Improving Uterine Health for Fertility, Conception and Implantation

Improving Uterine Health for Fertility, Conception and Implantation

One of the miracles of the human body is that every cell renews over time and is replaced by healthy new cells. This gives us the opportunity to work toward changing our fertility issues by nourishing and taking care of our bodies now, so that those new cells have the best chance possible to be vibrant and healthy!

In our Improve Egg Health Guide you have learned ways to nourish and support healthy eggs, but did you know it is also just as important to have a healthy uterus for that egg to implant? Many women say that they can get pregnant, “but the egg just won’t stick”. Or, “the doctor says that my uterus is not healthy enough for implantation.” Well, we have compiled a guide to improving your uterine health. Many of these natural remedies may be familiar to you, but after reading this guide you may look at them in a whole new way. This is what is so wonderful about natural remedies; many of them have the ability to cross over and heal many different parts of our bodies or have multiple healing actions.

The Purpose of the Uterus

The uterus is intended to be the home of our developing baby. It is one of the most amazing organs in the female body. It is about 7cm long and 5cm wide at the top and 2.5cm at the bottom. The uterus is made up of 3 layers. The perimetrium is the outermost layer of the uterus; in comparison to the other layers it is relatively thin. The myometrium is the middle layer. Within this myometrium are three layers of smooth muscle arranged in spiral, circular and longitudinal muscle patterns. The endometrium is the inner mucosal lining. It has two layers. The stratum functionale contains the excretory glands and is shed as menses during menstruation. It is then built-up again by stimulation of the ovaries releasing hormones. The deeper layer that resides next to the myometrium is vascular (vessels that carry fluids) and serves to regenerate the stratum functionale after each menstruation ends.

Factors That May Cause the Uterus to Function Improperly

The uterus is constantly working to provide us with the best and first home for our developing baby. Because the menstrual cycle is a complex symphony of communication and actions, anything that disrupts the function of the communication or physical make-up of our reproductive system may cause the uterus to not function properly.

Sedentary Lifestyle
Leading an inactive lifestyle with little to no exercise creates a situation of stagnation of blood flow to our uterus and other reproductive organs. The main artery that supplies blood to our legs also supplies blood to our uterus, ovaries and vagina. If we sit around a lot, especially if we have a desk job, the blood flow to our uterus may be compromised. This is also not a good situation if we have fertility issues pertaining to our uterus, especially if there is scar tissue or adhesions present. Not moving this area of our body enough can contribute to scar tissue and adhesions forming. Doctors going in for surgery in this area of the body have reported scar tissue and adhesions attaching the uterus or ovaries to other areas of the body such as the bladder or other organs. This can be very painful and dangerous.

Sedentary lifestyle also contributes directly to weak muscles of the uterus.

Uterine Fibroids
Uterine Fibroids often form in the layers of the uterus, causing painful periods or dysfunction of the menstural cycle from slight to serious. Some women carry to term with uterine fibroids present, while others struggle with getting the embryo to implant.

Scar Tissue
Scar tissue in the uterus can form for a variety of reasons that lead back to some kind of trauma to the uterus. Some of these reasons include:

  • Abortion
  • D&C after miscarriage
  • Cesarean section
  • Intrauterine Device (IUD)
  • Abdominal Surgery in the uterus or near by
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) caused by Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)
  • Endometriosis

Endometriosis
Endometriosis is when the tissues of the endometrium lining of the uterus grow outside of the uterus. In women with endometriosis the displaced tissues function and are influenced by hormones just as a normal endometrium would. This means that these displaced tissues go through the same cycle that any endometrium would; the tissues build up as the body approaches ovulation, then begin to break down when ovulation does not occur and then the displaced tissues bleed during menses. Endometriosis attaches to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel, bladder, ligaments or other areas in the abdominal cavity. Rarely the endometrial cells will attach to other areas in the body including the lungs and nasal cavity.

Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalance contributes to or may play a key role in a variety of fertility issues that may affect the uterus. PCOS, Uterine Fibroids and Endometriosis are just some of the more serious ways hormonal imbalance may contribute to uterine dysfunction. If our hormones are not balanced we may have an irregular menstrual cycle or irregularities in the menstrual cycle such as Absent Period, short cycles, long heavy cycles, ect.

In the case of irregular menstruation, there is a chance that the uterus is not able to fully empty its contents each month. A uterus that is not stimulated to shed the endometrium, or sheds the endometrium inadequately each month, may become atrophied. This means the muscles lose their tone and strength. If the mucosa lining known as the stratum functional is not stimulated to secrete mucous and build up the endometrium, then the uterus is not lubricated and may become “dry” and weak. You can see why this would not be the best environment to house an embryo. The endometrium needs proper hormonal balance to be signaled to grow to a proper size to house and nourish the embryo until the placenta is developed enough to take over.

