Five Fertility Secrets I Wish I Had Known Sooner

Health

If you’re battling infertility, chances are you’re scouring the internet, studying countless fertility books and seeking advice from a thousand-and-one experts. Why? 

Because once you decide you want a baby, the instinct to procreate dominates your life. It’s all you can think about. And especially for women, it quickly becomes an obsession.

I’ve been there too. Although, I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was sixteen I was hopeful about my chances of falling pregnant. I thought when the time was right it would happen. I’ve always been conscientious about my health. I ate well. Exercised religiously. And took time out to relax.

So, when my husband and I started trying to conceive and nothing happened, my exhaustive education on natural fertility began. Each month I discovered something new, hoping it would be the missing piece of the puzzle I needed to solve. Three years later we finally conceived our baby boy. Without a doubt, seeing those two pink lines and the moment he was born were the happiest of my life.

I will never know if there was one miraculous remedy that lead to my natural pregnancy. But, looking back on my journey, in addition to obvious therapies like acupuncture, I can see there were a few secrets I wished I’d learned sooner. Little known tips I discovered through years of perseverance.

And if they help one mama-to-be shorten her journey to babyhood I’m privileged to be able to share them.

1. DETOXIFY YOUR REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS

Obtained by pressing the seeds of the castor oil plant, castor oil has been used to aid healing for thousands of years. Applying a warm a castor oil pack is easy, relaxing, inexpensive and benefits three systems within your abdomen:

  1. The Lymphatic system: responsible for removing waste from cells in our body, the lymphatic system, relies on movement through exercise, as it doesn’t have a pump like the circulatory system. This is one reason a sedentary lifestyle leads to illness. Castor oil packs are another way to stimulate the lymphatic system, helping cleanse the reproductive organs and promote healing of damaged tissues where the pack is applied.
  2. The Circulatory System: castor oil packs promote circulation bringing fresh oxygenated, nutrient rich blood to the reproductive organs. Healthy circulation promotes healing, scar tissue repair and breakdown of old adhesions.
  3. The Liver: your liver removes hormones, drugs, and other biologically active molecules from the blood. If there are excess toxins and hormones overwhelming the liver, they may be stored, in the liver and fat. This can lead to hormonal imbalance which may impair fertility. Castor oil packs can help detoxify the liver.

So, are you keen to start using a castor oil pack today? I loved it and used it as an excuse to lie on the couch, relax and meditate for half an hour (and now I’m writing this post, I’m reminded to start again).

So here’s what you’ll need:

  • One flannel cloth (without colours as the castor oil will make it run)
  • One bottle of castor oil
  • Plastic wrap cut one to two inches larger than the flannel (I often didn’t use this)
  • Hot water bottle
  • Container with lid
  • Old clothes and sheets as castor oil stains clothing and bedding

You can buy all the items separately or there are kits available online, like this one, making it easy to get started quickly.

Follow the instructions in the kit but here are the basics. Soak the flannel in castor oil until it is saturated. Place it over your lower abdomen, cover it with the plastic sheet and apply the hot water bottle. Cover with a towel, lay back and relax for 30-45 minutes. Remove the pack and clean your tummy. Store the pack in a container in the fridge and reuse the same flannel up to 30 times.

Use the castor oil pack daily during the follicular stage (from the end of your period until ovulation). It isn’t safe to use if you’re pregnant or menstruating.

2. INCREASE BLOOD FLOW TO YOUR UTERUS 

One simple exercise you can do at home, with your partner, is called femoral massage. It increases blood flow through the reproductive organs which helps stimulate ovulation. It can be done twice daily during the follicular part of your cycle (from the end of your period until ovulation). Don’t perform this exercise if you have your period or think you may be pregnant.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Find the crease between your upper thigh and abdomen (along your panty line).
  2. Using your fingertips, slowly work your way along and locate the femoral artery which you will feel pulsing.
  3. Press down deeply into the artery until you feel the pulse stop.
  4. Hold for 30-45 seconds allowing the blood flow to gather in the uterus and ovaries.
  5. Release the pressure and natural blood flow will resume. You’ll feel a warm rush as the blood returns down your leg.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.
  7. And then gently massage your belly in clockwise rotations nourishing the uterus and ovaries.

