for breast cancer genes, such as Estrogenomics by Genova Diagnostics.

Some foods may help to protect you from these risks post-IVF as well: EGCG, found in green tea, may inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells, Calcium D-Glucarate is a supplement that helps eliminate excess estrogen6, and Sulphoraphane, found in broccoli, can help inhibit the expression of estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells7.

**Be aware that taking these supplements is not recommended during the actual IVF cycle as they may interfere with hormonal stimulation. The exception to this is green tea; if you are supervised by a doctor who can ensure that you are taking sufficient amounts of the correct form of folic acid.

9. Protect yourself from ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, one of the most well-known risks of IVF

Around 30 percent of patients experience at least a mild case of OHSS. If you are a younger women, or a women with PCOS, be aware that you are at higher risk for OHSS and keep an eye out for the key symptoms of bloating and abdominal pain or nausea, and contact your fertility clinic immediately. A natural method you can use to prevent the dehydration associated with OHSS is to begin drinking coconut water around the time of retrieval, and have moderate amounts of homemade vegetable or organic chicken broth made with natural sea salt.

 

With the combination of great nutrition, and the relaxation techniques mentioned above, your IVF treatment can be an exciting and empowering time for you. You’ll be confident in the knowledge that you’re taking positive, proactive steps to improve your fertility, allowing natural and pharmaceutical medicine to work in harmony for the best possible results.

 

FionaBio: Dr. Fiona McCulloch BSc ND is a board-certified Naturopathic Doctor and the owner of White Lotus Integrative Medicine  in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Fiona is an affiliate of The Fertile Soul, and is involved in writing and research in the world of natural fertility treatments. Her research-based blog includes articles she has published in leading naturopathic journals. Fiona struggled with PCOS herself, and is passionate about natural approaches to reversing reproductive disorders.

 

 

 

 

 

1 Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K. Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertil Steril. 2002 Apr;77(4):721-4. 
2 Velthut A, Zilmer M, Zilmer K, Kaart T, Karro H, Salumets A. Elevated blood plasma antioxidant status is favourable for achieving IVF/ICSI pregnancy. Reprod Biomed Online. 2013 Apr;26(4):345-52
 3 Babuška V, Cedíková M, Rajdl D, Racek J, Zech NH, Trefil L, Mocková A, Ulčová-Gallová Z, Novotný Z, Králíčková M. [Comparison of selective oxidative stress parameters in the follicular fluid of infertile women and healthy fertile oocyte donors]. Ceska Gynekol. 2012 Dec;77(6):543-8.
 4 Hammiche F, Vujkovic M, Wijburg W, de Vries JH, Macklon NS, Laven JS, Steegers-Theunissen RP. Increased preconception omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake improves embryo morphology. Fertil Steril. 2011 Apr;95(5):1820-3.
 5 An Y, Sun Z, Li L, Zhang Y, Ji H. Relationship between psychological stress and reproductive outcome in women undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment: psychological and neurohormonal assessment. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2013 Jan;30(1):35-41.
 6 Dwivedi C, Heck WJ, Downie AA, Larroya S, Webb TE. Effect of calcium glucarate on beta-glucuronidase activity and glucarate content of certain vegetables and fruits. Biochem Med Metab Biol. 1990;43:83-92.
 7 Ramirez MC, Singletary K. Regulation of estrogen receptor alpha expression in human breast cancer cells by sulforaphane. J Nutr Biochem. 2009;20:195-20.1

 

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

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Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

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Naturally Healing the Thyroid, part one: getting blood sugar under control

heal the thyroid naturally

WHY?!?!

Why does every health issue in my life necessitate cutting out and cutting back on sugar? Heh.Years ago I told a coworker of mine that I wouldn’t cut back on sweets and sugar unless someone told me that I’d die if I didn’t. And while I won’t die tomorrow, due to eating sugar, it was slowly destroying my body.

I don’t eat near as much sugar as I used to, but I could definitely focus a bit more time on making sure my meals are well-rounded, so as not to give me problems with my blood sugar balance. Because of my many, many years of too much sugar consumption, this area of my body is weak and very sensitive to a lot of sweets and refined carbs.

As Americans (and you Canadians and other international readers that live in ‘modern’ countries) we are addicted to sugar. My (free) Sugar Detox Challenge is insanely popular this time of year as people try to tame their sweet tooth yet again. And I won’t lie and say I don’t have a taste for the stuff, I still very much enjoy some of my old favorite treats; when they’re around it can be extremely difficult to keep my hand out of the bowl.

Dr. Kharrazian  has an entire chapter in his book about taming the sugar beast, and states.

“My experience shows that attempts at successfully managing a person with hashimoto’s or functional hypothyroidism are futile as long as he or she indulges in a sugar-laden high-carbohydrate diet.”

