Q&A with Dr. Jan Rydfors,M.D.
We sat down with Jan Rydfors, M.D., Creator and Co-Author of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility: Handbook for Clinicians to ask him some questions about infertility in women and to hear his professional thoughts and recommendations. Find out what he had to say below.
Q: Dr. Rydfors, when should women who want to conceive look at ways to improve their fertility?
A: Dr. Rydfors: Women who are looking at ways to improve their fertility should start thinking about how to improve their health before trying to get pregnant. They should probably start at least three months before. It is important to remember that having a baby's a very natural thing. All of us are intended to reproduce and in most cases it’s not so complicated. Your body likes it when you are healthy, however, and when healthy it is simply easier to get pregnant. There are several things to think about when you try to become as healthy as possible.
The first one is to try to normalize your weight. Many of us are a little bit overweight and some of us are a little underweight, you want to have a normal weight, in the middle when trying to get pregnant. It can make the difference between you getting pregnant or not.
Getting proper exercise is also a good way to become healthier. It seems to normalize hormones in your body and that is very beneficial. It doesn't have to be going to the gym, you can just go for walks. I would recommend at least 10 to 15 minutes of activity per day. If you can do more that is great!
Also try to get enough sleep, at least seven hours or so, and try to reduce your stress. If a lot of stress and wanting to get pregnant, try and look for ways to change your job or your family situation so that your stress level is much lower.
Another thing that's really important is to eat well, and by that I mean try to eat less processed food and instead just go to the store, buy uncooked food such as produce and then cook it. I know a lot of us think we don't have the time but nowadays you can look online and find all kinds of 5 to 10-minute meals that you can cook and it is SO much healthier for you. A lot of people don't realize that processed foods have lost most of their vitamins and minerals so if you eat mostly processed foods you will become deficient in all of those things, which are really important when you’re trying to get pregnant and prevent miscarriages.
Q: Dr. Rydfors, in your professional opinion, why would women have a hard time getting pregnant?
A: Dr. Rydfors: A lot of people have not heard about this but there's this condition that affects about 50% of us, and it’s something called insulin resistance. It’s typically something that's inherited genetically and gets worse as you get older. It also gets worse if you put on weight, don't exercise enough, don't sleep enough, and so on, and what it leads to is our bodies having too high levels of insulin in your body and that higher insulin level is a problem.
High insulin has an effect on your health and your ability to become pregnant. One of the effects of high insulin is that it will go to your ovaries and in many women, may make it more difficult to ovulate so that you don’t produce an egg every month.
The really interesting thing here is that many people believe that if you have regular cycles every month that you are for sure ovulating, which is actually not always the case. High insulin will also affect the quality of the egg that is produced every month. So, even if you do ovulate one month, the egg’s poor quality may affect the ability for it to fertilize and may make it easier for you to have a miscarriage.
Finally, it turns out that high insulin will also make you put on weight easier than other people who don't have this condition. It will also make it more difficult to lose weight, and finally, high insulin will also increase the amount of inflammation in your body.
Inflammation is when you your immune system is ramped up and if you have too much inflammation in your body, it will often make it more difficult to get pregnant and stay pregnant since when you are inflamed your body will think that it is not very healthy and it will think that this may not be a good time to get pregnant. It will therefore try to prevent your embryo from implanting. So, having inflammation in your body will often lead to more miscarriages. Often this miscarriage can happen so early that you may not even know that you had been pregnant in the first place.
So, to summarize, high insulin, which many of us have, will cause you often to not ovulate, may cause egg quality problems and finally increase the amount of inflammation in your body. All of these problems from high insulin will make it more difficult to get pregnant.
Q: Dr. Rydfors, What are the best ways to reduce insulin resistance to help become more fertile?
A: Dr. Rydfors: In order to reduce your insulin, there are several things you can do. first of all, eat healthier and by that I mean less carbs.
If you look at foods we have, we think of them of them as belonging to one of three groups. We call these groups macro-nutrient or macros for short. The three macros are your carbs, protein, and fats. Insulin will go up in your body differently based upon what you eat. When you look at how your insulin goes up after eating a lot of carbs it’s much higher than when you eat protein and fat. If you have an insulin problem where your insulin is already high, which 50% of us have, then you need to cut out your carbs to make sure your insulin does not go up too much more since that is what is going to cause ovulation problems, poor egg quality and higher inflammation that in its turn will cause miscarriags. All of them will in different ways affect your chances to get and stay pregnant.
Besides reducing the obvious sources of carbs such as bread, pasta, rice and so on, I also tell my patients who have an insulin issue to cut down on fruits since they contain a lot of carbs nowadays since they have been cross bread to be very sweet. Remember that an apple has more carbs than a doughnut! So, I tell them to only have fruits once a week, or once every other week, and that they should focus more on vegetables and berries. You'll get as many nutrients and minerals from vegetables as you would from fruit.
So it turns out for some people even if they do all these things… eat better, more vegetables and berries, fewer carbs, exercise, and sleep, their insulin will still remain high and still cause the issues we talked about. It is fortunate that there are some non-medical supplements that will also dramatically help people reduce their insulin levels and I recommend them to most of my patients with high insulin levels.
Q: Dr. Rydfors, what inspired you to formulate Fertility Support+?
A: Dr. Rydfors: Most of my patients who are looking to get pregnant will need to get their insulin under control. I always talk about these behavior modifications like eating differently, exercising, lowering stress and sleeping more. In addition, most people as mentioned will need some extra help and so I will almost always add this supplement, which is naturally produced in the body and is called Myoinositol. They’ve have done tons of scientific research on it, and it turns out if you add its cousin, D-Chiro Inositol to regular Myoinositol, you really maximizes the effect of lowering insulin levels. But you need to take quite a lot of it for it to work, at least 4000 mg per day.
When you go to the store or to Amazon you may often see that the Myoinositol sold is often sold by itself, without the D-Chiro Inositol and very commonly, the Myoinositol supplements are sold as 2000 mg per day even if 4000 mg per day is what you really need. So, I decided for my patients' sake, to create this supplement that maximizes the reduction of insulin since insulin has such a profound effect in preventing a person’s ability to have a baby. I also know that a lot of women don’t get enough vitamin D, which is really important to help you get pregnancy as well, so I also added that. Finally, folic acid is really important to for pregnancy but it turns out that a lot of people cannot absorb folic acid well, so I added the type that most everyone can absorb and that’s Methylfolate.
So that’s why I created (that) Fertility Support+. I’ve had great success with it among my patients. In addition to the lifestyle modifications… healthy food with less carbs, more exercise and less stress, I am also adding myo-inositol with D-Chiro Inositolto help people reduce their insulin to the level where they can get pregnant and remain pregnant.
A lot of people who, in the past, have had issues with high insulin, where they were not ovulating regularly, or who have had miscarriages sometimes so early that they thought they were infertile, should have an easier time getting pregnant and staying pregnant with this supplement.
An articulate, scientifically curated fertility supplement, Herman Organic Fertility Support+ is doctor-formulated and designed for women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), preceding IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), or looking to conceive. The Fertility+ includes added Vitamin D and Folic Acid, 5-MTHF.