Guest Blog by Robyn Srigley, www.thehormonediva.com
A thorough knowledge of your menstrual cycle is important if you want to conceive naturally. Using a natural method like FAM or Fertility Awareness Method to track your cycles can help you pin point problems in your cycle as well as when you are fertile.
Hormones + Fertility
Estrogen is the dominant hormone in the first half of your menstrual cycle, and is linked with FSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone. Both of these hormones help your body to mature a follicle to release an egg when you ovulate. Estrogen also starts to build up the lining and blood flow of your uterus to potentially implant a fertilized egg.
Progesterone is the dominant hormone in the second half of your menstrual cycle, and is linked with LH or Luteinizing Hormone. A surge of LH is what indicates that you have ovulated, and are primed for baby-making. The egg then needs progesterone to be high in order to finish making your uterus comfy for a fertilized egg, and to sustain pregnancy if it should happen. This is often where women have problems, not having a good LH surge coupled with low progesterone. This can lead to miscarriage, as well as other hormonal problems like PMS, irregular cycles and menstrual pain.
One of the main ideas that the Fertility Awareness Method of conception promotes is that ovulation is one of three main fertility signals, and can indicate the overall health of your cycle. If you begin to chart your cycles using FAM and by taking your Basal Body Temperature (BBT), you will notice ovulation happen when your temperature spikes about a half a degree and stays high.
- No shift = Imbalanced Hormones
- Post-ovulatory (Luteal) Phase less than 12 days = Imbalanced LH + Progesterone
Natural Fertility + Hormone Helpers
One of the things I really love about hormone awareness and FAM or similar methods is that you can easily detect health problems. As an example, if you have been very stressed, you may notice that ovulation occurs later, not at all or your temperatures are constantly jumping around. Once you have the basics of this figured out, there are many natural remedies to help. The nutrients listed below can be taken as supplements, or you can fill your diet with foods full of these nutrients. Herbs can be taken as capsules or tincture.
- Vitex – To balance LH and progesterone from the pituitary gland in your brain
- Black Cohosh – Helpful for balancing estrogen and healthy ovulation
- Dong Quai – Overall a great reproductive tonic
- Ginseng – To support your adrenal glands during stress (a major cause of infertility) and increase libido
- Vitamin C – To balance progesterone and reduce inflammation
- CoQ10 – To increase the health of your eggs, and to provide anti-oxidant action
- Inositol – A member of the B vitamin family, helpful for women with PCOS who are trying to conceive
- Vitamin B5 + B6 – Both will balance mood + stress, and B6 promotes healthy progesterone levels
- Folate – To prevent birth defects which develop very early in pregnancy, and reduce risk of miscarriage
Robyn Srigley is The Hormone Diva, a women’s holistic health coach. Robyn’s own journey with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) jumpstarted her passion for helping women replace their anxieties with joy to open possibility in their lives and break free of hormonal imbalance. Robyn is the creator of Cramp Tea and Hot Flash Tea, is a regular contributor to Be Prepared Period.com and is featured on MindBodyGreen. www.thehormonediva.com