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Linda Carter

Egg Freezing Abroad: One Woman’s Story

By Katie Boyden

No one prepares you for how it feels to turn 38. It seemed like one day I was 35 and still drinking from the fountain of youth, and then Covid happened, and the next day I looked into the mirror and was shocked to see a mature woman looking back at me. A few months prior, at the end of my 37th year, a series of events including a serious illness that hospitalized me for ten days and nearly killed me, a highly demanding job that didn’t stop, not even for the hospitalization, a devastating breakup with the woman I thought I was going to marry, an herbal supplement that I took to control my periods without doing the proper research and guidance and which threw my hormones seriously out of balance, all came together into a mental, emotional, and physical collapse. I made the decision to take a complete break from work and went to the only place I knew I would have a chance to heal.

A month later, I met Linda Carter in Bali while we were both waiting for smoothies. I remember feeling so broken and so lost, self-conscious, and alone. I was asking the juice bar staff to add some maca and flax seeds in my smoothie because I had heard that it helps increase estrogen, something the herb I took had lowered. Linda and I started chatting and she asked me why I was using these ingredients. I told her I was trying desperately to correct my hormones because I want to get my body back to normal, and preserve my fertility to have a baby in the next few years, partner or not. She said “Well I just happen to be an acupuncturist, specialist in Chinese Medicine, and fertility coach and I’ve been doing this for thirty years.” That felt like serendipity if I’d ever seen it, and I knew we had crossed paths for a reason.

I started working with Linda two days later, near the same juice bar, and she did a deep dive clinical assessment and then a follow-up session recommending blood work and other testing to get a sense of my hormones and health. After the labs came back, we decided that egg freezing was the next best step for my present circumstances. She was kind, extremely knowledgeable, but also gave me tough love and no nonsense coaching, reminding me that I needed to take this seriously and not stray off course or procrastinate. I’m a professional at self-sabotage and this advice was something I really needed to hear, a firm but gentle hand to keep me from getting in my own way.

One of the most helpful aspects of Linda’s coaching was recommending clinics all over the world and explaining the pros and cons of each country and protocol (comparing egg freezing to embryos, anonymous versus known donors, and so on). I had already decided that I didn’t want to do egg freezing in the United States because public free healthcare is still not a thing (and likely never will be), and because even the most expensive private insurance plans generally don’t cover fertility treatments (as far as I know, only certain high-end companies, mostly tech, offer fertility as part of their benefits, so even most of the jobs that come with health insurance in this country still won’t cover IVF or egg freezing). I chose one of the clinics from her suggestions, a place in Madrid led by a great doctor and knowledgeable and helpful staff. I flew to Europe and spent a month traveling through Italy, Switzerland, and Spain, taking advantage of the chance to visit my European friends in different countries and having some pretty wild experiences along the way. It sounds very expensive, and I very much realize what a privileged take this is, but all said and done it was actually cheaper to go on a month-long trip to Europe and travel while doing the necessary preparation between menstrual cycles before the retrieval in Spain than if I had stayed and done the same thing and taken the same medications in the States (average cost $20,000). I got to experience a taste of the free or dramatically cheaper healthcare system there while I also ate cleaner food, booked scans and additional blood work in each country I went through, and prepared for the egg retrieval, with Linda advising me every step of the way.

I did my ovarian stimulations in Mallorca and when the hormones hit me I felt the weight of what I was doing—freezing my eggs alone, doing this intense and stressful process which could theoretically lead to motherhood and huge decisions, financial strain, no partner, a broken sense of self, an even more broken heart. Linda’s other expertise along with her fertility knowledge is that she handles sessions like a psychologist when needed, and her emotional support was essential; I even stopped seeing my regular therapist during the egg freezing because her sessions were more helpful. And she’s seen it all, every kind of client, relationship, and situation, and has sound advice and wisdom that got me through some very tough moments.

By the time I was ready for the egg retrieval procedure, I had printouts of lab work in three different languages, and had completed all my medications, scans, and injections. I was ready. My parents are wonderful people and flew out to Madrid to support me (and to take a vacation after being stuck in the States during Covid for three years). I showed them around the city and translated for us, went to the Prado museum and stood in front of the works of Dalí and Goya and Velásquez, absolutely flooded with the power of the art and the emotions that come along with hyper-ovulation, had another session with Linda to mentally prepare myself, and then went in for the procedure. The clinic was even better than I expected from all the phone calls and emails with the staff and doctors, they calmed me down as they took me into the operating room. The last thing I remember was trying to form Spanish sentences to the anesthesiologist about how amazing the paintings in the Prado were before the world went as dark as Goya’s oil on canvas rendering of the firing squad in “The Third of May.” I woke up in a recovery room with my mom sitting there worried, and she smiled when she saw me open my eyes. The doctor came in, told me that they successfully retrieved eight mature eggs, a great number for someone my age, and just like that, after months of planning, flights, blood tests, trains, friends, food, cities, countries, clinics, rivers, seas, sunsets, stress, setbacks, support, and success, it was over.

