Spring Cleansing for Enhanced Fertility
Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. Buds explode everywhere and the bleakness of winter is washed away with warm spring rain. A spring cleanse can wash away the burden of toxins your body has endured and accumulated. Seen as a time of transition, spring is an ideal time to slough off the old and usher in a fresh new start for physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Cleansing for Body and Mind
Cleansing (or detoxification) practices date back to 2000 BCE and are used around the world to prevent disease and improve overall health. Historic cleansing practices have fallen out of the norm in the US, though are still commonly practiced in other countries as prevention of illness.
Examples of cleansing practices include:
- India: Panchakarma or five cleaning actions—purge (laxative), enema, vomiting, nasal cleanse, and bloodletting. Purification therapy helps draw out toxins from the blood and deeper tissue, moving the digestive system.
- China: Fasting (chlorophyll-rich foods), movement (acupuncture, qi gong, tai chi, yoga, meditation) to decrease irritability and anger, and purge (saunas, detox teas, dry skin brushing, water, cupping, bloodletting) to help remove toxins out of the body.
- Native Americans: Fasting gives the digestive tract a break to repair and recover, smudging can clear the lungs and balance the emotions, and sweat lodges help purge toxins.
- Religious sects: Fasting.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the liver and gallbladder are associated with springtime; the liver controls the smooth flow of blood and emotions while the gallbladder is responsible for excreting bile and governs decision-making, planning, dreaming, inspiration, and assertiveness (if your gallbladder has been removed, think about how difficult these tasks may be for you). This organ association emphasizes the importance of a spring cleanse to support and heal functions of the liver and gallbladder, especially if you have a difficult time with decision-making or controlling your emotions. A healthy, properly functioning liver is needed to constantly rid the body of harmful toxins, medications, and even your hormones. Though TCM emphasizes the importance of liver and gallbladder function, all organs of elimination are addressed during a cleanse. The intestines are of utmost importance as they remove harmful byproducts made by the liver.
Cleansing for Fertility
Implementing a gentle cleanse prior to becoming pregnant can improve fertility outcomes and the overall health of your baby. A wide array of toxins are detrimental to male and female fertility, impacting eggs and sperm directly and increasing the importance of a detox prior to becoming pregnant. Research from ten years ago showed an average of 212 industrial chemicals and pesticides, banned over 30 years prior to the study, in the placenta of unexposed and unborn babies. Take this into consideration and understand that if you have never done a detox, you are carrying a toxic burden from before you were even born. Give your babies a better foundation by ridding your body of some of these detrimental toxins before becoming pregnant. Consider also that ten years ago, the average number of beauty products used by women per day was 12, with 160 harmful ingredients—what is this number today?
A Fertility Spring Cleanse will:
- reduce your toxic burden, increasing pregnancy outcome and decreasing exposure to your future baby.
- improve basic body processes: breathing, digesting, pooping, sleeping, sweating, thinking.
- leave you feeling revitalized and renewed.
A gentle cleanse that enhances your fertility and chances of a healthy pregnancy should not leave you feeling exhausted, run down, hungry, or irritable and does not have to feel depriving or lacking. Common annoying symptoms may occur and can be corrected with simple fixes. If you develop headaches, make a tea from a common spice you likely already have in your cupboard—rosemary. If you feel grumbles in your stomach, eat more approved food. For loose stools, increase your fiber in the form of chia and flaxseeds.
Never perform a cleanse while actively trying to conceive or while pregnant, as you will release potentially harmful stores of toxins into the blood stream for removal, which can negatively impact the growth of your unborn baby. If this is the first run at clearing your environment and body of toxins, try focusing on the add-ons to prevent becoming overwhelmed with feelings of deprivation. Ideally, removal of detrimental items is a must for overall cleansing/detoxing especially when preparing for pregnancy. The most resistance to removal is seen with “Modern Musts” and “Toxins of Choice.”
READ THAT AGAIN: TOXINS OF CHOICE!
- Dietary: Alcohol, caffeine, poor fats, processed/packaged and fast foods, sugar/sugar alternatives, heavy meat meals
- Environmental: Electronics, cosmetics, personal and cleaning products, plastics, social media
If you are invested in doing a cleanse, hopefully you will take it to the fullest. You may have already tried everything to become pregnant and a natural, gentle cleanse is the next step.
Out with the Old
A good start to the detox process is a 10–14-day break from known exposures and aiding the body in gentle balancing with nutrient-dense foods. The table on the left provides some simple (though not necessarily easy) swaps.
This table is not an exhaustive list of the ways you can gently improve your health with a cleanse. Rather, it is more a wholesome living cleanse you can continue even after the 10–14 days. You should always seek the guidance of a practitioner knowledgeable of cleanses and the importance of detoxing. If you are interested in a picture of the full toxic exposure of your day-to-day living, check-out Environmental Working Group’s website. Removing your body from the burdens it is constantly subjected to will give your organs of elimination a break, encourage you to be kind to yourself, and get you moving with regular exercise. You need to find time to heal your body and lower the emotional, mental, and physical stress that accompany fertility struggles.
Dr. Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc, operates Fertility Oasis, an all-natural fertility clinic in Wallingford, CT. At Fertility Oasis, Dr. Kerr teaches her patients the importance of preconception care and about all treatment options available to couples struggling to conceive. Male and female infertility factors are addressed by Dr. Kerr to offer comprehensive fertility care to her patients.
Fertility Oasis, 857 N Main St Ext Suite 1, Wallingford CT, 203.265.0459.