What you learn from this show has the potential to change your life forever. I’m not talking about sex positions. Fear not, there will be nothing pornographic detailed in what’s to follow.
To begin, I’m going to teach you something that I learned in my mid-20s. It has to do with asking yourself three questions. These apply to The Egg Whisperer way of getting pregnant, but they also apply to any topic in your life.
- What do I want? Be specific. ex) I’m 32 years old and I want to have a baby. I want to do it naturally.
- What is it going to take to get what I want? ex) It’s going to take having a healthy lifestyle, taking prenatal vitamins, getting preconception tests done, and having sex.
- Am I willing to do it? If you’re not willing to do the things to get what you want, then you have to change #1. If at 37 someone says they want three kids and then I ask them what it’s going to take to get what they want. Some people know what it will take. Others may not. Is your plan reasonable?
If I have someone that is 39 come in and tell me they want three kids and that they’d like to have them all naturally and at two years apart then that’s a problem. Biologically speaking that's not possible. That would mean having a child at 39, 41, and 43. Statistically speaking the chances of a woman being able to do that is less than 10%. I’m not trying to be mean or negative by saying that. I’m being realistic and relying on science. This is something I want to teach people about. It’s okay to be positive, but we have to also be realistic and know what our chances are of success based on what we know about human biology.
When I see 3-year-olds running around right now I think to myself — wow they’re probably not going to have their babies until they are 50! Of course, I don’t know this for sure, but it sure seems like we are trending in that direction.
It’s part of why I do what I do. I want to continue to educate everyone so that we can continue to have healthy families despite our shifting timelines for major life milestones, like having kids.
Until everyone knows there are 5 simple tests you can do to check your fertility then I will keep talking about the TUSHY method.
When I say everyone, I do mean it. Primary care doctors, OBGYNs, and certainly fertility doctors everywhere can help patients understand simple ways to get baseline knowledge about their fertility.
Your friends, family members, your neighbors. The person helping you to check out at the grocery store. Ask them, “Do you know what the TUSHY method is?” If they don’t, then please teach it to them! Ha, I’m only half kidding here!
Do you have to do all of these tests as part of The Egg Whisperer way to get pregnant? No. However, if you’re struggling to get pregnant then it’s a smart thing to consider. Feel empowered to know you’re doing the right things to create the family you want, and from the start.
Here are the basics of how to get pregnant the Egg Whisperer Way
Start taking Prenatal Vitamins
Know about Ovulation:
Are you having regular cycles? If you have PCOS make sure you balance your hormones. If you’re not having periods it’s really hard to get pregnant. I see where women are told to wait a year, but if they’re not ovulating regularly then that’s not fair.
If you’re not ovulating or having periods regularly, find out why before pregnancy. Get tested and treated first.
Low AMH (a sign of a low egg count), high TSH, prolactin and testosterone levels could be the reasons you’re not getting pregnant and early diagnosis and treatment may help.
Or if you discover you have a thyroid abnormality treating it will help you have a healthier pregnancy.
Remember that in the case of fertility there is only good that can happen in learning more about your own body. For instance, finding out your egg count is low before your first pregnancy could be an opportunity for you to preserve your fertility first. It’s why I believe so strongly in getting your levels checked.
If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, be sure to normalize your hgba1c and testosterone. There are a number of ways to achieve excellent health with PCOS. This includes exercise and a low carb diet but also medication like metformin or nutraceuticals such as lipoic acid, NAC, or ovasitol.
Learning when you ovulate is easy for some and more difficult for others. If you have a regular 28-day cycle you typically ovulate on day 14.
If you’re unsure then you can use an ovulation predictor kit (OPK). These are strips that you dip your pee in. As the line gets darker you know you’re getting closer to ovulation.
Sometimes people say to me, “I want to do IVF so that I have a baby without any issues as making a baby just through sex is dangerous.”
Let me set the record straight. Making a baby through sex is not dangerous! It is the preferred way. I always want couples to try to conceive naturally before pursuing IUI or IVF.
My advice is to go into pregnancy healthy and to do preconception tests before trying to get pregnant. Find out if you have things like high blood pressure or diabetes as these can increase your risk of preterm labor/delivery or preeclampsia. These can also lead to pregnancy issues and potentially impact the health of your child. Do what you can to set the stage for the healthiest pregnancy possible.
This is for people who are doing IVF and stands for Diet, IVF, Endometrial Receptivity, and Transfer.
D is for Diagnosis. Be sure you know what the diagnosis is so you don’t have any regrets of pursuing IVF as a treatment option. Sometimes a simple question can help ensure you’re doing what you need to do. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing IVF?” Has there been medical tests and fertility doctor input that indicate it’s your best chance of having a healthy pregnancy? What’s your fertility diagnosis that makes IVF the best path for you? Get clear on the answers to these questions before IVF.