As I said before, the menstrual cycle is a complex symphony of communication and actions; anything that disrupts the function of the communication or physical make-up of our reproductive system may cause the uterus to not function properly. This includes hormonal balance.

Tipped Uterus
The normal positioning of the uterus should be straight up and down (vertical). In some cases a woman’s uterus may become tipped backward or forward.

This may be caused by stretching of the ligaments after childbirth, scarring and adhesions from endometriosis or uterine fibroids and improper development of the position of the uterus. A misplaced or tipped uterus may cause pain, irregular menstruation, urinary tract infections, difficulties using tampons as well as pain during intercourse.

How to Naturally Improve Uterine Health

Video: How to Improve Uterine Health

Note: These ideas are for general overall uterine health. If you have a specific condition such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids please also see our pages for those specific conditions.

Exercise

This should be one of the first steps in improving any type of health issue, including improving uterine health. Walking and Fertility Yoga are two of the best ways to promote circulation and improve strength and flexibility of the muscles surrounding the uterus.

Fertility Cleansing

The Fertility Cleanse may be a great way to create proper hormonal balance through cleansing and nourishing the liver. The liver helps to filter toxins from the body including excess hormones, that may be contributing to hormonal imbalance. The liver plays a key role in hormonal balance. The liver cleanse phase gently works with your liver to remove excess hormones and environmental toxins, while nourishing and regenerating the liver cells.

Fertility Cleansing also has a uterine cleanse phase. In some instances the uterus is not able to empty it’s entire contents every menstrual cycle. This phase of the cleanse uses specific herbs and nutrients that support the uterus to cleanse of old contents and stagnant blood, while reducing inflammation, promoting circulation as well as having a tonic effect on the uterus.

Self Fertility Massage

Self Fertility Massage may be one of the easiest and most cost effective ways you can improve your uterine health. It can be done from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Self Fertility Massage™ is a series of massage techniques that are used to help support reproductive health, the menstrual cycle, and your fertility.

Ways Self Fertility Massage Improves Uterine Health

  • Increases circulation to the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes.
  • Promotes hormonal balance by strengthening the hormonal feedback loop.
  • Helps the uterus to rid itself of old stagnant blood and tissues.
  • Helps to reposition a tilted uterus.
  • Increases endorphins which help reduce pain associated with uterine issues.
  • Brings fresh oxygenated blood to the uterus.
  • Aids the uterus in getting rid of blood clots.
  • Helps to strengthen the uterine muscles.

Castor Oil Therapy

A Castor Oil Pack is a cloth soaked in castor oil which is placed on the skin to enhance circulation and promote healing of the tissues and organs underneath the skin. A castor oil pack applied over the uterus helps to promote cleansing and increase circulation to the uterine tissues, in order to improve function and health of the uterus. This therapy is complementary to Self Fertility Massage and Radiant Womb therapeutic massage oil. Castor oil packs are a great place to create a healthy foundation for uterine health.

Radiant Womb Herbal Fertility Massage Oil

Radiant Womb is a therapeutic massage oil designed to help support reproductive health. Infused with medicinal herbs and therapeutic essential oils, Radiant Womb can be used during Self Fertility Massage or applied directly to the lower abdomen, ankles and feet to support the reproductive system. This massage oil softens the tissues, promote circulation to the uterus, while aiding in tone of the uterine muscles.

L-Arginine

L-Arginine promotes synthesis of Nitric Oxide (NO). Nitric Oxide is naturally produced by the body and is important for blood dilation, increases blood flow to the uterus, ovaries and genitals. L-Arginine promotes a healthy environment for implantation.

Herbs for Uterine Health

Dong Quai

Dong Quai tonifies and strengthens the uterus by regulating hormonal control, improving uterine tone, and improving the timing of the menstrual cycle. In traditional Chinese medicine Dong Quai is referred to as a blood tonic as it has a general effect on circulation. It has also been shown to improve red blood cell counts. It is traditionally used for situations of stagnation (PCOS, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and fibroids) as it increases the blood flow to the reproductive system reducing congestion and pain. The increased circulation also helps to strengthen and balance the uterus. In rat studies it has been show to help build the uterus lining. Dong Quai also has a relaxing effect on the uterus.

*This herb is best used by women with pale to absent menstrual flow, as it has a slight blood thinning effect and may not be a good choice for women with heavy menstrual cycles.

