Monday, September 07, 2009

Acupuncture and PCOS

Acupuncture Improves Ovulation in PCOS Women

A study at Goteborg University in Sweden showed that acupuncture may help some PCOS women to ovulate. In this study, electro-acupuncture was used instead of traditional acupuncture. Electro-acupuncture, the application of a pulsating electrical current to acupuncture needles as a means of stimulating the acupuncture points, was developed in China as an extension of hand manipulation of acupuncture needles.

Twenty-four women with PCOS and infrequent or absent periods were included in this study. After 10-14 treatments for 2-3 months, nine women (38%) experienced regular ovulation. However, the electro-acupuncture was not effective in the more severe cases (obese, highest waist-to-hip ratio, and highest testosterone and insulin individuals).

For women with mild PCOS, acupuncture appears to help induce ovulation.

Source: Stener-Victorin E et al, Effects of electro-acupuncture on anovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2000 Mar;79(3):180-8

Stacey's comment.

I think it is great that researchers are looking at how acupuncture and other therapies can be useful to optimize fertility. It is important to remember that PCOS is accompanied by insulin resistance whether you are overwt or lean with PCO. Therefore diet must be addressed to get the very best outcome. Insulin resistance can be reversed in many so this is the first area that needs to be addressed, short term for fertility but also long term for overall health. Our PCO ebook outlines what you need to do to accomplish this and some have gotten pregnant just by reading the book and applying the concepts.

another good resource is: The Glucose Revolution: managing PCO

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Test to Determine Endometriosis Less Invasive

Endometriosis can be a very painful condition effecting overall health and fertility. Some women but not all may experience very painful menstrual cycles, vomiting or severe nausea with their cycles and at ovulation, bowel disturbances or increased frequency of urination with their period, or unexplainable discharge at different times of the cycle.
Some women will have endometriosis but not experience any symptoms at all.

Endometriosis can impact fertility in two ways;
1) structurally: If endometriosis is in the tubes then this could cause a blockage and make it impossible for the sperm and egg to meet. If the endometriosis is in the tubes but not completely blocking the tube it may still impact the health of the egg by causing damage to the egg as it passes thru the tube. If endometriosis is on the ovary it can impact the function of the ovary and cause problems with egg health or release of the egg at ovulation.

2) Hormonally: If endometriosis is not present in the tubes or on the ovary but is present in other places, the actual endometrial lesions or cysts may not cause a structural issue but the probable causes of the endometriosis may be impacting fertility.

The difficulty with deteching endometriosis in the female has been that if there is no sign of endometriosis from an Ultrasound or pelvic exam then the only way to diagnose endometriosis was through a surgery called a laparoscopy. And sometimes these surgeries have been done and there has been no endometriosis present. The surgery can be a costly option if no treatment is needed and also cause scarring and bleeding that may impact fertility.

But now a new much less invasive and less expensive option has been discovered for deteching endometriosis nearly 100% of the time.
By removing endometrial lining from the uterus, researchers in Australia and Jordan have found that if there are an increased prescence of nerve fibers in this endometrial tissue the patient is highly likely to have endometriosis.

If endometriosis is present and removed through laparoscopy, keep in mind that if the probable causes are not addressed then it is likely to come back like many conventional doctors will say.

So addressing what likely contributed to the endometriosis in the first place is very important to keeping it at bay and optimising your fertility.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Can Probiotics Help You Increase Your Fertility and Get Pregnant?

I have some interesting news to share with you today that are based on some recent findings in Melbourne Australia.

These findings emphasize a particular part of our program that I have been suggesting for some time now and hope that this email serves as a reminder to those of you who are already our patients and using these products and I hope this serves as information for those who aren’t addressing this very important part of your fertility. Also at the end of the tip I will share with our a creation story.

In a study performed in Melbourne Australia on the follicular fluid (the fluid that the egg grows up in, where nutrients, hormones, toxins etc are present) found that bacteria was present in the follicular fluid of women and it seems to be correlated with less than optimal results.

Some of this bacteria that was present appeared to be a result of the procedure itself, the bacteria normally found in the lower genital tract was transferred to the follicular fluid thru the process of egg pick up. However some of the bacteria was unique and not what is commonly known to be in the lower genital tract. This could be because not all bacteria in the genital tract has been identified yet, or it could be that it is a sign of bacterial overgrowth in the body.
Only 25% of women with the unique bacteria present in the follicular fluid created a pregnancy (no statistics were sited on how many of them actually gave birth because in IVF a successful pregnancy doesn’t always equal a live birth).