I called Linda that night from my hotel room and the first words out of her mouth were, “You should be very, very proud of yourself. You stuck to this, you did not procrastinate, and you crossed the finish line.” I reflected on my whole journey with her as a companion and guide, finally starting to process the full impact of what it all meant, and coming one significant step closer to my dream of being a mother. She, being Linda and always wanting the very best for her clients, didn’t miss a beat to say that she highly recommends I do another round of egg freezing when I’m ready, to ensure the best possible odds for success. She’s of course right, and I know that when the time comes I’ll be prepared and have her by my side like always. In the meantime, I have eight eggs chilling in Madrid, ready to one day hopefully become my future children, and a whole book’s worth of stories.

Fertility for Millennials

Navigating the Fertility Journey in Late 30s to Early 40s: Challenges and Considerations for Millennial Women

In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in societal norms surrounding family planning, particularly among millennials. With advancements in education, career opportunities, and evolving social dynamics, many women find themselves starting a family until later in life. This often comes with its own set of challenges and complexities, especially for those embarking on the fertility journey in their late 30s to early 40s. In this blog post, I’ll explore some of the prominent issues and obstacles faced by women I see in my fertility clinic, in this demographic as they navigate the path to parenthood, including aging, later parenthood, finding a loving partner, navigating fertility as a single mother or lesbian mother(s), financial concerns, and more.

Career and Motherhood is possible.

Women have many more opportunities for career and personal fulfilment than women did in previous generations and this has afforded women the ability to choose to start their family when they feel financially, emotionally, and mentally ready. For many women, this decision puts them on a different path from their grandmother’s generation who were often expected to marry young, start having babies soon after, and were sometimes tied financially to their husbands. Now, as women in this generation reach their late 30s, the challenge becomes understanding the biological reality that fertility is a finite window in a woman’s life and taking the necessary steps to make their dreams of motherhood come true.

I have noticed that some of my clients express anxiety that their choice to go after their career and personal dreams in their 20s and 30s will harm their chances of having children now that they have found partners or wish to have more children in cases of secondary infertility but the great news is that women in this age group have access to fertility treatments that never existed before, and that pregnancy in this age group is more likely than ever in history. I’m happy to report that most of my clients go on to have successful pregnancies and start the families of their dreams in their late thirties and early forties.

A Loving Partner 

Finding a loving and supportive partner to embark on the journey of parenthood can be another significant hurdle for women who are trying to date in the current landscape. With the rise in social media and growing isolation of humanity in general, we see an uptick in anxiety, depression, and loneliness as co-worker bonding is erased as people work from home on computers, people spend more and more time on their devices. Dating in the 2020s has become a rough landscape to navigate for everyone.

While of course many women have found loving relationships other women find themselves single or struggling to find a suitable partner. Dating has become harder because people are under the illusion of endless choice (created by dating apps), and thus have the tendency to cut off relationships and look for the next shiny thing rather than put in the effort that long term commitment requires. Even for lesbians dating is still a steep challenge as the path to motherhood involves a separate set of concerns such as sperm donation versus adoption, legal considerations, the high cost of in vitro and surrogacy, and societal attitudes towards same sex parent families.

Easing Financial Concerns for Housing, Childcare, and Fertility Treatments

With soaring housing prices and the rising cost of living, many millennials (men and women both) find themselves grappling with the decision to start a family while also ensuring financial security for themselves and their future children. After two recessions and a major housing crisis the prospect of homeownership and providing a stable environment for raising a family can be daunting, adding an extra layer of stress to an already complex situation. Add to that the higher-than-ever costs of day-care, nannies, groceries, school tuition, extracurriculars, and all the other expenses that come with raising children, and many millennial parents or would-be parents are understandably hesitant to take on the path of parenthood.

One approach when it comes to financial considerations is to inform women, especially those women where fertility prices can be quite high, that there are much more affordable options abroad in clinics that do amazing work, are easy to access and are set up to accommodate international women and couples seeking support. Another aspect of my work is to guide my clients through a fertility treatment schedule to ensure the highest pregnancy success odds while also keeping costs as low as possible.

Emotional considerations: partnership, single parenthood, and same-sex families.

Another key aspect of my fertility coaching is whether a woman is wishing to become a mother on her own, dating and looking for someone to share life and parenthood with, married, and so on. A significant part of my work in my fertility clinic London is offering emotional support and guidance for women because any conversation around fertility inevitably brings to the surface everything happening in their love life, family dynamics, and emotional world. Some women are happily partnered while others feel alone within their marriage and struggling to communicate with their partners as issues inevitably come to the surface. Others are done waiting for the right partner and have prioritized motherhood. I also see a lot of lesbians in my practice who have all the same relationship questions to navigate as well as a separate set of concerns like sperm donation versus adoption, anonymous versus known donors, legal considerations, the high cost of in vitro and surrogacy, and societal attitudes towards same sex parent family structures (some countries unfortunately still have limitations around what lesbian couples seeking fertility treatment can do). No matter what your situation, in my thirty plus years of practice I have seen it all and I am here to offer you my most compassionate support with a wide variety of techniques and counsel to help with the emotional aspect of fertility.

Aging and Fertility 

How does age effect my fertility is one of the most frequent questions I am asked. As women age, the quantity and quality of their eggs diminish, making it more difficult to conceive naturally. This decline in fertility can lead to longer conception times, an increased risk of miscarriage, and a higher likelihood of needing fertility assistance such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or many of the other reproductive technologies available. This biological reality can evoke fears and anxieties for women in their late 30s to early 40s who are trying to conceive. The fear of infertility, miscarriage, and pregnancy-related complications looms large, prompting many women to seek medical interventions.