Repeat the exercise up to three times twice daily preceding ovulation. Dr Randine Lewis, author of one of my favourite fertility books, The Infertility Cure, has a wonderful video on her site which shows you exactly how to do it. Click on this link to watch the video.


3. NOURISH EARLY PREGNANCY 

During our three year fertility journey I experienced 2-3 months where I suspect I miscarried an early pregnancy. Having endometriosis means I’m at risk of being both estrogen dominant and relatively low in progesterone, which is essential in holding a pregnancy and nourishing a developing embryo.

Progesterone maintains the lining of the uterus making it possible for a newly fertilized egg to attach and survive. It also improves fertility by making cervical mucus accessible to sperm and prevents the mother’s immune system rejecting the embryo.

I worked with my Naturopathic Doctor to check my hormone levels and started using natural progesterone cream from ovulation (Day 14) through until the first day of my period. I used it for three months before falling pregnant. Once I was pregnant I continued using it under the guidance of my naturopath throughout the first trimester to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Topically applied natural progesterone cream, as opposed to oral progesterone, is the most effective way to balance progesterone levels. It’s important to check the cream you use is U.S.P grade and that it doesn’t contain mineral oil which can be estrogenic. Natural progesterone cream can be especially beneficial for women with endometriosis and PCOS.

Here is a helpful video by Hethir Rodriguez, Natural Fertility Practitioner, on the use of natural progesterone cream for fertility.

4. RELEASE EMOTIONAL BLOCKS 

The subconscious mind is unbelievably powerful and if you’re facing infertility you need to have it on your side. Similar to a filing system, the subconscious mind stores our experiences, thoughts and emotions for future use. Most of the time it helps, but it may also hinder.

Top athletes are famous for tapping into the power of the subconscious. By imagining scoring the winning goal they improve their chances of success.

And by imagining ourselves falling pregnant, we too, can improve our chances of conception.

In the Mind Body Fertility Connection, James Schwartz, explains how subconscious beliefs may block conception. He suggests old emotional injuries can create obstacles, which may disrupt a healthy reproductive system. Studies suggest hypnosis may increase chances of conception for women undergoing IVF by up to 50%.

I saw a clinical hypnotherapist, specializing in fertility, for six sessions and it was a game changer. It helped me tackle subconscious blocks, helping me feel more in control and pulling me out of a dark place back into the light.

If clinical hypnotherapy isn’t possible for you, Circle and Bloom have a wonderful series of audio hypnosis tracks specific to each day of your cycle, which I can highly recommend. I listened to these while I had acupuncture and found them both relaxing and empowering. Whatever stage of your fertility journey you’re on I highly recommend some form of hypnosis.

5. BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND  

This can be a tough, lonely road. We beat ourselves up and get caught in endless spirals of negative self talk. We blame ourselves and feel inadequate. We ask, why me? 

So, I urge you to protect yourself from the trap of self depreciation. Your body is capable of miracles and one day, in the not to distant future, it will give you the greatest gift of your life. It will nourish your baby and prove you are powerful beyond belief. Talk to yourself as if you are talking to your best friend.

What would you say to her if she were going through your struggles?

Research shows infertility causes the same levels of anxiety and depression in women as cancer, heart disease and HIV+ status. So, don’t underestimate what you’re going through. Don’t belittle it but also don’t surrender yourself, don’t become a victim.

Be kind to yourself. And to your marriage. Give yourself a break whenever you can. If you need a change of scene, go away for a weekend. Have a massage. If you’re on a strict diet but just need a piece of cake, have it. My acupuncturist once said to me, “It matters what you do most of the time, not what you do sometimes”. Not only is it true but being kind to ourselves helps us stay the course.

I’m writing an eBook all about NATURAL FERTILITY. Sign up to be notified as soon as it’s released!

