If you are trying to conceive and it isn’t happening as easily as you anticipated, tracking down the cause can seem like an endless guessing game.
I’ve created this simple list to help you pinpoint exactly what could be preventing you from conceiving, and what to do about it.
If getting pregnant is taking longer than you expect, make sure you know the answers to the following 7 questions.
1) Is age a factor?
How to find out: As we age, our ovarian reserve or egg supply ages, too. Studies have shown a decline in egg quantity and quality can start in a woman’s 30s.
If your over 30, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have declining egg supply or egg quality, but there are a few tests you can do to find out:
Basal follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) test. FSH is the hormone in your body that produces mature eggs in your ovaries. If your FSH levels are too high, it could be a sign that your brain is trying too hard to produce eggs, thus signaling a decline in reserve.
Estradiol test. Similarly, estradiol is responsible for maintaining healthy eggs and a healthy pregnancy. If levels are too high, it could also indicate poor egg quality or quantity.
Anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) test. AMH is produced by early stage ovarian follicles so it is a direct measure of your egg supply. High levels of AMH signal a healthy egg reserve, while low levels indicate the transition into menopause.
Antral follicle count. By using a trans-vaginal ultrasound, your doctor can view the number of antral (resting) follicles in each ovary. A count of 5-10 in each ovary is ideal. Lower than that may indicate a declining ovarian reserve.
Solutions: If you have determined that age is a factor preventing you from conceiving, Chinese medicine has a lot to offer in the form of herbs and acupuncture.
There are numerous scientific studies showing that Kidney Yang boosting herbs increase mitochondrial ATP production in DNA, thus increasing egg quality and function. Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to have a similar effect.
DHEA is a popular supplement that has been shown to have anti-aging effects and positive influence on fertility.
Additionally, high quality supplementation containing powerful antioxidants can help repair oxidative damage caused to the eggs due to aging.
Included in my upcoming Fertile Woman 21-Day Online Event is your own full month’s supply of my top recommended pharmaceutical grade supplements, as well as special training to easily incorporate Chinese medicinal practices in your daily life to boost your Kidney Yang. (Click here to get instant access to a free sneak preview of Fertile Woman.)
2) Are my periods regular, am I ovulating?
How to find out: Learn how to properly chart your cycle which can show how regular your cycles are and whether or not you’re ovulating, among many other useful pieces of information about your fertility.
Solutions: I teach women how to correctly chart their cycle using an in-depth scientific method in my online program, Fertile Woman.
If you’re the self-motivated type, one of my favorite books that teaches you to chart your cycle is Taking Charge Of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler.
If you’re not ovulating, or if you’re periods aren’t regular, I strongly recommend seeing an acupuncturist that specializes in women’s fertility. (If you’re in Denver, Colorado, click here to learn about my acupuncture clinic and to schedule an appointment with me.)
There is also an abundance of dietary and lifestyle changes you can make at home to balance your hormones and bring your cycle back into balance. We will cover all of these practices in my online program, Fertile Woman.
In the mean time, click here for a comprehensive list of foods to eat during each phase of your cycle to boost your fertility.
3) Is my partner’s sperm healthy and robust?
How to find out: There is a simple procedure called a semen analysis, where your doctor can analyze sperm count, motility and morphology of your partner’s sperm.
Solutions: Chinese herbs and acupuncture as well as proper supplementation can increase sperm count, improve morphology and motility.
4) Are my tubes blocked?
How to find out: You can request a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), an x-ray test in which dye is injected into the vagina and travels through the uterus and then, hopefully, through the fallopian tubes. The x-ray determines if there is any sort of abnormality or blockage in the fallopian tubes.
Solutions: Interestingly, an HSG can actually have a therapeutic effect on some kinds of fallopian tube blockages. The dye injected into the tubes, in some cases, can actually clear out the blockage, allowing the woman to successfully conceive after the procedure.
Acupuncture and herbs can also resolve some kinds of tubal blockages, but not all. Ask your acupuncturist to know more.
5) Do I have any hormonal imbalances?
How to find out: You can go the western medicine route and have your levels tested of estradiol, FSH, LH, progesterone, testosterone, and others.
You can also evaluate yourself based on whether or not you experience signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance like weight gain, fatigue, moodiness, irregular periods, cramps, breast tenderness, water retention, etc.
Solutions: Some western medications can effectively address simple hormone imbalances.
Additionally, Chinese medicine, as well as dietary and lifestyle changes can be an extremely effective and drug-free solution.
You will learn all of my best information on this subject in my online program, Fertile Woman.
If you’re a book worm, I also recommend checking out the following:
Woman Code by Alyssa Vitti
Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life by Dr. Claudia Welch
The Way of The Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by Dr. Christiane Northrup
The Infertility Cure by Randine Lewis
6) Do I have any past medical history that could be affecting my fertility?
How to find out: Do you have a diagnosis of endometriosis or PCOS? Do you have a history of pelvic or uterine infection or abnormality? Have you had an IVF procedure? All of these things could be a road block to conceiving.
Solution: In my upcoming program, Fertile Woman, I will teach you easy methods to bring your body back into balance and heal your fertility in order to successfully conceive. To read about my own personal fertility journey that included overcoming a severe case of endometriosis, click here.
7) Do I have any mental/emotional blockages that could be affecting my fertility?
How to find out: Do you have recurring thoughts or fears around getting pregnant, giving birth, or parenting? I think every woman does, to a certain extent, but do you feel like your thoughts or fears are unreasonable?
Solutions: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you can probably guess by now that I recommend joining my online program, Fertile Woman. In this program, I will teach you specific methods that you can do at home to overcome mental and emotional blocks that may be preventing you from welcoming a baby into your life.
Registration for Fertile Woman is open March 1st – March 14th. The program starts March 16th. Click here for a free sneak peak of the program.
To your fertility! <3