Research demonstrates that detoxification can provide a powerful alternative to couples who are preparing to conceive or have been trying to conceive for over a year.*At Amchara we take a holistic approach to fertility through detoxification. Not only do we focus on the body, but we also think that managing your own natural fertility indicators is an excellent tool to provide you with steps to help you with your journey.The body constantly performs a detox as part of its normal function in the body. In the last 50 years we have been exposed to more contaminants than ever before from commercially farmed foods, over use of pharmaceutical drugs, beauty products and pollutants in the environment from both our home and outside. Over time these ‘ toxins’ build up in our bodies and are stored in fat and tissue.
The main organs involved in the detoxification process are the lungs, kidney and liver. The waste is then excreted in skin, lymph, and the colon. However the main ‘ heavy lifting’ in the process is done by the liver. When the liver is overburdened by things like caffeine, poor food choices and pollutants it becomes much more difficult for it to do its job effectively and it becomes impaired. This will then effect your digestion and over time your body will become more deficient in vital nutrients. A detox enables your body to
Rest the stomach | Rest and support the liver | Support and rest the colon
Rehydrate, improve cellular function, eliminate fat soluble ‘ toxins’ in a safe way and therefore supports and ‘reboots’ your system enhancing the bodies ability to heal encouraging optimal reproductive function. Toxins cause oxidative stress that can damage the DNA of the sperm and egg. Numerous studies have shown that there is a very close link between oxidative stress and abnormal sperm and egg health. A study in the American Society for Reproductive Medicine concluded that the slowest less motile sperm came from men who consumed less than 5 fruit and veg a day. A similar study was conducted by the British Fertility organisation Foresight. Foresight worked with the University of Surrey and supported over 300 couples who had previously has fertility issues and miscarriages.
A detox will put your body in an optimum nutritional state prior to pregnancy. If your body is toxic your egg and sperm will be impaired, possibly subjecting the developing embryo to health risks such as early miscarriage, birth defects, low birth weight, lower IQ, and also inheriting allergies or conditions such as eczema or asthma. A mothers nutritional status during and before pregnancy cannot be underestimated. In fact, some researchers now believe the 9 months we spend in utero are the most consequential period of our lives; permanently influencing the wiring of the brain and the function of organs like the heart, liver and pancreas. They also suggest that the conditions we encounter in utero shape everything from our susceptibility to disease, to our appetite and metabolism, to our intelligence and temperament. Given this, a detox in a safe supportive environment suggests preparation for this time will improve your chances of successful conception and a healthy child with less likelihood of future chronic disease.*
Angela is the founder of Fertile Ground Nutrition. She is a Nutritional Therapist and an international expert in Fertility Nutrition. Angela is not resident at retreats but is available for consultations in London and via Skype.
Angela works closely with a number of internationally renowned experts in the field of fertility. She is a regular speaker on the largest free online fertility event; ‘Fertility Question Time’, is a member of the team for Natural Fertility Expert and is part of a global network of practitioners that work around using DNA analysis and epigenetics. She also talked at the largest Fertility online event in 2014 the Fertility Focus Telesummit. As a Nutritional therapist her view and approach is to empower people towards optimum health, often working alongside conventional medicine practitioners in order to ensure the best outcome. She has supported many couples in their fertility journeys.
Many of the men and women treated suffered from reproductive issues such as endometriosis, PCOS and issues around sperm health. Through supporting them through a tailored programme she has helped them to bring their bodies back into balance. Many of them went on from this to conceive naturally and others through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Angela was trained at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London.
Kate is a fertility practitioner, fertility coach, columnist and the founder of the fertility practice ‘Your Fertility Journey’. Kate’s clinical work assists women and couples in optimising their ability to conceive naturally, and has helped many women to achieve a successful pregnancy. Kate is passionate in the belief that a successful fertility journey is not just about the body but involves the mind too. This is where her fertility coaching steps in, supporting women in navigating their journey through fertility treatments or IVF. Kate trained in London and Oxford and writes for various fertility publications on natural fertility and fertility coaching. Private consultations are available but, as per Angela, she is not in resident at our retreats.