WHEN YOU’RE GOING THROUGH HELL KEEP GOING

The greatest secret is YOU. As impossible as this journey may seem at times you will fall pregnant because YOU will find a way. You won’t stop until you do and you’ll be a better parent because of it. You’ll appreciate your baby beyond belief and the struggles of parenthood will be easier for you as your child will be a constant reminder that miracles are possible.

I wish you all the best on your journey and please reach out if you need some support.

In the meantime be kind to yourself. Love yourself. Be patient and amazing things will happen.

COMMENTS
  • September 27, 2016
    Priti

    Hi there….

    Very useful information. I am preparing for FET and thin utrine lining is my problem. Sometime i feel that something is going wrong with me.

    • September 30, 2016
      Tracy Gillett

      Thank you Priti and wishing you all the luck and baby dust in the world. I am sure it will happen for you. There’s nothing wrong with you – life just throws us these curveballs sometimes, your child is worth waiting for. Best of luck, xx

  • October 31, 2016
    TY

    Thank you for the useful information

    • October 31, 2016
      Tracy Gillett

      My pleasure TY and wishing you all the best on your journey!

  • November 05, 2016
    Jai

    Hi
    The article is very motivating , supporting and perfectly explained how one goes through this battle. I’m glad I saw this, thank you so much!!!
    I never commented in articles before ,you made me. GOD bless you!

    • November 05, 2016
      Tracy Gillett

      My pleasure Jai – I’m so happy it helped and wishing you all the best on your journey. You’ll get there! Wishing you baby dust, xx

  • November 14, 2016

    Your experience with these natural methods is a revealing one. Increasing blood flow to the uterus, specifically, was an interesting recommendation.

  • November 14, 2016
    Rema

    Hi dear,
    I have been trying the castor oil pack, red raspberry tea as well as Serrapeptase pills and so faith. Hopefully it works. It’s my 3month of natural remedies.

  • December 01, 2016
    Dianne

    Thank you for this great information. I intend on implementing a c-pack within the next few days, to release these fibroids and have a healthy and vibrant womb.

  • December 08, 2016
    Nicole

    I’m so thankful I came across this. I have been dealing with infertility for 11 years. I can’t count how many times I have blame myself for it or think it will never happen. This really motivates me to be kind to myself and to think positive and to remember it can happen to me.

    • December 08, 2016
      Tracy Gillett

      I’m so happy you found it helpful Nicole and I feel for you – you’re amazing to have been going through this for so long. I understand and am sending you baby dust! Yes, being kind to myself, thinking of myself as my best friend, really helped turn things around for me mentally and emotionally. I’m sure it will happen for you when you’re least expecting which I know is cliche but so often seems to be true. Big love xx

  • December 18, 2016
    Kristin

    I also had three years of infertility. One area I didn’t think of was alignment. I started physical therapy for constant back pain. My body and pelvis were out of alignment. One month prior to being discharged, I found out I was pregnant. I specifically asked if realignment made the difference as other treatments hadn’t been successful. She answered yes, that there are PT therapists who specifically work with women for infertility. So thankful for the insight!

    • December 30, 2016
      Tracy Gillett

      For sure Kristin and thank you for sharing your experience. I had osteopathy and chiro treatments when we were TTC. There are nerves which travel from the spinal cord to the uterus etc so makes sense that being in alignment will help. Thanks again and congrats on your pregnancy!

  • December 30, 2016
    Michele

    Hi Tracy.
    Thank you for taking the time to share your story and the very helpful tips. I was wondering about the time you said the castor oil pack should be done. Can you please explain why you recommended from end of period till ovulation? I saw a post from Hethir Rodriguez where she said it should be done from ovulation till the next period. Thanks

    • December 30, 2016
      Tracy Gillett

      My pleasure Michele. My naturopath suggested to do it then and my understanding is that its not safe to do a castor oil pack when you may be pregnant which is from ovulation until the next period. Heather is an expert and I LOVE her site – I referred to it a lot when I was trying to conceive. I just read her page on castor oil and she says NOT to do it after ovulation so same as my suggestion, easy to mix up. Here’s what she said:

      Precautions: Castor oil should not be taken internally. It should not be applied to broken skin. It should not be used during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or during menstruation. If you are actively trying to conceive, discontinue use after ovulation has occurred.

