Picking my book selection this month was so easy. And you wouldn’t think so given the number of books out there – type in “fertility books” on Amazon and there are over 14,000 results!
I love love love Randine Lewis’s book. She approaches her information with such an intention of empowerment and she is one of my favorite people in the world of fertility. She is a licensed acupuncturist, has a personal connection to the difficulties in conceiving, and wrote a wonderful book on fertility boosting. Here’s a quick overview of the three parts in her book…
Part I: Changing Your Mind About Infertility
In almost all cases “infertility” is a misnomer, not an accurate way of putting it. If you are having difficulty conceiving, it’s almost always “sub-fertility” [unless your body parts have actually been removed – that is a true infertility]. And words do matter.
She shares an overview of how fertility is looked at differently between western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine [TCM]. Western medicine is focused on making a diagnosis of the reproductive organs – for example, low ovarian reserve, luteal phase defect, or PCOS. In TCM we look at patterns in each individual, and some of the symptoms we ask about seemingly have nothing to do with reproduction, like if you have dry skin, if the tip of your tongue is redder than the rest, or if you are prone to worry. Five women may come in to the clinic all with a diagnosis of PCOS, but they may be showing five completely different symptom patterns, and then receive five different treatment protocols.
One of my favorite parts is the “Why Can’t I Get Pregnant” questionnaire of discovery. It’s a five-page questionnaire covering all sorts of signs and symptoms that will show your priority patterns. Work with these patterns and your chances of getting pregnant and carrying a healthy baby to term will increase.
Part II: The Ancient Chinese Program for Reproductive Wellness
Once you’ve identified your core patterns in the previous section, you can now look for the relevant suggestions for each pattern. She will discuss food suggestions, lifestyle and stress management ideas, helpful exercises, massage, and qi gong techniques, among other things.
For those who choose to track their basal body temperature [BBT], you can compare your chart to the graphs in the book as more confirmation of which patterns you specifically are working through.
In the section on acupuncture and acupressure, she describes acupoints that you can use based on your pattern. Yep, you know I’m going to say that acupuncture through a licensed acupuncturist [hmmmm….it just so happens that I am one, what a coincidence!] is best. But acupressure (pressing the point with your finger or thumb) is a safe self-care option to try. So go ahead and test out some of the acupressure points that she lists in this chapter.
Then follows the section on herbs. Here is where I really do insist that you work with a board-certified herbalist [hmmm…. also me 😉 ] when using herbal remedies. She does give suggestions by pattern, but there are a lot of things you need to be aware of – quality of the herbal source and brand, interactions with other supplements and medications you are taking, and whether or not you are in concurrent treatment with a reproductive Ob-gyne.
Part III: Fertility in Special Circumstances: How to Help Western-Diagnosed Obstacles to Fertility
This section addresses the main medical factors seen in fertility: luteal phase defect, advanced maternal age, unexplained infertility, recurrent miscarriage, endometriosis, fibroids, PCOS, premature ovarian failure, mechanical obstructions, and male-factor. She includes action steps for each section.
Interspersed throughout the book are real life stories of women who have had success with these strategies. If you are frustrated, feeling stuck, or feeling like there is more to the picture than a medical diagnosis, it would be worthwhile to take the quiz in the book and see if you have specific patterns showing up – this book may just help.
The above link is an “affiliate link.” This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive an affiliate commission. There is absolutely no cost to you. I only recommend books and resources that I believe will help my patients and readers.