So hospitals need to find a better way of making sure they are not part of the cause of the problem by transferring “bad bacteria” to the follicular fluid during the procedure, but for the other unique bacteria, if this is the result of an overgrowth versus the procedure itself, then you may be able to have a huge influence on addressing this bacteria and hopefully stop it from influencing your fertility

How do you do this? It’s a four step process.
STEP 1 REMOVE ANY ADDED SUGAR (did I say that loud enough?) Glucose can effect the activity of neutrophils, one of your white blood cells that goes around the body attacking bacteria. Therefore the body’s defenses are weakened as a result of adding glucose/ sugar to the diet.
Eliminate high glycemic carbohydrates from your diet (ref: i.e white flour, hi gi white rice, white potatoe, etc, which cause significant increases in blood glucose levels that are difficult for the body to handle, eventually causing inflammation and suppressing immune system function.

STEP 2 Look at the rest of your diet
Does your diet consist of highly processed foods which do not support healthy good bacteria growth in the gut to address and outnumber the more damaging bacteria? Does most of your diet come from a wrapper, a box, a can or from a drive thru?
If so move more toward whole food diets where you are eating 70% fresh foods in your diet.
For example, have fruit instead of fruit juice.
Eat salads and vegetables with protein instead of sandwiches and packaged foods.
Give up sodas whether regular or diet. Drink mostly water.
Decrease alcohol consumption no more than 4 per week (another source of excess sugar)

Step 3:
Make sure in your diet you are getting enough foods that help you create healthy good bacteria. You can accomplish this by eating foods that contain prebiotics. Prebiotics help the body make good bacteria.
Examples of prebiotics include:
chicory root
raw oats (if you are not gluten free)
unrefined wheat (if you are not gluten free)
unrefined barley (if you are not gluten free)

Step 4
Top it off with a high quality multi strain probiotic (good bacteria) each day.
I recommend in Australia either Nourishing Flora or Polybac 8. (Synbac is another I recommend in certain circumstances). In the US, I recommend Primal Defense.
How do you take these? Ideally if you can remember to take a minimum of 30 min before food, this gives the probiotic time to settle into and support the flora of the gut.
If this is too hard for you to remember I do recommend to take it right before bed.
If you are just starting on a probiotic then take one before bed. But if you have been taking a good multi strain probiotic for a while now and have an IVF procedure coming up, I would double the dose you normally take for 6-8 weeks leading up to the procedure.
If you take a probiotic for the first time or for a short time and you have lower abdominal cramping, try another brand and if you still get the cramping, its not likely the probiotic but the fact that your digestive system needs some work. So see a naturopath or physician who understands and works with the gut and how to optimize its health.
If you are in Australia, you can order polybac 8 from our website at in the Vitamins section once you log into the site with your email and password (contact us at if you prefer powder instead of capsules).
Nourishing Flora is located in some health food shops but my patients have been reporting some difficulty finding this at times.
In the US, Primal Defense can be found at Whole Foods and some smaller health food chains.
In other countries as for a multi strain probiotic with a minimum of 8 strains if possible.
Hi There,
Just wanted to give you a update on events here in Melbourne with us and thank you for all you have done for me in helping me achieve my dream.
This has been a long journey for us of eight years full of up's and downs! After 4yrs of seeing a fertility specialist for PCOS we tried clomid, sugery ect...our last resort was IVF. I saw your story on ACA and decided to try one last thing before going to IVF.
3mths later ON YOUR HERBS l was pregnant with our beautiful daughter Paige (she is nearlly 4yrs old) We decided to try again in 2007 and after 2 miscarriages we eventually concieved early 2008 again. On the 29th of December with gave birth to our second daughter whom we called Regan.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done for us and for our 2 little miracles. They are both healthy and beautiful little girls that bring us much joy and happiness.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weight Loss and Male or Female Fertility

Will I increases my chances to conceive if I gain or lose weight?

Well, let's look at some studies. In a DAnish Study published in Fertility and Sterility in Oct 2004, after looking at the reproductive hormones and semen quality of 1558 Danish men, they found that high or low BMI (Body Mass Index) was associated with reduced semen quality.

