Research demonstrates that detoxification can be useful for 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, we also think that managing your own natural fertility indicators is an excellent tool to provide you with steps to help you on your journey.
The body constantly performs detoxification through various pathways as part of its normal functions.
In the last fifty years, we have been exposed to more contaminants than ever before from commercially farmed foods, over the 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 via the skin, lymph, and the colon.
However, the main 'heavy lifting’ in the detoxification process is carried out by the liver.
When the liver is overburdened by substances like caffeine, poor food choices and pollutants, it becomes much more difficult for it to do its job effectively and its function can become impaired.
This can then affect your digestion and over time your body can 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
This allows the body to:
Rehydrate, improve cellular function and eliminate fat-soluble toxins in a safe way - therefore supporting and rebooting your system enhancing the body's ability to heal and so encouraging optimal reproductive function.
Toxins cause oxidative stress that can damage the DNA of the sperm and egg.
Numerous studies have shown 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 vegetables 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 had 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.
The importance of a mother's nutritional status before and during pregnancy should not be underestimated.
In fact, some researchers now believe the 9 months we spend in utero are the most important 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.
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.
Amchara Fertility Experts
Angela is the founder of Fertile Ground Nutrition.
She is a Nutritional Therapist and an international expert in Fertility Nutrition.
Whilst Angela is not resident at retreats, she 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 presented 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 founder of the fertility practice ‘Your Fertility Journey’.
Kate’s clinical work assists women and couples in optimising their ability to conceive naturally and she has helped many women to achieve a successful pregnancy.
Kate is passionate in her 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 and IVF.
Kate trained in London and Oxford and writes for various fertility publications on natural fertility and fertility coaching.
Kate offers clients private consultations.
How can detoxing help you?
A detox will enable the liver to convert fat-soluble toxins to 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, 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 an important aspect of enhancing fertility.
We are constantly exposed to chemicals and toxins, from foods to our personal care and household products, pollutants in the air and in medications.
A detox will give the liver, one of the hardest working organs in the body a chance to breathe and ‘clean up’.
Our liver regenerates itself, 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 can also be toxic - when you become pregnant, the embryo is starting life with toxicity which can have many detrimental health effects, for example birth defects, learning difficulties, ADHD or miscarriages.*
Detox your mind as well as your body
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 can have a major impact on your success.
Fertility coaching is a relatively new approach that is becoming increasingly popular as women experience the benefit of reducing stress and increasing positivity has on their ability to conceive.
Fertility coaching helps you to achieve a more positive mindset and regain a sense of purpose and hope.
Many women feel they lose a sense of self whilst sruggling 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.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
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:
- Irregular or no periods
- Difficulty in conceiving (due to irregular or no ovulation)
- Unwanted hair growth
- Weight gain
- Thinning or loss of hair
- Oily skin or acne
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 can find it difficult to lose weight effectively.
However following a recommended nutritional detoxification 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.
Insulin sensitivity 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 can reache a state contributing to the development 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).
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 for women not to experience any symptoms and often fibroids are picked up on an 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 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 through 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 have the chance to break down old and stagnant matter in the bowel - 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 from 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 does the endometrial tissue in other areas of the body.
This leads to pain and swelling.
Endometriosis can impact on your ability to conceive by damaging the ovaries or fallopian tubes.
There is no known cure for endometriosis, however the 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 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.
The next steps
The journey to fertility and revitalising your health can sometimes just be a few simple steps.
We can support you in one of two ways: