While I was at the Utopia Women’s Wellness event on the weekend I was lucky enough to listen to Dr Nat Kringoudis speak about fertility. I thought I would share Nat’s message because I learnt that fertility is so much more than making babies. Fertility is an extension of our health and is essentially about a healthy reproductive system. We have to fuel our bodies with the right stuff to get ourselves fighting fertility fit by balancing those pesky hormones. Fertility health is so important at many stages throughout our lives – not just when we want to have babies. Fertility is important if you’re coming off the pill, it’s important if you have endometriosis or polycystic ovaries, it’s important if you experience any issues associated with your period (who hasn’t!?) including acne, cramps, PMS, irregular periods and heavy periods and it’s important if you’re going through menopause. So basically, no matter what our age, chances are we need to be paying close attention to our fertility health. Nat’s key message was that fertility issues isn’t your body failing you – it’s your body speaking to you and we must start to listen to our bodies. Nat spoke about her 7 keys to fertility which I’m sharing with you today!
Body weight is extremely important for optimum fertility. To calculate your fertile weight you simply subtract 100 from your height. This is a general rule only and it’s important to remember that everyone is different but essentially, body weight is key. If you’re underweight, you tend to ovulate more. This is because the excretion of GnRH in underweight females will be abnormal in quantity and timing leading to low levels of hormones to stimulate ovulation. The opposite is true for overweight females – basically they ovulate less.
We need to eliminate or at least minimise our exposure to toxins. When toxins are absorbed by the body they mimic oestrogen. Many females experience oestrogen dominance. Symptoms of oestrogen dominance include PMS, acne and weight gain around the middle. Three simple ways to reduce our exposure to toxins are by using natural beauty products, drinking filtered water and using natural cleaning products. Our skin absorbs 60-80% of what we put on it so try using coconut oil as a moisturiser and cleanser, tea tree oil as a toner and mineral makeup. Buy a filtered water bottle or jug so the water you drink is pure and clean and use natural cleaning products such as bi-carb, vinegar, clove oil, lavender oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, hydrogen peroxide and micro fibre cloths.
Sleep is so important. We need about 8 hours of sleep every night, although everyone is different. We need to establish regular patterns so our body clock is in tune with our lives. This is why many shift worker’s have fertility issues, as their body clocks are out of whack.
Alcohol also mimics oestrogen and distorts sperm (think 2 heads or 2 tails)! It takes 100 days to replenish sperm but you’ve got to get the old stuff out first! So lots of sexing is in order! As well as getting rid of the old, not so desirable sperm, regular sex is important. We need to exercise our reproductive organs to increase blood flow to that area of our body and release hormones.
The number one cause of fertility issues is stress. Excessive and chronic stress messes with our oestrogen levels big time. We need to incorporate stress busting activities into every day. My best stress busting techniques are the 4 “M’s”. We must MOVE our bodies. When we’re stressed, our bodies produce cortisol and our blood flows to our arms and legs (because our cave men bodies are programmed to run away from threats and predators when we’re stressed). We need to release the cortisol by moving. Don’t place your body under huge amounts of stress when you exercise as you’ll just produce more cortisol. Just aim to move your body in way that feels natural and breaks a sweat. Secondly, MEDITATE – I always go on about meditating – check out my post here for more info. Thirdly, schedule ME TIME, even if it’s only 5 minutes each day – schedule some time to do something nourishing for yourself (think body brushing, a mini massage or going for a walk). Last but not least, MINIMISE stressors and simplify your life. Learn to say no and prioritise.
We must understand the power of our mind. Our mindsets create our reality. We must take care of our emotional health. We can nourish our emotional healthy by keeping a journal, practicing gratitude and positive affirmations and being present.
Foods for fertility are amazing. Our sex hormones are made up of fats and proteins. So it is important to fuel our bodies with about 50% protein, 30% fats and 20% carbohydrates. Meat is extremely important for fertility. However, gluten, sugar and soy are not so great. Nat’s 10 top fertility foods are eggs (complete meal in terms of fats and proteins), avocado (helps the body lose baby weight), figs (great for the male reproductive system), green tea (increases fertility mucus), maca (balances hormones), beans (great source of protein and zinc), nuts, salmon and coconut cream (great source of good fats) and olives (high in antioxidants).
What do you think of Nat’s natural approach to fertility? You can find more info on Nat’s website here. You can also buy her e-book, ‘Fertilise Yourself’ by following the links on her website.