Welcome to Week 11 ‘Restore’

Week 11 – Fertility

  • Fertility Vs Infertility
  • Natural Contraception: Billings Method
  • Common Causes of Infertility
  • The Importance of Preconception Care
  • Preconception Care for the Baby Daddy
  • VITAL Nutrients for Preconception & Pregnancy
  • Ovulation – how to track and pinpoint
  • Food Focus: Avocado’s for womb care
  • Action Plan: Track Your Cycle
  • Health Kick: Yoga for Hormone Balancing

Fertility Vs Infertility

Natural Contraceptive Options

  • The Billings Method

The Billings Ovulation Method® is a method which women use to monitor their fertility, by identifying when they are fertile and when they are infertile during each ovarian/menstrual cycle. Users pay attention to the sensation at their vulva, and the appearance of any vaginal discharge. The Billings Ovulation Method® does not rely on the presence of ovulation, rather it identifies patterns of potential fertility and obvious infertility within the cycle, whatever its length. This information can be used to achieve or avoid pregnancy during regular or irregular cycles throughout all stages of reproductive life, including breastfeeding, and peri-menopause.

  • Condoms

Generally regarded as 99% effective if used correctly, but many couples find these uncomfortable and some women are highly sensitive to the synthetic latex rubber which can be quite toxic. Condoms are the best way to go, when starting out with a new partner as they provide the best protection from sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Withdrawal Method

Natural Contraception: The Billings Method

This is one of the most natural approaches to Contraception, be in trying to conceive or preventing pregnancy, this method involves understanding your body, when you are ovulating and when is the most appropriate time to have intercourse based on your bodily signs including cervix changes, mucus changes and cycle status.

Video: A full explanation of The Billing Method & How it works

Synthetic Hormone Contraceptives

  • Oral Contraceptive pill
  • IUD’s – Mireena & Copper IUD
  • Arm implants
  • Injections

Dangers of IUD’s

The Inter-uterine device

For most women not wanting to fall pregnant, IUD’s are an appealing device, because once they are in, there’s little responsibility required and they can stay inside of you for 5 years. But there’s a few big problems with IUD’s and one of the major ones being that they dramatically throw your hormone balance out of whack, including the fact that they completely ignore the underlying cause of their hormonal imbalances, which in many cases is associated with Oestrogen Dominance and therefore go’s on unchecked in the body for many many years, which dramatically leads to an increased risk in Breast cancer and Cervical cancer.

The Mireena, releases Progestin, a synthetic version of Progesterone which is often recommended by

The Copper IUD, releases small amounts of copper, which act like spermicide, destroying sperm, making conception impossible. The issue with a copper IUD is that women are exposed to high amounts of potent Copper, which when levels are overloaded and imbalanced in the system lead to classic symptoms of PMS which are quite debilitating including severe anxiety, depression, psychosis and schizophrenia

Contraceptive Injections & Implants

Depo-Provera®

What Is The Contraceptive Injection?

The contraceptive injection, is another progesterone dominant contraceptive, which contains a synthetic version of progesterone. It works by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg (prevents ovulation) due to the dramatic imbalance in Oestrogen and Progesterone it creates, meaning the body not longer has enough available oestradiol to stimulate a dominant follicle which becomes the egg.

The injection generally provides protection against pregnancy for 12 weeks or 3-4 cycles.

For many women, this is an appealing choice, because it is relatively effective, between 94 & 99% effective. Which means between 1-4 women per every women using the injection will become pregnant. It also means they do not have to worry about remembering to take a tablet, but there are some dangers you need to consider.

The problem with the injection

The long term safety of this product is not good. The injection of the synthetic hormones plus the additives and preservatives which completely bypass our Gut, which is the major site of detoxification and protective from harmful substances means that major hormone imbalances will prevail with use of the synthetic hormone injection.

