I read the answers on our health questionaires that are sent in and from those in 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, the misinformation about AMH levels (see my bloghttp://haveababy.blogspot.com) 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 and in some women this depletes progesterone available for fertility. Remember, that the old belief that "time is running out", i.e. "I am running out of eggs" is not necessarily true. Several Harvard studies since 2004 have found that females may be able to regenerate their eggs each month. Just recently stem cells in the ovary have been discovered like the stems cells in the Test**icle that produce the sp.
As a matter of fact, as humans each day we regenerate over billions of 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, there is even evidence through new types of imaging that brain cells 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 and now human ovaries 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 if you are taking steps to optimise your health and your fertility like eating healthily, minimising toxins in your daily life, exercising, having the best supplements for your situation and addressing the often overlooked stress management, know that you are doing everything you can to improve your fertility.
Another excellent resource about how your thoughts affect your body is the movie, "What the Bleep Do We Know". You can find this at your local movie rental store. And one other resource to consider is www.brucelipton.com .
This is an excellent resource to keep you focused on the possibilities instead of perceived limitations that may not be true. Creation story: Last week, we had some very touching creation stories. One involved a woman who had previously been to one of our FMFB workshops.
She has come back for number two because after the first workshop she became pregnant in her next IVF cycle. She was 37. At first she was told that it would not happen due to her age and now she cannot believe she is trying for her second. The emotional aspect of dealing was fertility issues should not be overlooked. Reach out and find support to manage your stress better which in turn may help you create the life that you long for.