When I was seeing Dawn Balusik for acupuncture before my first (and failed) IVF cycle, she gave me this packet of fertility guidelines that I found VERY useful. It’s long, but I’m going to post anyway. I think this information should be passed around to all infertile women. She has compiled an amazing amount of information. Enjoy!
Guidelines for Fertility
by Dawn Balusik, AP, DOM, LMT www.AcupunctureByDawn.com
In Oriental Medicine, it is the health of the Liver, Spleen and Kidneys that are responsible for hormonal balance and the health of the ovaries, eggs, uterus, testes and sperm. Therefore, we want to nourish the energy of the Kidneys, Spleen and Liver to help enhance fertility. In addition to regular acupuncture, a whole-foods based diet and the appropriately prescribed Chinese herbal formula(s) for you, the following guidelines are important:
INCREASE: (Foods that nourish the Liver, Spleen and Kidneys)
– Black Beans
– Whole Sprouted Grains
– Pumpkin, Sesame and Sunflower Seeds (especially for male infertility)
– Almonds and Walnuts
– Olive and Sesame Oil
– Wild Rice
– Wheat germ and Wheat germ oil (see Vitamin E note below).
– Green Beans
– Lyceum (goji berry)
– Dark Green Leafy veggies
– Yellow & Orange veggies
– Cinnamon: put some in your foods around ovulation time.
Note about Vitamin E: Studies show that Vitamin E is crucial for fertility. Rats fed a diet without vitamin E lose reproductive function. When Wheat Germ Oil (high in Vitamin E) is introduced into their diet, reproductive function returns. The chemical name for Vitamin E, “tocopherol,” is actually a Greek word meaning “to bear children.” Vitamin E is found in wheat germ oil, nuts, seeds and whole grains as well as asparagus, avocados, berries, green leafy veggies and tomatoes.
– Some moderate sunlight exposure (it assists the balance of the hypothalamus/pituitary/
– Stress relief: make sure you have a regular healthy outlet for stress in your life.
o Do things such as prayer, breath work, meditation, visualization, or guided meditation etc for at least 10 to 15 minutes daily.
– Keep abdomen and feet warm. (avoid bare midriff shirts and bare feet on tile floors)
– Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic cavity.
– Lower abdominal massage (prior to ovulation).
– Low intensity exercise such as walking, leisure biking, Tai Chi, Qi Gong or yoga (not hot
yoga) – Avoid high intensity exercise like running, racing, martial arts or contact sports.
ELIMINATE or DECREASE: (Foods that can Disrupt Hormonal Balance):
– Coffee & Caffeine (correlated with miscarriage)
– Excess Vitamin C Supplementation (up to 2000 mg daily is enough)
– Soy Products (the phytoestrogens can disrupt some women’s hormonal balance.)
– Dairy Products of all kinds (creates thicker lining around egg that makes it more difficult
for sperm to penetrate the egg.)
– Nutrasweet, Splenda & all Artificial Sweeteners
– Non-organic meats, dairy and eggs (the injected growth hormones and antibiotics wreak
havoc with human reproductive system.)
– Iced and cold foods and beverages.
– Soda, Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup
– Food Additives, Preservatives, MSG & Nitrites
AVOID: (Chemical & Toxin Exposure):
– Cigarettes & Nicotine
– Vehicle Exhaust
– Agricultural Locations (pesticides / herbicides)
– Cosmetic Chemicals, Perfumes & Dyes (use unscented products)
– Plastics – don’t microwave food in plastic or drink from plastic containers.
– Tampons – these contain chemical dioxins, and inhibit the free flow of menstrual
blood, encouraging “Blood Stagnation” in the uterus.
Note About NSAID’s: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), Celebrex and Mobic (just to name a few) can and often do prevent ovulation. They decrease pain by inhibiting prostaglandins in the body, but some of these prostaglandins are necessary for ovulation. Be sure to avoid NSAID’s for at least 10 days prior to ovulation. (Information on whether your pain medication is an NSAID should be readily available online.)
HELPFUL TOOLS & HINTS:
Ov Watch from www.ovwatch.com is a wrist watch sensor you wear at night that tells
you the fertile days in your cycle. It is easier to use, and more accurate than other ovulation test kits.
o For best chances, have intercourse on “fertile days” 1, 3, and 5. Results are much better when having intercourse PRIOR TO ovulation, rather than after.
Preseed Personal Lubricant. If you need a personal lubricant for intercourse, use
Preseed from www.preseed.com. Other lubricant products can harm sperm.
Female orgasm after male orgasm. The muscle contractions of the female orgasm help to draw
the semen and sperm up into the uterus and fallopian tubes where it will meet the egg.
Lift hips after intercourse. This allows gravity to assist the movement of sperm into the uterus
and fallopian tubes.
Don’t use bathroom directly after intercourse. You want the sperm to have as much time as
possible to reach the egg with the assistance of gravity, before you stand upright.
HSG: If you have been trying to get pregnant for some time without success, consider getting an HSG (HysteroSalpingioGram). This is a dye study, where fluid dye is injected into your uterus and fallopian tubes to be sure the tubes are open and clear. If your tubes are blocked, it will be impossible for you to get pregnant naturally. Depending on what is blocking the tubes (fluid blood, endometriosis, scar tissue adhesions, or a simple spasm in the tube), Oriental Medicine may be able to help.
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Dawn Balusik, AP, DOM, LMT www. AcupunctureByDawn.com