I'm Sarah — podcaster helping you confidently transform your life with action and purpose.
For many women, getting pregnant can be a challenging and emotional journey.
When fertility experts say that you can’t conceive, it can feel like a crushing blow to your hopes and dreams of starting a family. But, it’s important to remember that there are many ways to improve your chances of getting pregnant, even if it seems impossible.
Which is why I’m so excited to have been able to have a conversation with Monica Cox around how we can approach this challenge.
Monica is a top Holistic Functional Fertility Coach and Infertility Warrior. She’s also the face behind Finding Fertility, where she shows you how to get and stay pregnant when doctors say you can’t. Using the combination of her qualifications as a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner & Psych-K Facilitator, she supports women in finding the root cause of their fertility issues to become the conscious mama they were born to be! She dealt with years of unexplained infertility, failed IVF’s & survived several miscarriages before becoming an IVF mom & getting pregnant naturally, even though the doctors said there was nothing she could do to improve her situation.
Which is incredible news – because that means there are plenty of things that you can do to increase your fertility! With the right nutrition, lifestyle changes, and support system in place, increasing your fertility is absolutely possible.
As an individual, you know your body best. You are the expert when it comes to how you feel, what your body is capable of, and what your unique needs are.
While doctors and other healthcare providers are an important source of information and support, it’s important to remember that their advice is not always the final word. This is exactly what Monica experienced. The doctors she went to see told her there was nothing she could do. That her egg quality was too low.
Your body may respond differently to treatments or interventions than someone else’s, and what works for one person may not work for you. Trusting your intuition and advocating for yourself when seeking medical care can help ensure that you receive the care and support that is right for you. Remember, you are your own best advocate and your voice matters in your healthcare decisions.
We’ve come a really long way in medicine and the fact that IVF exists is incredible!
That said, improving your fertility starts with understanding your body and your hormones. Hormones play a critical role in regulating your menstrual cycle and preparing your body for pregnancy. When your hormones are out of balance, it can be difficult to conceive. However, by working with a healthcare provider who specializes in hormone health, you can identify any imbalances and develop a plan to restore harmony to your body.
When doctors told Monica to just keep trying IVF, she made a shift and decided to see a functional medicine practitioner. She realized she was dealing with a silent autoimmune issue and that her gut health was really bad. IVF alone wasn’t going to bring her the result she wanted, but this new path opened her eyes to one of the biggest healing opportunities she could take at the time.
One of the most powerful things you can do to improve your fertility is to focus on your diet and lifestyle.
Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of whole foods, healthy fats, and protein can help to support your hormone health and improve your overall health. And sometimes even healthy food can be a trigger that throws off your hormones and creates imbalance in your gut health. Monica realized in this process that things like tomatoes and nightshades, even though they are “healthy”, weren’t something her body could tolerate. That on top of the rancid oils and other additives in our food, were keeping her body in a disrupted state, not creating an environment that could support a baby.
It’s certainly true that getting regular exercise, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep can all help to improve your fertility.
But did you know that the hardcore exercise we’re used to seeing may not be what you need, especially when trying to get pregnant?
We have been hard sold that hardcore exercise is the best thing invented for us, and it’s what makes us healthy. But what people don’t realize is that when you do a lot of hardcore exercise, you’re overworking your adrenals and as a result sends people into adrenal fatigue. So it’s actually like slowing down.
You need movement in your life. Absolutely. But training really hard is probably one of the worst things you can do for overall general health and fertility. This is why you see female athletes lose their periods. It’s because their hormones go wonky.
When it comes to fertility issues, Monica shares what people haven’t been taught is that it’s almost like a long term quiet creep up to infertility. You’re not born with it. It’s the way you’ve been living and eating in your lifestyle throughout the years.
Maybe you’ve had bigger warning signs than people. Maybe you’ve had none. And it’s not really until you start trying to conceive and you start having issues that you realize you have fertility issues.
But here’s the thing. Fertility issues didn’t just magically appear the moment you started trying to conceive. You’re unraveling years of buildup.
Then on top of that, your fertility doesn’t work on its own. Your pituitary, your penile hypothalamus, your thyroid, your adrenals, your liver, your gallbladder, and your gut, amongst other things, control your fertility.
They are the ones in control.
And when things upstream are overworked, downstream is gonna look a little dry. And the fact of the matter is you don’t need your fertility to survive. So if your body’s in survival mode, it’s gonna be one of the first things that shuts down.
When all of your other organs are working in overdrive, your endocrine system starts to break down. and then the high inflammation happens, which is where you see low egg quality or a lot of miscarriage issues because your egg is one of the biggest cells in your body.
It’s all due to cellular health. So if your cellular health in other areas that you can see on a day-to-day basis isn’t great, it’s highly likely that your egg, one of your biggest cells, is gonna be pretty low.
One of the most interesting things about fertility is it’s not just a matter of “fixing” fertility. It’s about restoring the other areas in your body that are actually controlling your fertility.
And when it comes to the mental and emotional side, it’s often what is causing or contributing at least to fertility issues.
Once you consider it, it makes so much sense – especially for women.
You’re already running what feels like a million thoughts a second all the time. You’re likely trying to do everything and the stress, worry and trauma that we store inside our bodies can function a little like poison coming down the stream when you’re talking about the core areas.
Because you’ve been conditioned or it’s the way you’ve lived to deal with hard times. That you need to control it.
And Monica shares that the perfectionism and the doing, (which is why a lot of people go to medical treatment and keep doing these medical treatments) makes them feel like they’re doing something towards the fertility issues.
But it’s not addressing the root cause, and so part of her job now is to actually undo the fertility treatment and the mental and emotional stress that’s happened in those few years first, and then it’s to tackle what actually contributed to the fertility issues in the first place.
A healing from within.
Intuition is hands down, the most important thing to pay attention to because you literally have all the answers inside of you.
If you tune in, slow down and are able to listen, your body will tell you.
Monica shared that with hindsight, every time she didn’t listen, it caused a lot of heartache and a lot of extra money. She recalled some instances where she intuitively knew that there was something going on internally and moved through a whole other round of IVF without taking a step back and getting some needed testing. And as a result it failed. And then when she demanded the testing after that, there it was, that was her answer.
If you can get rid of all the external factors that we’ve been taught to hyper-focus on and get back into your body and listen, it will give you the right answer. And while this just comes with practice, it’s about having that inner strength to say that if it doesn’t feel right to you, it’s probably not right for you.
The good news is that fertility is all due to cellular health. And we have the power to impact our cellular health in a positive way.
Getting pregnant is possible even if experts say you can’t.
Improving your chances of fertility and healing your hormones is one of the most powerful things you can do to improve your life and increase your happiness. By working with a healthcare provider who specializes in hormone health, focusing on your diet and lifestyle, chatting with a fertility coach, and exploring medical interventions if necessary, you can increase your chances of conceiving and starting a family.
There’s so much to learn from Monica Cox and her experiences, so press play for more advice from an inspirational Holistic Functional Fertility Coach that you can put to work in your life right now.
Be sure to follow Monica on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok at @findingfertility.
Anything written or said about health and diet are my opinions through my own and my guests’ experiences and learnings. What worked for us may not work for you. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or dietician, and all medical advice should be gotten from a qualified professional.
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