A fertility detox is usually a good idea.
Unless you have been maintaining fabulous health as well as healthy diet and lifestyle habits for at least a year, a fertility detox is usually recommended. Why a year? It takes about 5 months for your eggs to develop from their primordial state to be mature enough for ovulation and conception. In that time, researchers are now suggesting that the environment in which your eggs develop may be largely responsible for their quality at the time of ovulation. So preparing your body at least a few months ahead of the beginning of their development time so that the environment is optimised, just makes sense.
In modern medicine we know that the Liver is very involved with production and metabolism of our reproductive hormones. It also cleanses our blood, removing toxins and various metabolic wastes. This important function ensures that every cell in our body gets the best nourishment it can through the intricate blood flow networks supplying every organ and tissue in our body. Of course, the quality of the nutrition carried in our blood is heavily influenced by the quality of the food we eat, how well we digest and absorb nourishment and how effectively our body is eliminating waste.
For many centuries, Chinese medicine has documented the association between the female reproductive and digestive systems. Liver health or disharmony has also been a strongly represented aspect affecting health or imbalance in both these systems.
In Chinese medicine the following symptoms strongly suggest cleaning up your diet and lifestyle is necessary to support a return to optimal reproductive health:
- Premenstrual depression, irritability and anger
- Premenstrual breast distension
- Menstrual cramping
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Short menstrual cycles
- Long menstrual cycles
- Fertility issues
- Flaring anger
- Angry/ grumpy disposition
- Feeling stressed/ uptight
- Bowels that don’t move daily
- Variable bowel movements e.g sometimes hard to move and sometimes loose
- Abdominal bloating
- Epigastric reflux/indigestion
- Visual floaters
- Dizzy spells
- Sleep affected by stress
- Morning fatigue
- Sore eyes
Modern lifestyles can be problematic for your health and fertility. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to help yourself.
Suzanne will often prescribe herbs that address Liver and gut disharmony as part of her personal consultation programs. Usually patients need to modify their diet and lifestyle as part of their treatment plans. Suzanne’s online programs also give detailed information about how to fertility detox safely. Creating improved balance in your body helps fertility and also prepares you better for pregnancy. Reducing the toxic load on your Liver helps maximise its role in the manufacture and breakdown of your reproductive hormones. It also assists in the repair and nourishment of every cell in your body, including your reproductive system. This can improve your fertility by creating positive changes in your menstrual cycle and hormone balance.
A healthy diet, combined with good gut and liver health is also vital for nourishing developing eggs and sperm. We see this transformation very clearly with radical sperm analysis improvement – your eggs need the same care. Most women have body systems needing improved nourishment in order to function better. Extreme detox plans involving purging and fasting are very rarely recommended in Chinese medicine and definitely not as part of a fertility plan. In fact we believe they can create many complicating factors that negatively impact fertility.
A simple fertility detox checklist you can use as a guide
- The sour flavour is associated with the Liver. One way you can give it a little flush is to drink warm water with a slice of lemon gently squeezed into the water first. There are good oils in the skin so keep the slice in the water.
- Eliminate processed food.
- Eat only whole grains, lots of veggies, some fresh fruit, some good quality protein. Where you can, go organic.
- Cut out alcohol.
- Drink plenty of water to help flush the body of toxins – no colder than room temperature. Ice cold is not good for your gut or your kidneys.
- Drink herb teas such as dandelion, red clover, and nettle.
- Don’t take unnecessary medications. Many medications are metabolised by the Liver and Kidneys
- Exercise moves the Qi of Liver – which circulates the Qi of your entire body. If you feel better for exercising this is a sure sign your Liver energy needs to be moved.
- De-stress. Stress stagnates the Qi of the Liver. Take time to meditate, pray, eat well, exercise and sleep.
- Make sure your bowels are clearing daily. If your bowels aren’t eliminating well, your Liver can get overloaded with the job of detoxification. Bowels that aren’t eliminating effectively are at risk of Leaky Gut Syndrome. In this situation, instead of moving out of the body through the bowel, toxins leak through the bowel wall – unfortunately this is close to where your ovaries are.
A pitfall to watch for
Changing the way your body functions takes time. Remember this journey is not just about getting pregnant. It’s also about maintaining healthy pregnancy and giving your baby the best chance it can have with its own health. There is plenty of research linking the ongoing health of babies and children to the health of their mother before, during and after pregnancy.
When the fertility journey starts to feel too long, sometimes women get depressed and revert to unhealthy habits – and I see it in their menstrual cycles and basal temperature chart patterns. Whenever I have been wondering what the heck is going on with these backward steps, I’ll eventually get a confession! Don’t be tempted to backslide – this is about your health, not just your fertility. By all means once you have created new habits over a few weeks, have a healthy treat now and then but subscribe to the 80:20 rule. I figure that works out at about once a week. Listen to your body and keep your brain on as well – if they are saying no, then listen.