In her book Making Babies, Jill identified five fertility types. These work for both men and women and were based on the YinOva Method developed here in our center. Below is some advice for each type (there’s a lot more detail in the book).
SYMPTOMS: Dry skin, eyes, and hair Often thirsty Thin Tends to be constipated Often feels hot: flushes easily, night sweats Short cycles or light periods Insomnia Often restless, fidgety, jumpy, or anxious
WESTERN MEDICINE: Estrogen and progesterone imbalances, particularly estrogen Elevated FSH Recurrent miscarriages Poor response to stimulation drugs
TCM PERSPECTIVE: The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) name for this type is kidney “yin” deficiency. Yin describes the functions of the body that are cooling, nourishing, moistening, and substantial. Without enough yin, the body gets hotter and dries out. This is reflected in low estrogen levels, thinner uterine lining, and less cervical fluid. Yin naturally depletes with age, but some people use up their yin faster with energy-consuming lifestyle choices: not enough sleep, easting poorly, and exercising in short, intense bursts.
ADVICE Hydrate Consume nutrient-rich foods: dark leafy greens, soy products (for phytoestrogens), healthy fats Avoid alcohol and spicy foods Reduce stress Avoid excessive aerobic exercise: try yoga, tai chi, or qi gong
SUPPLEMENTS: Essential fatty acids L-carnitine Royal jelly Liquid chlorophyll
SYMPTOMS: Often feels weak or lethargic Prone to getting sick Gets out of breath and sweats easily, gains weight Poor appetite Prone to bloating, gas, and loose stools Low sex drive Short luteal phase Feels cold: hands, feet
WESTERN MEDICINE: Hypothyroid Low progesterone Luteal phase defect Metabolic disorders
TCM PERSPECTIVE: This type is called kidney “yang” deficiency in TCM, and reflects a broader hormonal imbalance going beyond reproductive hormones and encompassing the thyroid, adrenals, and pituitary gland. Weakness in these systems affects metabolism, circulation, and thus reproduction.
ADVICE More animal Protein Avoid raw and cold foods Alcohol in moderation Consume warming soups and stews, and spices: cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, turmeric, cardamom, cloves, cumin Regular moderate exercise
SUPPLEMENTS: Royal jelly Wheat grass Chromium (boosts metabolism by enhancing the action of insulin) L-arginine Chasteberry (helps sustain post-ovulatory progesterone)
SYMPTOMS: Physically pale Nails chip easily Vision problems Hair loss Lighter or missed periods Trouble falling asleep; tired Physically inflexible Undernourished (vegetarians and vegans are often Pale)
WESTERN MEDICINE: Amenorrhea Thin endometrium
TCM PERSPECTIVE: Pale people are considered to have blood deficiency, which can reflect anemia or more minor undernourishment. The blood nourishes the endometrium, making it a welcoming, healthy home for an embryo. Sometimes blood deficiency is caused by anemia, but it can also be caused by poor diet or heavy periods.
ADVICE Regular meals of nutritional foods Iron from plant and animal sources Foods rich in vitamin C (to help the absorption of iron) Lots of plant and/or animal protein
SUPPLEMENTS: Wheat grass or liquid chlorophyll Floradix (iron with herbs) L-carnitine
SYMPTOMS: Stressed out, easily angered Tension headaches, nervous stomach, high blood pressure, or muscle tightness PMS Symptoms including breast tenderness and mood swings, painful periods, irregular cycles, clotted menstrual blood.
WESTERN MEDICINE: Endometriosis Fibroids Uterine polyps PMS Mittelschmerz (pain during mid-cycle)
TCM PERSPECTIVE: The tightness of the Stuck type stems from poor energy and blood flow throughout the body, or what is referred to as qi and blood stagnation. Over time, it can lead to stagnation in the reproductive system, which can cause ovulation problems and inflexible fallopian tubes. Blood stagnation can cause painful or stop-and-start periods, and can lead to reproductive system obstructions such as endometriosis, fibroids, polyps, and cysts.
ADVICE Regular aerobic exercise Plenty of fiber Stress reduction Hot water with lemon in the morning Complex carbohydrates Avoid soy products Avoid alcohol
TCM PERSPECTIVE: This type is called “phlegm damp” in TCM, where the body produces excess fluids and mucus. Stagnant fluids lead to poor transitions, including the many tricky hormone shifts involved in the menstrual cycle, conception,and implantation. This type might have excessive vaginal discharge or cervical inflammation, and my be prone to reproductive system obstructions.
ADVICE Exercise Limit dairy Avoid alcohol, sweets, and greasy foods Avoid soy, especially if you have endometriosis or fibroids Keep your environment mold-free