Typical Symptoms associated with Progesterone dominance:

  • Weight gain
  • Fluid retention
  • Irritability, Anxiety & severe PMS (all month long)
  • Acne
  • Sugar cravings
  • Drowsiness
  • Mood swings and depression
  • Sluggish digestive system including bloating and constipation
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal and urinary infections
  • Lower libido
  • Headaches
  • Incontinence

Further more there are severe contra-indications for those who:

  • who could be already pregnant
  • who have any unusual or irregular vaginal bleeding
  • who have been treated for breast cancer
  • who have heart or liver disease
  • who are planning to become pregnant in the near future
  • who have had an allergic reaction to the contraceptive injection in the past

The contraceptive injection is given as an injection into the buttock, or sometimes into the muscle of the upper arm. It is usually given during the first five days of the menstrual cycle, while you are bleeding and is generally effective from the day of injection.

The contraceptive injection can be given later in the menstrual cycle if there is no chance of an early pregnancy (for example, if there has been no sex since the last period) but it will take another seven days before it is effective. Using condoms or avoiding vaginal sex is advised for the next seven days to prevent an unintended pregnancy.

It is important to keep on having injections every 12 weeks.
The contraceptive injection does not provide protection from sexually transmissible infections (STIs). Condoms can be used at the same time as the contraceptive injection, to help protect against STIs.

Implanon NXT®

The Contraceptive implant

The contraceptive implant is a hormonal implant the, which is approx 4cm long, roughly the size of a matchstick (ouch). It is inserted under the skin, inside the inner upper arm, just below the armpit. The implant contains contains a synthetic (chemical) substance called etonogestrel, which mimics progesterone and prevents ovulation.

Aside from interfering with ovulation, it also creates fluid retention (swelling) at the opening to the uterus, which blocks sperm from getting through.

The implant can only be put in and taken out under local anaesthetic by a specially trained doctor or nurse.

Disadvantages of the contraceptive implant include the following:

  • There may be some bruising and tenderness around the implant that can last for up to a week.
  • It can make periods irregular, with some women bleeding more often or at odd times.
  • It can cause headaches, acne, breast tenderness and increased appetite, all common signs of progesterone excess.
  • The implant can move from its original position under the skin.
  • There is a small risk of infection and bleeding around the implant.
  • The contraceptive implant does not give protection from sexually transmissible infections (STIs).
  • Some medication, such as the ones used to treat epilepsy, and the natural remedy St John’s wort, can stop it from working.

The Importance of Preconception Care

As a general rule, there really isn’t too much information out there which educates women about the importance of Preconception Care, which is all about planning for your Pregnancy, as opposed to jumping on board a health kick plan once you conceive.

Unfortunately infertility rates are soaring, so simple preconception care can actually improve your chance of conceiving more easily, but most importantly it is about PREVENTING MISCARRIAGES, which unfortunately, 1 in 4 pregnancies result in a miscarriage.

The Major Causes of Miscarriages

  • Key Nutrient Deficiencies
  • Toxicity
  • Genetic Mutations
  • Auto-immune conditions
  • Womb infections

All 5 of these major causes of miscarriage can be avoided or prevented if they are addressed BEFORE you conceive. But it goes a lot deeper than just preventing miscarriages and improving fertility, its also about conceiving a healthy baby which is less likely to express genetic mutations or weaknesses, birth defects and abnormalities and also about setting up an environment within your womb which is supportive of growing a healthy baby which can thrive. Preconception care and planning your pregnancy and doing the necessary steps to prepare is also the difference between the women who love their pregnancy and have that pregnancy glow or the women who you see are really uncomfortable, put on far too much excess weight and fluid retention and seem to get struck down with every pregnancy complication under the sun, from reflux, prolonged nausea, frequent colds, infections, food aversions, general pain, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, compromised placenta health and so on.

Give your Baby the best possible start to life

This includes the gestational period! If your body is loaded with everyday toxins from basic household and environmental sources which we are all exposed too, you are more likely to have a child with a stressed nervous system, reduced IQ, allergies, skin rashes and food intolerance’s.