Come to find out, an increase in the consumption of sweets not only directly affects the production of our reproductive hormones, but also affects the production of thyroid hormones. Because the endocrine system works as a whole, and not separate from each other.

One of the problems is when we do indulge, our pancreas secretes insulin into the blood stream to deal with rising glucose levels. Once this happens the glucose level drops, causing low blood sugar, which then causes the adrenals to go in to their “fight or flight” mode. The adrenal hormones help to bring the blood sugar back up to normal levels, and these hormones cause stress in the body.

When all of this is happening in the body, because it’s important for our survival, the rest of the hormone production takes a back seat.

“Dysglycemia is a condition loses the ability to keep blood sugar stable………….it’s effects on adrenal function are at the heart of numerous health imbalances that frequently end in hypothyroidism: Dysglycemia weakens and inflames the digestive tract, weakens the immune barriers of the gut, lungs, and brain, drives the adrenal glands into exhuastion, sets the stage for hormonal imbalance (PMS, PCOS, miserable transition into menopause), clogs the body’s attempts at detoxification, impairs fatty acid metabolism, and fatigues metabolism.” – Dr. Kharrazian.

Low blood sugar, or reactive hypoglycemia (reacting to foods consumed), hypoglycemia, and insulin resistance all affect the adrenals, and therefore the thyroid as well.

So how do you begin to control and balance your blood sugar?

  1. Cut out all refined sugar and severely limit sweets. It’s best to cut out all sweets entirely until you’ve been able to control your cravings. (if you’re having a tough time cutting out sugar, you can download the Sugar Detox challenge for free once you subscribe to the newsletter)
  2. Start your day out on the right foot; with a protein rich breakfast. Skip the cereals and coffee, instead focusing on a healthy protein source like pastured eggs or grass-fed sausage. Carbohydrates are important of course, they are an essential nutrient, but have them as a small side instead of the main dish. I also find that eating a breakfast like this ensures that my hunger doesn’t come back ravenous in just a couple of hours.
  3. Stop drinking coffee. Whether or not the actual caffeine in black coffee affects your blood sugar levels, I know from personal experience that it plants the seed for craving sweets as the day goes on. Plus, caffeinated drinks are hard on your adrenals.
  4. Include quality protein, fiber, and good fats in every meal or snack always and along with any carbohydrate consumed. People who have issues with their blood sugar regulation may find that eating a small amount of protein every few hours is very helpful at first.
  5. Do you ever get tired after you eat? I do sometimes! And it’s not because you ate too much turkey, it’s because you ate over your carbohydrate limit. Each of us have a set amount of carbohydrates that our bodies can handle and it’s really important to listen to the cues of our body and pay attention to how much is too much for us. Because all the dietary advice in the world (low-carb, high-carb) isn’t going to help until we can figure out what our bodies need. So if you feel fine before and while you’re eating, but get very tired about an hour later, you may have consumed to many carbs. Make a note of what meals make you sleepy and after a couple of weeks you should be able to figure out your carbohydrate limit. (as a side note – food sensitivities also show up as sleepiness and lethargy after eating, so if you ate a lower carb meal and are still tired, figure out what ingredients were in that meal and try cutting them out for a week before reintroducing. Common sensitivities are dairy, eggs, wheat, and soy)
  6. Do not eat sweets before bed! Dr. Kharrazian mentions that this is one of the worst thing you can do, and it makes complete sense. When you eat a high carbohydrate meal, or indulge in desserts, your insulin level will rise to counteract the blood glucose level, which will then drop to low. When this happens you still have hours to go before your next meal, so the adrenals have no choice other than to begin producing hormones to help fix the problem. (3am wakenings or restless sleep is often tied to blood sugar and insulin issues)

In his book “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?” Dr. Kharrazian has a fast for unwinding insulin resistance that you may find beneficial if you have a bad case of insulin resistance. Magdalena’s Thyroid Detox Program also addresses the blood sugar issue.

But otherwise focusing on making sure your meals consist of vegetables, meats, and some fruit will go a long way in helping your body learn to better control your blood glucose levels.

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Free Fertility Yoga Videos

Since my natural fertility book was released this week, I’ll be posting some free videos, podcasts, and printouts throughout the month. Many of which were used in the natural fertility workshop I ran a couple of years ago.

Has it really been that long ago? It’s like you take a breath and the months fly by.

Today I’m releasing a couple of the yoga videos my friend Jennifer helped me with. It was my first time in a long time doing yoga (and I had only taken a handful of classes before), so you get to learn right along with me.

Oh the fun of showing people this……

I have a couple of videos up now and will add more over the next week or so.

And while I still have yet to get in any type of regular yoga practice, I can also say that I felt fantastic after this session. My body felt limber and I felt refreshed yet relaxed.

