Dr. Aumatma Simmons is on a mission to help women birth healthier babies, which will, in turn, help us have a healthier planet. Everything is connected and your fertility does not have to suffer – even if you’re over 35. We’re talking about that interconnectedness, toxins that impact both our bodies and the planet, and how to actually have healthier babies.
Listen to the Episode
The Biggest Fertility Myths
- Fertility drops off at age 35
- Hormonal health issues, like Endometriosis and PCOS, make it impossible to have kids
- Diet and supplements don’t matter
About Dr. Aumatma Simmons
Dr. Aumatma Simmons is a double board-certified Naturopathic Doctor & Endocrinologist, in practice for close to 15 years.
She specializes in fertility and is the best-selling author of two books: “Fertility Secrets: What Your Doctor Didn’t Tell You About Baby-Making” and “(In)Fertility: Struggles, Secrets, & Successes.”
Dr. Aumatma was awarded the “Best Naturopathic Medicine Doctor″ locally in 2015 & 2020 and was recognized as a top “Women In Medicine” Doctor in 2020 & 2021.
In addition to supporting couples through individualized care in person and long-distance, Dr. Aumatma also trains practitioners who want to specialize in fertility. She has been featured as the holistic fertility expert on ABC, FOX, CBS, KTLA, MindBodyGreen, and The Bump, along with being interviewed for countless podcasts on topics of fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum health.
The Biggest Fertility Myths
Dr. Aumatma starts by talking about some of the biggest myths around fertility and aging. It’s said that once a woman turns 35, her fertility declines rapidly. This is not true! Dr. Aumatma explains that fertility only decreases by 4% between the ages of 35-39 and gives some insight into where this myth originated.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do what we can to ensure our bodies are healthy, especially if we are considering having a baby after age 35. Toxins play a huge role in your fertility and it’s your responsibility to reduce your personal toxic load across every aspect of your life, as much as you can.
Dr. Aumatma explains why more and more women make the switch to a menstrual cup and how this helps your vaginal health and fertility. Another surprising benefit of switching to the cup is that women report up to 50% less pain and cramping while using it! The chemicals found in pads and tampons negatively impact your vaginal microbes.
A few of the other toxins you’ll want to watch out for are Glyphosate, BPA/BPS/BPFs, and PFOAs.
Support Your Aging Ovaries
One way to support your aging ovaries is to use supplements. While some Western doctors don’t recommend supplements, Dr. Aumatma is a big believer in how the right supplements can support your health and well-being and help your fertility. Each woman will respond to supplements differently, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach and you will want to seek medical assistance.
One thing to note is that supplements aren’t just for women – men should consider taking supplements to help support their fertility as well. Dr. Aumatma only cautions men against taking melatonin as this can actually reduce their sperm count.
Dr. Aumatma recommends four different lab tests, taken between days 2-4 of your menstrual cycle, to determine your fertility levels.
- FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone)
- LH ( Luteinizing Hormone)
- AMH (Anti-Malarian Hormone)
Finally, if you’re trying to get pregnant, Dr. Aumatma encourages you to look at other fertility factors than your age. These include, but aren’t limited to, your partner’s sperm count and fertility, your toxic load, and your overall health.
Have you been struggling to conceive? Are you concerned about your fertility? Do you want to prepare your body to be as healthy as possible for your new baby? Call the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic today and schedule your first appointment at 319-363-0033.
“Age-related fertility is definitely a thing. Fertility does decline and our age does impact our fertility. In reality, I think there are a lot of other factors that are playing much bigger roles in our ovary’s lives than we realize.” [3:18]
“The things that contribute to our society’s cancer rates are similarly contributing to our declining fertility rates. There are so many interrelationships and correlations that drove me into questioning how to support a healthier planet. For me, that answer was doing that through healthier families and healthier babies being born into families that are healthy and surviving.” [6:16]
“There’s study after study about how glyphosate will affect the microbiome. The vaginal microbiome is currently one of the leading areas of study for fertility. We are starting to make these connections of how the vaginal, cervical, and uterine microbiome are going to impact the ability to conceive, the ability to carry to term, and whether or not you’ll have a miscarriage. All of those things are determined by the microbiome of your local reproductive region. If you’ve managed to kill off all the good microbes, you’ve massively impacted your fertility without even being aware that you’re impacting it from the use of tampons.” [14:34]
“It sounds overwhelming but if you focus on one change at a time and switch it out for a better option, you’ll quickly get into the rhythm of eliminating toxins from your life.” [19:57]
“Glutothyone is a good supplement because it supports mitochondrial function which is one of the main components of the ovaries. Eggs have over 200x the number of mitochondria as any other cell in the body, so if you want to really focus on anti-aging and fertility, anything that supports mitochondrial function will massively improve fertility and reverse the clock on the ovaries.” [34:11]
“Yes, AMH will correlate to a decline in the success of IVF rates, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get pregnant. That’s a really big distinction to make.” [44:10]
In This Episode
- How healthier babies can contribute to a healthier planet [7:00]
- How much of a decline in fertility happens after age 35 [9:15]
- How toxins contribute to your fertility [13:30]
- Why more women switch to a menstrual cup [16:00]
- How chemicals impact your hormones [21:00]
- Why men shouldn’t supplement melatonin [29:00]
- How to support your aging ovaries [31:00]
- The lab tests you need to understand your own fertility [40:30]
- Why you need to look at other aspects of fertility than your age [54:00]
Links & Resources
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 0:02
The biggest myth is that our fertility is going to drop off of cliff at 35. And in reality that's just not true.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:12
Welcome to the your longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Dr. Mahatma Simmons today we're going to talk about the longevity of the ovaries anti aging on a cellular level and dispel myths about fertility over the age of 35. Let's get started
Welcome to another episode of The your longevity blueprint podcast. today. My guest is Dr. Amanda Simmons who was a double board certified naturopathic doctor, an endocrinologist in practice for close to 15 years. She specializes in fertility and is the best selling author of two books. Fertility secrets what your doctor didn't tell you about baby making and infertility struggles, secrets and successes. Dr. Mama was awarded the Best naturopathic medical doctor locally in 2015 and 2020 and was recognized as the top women in medicine doctor in 2020 and 2021 did in long distance. Dr. Mama also trains practitioners who want to specialize in fertility. She has been featured as a holistic fertility expert on ABC Fox, CBS KTLA MindBodyGreen and the bump, along with being interviewed for countless podcasts on topics of fertility, pregnancy and postpartum health. Welcome to the show. Dr. Mothma.