Red Raspberry Leaf

Red raspberry leaf is a great nutritive, being high in vitamins and minerals as well as an easily absorbed form of calcium. It is also a wonderful uterine tonic. This is a great herb for women preparing for pregnancy and has been shown to be a great help in the efficiency of the uterus during labor. It also helps to reduce excessive bleeding during and after childbirth. This herb is considered to be one of the safest for pregnancy and pregnancy preparation. It should not be used in the 1st trimester if their is a history of uterine or implantation weakness that is contributing to recurrent miscarriage. In those cases it may be best to use this herb in preparation for pregnancy, then begun again after the 1st trimester is over.

General suggested usage: 4-8 mL, liquid extract 3 x’s a day, or 3 cups infusion a day.

FertiliCare Phase 1 & 2 Monthly Liquid Herbal Program

This liquid herbal blend contains a great combination of herbs for uterine health. It contains 4 important and key herbs for uterine health; Rehmannia, Dong Quai, Damiana, and Crampbark. FertiliCare works with the natural rhythm of the female menstrual cycle to improve uterine health and promote hormonal balance in preparation for pregnancy. Since we have already discussed Dong Quai here is a little information on the other 3 herbs:

Rehmannia: Rehmannia has been used for hundreds of years to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus, reducing any sort of uterine pain or spasm. Rehmannia is also extremely nourishing to the blood for a healthy uterine lining.

Damiana: Damiana helps to encourage circulation and blood supply to the uterus.

Crampbark: This herb promotes a calm, relaxed and healthy uterus. One of the best herbs to promote proper function and efficiency of the uterus.

FertiliCare Phase 1 & 2 also supports hormonal balance, regulation of the entire menstrual cycle and libido. Learn more about FertiliCare Phase 1 & 3 here…

Three Month Uterine Health Plan

If you are wanting to improve your overall uterine health, below is a simple 3 month long guide to increasing circulation to the uterus, toning the muscles of the uterus, toning and stretching tissues and muscles surrounding the reproductive organs as well as promoting hormonal balance. It may be best to work toward improving your uterine health at least 3-6 months prior to trying to conceive. If you are implementing any of these natural therapies while you are actively trying to conceive, only use them from the time after your period ends up to ovulation, in case you become pregnant. Walking and yoga are fine to continue all month long, stop doing yoga if you are on your period.

*Remember if you have specific fertility issues that require other natural therapies, please refer to those specific guides. For example if you have scar tissue or adhesions in your uterus you may want to learn how Systemic Enzyme Therapy may help dissolve and break-down scar tissue. This guide is for general uterine health.

Month 1

1. Natural Fertility Diet- be sure to include your 8 glasses of water
2. Exercise: Walk at least 5 times a week for 30 minutes, do Fertility Yoga at least 2-3 times a week.
3. Fertility Cleanse
4. Self Fertility Massage, at least 4-5 times a week
5. Castor Oil Pack, before Self Fertility Massage

Month 2

1. Natural Fertility Diet- be sure to include your 8 glasses of water
2. Exercise/Walk/Fertility Yoga
3. FertiliCare Phase 1 & 2
4. Self Fertility Massage
5. Castor Oil Packs
6. L-Arginine

Month 3

1. Natural Fertility Diet- be sure to include your 8 glasses of water
2. Exercise/Walk/Fertility Yoga
3. FertiliCare Phase 1 & 2
4. Self Fertility Massage
5. Radiant Womb Massage Oil, daily
6. L-Arginine


References:
1. S. Weed, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, Ash Tree Publising, 1986
2. M. Van De Graaff, Stuart Ira Fox, Karne M. Lafleur: Synopsis of Human Anatomy & Physiology, Wm. C Brown Publishers, 1997
3. Aviva Romm, Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health, Churchill Livingstone, 2010
4. www.americanpregnancy.org/womenshealth/tippeduterus.html

Comments

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[-] 16 Comments
  1. Hi,
    I am a 36 year old cervical cancer survivor, 8 years cancer free! I have all of my reproductive organs intact. Recently we were trying to conceive going through IVF with a surrogate. The first time was unsuccessful and now the surrogate has become pregnant with her husband without planning for it. I’ve been reading Hethir’s research and talking with another herbalist, and I am wondering if it is possible to reverse or heal my own infertility? I currently do not have any regular periods but I do still ovulate. Could I benefit from a fertility cleanse? Any help or suggestions would be appreciated, Thanks!

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Michelle!

      First, congratulations! I am so happy you are cancer free!

      There can be any number of reasons one does not have a period from nutritional deficiencies and hormone imbalance, to carrying too much or too little weight, extreme or lack of exercise and even travel. It certainly is helpful to know what has caused this for you to know where to start.

      The goal of our programs is to support the body in re-learning balance and/or supporting balance when fertility issues are present. The great part about herbs, nutritional supplements and natural therapies is that they often work wonders in doing this given commitment to dietary and lifestyle change is made as well. Natural therapies can also be used alongside any type of treatment options or programs you are considering, which may greatly help to improve outcome.