In several studies including one from a place in Germany that I can't pronounce :) reports that high or low BMI in women can have a negative impact on IVF outcome leading to decreased chance of pregnancy.

Keeping these studies in mind then, we want to find our health weight range which according to the BMI is 18.5-24.9. You can calculate your own BMI by going to at our clinic I stress slow steady healthy weight loss or weight gain in some cases.

Think about it, rapid weight loss like that which is purported in some of the over the counter weight loss products or even some of the physician's assisted programs, won't accomplish what you are looking for. Losing weight quickly is also associated with diseases such as cancer.

Remember, you want to keep the body OUT of stress mode because when our body is in stress mode, reproduction goes on the back burner.Starting with a low glycemic index ( along with exercise is a good approach. Eliminating excess sugar from your diet and all the processed carbs is important. There are good carbs out there that burn slowly in your system (check out the GI database on versus the convenience foods that have high amounts of sugar or burn quickly in our system shooting up glucose and insulin levels. These low gi carbs should always be accompanied by good protein and good fats.

Protein is important. And I recommend to stay away from soy products unless they are fermented such as tempeh, miso, natto, and some soy sauces. Soy has been shown to negatively effect fertility in some studies. Vegetable protein such as chickpeas, beans and lentils are great sources of protein. Other sources of course are animal proteins. Choose grass fed whenever possible to decrease saturated fat intake.

Protein powders can also be valuable. You can make them into shakes or sprinkle them on your low gi cereals in the morning. The popular whey protein powders are popular and effective for some people. Pay attention however to the back of the canister and if it says, "not suitable for pregnant or lactating (breastfeeding) women" then you know there are many artificial ingredients that could be hazardous to your health even if you aren't pregnant or breastfeeding.

And remember FAT does NOT make you FAT. Healthy fats from avocados and nuts are just a few examples of good fats you can increase in your diet. So the proper balance of proteins, slow burning carbs and essentials fats are so important for your overall and reproductive health.

Exercise is also very important and should be incorporated into your life 3-4 times per week to address weight loss. Cardiovascular exercise as well as resistance training is important to help you lose weight and optimise your fertility.

Speak to your practitioner about what type of eating plan is right for you as he/she may need to evaluate if you are having difficulty with your weight and your fertility because of a thyroid and or adrenal issue. Do not rely soley on blood tests to rule this out. Your symptoms are important to note as well.

Fibroids: What Can You Do About Them?

Women who are dealing with fertility issues and issues of period pain or PMS could also be dealing with fibroids as well. Fibroids do also lead to heavy bleeding and possibly low iron stores as well as feeling very tired and, if fibroids become large, abdominal pain can be experienced.

Fibroids or growths in and/or outside the uterus, have been noted in literature to be due to high levels of oestrogen, but what is often missed is most fibroids can also be due to less than optimal progesterone production. When a woman has normal oestrogen levels but low progesterone levels, this is something called oestrogen dominance because low progesterone levels make the oestrogen appear to be excessive and this is associated with the growth of fibroids.

Your oestrogen is the hormone that can cause crankiness, irritability, discomfort, and mood swings, whereas progesterone is the more calming of the hormones and, when balanced nicely with oestrogen, helps to minimise and eliminate the symptoms surrounding a period and throughout the cycle. So it is very important that these hormones are in good balance, not just within normal limits. We tend to see issues with oestrogen at the higher end of the range and progesterone at the lower end of the range and patients can be told that the hormone levels are fine when in actuality this would be considered oestrogen dominance and potentially create problems with fertility issues, fibroids, and other issues such as PMS.

Another area of oestrogen dominance that can contribute to fibroid growth is excessive oestrogen in comparison to normal progesterone. This is usually less of an issue than the low progesterone, but can contribute to fibroid formation.

In regards to fertility, the problem with fibroids if they are within the uterus is that they can create a barrier for the sperm to be able to get to the egg. Fibroids can also create a barrier to implantation depending on where they are within the uterus. Fibroids outside of the uterus many times are not a structural issue unless they are pushing on the fallopian tubes, but they do indicate that oestrogen dominance is likely and therefore the probable cause of the fibroids could be effecting fertility even if structurally the fibroids are not.

