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Female Health: Cleansing/Shutdown for TTC

The following is a breakdown and explanation of what we would call 3 MONTH CLEANSING OVULATION  SHUTDOWN RESTORATION AND WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM (IF APPLICABLE).

We appreciate your patience while we update our site.   Please come keep coming back and see the finished product including special packages to help you save during your cleanse.

The purpose of this program is:

1:  to cleanse the major organs of the body which in turn affect the reproductive system and often allow the body to produce life again.  This does not mean that it takes only 3 months but it is a good amount of time to make changes.

2:  to restore cyst covered ovaries by shutting off FSH and LH surges for 3 months to restore the ovaries, for cysts to atrophy and for proper ovulation to resume without cysts preventing it.  (see disclaimer on the bottom of each page)  Since elevated prolactin, testosterone and estrogen levels affect FSH and LH balance AND cysts this is important for over all hormonal health NOT just for the cysts.

3:  to lose weight or change eating habits and to give the body proper nutrition which again can make for a better ovulation and a healthier baby.   We believe that the true love of a mother and father is to love their baby before conception even occurs, enough to give the baby a healthier start in life. The healthier the start, the better the health after birth.

Shutdown FAQ


Q: How do I use the Progesterone Cream during shutdown? 

A: Natural Progesterone cream may be used as a safe and natural contraceptive to shutoff ovulation during this time. If you have cysts and/or PCOS which are inhibiting ovulation, this method is highly recommended by Dr. Lee and others, noted in the field of hormonal health and women's issues. Otherwise you may use condoms for prevention while cleansing your body if your personal convictions do not prevent this OR abstinence of course. If you do not have cysts AND will not be using Renewed Balance you may skip this section.

We have several testimonies of women who have begun shutdown with the progesterone cream and then became pregnant that cycle.  The reason for this, often times, is that their bodies did not have a rest from a steady estrogen and therefore there was not surge to promote ovulation.  When progesterone was used it was just enough to lower the estrogen and they conceived.  You will see a common scenario explained in the article "Is progesterone just a bandaid?".

You might consider using progesterone cream until hormonal balance is achieved though during the luteal phase. We do not advocate the use of progesterone cream as a band-aid but rather while you are making your body healthy enough for a successful start IF you were to be low in progesterone at this time.  This is a safeguard until your luteal phase is strengthened and lengthened; producing enough progesterone for gestation.   The most common cause for miscarriage is hormonal imbalance due to low progesterone. 

Many women will decide not to shutdown completely but do cleansing herbs and we discourage this.  It is our opinion that these three months can often encourage fertility on and that the three months be seen as a positive, proactive move, not going backwards.  It is surprising how many women avoid this but then are happy they took the time; the help to the body is only part of the joy.  It is also a positive thing to take time from TTC to strengthen the marriage at the same time.

The amount to be used is between 15 and 20mg per day according to Dr. Lee from day 5 to day 26 of cycle ( during shutdown),  (1/8 teaspoon) or twice per day during the first month, and then 1/8 teaspoon divided into twice each day from 5-26 during the second and third months (or for some more months) Not to belabor this but to be sure. That means 1/4 total of progesterone cream month 1 and 1/8 total during month 2 and 3.   (If you are overweight you will need more as well.  This is because hormones are absorbed into fat cells.)  These amounts are not our recommendation but according to what the body would produce if it were balanced and healthy.

This shutdown is based on 1500 mg per 2 oz jar of progesterone cream. As we stated above, most creams on the market only have 800-900 mg per 2 oz. jar and require more usage which means more money.


Q: What happens if my cycle starts before day 26?

A: If your cycle should end before day 26 simply begin counting to day 5 and begin again. This may happen to many because of short luteal phases. Often times one finds that with the supplementation the cycles are shorter because your body is getting progesterone to oppose the estrogen. This is just enough for those who are very estrogen dominant to oppose the estrogen and cause break through bleeding. If you do NOT bleed, still go off the cream and give your body a rest from progesterone only with this scenario count 7 days. This would give you 3 weeks on and one week off each of the 3 months; trying to stay with your body's cycle as much as possible.


Q: What happens if I get pregnant during the shutdown?

A: If for any reason you find yourself pregnant during this time DO NOT go off the cream abruptly.  You can continue until the end of your pregnancy or you may wean closer to 12-16 weeks.  When the body is low in progesterone and it sees a sudden dip it may interpret this as time to shed the lining.  Many have miscarried by going off suppositories too abruptly without knowing.  Notice I said suppositories.  We hear constantly of doctors who recommended a woman stop her suppositories; thinking she should have enough progesterone at that point in her pregnancy.  The body can see this as the "end of cycle drop" and "shed the lining" as I said above.   Instead take the safe route and continue until you are sure the placenta is fully operational and growing well.  The placenta should pick up on production of hormones by week 8 and this is one of the most common gestational points for miscarriages.  Write to us instead to be sure.  