      Here’s the link to her page explaining exactly how to do a castor oil pack.

      http://natural-fertility-info.com/castor-oil-therapy

      They are so powerful and I must start doing them again for endometriosis. Great to relax and meditate at the same time. Wishing you all the luck in the world xx

  • January 22, 2017
    Nicole

    Any thoughts on the castor oil packs during stimulating for IVF? I use them and truly believe they have made the difference in my ovarian cysts I’ve been getting! We will be starting an IVF cycle in about 8 weeks and just wondering if I should continue?

    • January 26, 2017
      Tracy Gillett

      Hi Nicole – I can’t think of a reason why you couldn’t use them but IVF is such an emotional, physical and financial investment I’d check with your fertility specialist or with a naturopath. I only ever did them prior to ovulation so in the first half of my cycle. I think they are so powerful too. Wishing you baby dust and all the luck in the world xx

  • February 02, 2017
    Beata

    Hello Tracy.
    Thank you so much for sharing. Pls what type of castor oil can I use for the therapy. I only found Bell’s castor oil 70ml ,can I use that? Or can you recommend one to use? I can’t easily access the kit where I am. thanks

    • February 04, 2017
      Tracy Gillett

      Hi Beata, My pleasure. I can’t remember what brand I used – I don’t think its important. I just got an organic castor oil from my health store. If you’re concerned you could ask your health store and tell them what you’re using it for but I think any brand should be fine. Best of luck!

  • February 25, 2017
    Prerna

    In what time of day we should do castor oil pack and on empty stomach or after 2 hours of eating

    • February 25, 2017
      Tracy Gillett

      I’m sorry Prerna – I can’t give medical advice and can only talk about my experience. I used to do them in the evenings just because it was a relaxing time to do it. Wishing you good luck.

  • March 28, 2017
    Samaira

    Hey Tracy

    Thank u so much for the motivating story you shared.
    Can you explain use of natural progestrone cream as i am also suffering with endometriosis in my left ovary.
    I have been to thousands of experts but still not successful.
    I really hope this may help.

    Samaira

  • April 06, 2017
    Faith

    Really excited about getting pregnant, so I’ve been browsing and reading all natural remedies to prepare. Came across this blog and this article has simply blown me away. Thank you for sharing Tracy. Blessings to all out there who are trying to conceive.

    • April 15, 2017
      Tracy Gillett

      My pleasure Faith and I hope some of the tips help. It is such an amazing journey to motherhood even if it takes a little longer than most. Wishing you all the best!

  • April 25, 2017

    Great post, and thank you for sharing! This post will be helpful to so many going through the same thing!

  • April 28, 2017
    Sam

    Dear Tracy,

    I would like to thank you for sharing these advices. I was TTC for more than 3y, tried everything I could find from natural remedies, had 2 unsuccessful IUI and just before the 3rd IUI I came across your website. For 3weeks I was doing combination of castor oil pack + fertility massage. I also found some nice relaxation music and tried to relax as much as possible. First day the whole process lasted about 45min.. I enjoyed so much in the following days, that it turned out to be more than 1.5h in the last days (before IUI).

    Now I am in the second trimester and sharing this “secret” wherever I can! Thank you once more and all the best!!

  • May 23, 2017
    pat

    Thank Tracy. Pls can I use normal towel or any type of clothes instead of flannels. Pls is plastic sheet the same as nylon sheet.