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 1:32
Thanks for having me. Dr. Stephanie.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:35
Well, we were talking before we push record that we both are very passionate about fertility, especially over the age of 35. We both had babies over that age. And so I really am excited for this interview today. I want to ask you more about why you're so passionate about fertility, especially amongst the those with aging ovaries, so kind of tell us a little bit about your story.
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 1:57
Yeah, you know, I, I was married to this man. And he had wanted to start having children and was like actively talking about it. And till that moment, I actually hadn't considered whether I wanted to have kids or not. And I was like, hmm, I married this person, I guess I assumed that I wanted to have kids, eventually, someday, one day, but when he started talking about it, it was like something within me just went like a no, like a big, loud, clear, no. And that scared me a little bit. Because everything that I knew about fertility from medical school was it drops off of a cliff at some point.
And that cliff was coming very quickly for me. So I really like paused and I went into like a nine month deep dive into fertility research, and like, what could I do personally, to support my fertility? And did I really need to worry about this? Suppose I don't meet someone for another 10 years, then what? So I was just thinking through all the scenarios, you know, and what I came out with was really that one, we really have this misnomer that fertility. Yes, for the age related fertility is definitely a thing, right, like, fertility does decline.
And our age is impacting our fertility. But in reality, I think there's a lot of other factors that are playing much bigger roles in our lives of ovaries, then we realize, so I really walked out of that nine month journey with a few things of clarity one, I woke up and I was like, goodbye, we're done. This is over this marriage is over. And he he just was like, What do you talk to you about? Where did this come from? And I'm like, I really clear, I don't want to have children with you. And if that's the case, what are we doing.
And then the other side that I really walked away with was that we are kind of just emphasizing for women, things that are somewhat true, not totally untrue, but are emphasized in the wrong ways and not emphasizing enough the things that we actually have power and control over. So I started talking about it. And it wasn't my intention to really like get into fertility as a niche or anything like that. It was more like I just wanted to share what I had come out with. And the people started calling me and were like, Hey, can you help me with my fertility? And I was like, oh, gosh, no, everything I know is like research, right? None of it is clinical data. It's all just based on papers that I read. And they're like, I don't care.
I just want you to work with me. And I really could events that you can help me. So finally, I started saying yes to some of these women and they started getting pregnant and, and then I just got hooked. Do you like it once you like, once you have the fun enjoy of like seeing your first child born not by first child, but I mean, someone that you helped contribute, bring into the world, that you're just like, oh, this is so amazing. And so that's a really big part of the journey. The second thing that really drove me into fertility is actually my mom struggled with cancer. And I don't share this very often. But we're friends. And I really like you.
So I think the deeper like drive that I wasn't necessarily tapped into all the time is really that my mom struggled through cancer. She was given, I think, like six weeks to live when she was diagnosed, and she ended up living for three years, all from natural medicine. And surely at that time, I was like, oh, surely cancer is going to be my calling, you know. But what I realized from that experience was, it's so much that the things that are contributing to our societies, cancers rates, are similarly contributing to our declining fertility rates.
And there are just so many interrelationships and correlations that really drove me into, like, how do we help support a healthier planet? And for me, that answer was really, we can do that with healthier families and healthier babies being born into families that are healthy surviving. So that's kind of the underlying thing that I have that deep resonance of like, how do we contribute to a healthier world and a healthier planet? And I think we all have the possibilities of doing that in small ways all the time. But I think healthier babies and contributing to healthier babies being brought into the world is definitely a big desire for me. No, I
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:14
love that. I love that. And I, I hope, I think where you're going with the common denominator, you know, between what's working against like our bodies, right? Cancer and fertility is toxic. And so I really, I really want to get into that. But before we dive into that, and what we can do about it, let's go through some myths. So I know obviously, you were kind of struggling, maybe believing or not believing some of these myths, as you dug into the research, when you were kind of deciding if, I mean, we clearly know you have a kid because I mentioned that your child. So we'll circle back around to that at the end. But what are some of the myths you came across? And tell? So tell us which ones are true? What's your false, like, you know,
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 7:55
the biggest myth in the fertility world is that our fertility is gonna drop off of cliffs at 35. And in reality, that's just not true. That myth came about in the 1800s, in France, not from research papers, but from the church, noticing that women over 35, were not bringing in their kids to get baptized. There might be several reasons for that. Besides the fact that they're 35, they might be not surviving much longer, they may have just finished having their kids by that point. It's just like a very different society from what we have today. So to create something that really like seeped into our culture and society, and we really just haven't questioned that myth.
You know what I mean? Like, it's not that there is an age related decline in fertility, but how much of a decline? And should we really be freaking out about it? That's very questionable. And there are some countries that are asking these questions. I've seen two really decent published studies that are small cohorts of women that were studied between the age of 25 and 29, and 35, and 39. And what they actually found was there's a 3% decline between those two age groups. So really only a 3% decline until 39. So I think that this idea of like 35 is our, our cutoff, and we were not going to be able to help you after that. And if you're over 35, you should like rush into IVF.
