When Nikol asked me to write a guest post about infertility and endometriosis, I wasn’t quite
sure what to say in so few words. For anyone who’s had trouble in the baby-making department,
there’s always too much to say about health, stress, finances, relationships, and the loss of the
feeling of something sacred. But this is my own story, and one I’m passionate about spreading
because it proves that even the most stubborn bodies can eventually carry a child … If you give
it everything, it needs.
First off, my name is Katie, and I’m a recovering endo-sister. That’s what we often refer to
ourselves as in the endometriosis world: endo-sister, endo-warrior, endo-strong. We have to,
really, because this incredible community of women is facing seemingly impossible odds – an
illness of chronic, debilitating pain, often causing infertility, often requiring recurring (poorly
done) surgeries, with one big, bad tag line: No Cure. We have to label ourselves “strong” so we
don’t fall apart with the weight of it all.
My fertility journey never involved IVF or other medical fertility interventions, but at the same
time I dealt with a body that was unable (more unwilling, I think) to get pregnant for over 2
years. The amazing thing is: eventually I did, and the pregnancy so far has been a relative
breeze. It’s a story that involved a lot of deep nutritional work that is very different than the
“fertility diets” we often see around the net. It was the first time in my life I learned I needed to
eat as much as possible to heal my nutritional deficiencies – of the right foods of course – and
move better so that blood actually made its way down to my pelvis.
This journey had another side effect, it actually healed my endometriosis completely. After 8
years of excruciating pain, 2 surgeries, a successful business down the drain, and lots of
sadness and isolation … The clouds lifted. Without any specialized surgery, my endo pain
eventually faded away, as did all of my other symptoms (like my falling apart joints, debilitating
fatigue, enormous bloating, and muscle wasting). It was such a miracle I felt like ET had healed
me with his finger. Yet, in reality, there was no miracle. This was a real, calculated protocol that
healed me, and is the reason I’m doing what I am today to help women with no hope get back
on their feet. I like to say you may not be able to cure endometriosis, but you can heal it.
Of course, many people dealing with fertility troubles don’t have endometriosis, and if this is you
don’t worry, this post isn’t endo specific by any means. How I eventually achieved a natural
pregnancy after 2+ years is a story that should offer ideas to many women of all walks of life to
help conceive the miracle baby we all so want. What I learned, and now am helping other
women do as a Nutritional Therapist, is that the entire body is connected, and by healing the
deficiencies, the cracks, and the weaknesses, we can actually create warrior bodies from our
previously ailing shells. And these bodies, now strong, relaxed, and filled to the brim with
nutrients, are finally ready to conceive.
If you want to read all about the 4 factors that healed my endo and how I achieved fertility, my
entire site at www.healendo.com is dedicated to just that or follow me on Instagram. In the meantime, I tried to condense
lessons learned from my fertility journey into these 7 tips to help everyone, no matter where you
are on your fertility journey.
1) Understand what infertility looks like
Funny enough, when we’re trying to get pregnant we can often overlook our own body’s signs of
fertility or, if they’re not present, what we can refer to as signs of infertility. A perfect example is
cervical fluid, which should be clear, sticky, and somewhat dripping around your peak ovulation
days. This is referred to as EWCM (egg white cervical mucous), and if you don’t have it, your
body is sending you a major sign of infertility (i.e., that it’s not ready for pregnancy).
Another sign of infertility is spotting in the days leading up to your period, which is most often
caused by a progesterone deficiency. Because there’s not enough progesterone to build up the
uterine lining, it starts to shed prematurely. That means even if there’s a fertilized egg ready to
implant, there’s no bed for it to land on, and no pregnancy occurs.
Of course, there are other issues as well. If you have severe PMS, it’s a sign of a hormonal
imbalance that can directly affect conception. Another subtle sign might be that you don’t feel
particularly sexual around ovulation time, which is evolutions way of nudging you towards your
man during peak fertility days.
There are quick-fixes for many of these issues: use Pre-Seed lubricant to mimic the EWCM
you’re supposed to have, or use progesterone cream to stop the pre-menstrual spotting. These
might be quick fixes for some but, if your body is as depleted as mine was, you should instead
view these signs as a symptom of a body out of balance and not yet ready for pregnancy.
But don’t worry! All of these issues can easily be addressed through deep nutritional work, and
often stress reduction. Indeed I dealt with all of them, yet completely fixed them in due time and
could put the progesterone cream aside. If you understand these signs from your body as
signals it deficient in something (or many things) then you can do the footwork to give it what it
needs so that it’s ready to carry a child. And, as you fix these holes in your life, you’ll notice a
direct impact on your fertility signs.