      Consider learning more about amenorrhea and natural support for How To Get Your Period Back. It may also be helpful to work one on one with our fertility herbalist through a Fertility Consultation. This process will give our fertility herbalists a clear holistic perspective on your situation to analyze and assess properly, and to help her see what it will take to properly bring your body back into balance.

      I wish you well and much success!

  2. Hi,
    I am in Nairobi Kenya.How can I acess your products.Do you have an opening in Africa?

  3. I have been taking vitex, maca, dong quai, evening primrose oil for a month now because I have a challenge to conceive (3 years), due to blocked fallopian tube and hormonal imbalance. I have missed my period by 4 days, can this mean I have conceived already?

    thank you

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear TK,

      I do hope so, but there is no way of me knowing this for you. You will have to take a pregnancy test or speak with your healthcare provider to know for sure.

      If you are not pregnant, some women do experience cycle shifts when they first start taking herbs that support hormone balance. These shifts often work themselves out within 1-3 cycles of use.

      I also want to share more information about fallopian tube health for you to be as educated as possible as you work to support your reproductive system health.

      Take care!

  4. I m trying to conceive since 6 years but not successful yet.Can you guide me how do I start natural fertility methods ?

    • Hi Ekta,

      I am sorry to hear you have been struggling for so long. Trying for 6 years unsuccessfully is a clear sign you and your male partner need to get in to a doctor to get some infertility testing done…hormone panel, possibly HSG (to detect blocked fallopian tubes) and for him, a sperm count/health test.

      In the mean time, be sure you both are taking a good whole food multivitamin. I also urge you to learn our Top 5 Tips for Your Natural Fertility Plan. This article will help you learn what to do to get started on a natural fertility plan.

      We also offer fertility consultations if you are desiring personalized guidance. Wishing you all the best!

  5. Update 2014 – We are back! We have been away for a while and we sure have missed all of your wonderful questions and thoughts on our articles. Moving forward, one of our staff herbalists will be here to respond to comments! We look forward to connecting with our readers once again!

  6. article is very good and informative. i like it.

  7. hi i have a question or concern,i have been practicing the self fertility massage on my self but just until ovulation since im trying 2 concive but im using the electric heating pad is it ok or do i have 2 use the heating bag? and also how long do i have 2 practice the fertility massage since im trying to concive & only do the massage until ovulation & restart after my cycle has finished? thanks sincerly jessica in st.croix.

    • Hi Jessica,

      Some people are concerned of EMF’s (electromagnetic frequency) which in some cases has been linked cancer or other health related issues. We have suggested using heating pads as they keep the heat consistent for the entire therapy, but if you want to avoid EMF’s it would be best to use a hot water bottle or rice heating pack, ect. Those choices are also cheaper than heating pads.

      Self Fertility Massage is best done for at least 3 days a week prior to ovulation if you are trying to conceive, up until you conceive. This therapy is fine to do for many months!

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  8. i just did laparoscopy for endometrosis and am on medication,i am using mifepristone tablet and i have to use it for five month before trying to concive,the drug stop my monthly period,can i be taking the red raspberry leaf tea?where can i get it am in china thanks

    • Hi Mercy,

      Red Raspberry leaf has no know adverse indications with medications that I know of and if you are not trying to conceive because this medication prevents that it may be ok as a nutritive tonic to consume this tea. It is always best to get the approval of your doctor first. Because you live in China you will probably have to purchase it online, we are hoping to carry it in our Natural Fertility Shop soon. I know that China carries a lot of traditional Chinese herbs, maybe ask a local herbalist if they could purchase some for you.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  9. I just started working with a Maya massage practitioner to address my infertility. She recommended that I avoid castor oil packs as well as fertility massage on the lower abdomen for the second half of my cycle (approx day 14+) during the time in which I might be pregnant. I did not see this precaution on the Fertility massage DVD or on the info Hethir provided about castor oil packs.

    Although I realize the above point may reflect a difference in philosophy (without sufficient data to support either side), there is alot of medical research indicating the dangers of EMF’s emitted by electric heating blankets/pads on a developing fetus. I would suggest you caution your members against using electric heating pads in conjunction with the castor oil packs.

    • Hi Renee,

      I have notified Hethir of your comment. We do not recommend using the Self Fertility Massage or Castor Oil packs after ovulation if you are actively trying to conceive in case you become pregnant. We will update this information on the instructions for these therapies. I apologize for any oversight.

      As for your caution against heating pads, I understand and hear what you are saying and have begun a discussion with Hethir about it. I personally like to use a hot water bottle or rice/barley or millet heating pack as an alternative.

      Thank you for your comments.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene