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.