This year is the year. The year you plan to get pregnant and start a family. But there’s an issue. You’ve been trying for a couple of cycles and no luck yet.
If this sounds familiar, it may be that you have imbalanced hormones! So today I’m sharing 5 tips to balance your hormones for conception because the last thing I want for you is for you to feel helpless or that you need to run to IVF as your first option. Because you don’t! There are other options!
If you’re struggling to get that positive pregnancy test, the first thing you can do is implement these hormone-balancing tips into your daily routine to help your hormones get back on track and optimize your body & health for conception.
Healthy Hormones For Conception
It can be hugely beneficial to know that you are ovulating and to know when you are ovulating. Tracking your cycle is a great way to gain insights into your own menstrual health, helping you and your provider figure out the underlying hormonal imbalance.
Typically during a menstrual cycle, estrogen levels rise in the first half (follicular phase) to prepare the uterus for a potential pregnancy. Ovulation occurs when estrogen peaks and an egg is released, and this is when the egg could be fertilized if it comes in contact with a sperm.
If the egg is fertilized, progesterone rises during the second half (luteal phase) to support the pregnancy. If it’s not fertilized, both estrogen and progesterone decrease, leading to menstruation.
So, in order to ovulate every month, you need these hormones to be balanced and in sync with one another. If not, ovulation may not occur or be delayed, or the environment may not be sustainable for the egg/zygote to develop.
How Hormone Imbalances Impact Conception
Unfortunately, hormonal imbalances are the leading cause of infertility in women. The most common hormonal issues that impact fertility success are PCOS (which affects ovulation), thyroid imbalances, low progesterone, and estrogen dominance.
But unlike popular belief, this underlying issue can often be addressed with lifestyle changes and personalized diet and supplement recommendations!
Signs of Hormonal Imbalances
If your hormones aren’t balanced, it could lead to symptoms like:
Heavy/ painful periods
Spotting between periods
Increased hair growth on the face, neck, chest, and back
Unwanted weight gain
Mood Issues (anxiety/PMS)
5 Tips to Balance Hormones for Conception Success
If you experience any of these symptoms, you need to start supporting your hormones ASAP with the following recommendations to get your menstrual cycle running normally and healthy again (and ditch your additional symptoms in the process).
1. Eat an Abundance of Nutrient-Rich, Whole Foods
Eating less processed foods and more organic whole foods is a good starting point. Your hormones will love this! Processed foods are often filled with inflammatory oils, artificial ingredients, sugar, and nasty fillers that don’t sit right with your hormones.
Whole foods, on the other hand, provide your body with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that act as cofactors that are needed to carry out hormone production, regulation, and metabolism. If you don’t have optimal nutrient levels, it’s likely that your body doesn’t have the necessary building blocks to maintain healthy hormone levels.
Eating whole foods also helps to:
Combat inflammation which helps with PCOS and leads to healthier eggs. Eat more berries, greens, fatty fish, and walnuts.
Support detoxification of excess estrogens. Cruciferous vegetables, specifically, contain a compound called DIM, that helps the estrogen elimination pathway, which can be extremely beneficial for those struggling with high estrogen levels. These foods include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, spinach, and cabbage.
Manage blood sugar levels. Keeping your blood sugar stable is essential to keeping insulin levels stable as well. Since insulin sensitivity is one of the leading contributors of PCOS, it’s vital to pay attention to your daily blood sugar fluctuations. By pairing high-quality fats (avocado, nuts, seeds) and protein (farm-raised chicken, salmon, eggs) with carbs, you will experience more stable levels throughout the day.
2. Say Goodbye to Toxic Products
Most products on the shelves are filled with endocrine disruptors that play a role in hormonal chaos. Unfortunately, these products include your household cleaners, beauty products, shampoo, perfumes, candles, and air freshers.
These harmful toxins can mimic estrogen hormones, which causes your body to react as if it has too elevated estrogens (aka estrogen dominance symptoms).
Some of my favorite nontoxic products that I use and recommend to my health clients are:
Branch Basics (get $10 off with this link) for household cleaning
Averr Aglow (get 15% off with this link) for clean skincare that truly works
I also will use OSEA & Herbivore Botanical products, too!
Attitude’s hand soap, lotion & body wash
Molly’s Suds dishwashing tablets
ILIA, RMS beauty, Kosas & Mineral Fusion for make-up
Fontana Candle Company
3. Get Your Gut Right
Your gut health can significantly impact your hormonal health. In fact, when gut health is poor, hormonal imbalances can occur, and your thyroid hormones, estrogen, progesterone, insulin, melatonin, cortisol, and other types of hormones are negatively impacted, resulting in fertility challenges.
Bacteria in your gut are responsible for producing and regulating certain hormones, like estrogen. For example, there is a community of bacteria in your gut called the estrobolome. It plays a role in regulating your estrogen levels.
However, if your gut is in rough shape and your gut microbiome doesn’t have adequate levels of those beneficial bacteria, then that job is not carried out, leading to a build-up of estrogen hormones within the body.
Estrogen dominance can lead to irregular cycles which can impact ovulation and lower your chances of successful conception.
If you want to dig more into this, check out my previous blog HERE.
4. Ensure Daily Bowel Movements
Having daily bowel movements can help your body get rid of toxic chemicals and excess hormones. If you’re dealing with constipation, then your body doesn’t have the ability to get rid of harmful toxins in your body.
If excess estrogen can’t be eliminated, for example, it gets reabsorbed back into circulation which can make your symptoms and constipation even worse.
The best thing to do to encourage bowel movements is to stay fully hydrated, eat whole foods and fiber, and consider taking a high-quality magnesium supplement.
5. Learn to Manage Stress
Our lives are stressful to begin with. With fully booked schedules, trying to please everyone, staying connected with friends and family, along with dealing with your never-ending job tasks, it can be a lot most weeks. Then add infertility issues into the mix, and your stress levels can get out of hand, right? I get it.
Unfortunately, stress is a huge contributor to hormonal imbalances and can exacerbate fertility challenges. The issue is that when you’re stressed out, your body prioritizes cortisol production to combat the stress, rather than progesterone.
This leads to low progesterone which is an issue in fertility and pregnancy because your body needs progesterone to prepare the uterus for pregnancy, by thickening the uterine lining and endometrium.
Not to mention, stress lowers progesterone, making your estrogen to progesterone ratio off, also leading to estrogen dominance symptoms.
Balance Hormones for Conception Success with Functional Nutrition Coaching
Are you wanting to start a family this year and want to optimize your hormones and body for optimal conception, healthy pregnancy, and healthy baby?
I’d love to chat with you! Learn about my Functional Fertility Nutrition Coaching services or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the help of functional labs and analysis, we will create a personalized plan that is customized to your body’s unique needs. Your health protocol may include diet, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations, along with genuine support.