The Role of Naturopathy & Preconception Care

Great News for You……!

Seeing as you are 11 weeks through the Balance Me program, you can breath a big sigh of relief knowing you have already successfully done a great job of cleansing your system and you’re almost ready to start trying for a baby!

If you know you have a particularly toxic system because you have:

  • Mercury/Silver fillings in your mouth
  • Get the yearly flu shot full of Mercury
  • Work in an environment that you are highly exposed to chemicals: Hair dressers, Gardeners, Cleaners, Metal workers
  • You’re a Smoker
  • You consume more than 5 standard Alcoholic drinks per week
  • You have an auto-immune disorder

You may want to do some extra, more targeted detoxification, in the form of the ‘Detox Me’ (more below), this is a detox protocol, specifically designed to shift heavy metals.

Otherwise, you just need to make sure you are on top of the key Nutritional for pregnancy & preconception

Here I recommend having all the tests done from the original recommended blood tests or at the very least:

  • Vitamin D
  • Urinary Iodine
  • MTHFR Gene Mutation
  • Iron Studies
  • Red blood cell folate
  • B12

Then from here, use the Pathology Interpretation guide to ensure your levels are adequate and supplement as necessary based on your results.

The MTHFR Gene Mutation

The MTHFR Gene Mutation

Having this test done is a non-negotiable in my books if you want to prevent miscarriage and prevent common birth defects like Lip ties, tongue ties and more complicated abnormalities like Downs Syndrome and other genetic disorders. It is SUPER. SUPER important to know if you have this defect as it will determine what level of folate and pregnancy supplement you need to ensure the healthy development of your baby.

Please do not skip this test. You’ll find the referral form for this life changing $50 test in the Downloads section, under Australian Clinical Labs Referral form.

Preconception for the Baby Daddy

It takes 2 baby!

Seeing as mum grows the bub for the duration of her 9-10 month gestation, it’s pretty important we get her system clean and cleansed so to provide an environment that can get the job done safely. But when it comes to actual conception, it’s about mum and dad, egg and sperm. And the reality is, 50% of the DNA comes from dad, so it’s super important his health including his sperm health and immune system are functioning optimally, not only to allow conception to take place in the first place, but also so that together, they can create a healthy, beautiful baby.

Dad needs to Detox Too!

The level of detoxification which dad should under take will vary from man to man and his lifestyle.

Toxic practices you need to consider:

Social activities

  • Cigarette Smoking
  • Marijuana usage
  • Recreational drugs
  • Some prescription medication

Workplace Environment

  • Painters
  • Metal factory workers
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Refinery factory’s
  • Boiler makers
  • Any other work places or industry’s which are exposed to toxins.

If your partner isn’t exactly excited about the prospect of doing a detox, well don’t be too disheartended

3 Levels of Detoxification for every type of Father

If you want to know more about getting your partner to detox, check out the different levels of Detox Me, which are appropriate for men and women, who are wanting to detox before conception.

Vital Nutrients for Making a Healthy Baby

Preconception Supplements for Baby Planning

After you have your pre-concecption blood tests done and results back in and you’ve determined what you need to supplement with in order to get your nutrient levels healthy, You also want to jump on the 2 Key Preconception Care Supplements for your own health & well being and Bub’s too:

If you take these two supplements plus the recommended products if you are low in any of the above blood tests, you will be completely covered for Pregnancy. Both of these supplements are safe to take in the recommended doses for Pregnancy.