Remember, infertility is not a life sentence. It’s more of a guiding force of biology that can be
mended with the right balance of inputs. Which is why you should…
2) Find your cracks, then mend them
I so wish I could here list the 10 foods that will get you pregnant, but the truth is there is no
magic pill that works for everyone. No two bodies are the same, even if they grew up next door
to each other or heck, even if they’re sisters. This is why one woman’s journey to fertility will be
totally different from another woman’s, including types of fertility diets, supplements, exercise,
etc. Some women, for example, can clear up infertility by cutting out all excess carbohydrates
(yes, even fruit) and teaching their bodies to burn fat as fuel. Others will take a lot more work,
healing nutritional deficiencies, balancing hormones, fixing the gut. Some women need to move
more, some need to exercise less intensely, some need to simply cut their sitting time in half to
start to bring blood and nutrients back to the pelvis.
It all depends on your own body, genetics, and lifestyle! So don’t give up if Martha got pregnant
after eating more vegetables and you’re still stuck in a holding pattern no matter how many
salads you eat. Honestly, your issue could be not enough fat and cholesterol (the precursor to
all sex hormones)! That’s why following Martha’s diet will not only not get you pregnant, but
could even make it harder in the long run. Often there’s a real, very unique key to each
individual case of infertility needed to unlock the core of that fertility issue, you just need to
follow the clues to find it.
What are the clues? If you have PCOS, it’s definitely blood sugar control. If you have heartburn,
acid reflux, eczema, skin issues, bloating, it’s probably related to digestion. If you have a lot
going on all-the-mother-f*n time it could be way too much stress. If you’re like me, it could be,
like, 10 different big things. The goal is to check in with your own body, find your own cracks,
and mend them.
Even better, work with a specialist who can help you see your cracks and work with you to mend
them so your more quickly conception ready! Never underestimate the power of a specialist. It
took me 2 years to heal my fertility on my own, but if I had worked with a Nutritional Therapist at
the beginning, I bet it would have been 1/4 of the time.
3) Create your own Lumahai
There’s a saying here on the Kaua`i that, when someone gets pregnant, they must have been
swimming in the Lumahai river. This river is mellow, beautiful, cold, and connects straight to the
ocean like a fertility oasis. It’s just a saying but carries the obvious connotation that a body in
relaxation – soft and sensual and languid – wants to carry a child.
How can you create a Lumahai river no matter where you are? Sometime’s it’s as simple as
slowing down (or heck, stopping altogether), rather than doing more … Which can be harder
than it sounds. I see a lot of women, either dealing with infertility or not, who keep adding “stuff”
to their to-do lists to be a successful, capable, 21st-century woman: keeping their jobs at full
speed, trying to keep off the excess pounds, worrying about body image, finances, extra
curricular’s, keeping a nice house, fashion, staying on top of all the responsibilities, and now
infertility?! For these women that often means adding, even more, to supposedly help infertility,
like chiropractic, meditation, yoga. More upon more upon more into an already hectic
If this is you, ask yourself if you’re okay with not being #1 for a while, or at least this vision you
have of what #1 looks like. To calm down the proverbial “lions” chasing you at every step, it’s
best to cut back on everything: on work, on doing stuff, organizing that closet this weekend, on
doing high-intensity exercise, on worrying about your thighs, on making your birthday party
“Pinterest perfect”. Even potentially on doing that extra yoga class or learning to meditate or
taking that infertility class. Sometimes you just have to STOP.
I see many tourists come to Kauai wound up as tight as yo-yos without even realizing it … even
the yogi’s! Yet, they all seem to slowly relax over the course of their vacations (doing absolutely
nothing… there’s really nothing to do on Kaua`i but chill) into dramatically different people.
That’s what you want to do, relax the yo-yo, no matter where you are. This may involve yoga
and massage or it may just be you cutting the cords on all negligible activities/thoughts you
don’t need in your life right now.
For a moment love yourself truly, your strengths and your weaknesses, your softness instead of
your abs, your nurturing side rather than your go-get-um attitude. Imagine the Lumahai river and
be that beautiful Kaua`i goddess swimming in it, shedding the excess worries that really, once
you get down to it, are often more trivial than they seem.
4) Cut out ALL coffee and ALL alcohol (do I need to mention cigarettes?)
This one is plain and simple, and no matter who you are you can benefit from this very specific
tool. I remember researching how caffeine affects fertility, and I was always satisfied when I
found the fertility sites that say no more than 2 cups of coffee/day is okay, which gave me
comfort in my 1-2 cup/day addiction. But, if you have a sensitive body (which you do if you’re
struggling to conceive) cut the crap. Indeed I finally did this in totality the month I finally
conceived, and I wasn’t even drinking either in excess by any means.