Guidance and Support

Despite the challenges women in their late thirties to early forties may face on their fertility journey, there is hope and support available. Fertility clinics London and across the UK, provide comprehensive fertility assessments, personalized treatment plans, and emotional support to individuals and couples struggling with infertility. Secondary fertility treatments, which cater to those who are already parents but facing difficulties conceiving again, can offer a tailored approach.

Finding the right practitioner is a critical piece of this journey since there are so many factors to consider between treatments, clinics, countries, finances, emotional and psychological challenges, partnership, and more.

It may be that your partner has children from a previous relationship and this will affect your access to NHS treatment. Women in this situation often seek the support of fertility coaching from me as I can help them navigate this complicated world of clinics, testing, medications, process, and all the emotions and mental challenges that this journey will inevitably bring to the surface.

Conclusion

Trying to become a mother in one’s late 30s to early 40s poses a unique set of challenges and considerations for millennial women. From housing and financial concerns to partner dynamics, alternative paths to parenthood, and fears of infertility, pursuing this path requires resilience, support, and a willingness to confront the obstacles head-on. Despite the challenges, many women in this demographic are embracing the journey to parenthood with determination, courage, and an unwavering commitment to building a family. It is my passion to help people looking to become parents, no matter their age, finances, and circumstances, have the best chance at making this dream come true.

Essential Testing For Your Fertility

You may have many questions such as how does age affect my fertility?

What is a good fertility clinic in the UK?

How do I cope with secondary infertility?

First I want to give you crucial advice about Testing

You are ready to embark on my fertility journey, what tests should you start with?

As a fertility coach I understand navigating the world of fertility testing can be overwhelming and bewildering for many individuals and couples. Whether you are just beginning your fertility journey, wish to add to your existing family or have been struggling with infertility for some time, understanding the common tests used to indicate fertility is crucial in finding answers and seeking the fertility support you need. Fertility and overall health are inextricably linked, so along with the tests discussed below, it is advisable to get updated blood tests relating to any specific conditions you may have to get the complete picture of your personal health.

 

Basic Blood Test and Metabolism Markers

 

One of the steps in my Fertility Coaching or if you choose to go to a Fertility Clinic in the UK is a medical history and gynaecological assessment. This helps me as your fertility coach to understand any underlying health conditions that may be impacting your ability to conceive.

A good place to start is with a complete blood count, metabolic panel which includes kidney and liver function, a complete thyroid panel and tests to measure your blood sugar regulation such as fasting insulin and glucose levels. Stress is a major factor impacting fertility, this can be particularly common in secondary fertility when you have a toddler running around, so be sure to get your cortisol levels checked. Fatty acids are another good thing to look at, as it is essential to have adequate levels of all the omega fatty acids to conceive and carry a pregnancy.

 

Key Hormones

 

Hormone levels can provide valuable insight into your reproductive health and even more important than the numbers alone, having the correct ratios of hormones is crucial for reproductive success. If your ratios are out of balance, an experienced practitioner can assist you with bringing them back into the optimum levels. As a fertility coach I will help you to understand these results.

 

  • Oestrogen – The most commonly known female hormone which gives women their secondary sex characteristics. Having high enough oestrogens is critical for reproductive success.

  • Progesterone – The hormone responsible for the second half of the menstrual cycle and carrying a pregnancy to term, progesterone levels must also be optimal to optimise fertility.

  • Testosterone – Often thought of as only a male hormone, testosterone is essential for many functions in the female body, but too much testosterone suggests androgen dominance reflected in conditions such as PCOS, and too little leads to loss of muscle mass, stress dysregulation, libido, and has a negative impact on fertility.

  • Luteinizing hormone (LH) –  associated with reproduction. This test measures the amount of LH in the blood. Because it helps stimulate the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation) in women, the test is used to pinpoint the cause of infertility, identify possible pituitary disorders, and diagnose conditions that impact the function of the ovaries.

  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – is associated with reproduction and the development of eggs and sperm. This is done as a blood test. FSH is made in the pituitary gland.

  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) – is a measure of the reserve of eggs left in the ovaries. This level declines with age but should never be taken in isolation.

Along with standard blood tests, hormones can also be assessed via the DUTCH Test. Dutch stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones and shows the metabolites of cortisol, androgens, oestrogens, progestogen and androgen. The DUTCH test can offer the most complete picture of hormone activity in the body and can be interpreted by a qualified practitioner.

 

STDs and Chronic Viruses

We don’t often consider the presence of viruses or other chronic infections, especially sexually transmitted diseases, as an impactful factor on our fertility, but these pathogens can severely affect reproductive health. Knowing which viruses you may be dealing with and how to treat them is an empowering way to greatly improve your chances of a successful pregnancy. Epstein Barr Virus that causes mononucleosis, is a member of the herpes family which can disrupt the immune system and cause other systemic issues and is detected in a blood test of antibodies. EBV can be successfully managed and brought into a state of non-reactivity with certain herbs, antivirals, and other holistic modalities. In addition to EBV, it’s advised to test for Rubella, Hepatitis, Herpes simplex I and II, HIV, and HPV (cervical screening).