Follow your own body. You may find that you need more to offset your symptoms but the best way to tell if you have too much is if it makes you extremely tired in the day. Then you would cut back. According to Dr. Lee you will always need at least 15-20 mg per day (1/4 - 1/8 of a tsp. per day depending upon the strength of the progesterone cream) of the times specified above.


Cleansing FAQ


Q: What other products/herbs/foods might be helpful to use during this time?

A: There are 12 systems in the body.   Although the cleanse is targeted toward certain systems,  all twelve body systems, of course, will be affected in general. These 12 systems are:

Excretory System - large colon
Digestive System - liver, salivary glands, gall bladder and pancreas
Endocrine System - Glands, pineal, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, adrenals, pancreas, ovaries, testes
Lymphatic System - spleen, thymus, appendix, tonsils, lymph nodes, lymph vessels and fluid
Urinary System - kidneys, bladder, ureters, urethra
Reproductive System - ovaries, ova, testes, sperm
Nervous System - brain, spinal cord, nerves
Circulatory System - heart, blood vessels, blood
Integumentary System - skin, hair, nails, oil and sweat glands
Respiratory System - lungs, trachea, bronchi, bronchial tubes, alveoli
Skeletal System - all bones, cartilage, joints
Muscular System - all muscular tissue.

The purpose of a good cleanse is to clean, repair and rebuild these systems as quickly, healthily and thoroughly and as naturally as possible Consider some of the following products for an ideal cleanse which will take charge of your entire body.  These are combinations and single herbs or supplements traditionally used and most researched in these areas.  Please read the product pages for more individual herbal information.  

Here are products you might consider.


The Excretory System
Most disease begins in the colon because nutrients cannot penetrate the buildup on its walls from years of the American Diet. Constipation also inhibits the removal of excess estrogens and allows parasites to incubate taking your nutrients and leaving excrement behind.

PLEASE NOTE:  if you have any history of constipation, foreign travel, itching in your anus area, eating sushi or other common invitation to parasites we strongly recommend parasite cleansing for both you and your spouse.  In truth most will deny that they could have parasites when it is estimated that 95% of the world has them.  Parasites do not respect persons. 

On this subject; we recommend for the best cleanse, a parasite cleansing as well.  Try Para-Cleanse from Nature's Sunshine.

Our choice for the colon when accompanied by a history of constipation: LOCLO and Liquid Bentonite Clay in combination to flush out fecal matter and remove toxic build up of heavy metals.  This is a daily maintenance.   The LOCLO is like apple pie and the bentonite clay is tasteless; you won't even know it is there.  You can find these products on the Nature's Sunshine Product Pages.


For Cleansing the Liver
Choose 1 below:

Corbicula - for cleansing the liver. Corbicula is a powerful clam concentrate for a deep liver cleanse. It comes from the Corbicula clam and therefore its name. It is used for hepatitis and for serious cleansing of the liver. When one has galactorrhea, the liver is a must to cleanse. The liver is the main toxin filter and when it becomes muddied, it can no longer protect the body from toxins. The liver is responsible for warming the blood and is the first organ to consider if you are always cold.  It, like the colon, can store excess estrogen. A dirty liver will be a sign that the kidneys are at risk and a main consideration if your temps are low as well.

The Japanese actually ask "How is your liver?" when greeting one another as an indicator of one's health. Although the liver is a major organ and over time the Herbal Release would be sufficient, cleansing it with this product ensures a faster more efficient cleanse geared more directly to liver. It will also supply a high source of protein and vitamins and minerals. Corbicula is the best way to clean and feed the liver. Corbicula will nourish the liver, where most herbs will more clean than nourish it. Corbicula is a food and therefore can be taken anytime.  It is gentle.

Choice #2 for the liver:
Licorice Root is our herb of choice IF high blood pressure or diabetes is not a concern. Choose licorice root when you have facial hair, acne or losing hair from the scalp. This is very important as with hirsutism. If you have endometriosis it is best to talk about which of these would be best for you according to your profile. Consider this herb with PCOS and consider with full weight if you have high stress or adrenal burnout.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM, licorice root is the most highly recommended herb.   Licorice root is not for those with high blood pressure.  At that time we would recommend Milk thistle.  see below.