M4L: LiftME – Alkalysing superfood blend

Importance of EPA/DHA Essential Fatty Acids:

  • Floods the body with real, natural wholefood nutrients & vitamins
  • No Synthetics
  • Contains high amounts of natural folate
  • Alkalyses the body including the womb, with an acidic uterus can cause infertility

Key Nutritionals for a Healthy Pregnancy

M4L: SaturateME – high potency EPA/DHA

Importance of EPA/DHA Essential Fatty Acids:

  • Assist with the regulation and balancing of hormones
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Important for women with clotting factors or the MTHFR gene mutation
  • Crucial for babies brain & eye development

Preconception Nutrition: Men

Once Dad has done his preconception detox and cleansed his system of the toxins ready to create a healthy happy bub, it’s time to think about putting him on the right nutritionals to ensure his semen are healthy and fit enough to get the job done quickly and properly!

Nutritional defects can lead to problems with DNA which can mean big problems for your developing baby, so it’s really important that Dad’s system is in just as good a shape as mums!

If your partner is willing and able, absolutely sending him to a GP for some bloods is a great idea, you’ll want him to get the following checked, and anything else the doctor recommends, which may not be an awful lot FYI.

Having said that, there are not a lot of great (reliable tests for nutritional elements when it comes to blood tests) but have him get a full blood count which will look at basic blood health including his protein status, inflammatory markers and liver function and on top of this checking out the Serum Zinc, Serum Copper and Iron Studies will be his best bet.

If you know he’s too busy to get in to see a doctor or it’s just really not his thing, here’s the basic preconception, sperm boosting and healing formula I recommend for Dad’s to be:

Making Babies: Ovulation

Ovulation, which occurs approximately mid cycle, is the process of a mature ovarian follicle (an egg) being released from the ovary, into a fallopian tube. During this process  the egg travels down the fallopian tube where it may be met by a sperm and become fertilized and if intercourse does not take place, the egg simply dissolves or leaves the uterus via cervical mucus.

This process is controlled by the hypothalamus, a part of the brain,  which sends signals that instruct the anterior lobe and pituitary gland to secrete luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

Although the typical female monthly cycle is 28 days, it can range from 26 – 32 days which varies the day of ovulation, but generally speaking it occurs between the 10th and 19th day into the menstrual cycle.

When you ovulate, is generally when you are deemed fertile.

Signs you are Ovulating

  • Ovulation pain – a mild cramp experienced in the uterus region, sometimes this is to one side or the other
  • Your basal metabolic temperature drops
  • Cervical mucus production increases
  • The cervix drops
  • Breast tenderness and sensitivity
  • Libido increases
  • Increased energy
  • Heightened sense of vision
  • Heightened sense of Smell and taste
  • Water retention
  • Mild Spotting & blood

I don‘t think I’m Ovulating?

Annovulation is slightly more common than you think, but in many cases it is quite easy to fix!

Signs you are NOT Ovulating 

  • You have an irregular cycle
  • No cervical mucus production
  • You have no libido
  • You don’t get your period at all

First things first, you want to purchase some ovulation test kits, sticks you pee on and use these consistently though out the month to ensure you are actually ovulating or not. If you think you ovulate at a certain time of the month based on changing signs, then use the tests around that time, as they can be a bit pricey if you are doing them daily for a whole month. You can purchase ovulation tests are a really cheap rate from places like ebay, but I do question the effectiveness of these as I have heard some pretty poor reports from many of my clients.

Causes of  Annovulation 

  • Hormonal imbalances including the usual suspects – oestrogen, progesterone
  • Oestrogen dominance
  • Poly cystic ovarian syndrone
  • Insulin resistance
  • Auto-immune diseases
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Oestrogen deficiency
  • Progesterone inadequacy
  • Luteal phase defects
  • Under body weight
  • General malnutrition

So what do I do now?

If you’re pretty sure you’re not ovulating, then never fear, there’s lots we can do to get you back on track! The good thing about this program is that you have already done all the hard work required to balance your hormones and there is a good chance you will be ovulating again by the time you finish the Balance Me supplement protocol, depending on the severity or associated diseases you had before commencing the program. Things like Endometriosis or PCOS, may require a little more than the 3 month period of the program and this is where we would recommend staying on ReleaseME and BalanceME and anything else you have started through the program based on the recommendations, until all your symptoms have completely resolved and you feel your hormones are balanced!

