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Green Your Fertility!
A Blog by Marie Lee
A friend who reads my GreenFertility blog mentioned that in her conception journey, with all the confusing info out there, she only trusts writers. I was intrigued by that (as I’m also a novelist and essayist). Elaborating, she said that writers just try to find the truth and don’t have any vested interests the same way, say, doctors, would. Also, our whole career is devoted to digesting and assimilating huge amounts of information.
Cool! That’s pretty much what I hope my blog and the Green Fertility forum will do. As a journalist, I have access to the science news wires and many other interesting sources of information, and I hope my 2 + 2 will equal 4 for you. I have written about health and women’s issues for places like the Washington Post and Natural Health, and contributed a “Green Guru” chapter to Green Babies, Sage Moms, by Lynda Fassa, the brilliant woman behind the Green Babies organic clothes line that all the celebs always buy for each other. I also won the Richard Margolis prize for the investigative journalism I’m doing into environmental toxins and the explosion of children’s neurological problems.
That said, I’m NOT a scientist, a doctor, or any kind of medical professional in any position to give you any kind of medical advice. I CAN tell you about things that I think may be helpful or detrimental to fertility, what’s worked for other people, and also what’s worked for me.
I’m 44 and have never done IVF or taken any kind of fertility drugs. I have had health issues all my life (chronic fatigue syndrome since I was 16, thyroid, etc.) and had trouble getting pregnant with my son . . . and, in fact, looking back, am amazed that he made it at all. I miscarried once, then had heavy bleeding throughout my pregnancy that puzzled all my doctors, but they just sent me on my way, since there was no drug to give me.
Well folks, once I started to look at myself holistically, suddenly everything started to make sense. When you have autoimmune disease, your body often attacks a newly fertilized egg as an invader. When your blood is not at optimum viscosity, not only does it make a “hostile” uterine lining, it makes you feel tired, because your circulation is clogged! When you’re always on the go and skipping meals . . . well, my acupuncturist scolded me and took an apple out of her lunch and made me eat it, telling me that my chi would not be able to support getting pregnant if I kept running around like that. Yes, and stress. It affects your fertility, no doubt. One reader of my blog took the huge step of quitting her loved-but-stressful job. And then she was sending me baby pictures!
Anyway, in my fertility journey and reporting, I’ve met women who’ve gotten pregnant with their first children—naturally—at 47 and 48. I’ve also met women who started IVF in their 20s (!) and find themselves with their fertility already blown out in their 30s—I met a 29 year old in premature menopause! For me, it’s going to be the natural way and that’s it. I feel like Clomid is the gateway drug that leads to everything else. But that’s not to say IVF can’t be helpful, that it can’t work (including in tandem with natural therapies, such as acupuncture), so everyone is welcome in this blog. But I might be raining on some parades, pointing out things such as the fact that IVF can’t really compensate for aging—at age 44, according to the excellent book, The Baby Business, your chances of getting pregnant by IVF and getting pregnant naturally are—surprise!—about the same.
Plus, artificial fertility doesn’t do squat for your health. One the benefits of natural fertility is that when you nurture your fertility naturally, you nurture your health. Since pursuing a wellness plan, I have, unbelievably, gotten completely rid of my seasonal allergies, cleared up my skin (and my monthly pesky adult acne pimples), stabilized my weight, largely alleviated my chronic fatigue syndrome (and have the viral markers to prove it), and now have the FSH levels (follicle stimulating hormone—a measure of ovarian reserve) of a twentysomething . . and while my younger sister is already dyeing her hair, mine’s still black and I was mistaken for a student the other day! So at the very least, I’ve given birth to a new me . . . with very few labor pains and much joy on the way.
To end this very long first post, dear new readers and old, I just want to say welcome and invite you to submit any questions you may have to me at GreenFertility@gmail.com, and every week I’ll try to answer one in the the Green Fertility forum.
Yours in health,
Visit my blog: Green Fertility