What a BFF (Best Fertility Friend) Would Say – Ch. 1
July 3, 2020
These blog posts titled "What a BFF (Best Fertility Friend) Would Say" are a summary of this week's tips to give you strength and assurance as you try to get pregnant. I hope they help!
With appreciation for inviting me on your journey,
Stop Fixating on Your AMH
Don’t let low AMH, high FSH, or any other number define your reproductive potential. It is like using one’s IQ to predict success...misleading and counterproductive.
In fixating on the problem, you focus on what's "wrong" rather than the rightness of your vision to have a healthy baby.
A single blood value is only one factor of many that contributes to your improved fertility.
What are other areas you can strengthen that have a direct impact on your ability to get pregnant?
Your relationship with your partner, your beliefs about your ability to get pregnant, how you feel about your body, what you eat, how much you move your body...to name just a few.
Recharge your batteries
When you’re feeling run down, overwhelmed, or unsure of your next step, what can you do?
You hit the “Pause” button of your life to slow down and go back to the basics...take a walk, eat nourishing food, connect with friends & family, sleep more, etc. These actions benefit your mind and body, including your eggs.
Remember...your daily habits can either replenish & rejuvenate your eggs or speed up the aging process. The choice is yours.
Am I going into menopause?
I get a lot of panicked questions along the lines of “does this symptom mean I’m going into menopause?”. Symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, mid-cycle spotting, not getting a period when expected, a lighter period than usual. Those symptoms can cause a lot of fear when you’re trying to get pregnant and they come out of the blue.
My advice is to stop jumping to conclusions, especially to the point where you assume the worst case scenario - in this case, menopause.
Remember back to when you were dating? It’s like when a guy doesn’t call you back and you’re wondering why, so you assume he didn’t like you. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. Maybe he lost all his contacts on his phone - that’s happened to many of us, if not all of us. Maybe his ex came back into the picture unexpectedly.
Anyway, you get the picture.
99% of the time, the symptoms that you’re worried about are not because menopause is going to rob you of your fertility in a hot second - it could be any number of reasons.
Not getting a period when expected can be normal variation. Not getting a period when expected can also be due to stress (which is very common). It’s a vicious cycle - the more stressed you are, the more it affects your period. The more your period is affected, the more stressed you get in response. So you have to break that cycle by not looking for a problem every time you’re thrown off.
A lighter period is often a result of not eating enough red meat (yes, ladies, you heard me right, eat your grass-fed beef).
Night sweats & hot flashes can be due to hormonal imbalances that are easily fixed - I like herbs for that.
Mid cycle spotting can be implantation spotting (yay!) or it can be due to rough sex (yay too!).
You just don’t know at that time until you do a little investigating and even then you may not know why. I tell my clients to ignore it as long as it’s not a regular pattern. If it becomes a regular pattern, then yes, you need to try to find the root cause and you might need professional help with that, someone like me.
Otherwise, chill out, stop hyperfocusing on every little thing that’s not your idea of perfection. Your body’s not a machine. It fluctuates. Be ok with that.
If it seems like I’m being dismissive of something that understandably you’re concerned about, that’s not my intent. Rather, my intent is to relay the need for you not to take everything so seriously because in doing that, it increases your stress tremendously and takes the fun out of this journey. And it should be fun. Remember...it’s really difficult to have a happy ending to an unhappy journey.
So have fun!
What if your doctor doesn't support your dream?
What can you do if your doctor recommends egg donors and actively discourages you from the possibility that you can get pregnant with your own eggs?
Unfortunately, this is the norm for women in their 40s or, increasingly, younger women who have low AMH.
First and foremost, you have to want to believe that it's possible for you. It sounds simple...but why wouldn't you believe? Because you give so much importance to what your doctor says that it erases any hope within yourself. You have to want it enough that you're ok with disagreeing with what others tell you and be willing to sip coconut water on the island by yourself. (Have you noticed how people like to tell you what you CAN'T do but, less often, support you in creating your vision?)
Next, find a doctor who can assist you on your journey emotionally AND physically. Again, easier said than done. Most fertility doctors' experiences is NOT about helping women get pregnant naturally or have significant IVF success with women in their 40s or low AMH.
But you may be in a place where you don’t have much choice so you’re stuck with the doctor that you have. What do you do then? You can speak to the doctor directly, respectfully acknowledge his expertise and recommendation, and request that he in turn respects your decision and to help you. Ideally, that will be enough.
If that doesn’t work, this is where you really need to work on your emotional game, where you create a bubble around yourself every time you go to your doctor and let the stuff that doesn’t serve you bounce off your bubble. You'll have to bear it, stay focused on what your end goal is because the reward is worth the hardship of the journey, and do your best to not let those remarks affect you.