With women who experience fibroids but go into menopause which result in the oestrogen and progesterone levels lowering, it’s important to note that the fibroids will shrink. But unfortunately for some women the fibroids grow to be significant either while they’re trying to become pregnant, with pregnancy or prior to menopause and for the women who is pregnant, can cause significantly heavy periods, blood loss, and other issues.

So, to address fibroids, it is important to address the optimisation of oestrogen and progesterone balance, and to do this it is very important to look at thyroid health and adrenal health. One of the thyroid hormones, particularly T3, helps to create progesterone, so, if the thyroid is sluggish and T3 production is not optimal, then this can create a problem with fibroid formation.

In addition, iodine is very important for thyroid health, and it is found that some women who experience iodine deficiency can be susceptible to fibroid growth. So these areas should be assessed by having a blood test to look at free T4 and free T3 and thyroid antibodies as well as urinary iodine status.

Simply being in the normal range does not necessarily completely rule out thyroid issues, as some thyroid issues can be subclinical. In addition, many physicians will test only TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), which really gives only an indication of what the brain needs for thyroid hormone but not what the rest of the body needs. If a TSH level is within normal limits, then physicians will say that the thyroid is functioning optimally when in fact it may not be, and therefore the presence of fibroids should indicate that further testing is needed.

The adrenals, as was mentioned, are also another area where the balance between oestrogen and progesterone can be affected. The adrenals sit on top of the kidneys and help to regulate stress response. If the body has been under stress for a period of time, progesterone can be converted into cortisol, with possibly less being available for reproductive purposes. If that’s the case and there’s less progesterone available to oppose oestrogen, then you have the perfect breeding ground for fibroid formation to occur.

So, if a person is dealing with fibroids, they should be having their thyroid and adrenals assessed to look at the situation fully.

A morning cortisol blood test can be done to assess adrenal function and cortisol output. Cortisol levels are normal in the morning for some women but decrease substantially before noon-time or throughout the rest of the day. Cortisol should be at its highest in the morning but then gradually decrease over time throughout the day and be at its lowest right before a person goes to sleep so they can sleep well through the night. If cortisol levels are good in the morning but drop off in the afternoon, a person may experience significant fatigue throughout the day and possibly mood swings and very low energy. Many will say this may be due to less than optimal iron, but in fact it is due to less than optimal adrenal function.

The blood test result in the morning is sometimes not as accurate because simply inserting a needle into the body to draw the blood can create a stress response, and therefore the morning cortisol test may not be as optimal as it should be. But in the case where there is a question, saliva tests can be done to assess cortisol levels throughout the day to see if they are in fact maintaining and only slowly decreasing throughout the day versus dropping significantly and leaving a person with an “empty tank”, i.e. feeling very tired throughout the day.

Adrenal function and thyroid function can be supported through natural means with herbs such as withania, rehmannia, rhodiola, licorice, bacopa, among others. However each person should have their situation assessed individually because not all herbs would be needed for each situation. Bladderwrack is an excellent herb that contains iodine and there are certainly natural iodine supplements such as kelp available if it is found that a person has mild or moderate or severe iodine deficiency.

Through the use of herbs to optimise oestrogen and progesterone balance it can be possible to shrink fibroids, but surgical removal is necessary in some cases.

Some doctors recommend a hysterectomy for those who are past child-bearing years, but oftentimes this can be avoided if the thyroid and adrenals are addressed, and the heavy blood flow will cease and the patients will be feeling much better.

If the fibroids are too big, they can be excised surgically by an experienced surgeon. If the thyroid and adrenals as well as the oestrogen and progesterone balance are addressed, then this can help the patient avoid a hysterectomy which has been correlated with the ovaries failing two years after the uterus is removed and improve fertility for those trying to become pregnant.

For fertility purposes, it’s controversial whether the excision of the fibroids will help. Really, it depends on the size of the fibroid and its placement, and an experienced surgeon should be able to give you good feedback on this.

Just know that if you are trying to become pregnant, fibroids do not mean you won’t be able to create a viable pregnancy. But fibroids do need to be investigated to see how they may be impacting your fertility. If you are not trying to become pregnant and have heavy flows, painful periods and anemic due to heavy blood loss, fibroids should be ruled out and addressed if present.