All of those, like, submits get created out of this one major myth that if we reframe around, then we might ask different questions, and then we might approach things differently. So I think that's the biggest one. Other myths that I've heard. These are not so much purported by science, but there's a lot of women that will talk about these things. We which is oh my god, I have endometriosis. I can never have kids or I have PCOS. I can never have kids. And those are just not true. There are plenty of Yeah, plenty, plenty of people with endometriosis and PCOS that go on to have healthy children yourself. You're, you're and for those of you not not watching this as a video,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 10:23
a lot of listeners have heard some of my story. And I did have stage four endometriosis, and I did a lot of things. And I really, really truly believe I was gluten free for years. But it was a year dairy free. I mean, I literally was a whole year they're also gluten free, dairy free before I got pregnant. I think that was playing a huge role. And dairy, as I mentioned on the show, in past episodes, can contain a lot of endocrine disrupting chemicals that can lead to things like endometriosis, which we will likely come back around to the toxins here. But I don't want to take away your myths. So yeah, another that I agree is totally false.
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 10:58
Yeah, yeah. And then the other is that I've heard this in this the fertility medicine world a lot, which is your diet and supplements don't really matter that much. And they're not going to make it or break it for your fertility. And unfortunately, this one breaks my heart because it takes the power away from us as, as women, as consumers as people who want to be in charge of our health. Yeah, it just breaks my heart. You know, there are fertility clinics that are hopping on the bandwagon of natural and holistic and integrative medicine.
And I'm putting all of these in air quotes, because like, what does it what are these words mean, but there are clinics that are getting on board with this idea. But what I what I often see is that there really isn't enough focus, to understand a person's body to understand their hormones to understand their particular conditions, to be able to say, oh, I can see how your diet is inflammatory to your body. And here's how to shift it and adjust it. Instead, there's this idea. I've seen several clinics do this there, they pick a diet. And that becomes their go to diet for every single person, whether that's keto, or paleo or gluten free, dairy free, or whatever, whatever, favorite diet, you name it, everyone's got it.
And every clinic has their own version of this. Sure. And it's unfortunate because this leaves the woman and the couple out of the equation, right? So it becomes so much of a focus on, well, are you eating what we told you to eat? Versus Are you eating what's truly aligned for your body that's going to help you optimize your body's function, lower the inflammation and help support your consumption. So I think that and then, and then supplements, oh my god, I could just go on a rant about supplements. So I want to go
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:12
there, too. Maybe. We could talk about maybe let's come back to supplements. That was Oh, I like that third myth. But if age is not the most important thing, right, working against women trying to get pregnant. What do you think let's come back to toxins. Do you agree? Yeah. Not to steal your thunder. But do you agree, I talk.
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 13:34
I think toxins are a big contributor. And toxins are often misunderstood. Because most of the time, as soon as I say toxins, the visual that comes to mind is that air polluted environment that you can see the smoke, right, like, yes, those are toxins. Those are not great for your fertility. But there are also a lot of other toxins that you may not even realize are toxins aren't so so yeah. Yeah, so one of my favorite ones to talk about related to fertility is glyphosate, which is a toxin that is sprayed on plants.
And the number one sprayed plant with glyphosate is cotton, which makes pantyliners pads and tampons, which we literally insert into our vaginas and has a detrimental effect on fertility. There's study after study after study of how glyphosate is going to affect the microbiome. And the vaginal microbiome is currently like one of the leading areas of study for fertility. So we're starting to make these connections of how the vaginal, cervical and uterine microbiome are going to impact the ability to conceive the ability to carry to term, whether or not you're going to have a miscarriage, all of those things are being determined by the microbiome of your local reproductive region. So if you've managed to kill off all the good microbes in there, you've massively impacted your fertility without even being aware that you were impacting it. From the mere fact that you were putting tampons into your body for 15 years.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 15:26
So what about the companies who claim their their cotton is organic? Now there are a lot of how you feel, I assume they're better, but I don't know. I haven't asked if they're testing their product to make sure they're glyphosate free, or I mean,
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 15:38
yeah. And in reality, like glyphosate is sprayed from air really high up. So yes, in theory, your plants could be said organic, but you're literally next door to a field of cotton. That's non organic. And how much crossover is there? I you know, it's hard to quantify.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 16:02
Yeah, yeah. Do you do you recommend I'm just cutting to the chase, might as well got an expert on the show, so I'm just gonna. So do you recommend women not use any tampons at all? Like, not put anything like that in their
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 16:14
vagina? You know, I'm a huge fan of menstrual cups, actually. Yeah. I had a feeling you're Yeah, so menstrual cups, especially latex free. Like, they have a medical grade silicone, which is probably the best ones. Those tend to be amazing for our bodies if you're used to tampons, so some women just have never used tampon that was be 10 years ago, and someone said, Hey, try this cup, put it up your vagina, and I like freaked out and I was like, that's not gonna happen. And after that, I ended up trying it fell in love.
Because literally from one month to the next, my menstrual pain went down by 50%, just from switching to a cup. And I was like, Oh my God. And then I started suggesting it to my patients, and they would come back like talk, I don't have menstrual pain anymore. And I'm like, just from switching to a cup. Like that's amazing to me. But I feel like it probably like I never used tampons, but pads are still close enough to our reproductive area. And the mucous membranes of the nether regions is very absorbent, and is going to suck up all of those toxins. So whether it's pads or tampons still have to be very diligent.
If you prefer pads, things like companies like thinks that makes an organic version of their panties is great. There are other like menstrual panties out there that you can look up. There are like organic cotton reusable pads, like, take your pick, right? Like we're living in a time of innovation where there's access to just so much. So you just have to find the right fit for you. But I think there are a lot of other options. And because part of my purpose is how do we create a healthier planet, getting rid of the menstrual product waste is a side bonus to supporting our health and well being and our
Dr. Stephanie Gray 18:25
mason. Okay, so back to toxins. Glyphosate is a huge one. Yep, some others.