A detox will enable the liver to convert fat soluble toxins into water soluble so that the body can eliminate them via urine, faeces or sweat. If toxins are left within the body in a “fat soluble” state, then they end up being stored in tissue, increasing toxins. Your digestive system needs to be enhanced to enable the body to effectively eliminate toxins. Repairing the digestive tract will also mean better absorption of nutrients, which is one of the reasons this approach to detoxing is vital to Fertility. We are exposed to chemicals and toxins, from our foods to our beauty and household products, pollutants in the air and in medications; it’s inevitable as part of the 21st century. A detox will give the liver, one of the hardest working organs in the body that chance to breathe and ‘clean up’. Our liver currently regenerates itself, (one of the benefits of being a human being), however, it can only do this for a certain period of time before it becomes impaired and is less efficient. If your body has a large toxic load; your eggs and sperm will also be toxic; therefore, when you become pregnant, the embryo will start life with toxicity which has many detrimental health effects; for example birth defects, learning difficulties, ADHD or miscarriages.*
How we cope with stress has a huge influence on our ability to conceive. Whether you are trying to conceive naturally or going through IVF. Concentrating on managing stress and increasing positivity will have a major impact on your success. Fertility coaching is a relatively new approach that is becoming more and more popular as women experience the benefit reducing stress and increasing positivity has on their ability to conceive. Fertility coaching helps you to achieve a more positive mind-set and regain a sense of purpose and hope. It can support you along the path towards your ultimate goal and help your dreams become a reality. Many women feel they lose a sense of self whilst trying to conceive. Fertility coaching puts you firmly in the driving seat and empowers you to take control.*
Planning to go ahead with IVF? Detoxing is an excellent way to give your body a boost. Giving yourself 2-4 months before you start IVF can enhance your chance of successful cycles. During IVF the body will undergo a huge chemical burden which is particularly hard on the liver. The liver is one of the organs that is supported via a detox at Amchara.*
PCOS affects 1:10 women in the UK and is defined by having 2 of the following features – cysts that develop on the ovary and are visualised on ultrasound, irregular or lack of ovulation and raised levels of ‘male hormones’ termed androgens in the body. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown however, the development of numerous follicles on the ovary prevent ovulation from occurring naturally. Whilst there is no current cure for PCOS the symptoms can be treated and many women are able to go on to conceive. A woman with PCOS may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
PCOS is associated with raised insulin levels in the body. Raised insulin levels contribute to the increased production of the male hormone testosterone. Carrying extra weight increases the amount of insulin your body produces. For this reason women with PCOS find it difficult to lose weight effectively. However following a recommended nutritional detox programme will help you to lose weight, balance your hormones, reduce some of the symptoms you may experience and help you to conceive.
Having a healthy weight is important for increasing your chances of getting pregnant. The body’s hormonal cycles and ovulation can be disrupted if weight is too low or too high. Insulin resistance and reduce IVF effectiveness in women. It’s important to note that if you are overweight, a 5-10% weight loss can greatly improve fertility chances.*
Our programme is particularly beneficial for helping clients with PCOS. If you allow your body to detox effectively you are giving it a break from eating, hormone elimination and toxicity. If you have insulin sensitivity this puts a huge amount of strain on the body to reach ‘ homeostasis’ or equilibrium and in trying to balance with one or two hormones out of kilter it reaches a state of disease.
PCOS is one of the female reproductive disorders that really seems to benefit from a longer detox. Insulin receptors balance, medication can be reduced and weight loss triggers absent menstrual cycles to return. Coupled with good dietary habits that follow the detox many women will find their ability to conceive is much more achievable. When you arrive in Malta we will take you immediately to St James Hospital for a scan with an ultrasonographer unless you’ve recently had a scan done. When you leave the retreat we take you back to the same hospital and chart any improvement that you have seen in the fortnight of your detox.*
Fibroids are a non-cancerous tumour that grows in or attached to the uterus. It is normal women not to experience any symptoms and often fibroids are picked up on ultrasound scan. However women may experience the following symptoms: Heavy or painful periods Abdominal or back pain Constipation or a frequent need to urinate Pain during sexual intercourse Problems conceiving Miscarriage Fibroids are very common, with more than 40% of women developing fibroids at some stage of their life. The exact cause of fibroids is unknown, however it is linked to the female hormone oestrogen. Frequently medical treatment for fibroids is not required, unless you develop symptoms or you have problems conceiving.
