Monica is a little bit obsessed with real food and can be often seen cooking with a spoon full of ghee or putting bones into the slow cooker. Her new lifestyle evolved slowly during her long journey to create a beautiful child of her own. Tired of hearing the poor nutrition advice for women and men going through infertility, Monica founded Fertility Health Coaching to promote and help others understand the importance of clean eating. She is a qualified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner, which means she’s here to help identify and eliminate the underlying causes of your fertility health issues. You can connect with Monica at www.fertilityhealthcoaching.com or on Instagram @positive_fertility.
You’ve had a baby (congratulations)! Maybe it wasn’t planed or you know the exact moment of conception – either way you’ve done it once and you’ve now set out to do it again. But the same formula that worked before isn’t working and the frustration, doubt and sadness is setting in. Diana E. Chavkin MD said it best, “having a child once is not a magic potion that guarantees eternal fertility.” So you go to your doctors and they’ve diagnosed you with secondary infertility – “finding it difficult to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term, despite already having had a child without any trouble.” You’re sat there with a funny look on your face, because you could have told your doc that yourself. “But Why” is the question you want answered and if you’re lucky enough, you have an amazing doctor who’s going to find the root cause of why. If you don’t you’ll have to do the digging yourself! Let’s look into a few different reasons why secondary infertility happens.
An issue that has got worse since your last pregnancy
For many women, their first pregnancy was a happy surprise as they “weren’t even trying.” And when looking at the big picture, it might have been a stroke of luck – as conception is a numbers game, up to a certain point. If you were lucky the first time, you might have assumed that meant that everything was in full working order, when maybe it wasn’t. A few years have pasted and life’s stresses have inflamed your hidden issue. Issues like PCOS, endometriosis and autoimmune issues effecting the thyroid and immune system, can flareup, or even present themselves for the first time.
Your last pregnancy it self
Pregnancy, giving birth and caring for a baby are all big deals, but are often downplayed by modern society. They can individually or collectively have a big impact on your body and can trigger underlining issue, especially on your hormones, thyroid and adrenals.
Old wounds, like scar tissue from a caesarean or previous surgery, can sometimes create blockages in the womb. A post-partum haemorrhage or a retained placenta, which can cause infection in the womb and block the fallopian tubes, can all be factors and have an big impact on fertility.
Something traumatic could have happen after the birth of your last child or your body has reached a point where it can’t deal all the stressors you’re putting on it (we all have different tipping points), which can unexpectedly knock you’re body out of line, leading to hormonal imbalance and autoimmune issues.
Age and Health
And lets not forget the classic diagnosis of old age, embryo & sperm quality, diet choices and weight issues, which we all know can all have an impact on your fertility.
When your struggling to conceive again, it can cause an enormous amount of stress and anxiety. But finding your root case is essential to your success. When you do find all the pieces to the puzzle, you’ll be able to focus on what needs to be done to fix it. Everyone will be different and remember, for most of us there’s no quick fix- you’ll have to put in the hard work and rewire your fertility links. Working with a specialist is the best way to untangle the web of confusing information, but here are a few tips to get you started.
If you think issues maybe linked to scar tissue, a post-partum haemorrhage, retained placenta or blocked tubes, please seek medical help.
Find out what foods work and don’t work for you! The cheep (but long) route is an elimination diet or your Functional Medicine Practitioner, FDNer or Doctor can run food sensitive tests for you. This is key in restoring peace and cutting out inflammation. Go organic (grass fed) and non-GMO with as much of your food as you can afford and try to add in grass fed animal (chicken, beef or lamb) bone broth 2 to 3 times a week and eat the organs- Totally gross, but a MUST for optimal health.
Take Care of your Gut
It all starts in the gut – a healthy gut dramatically improves your health & fertility. Also, your growing babies’ digestive tract will be colonized by the same bacteria in your gut – how amazing is that!?! This is simply done (again) by eating clean, being conscious about how much sugar you’re having a day and supporting good bacteria by eating Lacto-Fermented Foods or taking a good probiotic (not those silly yogurt drinks)!
Movement and Sleep
Keep moving – Yoga, Walking, Weight Lifting, Swimming – Get your heart rate up! Find what works best for you and do it 3 to 5 times a week! Try not to over do it – if you have adrenal issues, hitting it hard at the gym is one of the worst things for your body. And then Sleep. Sleep is one of the most underrated habits you can do for your health. Find what works for you – I’m a 7 to 9 hours type of girl & that works great for me! I do find that if I go to bed later than midnight, I feel like a zombie, even if I get 7 hours. If this sounds familiar to try to get to bed before 10 pm, as every hour before midnight is worth two hours.
Take Control of your Emotions and De-Stress
Two things that I learned about emotions, during my journey- 1: Take responsibility for your emotions- Sorry, but the excuse that someone made you feel that way is BS- no one can make you feel something. 2: Acknowledge your emotions- give them the support they need and then let them go. Once I embraced these two little nuggets of knowledge, my journey became a little less rocky and I became a little less vulnerable. The knowledge that I had full control over how I reacted to the events that have and will unfold in my life completely changed the way I looked at the world around me. This helped me to reduce stress my life and not sweat the small stuff. Meditate daily. Five minutes or an hour- Just do it- It will change your life and it’s FREE (the only thing that is, in this process)!! Think meditation is for hippies? Read 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works: A True Story. Take walks outside, read a book, engage in a hobby, take time for yourself- it’s a must!!
Monica is a little bit obsessed with real food and can be often seen cooking with a spoon full of ghee or putting bones into the slow cooker. Her new lifestyle evolved slowly during her long journey to create a beautiful child of her own. Tired of hearing the poor nutrition advice for women and men going through infertility, Monica founded Fertility Health Coaching to promote and help others understand the importance of clean eating. She is a qualified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner, which means she’s here to help identify and eliminate the underlying causes of your fertility health issues. You can connect with Monica at www.fertilityhealthcoaching.com or on Instagram.