Beauty During IVF, Trying to Conceive and for Optimizing Egg QualityMay 22, 2023
Beauty During IVF, Trying to Conceive and for Optimizing Egg Quality
May 22, 2023
Words by Angela Shaba
Infertility is Really Hard
If you've read any of my other blog posts or follow me on Instagram, you know that I regularly say how difficult IVF and struggling to conceive is. I talk about my struggles and my very long journey with IVF all the time. Mainly so that we can bring awareness to infertility but also that others like me who struggle with infertility don't feel so alone. I didn't have that much support from those around me during my fertility journey, so I learned how to support myself. I used my performance counseling education, background, and education to keep my mindset and emotional well-being during my journey. Now, I work to share what I have learned with others. I don't believe we should be going through this journey alone, and I have the skills and knowledge as a fertility coach to support you while on your journey. Please check out my online course, Optimizing Your Fertility and Egg Quality. The course has fantastic tips and ways to support your emotional and physical well-being during your fertility journey.
One of the things I was super mindful of and enforced daily during my fertility journey was ways to optimize my egg quality and, therefore, my fertility. I want to start by saying that I understand and talk about how we do not control our infertility. We don't create it, and we can't control it. It is a medical diagnosis. Many people share their opinion about my Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) diagnosis and say it is solely due to my advanced maternal age and waiting to have a baby. To those people, I will say they are only a quarter correct in their statement. Yes, my egg quality is poorer because I am of advanced maternal age. As we get older, our egg quality declines, as does our egg count. All of this is part of the DOR diagnosis. What you don't hear about often is how I received my diagnosis in my mid-thirties and was told that my ovaries were older than they should have been at my age. Meaning that even though I was heading into an advanced maternal age area, I was not supposed to have such poor numbers, my egg count and quality were supposed to be better, and I should not have been heading into early menopause. Those things mean you have a medical condition that was always there, just found out about at that age, and would make it extremely difficult to have a child of your own at 30, 35, older or younger. So it is way more complicated than saying you are an older female! Also, why do we have to go there anyway and judge a female for what she has or has not done? I wish people would start understanding that one!
The Fertility Mindset
Since my diagnosis was pretty grim and advanced, I wanted to do everything I could that was in my control to optimize my egg quality. Eating more fertility-friendly foods, getting more sleep, decreasing heavy aerobic exercise and doing fertility yoga instead, taking supplements and vitamins daily, going to fertility acupuncture, and managing my stress, were all things I did to try to optimize my fertility. I figured if I couldn't control my diagnosis, and believe me, I tried, I could try to control what was in my power to control. To me, that also helped with my mindset. I talk a lot about the fertility mindset and the importance of managing the emotions, stress, anxiety, and fear that come with fertility struggles and IVF. The more you can manage your mindset and control your emotions, the more you will feel like yourself during such a challenging time. Also, the more balanced your mindset is, the more your body can do what it needs to do during this time.
The Fertility-Friendly Beauty Routine
I struggled with many things during my fertility journey. One of those things was my beauty routine. I did a ton of research on how products and certain chemicals can be endocrine and hormone disruptors. I learned that using phthalate and paraben-free products would be better for my fertility as these products would not disrupt my hormones. I was trying to regulate my hormones to support healthy egg quality and development. I stopped dying my hair, getting manicures and pedicures, facials, all the fun stuff that makes you feel like you, gives you a little "me time," and can reduce stress.
As the months went on (which turned into years of IVF treatments), I not only missed doing these things for myself, but my skin and hair were screaming for some TLC! IVF medication will also wreak havoc on your entire system, skin, and hair. I didn't want to return to my previous beauty routine activities while undergoing IVF treatments, so I found another solution. I made my own facial scrubs and turned my bathroom into a de-stressor and spa-like atmosphere for my fertility self!
My Own Facial Masks & Scrubs
I started making masks and scrubs using natural ingredients like avocado, lavender, and olive oil. I used pumpkin puree and brown sugar, and lemon juice. I started experimenting and came up with a few masks and scrubs that I liked and used often. I know it isn't the same as going to a spa and getting a facial, or if you are a product junkie like me, using all your favorite products daily, but these scrubs did the trick for me. Below is one of my absolute favorite scrubs I made. I hope you try it and love it as much as I do. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Brown Sugar Scrub
2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree (about half a cup)
4 tablespoons of The Raw Brown Sugar (the more sugar you use the scrubbier the texture will be)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Juice of half of a lemon
Mix everything together in a bowl, and there you go! The result is a fantastic fertility-friendly scrub. The pumpkin will act as a detox agent, making skin feel smooth and glowing. The Brown Sugar will help to exfoliate and make the skin feel soft. The olive oil will hydrate and moisturize, and the lemon gives it a nice smell and helps with dead skin, marks, and spots, so you are again exfoliating and making skin glow. I would put in a mason jar you can purchase here and then put in the fridge to use for a few weeks. After that, just make another batch! Enjoy!
Going through an IVF Cycle? You don't have to do it alone. I can help support you. Check out my online course, Optimizing your Fertility and IVF Cycle. I will run this IVF marathon with you! And remember to follow my Instagram page for more helpful tips!
Stay Fierce. Stay Fiercely Fertile.
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