I have two decades of clinical experience helping women like YOU get & stay pregnant! I cannot wait to be of service to you on your #TTC journey!
In this video, I answer all of YOUR questions about fertility!
Drop a comment below with your thoughts!
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that I am not a medical doctor. I have been a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 17 years and I will be speaking from my clinical experience helping thousands of women conceive. The office of Aimee E. Raupp, M.S., L.Ac and Aimee Raupp Wellness & Fertility Centers and all personnel associated with the practice do not use social media to convey medical advice. This video will be posted to Aimee’s channels to educate and inspire others on the fertility journey.
SEE TRANSCRIPT BELOW OR CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR THE FULL VIDEO.
Hi, everyone. How are you? Hi. I am coming to you live, and today is a Q&A. Here's how it's going to go down. I'm going to take questions for a half hour. You have to submit your questions in the question box. If you submit it in the comments here, I cannot answer them because it's just not organized for me. You see that little circle with the question mark in it? You're going to tap that, type your question in, fertility-related. Really anything you want to ask me about fertility, you go for it and I'm here. Then, my son might also walk in at some point, so might get a little chaotic, but we'll roll with it. Here comes the questions. I see them. Remember… Hi, everyone. Hi, Karen.
Questions must go in the question box, okay? This is a live Q&A. Anything fertility, ask me anything about fertility, supplements, food, age, the latest research, whatever you want, emotional healing. And put your question in the question box and that's how I'm going to answer it, okay? I'm going to start.
Okay. If you put questions in the comments, Christie, I can't answer them. You have to copy and paste it, put it in the question box, okay? The question box is in the bottom right corner. It's a circle with a question mark in it. Again, Angelica, I'm not going to answer questions in the comments, so please put your questions in the question box, and I'm going to start answering. And I'll repeat that again in about five minutes because people are always coming on. I wonder if I can write something. Can I write something? I don't know. No, cancel. I guess I can't.
Okay. “Should I keep trying to conceive after a miscarriage that was abnormal due to a trisomy?” 100%. 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage and most of the time, they're due to a genetic abnormality. And typically, age doesn't play a super significant role. I think I was reading data last week that it's something like one in 300 pregnancies will end due to a genetic abnormality in women around the age of 35, and then it goes to one in 100 around the age of 40. So it increases, of course, age does play a role in egg quality, but we can do a lot to support our body and how it ages. Age plays a role only because as we age, the pipes get more and more clogged. So if you can hack your body and support your body in its aging process and in its detox process, then age isn't as significant as an indicator.
But just because… And I'm sorry for your loss. I had a loss due to Turner syndrome, which was not a trisomy, but is similarly… And it's like a random thing and it's one in 25,000 or something, 2,500 pregnancies it happens in. Yeah, it's up to you. If you don't feel it in your heart or you've been traumatized by this, then that's your call. But yeah, just because you had one loss with a trisomy doesn't mean that you're going to have another. I hope that answers your question. 19 questions. You guys are rocking it.
Okay, so let me just start from the bottom. Okay. “What is the suggestible dose per day for methyl folate?” I try to say around 1,600 to 1,700 micrograms.
“Thanks for doing this. How much time of Celluma red light on the belly is too much?” I don't recommend a lot of Celluma. I don't think it's harmful and I know some of my peers, who I love and respect, recommend it. I think castor oil packs do about the same, so does acupuncture, for a lot less money, personally. So typically like 20 minutes a day I think is the recommended. If you're going to use the Celluma and you're going to use it on your face and get the benefits there and all that, then 100%. But it's an expensive device to spend $1,000. But if you already have it, 20 minutes a day I think is pretty good. But ask also whoever recommended it.
“Do you suggest myo-inositol for long menstrual cycles?” It's a hard question to answer because there's a million reasons why it could be long, right? If you have PCOS, sure, myo-inositol is really helpful. I also love myo-inositol because it's a powerful antioxidant and it helps manage and regulate blood sugar. So it's not a bad thing to add to your regimen.
“What are some common reasons you see for secondary infertility?” Scar tissue, especially if you had a difficult labor and or a C-section, that's a big reason. Weight changes, like your body is different after that first pregnancy. And so trying to get your body back to a similar state of health for that first pregnancy can be really helpful for women. Autoimmune conditions, so pregnancy does trigger immune responses in the body. And so if there is secondary infertility, I will make sure I dig deep and make sure there are not a lot of kinks in the system that lend me to believe there's autoimmunity going on. Make sure your thyroid has been checked, make sure your vitamin D has been checked. If you're worried about that autoimmune piece, please read my book. Check out my book Egg Quality Diet because that has the list of all the symptoms in there that show us there's inflammation and or autoimmunity going on.
Okay. “Do you suggest any supplements like NAC or L-cystine for people that don't have PCOS or endo?” I don't really recommend L-cystine because my diet is so rich in animal protein and good-quality animal protein that a lot of the amino acids I don't really think we need more of. But NAC I really do from an immune system perspective. So even if it's not endometriosis, if you had an autoimmune condition or some inflammatory symptoms… Again people, if you're asking questions in the comments, I'm not going to answer them. You have to bring your questions to the question box, okay? And I have to cut this exactly at a half hour today just so you know. NAC though I do, especially from an immune system perspective. So it just kind of depends on the case, but not always for endo.
“You previously mentioned functional medicine doctors. What's the best way to search one in my area?” Just write functional medicine doctors. You could also go to the Institute for Functional Medicine, IFM. Many people study there or the School of Applied Functional Medicine. Those are two websites that have databases where you can search practitioners in your area. I'm doing studies at SAFM and so… I'm not on there yet because I only did level one, but there you go. IFM or SAFM.
“AMH related. I know you said it doesn't matter, but is it normal to vary a lot? December it was 0.5, January 1.63, February 0.87. Three different labs.” Yeah, that's the other problem with AMH and it determining your fate, it jumps around like that. AMH is literally your fertility quotient for that month. So for some reason in January, maybe you had more going on in your ovaries than you did in December and it jumps around.
“What blood work do you suggest starting with? Regular cycles, no PMS, some hormonal acne.” So I would do a complete CBC, a complete thyroid panel, that includes thyroid antibodies, vitamin D, a complete iron panel, make sure you're looking at iron, hematocrit, hemoglobin, ferritin. And then if you're getting some hormonal acne and stuff like that, I mean I would just start with my book, Yes, You Can Get Pregnant. Do some of those simple dietary changes and see if things shift and improve. And then if not, I would maybe consider the DUTCH test because I like that for looking at a hormonal stuff. D-U-T-C-H. It's a urine test.
“What do you suggest for short cycles and low progesterone?” So you've really got to work on the front end of the cycle because progesterone comes from the corpus luteum, which is after the follicle ruptures out the egg, it becomes the corpus luteum. So progesterone comes from the follicle and the follicle also houses the egg. The follicle is the most important part of the entire menstrual cycle when it comes to fertility, especially. But really, even if you're not trying to get pregnant because it secretes the progesterone in the luteal phase. So you really want to focus on making sure you're not skipping meals, making sure you're not intermittent fasting, don't go longer than 12 to 14 hours between your last meal and your first meal. Lots of fat. Start your day off with a lot of protein. That's really where I would focus. And the Egg Quality Diet really does map that out for you. It's very macronutrient-balanced specifically for fertility. So that's what I would look at.
In the meantime, you could supplement with progesterone in the luteal phase, but that is a bandaid approach. It's not the long-term fix. Because when progesterone's low then we assume the follicle was not healthy. So then we make an assumption, it's all assumptions that potentially the egg wasn't the best, and that's why we're not fertilizing it and getting pregnant. When progesterone starts to increase naturally that tells me the follicle is getting healthier and healthier, and then that tells me by default that the egg's getting healthier and healthier.
“Period lasts less than a day. Has always been this light. No change. All labs normal, and everyone tells me not to worry, but I don't think this is normal. What do you think?” So again, focus on diet. Food is the best medicine here. All the things I just said about the follicular phase to the previous woman. Don't skip meals, eat lots of fat, have a protein-rich breakfast. Have protein every three hours. Chinese medicine when the periods are light. We do think it has something to do with fertility and especially if you're not getting pregnant because blood is estrogen to us. So you could also get blood work done, see what your day-three estrogen is. If it's low, then that's also another indicator that it is playing a role.
And so things to build blood and estrogen are just like the bone broth and the eggs and beets and greens, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, things of that nature can really help. I would do castor oil packs because that improves uterine and ovarian blood flow, that can help with the healthy flow. Just Google Aimee Raupp and the words castor oil, C-A-S-T-O-R, and you will get the entire blog post with how to do it, when to do it, all the things answered, okay?
Questions, questions, questions. “Love your page.” Thank you. “I was wondering if it's okay to drink matcha every day while trying to conceive.” So how much matcha? One cup of organic caffeinated beverage with caffeine being around 80 to 100 milligrams a day is perfectly fine for fertility. Here's the key though, it's got to be organic. It cannot be on an empty stomach. So when you make your matcha, I would recommend adding fat and some protein like collagen peptides, coconut oil, good-quality full-fat nut milk or coconut milk. Or if you can digest dairy well, then you can do dairy.