You can also check if you are ovulating with a blood test through your GP, which generally should be done on day 21 of your cycle which will merely measure your progesterone levels.

Progesterone Inadequacy

If you’ve done the tests and you definitely are not ovulating you can double check this by seeing your GP and requesting a blood test check your progesterone levels at day 21 of your cycle.

Progesterone Inadequacy

If you have a really short cycle, less than 27 days, a progesterone deficiency is most likely the cause and you need to support that by ensuring your adrenal health is in check – refer to week 2.

You will also need to supplement with the amazing product BoostME

BoostME contains an amazing blend of hormone balancing herbs, specifically designed to treat progesterone deficiency as well as regulate the cycle and prepare the womb for pregnancy.

Key Features

  • Stimulates ovulation
  • Supports healthy Progesterone production
  • Balances oestrogen dominance
  • Supports liver health
  • Nourishes adrenal health
  • Prevents PMS
  • Boosts mood
  • Improves energy levels
  • Assists with hormonal acne

Ingredients 

Bupleurum Bupleurum Falcatum
Wild Yam Dioscoreaceae Villosa
Shatavari Asparagus Racemosus
Rehmannia Rehmannia Glutinosa
Tienchi Ginseng Panax Notoginseng
Dong Quai Angelica Sinensis
Peony Paeonia Lactiflora
Chaste Tree Vitex Agnus-Castus
Licorice Glycyrrhiza Glabra

You will need to stay on the herbal tonic for approx 1-3 months, so I recommend ordering 2 bottles for your first order and then reassessing each month.

BoostME will generally fix all ovulation issues

If you have any of the specific conditions which are known to play havoc with ovulation, like endometriosis, thyroid problems or PCOS etc, then you need to refer to the treatment protocol for these specific disorders through out the weekly modules.

If you have an auto-immune conditions, then you will need to do some extra work to get your system back in check and this largely resolves around an a gut healing protocol and immune modulating treatment plan. We share this will you in great detail in week 12, so hang tight.

Hopefully all of the other causes of annovulation, have already been addressed through out the Balance Me program, but if you are unsure where to go from here, get in touch with your mentor via the VIP Facebook and reach out for help, there is always a solution to every problem and working as a team always helps!

The unique herbal formulation in BoostME is a pretty amazing formula, it includes herbs which help to tone the uterus, support healthy oestrogen, boost progesterone and basically stimulate the reproductive organs to help you to ovulate, so if you are looking for that one extra product to help you over the line, than BoostME is it! Just be warned, if you are using BoostME to clear up hormonal acne or calm down your PMS, be careful it will increase your fertility, so keep that in mind if you are NOT wanting a baby just yet!

Food Focus: Avocado

Avocado = Womb Care

There’s an ancient health concept known as the Doctrine of Signatures which was used by many historical cultures which is based on the principles of ‘like cures like’. That is a plant which is shaped or represents a human body part will have a therapeutic, healing or health benefiting effect on that organ or gland.

The Avocado, in shape, by nature represents a females womb, based on the shape and presence of the large central seed. This has been proven true, with avocado’s naturally high in Essential fatty acids, Vitamins K, E, B5, B6, C, Folate, potassium, fibre all particularly beneficial in the growth and development of a baby.

A million ways to enjoy Avocado! 

  • Smoothies
  • Smashed on Toast
  • Chocolate Avocado Brownies
  • Baked Avocado Chips
  • Avocado Dip
  • Avocado Corn cakes
  • Avocado & Chicken Salad
  • Avocado Ice cream
  • Avocado Chocolate Mousse
  • Creamy Avocado Spinach pasta
  • Chickpea Avocado & Feta Salad
  • Guacamole
  • Stuffed Avocado Ships
  • Eggs, Bacon & Avocado

And sooooo much more, just jump on Pinterest & search Avocado Recipes and get experimenting!

WORD OF WARNING

Yes! Avocado’s are high in Salicylates, so if you are sensitive to them, this could be why. But I highly believe that food sensitivities to wholefoods in their natural form, will only cause harm on your body if you have leaky gut syndrome, a sluggish liver and a confused immune system! HINT: Next week we dive into Auto-immunity in more detail

Food Focus: Avocado

Gut Healing Guacamole

Gut Healing Guacamole

1 Avocado

½ Clove of garlic, minced/crushed

¼ tsp of ground Turmeric

1 Tsp of Slippery elm powder

2 Tbs of Coconut oil

¼ tsp of ground Black pepper

1 Tbs of Olive oil

Squeeze of Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon of Miso paste

A small handful of Coriander

Blend it all together and serve with rice crackers, raw vegetable sticks, on toast or as a topping on your salads and baked potatoes!

Examples of the Healing Power of Foods on the human body

Action Plan: Track Your Cycle

The Best Way to Track your cycle

The Good Old Fashioned Way

Absolutely you can do it the old fashioned way and write it on the Menstrual charting document, some people love having a physical product they can see, pin on the fridge or put somewhere to remind them. Charting it manually is particularly useful if you are involving someone else in the process, like your partner for example, which can be a nice way to get ‘dad to be’ involved, educate him a little more about how the lovely lady cycle works and generally gain his support.

Here you can download the Menstrual charting Form

The Age of Digital

If you have a smart phone, visit the App store and get yourself an app which you can use to track all the usual menstrual changes. If you are the sort of person who has regular access to your phone, this can be a really convenient way to have it all stored there together, just make sure you back up your phone so you can’t lose months and months of data, this data is what will help you to fine tune any hormone imbalances if you are having trouble conceiving or still have some niggling complaints beyond the 12 week Balance Me program.

Here is the App I personally use:

MC – My Cycles by MedHelp

If you know of another good App, feel free to share it in the VIP Balanced Babes Facebook group, sharing is caring! 

Health Kick: Yoga for Hormone Health

Health Kick: Yoga for Hormone Health

Yoga Plan of Attack

  • Take a class in your local area
  • Hire a personal Yoga instructor for private lessons
  • Purchase instructional DVD’s
  • Check out the range of Free Yoga video’s on youtube, this can be a great start if you just want to practices with a few basic poses to get your confidence up

Get Moving Baby

We’ve all heard of Yoga, and many already realize the benefits and are already actively participating. So if you need an extra push in the right direction, to start practicing yoga, here’s some crucial reasons why you should consider stretching your hormones back into shape!  

Yoga Balances your body by keeping all the systems within your body firing and fluid, communicating with one another and assisting the brain, nervous system and endocrine system all work together to move your body how we desire.  The brain commands the action, the nervous system carries the message and the endocrine system is responsible for long-term body maintenance using glands and hormones. The gentle, fluid movements of yoga which stimulates blood flow, oxygen delivery and circulation helps the body communicate with every single cell in your body, and remember, your health overall will only every be as healthy as the health of those individual cells.

From a hormone balancing perspective, certain yoga poses stimulate the pituitary gland which the “head honcho gland,” and stimulates the release of hormones that power other endocrine glands. This gland is responsible for growth hormones, which stimulate the thyroid gland and adrenal gland. But it also releases endorphins that soothe the nervous system and decrease feelings of pain.

Further more Yoga:

  • Improves your sleep
  • Improves your mood and relieves Anxiety
  • Helps you cruise through Menopause
  • Boosts your libido
  • Improves your memory
  • Reduces cravings
  • Boosts energy levels
  • Assists with pain management
  • Aids stress relief
  • Prevents mood swings
  • Helps the thyroid gland
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Elongates muscles and improves posture

Goodbye Week 11 – You’re all done