Thursday, October 23, 2008

Do you need Progesterone to get pregnant?

Progesterone is referred to as the "pregnancy" hormone. It plays a vital role in preparing the uterus for a fertilized egg. It is imperative that you have enough progesterone and the right ratio between estrogen and progesterone to get pregnant and keep a healthy pregnancy.

There is a good amount of research in the last 10 years + that is bringing to light a potential imbalance between the ratio between estrogen and progesterone in women of all ages. If there is more estrogen in the body (and on the estrogen receptor sites), that leaves a relative deficiency of progesterone based on ideal ratios. The term that is used is "estrogen dominance".

I didn't want this post to by about 'why' we get estrogen dominant, you might want to look that up online or maybe I'll post about that next in my blog. The thing is once you're estrogen dominant, you might need to support your progesterone levels so you can get pregnant and not miscarry.

If you have symptoms such as tender breasts before your period, PMS, fibroids and/or fibrocystic breasts, heavy bleeding, bloating, carbohydrate cravings, migraines or headaches before your period, or fuzzy thinking then you could be estrogen dominant. The second half of your cycle is when progesterone should peak and if you don't have enough, you might experience these types of symptoms.

If you suspect that your progesterone levels are off you can have a blood test to check. The best day of your cycle to do this would be day 21 because that is when your progesterone level should be at it's highest. You could do it on day 22 or 23 as well.

If your levels are low, then you will want to support your self with "bioidentical" progesterone in the form of cream, vaginal suppositories, or sublingual pellets. Preferrably from a compounding pharmacy. You do NOT want to take progestins, synthetic progesterone, or even bioidentical progesterone orally (where you swallow the pill).

This is very often a key factor in getting pregnant. Less so if a woman is 20, but woman aren't usually seeking ways to optimize their fertility at 20. Usually, it's the women in their 30's and 40's who are seeking to optimize their fertility. It happens to be that beginning in our 30's our hormones begin shifting more and it can be possible that estrogen dominance becomes a factor.

I'm NOT saying that all women need progesterone supplementation to get pregnant. I am saying that if you have estrogen dominant symptoms and you've been trying to conceive without luck, or have had a miscarriage(s), it's a good idea to have your levels checked.

Progesterone deficiency is very probably a factor if a woman has had one or more miscarriage(s). It's the first thing I ask about when a woman tells me she's had a miscarriage(s).

Anyway, most traditional doctors don't consider estrogen dominance when trying to help a woman or couple conceive. So, it's worth you knowing about so you can learn more if you happen to fall in this category.

It's amazing how powerful hormones are, they are everything in terms of balance in our body and certainly must be stable for conception to happen.

Also remember that when you are aligning yourself with fertility, you'll more easily find what your system needs to get pregnant, vs. when you tend to be more aligned with infertility, you will find yourself more shut down to what might help you conceive.

Fertile Blessings,

Laurie Morse, L.Ac.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Are You Sleeping Enough?

So many women that I work with are busy. I get it, I'm busy too. But one thing I won't skimp on is sleep. If you're trying to conceive cheating your body of much needed sleep can be a deal breaker.

Your body goes through so many processes when you sleep, it's staggering. All of the processes that it goes through is designed to rebuild, repair, and rejuvenate your system. If you deprive your body of the much needed sleep it needs, then it breaks down more than it builds up. You can't see this of course, it's behind closed doors so-to-speak. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not happening.

In order to conceive a healthy child your body needs to be "building up", not "breaking down". It doesn't make much evolutionary sense for a system to create life if it is in the mode of breaking down.

If you're too busy, you can make adjustments to get yourself in bed earlier or allow yourself to sleep as long as possible.

If you have problems with falling asleep or staying asleep, it's important to have yourself checked regarding that. You can see your Doctor, a Naturopathic Doctor, or an Acupuncturist. You'll want to get your sleep rhythms harmonized naturally (not with drugs).

A regular routine is helpful for a healthy sleep rhythm...
~going to bed about the same time
~winding down about an hour before getting into bed
~not watching or reading stimulating things right before bed like news
~make sure your room as dark as possible
~if you're tired, let yourself sleep if you can

Night time is Yin time or the feminine. Don't cheat your yin or feminine essence of it's much needed nourishment. It is Yin and feminine essence that creates life.

Sweet Dreams!
Laurie Morse, L.Ac.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

How Important is Focus?

I got a call today from a woman who just found out she is pregnant. I love those calls. Not as much as a woman loves the call from her doctor or the "stick" that tells her she is pregnant, but a close second.

She told me that she hadn't realized how much she had been focusing on "infertility" and that when she started becoming more conscious of her focus, she could feel the shift in her. And then, boom.....she gets pregnant. And here is the of her tubes is blocked, so she only had the other side to work with in trying to conceive. Well, she actually got pregnant on the blocked side this month.