Mold, Toxins, Emotions, and Other Endocrine disruptors

Certain toxins can impact fertility such as indoor mold, synthetic and chemical products, fertilizers and food additives, toxic emotions (read: bad relationships), and chronic stress. Emotional states are not something you can test for in a lab of course, but it’s important to take inventory of who and what you have been allowing into your life and if anything is taking too much of a toll on your mental and emotional wellbeing—it’s time to let go. As for physiological stressors, mold in the body can be analysed via the urine at certain speciality laboratories. Mold is a serious health hazard and mycotoxins are known to cause both male and female infertility. If you suspect there is a mold problem in your home and have been experiencing respiratory issues, sinus infections, gut problems, brain fog, dizziness, rashes, emotional lability, and fatigue, I strongly advise you to get a mold inspector to test your indoor air. Remediation can fix the issue, the sooner the better. See my article on toxins for more insight into this topic.

Holistic Health Assessments – gut microbiome, vaginal bacteria, and the risk of miscarriage

The vaginal microbiome is the community of bacteria, yeast and other organisms living in your vaginal environment. Research has shown that the vaginal microbiome balance is vital for IVF outcomes— those with low levels of good bacteria are less likely to become pregnant. Professor Dame Lesley Regan (tommys.com) writes, “Our researchers have already shown that low levels of a bacteria called Lactobacillus in the vagina are linked to miscarriage.” Imbalances in vaginal flora can lead to yeast infections (candida) on one end of the spectrum, and bacterial vaginosis on the other. An experienced fertility coach can point you to the correct practitioners to test your vaginal microbiome and pH.

Your gut can be considered the key to your entire bodily health. A gut microbiome test will provide you with a holistic understanding of the composition of microorganisms and bacteria in your lower intestine, which impacts everything from hormone production to nutrient absorption and neurotransmitters.

Hysteroscopy, HyCosy, and Other Visual Exams

In some cases, more advanced testing may be needed to pinpoint the cause of infertility. This can include procedures such as:

 

  • Ultrasound – may be performed to assess the health of the uterus and ovaries, as well as to monitor the growth and release of eggs during the menstrual cycle.

  • Hysteroscopy – which can be used to investigate heavy periods, unusual vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, repeated miscarriages or difficulty getting pregnant and diagnose conditions such as fibroids and polyps (non-cancerous growths in the womb).

  • Hysterosalpingography (HyCoSy) – to check the fallopian tubes for any blockages or abnormalities.

 

Tests for Men

 

At a Fertility Clinic an assessment would not be complete without the male factor, which primarily includes

  • Semen analysis. This test evaluates the volume, quality, morphology and motility of sperm, which plays a crucial role in fertility. A few other tests for men are:

  • Semen Microbiome test – can show any bacterial infection present which may be passed to your partner and visa versa. If present it can cause DNA damage or oxidative stress which increases the risk of early miscarriage. This can reduce the quality of the sperm and reduce the chance of a successful IVF treatment and or pregnancy.

  • DNA Fragmentation test – The development of a healthy embryo is initiated when the chromosomes from the female’s egg combine with chromosomes from the sperm. These chromosomes consist of strands of DNA deoxyribonucleic acid which can become damaged. Research indicates that sperm with high levels of DNA fragmentation have a lower probability of producing a successful pregnancy. A review of data on hundreds of semen samples shows that patients with a Dna fragmentation level of more than 30 per cent are likely to have significantly reduced fertility potential, including a marked reduction in term pregnancies and a doubling of miscarriages.

 

Age is also a significant factor in fertility, with a woman’s fertility declining as she gets older. Understanding how age can affect your fertility is important when considering your options for starting a family.

If you are approaching the age where egg freezing is on your mind, trying for a baby while dealing with health challenges, struggling with secondary fertility, or have been unsuccessful in achieving a pregnancy after trying for some time and are unsure where to turn for help, don’t hesitate to reach out to me as a fertility coach for guidance and support.

I am qualified, experienced and will be your fertility coach by your side if you choose to go to a fertility clinic in the UK or London I have specific knowledge that will help you.

Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and there are resources and treatments available to help you on your path to parenthood.

Everyday Toxins and Fertility Support

What is your fertility clinic London doing to make you aware of everyday toxins?

The meaning of the word toxin is a poisonous substance that causes disease.

We are always being made aware about toxins in our life and there is a fine line between concern and doing the best we can and this becoming a neurotic worry that in itself makes us sick. “Sick with worry” which raises our cortisol levels and leads to obsessive compulsive behaviour.

How is this effecting fertility rates in the UK?

Endocrine disruptors mess with our hormones in our bodies endocrine systems. They have been linked to brain disorders, reproductive issues and obesity.

These would not show up in a standard fertility clinic test.

From deodorant to perfume to cleaning products and other ingredients we put onto our bodies and use in our home they are a growing area of health concerns.

They are of concern for your fertility as they influence implantation of egg, egg quality and the quality of the sperm. They can cross the placenta barrier and get to the foetus.

What are forever chemicals? Did you know they can be in menstrual products? Feminine hygiene products have been contaminated with PFAS known as forever chemicals because they do not break down. They have been linked to decreased fertility, high blood pressure, low birth weight in babies and reduced immunity along with many more.

A fertility clinic should arrange for you to have these things tested.

Avoid plastic as much as possible and use biodegradable compostable bags such as those made from seaweed.

There are coatings on the labels for canned food which are toxic when chemicals are used to print and coat labels. Importantly avoid till and credit card machine receipts at all costs. BPA, a chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastics, as well as bisphenol S or BPS have been detected on receipts from retailers and restaurants. Receipts are a common exposure route for hormone-disrupting bisphenols which easily absorb through the skin.

If you stay in a hotel room that has got plug-in air fresheners, please remove them immediately and put them outside the room. The same goes for highly coloured fragranced potpourri, any type of plug-in electric spray freshener in your room. They are all cheap and synthetic when I’m staying in a room, I do a sweep through the room immediately to see if there’s anything including electric mosquito repellent plug-ins which are full of chemicals.

If you want to use something as an air freshener, I suggest a spray with purified water and essential oils or placing a few drops of essential oils on a tissue.

Please make sure they are unadulterated – no synthetics, high, good quality organic from a reputable supplier.

Cleaning fluids, washing powders, the cover on our car seats, train seat, airline seats, shower curtains – everything we come into contact with on a daily basis have now got plastics in them  and these chemicals have no benefit to be in your body.
They can have an accumulative effect, and fertility rates are effected detrimentally by age. There is a genetic influence but the environment we live in and our everyday activities are very influential.

How is this effecting the fertility rate in the UK?

It is said there are 80,000 man-made chemicals in circulation and we only have information for one percent.

Personal care items should be organic, wherever possible, avoid the word natural as this does not help, petrol is natural, petroleum oil is natural do you want to consume that? No of course not.

If you’re using cosmetics – shampoo, body sprays, conditioners anything like this make sure it is organic where possible.

I enjoy using aura sprays which are now widely available and if you must use fragrance, my suggestion is to spray it sparingly onto your clothes do not put it on your neck or directly onto your skin.

There are phthalates in fragrances. They make the fragrances stick on to your body and make the smell to last longer.

For decades I have used pure essential oils as a perfume for my environment or on my body – bear in mind if you’re trying to conceive, or you are pregnant, there should be applied in the tiniest of dilution, or put on a tissue and kept about your person

Plastics can be in vitamin capsules, there are governing bodies which analyse the capsules of supplements and you need to be sure of the purity of supplements.

 They disrupt your endocrine function, block your natural hormones, block enzyme levels and affect hormone levels in your body.

For decades, I have preferred to wear natural fabrics, good quality cotton and linen and woollens in a winter climate, but why are synthetic fabrics so harmful?

Nylon is made by condensation polymerisation. This is converted into a heated condensed product called nylon which is a polymer. There are petrochemicals used for polymerisation of nylon, which are not eco-friendly and certainly not good for a woman trying to get pregnant. Chemicals in the form of residues are retained by nylon fabric even after manufacturing is finished, it is a bad conductor of heat does not allow sweat and body heat to pass through.

Polyester is formed by condensing polymerisation of two monomers, plastics are trapped inside the fabric during the manufacturing process.

Phytoestrogens are emitted by polyester which actor as and endocrine disruptor.

Spandex used in so many forms of underwear, contour wear and sports leggings and yoga pants during manufacture of the spandex fibre polyurethane is dissolved in a strong solvent. DMF Di-methyl formamide
These fibres and wearing them for extended duration, causes skin allergies and they do not allow the body to breathe and can lead to bacterial infections.

Viscose made from rayon fibres which are prepared by treated wood chips with a number of chemicals, one includes caustic soda.

Think about what you’re wearing, touching and consuming please.

What Men and Women Should Eat To Improve Fertility

Improving your fertility can be fun and enjoyable!

Why not connect with your partner by doing some cooking together?

You could take a walk to a local farmers market, enjoying each other’s company while you plan a meal and then cook together in a relaxed way.

When it comes to nutrition and preparing to start a family, my two most important words are balance and moderation.

For both men and women, it’s important to be a healthy weight.

Not overweight, or obese, or underweight but to be in the middle of your healthy BMI number is what you should aim for.

Here are some tips on how men and women can eat in balance and with moderation to improve fertility.

What Men Should Eat

Minerals & Supplements

Foods such as pumpkin seeds, rye, oats and almonds are a good form of zinc, which is essential for healthy sperm, also oysters if you like them.

Selenium is present in whole grains, avocados, shellfish and sesame seeds.

Ginseng supplements improve the bloodflow to the penis and may improve sexual function for some people.

Avoid Alcohol & Fast Food

Alcohol should be abstained from completely as it reduces the ability of the gut to absorb nutrients. If drunk in excess, it can lead to reduced sperm quality, increased abnormal sperm and lower motility, lower sperm counts, lower testosterone, decreased libido and increased risk of erectile dysfunction.

Junk and fast food should be avoided as a diet high in saturated fats significantly reduces the sperm count and makes the sperm weaker and poor quality, fast foods not only carry health risks like cholesterol, obesity and heart disease but it is detrimental to sperm and the energy of the body is unhealthy.

Protein & Fresh Foods

A high protein diet can make the sperm more acidic, which is not desired, a healthy diet will help you absorb nutrients.

When you’re eating vibrant colourful fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and organic meat and fish products the whole body feels and is healthier.

What Women Should Eat

Women are more prone than men to follow fad diets, to have been yo-yo dieters or may have cut out certain food groups. 

In my opinion, we need to support the yin aspect of the woman, the fluid and the bloods, as we want the endometrium to be healthy, the cervical mucus to be plentiful and the eggs to be in the best condition possible to be released and carried through the fallopian tubes to your uterus. 

Some foods support the yin aspect of a woman’s diet such as fresh fruits – pears, pineapples, pomegranates, lemons, apples, bananas and avocado and vegetables such as asparagus green beans spinach and seaweed.

You may also want to include some duck, crab, oysters, rabbit, spelt and dandelion, fennel or nettle tea. 

Clean Out Your Body

If you have phlegm and mucus in the body which is sticky or have had candida or thrush you could, before trying to get pregnant, clean out the body with; beans, asparagus, barley, buckwheat, celery, garlic, green tea, jasmine tea seaweed and plentiful fresh herbs such as basil cardamon, caraway, cloves, fenugreek, parsley and watercress.

Eat Seasonally

Try to eat food which is seasonal and local to where you are as possible, like your grandmother did.

Having more warming foods in the autumn and winter and raw and salads more consumed in the summer when the weather is sunny.

Eat Mindfully

How you eat it is also important, try to sit down at the table and just eat without distraction as you will chew your food much better. You can put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls, and my advice is not to have your mobile phone at the table.

If you are alone and you eat in silence you will notice perhaps how you are looking for your phone or you’re used to reading articles while you’re eating. My advice is don’t do this, just sit quietly and rest and chew your food well.

Try to dress your table, put a tablecloth on, have some flowers or something beautiful to look at, nice plates to eat off and beautiful bowls that means something to you.

Don’t drink lots with food

Don’t drink copious amounts of fluids while you’re eating because digestions starts in the mouth so you want your digestive enzymes to not be too diluted, don’t eat very cold foods, don’t have ice in your drinks. Try not to eat if you are worried, have had an argument or feel angry.

Eat Regularly

Try to eat regularly but only when you are really hungry and if you feel you have a weak digestion have small meals which are easy to digest, try to observe if you have any bloating, cramping or excessive gas after you’ve eaten for example.

Some people although it’s used widely in all worlds cuisines decide not to have onions and garlic because they don’t digest them well and all of the small changes become a matter of habit.

Over to You

What do you think of these tips?

Which of these tips will you action today? 

Don’t forget a thing and pin this for later! 

TESTIMONIALS

Fertility for Millennials

Navigating the Fertility Journey in Late 30s to Early 40s: Challenges and Considerations for Millennial Women In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift

You may also want to investigate a Three-Months Programme, a One-Month Programme or a Two-Hours Intensive.

Opening The Discussion Around Fertility on The Harley Street Edit Podcast


Opening the Conversation Around Fertility

I had the wonderful opportunity to join Shradha Nund on The Harley Street Edit Podcast to discuss fertility and how I support people in their fertility journey.

In the podcast episode we discussed:

  • My background and how I got into Fertility Coaching
  • What is a fertility coach?
  • Fertility journeys and when to see a fertility coach
  • Opening the conversation around fertility in a relationship
  • Feeling on the outside
  • A male’s emotional journey
  • The financial implications

It was such a pleasure to open the discussion about fertility and to be on this podcast.

The podcast is available here.

Is conceiving much harder than you ever anticipated?

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TESTIMONIALS

“I was told by many doctors and specialist I would not be able to have a baby which broke my heart, due to sub fertility issues, after closely following Linda’s recommendations I gave birth to a healthy daughter who has filled our lives with joy.”
“Linda you really are a magical part of my life and I am so grateful for YOU.”
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You may also want to investigate a Three-Months Programme, a One-Month Programme or a Two-Hours Intensive.

Five Ways To Manage Mental Health To Improve Fertility

It can be overwhelming trying for a baby. It’s easy to become caught up in all the things that you should be eating, should be reading and should and should not be doing, etc, etc.

The list goes on and on.

You’re trying to do all the things to get pregnant to the point that you are now becoming less fertile because of the stress.

If one more person says “just relax”, you will scream!

This doesn’t need to be your reality.

The mind is incredibly powerful. When you have a healthy mind, you are more likely to have a healthy body and therefore be more fertile, and more likely to make your dream of being a mum come true!

As an expert in fertility, here are my top five ways I suggest you start implementing to manage your mental health for improved fertility.

Five Ways To Improve Fertility With a Healthy Mind

1. Get Honest

We all live increasingly busy lives and become easily overwhelmed, we are not honest about what we do and don’t do.

Make a promise to yourself to be absolutely honest about what you want and why you want it now.

Lack of clarity is a huge hurdle to achieving your goals. Get clear about what you want!!

2.Observe Your Stress

Do you have any of the following signs or symptoms ? If so please be honest and write down how it affects you.

  • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • Continuing fatigue that’s not eased with rest
  • Foggy thoughts
  • Lethargy doing daily activities
  • Poor memory
  • Not feeling truly awake until after 10am
  • Low energy between 3 – 4 pm
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Light headed when standing up quickly
  • Not very productive
  • Tired when you stop moving
  • Low mood
  • Less enjoyment with life
  • Increased hormonal feelings
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed

If you are feeling any of the above, it’s likely that you are feeling stressed. The more of these signs and symptoms you are currently experiencing, the more stressed you are.

Once you’ve identified that you are feeling stressed, you are in a better position to take action to improve your mental health.

3. Stay Hydrated

Many illnesses which trouble people worldwide come from a simple unrecognised cause – we don’t drink enough water!

What happens if we drink tea, coffee, or caffeinated drinks in place of water? These are central nervous system stimulants and at the same time, they are dehydrating agents because of their strong diuretic action on the kidneys.

So be kind to yourself and get creative with your drinks menu.

Include fresh cold pressed vegetable juices with a small proportion of fruits for sweetening.

Stock your kitchen cupboard with herbal teas – some now come in variety packs or ask for samples from companies to expand your choices.

I suggest you make a cup of herbal tea at least twice a day and if it’s within arms reach you will drink it!!

Invest some money on good quality cordials and non carbonated soft drinks or a fresh coconut.

4. Journaling

Writing is a way to express your feelings and thoughts.

Let the words spill out on the page and you will feel better.

You can always turn to your journal when you are in need of inspiration, clarification, or consolation.

It can be a confidante and a safe place the place to script your inmost dreams and your authentic voice.

Journals can exist in many forms, it can be a much longed for beautiful artistic large book, something handy to carry around with you or a basic notepad – whatever is your preference.

Just start to write and be honest with yourself.

If you prefer to do this digitally you can make your accounts passcode protected.

Most of all get honest and be clear.

5. Get Tailored Advice

If you are looking for further tailored advice on how to improve your mental health, consider booking a call with me to discuss.

A  2 hour call with me could be exactly what you needed to get you back on track or start your fertility journey with the right frame of mind.

TESTIMONIALS

“I was told by many doctors and specialist I would not be able to have a baby which broke my heart, due to sub fertility issues, after closely following Linda’s recommendations I gave birth to a healthy daughter who has filled our lives with joy.”
“Linda you really are a magical part of my life and I am so grateful for YOU.”
Previous
Next

You may also want to investigate a Three-Months Programme, a One-Month Programme or a Two-Hours Intensive.

How To Manage Anxiety When Your Period Is Due

As you’re scrolling through your notifications with your morning tea you notice an alert on your phone: “Period due next week”.

You have been using an app to help you identify when you ovulate and this a reminder you can do without.

You feel your heart drop and your stomach clench with anxiety.

If your period comes it means one thing:

I’m not pregnant again. 

To help with your mood on a daily basis, it’s important to manage your anxiety in the run up to your possible period date.

If you allow your anxiety to run unchecked then it’s likely that it will build up, you’re stressed out, you don’t sleep properly, you may not exercise or eat properly in the lead up to the start of your period.

In the end, the stress and anxiety about possibly getting your period leads your body into a raised cortisol level, which is perpetuating a circle of fear.

So, how can you manage your anxiety when your period is due?

Let’s go through some simple tips to manage your anxiety, specifically for when your period is due.

3 Ways To Manage Your Anxiety

We’ve chosen just three actionable and easy ways to manage anxiety and to help you cope in the run up to when your period is due.

1. Talk Through Your Thoughts and Fears

One way to manage your anxiety is to talk through your thoughts and fears with a professional coach who knows you and can be your mighty companion on your fertility journey. There are things you can do to increase chances of implantation such as rest and gentle walking and certain activities it is best to avoid.

2. Be Honest With Your Partner

Be honest with your partner about how you feel. Couples are often avoiding talking about the anxiety that is building within each of them, each one not wanting to burden the other. In my couples coaching I encourage talking about how you feel (and if it suits the couple then doing something else) so you are not making it 100% your point of focus until it drives you mad. Create intimacy and remember not only your goal of creating a new life but why you fell in love with each other.

2. Get Creative

Plan to do something creative. This can be painting, reading, walking in the park together and really seeing nature, taking an art class, learning a new skill that interest you both, cooking a special meal or listening to a beautiful meditation.

What if I do get my period?

Getting a period when you’re trying to get pregnant is incredibly disappointing.

It’s important that you acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to feel what you are feeling.

Allow yourself to be angry, sad or disappointed for a while, there is no right and wrong way to feel and pushing your feelings down and squashing your emotions is not helpful in my experience it is better to allow yourself to express fully without denying the rage and justified anger you may have.

Then, remind yourself that you can cope with this and you can move forward, healing the pain and finding hope.

You are not alone

Finally, it’s a nerve wracking time before your period, you’ve worked so hard to try to get pregnant.

It can feel lonely at times, especially when it comes down to dealing with something so personal as getting your period.

You don’t need to feel lonely and there’s support out there for you.

Tailored Anxiety Advice

As everyone is different, getting tailored advice on how to cope with anxiety from a professional is an excellent way to manage anxiety.

Not only will they give you advice on how to cope but being able to talk openly with someone relieves stress considerably.

At Fertility Solution, I offer a complimentary 30 Minute call, consider taking this opportunity if you are struggling with anxiety.