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 18:32
Gosh, BPA, of course, is is like, I don't know, I feel like everywhere you go, you're we're hearing about it. But BPA BPS BPF. Those are all relative relatives of the same component. And BPS and BPF, which are often used in BPA free products are actually more toxic to our reproductive system. So yes, they've taken out BPA they can call their product BPA free. And now you have yet another thing that is probably not so great for hormones and fertility. So
Dr. Stephanie Gray 19:10
those are found plastics. I mean, yeah, so just
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 19:14
Yeah, found in plastics. The lining of aluminum cans. That's a big one in terms of how it's leaking into our our bodies using plastic that is containers that you store your food in like you think you're doing amazing because you've cooked your own food and now you're putting it in these plastic containers, the linings of coffee cups, so go to Starbucks. Coffee, yes, you get a coffee that's lined with BPA. So once we start thinking about all of these, it's like, oh my god, seriously, I'm gonna have to like change every part of my life.
It sounds overwhelming, but if you just focus on One at a time and switch it out for a better option, you'll quickly get into the rhythm of just eliminating all of these things from your life, pF, oh A's, which are often the lining of things that we cook with. So this is another one that I talk about a lot, because it is the lining of all the nonstick cookware. And he again, here we are like, Hey, I bought organic food, because I know it's going to support my fertility. But if if I can use this cookware, and cook my food in something that is going to release these toxins, chemicals, even on a low level, we're going to absorb that into our body, and that's having a detrimental effect on our hormones.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 20:51
So how so tell the listeners, we've talked a little bit about this on the show. But so how so why are all these chemicals bad? How does that impact our hormones?
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 20:59
Yeah. So that's a great question. And I don't know if I have the answer for every single one imperfection. But we talked a little bit about how the glyphosate affect the microbiome, and that's probably the biggest research as far as what effect glyphosate has. And most of that research is actually on gut microbiome. But you we think it translates Yeah, yeah, it sure. Like the gut and the uterus have a deep connection and relationship. So what whatever is happening at the gut level is happening at the uterine level.
So there's a translation there, the BPA is we know a lot about because they mimic estrogen in the body. So they actually become like hyper estrogens that don't leave the body. So now you have kind of a toxic estrogenic compound that is highly inflammatory. So it binds to all the estrogen receptors, but doesn't actually have the right impact. And then it can't be detoxed. So it stays around for longer creating more and more inflammation, but it's not getting out of the body. So that's a big one. And then the PFOA is that one, I have a harder time thinking like, what is the mechanism of action?
We just know that a lot of these toxins are studied to have, what kind of negative impact does it have on the reproductive system? And a lot of the toxins are, it's really easy to study on men, because you can, you can have sperm counts, hey, sperm counts declined after the use of this for 30 days or something like that. So there are a lot of studies on toxins in men, but we can kind of extrapolate like it's having similar impacts on the female side, we just don't have a way to quantify it and easily published that study.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 22:59
Well, that was great. Thank you for that explanation. My next question was going to be what's with the declining sperm counts? Is what we've said or what? How else would you answer that question?
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 23:11
Yeah, I What is with the declining sperm counts? I think toxins are a big thing. But I feel like there's something else going on. And could we say like, yes, on some level, toxins can expand to our lifestyle. You know what I mean? Like, are we just using substances too much? Are we stressed out so much that it's showing up in some other way through our reproductive system? And I think part of that is true. But still to be determined. I feel like there is this trend that we've seen in the last 50 to 70 years.
Male average men's sperm counts went from 120 million, which is the average for a healthy male 75 years ago, to now what's considered average is 20 million. And we keep changing the average is because the sperm counts keep going down. Now, the men come in, and they're like, oh, but my doctor said, I have great sperm. And I'm like, Yes. And 75 years ago, they would have said, This is terrible. So yeah, no, not quite translatable here. So we don't really know what's happening there.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 24:36
Tell you even from just past guests that I've interviewed, that I believe I don't have any statistics handy or ready today for this interview, but that's parallel to testosterone declining as well. So we have a low testosterone epidemic, right? You need to have great hearty testosterone to make good high quality sperm. And I think the decline in the testosterone also is relative to the toxin exposure. So yeah, I do think a lot of men and just obesity right In general, a lot of men are have higher estrogen, they have a big beer belly, right? They're overweight. I, I traveled this week and I was at the airport and I, I literally looked around and I, I just had this weird moment where I was like, I've never seen this many overweight people, like, ever I was down south. And I just thought, This is worse than last year. This is literally, probably because of the pandemic.
But then I you know, you look at someone, you can almost guess what their hormones are going to be. So men are having they're exposed to the same chemicals that women are exposed to, it's not natural for a man to have high estrogen, right, yeah, can have lower testosterone and then less, thus, lower sperm counts. But I also think electromagnetic frequencies, the radiation is another huge. That's just my personal opinion. And we don't have to go off on that tangent. But I think radiation as a huge,
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 25:45
I've been following along on this and and like, Yes, I agree with you like that's possibly happening. I just wish there were more studies being done to prove that that's happening. And I think we're not going to see that for at least another 1015 years. So
Dr. Stephanie Gray 26:02
you know, we're going to be in really bad shape by that time. So So what's the solution? What is holistic? Is that the solution?
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 26:12
It might just be the solution. Because like, I walked that line of balance, right? So I'm not going to be the doctor that's out here. Like, you need to be off of all EMF said, you can't use your cell phone and you can't use a laptop. And, and we would just go crazy, right? Like, I'm sorry, but we're living in a modern world. We're living in a society where we're literally glued to our computers and phones and tablets. I look at my three and a half year old who's completely hooked. And I'm sorry, but he's three and a half. Like, we we just have to be like, Nope, sorry, time to take a break. Oh, so I see it. And I have to just walk that line of like, okay, what's reasonable here? So there's some simple things that I suggest my clients put into place. One of the most simplest things is turn your Wi Fi off at night, turn that thing off, turn your cell phones off, or at least to airplane mode. I agree even that I get resistance on you'd be surprised how many people are like, but what if someone calls me and it's urgent? I'm like,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 27:20
how often does someone call you unless you have
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 27:23
a parent that's ill. There should be nobody calling you in the middle of the night. And you can maybe get away in line for that if you really are concerned about it. So really, that's one simple solution, right? Second is turning off our devices, two or three hours before bed. That might be a lot for some people, at least an hour at a bit of love. And I usually will negotiate with people, right? I'll start with three hours. They'll be like, oh, there's no way I'm still working by that. So we'll we can talk about it. But an hour minimum where you're giving your eyes a rest, you're giving your brain time to produce melatonin, which is crucial to flooding the reproductive system with rejuvenative energy to actually keep functioning.