If you are simply looking at shrinking fibroids to optimise your overall health and decrease heavy flow of a period, there are some natural means to do this and some nice complementary natural methods that can be utilised with medical intervention if necessary.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Common Chemicals That Could be Impacting Your Fertility

Your cookware and cleaning supplies could make it harder for you to have a baby.Researchers have found chemicals called perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) might be linked to delays in getting pregnant. PFCs are everywhere -- in Teflon cookware, shampoos, floor wax, food wrapping, carpet treatments and other cleaning products. PFCs are also present in air and water in the form of industrial waste from chemical plants.The new study looked at more than 1,200 women when they were six to 12 weeks pregnant. If they reported that it took them longer than 12 months to get pregnant or if they used drugs designed to increase their chances of conceiving, they were considered to have infertility -- this is a generally accepted definition of infertility by experts in the field.One kind of PFC, called PFOS, increased the odds of infertility anywhere from 70 to 134 percent. Another PFC called PFOA was linked to a 60 to 154 percent increase in the chance of infertility.
ABC News January 29, 2009
Human Reproduction January 28, 2009

Stacey comments:
This information highlights one of our steps in our five step process to optimizing your fertility that you will find in our new book about how to optimize your fertility coming out in the next few months. Minimizing toxins in your system to maximise your fertility is the second step in our program. I have discussed the importance of this related to plastic and cooking (see fertility tip Safe plastics guide) and avoiding parabens in skin care products, using environmentally friendly cleaning products and avoiding things such as air fresheners in your home.
Since PCF’s can be found in the following

• Teflon and other non-stick cookware
• Microwave popcorn bags
• Packaging for greasy fast foods
• Stain-proof clothing
• Carpet and fabric protectors
• Flame retardants

It would be good to do your best and decrease your exposure by getting most of these items out of your home or atleast avoid their use in the future.

Keep in mind that you can never get rid of all the toxins in the environment but doing what you can to minimize your exposure may maximize your fertility.

And don’t let this information scare you or cause you to beat yourself up. Now that you have the information you can act on it, whereas before this, you didn’t know so there really wasn’t anything you could do about it. But now you have the information to take action and improve your fertility so spread the word, email this article to anyone you know who is experiencing fertility issues.

Think You are Running Out of Time re your Fertility

As I read the health questionaires that are sent in and I see patients at our clinic one issue always seems to jump out at me. Because of the difficulty and emotional stress that comes hand in hand with fertility, society and the media's way of dealing with fertility issues, as well as the disempowering attitude of some medical professionals and unfortunately at times, relatives, friends and even strangers, many people that come to see me are either so worried that time is running out (even some of the 20 year olds that I deal with!) or they have decided at some level that they can't have a baby. In this issue I will discuss the "time is running out" issue. When a person takes on this belief and it comes up for them often, it can work directly against the enhancement of their fertility. Some people think I am crazy when I say this. How can thoughts effect your fertility? Well if you look at the simple example of butterflies in the stomach, it may help you understand.

What causes butterflies in the stomach? Is it something you eat? Of course not. When you experience butterflies in the stomach it is because of the thoughts you are thinking at the time which are based on what you are perceiving is happening right now or what you are imagining will happen in the future. Thoughts associated with anxiety, fear, anger, sadness or guilt create physiological reactions in the system.

These types of thoughts can throw your body into "stress mode". When the body is dealing with consistent overwhelming stress over time, reproduction may go to the back burner and does not become the body's main focus. The body's primary issue is to address the stress right now. Progesterone can be converted into cortisol to help the body cope with the increased demands of the stress hormone cortisol. Remember, that the old belief that "time is running out", i.e. "I am running out of eggs" is not necessarily true. In March of 2004 a Harvard study found that females may be able to regenerate their eggs like other mammals with similiar reproductive systems. As a matter of fact, as humans each day we regenerate over 24 billion cells. Old cells die off and are replaced by new cells. You lose and replace 600,000 skin cells per day! In a book called The Mind and The Brain, their is even evidence through new types of imaging that brain cells may be able to regenerate which was often thought not to be true. Science used to think that the brain didn't change that much after you were approximately 6 years old. Now recent imaging techniques show that the teen brain totally morphs itself, pruning different areas of the brain and going through a major renovation from 12 yo to the early 20's. (Explains a lot about adolescent behaviour, hey!!)The point is though that science is constantly showing that the world is not flat and that new discoveries are happening all the time. As a matter of fact the Harvard scientists that did the study on mice said that it was kind of naive of scientists to believe that only one kind of cell in the human body, exclusively to females (because sperm regenerates constantly as well), would be different than the other types of cells in our body that regenerate. It is already common knowledge that the egg starts out as an immature follicle and goes through a maturation process from the time that the ovary picks up a follicle and begins ripening the immature oocyte (egg cell). This oocyte is surrounded by follicular fluid and its development is related to the substances in this fluid including but not limited to nutrients such as antioxidants and minerals, etc and the hormone production of the body. Then it is the oocyte that has gone through the maturation process that is released as an egg at ovulation. Now it has not been shown definitively in the human female what happens for sure with the eggs. But what if it is true? What if egs could be regenerated just like the sp**erm? The fact remains that there is this possibility, so the belief that time is running out can be false and improving your health and balancing your hormones can actually improve your chances to conceive. This is what our natural treatment is based on.