Choice #3 for the liver:
Milk Thistle is a wonderful herb for the liver. It is one of the most highly recommended for the endocrine system.  Consider this herb is you have high blood pressure.

 


Diet, Herbs, Supplements and Exercise FAQ


Q: While, I am shutting down what other herbs would be helpful to use?

A: For many straight Vitex (also known as chaste tree berry) is very important to the entire cleansing/shutdown time. Vitex has been clinically proven to restore hormonal balance of FSH and LH,to lower prolactin sensitivity and to remove excess estrogens. If at all possible try doing the herbs at the same time if you have cysts, endometriosis or fibroids. Vitex has a reputation of lengthening the luteal phase. More is written on this herb on the Vitex page.   Vitex is known to level hormones and should not be looked at as an alterative but an adaptogen; meaning to level out not cause an action.

Other choices would be Sarsaparilla root, Dandelion root Bupleurum root, Astragulus root,  Red Clover flowering tops, Rhubarb root,  Gentian root, Prickly Ash bark and a few others in combination or for using as specifics.  Write us about these. 


Q: While I am cleansing, do you suggest anything else to avoid besides meat (especially meat with hormones and red meat), milk and dairy products, white sugar, refined foods, white flour, caffeine, alcohol.

A: If you are to have animal protein, try to find hormone free or stick with more chicken and turkey since they have less hormones, but don't be fooled, that does not mean none. Look for grain fed and free range.   Concentrate your diet on fresh fruits and vegetables, mostly raw unless you have very low temperatures.  In this case you would want to work your way to raw by eating more warm foods that have been lightly steamed or stirfried over low heat. If you cook, do so by light steaming or grilling. Stay away from WHITE products - white flour, white sugar, white rice, white fats (dairy) caffeine and, yes, eat as many fruits and veggies.

The key is balance. Watch for what is best for you. Many will not be able to eat this ideal. Do what you can and hold each food up and ask if this is the temptation that will stand between you and your baby. Always strive to do a little better each day and remember that you are not just eating - or cleansing - for a baby but that your reproductive problems stem from whole body problems that will manifest - or have already - in other disorders.

Remember that 2 steps forward and 1 step back is still 1 step forward. Do not be too hard OR easy on yourself, but do the best you can.

Raw foods or light steaming or light grilling without sauces, if possible. You'll be surprised at the beautiful taste of real food is. Find as many ways to make a salad or to eat fruit as possible and always have baby carrots on hand and apples.  They are very easy to pick on and carrots are immensely supportive of the reproductive system.

I cannot sing the praises of juicing enough at this time and forward. Juicing is such an ideal way to get so many wonderful nutrients quickly and easily digested without the normal fiber when eat them.


Q: Can I continue to take my other vitamins?

A: I believe you should take whatever you are comfortable with and using now if they are a good source. Please do not purchase laboratory vitamins as these are isolates and are not what they are cracked up to be.

Green Barley - Add to your daily diet Green Barley for supernutrition now and in the future. Green Barley has all 8 essential amino acids which gives you all of the necessary building blocks of protein along with vitamins, macro and trace minerals, and micronutrients . The juice is virtually without fiber and therefore can proceed right to the small intestines for better cellular activity.    Nothing is lost in digestion or in the colon. Green Barley contains kelp and chlorophyll which have traditionally used to help spark the thyroid. It is rich in calcium, folic acid and SOD, an antioxidant. 

Sea Silver is our choice to compliment Green Barley.  It is also rich in all of the above except chlorophyll but has other antioxidants and pau d'arco.  We cannot express our backing of these two products.  It is our opinion that you cannot find better.

Folic Acid is very important. Do not be without this if your diet is not rich in leafy green vegetables already. Again find one that is plant derived not from a laboratory.   (if you are juicing, it may not be necessary.)

Bee Pollen has been shown to be helpful in lowering prolactin and raising progesterone and is loaded with naturally occurring and highly usable B-Vitamins. It is a natural antibiotic and immune enhancer and is a complete food in itself.  Consider Dr. Christopher's Bee Power with its many beneficial herbs combined with Bee Pollen to restore energy and stamina.

A proper juicing program, normal bowel movements and proper eating will give you the nutrients you need. Be sure to eat a healthy greens-filled salad daily for folic acid.


Q: I have seen it recommended, drinking 1 cup of raspberry leaf tea daily. Should I do this during the cleanse as well?

A: Raspberry tea is always good for a woman. Up to one quart per day is common for the uterus for toning and strengthening. Some say that you should never have more than a cup per day during pregnancy or luteal phase until the last month in your third trimester. Others say that you should sip it through out the day. It is best to be on the safe side and drink in moderation once you find that you may be pregnant.  It is the most used herbal tea in women's health. Drink more ahead of time if you have a weak uterus. During the cleanse is a good time to drink more of this tea.   You will find that it has a pleasant taste.