So melatonin Yes, it's a sleep hormone. That's this major job. But if you don't produce enough melatonin, you never get this like rejuvenation response to your reproductive system. And what's interesting is a lot of people think oh, but I'll just supplement melatonin. Well, if you're a man, you should not be supplementing melatonin. There's some studies that show that melatonin supplementation in men will decline fertility declines. But internal production of melatonin is very different from supplementation. So getting your body to making sure that it's producing its own melatonin is vital, especially for men. For women Sure, they can supplement there's lots of studies of like how amazing and antioxidant it is for the female reproductive system, and they can supplement but still optimizing for your own internal body first is essential. Sure, sure.
So those are some like basic things and then just anti inflammatory diet, one that's not harming your body in particular, really super important and really focusing on the foundations or pillars that will support long term fertile living. So that can mean everything from Hey, I've optimized my sleep, my water intake my food, I eat at least 30 plant foods per week, getting a diversity in our diet, like things that you've heard a million times. Start applying one thing at a time and just like The next 30 days, I'm going to focus on making sure I get 30 plant foods every single week, then I'm going to focus on my sleep, I'm going to focus on whatever else. So by the time you get to the end of this year, you've really put into place a fertile lifestyle that's going to support your fertility for later in life.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 30:22
I love it love it, I want to go back specifically to aging ovaries. So I know a lot of aging individuals are told that a quality declines with age and I think, at least based on my reading and experience, that's where some antioxidants can come into play and help. And I know you've mentioned some antioxidants. So I guess I'm asking a couple questions here. But I want to go back to just tips for helping the ovaries age well, and maybe that's going to involve some supplements, because I want to make sure I don't forget to circle back around to what are some healthy supplements for men and women for fertility?
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 30:55
Yes. So supplements can be very helpful in preventing age related fertility decline for the ovaries, there's a few things that can be helpful across the board. And then there is a big need for individualisation even on that horse, because so many times people are taking like all of the popular supplements, I'll need to be like, but I'm still not pregnant, then they'll come see us. And I'll be like, Yeah, cuz you don't need that one, you need this other thing. So I always say that because I'm like, There's at least 500 antioxidants that our body needs. And you can't possibly supplement all of these things. Right? So your foundation on
Dr. Stephanie Gray 31:47
supplement and yourself out of that diet. Right? Everybody says that. So I love that you're saying eat the the dark green, and the pigmented you know, fruits and vegetables, like you got to eat well, but on top of that, another layer,
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 32:00
another layer can be supplements. Yeah. Yeah. So some of the popular ones for fertility co q 10. Of course, co Q 10 is probably the one that has gained the most popularity in the last like five or seven years. If you're not taking CO q 10. You know, it's always a surprise for fertility people. And sometimes people will freak out because they'll I'll be like, Well, you've taken this for three years, you don't need this anymore. Let's give you something else. They're like, Oh, my God, you're gonna take away my cookie title never get pregnant. And I'm like, I promise you'll be okay.
So that is a popular one, alpha lipoic acid is a popular one. carnitine can be a good one. Bye, oh, inositol can be a good one. Probably my favorite is glutathione. There was a lot of debate about whether or not glutathione could be absorbed orally. So yes, it's not as absorbable as IVs. But it's still relatively absorbable, depending on how it's made. So glutathione is not one of these, like, let me just go to Walmart and pick it up off the shelf, because you will not be getting a good glutathione there, you really need to make sure that you're looking for a liposomal glutathione. That's more absorbable. And most of the time, they're going to not be in capsules. Unfortunately, they're usually like thick, liquid jelly things. They don't always taste great, but they work really well. So glutathione tends to be at the top of my list. And then NAC if you're like, oh glutathione is expensive or whatever, NAC is a precursor to glutathione. So that one will also work.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 33:50
I totally agree. And I've tested I mean, we carry all different types of glutathione here, obviously very, you know, high quality. But I've tested many patients glutathione levels, including myself before and after various supplementation, and I see levels skyrocket. So I know that it is getting absorbed. So I agree with what you said there. Yeah, and cut you off again. So
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 34:08
no, no, that's fine. So glutathione is a good one because it supports mitochondrial function, which is one of the main components of ovaries. Eggs have 200 times the number of mitochondria as any other cell in the body. So if you want to really like anti aging and fertility, anything that supports mitochondrial function is going to massively improve fertility and kind of like reverse the clock a little bit on the ovaries.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 34:45
I get asked all the time, what's one product that I just can't live without when it comes to maintaining my own health and longevity? And my answer is something you've actually heard me mention on several episodes. It's called mitochondria complex and it's pretty much the Cadillac of multivitamins, and it's packed with an by accidents including three key players acetyl, l carnitine, Alpha Lipoic Acid and an acetyl cysteine. Think of a steam engine that requires coal to be continually shoveled into the furnace to power the train forward. Acetyl l carnitine. Does that for your body by shoveling short chain fatty acids into your cells to provide your body with energy. This is an absolutely essential task to keeping you running. However, what's a byproduct of fire?
You guessed it smoke. Unfortunately, in this analogy, smoke from fire equals free radicals. To combat those free radicals. Other antioxidants are needed and that's where alpha lipoic acid and acetyl cysteine come in. Together they scavenge free radicals and help boost and recharge glutathione the most potent antioxidant in the body. To top it off mitochondrial complex also contains a little bit of green tea extract, broccoli seed extract with sulforaphane and even resveratrol. Research has shown that when athletes and individuals that are under stress begin taking this product they are less likely to get sick as they're giving their body what it needs to conquer those stressors. Who doesn't need protection from stress and cellular damage at this time? I certainly do.
I take this product every day. If you're interested in learning more about how mitochondrial complex can help support you living a longer healthier life, check out my blog post on why antioxidants are important found at your longevity blueprint.com forward slash y dash antioxidants dash r dash important four in chapter four of my book Your longevity blueprint to get 10% off our mitochondrial complex, just use code energy when checking out at your longevity blueprint.com. Now let's get back to the show.
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 36:34
From the herbal side, similarly, my top favorite is Rhodiola. For the same reason, there's a lot of research on how Rhodiola supports mitochondrial function. So Rhodiola is like all around a favorite herb. I just did a whole like presentation on Rhodiola because it is just so amazing. And like there's literally every part of the body it supports it like this amazing way. So adrenals it has a positive effect on adrenal function which stress is often even if people are like, Oh, no, I'm not stressed, they often have levels of stress in their history that have contributed to their fertility issues in present time.
So Rhodiola tends to be a go to for me. Rhodiola also supports mood, which, like how many people with fertility issues have anxiety and or depression. So Rhodiola tends to be like it's kind of a subtle foundation or on top of like, layered with other herbs that we can build into a formula. But as soon as people start taking it within a month, they're like, Oh my God, I feel me saying what kind of magic is and it's literally this plan is often it the foundation of most of my formulas, because I find that it just works so well. And why not like we want to be supporting ovary mitochondria and egg function as much as possible. And for the male side. Similarly, we want to support sperm function. So it can go for both people. It's a good foundation, or I wouldn't give it a loan necessarily, but always like blending it in with the right other herbs to get the impacts that we're looking for. It will go a really long ways. So we're dill is a favorite. And then Ashwagandha is probably my other favorite and ashwagandha. I know we've talked about it offline a little bit.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 38:42
I love Asha.
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 38:46
Ashwagandha is similarly, magic herb, it's most of the research for Ashwagandha is that it will support male fertility and in our VEDA it's called the vitality of a horse or something like that, because it's smells like horse urine. Supposedly, it doesn't taste it actually has this like earthy taste that most people but yeah, ashwagandha tends to be a good foundational herb. For men for sure. For women, there are some studies and how like lovely it is for the reproductive system and how well it supports the reproductive system.
But there is less research on it. So I usually use it for women who are maybe having trouble sleeping or have thyroid issues that are not autoimmune thyroid and or just have high levels of stress have trouble unwinding. It's like a great herb for those people. And I tend towards the traditional preparation which is take a teaspoon to a tablespoon depending on the dose that you need. Put it into warm or Vedic would be put it into more milk. We don't do milk or dairy free, just like you put it into warmed up milk or warm water with a little bit of fat, some black pepper, mix it up and have it as like a nighttime tonic that you drink before bed.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 40:21
Wonderful, wonderful. So I suppose you use all kinds of herbs being that your naturopath kind of based on what needs patients have right based on like hormone levels. So tell me what tests what lab test patients and listeners should really know, to help empower themselves with having this fertility, more fertility knowledge.
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 40:41
So lab tests that I think are really vital, at least even before we start working together is FSH, LH, estradiol and Hmh. And those four are pretty standard in the fertility world. There is, unfortunately, I think, not enough emphasis on what day of your cycle that you're doing those tests. So a lot of times people will come in from their OBGYN or reproductive doctor and say, Oh, I have those tests.
And then I asked them, well, When was this taken? And they're like, What do you mean, I just took it on a random day, I walked into the clinic and took the test. And I'm like, yeah, so unfortunately, that means nothing to me. So our hormones are changing through the whole cycle, kind of the coherence would be on cycle day two, three, or four, is the optimal time to get all four of those tests so that we can know I agree, yeah, what's happening with fertility. So those four will give us a lot of information from reproductive side or fertility medicine, a lot of doctors will say, Oh, we just need the Hmh. Yeah, your ama just too low. Sorry, goodbye.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 41:58
And explain what that is. Yeah. Good
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 42:01
question. So Hmh is called anti malaria and hormone, that's the hormone that is essentially a signal being put out by the eggs in the ovaries. So as these eggs are kind of waking up, most of the time they're in their sleep state, they wake up and they start giving out the signal. And once they give out the signal, it gets picked up and measured. Now, the assumption is, the higher the signal, the more eggs there are in the ovaries. So this doesn't always correlate accurately because someone with PCOS, for example, we'll give out that sick, their ovaries are giving out that signal, but they don't necessarily have tons more eggs, it's actually cysts that are giving out that signal.
So it becomes a little trickier. But in general, we're looking for that signal to be happening. And this lab test got its claim to fame because they realized that IVF success rates were consistently lower if the air Meech was below 1.06. So that became kind of the, like the number to live by. And in the IVF world because they saw this correlation in studies, they were like, hey, every time we see someone with a MH below 1.06, they're not successful, we only get two or three eggs. What's up with that? So it started becoming this kind of popular thing for IVF doctors to be like, Sorry, can't help you your EMH is too low, you have premature ovarian failure, you have insufficient insufficiency of ovaries, whatever.
Unfortunately, it got translated to mean you cannot have babies, or you're not you don't have fertility, are you not? You don't have any time on your clock. It's not actually true. So am Ah yes, ah will correlate to a decline success in IVF rates. But that doesn't mean you can't get pregnant. And that's a really big distinction, right? Because a lot of times people are like, Oh my God, no, if that number is too low, I'll never have baby. Like we have plenty of people who have who started working with us with an AMA H of 0.3. And went on to have not one but two children. So and these are people that were literally written off by the Western medicine world that were told sorry, you'll never have babies with your own gonna happen eggs, you need an egg donor. It may be true in certain cases, but it needs to be on a case by case basis and really understanding the full picture of what's happening of the other hormones I think FSH and estradiol are really important to talk about because FSH tends to be, it will increase as women get closer to menopause.