Enjoy!

natural fertility yoga

 

 

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

So that book I wrote? It’s now available!

natural fertility bookIt’s seems unreal to me that I finally have a real live book.

But if you order it today, it’s now shipping.

And if you pre-ordered it – it’ll be coming soon!

I’m so excited to get all this information out there in one nice and neat little package. because as much as I try to make sure posts are easy to find here on the blog, it doesn’t always work.

Now you can bookmark, and underline, and have an easy to read reference!

I’m humbled at the fact that people want to read what I write, and I truly thank you for this experience. Because without all of you this just wouldn’t be possible.

I hope and pray that this book is used to do good works. That the good Lord above can speak through these pages, as my attempts are feeble in comparison. Can you share in this prayer with me?

I tried to cover it all – from nutrition to exercise, from alternative therapies to detox and cleansing, from telling my story to guiding you through your options. Thirteen chapters to help cover it all:

  1. Natural Fertility
  2. Cleansing the Body with Whole Foods
  3. Natural Living
  4. Exercise for Fertility
  5. Natural Family Planning
  6. Real Foods
  7. Super Foods for Fertility
  8. What Not to Eat
  9. The “Perfect” Fertility Diet
  10. Alternative Therapies for Infertility
  11. Stress
  12. Your Fertility Plan
  13. Recipes and Instructions for Real Food and Natural Living

I’ve also got some amazing things lined up over the next couple of months:

  • I’ll be involved in the Vintage Remedies online conference this week, speaking both Thursday and Saturday,
  • The Real Food Summit in July is looking like an amazing experience with a lot of very qualified and inspirational speakers – I’m honored to be one of them, talking about real food and fertility. (big surprise, huh?)
  • Giveaways will grace the blog each weekend for at least the next 6 weeks, with products I love and know you will too.
  • Soon I’ll be posting a few free yoga videos as well as some podcasts with alternative health practitioners,
  • and I also have a couple freebies to post here for you.

Thank you again friends, your support and prayers during this entire process has meant the world to me. Now let’s show the world how awesome being “natural” can be! Join me in sharing this book with them.

 

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

10 Natural Treatments for PCOS

PCOS

While dealing with poly cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is definitely a multi-faceted issue, and each woman has their own symptoms and causes, there are a few things that may help get it under control. It took me many months to finally figure out what my body needed (and what it didn’t want!) but I’m now able to better balance my hormones and I know what some of my specific symptoms require to get rid of them. Since going from ovulating once, maybe twice, each year to regular cycles, let’s just say I’m a bit enthusiastic about changing our diets and how we treat our bodies!

10 Ways to Deal with PCOS Naturally

1. Consume good fats

The consumption of good fats is pivotal in your body producing and balancing hormones. Did you know that your body can’t produce progesterone without cholesterol? And yes, while our bodies do produce a small amount of cholesterol on their own, the consumption of it is important for proper balance. When we talk about good fats, we’re talking about those that aren’t highly processed:

  • Butter – best if found raw from pasture fed cows as it’s higher in the fat soluble vitamins so pivotal for fertility. Next best is going to be pastured butter from pastured cows, then organic butter, then regular butter (though toxins remain in the fat of animals so I prefer to always choose organic when it comes to animal fats) If raw, butter is best uncooked.
  • Lard/tallow – the fat from pork or cows is another natural fat that is both high in nutrients and easy for our body to use. (best for frying/baking/cooking)
  • Coconut Oil – another good fat, made of medium chain fatty acids, is used primarily for energy and not for storing. It also lends a pleasant flavor and slight sweetness to dishes. Best used only lightly heated for the most health benefits, though it also has a high smoke point and can be useful for sauteing and frying.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – from the first pressing of the olives, this oil has a stronger flavor yet is full of heart healthy benefits and well suited to dressings and dips. Best when used uncooked.

Be sure to stay away from processed vegetable oils: canola, soybean oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, etc.

2. Avoid factory meat and animal products

Because estrogen dominance is very often associated with PCOS, it’s best to stick with organic animal products as conventional animals are often given hormone shots and the excess estrogens are stored in the fat and meat. Ingesting hormones is causing major issues with our bodies, whether it be PMS, infertility, or menopause. The more organic/grassfed meat we can buy the better of we’ll be. Organic isn’t always the answer as many large organic farms just feed organic grain instead of allowing them to eat their natural diet, but if that’s all you can find – it’s better than conventional!

3. Avoid refined sugars and grains

Sugars are the thorn in the side of any woman who is dealing with PCOS. It’s basically a double whammy – it depletes the body of nutrients and it causes insulin resistance which causes unbalanced hormones. Cutting out all refined sugars and flours is extremely important!! Cutting back on your consumption of even unrefined (or natural) sugars is also important as any type of sugar affects the body’s insulin production. Some women, especially those with moderate to severe PCOS find that eating a primal diet is needed to reduce and even eliminate symptoms.

