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Natural Awakenings NYC & Long Island

Preparing for Pregnancy

by Dr. David Pollack

Over the years, my team and I have had the great honor of helping many couples overcome fertility issues. Generally, they seek our help after trying for a year or more. They often have tried fertility treatments, including multiple rounds of IUI and IVF. They’re so emotionally down from the experience that the-mom-to-be is often on the edge of giving up. I understand why couples could feel so disheartened. However, there is still hope for a successful pregnancy. The first step is getting the parents’ bodies in the best shape possible. It’s from there that the magic usually happens.

First, we start with the basics: digestion, hormone balance, and inflammation control. We also check for, and remedy, certain chronic infections such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or Lyme disease. I also make sure to recommend the Fallopian tubes have been checked for obstructions. Unfortunately, all too often it seems like fertility clinics wait a round or two of expensive fertility treatments before doing this important, simple test.

One thing I have recommended in general to my patients is to optimize thyroid function. Most believe that amongst many tests the TSH level should be between 1 and 2. I’ve been making that recommendation for the past 15 years of practicing functional medicine techniques. Within the past year, I’ve been hearing through my fertility patients that their conventional fertility clinic is recommending the same things. Perhaps the thought is that optimum hormone balance is paramount in fertility. Maybe it is in regular life too, just saying. 

A proactive way of optimizing fertility and increasing our chances of pregnancy would be to get the body in ideal health. What does that mean? From the thousands of consultations I’ve participated in, so many people minimize, and even forget about, some of their major health issues. It’s the chronic ones that are most ignored. The ones that have been there ‘forever.’ Digestive problems are at the top of the list. To me, that’s the point. Having a problem forever will degrade the overall function and health of the body. It’s probably the most important problem. 

Additionally, having a well-balanced menstrual cycle is more compatible with a successful pregnancy. When I ask, many women will share that their cycle is normal. Then upon pressing the issue, I discover it is anything but normal—it’s either too long, too short, or too heavy. A menses should be four to five days long and 28 days per cycle. The bleeding should be present, not heavy or light. And there should be no clots, dark or rusty-colored blood. Cramps should be minimal to absent. And I cannot emphasize this enough—there should be minimal effects on mood. Anything else is suggestive of a hormone imbalance. Think of it this way—your body is the temple for this future child, so make it so. 

On that note, it is my opinion that all CBD and true cannabinoid products should not be used. As a result of the legal status changes, many women mistakenly believe it’s okay to use these plant medicines. However, they affect our neurotransmitters and neuro-function and are therefore not safe for a developing fetus. Not only that, but they also alter testosterone to estrogen balance in adults and likely in the child. I’d highly recommend waiting a few months after stopping use before trying to get pregnant.

While it may be less complicated for men, boosting overall health is of the utmost importance as it affects sperm quality and count. Problems as simple as chronic GERD/reflux can even affect it. This couple’s story illustrates this perfectly. One patient came to my clinic for unrelated issues. She and her husband had tried for 12 years to get pregnant. They both thought it wasn’t possible. After we helped her achieve great health outcomes, I suggested we run some tests on her husband, who had very few health complaints besides general fatigue. However, through his bloodwork we found he had “off-the-charts” antibodies against EBV. We started a natural anti-viral protocol, and a month later they were pregnant. After 12 years it was possible and done the old-fashioned, natural way. Perhaps this is possible for you, too.

Dr. David L. Pollack is the founder of Pollack Wellness Institute, located at 66 Commack Rd., #204, Commack, NY. For appointments or information, call 631-462-0801, email [email protected] or visit PollackWellness.com.

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