So the next time you hear yourself saying "Time is running out" to yourself or from one of your well meaning relatives over dinner it is your responsibility to stop those thoughts going through your head and tell yourself that "I am doing everything I possibly can to become pregnant". Take a deep breath and know that you are doing everything you can to improve your fertility. You may have to say this to yourself 100 times a day, but it is worth it.Another excellent resource about how your thoughts effect your body is the movie, "What the Bleep Do We Know". You can find this at your local movie rental store.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Can Herbs Unblock Tubes?

Here is a copy of an interview that I just did with a local interviewer:
Debbie: Stacey, What can you tell us about women with blocked tubes? Can
you help them?
Stacey : I do receive many questions about blocked tubes. I know this can be a
very disheartening diagnosis. Because if this diagnosis is true then
there is only one way you can become pregnant and that is thru IVF

However we find that many times when there has been a diagnosis of
blocked tubes, pregnancies still occur naturally while the women are on
our herbs.

Debbie How in the world does that happen?

Stacey : Well, if the test is actually giving an inaccurate diagnosis, or a false
positive, the tubes can actually be absolutely fine.
You see, there is one test to check the tubes by putting dye thru them
and seeing if the dye comes out the other end of the tube.
This can be done in two ways.
1) a laparoscopy where you are put under general anesthesia and they
check the tubes while you are under.
2) a hysterosalpingogram alone. This is essentially the same test
but they do it while you are awake and you avoid a surgery. It is
done in a radiology department where you would have an
ultrasound done.

In this test, as I said dye is put thru the tubes to see if they are
clear or patent. If they are, the physician or radiographer will see a
“spill” into the peritoneal cavity. This means they can see the dye
exiting the tube.

If they don’t see this spill, the diagnosis can be a blocked tube.

Debbie: So how can this end up being a “false positive” i.e. a diagnosis of
blocked but they are really not blocked?

Stacey: Sometimes when the dye goes thru the tube the tube can actually
spasm and make it very difficult or impossible to get the dye through
the tube. This can happen in both the laparoscopy while you are
under anesthetic or in the HSG while you are awake.

Some people will tell you that the tubes are less likely to spasm with
a Laparoscopy because you are under general anesthetic. But this
simply isn’t true. The movement of the egg through the tubes is
done by cilia which are are created through smooth muscle
contractions. This means its not voluntary, it happens
automatically. So whether you are awake or asleep shouldn’t impact
smooth muscle contraction, unless a person is extremely stressed or
trained by biofeedback to effect this type of muscular contraction.

Debbie: So sometimes due to either procedure the tubes can spasm and
then they might think the tubes are blocked but they really aren’t.

Stacey That’s right. And a good thing that can happen with either of
these procedures is, if the tubes are blocked the procedure may
actually unblock the tubes due to the pressure exerted on the
blockage while the dye is injected. This appears to be less likely to
occur if there is a history scarring or damage to the tubes by
Chlamydia infection Or even damage from a previous surgery. If
there is just a mucous plug for example, in the tubes then the dye
may help to unplug the tube so to speak.

Debbie: So scarring in the tubes be a problem. What is this caused from?

Stacey : Scarring can be caused by an infection in or around the uterus.
The sexually transmitted disease known as Chlamydia, if left
untreated could damage the tubes or endometriosis can also
cause damage to the tubes as well. It doesn’t mean though if you
have had an infection or endometriosis that your tubes will
definitely be blocked. As a matter of fact I know of women who
have had Chlamydia or endometriosis and they didn’t have
blocked tubes and had children naturally so it really depends
on the individuals case.

