What is a fertility detox?
A fertility detox or cleanse helps your body to rebalance hormones and prepare you for pregnancy. There are five daily guidelines and three simple steps. Following the guidelines helps your body release toxins and following the steps kickstarts important lifestyle changes to support hormone production, reproductive organ function, and eventually, fetal development.
When should I do a fertility detox?
A fertility detox can be started at any time before becoming pregnant. The earlier you start the better. The most benefit for egg and sperm quality can be gained by doing this program and making healthy lifestyle changes at least 90 days before an IVF egg retrieval or natural conception. It is also great to detox after a retrieval and before starting medication for a transfer. Detoxifying during pregnancy is not recommended so doing this program before you could be pregnant is best.
Why do a detox?
A detox can help clear your body of stored chemicals and waste. On a daily basis, you are exposed to hundreds of chemicals. Many of these chemicals are what are known as endocrine disruptors – that interfere with hormone regulation. Most of the time these chemicals are processed and excreted by your body. But when the natural systems of elimination are overwhelmed and can’t keep up, these chemicals can end up in tissues, organs, and possibly even eggs and sperm. A fertility detox helps your body “catch up” and eliminate many of these harmful chemicals and excess waste from your body.
7-Day Detox instructions for Body, Home, and Mind
Follow these every day of the cleanse to make sure your body can eliminate built-up toxins:
- Every day – hydrate with ½ your weight in oz of water. Drink only filtered or purified water and organic teas. Include a glass of warm lemon water upon waking. No iced beverages.
- Eat something, even just a snack, every 3-4 hours. If you get hungry, eat, no matter what time of day.
- Every day – get at least 20 minutes of movement in. Keep exercise moderate (no more than four hours of 50-70% of your maximum endurance per week.) You might try gentle yoga or just take a walk.
- Eat only unprocessed and organic (when possible): vegetables, fruits, pasture-raised meats/fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. At least 75% of your vegetables should be cooked. Days 5-7 are vegan. Take a fiber supplement every day (we recommend organic psyllium – available at Sage).
- Avoid contact with body and home products containing fragrances and unnecessary chemicals.
Step 1: Take Bad Stuff Out – Remove Toxins and Inflammation
Remove foods and products containing unnecessary chemicals
- Food additives, preservatives, and MSG
- Processed, preserved, and shaped meats
- Processed and boxed foods, baked goods, pasta
- Canola and Vegetable oil
- Body products containing fragrance
- Coffee- Can substitute with organic tea or a natural coffee substitute like Dandy Blend (available at Sage)
Body: Avoid inflammatory foods
- Deep-fried and Fast Food
- Non-pasture-raised meats and poultry
Home: Avoid products containing unnecessary chemicals
- Fragrances– Air fresheners, plug-ins, scented candles (essential oils are okay)
- Home Cleaning Products: Use gloves when handling cleaning products and air out the room
- Pesticides and Gardening: Avoid using weed killer and insecticides when possible and wear gloves when handling fertilizers
Mind: Avoid overstimulation from fictional and non-fictional external stressors
- Reduce and limit news consumption
- Reduce and limit movies and TV that are adrenaline pumping
Step 2: Put good stuff in – Add Nutrient-Dense Foods and Hydrate
Give your body what it needs to create strong healthy eggs, sperm, uterine lining, and re-balance hormone levels.
Hydrate – Every day hydrate with ½ your weight in oz of water. Drink only filtered or purified water and organic teas. Include a glass of warm lemon water upon waking. No iced beverages.
Eat every 3-4 hours eat nutrient-dense foods:
Give organs and tissues what they need to be nourished – eat nutrient-dense foods at regular intervals. When food energy runs low, all cells run low, taking away energy from reproduction and egg building. It also means an overload of stress hormones- adrenaline and cortisol – which can interrupt our natural hormone cycles.
Put good stuff in:
Give organs good materials to build new tissues with – eat vitamin and mineral-rich foods. The most critically important organs get fed first. If there is none left over the other organs and tissues (including eggs, sperm, uterine lining, and reproductive glands) will become deficient, and have trouble producing.
What to Eat Day 1-4:
High consumption of vegetables, legumes, fish
- At least 75% of vegetables should be cooked or steamed
High to moderate consumption of good fats
- Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds, no dairy
Moderate consumption of fruit and whole grains
- No processed grains, keep portions to ½ cup per meal
Low consumption of non-fish meat
- Meat should be pasture-raised, unshaped, nitrate-free
What to Eat Day 5-7:
- Same as above AND remove all animal products. No meat, fish, eggs, or dairy helps reset the gut flora.
Check out our healthy home and body care guide
Step 3: Keep what works
- You may find some of the things you tried during the detox will be easy to maintain. For continued benefits beyond the detox, continue on with a fertility-focused diet.
- Slowly reintroduce animal products starting with some bone broth for a couple of days followed by fish and go from there. Keep a diet high in fatty fish and collagen-rich products.
Going forward follow a fertility-focused diet:
Continue eating nutrient-dense foods every 3-4 hours.
Continue daily movement and meditation
Continue to avoid: Coffee, Alcohol, Processed foods, and chemical additives, Home or body products containing fragrance