{Need help cutting out sugar? You can download my FREE Sugar Detox Challenge ebook!}

4. Choose natural women’s products

Used by women every month, conventional pads and tampons are actually not great for the body. Tampons contain something known as dioxin which is both carcinogenic (causing cancer) and inhibiting to fertility. Disposable pads prohibit air flow and can cause the area to be a breeding ground for bacteria, though they are better than using tampons. The best options for menstrual products are going to be reusable, fabric pads, natural tampons, or something like the Diva or Moon cup.

5. Be aware of xeno-hormones

Mimicing estrogen in our bodies, xeno-estrogens are found in plastics, many beauty supplies, cleaning products, and pesticides. Once in the body they disrupt the hormone balance causing our bodies to be confused on how many natural hormones to make. And the higher the estrogen in the body, the lower the progesterone, causing major problems with fertility. Choosing organic produce, making your own cleaners and beauty supplies, and using glass instead of plastic will go a long way in reducing your exposure to these chemical hormones.

6. Avoid soy

While the jury is still out on how soy affects hormones production due to the phyto-estrogens in it, it’s still on my do not eat list. What happens in the body is this: your natural estrogens go floating around the body, produced by organs and fat cells. Once they come across an estrogen receptor, they fit into it like a specific key fits into a lock – no other hormone will fit in that receptor. Plant based estrogens are basically the same shape as natural estrogens and they fit in these receptors. Some people/nutritionists/doctors say that these plant based estrogens cause excess estrogen in the body since they take up the space the natural estrogens should, causing the natural ones to move around the body looking for a place to go. others say that plant based estrogens can reduce the amount of estrogen your body produces over time as the body gets signaled that there is enough.

But most holistic health professionals I’ve spoken with say that the plant based estrogen particles in soy (isoflavones) are different than other plant based estrogens and they recommend no one consume unfermented soy. I’ve also heard way to many stories of damage caused to peoples health from moderate soy consumption, infertility being one of them.

7. Take care of your liver

Your liver is responsible for taking excess and old hormones out of the body. If it’s overworked because of over consumption of processed and sugary foods, it won’t be able to keep up and do all of it’s work – so the excess and old hormones stay. taking time a few times a year to gently cleanse the body is very beneficial as well as increasing your consumption of liver friendly foods like lemon, beets, and garlic. You could also prepare a liver cleanse tincture to help boost liver function and get rid of toxins.

8. Avoid food preservatives

Chemicals placed in food to preserve or enhance flavor are harmful to anyone, but especially those who deal with some sort of health issue. They cause issue with insulin production and also slow down the liver, giving it more to do. Cutting out processed foods is the easiest way to lower consumption of chemicals like MSG, Aspartame, and the multitude of colorings and chemical flavorings used.

 natural treatment for PCOS

9. Use herbs/natural supplements to regulate ovulation/menstruation

Herbs and whole foods based supplements can be very effective when regulating the menstrual cycle. Drinking a fertility tea everyday will nourish your body with nutrients as well as naturally balance hormones. Supplements like vitamin B complex can increase progesterone production and lengthen the luteal phase. Medications aren’t always needed to do the job, when natural products can do it just as effectively! Sometimes a progesterone cream may be helpful in the short-term as well, just be sure to buy a bio-identical cream that contains natural ingredients.

10. Practice Lunaception

One thing we haven’t talked much about yet is lunaception – the practice of sleeping in complete darkness except for 3 nights out of your cycle/month. Darkness is closely tied to hormone production and when we sleep in a room with light pollution from street lamps, nightlight, and alarm clocks, it can disrupt the natural production of hormones while we sleep.

To practice lunaception, you need to sleep in complete (read: cover the windows with heavy curtains, cover your alarm clock, etc) darkness from the beginning of your cycle until day 13 when you would use a dim night-light on days 13, 14, and 15, then sleep in darkness until your next months day 13.

Of course with PCOS, cycles aren’t always regular! But lunaception can actually help regulate them over the course of a few months. The easiest way I found to do this was google the moon cycles and base my “nightlight” nights on the day before, the day of, and the day after the full moon. The rest of the time I sleep in darkness. After awhile, more quickly if you take some of the above advice as well, you should find that you ovulate at the full moon and experience menstruation at the new moon.

 

If you have PCOS, how have you treated it naturally?

Want to learn more about how to nourish your body to overcome PCOS?

Fertility Diet:

Not looking for radical changes to your diet just yet and need some baby steps? Small Changes for Better Health
Need help in deciding what to eat? Check out the Recipes page for some ideas!
You can also read more of my story and how I overcame PCOS.
This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday.

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.