Debbie: What else could cause blocked tubes if they are truly blocked?

Stacey: Well, I have seen an increased incidence in some smokers. The tar
from the nicotine decreases the cilia’s ability (in the nose) to keep
the toxins out of the body. Since there is cilia in the fallopian
tubes that help move the egg and fluid thru the tubes, it is
possible that the toxins from cigarettes could impact this cilia as
well and keep them from functioning properly which in turn could
make the fluid more gluggly and mucous like in the tubes.

Debbie: Okay, got it. So if the tubes are blocked can herbs clear them?

Stacey: I am a herbalist and I know of no known herbs that can unblock
tubes. Ignore the marketing ploys out there to get you to buy
their herbs to unblock tubes. There are a few companies out
there claiming that their herbs can unblock tubes but when I have
contacted them for proof and told them I am a herbalist they
never got back to me. Hmmm. Makes me suspicious that they are
just preying on people who are in a desperate situation.

However there are a few ways that natural therapies
may be able to help.

1) If there was a false positive, or simply if you were diagnosed
with blocked tubes, before rushing in to a procedure, take some
time to prepare your body and mind. If the body is a bit out of
balance, the nformation that you receive from our program and
the herbs to help optimize hormone balance could help to
improve your situation and help the body create healthier eggs
and endometrial lining which is likely a good step toward

2) If the tubes are blocked and IVF is the only option then herbs
and supplements have been used to help couples prepare for IVF
to hopefully optimize their chances of conceiving. Best to give it
atleast 3-6 months before the procedure for it to work best.

3) There are some programs such as that
Claim they may be able to unblock tubes with certain deep
tissue techniques, but there again is no way to know if they
treatment caused this or if the tubes weren’t blocked in the
first place.

4) Get yourself as health and fit as you can to become pregnant
which in turn can improve your cellular health. Your eggs,
ovaries, fallopian tubes, follicles and the semen and sperm
are all made up of cells so improving over all cellular health
and optimizing hormone balance is your best way forward to
becoming pregnant.

Debbie: So can you ever know for sure if the tubes are blocked?

Stacey : Well, you can’t know for sure, but if you have the procedure
done a second time, a few months apart (preferably not under
anesthesia again) and it is still comes up that your tubes
are blocked then you have to wonder. The body changes so
much though. Don’t give up hope, just do the best you can to
prepare to become pregnant either naturally or with IVF.

Monday, January 26, 2009

How to handle friends, relatives and even strangers pregnancy announcements

When dealing with fertility issues it is quite common to find yourself upset or irritated, angrey or sad when you hear about someone close to you or even not so close, becoming pregnant. It is even worse when they say "and you know we weren't even trying..." Would it be beneficial to know how to handle friends, relatives, and even strangers around you who are having babies?

A couple came in our office at Sharkeys Healing Centre for their next fertility consultations and individualised herbal formulas. Both had always been strong in regards to the difficulty they had encountered conceiving a baby. But on this day their expressions, energy, body language or whatever you would like to call it, was different. The woman was definitely suffering after years of dealing with fertility issues and her husband looked unsure and depressed as well. The pain of not conceiving was so evident that even some of my staff asked if they were okay.

As we sat down to discuss how they had been over the last few weeks, before the words left the woman’s mouth, tears began to stream down her face. “I feel horrible” she said. It was clear that she was more than just a little upset, that finally she let her guard down and allowed herself to feel the feelings and recognise that she had been keeping these emotions pent up inside. Now let me make a note here that all women who are moving forward and empowering themselves and feeling strong despite not conceiving now don’t have to be holding on to negative emotions and repressing them, Many couples I have worked with in the clinic and our workshops have been able to let go of the negative emotions and limiting decisions that were holding them back from having a child but there are some who are trying to ignore their negative feelings and some that let it all out as well. Each person is unique in the way they deal with this situation. Remember, it is okay to feel negative emotions. Emotions make us human and they are important to acknowledge. The problem comes in when we continually repress these emotions, hang onto them and can’t let them go now.