She asked me if I think that it's possible for a tube to "unblock". I said that I think anything is possible and that something happened here because she got pregnant. I've seen a lot of things like this over the last 12yrs. Witnessing these kinds of things kind of melts skepticism over time.

All I can say is that if you're still awaiting fertility, don't give up. Try and focus on possibility. Try and tip your energy system (your thoughts, emotions, words, actions) in favor of fertility and if you're not sure how to do that....let yourself learn!! My Fertility Success e-book continues to support women all over the world in getting pregnant. I receive messages every week that someone else is pregnant because they learned how to "tip their scales" in favor of fertility. I want to get a message from you too.

Fertile Blessings,

Laurie Morse, L.Ac.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Trying to get pregnant?

I can't believe how many women are trying to conceive these days!
In my having worked with fertility for so long now, I have my own ideas why that might be. The obvious possibilities are that women or couples are intending to start their families a number of years later in life than was the case a couple of decades ago. Another reason might be is that the internet being a worldwide connector, has us all much more aware of what is happening on topics such as the state of fertility.

Another potential element to the rise in infertility is a bit more subtle, in my opinion. In other words, the little things that happen regularly over time, that add up to a fair sum after a couple of years. For example, for a woman to focus intensly on a career requires her to be in a more masculine expression of herself in the still predominatly masculine weighted business world. Nothing wrong with that per se, except when she's ready to get pregnant. Her system hasn't yet caught up with the feminine element of energy needed to conceive, nourish a fetus for 9 mos and deliver a healthy baby.

Our culture doesn't pay much attention to these kinds of things. It is more subtle than lab drawn hormone levels, open fallopian tubes or ovulation days deteremined by drug store kits. Yet, in my opinion, the sublte energy in trying to get pregnant is as important as the more obvious elements to getting pregnant.

Not to pick on a career woman, I am one myself, there are little nutritional choices we make daily that add up over time too. We know the culprits....excess sugar, excess caffeine, excess alcohol, too many processed foods. I say 'excess' on purpose because my belief is that things aren't inherintly bad, per se...moderation is the key. Our bodies can only take 'excess' for so long before buckling under the load. This is another 'subtle energy' piece. We don't usually see the burden and buckling inside until physical symptoms appear. So we assume all our indulgences are no problem. It's my belief that most of us know, deep inside, what serves us and what doesn't.

I write this piece in hopes that each of you will take a breath, listen inside and allow the subtle energies of your being to speak to you. Then, all you have to do is listen. Fertile Blessings.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Do You Have a Fertile Environment?

Everybody knows that the right environment is needed to reap the rewards of a garden. Let's say you would like a vegetable or flower garden. You have a small plot of earth and it's just the right arrangement for you. Avid gardeners will tell you there are specific requirements needed to enjoy a productive and fertile outcome. If one or more of these basic requirements is missing, your results may suffer.

You need healthy soil that's been fertilized, tilled, and tended. Then seeds can be planted that will root and grow in the healthy soil. You need the right amount of water, air, and sunshine. You need to keep the weeds out of the garden. These are the basic requirements. Does it feel like you might be missing a key ingredient or two, but you can't seem to put your finger on it/them?

When it comes to trying to conceive, your life is your garden, not just your womb. I can't tell you how many women I see whose lives are jam-packed with work, or they are so stressed that they don't have an extra moment to nurture themselves in a day's time. Or they have become so out-of-balance emotionally that these emotional weeds are choking out the potential for seeding and sprouting.

There isn't one magic herbal formula or one magic food to eat or not eat. There is just you. We are talking about YOU changing you from the inside out. If that wasn't needed, you would already be pregnant.

You may believe that scientific research can show you whether an approach to getting pregnant will work for you. Research data is about odds. You are not a statistic. You are an individual with highly individual reasons for not yet having become pregnant.

Often, I will be sitting with someone seeking fertility and because I am sensitive to energy, I can actually sense the souls who might want to drop into the lives of these couples. What I sense is these souls are patiently waiting for a "space" in the lives of the possible parents-a place for them, room to grow. They are wise to wait until there is enough room for them and until they can sense that their guardians are nurtured enough themselves to be able to nurture a new life. It is clear to me that these waiting souls are not at all exercising judgment, but rather, patience for the right sense of balance before seeding.

If you are the garden in which a seed will plant, grow, thrive, bloom, and be harvested, then you must prepare your plot. Evaluating your plot is essential to your success.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Getting the Most Out of Your Fertility Dollar

Would you spend over $10,000 on, say, a home entertainment center, if there were less than a 50/50 chance that it would work when you got it home and set up? Would you buy a car, a boat, or a vacation if your odds were less than 50% that you would get what you were paying for?