  • June 10, 2017
    Jen

    I have read this article many times since I started this journey a year ago. When I get sad, I read it again for hope that I will be a Mom. Thank you for sharing. My heart goes out to all struggling. ❤️

    • August 12, 2017
      Nadine

      I feel for all of the lovely should-be mothers out there…I had a brain tumour that was found to be the cause of 5 miscarriages. When it was treated, I conceived naturally yet again and the result was a perfect amazing little boy. I offer my story because I was 47 when I gave birth to my son. It can happen, only one good egg and one good swimmer need to meet at the right time! I saw a naturopath who advised me to take 5mg (not mcg) of folic acid daily and 75mg Apirin from ovulation until the next period came or if pregnant , until week 38, all was ok’d by my doctor. I am not giving advice, just mentioning what I had been instructed. Every good wish for the best result to all so wishing x x x

  • July 06, 2017
    Elaine

    Thank you so much for sharing. This was really helpful. Towards the end, I found myself smiling.

    • July 06, 2017
      Tracy Gillett

      My pleasure and I’m so happy it helped. You’ll get there…sending you loads of baby dust! xx

  • August 12, 2017
    Nadine

    Hello Tracy, may I just mention another point that my naturopath had stressed- it was that her greatest life wish that all women/ girls would NEVER use tampons, ESPECIALLY those trying to conceive. She likened it to plugging a porous bath – the fluid ( old blood that is being shed and blocking the plug hole causes a backwash effect and will ” clog” the uterine layers( I’m not being too technical on purpose but that’s the gist ) ) . Also, most tampons are made from chlorine bleached cotton / fibres which is not good to be sat against a cervix either. I have never used tampons since that advice was given. Yes pads aren’t ideal but better to cope with that than potential health issues. Just a thought. Best regards, Nadine xx

  • August 24, 2017
    Livia

    Hi Tracy! Do you know why it is not good to use castor oil packs during menstruation? I was given the pack supplies as a gift to help with menstruation pain (which is a common use of the packs), but have not yet used it because I am worried about the side effects of using it during menstruation. Do you know how it could negatively affect the ability to conceive or a resource where I could learn about it?

  • August 31, 2017
    Deborah

    Hi, when you re-use your castor oil pack from the fridge – do you need to warm it first or wait until its at room temp?

    Kind regards,
    Deborah.

  • September 25, 2017
    Sky

    Hello,

    Thank you so much for sharing. I’m suffering from ovarian failure, TTC since 5 years with no result. Your message gives hope, and wonder if the ways you mentioned above are also suitable for my case.

    Thank you very much.

  • September 28, 2017
    Shitu. Esther

    This is information is personally important to me. Thank so much for sharing this to us. Jah bless.

  • October 03, 2017
    Lily

    Hi ladies! I just wanted to thank you Tracy for this wonderful post! I finally got pregnant with our son after religiously using castor oil pack for just 3 months and tried femoral massage as well . It’s a dream come true for me and my husband, we tried for 5 years, nothing worked. I can’t thank you enough. We are still filled with awe.. God bless!

  • October 12, 2017
    Nicole

    Thank you for this inspiring article, and insightful info! I’ve been going through fertility challenges for over 3 years, having 3 miscarriages, and your article was just what I needed to read today. Thank you!

  • October 12, 2017
    Medinah

    Thanks so much for this vital information i hope it works for me and wishing u all the very best….cheers

  • November 28, 2017
    Amanda Gring

    Thank you for the tips!! I too found out at age 16 that have childrens would be close to impossible due to severe to moderate endometriosis. My husband and I underwent Ivf where we were blessed 2 baby girls. After 6 years later we have not been able to conceive naturally I’m now left with one tube and one ovary and battling not having a thyroid as well. But he has hope that it’ll happen and so after reading this it’s worth a try!

  • January 23, 2018
    Nomso

    May God help me through this your article. I love this. Going to try it.

  • March 17, 2018
    loveness

    Thanks Tracy
    I have been battling for infertility for the past 10 years. Was diagnosed that on one ovary there is one follicle that is very small and not ogrowing and on the other there is nothing and blocked with adhesions. Have started this c-pack today. Waiting for results now.

    • April 12, 2018
      Pranay

      How do you feel loveness? I am thinking to start this for my father who has small bowel obstructions due to adhesions….please let me know how you feel. thanks much. Get well soon!

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