So the technical definition is when FSH or follicle stimulating hormone goes above 20. A woman is in menopause. And essentially, the signal is from the brain to the ovaries telling the ovaries to produce follicles. So this is the brain saying, hey, ovaries, don't you want to make some follicles Don't you want to turn into eggs that could turn into babies. And when we're young, the ovaries super responsive, so that FSH is usually lower. As we get older, the ovaries start responding less. And the brain is essentially starting to yell at the ovaries and say, Make follicles and sometimes the ovary response.
Sometimes it doesn't. Unfortunately, the higher this number gets, the lower the quality of the follicles that are being produced. And it's essentially I say this to my patients all the time. It's like a boss standing over your shoulder saying, You're not working fast enough, you're not doing a good job, you're not doing that. Right, you're probably not going to do your best work if someone's standing behind you yelling at you. So ovaries are similar in that they don't really like to be yelled at either be like to be gently coerced. Unfortunately, that number is going to be suppressed by estradiol. So estrogen kind of keeps FSH in check to a certain degree. So ovaries produce eggs, the eggs are growing, the eggs start releasing estradiol, estrogen goes back to the brain and says, Hey, I'm good. I have enough eggs this time, thank you, and the FSH stops being produced.
So estradiol, FSH kind of have this opposing relationship when Esther dial is over the top, meaning that number is so high, it will suppress FSH to the point where FSH looks normal, but isn't actually normal. So brain may still be yelling at the ovaries, ovaries are still producing crappy quality eggs, they're producing so much estrogen, that estrogen is going back and suppressing the FSH to make it look normal, even if it's not. So a lot of times, if we're only looking at AMA, or we're only looking at FSH or only estrogen, we miss the full picture of what's happening with all of the variations of what could be going on under the surface.
So all that to say like, I think a lot of times, women will have all of these tests run by their OB or their reproductive doctor or even a fertility acupuncturist or whatever. But they don't fully understand how all of these relationships are going on and miss this component where this feedback loop is so important. And if estrogen is elevated, you start and this used to happen a lot in practice, people would come in with these really high estrogen levels. And my instinct would be like, Oh, we gotta get rid of the estrogen.
You start getting rid of estrogen, the FSH spikes up, and then you're like, Oh, crap, how are we gonna lower the FSH. So it could be a fine tune thing where you're lowering estrogen but you're not spiking the FSH or you're keeping that in check. So that this relationship can change simultaneously. And it's almost like a slower, more fine tune process, then, oh my god, we have to go read rampantly get rid of estrogen because that's the instinct to do but that will often throw people into a opposite loop which is just as bad.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 49:32
Don't know about you but one of the things that's most important to me as I age is staying energized and mentally sharp. One of the essential nutrients for promoting these outcomes is CO q 10. A potent antioxidant found in every cell in your body. CO Q 10 plays a critical role in neurological protection, energy production, cardiovascular health and blood sugar balance and as one of the most powerful known fat soluble antioxidants protecting cells, organs and tissues from damage caused by oxidative stress and free radicals.
The only problem Um, well, we begin to lose Kokyu 10 As we age and by taking certain medications. Fortunately, there's a supplement we can take to top up our levels. Our co Q 10 is delivered in an oil based proprietary form and includes natural Vitamin E for enhanced absorption and maximum stability. I recommend anybody over the age of 35, or those taking a medication that depletes it like Stan medications, for instance, take CO q 10. To help support healthy and balanced cellular function. I have found in my clinical experience, it's very helpful for energy headaches and even lowering blood pressure. Use code co q 10. That co Q one zero for 10% off at your longevity blueprint.com. Let's get back to the show.
Great explanation there. I I feel like we can talk about labs for an hour because there are just so many labs that I think are important even back to you know running food sensitivity testing on a patient to see how she should be eating right avoiding what foods are inflammatory for her or running a nutritional evaluation to see if someone low enough lipoic acid or not, or coke utan or glutathione or whatnot. I think functional medicine practitioners, like myself and yourself can run some of these advanced testing options on patients to really personalize the care that these these patients need.
So if patients, I keep saying patients, listeners, listeners, are already pursuing fertility treatments like IUI and IVF, what are some of your top tips to help their success? Or have you pretty much, you know, already mentioned that is everything that you're saying applying to those individuals as well?
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 51:30
Oh, gosh, yes, everything does apply. And I think that there's a couple of things that people on the track of IVF, or IUI should be aware of, I would say that every cycle is information that should be being analyzed, so that you understand and can break down, like, oh, I went through this IVF cycle, I got 12 eggs that were developing, but only five were retrieved only one was normal. That gives us a really specific set of information that can be broken down. And before you go back for your next cycle, you really optimize each of those things, so that your next cycle can have a different outcome. Right? So you just went through this really expensive process. And I just had a moment of this. Three weeks ago, I was talking to this woman, she's been through nine IVF cycles I could not get.
And I've talked to women who have been through five and six it but nine cycles. I just was flabbergasted. And she basically went from a clinic for three cycles, and then went to a different clinic, three cycles, a different clinic, three cycles. And I was like, Okay, can you walk me through each cycle? And God bless her heart. She remembered every single cycle with every single breakdown of outcome. Wow, yeah. And so I read this chart, and it was really fascinating to see the chart because she could tell me like, oh, from this cycle to this cycle, I made these changes. And this was my outcome. And I analyzed that. And I was like, listen, I think this is my humble opinion. But I think that this is not you. And this is her three years, she has been on this track.
She has been through three really major fertility clinics. And I sat through with her and I was like, the phase at which falls apart for your eggs and your development of your embryos is literally when the sperm get introduced. So who has looked at the sperm? And she just was like, what? They said his sperm were fine. And I was like, please tell me that somewhere along this route, someone has done a DNA fragmentation study of your partner's sperm.