If you want further support then you can book in a 2 hour Intensive to come up with a thorough plan for you.

book your 30-minutes complimentary discovery call

My integrated approach looks at your current physical and emotional state, while providing you with complete confidentiality and support during one of the most difficult challenges of your life.

TESTIMONIALS

Is Chinese Herbal Medicine really effective in Pregnancy?

The Chinese have always paid special attention to medicine for women during pregnancy. It is important to keep the Qi or energy flowing and blood in harmony for both the foetus and the mother to ensure a smooth pregnancy. Herbs are usually used as a nourishment or a tonic, bearing in mind that some formula should not be used during pregnancy and formulas should only be used where there is more benefit than just leaving nature alone.

If there are underlying constitutional weaknesses in the mother Chinese herbal formulas can prove to be invaluable, however usually women who have previously found formulas to be beneficial are more willing to take them throughout their pregnancy. Western women are more reluctant to start taking Chinese herbs unless they have severe morning sickness, however I remind my clients there are billions of women in China who have used them successfully for hundreds of years.

In the United Kingdom there is an organisation called the RCHM Register for Chinese Herbal Medicine and as with acupuncture as I have previously stated, I always recommend clients use practitioners who are registered with a professional body as this guarantees a standard of compliance which is absolutely vital and of course very important when taking herbs for treatment during pregnancy for conditions such as for morning sickness or threatened miscarriage.

Chinese herbal medicine for pregnancy

It is important to remember that Chinese herbal medicine was the only form of medicine in China for over 3000 years and of course the area of the Orient expands from Vietnam, Japan and Korea as well as mainland China. The long history does not mean TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine is backward in comparison to ‘modern medicine’ however there have been less clinical trials. Chinese medicine is still used as the primary form of healthcare in much of South East Asia and is provided by the state throughout China.

I do not see this as an alternative but rather a complimentary form of medicine. Herbal remedies and acupuncture and now used regularly to treat a wide range of illnesses pain and medical conditions. The first consultation determines an individual tailor-made prescription and then it is usual for a professional practitioner to review the patient every week or two in the first trimester or for a new patient and then every 2 to 4 weeks thereafter.

Chinese medicine for pregnancy

Ancient Chinese Art of ‘sitting the month’ 

The first 40 days following the birth of the baby in some countries, customs or religions is known as a confinement period with strict rest for the mother to recuperate and bond with her baby, which is wonderful. Sadly in so-called modern cultures this has now all but disappeared. In the postpartum phase it is important to nourish new mothers with fresh home-made food, soups and bone broth along with support from the female members of the family. With herbal medicine a woman’s qi and blood would be nourished with the appropriate Chinese formula if she is breastfeeding.

What can research tell us? the register for Chinese herbal medicine has a collaboration with the Centre for evidence-based Chinese medicine in Beijing and also the Southampton Complimentary Medicine Trust where there are many published research papers which can be studied to back up their evidence.

So in conclusion my answer would be yes Chinese medicine is effective during pregnancy so long as the process and prescriptions are provided by a qualified professional who is registered. Please do contact me today for my fertility coaching programmes, pregnancy and post part care.

Coping with heartbreak

Women who do not have support will struggle more.

When a couple or individual undergo fertility treatment at a Fertility clinic in London or elsewhere, there is a fine line between being optimistic and being realistic.
Some practitioners believe that meditation and visualisation, welcoming in the spirit of your baby into your life, imagining holding your baby in your arms can help you prepare you and your womb.

It is really really really hard when you have tried to walk that fine line between being positive and being pragmatic then having to cope when Fertility Treatment does not work out the way you wanted, personally I really dislike the phrase failed cycle, that is a somewhat more medical term.

It is completely devastating to get a negative test result and this is usually when a woman gets her periods after the two week wait, during which time everything is out of control, (this is particularly difficult for someone who is used to working hard, being very focused and then achieving their goals) This is the time when nothing you can do will change the outcome. Some of my clients feel very anxious, others try to cary on as normal and forget about it but it is always at the back of their mind. The anxiety can cause sleepless nights and this is often when clients contact me as the need to express themselves without judgement.

It is has been described to me many times by my clients fertility coaching clients as a grieving similar to a bereavement and in a way, choosing my words carefully, it is the death of hope, the end of a dream that you had dared to allow yourself to imagine. This is also a time when having a fertility coach by your side is particularly beneficial, someone who has known you and your history and can be there to guide and support you.

Pregnancy expert London

There will come a time when you begin to decide whether to undergo another cycle of treatment and if so trying to figure out if there’s anything you can do to improve your chances of a successful pregnancy and how to increase fertility naturally.

Should you have add on treatments? There are many available such as embryo glue, endometrial scratching, IV drips, different types of supplements and acupuncture for pregnancy.

Whether to try again or to stop is an enormous decision. I feel that it is one which should be made getting plenty of support emotionally with myself as a fertility coach and also medically of course with your treatment doctor.

You may have frozen embryos ready to use, you may be concerned about your age – there are so many things to consider, your fertility clinic may suggest a different approach and of course there are endless sometimes conflicting pieces of advice available about when is the best time to transfer embryos.

I have spent years advising, listening and helping couples and individuals through this process and I really encourage you to choose a professional person to support you. I know where the best London consultation for fertility treatments are, I know what you need and I will support you fully.

For the best fertility advice London– contact me today

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