That’s not to say this will be your silver bullet as well, but for me it was one of my proverbial
“lions,” causing my body undue anxiety without me realizing it. Come on, you can do this, you’d
have to anyways once you got pregnant. Cutting coffee by some estimates can increase your
chances of conception as much as IVF. As for alcohol, it takes a big toll on your liver which you
need to keep in tip-top shape for a healthy conception and pregnancy.
Can’t handle the idea of life without coffee or alcohol? Well there you go, you found one of your
cracks! Figure out why. For example, if it’s because you have no energy, your adrenals might be
burnt out, you have too high-stress levels or nutritional deficiencies. Or, if you feel you need
alcohol to socialize, perhaps it’s time to find some friends you can spend quality time with
without feeling the need to booze. Remember, follow your own clues to uncover the source of
5) Make sure you’re digesting your food
This sounds obvious, but if you’re not digesting your food, it doesn’t matter what you’re putting in it.
Even the most expensive cold-pressed fish oils, organic veggies, grass-fed liver will go to waste
if you’re not producing enough stomach acid to break them down or have a properly functioning
liver and gallbladder to assimilate the fats. I recommend working with Nutritional Therapist to
help you see just how well your digestion is functioning, or if you want to take matters into your
own hands you can consider doing a GAPS style diet for 30 days to calm down any internal
inflammation you may have.
Oh, and don’t underestimate this step. You can very easily be stuffed, yet starved, and a nutrient-starved
body will prioritize keeping you alive long before it allows for another mini to come into
6) Don’t define yourself by infertility
Your mental powers are akin to Obi Wan’s, whether you believe it or not. Not sure? Ok, then
repeat to yourself from morning to dusk “nobody likes me” and see how you feel at sunset:
pretty lousy and alone I’ll bet! (PS don’t actually do that). See, that’s what repeating the word
“infertility” to yourself does as well. It tells your mind exactly what you are, and if you’re telling it
it’s infertile, guess what? Yup, it’s not going to think of itself as a buxom, baby-making machine,
that’s for sure.
I see this a lot now, though, women starting IG accounts and blogs about their infertility. I’m not
against anyone who decides to share this journey with the world, not at all, it’s simply the
wording the concerns me. I recommend that any woman who has started to refer to herself as
“infertile” quickly delete that word and insert a new phrase. Try something like “on a fertility
journey” or “mending my fertility.” Like I said, there are often real reasons your body isn’t getting
pregnant, and infertility is the symptom, rather than the root cause. Focusing on infertility
itself, month after month, will get you nowhere if you don’t follow the clues to why you’re
experiencing this symptom.
If you have trouble doing this on your own, there’s a cool meditation program called “Circle and
Bloom” that offers short 10-15 minute daily meditations for each day of your cycle to help put
your mind in that fertile state, a state that truly and honestly believes you can get pregnant. If
you’re having a hard time staying positive, this is a great method to help!
7) It takes 3 months, you too hubby!
It takes three months for an egg to fully mature, just the same as it takes for sperm to fully
develop. Interesting huh?! That means what you guys did three months ago affects the health of
your egg and sperm now. That’s why fertility prep plans are usually 3 months long because it
gives the perfect amount of time for your little donations to meet, greet, and make a baby. That’s
why it’s extra important to commit to three whole months of womb and sperm care before you
get down 😉
If you’ve either been trying for a long time or are planning on starting, I would recommend taking
a 3-month hiatus to build up both of your bodies. And truly build them up! It’s easy for women, I
think, who’ve been following “diets” for so many years to see a typical “fertility diet” as another
strict list of foods to cut out. Nope, I want to see you add them all in. I want to see you eating lots
and lots of healthy fats (grass fed butter, avocado oil, olive oil, flax oil, etc.), quality grass-fed
proteins, cold water fish, pastured eggs plus as many yolks as you can, organic veggies, and
raw (yes raw) milk.
If you want more information about all these foods and why they’re included in the nutrition task
force for your womb and sperm, check out my list under the “Foods” section of my site. They’re
As an added bonus, building yourself up nutritionally now will equal less trouble with your
pregnancy. We fertility-challenged don’t think about the pregnancy until it finally hits, and it
definitely hit some of my friends reeeeeally hard. Like morning sickness every day until birth.
Talk about awful! Did you know you can prevent this through consumption of a properly
prepared, nutrient-dense diet before pregnancy? My whole life I was a hormonal wreck, but
My whole life I was a hormonal wreck, but
since I prepared my body with an optimal diet before conception, I haven’t had a speck of
morning sickness, nausea, heartburn, indigestion, pain, insomnia, excess hunger/craving, or
other ailments that often accompany pregnancies. It could be luck … or it could be the half
pound of grass-fed liver I eat every week. Just saying 😉