I is for IVF: Once you know the D of the D.I.E.T. it’s time to plan the IVF cycle that will best treat what you have learned about you during your diagnostic work-up. I discuss pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) with my patients so they can find out if their embryos have a normal arrangement of chromosomes before getting pregnant. I also ask them to talk to a genetic counselor so they understand what the technology is looking for. It checks for not only chromosome issues but also for an embryo’s mitochondrial DNA count (mitoscore) which predicts an embryo’s implantation rate. Together with the embryo quality, mitoscore and chromosome information, I can rank embryos in order from highest to lowest pregnancy rates. This way my patients have all the information they need to make sure they’re fully informed about their chances before embryo transfer.
E is endometriosis testing which is done after the IVF cycle and before transfer. Every pregnancy is VIP — or a Very Important Pregnancy. For that reason, I like to test the endometrium lining before the transfer.
T is for transfer. I help my patients best prepare for their transfer, which means going into your embryo transfer with a clear mind and an open heart. If it doesn’t work, we need to be ready for that and will do everything in our power to understand why and discuss what we can do next time.
TEAM stands for, Therapist, Exercise, Acupuncture, Mindfulness
Depending on your diagnosis, whether it’s PCOS, secondary infertility or repetitive abnormal pregnancies, everyone is going to have a different team that they’ll need to support them through their fertility care. No matter the case, I always ask my patients to find a mantra or a superhero alter-ego that they can focus on to help them feel inspired. When you’re going through fertility care, it’s so important to find joy every day, so I always recommend building your fertility team with that in mind.
T is for Therapy: Since IVF can be emotionally challenging, it’s always good to have someone to talk to throughout the process. IVF can also make you more susceptible to depression and anxiety, especially if you have a prior history. It’s easy to find a therapist online these days — I often recommend an online platform called OOTify to find the perfect fit for you.
E is for Exercise: Try to get enough of it, mainly because exercise can help raise your serotonin levels to minimize anxiety and depression. Talk to your doctor about what they recommend for your particular situation. Eating well is also part of a healthy exercise routine, so remember: protein shakes, a Mediterranean diet, and healthy meal delivery kits to take the hassle out of making healthy choices.
A is for Acupuncture: Research has shown that fertility acupuncture has many benefits. A key advantage is that it helps to improve physical symptoms such as nausea and soreness in your belly. I’ve also seen that patients who continue acupuncture into their first-trimester experience less nausea and generally feel better.
M is for Mindfulness: Today, many apps can guide you through short meditations that help to clear and focus your mind on the present moment. Because there are so many unknowns in the IVF process, it can feel stressful. I always tell my patients to use mantras like “I’m going to be a parent one way or another.”
Here are my Egg Whisperer Golden Rules for getting pregnant
There are the things that I think if everyone knew these things that there’d be potentially less heartache in the path to becoming a parent.
Get your levels checked around the age of 21.
This is especially if you have a family history of fertility issues, early menopause, or endometriosis. Or if you’ve had an ovary removed you may want to know if you have a low egg count.
Even if you don’t have a personal history it is reasonable to test your fertility at the age of 25.
If you aren’t partnered and want to have a family it may make sense around the age of 32 to think about if you want to freeze eggs. If you’re 37 and considering being a mom then you may want to freeze embryos.
Pregnancy doesn’t get easier with age.
I don’t want anyone to be misled and think that just because their mom got pregnant when older that they will be able to too. Fertility doesn’t work like that.
Birth control can mask infertility.
If you’re taking birth control then you don’t know if you’re ovulating or having regular periods. Birth control can cause irregular periods or absence of periods. You aren’t relying on the normal signs and symptoms your body would give to let you know there’s a problem. For this reason, I recommend getting your AMH checked before any type of birth control.
Be prepared to ask yourself the tough questions.
What do I want? How old am I? What is it going to take to get what I want? Am I willing to do it?
I’ve had patients that are 39 and ready to have a baby and their spouse is not. At that point, they have to make some really tough decisions about their relationship status. Do they want the baby more than the relationship? Or do they want to stay in the relationship and are they prepared to give up something else that they want? It’s not easy and for these difficult moments, I do recommend talking with a therapist.
Before you even start birth control consider a carrier screen.
In today’s carrier screens there are over 100 genes evaluated. There are three genes that tell us if a patient has an increased risk of forming blood clots from birth control pills.
I’ve been doing Egg Freezing parties since 2014, but I think it’s time to start doing some Egg Thawing parties. I wrote about it here. This includes all of the steps that you need to go through when you want to thaw your eggs.
It’s super important to spend as much time on sperm health as egg health and to take coQ10 until you’re done having your family. It can help the mitochondria in your cells. If you’re an egg freezing patient of mine I’ll ask that you take it from the moment you freeze your eggs until you’re done having kids.
I hope you’ve found this to be helpful. This is the basics of how to get pregnant The Egg Whisperer Way, and it doesn’t necessarily involve IUI or IVF. It may be that you’re able to take prenatal vitamins, get preconception testing, and have sex to get pregnant. Or you may find that getting pregnant isn’t that easy and so you get your TUSHY checked to figure out what’s happening with your body to get a fertility diagnosis. Whichever path you take, I hope it’s one that leads you to the family you’ve always dreamed about.
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