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Improving Uterine Health for Fertility, Conception and Implantation

Posted Jan 18 2011 5:01pm

One of the bodies miracles is that every cell in our body renews over time and is replaced by healthy new cells. This gives us the opportunity to work toward changing our fertility issues by nourishing and taking care of our bodies now, so that those new cells have the best chance possible to be vibrant and healthy!

In our Improve Egg Health Guide you have learned ways to nourish and support healthy eggs, but did you know it is also just as important to have a healthy uterus for that egg to implant? Many women say that they can get pregnant, “but the egg just won’t stick”. Or, “the doctor says that my uterus is not healthy enough for implantation.” Well, we have compiled a guide to improving your uterine health. Many of these natural remedies may be familiar to you, but after reading this guide you may look at them in a whole new way. This is what is so wonderful about natural remedies; many of them have the ability to cross over and heal many different parts of our bodies or have multiple healing actions.

The uterus is intended to be the home of our developing baby. It is one of the most amazing organs in the female body. It is about 7cm long and 5cm wide at the top and 2.5cm at the bottom. The uterus is made up of 3 layers. The perimetrium is the outermost layer of the uterus; in comparison to the other layers it is relatively thin. The myometrium is the middle layer. Within this myometrium are three layers of smooth muscle arranged in spiral, circular and longitudinal muscle patterns. The endometrium is the inner mucosal lining. It has two layers. The stratum functionale contains the excretory glands and is shed as mensus during menstruation. It is then built-up again by stimulation of the ovaries releasing hormones. The deeper layer that resides next to the myometrium is vascular (vessels that carry fluids) and serves to regenerate the stratum functionale after each menstruation ends.

The uterus is constantly working to provide us with the best and first home for our developing baby. Because the menstrual cycle is a complex symphony of communication and actions, anything that disrupts the function of the communication or physical make-up of our reproductive system may cause the uterus to not function properly.

Sedentary Lifestyle
Leading an inactive lifestyle with little to no exercise creates a situation of stagnation of blood flow to our uterus and other reproductive organs. The main artery that supplies blood to our legs also supplies blood to our uterus, ovaries and vagina. If we sit around a lot, especially if we have a desk job, the blood flow to our uterus may be compromised. This is also not a good situation if we have fertility issues pertaining to our uterus, especially if there is scar tissue or adhesions present. Not moving this area of our body enough can contribute to scar tissue and adhesions forming. Doctors going in for surgery in this area of the body have reported scar tissue and adhesions attaching the uterus or ovaries to other areas of the body such as the bladder or other organs. This can be very painful and dangerous.

Sedentary lifestyle also contributes directly to weak muscles of the uterus.

Uterine Fibroids
Uterine Fibroids often form in the layers of the uterus, causing painful periods or dysfunction of the menstural cycle from slight to serious. Some women carry to term with uterine fibroids present, while others struggle with getting the embryo to implant.

Scar Tissue
Scar tissue in the uterus can form for a variety of reasons that lead back to some kind of trauma to the uterus. Some of these reasons include:

* Abortion
* D&C after miscarriage
* Cesarean section
* Intrauterine Device (IUD)
* Abdominal Surgery in the uterus or near by
* Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) caused by Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)
* Endometriosis

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is when excess endometrium lining of the uterus that normally grows in preparation for the implanting of the egg begins, does not completely shed during menstruation. It then begins to attach to other places of the body besides the uterus. When menses comes, not only does the lining in the uterus bleed, the endometriosis that has grown in other places of the body also bleeds.

Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalance contributes to or may play a key role in a variety of fertility issues that may affect the uterus. PCOS, Uterine Fibroids and Endometriosis are just some of the more serious ways hormonal imbalance may contribute to uterine dysfunction. If our hormones are not balanced we may have an irregular menstrual cycle or irregularities in the menstrual cycle such as Absent Period, short cycles, long heavy cycles, ect. When our menstrual cycle is irregular, there is a chance that the uterus is not able to fully empty its contents each month. A uterus that is not stimulated to shed or sheds inadequately may become atrophied, which means the muscles lose their tone and strength. If the mucosa lining stratum funcitonale is not stimulated to excrete mucous or build up the endometrium then the uterus is not lubricated and may become “dry” and weak or not the best environment to house an embryo. The endometrium is necessary to nourish the developing embryo. The endometrium needs proper hormonal balance to be signaled to grow to a proper size to house an nourish the embryo, until the placenta is developed enough to take over.

As I said before, the menstrual cycle is a complex symphony of communication and actions; anything that disrupts the function of the communication or physical make-up of our reproductive system may cause the uterus to not function properly. This includes hormonal balance.

Tipped Uterus
The normal positioning of the uterus should be straight up and down (vertical). In some cases a woman’s uterus may become tipped backward or forward.

This may be caused by stretching of the ligaments after childbirth, scarring and adhesions from endometriosis or uterine fibroids and improper development of the position of the uterus. A misplaced uterus may cause pain, irregular menstruation, urinary tract infections, difficulties using tampons as well as pain during intercourse.

Note: These ideas are for general overall uterine health. If you have a specific condition such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids please also see our pages for those specific conditions.

Exercise
This should be one of the first steps in improving any type of health issue, including improving uterine health. Walking and Fertility Yoga are two of the best ways to promote circulation and improve strength and flexibility of the muscles surrounding the uterus.

Fertility Cleansing
The Fertility Cleanse may be a great way to create proper hormonal balance through cleansing and nourishing the liver. The liver helps to filter toxins from the body including excess hormones, that may be contributing to hormonal imbalance. The liver plays a key role in hormonal balance. The liver cleanse phase gently works with your liver to remove excess hormones and environmental toxins, while nourishing and regenerating the liver cells.