Medical treatment is by treating with drug therapy initially and then if required surgery. As with PCOS we also recommend having the scan above as part of your programme Using a tailored Detox Programme can help to reduce and shrink fibroids down to a manageable level. Detoxification will primarily focus on your two main elimination organs; the liver and colon. Strengthening the liver is the primary goal, as an overworked liver will mean excess oestrogen floating freely in your body. Likewise, an overburdened colon will result in the livers pathway being backed up by, and excess oestrogen will try to leave the body though its key pathway of elimination via the bowel. If this isn’t possible the oestrogen will be reabsorbed back into the body. During a detox the body will be given a ‘break’ from normal processes and as it does this, the colon will get the chance to break down old and stagnant matter in the bowel and a more efficient liver will aid this process.*
Endometriosis is a long-term chronic condition caused by tissue generally found in the uterus migrating to other areas of the pelvis and occasionally other areas of the body. The condition is estimated to affect around two million women in the UK and generally presents when a woman is aged between 25-40 years of age. Women with endometriosis may suffer with the following symptoms: Painful or heavy periods Pain in other areas of the body Lack of energy Depression Problems conceiving. The exact cause of endometriosis is not fully understood. Endometriosis cells behave in the same way as those that line the uterus. Therefore at menstruation as well as the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), shedding and bleeding, so to do the endometrial tissue in other areas of the body. This leads to pain and swelling. Endometriosis impacts on your ability to conceive by damaging the ovaries or fallopian tubes.
There is no known cure for endometriosis however they symptoms and the degree of endometriosis can be managed with pain relieving medication and hormone medication. Surgery to remove patches of endometrial tissue on the ovaries and fallopian tubes can increase your chances of conceiving. Many women who embark on a detox programme will see benefits by using a tailored programme designed to reduce the inflammation that has caused this issue in the first place. The liver’s ability to detoxify is fundamental in balancing hormones. This can be affected by dietary habits and taking pain killers to reduce the pain!
Exposure to environmental toxins, known as Xenoestrogens, are beginning to wreak havoc with hormone function in many species, not just humans. There are many herbs and foods that assist in detoxifying hormones and toxins. These include the brassica family which has a strong effect on phase two liver detoxification pathways, that help to clear oestrogen and reduce oestrogen excess. Also anti inflammatory herbs such as Curcumin/turmeric and antioxidants can provide support in this area. Sometimes endometriosis can be picked up with a scan, and for this reason we would recommend having a scan.*
Trying to conceive can be a very stressful time, especially as the months go by and you start to feel concerned that something may be wrong. Recent research clearly demonstrates how stress can impact on our ability to conceive. This is an area that we are only just being to understand and to truly appreciate the impact the mind-body link has on conception. Whilst often we can’t always remove the stress from our lives, what we can change is how we cope with this stress.
Fertility Coaching equips you with the tools to successfully navigate your fertility journey. Fertility coaching is a relatively new approach that is becoming more and more popular as women experience the benefit reducing stress and increasing positivity has on their ability to conceive. Fertility coaching helps you to achieve a more positive mind-set and regain a sense of purpose and hope. It can support you along the path towards your ultimate goal and help your dreams become a reality. Many women feel they lose a sense of self whilst trying to conceive. Fertility coaching puts you firmly in the driving seat and empowers you to take control.*
Since staying at Amchara, I've become a healthier, brighter and more confident person. I can't thank the team enough for helping me on my journey.Andy Nash -
My experience from entry to exit was outstanding to say the least. Can't wait to return!Samantha Cole -
There aren't enough words to describe the team at Amchara, but here are a few: Helpful, informative, supportive and wonderful!Fozzia Orwell -
Positively overwhelmed by the whole experience! What an amazing place, philosophy and people. Thank you.Helen Phillips -
Amazing in every aspect. Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart.Angelina Colarusso -
The difference in my mental state on arrival to departure, is like night and day. I feel ready to face the world again.Nicola Thomson -
All of the staff were so caring, attentive and knowledgable. The food was amazing, the retreat was impeccable and finally the presentations were inspiring.Roberta Butter -
A different person leaving than on arrival. I have a lot of energy, flatter tummy, brighter skin and a more positive outlook on life. I will definitely be returning.Melissa Lilley -
Thank you for everything! I left having done what I hoped to, and so much more.Vic Hill -
This place is absolutely amazing and I will definitely be booking again very soon! Thank you!Yvonne Corbin -
Just to say a big thank you! The week spent at Amchara has been absolutely tremendous and way beyond my expectations. I wish I had booked a longer stay!Hazel Lewis -