Preconception and Fertility

The Beautiful Design of the Feminine Cycle

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It’s not often that women talk about their menstrual cycle in a positive light. There is often a negative connotation about periods as well as the emotional and physical sensations that are often experienced throughout the cycle. 

But when you understand the complicated dance of hormones that’s going on in your body, it’s actually quite amazing and gives you some really important information. I encourage all women to be empowered by understanding their cycle. They can use that information not only to know if they are fertile, but as a sign of health. Let’s take a step back and look at the amazing design of the female body! 


What to Expect During Your Period

An average flow for a period will measure around 50ml or 3T over the course of 2-7 days. Anything under 25ml is considered a scanty flow, while over 80ml is considered an excessive flow. (You can estimate your flow knowing that regular pads/tampons hold about 5ml, while super pads/tampons may hold up to 10ml.) 

Blood becomes darker when it is exposed to air, so a more rapid flow will produce a brighter red color. As the flow slows down towards the end of the period the flow may become more brownish-red in color.

Since your period is the shedding of the lining of your uterine wall, tissue from the lining of your uterus may be noticed along with the blood. You should see a mostly liquid flow, but a few small clots (up to the size of a dime) is nothing to be alarmed about. 


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Listening to Your Period

Good normal predictable periods are signs of health. When things are off with them, it is important to pay attention. Listening to what our bodies are telling us through our periods can give us valuable information. 

For example, spotting prior to your bleed likely means that your progesterone isn't high enough. And while painful cramps aren’t uncommon, they aren’t normal either and can be a sign of excessive inflammation. These things aren’t necessarily a big deal, but should be noticed. 

Our cycle is influenced by what was going on in our lives 3-4 months ago. Sometimes stressful events will give us a funky period. But if your cycle persists in being irregular, let’s talk about it. There are many things that can be done to encourage a healthy cycle and period. 


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Trimester Zero: Planning for a Wedding vs. Planning to Conceive

trimester 0What if we spent just as long preparing to get pregnant as we do preparing to get married?


Preparing for a Wedding vs. Preparing for Pregnancy 

Couples know that preparing a beautiful wedding takes work. Many people take 12-18 months working on the details for this one day. They know it takes a plan. It doesn’t just fall together, unless perhaps they simply elope. 

Yet when a couple decides to try to have a baby, they often jump right in without preparing themselves or their bodies. Our society doesn’t understand that there are many things a couple can do to prepare themselves for a healthy pregnancy. It’s like we think everyone can do the equivalent of eloping in this area. 


When Pregnancy Doesn't Happen Quickly

When a couple does not achieve pregnancy quickly, they are often told that it just takes time and to keep trying. 

Although this is intended to be encouraging, this isn’t an empowering message. I would rather offer the couple a clear plan towards health, helping them see this as a time of preparation instead of just waiting.

Focusing on helping the couple achieve ultimate health increases their chances of a healthy pregnancy and a radiantly healthy baby.


How Long to Focus on Preconception Health

Did you know that the egg takes about 120 days to mature from a follicle to an egg? And that sperm matures in about 60 days?

Since the health of the egg and the sperm are vital to the health of the baby, it is important to focus on being as healthy as possible for at least that long before trying to conceive. 

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