“Elevated prolactin, what do you suggest?” I mean it depends on how elevated and have you gotten an MRI to see that you don't have a pituitary adenoma? Because if you have a pituitary adenoma, you got to take medicine and get it treated. If not, we want to think about why is… There's something going on between the brain communication and the rest of the body. And so then I think about nervous system. I think about calming the nervous system, getting the body out of fight or flight. So I would need more information and deeper digging. I always want to say that wrong. I'm answering these as they come in by the way. There are so many questions.
“What is the oldest client you have that worked with that was successfully pregnant with their own eggs?” 48. I'm at 48 as of this year. Two 48 year olds as of this past year, '22 and '23, and we're only in February of '23. And Dr. Murphy, who I'm very close friends with, he's had 50. So I'd go with 50. Karen.
“Can you explain how the castor oil works? Why the itchy wool cloth?” Again, if you go watch my video, I don't make you do the wool cloth.
“Wondering if I can use the Celluma on top of my belly instead.” It does get the area warm, and without touching the oil, sure. But you'll see too. Google Aimee Raupp and castor oil. I think there's nothing wrong with the wool cloth. It's just too many steps, personally. And the castor oil works because it's super invigorating. It really improves circulation and blood flow. So really any heat over castor oil will help. So you could do that. You could massage castor oil into your abdomen and then have the Celluma arched over, so it's not going to touch the oil. Or even put a little towel over your belly and then the Celluma, and that would work. Because it's the heat that helps the castor oil penetrate and do its job. So it's a great question. You can totally do it that way. And I do make a caster oil that people love. It's called Fertility Activating Castor Oil. So I have added essential oils to really warm up that child's palace.
“If my TSH is normal, should I still try to get T3, T4, et cetera tested?” Yes, especially if you have thyroid symptoms, 100%. Because TSH is just one picture. I would get three 3T3, 3T4, thyroid antibodies always tested.
“About to have a lap. How soon after surgery can I start trying to conceive?” I mean it really depends on the extent of what they find. So the surgeon will tell you. It could be six to eight weeks, it could be two to three months. It really just depends on what they find. And if they've done things to your uterus or not, if they found things on the uterus, all of that. So that's a question for your surgeon because I'm not going to be inside you. But sending you love, do castor oil packs to heal and recover.
“Is it safe to use 100% pure cassia and 100% pure henna for hair when trying to conceive?” I don't know the answer to that. I know henna is safe. I don't know what cassia is, so I'm sorry Shannon. I'm sorry. I can't Google right now because I'm on my phone. And so now you guys know when I don't know, I say I don't know.
“Is DHE levels around one 50 reduces the chance a lot with low AMH?” It depends on the labs. So typically, I think the labs go up to about 400 for DHEA, and so 150 is a little low and so you could try a very low dose of DHEA, like five or 10 milligrams of micronized DHEA and that could potentially help things. But I would also really focus on when AMH is low, we always think about it's compromised blood flow to the uterus and the ovaries, the ovaries mainly. So really think about the abdominal [inaudible 00:15:35]. I have a video on how to do that. Think about castor packs, think about acupuncture, think about reducing inflammation in your body, so as blood flow improves, that's really going to help AMH.
And then also watch my video from the other day where the research is out, AMH don't matter. Women with low AMH get pregnant the same as women with regular AMH. So if your doctor tells you something else, fire them because they haven't been reading their research.
“Currently in four days post-FET.” Okay, fingers crossed. Lucky number seven. “We transferred to five day untested [inaudible 00:16:12]. Had a wobble this morning, just feeling no symptoms of implantation, which I know not everyone does.” Oh, but coping tips. First of all, your four days, you shouldn't really feel any symptoms. Love you, but typically not. Implantation is happening, we'll just assume it's happening. I think you be easy on yourself. I think you have a lot invested. You've been doing this… This is your seventh FET, you really want this and so be easy on yourself. Of like it's normal to have anxiety because I'm very invested in this. I really want this baby. I really want this to work. So this is normal. And then talk to the baby. “My anxiety doesn't have to impact you. I'm ready for you. I'm ready to receive you. This home is ready. This family is ready. We are ready. So mommy's just anxious because I love you so much already and I can't wait to meet you.” So just calm yourself, calm yourself, don't judge it. You don't have to be perfect to get pregnant. Okay, sending you so much love.
“I'm on day 45 and still suffering with it daily.” Oh, there's another question before it I'm assuming. Okay, sorry.
“How do you address constipation on quality diet with FODMAP and histamine issues, please?” I mean, so things I think about, you're on day 45, so you're into phase three. So you can do fruit because fruit will give you fiber. You've reintroduced fruit. Magnesium, are you doing the magnesium, the recommended amounts with the Epson salt or the magnesium soaks? That's obviously one thing I would think about. You could try introducing… Designs for Health has a paleo fiber, which I think would be FODMAP-friendly. Again, I can't search all the ingredients right now, but I do know it was recommended to someone in my practice who was on low FODMAP by one of their functional medicine doctors. So I'm making the assumption, but that might be something to try introducing more fiber.
Are you drinking enough? Are you eating enough? When I see digestive issues, I typically then see a food diary and someone will say, “Oh, I'm not eating everything on the menu plan because it's just too much food, I can't eat it.” And so then it could be that. It could be too much fat. You might want to cut back on the fat, maybe cut the fat back to 40%. So cut out one serving or half a serving of one of the fats in the diet. It could be that. You could try digestive enzymes, betaine HCL by Thorne could be helpful. Castor oil packs can be super helpful with constipation. And maybe even go higher on magnesium, take upwards of like 500 to 750 of magnesium glycinate, see if that helps.
Okay, sorry, I'm just scrolling. I'm trying to answer in order that they came in. “Thoughts on surfing in cold New York winter water using a thick wetsuit and proper neoprene boots? Is being in the cold water for an hour bad for fertility?” Not if you are not cold. Not if you're not cold. If you're warm in that, I think you're okay.
“Trying to thicken lining, doing acupuncture, castor oil packs, exercise. Anything else I can do?” Beets, bone broth, Chinese herbs, blackstrap molasses, like a tablespoon a day. And then also you want to think about absorption because sometimes you're not thickening… Because you're not absorbing, so I would throw in some digestive enzymes. I like betaine HCL. I also like wobenzym. And make sure you're not over exercising or over sweating. And if you want more information on exercise and fertility, just Google Aimee Raupp exercise.
“Why is two glasses of red wine per day bad?” Well, that's a good question. I think first of all, if you drink red wine, it needs to be organic. Any wine, any alcoholic beverage, make it organic because the pesticide load is heavy. Second, two glasses of red wine a day is 14 drinks a week, which I do think is hitting the max. I try to keep my patients, in an ideal world, three to five, five to seven max a week. And why is that? The sugar, which can be inflammatory. The sugar can throw off your blood sugar. The sugar in wine, you typically have it at night, can throw off your sleep, which can impact your egg quality. So I think for those reasons.
Some people though, I had one girl, 44, 45 create two healthy, beautiful embryos and she drinks about the same, but she switched to all-organic. I don't know, everybody processes it differently. So again, my spiritual teacher would say, “If you are going to drink alcohol, drink it from a place of life is good and this brings me more joy. This makes me feel higher on life. If you're drinking alcohol to cope. I think then there's other things we should look into.” I've been surrounded by addiction in my life, and I'm not saying that two drinks a week is addictions, so I'm just honoring the question, that there's other things to look at too, of what is my why? When I have a drink, I always think about what is my why behind this? Does it taste good? Does it feel good? Am I enjoying the company I'm doing it with? I really want to like milk the experience, if you will.
Okay. “I'm 45, turning 46. I just had a failed IVF.” I'm sorry. “My AMH is 0.96.” Okay, so numbers look good. “Doctor suggests donor eggs. I don't want to do donor eggs. I want to try IVF again. Should I?” Yes, just do a low dose or a mini IVF, whatever meds they gave you, cut them in half at the minimum because we do know high dose… So that's the problem. As you're 45, you have decent numbers, very good numbers for a 45-year-old, so you probably got a high-dose medicated cycle. I mean I'm making assumptions. I don't know your case but when those numbers look good, they go after it. They try to get as many eggs as they can. 45 year old eggs can't handle it. So you have to go lower on the meds. I would do a mini-IVF or even a natural IVF, as little meds as possible. You could also consider ovarian PRP. My good friend Dr. Murphy does it in New York City. There's a bunch of doctors now in the US that are doing it. It's called ovarian PRP, platelet-rich plasma. And that can help I improve quality. My Egg Quality Diet, I would follow that and then I would just go and do it again. But lower dose meds, you have to do lower dose meds.