She said, What's that? And I literally started crying with her. Because like, for someone to have been through nine cycles cycle, she has spent 300 grand between the cycles, the medication that traveled to all the different states that these clinics are in. Not one of them has paused to say, Wait, we're getting so many eggs, and they're not turning into embryos, and when they turn into embryos, they're not good quality embryos. And every single doctor has blamed it on her age when she's currently 35. And I was like, You're 35 You started this three years ago. There's no way that at 32 Your age was the only issue going on. So
it's like But use the information and use the like you're going through this super expensive route of creating a child. If it doesn't work, at least pause and have an analysis period. What did we do? How can we scientifically optimize the cycle so that the next cycle can have a different result. And if you didn't do anything from point one to point two, don't expect a different outcome, like nothing is going to magically change. And a lot of times doctors are saying, Oh, well just change your hormones, because that must be the problem. And sometimes it is, sometimes it's like, oh, we gave you too many hormones, we lost a bunch of eggs because they overdeveloped and then we couldn't harvest them.
But that only is a very small percentage of the scenarios. There are many other scenarios that could have happened, that are all optimizable through holistic methods that utilize food, nutrition, lifestyle and supplementation that your doctors don't know about. Right? Like the most of your doctors are not talking to you about, oh, here's the set of supplements that's going to really optimize how many embryos we get, or how many eggs are going to be able to be retrieved. You just have to be knowledgeable enough to say, Hmm, maybe I need someone who can analyze this and look at this differently. Before I spend another 30 grand on my next cycle.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 56:40
I want a good story. I take it you see men and women, so you're going to be helping this. Yes, hopefully achieve what a what an amazing story that's going to be when they're able to Yeah, take can see, you'll have to report back to me because cliffhanger. They're talking about cliffhangers though, as we conclude this episode, we got to come back to your story. Yes. So. So we opened the episode with you saying I didn't want to have kids. So so close that loop for it. So tell us your loan blessing. So I got a divorce. That didn't expect
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 57:16
success. That was I have no regrets. I have a lot of gratitude actually, for that relationship. Because I wouldn't be doing the fertility work that I'm doing had I not had that experience. And had I not went through my own journey with it. Never in a million years would I have anticipated that I would spend my life doing fertility medicine. So many blessings through that. Luckily, it took us like nine or 10 months to separate and move out and move on. And all of that. Three weeks after that I met the love of my life who I'm currently married to. And I think we waited like five years, six years or something like that to have a child. And of course, this would be my story. I a year before I knew that I would be ready.
So it took me a long time because he was like, let's do this. Let's have a child, let's have a child, let's have a child I was like, soon, maybe are not ready yet. And a year before I thought I would be ready. I was like okay, let me start preparing my body. So I did all of my own protocols. And I had essentially a wake up call because a year prior to getting pregnant was the worst periods of my life. My hormones were out of whack. My cycle was all over the place. And I had this massive gut issue. I would literally like every single night be doubled over in pain and could not figure out what was going on. And did a food sensitivity test did a nutrient test all of the things. And essentially, the top three sensitivities were things that I had added in to support my fertility that I was massively reacting to.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 59:18
Interesting. Very interesting.
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 59:21
I like I was like what, you know, like here, here's what I think I'm doing for my fertility and it's already we really big. So I had to change how I was doing those things. Within three weeks of getting the results and making the changes. I was like, oh my god, the pain is gone. I'm better. My cycles are better. And like things improved very quickly. And then of course he continued to be like, is it time? Is it time? Is it time? And when I finally said yes, it's time we got pregnant. So wow, yeah. But it was I shy about sharing the story the way that that happened. But everyone has different paths.
And I think that for me, I went through a lot of the difficult stuff and the things that I knew I needed to tweak that have always been issues with my hormones. It was for me an opportunity to be like, Hey, I'm gonna spend this year focused on working on my hormones, working on myself working on improving all of these things that I know have just been like off for so long. I just don't prioritize it enough. So fertility tends to be that time where we can be like, hey, is this what I want my life to look like? Is this what I want to walk into pregnancy with? And, like, what an amazing opportunity to be optimizing my health so that my future child and my grandbabies can have the best, most vital health
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:01:05
and bringing this back around to even the cancer that we open the episodes with, right and reducing, you're literally by making all those lifestyle changes. Yes, that puts you in clearly in place to be able to conceive easily and you know, naturally, which is amazing, but also reduced your risk of chronic disease and essentially promoted your stills promoting your longevity. So just to kind of again, bring this full, full circle back around to the opening story. I just think, although Today's episode is about fertility, it's about so much more than fertility. So this is beautiful. What a great episode. So tell us where listeners can connect with you and find you.
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 1:01:39
The best place to find me is Instagram. I'm at holistic fertility expert. There's underscores in between holistic and expert. You'll figure it out holistic fertility expert. We'll we'll have it linked in the bio and then our website is holistic fertility. institute.com
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:01:58
wonderful and kind of parallel to what we've talked about today. Some some toxins. I know you have a free gift for our listeners. So share with us what that is. Yeah,
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 1:02:06
yeah. So one of my favorite things to talk about is toxins because it's such a big contributor to fertility issues. So our we have an ebook called The Divas detox guide. And it will take you through every step of the arena's in your home, in your environment in your life, that are potentially contributing toxins that are reproductive toxins, and, and support you to shift out of that.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:02:37
Love it love and we'll post a link to that in the show notes. Okay, long episode here. But I have one more question. What is your top longevity tip?
Dr. Aumatma Simmons 1:02:45
Sleep, sleep is the best way to increase longevity. Yeah, above all else,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:02:53
get good is the most common answer I get is clearly that important. Most people say that. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show today and really dispelling myths for fertility over the age of 35. I personally appreciate that. And I'm so glad that we have no our happy endings. And if you're a listener and you want to work with Dr. Mama or myself, you know where to find us. So let us help you with with that happy ending. Thanks for listening. Take care. Oh, I loved that interview. Dr. Mama is so knowledgeable and I appreciate her passion for helping aging couples conceive. If you want to connect with her further visit the holistic fertility institute.com and I'll post a link to her divas detox guide in the show notes.
Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time the course is 50% off, check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the Course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you learn on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative as always thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting
the information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.