Back in the treatment room the wife was crying and the husband was looking as he felt helpless, disempowered not knowing what to do. Clearly an event occurred that initiated the expression of these feelings so I asked, “What happened?” And they both went on to tell me that a close relative had become pregnant without even trying. They were invited over to a dinner party and at the dinner table it was announced that they had a little surprise for everyone. When the couple, my patient’s relatives, announced that they were pregnant, my patient described the feeling of someone taking a hot knife and driving it through her midsection. She felt immediate pain and while trying to put on a strong supportive face, eventually she had to remove herself from the table when the couple unknowningly made a point of saying how happy they were even though they weren’t trying for a baby. It just happened.

That was it, the straw that broke the camel’s back. How could they have this come to them so easy, she thought. They weren’t even trying!!! Quietly the husband added, we just want to know when its going to be our turn. What is wrong with us? Why are we having trouble conceiving? And finally she proceeded to say, “And to top it all off, I feel so guilty because I really want to be happy for her. I really do love her and want her to have children. I feel so miserable because I am not feeling happy for her.”

These are common questions and comments that I hear over and over. Most couples going through fertility issues will ask these questions, feel these feelings, or make these comments. You are not alone if you have found yourself experiencing any of the above scenario. So let’s talk about how you can prepare yourself for events like this one so that you can actually be happy for those you love who are pregnant and have children. This is also useful for those who become emotional or have a difficult time seeing babies or small children in the mall or other public places.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where these thoughts, feelings, and emotions are coming from. You are focused on having a child and that can become all consuming. So every person, place, or thing that you probably never even noticed before you began the journey to parenthood becomes a symbol to you that up until now you have been having some difficulty conceiving. All of this brings up negative emotion within you because this is an unresolved issue in your life. This has become a major focus and at times the sole focus in your life.

If you are experiencing some of the thoughts, feelings and emotions described above this probably means that you are allowing these events, people, or even sometimes television shows, etc (really anything that has a baby on it or a represents a baby or parenthood) to reinforce a belief that you may have which might be “I can’t have a baby.” You may be looking at these experiences as reminding you of the problems you are having, so naturally we want to avoid pain and the negative emotion is then your signal to run away, turn inward, and protect yourself from these thoughts and feelings. Negative emotion such as sadness can tell you to pay attention to how much something or someone means to you and the sadness you experience may be telling you (though each person is different) to pay attention to how much you want a baby which reminds you of the challenges you have faced in this department.

What if however, you could feel joy each time you see a baby or small child? What if I told you that when you change your focus you can feel joy and happiness around babies and children, and it can actually enhance your fertility? Wouldn’t it be worth doing now?

How can this happen? Well, as you know from other tips, stress and depression has been shown to affect fertility, I can’t say that it causes fertility although women who are stressed and/or depressed show more fertility issues than those who are not stressed or depressed. So by letting go of the negative emotions that you may experience and letting it remind you to change your focus then you can improve your physiological state and therefore improve your fertility.

How can you change your focus? And to what can you change your focus too?

Well what would happen to your thoughts and feelings when I tell you that the more you see babies, the more you hear of friends and relatives becoming pregnant and the more advertisements and television shows you see talking about babies this means that new life is coming closer to you. The problem was, if you push these babies and these people away, its as if you are pushing away life. The more often you can change your focus to the fact that the more babies and pregnant women you see, especially if they are close to you such as a friend or relative, the more likely you are going to be able to welcome a beautiful new life in to yours. By changing your focus to this way of thinking, you will no longer be split in two, sad for yourself and feeling guilty that you are not happy for your friends or relatives, and even the stranger at the mall. With this new focus you are now able to let go of the negative emotion and remove some of the emotional barriers to receive life now. This will improve your overall health and improve your fertility by decreasing and in some cases eliminating stress or depressive thoughts. You will also be able to feel true happiness and joy for those who are pregnant and/or have had babies. You can now open a new channel to you for life to connect with you.

So the next time you see a baby or hear of someone close to you being pregnant, just let this be a reminder that your turn just very well may be closer than you had thought. And remember you don't have to feel sadness to remind you of how much you want a child. Letting go of the sadness doesn't mean you want a child any less. Letting go of the sadness can mean you are making more room in your heart for a child.

Fertility tips are (C) copyright of Stacey Roberts and Positive Image publishing. This material is not to be distributed or reproduced in any fashion without expressed written consent of Stacey Roberts