Thousands of women and couples are taking precisely this kind of gamble every day on medical interventions to help them conceive, hoping and praying that they will have a baby to show for it.

It is estimated that more than 1 in 6 couples is unable to conceive without some form of medical intervention according to The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. This indicates that there are quite a number of couples who are faced with having to spend some amount of money to assist mother-nature in baby making. The cost of an IVF with office visits, ultrasounds, labs, medications can easily be $10,000 or more.
Emotional costs not included. Yet, the success rate with assisted reproductive technologies is usually below 50%.

Trying to keep one’s financial head straight, while making such emotional decisions like whether to do IVF, IUI, Clomid or Alternative Fertility Therapies to help bring a baby into the world, is a huge challenge. Most couples put far too much faith in the conception method they have selected while placing far too little attention on increasing their own readiness for these methods to work.

Let’s talk about 5 Keys to optimizing your own readiness so that your, most likely costly, chosen conception methods have a much greater chance of succeeding. Some of them may seem obvious, but I still observe women and couples thinking they can forego the basics and still get pregnant. If you are struggling with infertility, and you’ve chosen to spend money on conception methods, then you owe it to yourself to optimize your readiness accordingly. It will save you money in the long-run.

1) Sleep: Human beings have a primal physiological need for sleep. Sleep is where our body rejuvenates, recharges, and repairs itself. Without enough, quality (sleep through the night) sleep, your body will fall behind on repair, cellular rebuilding, and reproductive health. It couldn’t be more obvious that if your body can’t even keep up with its own physiological needs it certainly can’t do it for a growing fetus. In fact, the body automatically turns reproduction/fertility off until its own physiology is back in balance. Do not sacrifice your sleep.
2) Nutrition: During sleep and all throughout the day, our body is pulling nutrients out of your bloodstream to perform a myriad of functions. Balancing hormones, making energy available, exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide, mediating stress, detoxifying everything that comes into our system and the list goes on. Our body can only do a job as good as the nutrients we supply it. What falls in the category of nutrition is everything you put into your system.
3) Stress Management: Let’s just say that stress is anything that requires your body to spend energy to stabilize. Inflammation, work deadlines, too much sugar in the system, traffic, lack of sleep, work and rest out of balance, lack of proper nutrients, relationship upsets, bottled up emotions (anger, bitterness etc.), environmental toxins, and the list goes on. Sometimes it seems like a losing battle. It isn’t really though, because as long as your body/being is balanced, it can handle stress. I suggest you begin a list of things that you need to eliminate in order to take some stressors out of your life. Just as important, start a list of things that you might need to add to your life to help you stay balanced. Then create a plan to eliminate and add those things in your life.
4) Mental/Emotional Balance: Every thought we think leads to an emotion. Every emotion carries a particular frequency of energy to it. Emotional energy is either tearing us down or building us up. We are either expressing emotions in a healthy way, expressing emotions in sideways, unhealthy ways, or bottling emotions up. Because we live in a society with a fair amount of drama, it is sometimes hard for us to see what is healthy and what isn’t with our own emotions. I suggest you start observing yourself and how you think and feel about all the aspects of your life so that you can make the necessary adjustments to being conscious about your mental/emotional balance.
5) Spiritual Connection: Whether you are nourished by a church community or a particular spiritual path, it is wise to keep in mind that your spiritual connection is no different than any other relationship you have. You must spend time with, and foster this connection for it to grow and support you in your life. It is best not to place this very important relationship/connection last on your priority list, as it is one of, if not the, most important relationship you tend to.

Any conception method will have the greatest chances of succeeding in the right environment. That environment is you. Your physiological health, as well as your psycho-spiritual health is what creates your conception readiness for success. It’s not only about hormone shots, transfer dates, and acupuncture for the best success rates. It is about those things after you have prepared yourself properly.

What Matters....

It doesn't matter whether you're using IVF (in vitro fertilization), IUI (artificial insemination), Clomid, natural conception methods, or alternative conception methods -- individually or in combination. It doesn't matter if you've had one or more miscarriages. I doesn't matter if you've been trying to conceive for 6 months or 6 years.
What matters is that there are very specific things you can do to turn on your own fertility switch so that the methods you're using can succeed!

More than 1 in 6 couples is unable to conceive without some form of medical intervention, according to the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The cost of an IVF with office visits, ultrasounds, labs and medications can easiliy be $10,000 or more... emotional costs not included. Yet, the success rate with assisted reproductive technologies is less than 35%!

That's why doing everything you can to optimize your chances of successful fertility is essential.