Fertility Cleansing also has a uterine cleanse phase. In some instances the uterus is not able to empty it’s entire contents every menstrual cycle. This phase of the cleanse uses specific herbs and nutrients that support the uterus to cleanse of old contents and stagnant blood, while reducing inflammation, promoting circulation as well as having a tonic effect on the uterus.

Self Fertility Massage
Self Fertility Massage may be one of the easiest and most cost effective ways you can improve your uterine health. It can be done from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Self Fertility Massage™ is a series of massage techniques that are used to help support reproductive health, the menstrual cycle, and your fertility.

Ways Self Fertility Massage Improves Uterine Health

* Increases circulation to the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes.
* Promotes hormonal balance by strengthening the hormonal feedback loop.
* Helps the uterus to rid itself of old stagnant blood and tissues.
* Helps to reposition a tilted uterus.
* Increases endorphins which help reduce pain associated with uterine issues.
* Brings fresh oxygenated blood to the uterus.
* Aids the uterus in getting rid of blood clots.
* Helps to strengthen the uterine muscles.

Castor Oil Therapy
A Castor Oil Pack is a cloth soaked in castor oil which is placed on the skin to enhance circulation and promote healing of the tissues and organs underneath the skin. This therapy is complimentary to Self Fertility Massage.

L-Arginine
L-Arginine promotes synthesis of Nitric Oxide (NO). Nitric Oxide is naturally produced by the body and is important for blood dilation, increases blood flow to the uterus, ovaries and genitals. L-Arginine promotes a healthy environment for implantation.

Dong Quai
Dong Quai tonifies and strengthens the uterus by regulating hormonal control, improving uterine tone, and improving the timing of the menstrual cycle. In traditional Chinese medicine Dong Quai is referred to as a blood tonic as it has a general effect on circulation. It has also been shown to improve red blood cell counts. It is traditionally used for situations of stagnation (PCOS, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and fibroids) as it increases the blood flow to the reproductive system reducing congestion and pain. The increased circulation also helps to strengthen and balance the uterus. In rat studies it has been show to help build the uterus lining. Dong Quai also has a relaxing effect on the uterus.

*This herbs is best used by women with pale to absent menstrual flow, as it has a slight blood thinning effect and may not be a good choice for women with heavy menstural cycles.

Red Raspberry Leaf
This herb is a great nutritive, being high in vitamins and minerals as well as an easily absorbed form of calcium. It is also a wonderful uterine tonic. This is a great herb for women preparing for pregnancy and has been shown to be a great help in the efficiency of the uterus during labor. It also helps to reduce excessive bleeding during and after childbirth. This herb is considered to be one of the safest for pregnancy and pregnancy preparation. It should not be used in the 1st trimester if their is a history of uterine or implantation weakness that is contributing to recurrent miscarriage. In those cases it may be best to use this herb in preparation for pregnancy, then begun again after the 1st trimester is over.

General suggested usage: 4-8 mL, liquid extract 3 x’s a day, or 3 cups infusion a day.

Pregnancy Prep Herbal Blend
Pregnancy Prep is a great combination of herbs for uterine health. It contains 4 important and key herbs for uterine health; Red Raspberry, Dong Quai, False Unicorn Rt. and Motherwort.

Since we have already discussed Dong Quai and Red Raspberry here is a little information on the other 2 herbs:

Motherwort : Motherwort is a wonderful uterine tonic, increasing circulation to the uterus, while relaxing the nervous system.

False Unicorn Rt.: Is wonderful uterine tonic that helps to normalize hormones, tones the uterus, and may prevent miscarriage.

Pregnancy Prep also contains other great herbs for preparing for pregnancy and boosting general fertility, those herbs were chosen for their hormonal balance support which also plays a key role in healthy uterine function. Herbs in this blend may also help to maintain healthy progesterone levels.

If you are wanting to improve your overall uterine health, below is a simple 3 month long guide to increasing circulation to the uterus, toning the muscles of the uterus, toning and stretching tissues and muscles surrounding the reproductive organs as well as promoting hormonal balance. It may be best to work toward improving your uterine health at least 3-6 months prior to trying to conceive. If you are implementing any of these natural therapies while you are actively trying to conceive, only use them from the time after your period ends up to ovulation, in case you become pregnant. Walking and yoga are fine to continue all month long, stop doing yoga if you are on your period.

*Remember if you have specific fertility issues that require other natural therapies, please refer to those specific guides. For example if you have scar tissue or adhesions in your uterus you may want to learn how Fertility Enzyme Therapy may help dissolve and break-down scar tissue. This guide is for general uterine health.

Month 1

1. Natural Fertility Diet- be sure to include your 8 glasses of water
2. Exercise: Walk at least 5 times a week for 30 minutes, do Fertility Yoga at least 2-3 times a week.
3. Fertility Cleanse
4. Self Fertility Massage, at least 4-5 times a week
5. Castor Oil Pack, before Self Fertility Massage

Month 2

1. Natural Fertility Diet- be sure to include your 8 glasses of water
2. Exercise/Walk/Fertility Yoga
3. Pregnancy Prep
4. Self Fertility Massage
5. Castor Oil Packs
6. L-Arginine

Month 3

1. Natural Fertility Diet- be sure to include your 8 glasses of water
2. Exercise/Walk/Fertility Yoga
3. Pregnancy Prep
4. Self Fertility Massage
5. Castor Oil Packs
6. L-Arginine


References 1. S. Weed, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, Ash Tree Publising, 1986
2. M. Van De Graaff, Stuart Ira Fox, Karne M. Lafleur: Synopsis of Human Anatomy & Physiology, Wm. C Brown Publishers, 1997
3. Aviva Romm, Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health, Churchill Livingstone, 2010
4. www.americanpregnancy.org/womenshealth/tippeduterus.html

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