Q: Do you carry these herbs in bulk?

A: Yes we do carry in larger quantities to last you the entire cleanse. Since the cleanse can be costly, we understand every bit helps. You can order any herb
whether it is listed or not.  We offer 15% off most herbs from 2 oz and up. Some of them you may order in 2, 4 or 8 oz sizes. Just fill in the name of the herb when you check out in the "special instructions". Please ask me if you'd like if these herbs seem right for your profile.


Q: Should I go ahead and start on EPO and/or flaxseed oils during the cleanse as well? I believe it would help, making sure I get Omega 3 Fatty Acids in my system.

A: Although we cannot specifically recommend anything, studies and research show EFAs like these are valuable to a woman every day of her life as well for all aspects of health. EFAs are essential to the make up of every cell.

Studies have shown that in laboratory rats when EFAs were removed completely from the diet ALL pregnancies ended in miscarriage. Though we are not rats we cannot dispute the correlation between EFAs and cellular health.

Evening primrose was also researched and approved as aiding in lowering prolactin levels and lessening PMS. This EFA is safe to use in the follicular phase (pre ovulation) but should be limited to that time only. It is best to use no more than 1 TB of flaxseed oil daily, once you are pregnant to keep the delicate balance of prostaglandins in check. You can read about these more at: Essential Fatty Acids.


Q: I also plan on using the castor oil pack you recommended during the cleanse. How often should this be done during the cleanse?

A: Castor oil packs are best just before doing a heavier cleansing day or any day you choose.  DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU ARE SEVERELY CONSTIPATED. FOR THAT WE WILL WORK INDIVIDUALLY.

THEN: You MUST drink at least 1 gallon of water, throughout the day, to flush it through and if you want to you you may have steamed veggies at the end of the day. The only other thing you should have is Green Barley for the maximum nutrition on these super cleansing days.

In the day: Take one or two of the helpings the day of your cleanse then while waiting for it to kick in.... warm your belly with a hot water bottle or heating pad. Take some castor oil  and rub generous amounts on your belly, in a clockwise position. Massage it in. SIDE NOTE: When you have gas rub and tap in a circle - clockwise, up to the rib cage and down and around.

Next take a warm towel (Turkish or a very thick towel folded) and place it over the castor oil, place saran wrap around you to hold in the heat and then put a heating pad or hot water bottle on top. Leave on for an hour and and wait for things to happen, cleanse, do an enema or go for a colonic. Continue to take the herbs throughout the day up to five times for a thorough one day cleanse. The castor oil will loosen fecal matter in your colon.


Q: I will probably utilize some of the essential oil combos, for detoxifying the body. Anything to help cleanse! Which do you suggest?

A: I would recommend a loofah for the whole body exfoliation and many body soaks and lavender baths. Lavender is a wonderful relaxing friend.  Use it in the bath or on your pillow at night to help you sleep.

The skin is the largest organ. Doesn't it make sense to cleanse IT as well?  


Q: During the cleanse/shutdown period, I will probably try to utilize the info you gave about using the Moon to stimulate the pineal gland, to regulate ovulation. I'm thinking that might help my cycle.

A: Information on this is found in greater detail under Lights and TTC in regards to the luteal phase page. Remember to put on a night light during the 3 days of the full moon if you don't have the moon directly coming in or have all of your shades up and an eye mask would be very helpful for others for the rest of the month. Basically, your eyes and ovaries have a common connection: the Pineal gland, which is very sensitive to night lighting.

As a note, I would like to say that in Genesis the Lord's word says that there was a lesser light to govern the night. I believe that this theory on the light and the cycles of the moon yet again confirms God's Word.  After all, He set science and nature in place.


Q: I also hope to start a regular exercise program during this time. Optimally, I could probably stand to lose about 40 pounds or so, but I want to do it the healthy way. I despise crash diets.

A: For weight loss, aside from exercise, giving your body the necessary nutrients and using self control is the best option. There is NO substitute for exercise. Every heart needs proper exercise.

For those with endometriosis, stretching and walking are very important. Breathing deeply is also important. Breathe deep into your stomach and relax often as you do it. This helps your uterus to properly contract and release which will help later as well (in labor).  This also supplies valuable oxygen to your blood.


I believe this should give you a good overview of what to expect. Do not get overwhelmed. It is only 3 months, but 3 POWERFUL months for the body. Many women find that it is freeing for them to take time off to get healthy and without the pressures of infertility obsessions.