“Should I take inositol for FET prep if I don't have PCOS? Had a blighted ovum after the first time seeing a positive.” I'm sorry, my love. “Started prep for another transfer soon, and using all your advice from the book.” Like I said, inositol 2, it's a powerful antioxidant. It helps with blood sugar. If you get hangry, if you have some blood sugar imbalances, it can't hurt. I would do like 2000 milligrams a day. But there's other antioxidants that could also be beneficial, right? NAD is a great one. CoQ10 I a great one. There's so many good ones out there. So if you want to though, sure. I do like myo-inositol a lot for quality.
“Any advice on managing anxiety? Pregnant again after miscarriage.” I mean, I think similar to what I said. So sorry about your loss, it sucks. What I said to the other woman who's having doubts in her two-week wait is just be easy on yourself. It's normal to feel anxious, right? You just had a miscarriage. So my good friend, Lia Avellino, who is an amazing trauma therapist, she always says, “Call it what it is. Oh, that anxiety, that's my trauma. Why? Oh, because I had a miscarriage and I'm pregnant again and I really want to grow my family. I really want this baby.” And so this anxiety is actually normal and it's situational. Obviously, I'm a huge fan of trauma therapy and talk therapy. I have the utmost respect for psychologists and their training. So that's another thing. Support groups are great. Just talking about it, asking questions, asking for support. You're doing all the right things. I'm an acupuncturist. I'm a huge fan of acupuncture for anxiety. But be easy on yourself.
Okay guys, three minutes. Just letting you know. Three-minute mark.
“Gluten antibodies.” I'm not sure what the question is. Yeah, we do have them. I don't see it if it's a two-part question. Gluten antibodies exist. I'm not sure what the question is though.
“Thanks for talking about egg quality for high FSH and low AMH. Do you have data on women with FSH over 100 and near undetectable AMH? I have three six-day embryos frozen from age 43. Any thoughts? Much appreciated.” I mean, so I would look into why. Why is the FSH high? FSH comes from the brain. Are you menstruating? When was that taken? Was it taken on a cycle day two or three? Is that the only FSH you've had? Have you had others? What else is going on? When I see FSH high, I really think about nervous system stuff and safety in the body. And AMH is going to be low if FSH is that high because you're not recruiting when FSH is that high, so the ovaries are not working. So it's very common to see that scenario. So then it's why and what can we do to create a sense of safety to regulate the nervous system that will lower the FSH.
And if you're not menstruating, we then focus on restoring a menstrual cycle, and FSH will come down. I just did a post on TikTok and I shared it on my stories here. A woman I think she wrote to me, and I think her FSH was in the 30s or 40s and got pregnant naturally with a healthy child. So there's not a lot of data showing FSH impacts quality. The data that is out there though is, I think some of it goes up to FSH of a 40, but they're small studies still. However, we don't know the average FSH of a woman just walking around who gets pregnant in her 40s. So there's something to be said about that. So I don't know if it's a total answer, but you're making embryos, so there's that.
I'm going to do one more question guys, because… Okay. “On a whim, I bought calf liver, but later realized it's not grass-fed. Do I still eat it? Sometimes I find it hard to decide where to draw the line.” Yeah, I agree. I mean, I think if you want to experiment with a recipe and you have it, and let's not waste it. I always say, “I respect your money, I respect your resources.” So go, cook it, make a fun recipe with it. And then next time, if you like it, buy it organic, buy it grass-fed, okay? Be easy on yourself. So remember, the guy was saying before with James and the Doritos and the Skittles. I mean we were renting a car yesterday, we got to Florida and the car rental place was a fucking disaster. And there was Tootsie Rolls and little Snickers bars and I find them in a corner just binging on this stuff and I'm like, “Oh, my God.”
And all I have to say to myself is, “He's resilient, he's strong, he's healthy.” And the same thing for me. I'm sure certain restaurants that I've been to, or whatever, when I eat out and I'm like, “Okay, this probably is not organic meat. I'm strong, I'm healthy, I'm resilient. My body can handle these one-off exposures.” It's the consistency and frequency, guys. Consistency and frequency is what makes the difference. So on either side, the random exposure's not a big deal. So go make the liver have a fun recipe, make a pâté with it. And then also try not to think about the fact that it's not grass-fed. Because as I was saying before, my spiritual teacher would say, “If you do something and feel good about it's a lot better for you than if you do something and feel bad about it.” That's where I want your focus to be.
And with that, I'm going to go, because I have a hard stop today at a half hour. I love you, guys. I love doing these Q&As. Just so you know, they happen every single month and it's just such a great way to engage with you all and support you all in your journey. And I'm here, I'm cheering for you always. Here's to your baby. And I'm sending you baby dust. Baby dust, baby dust, baby dust. Mwah.
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