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What You Need to Know Before You Get Pregnant

I was happy to welcome Dr. Corey Schuler back to Elevate Your Energy radio to talk about fertility.

Fertility nutrition is definitely one of my favorite topics. In this show, Corey shared the most important lab tests you should request from your doctor before you think of conceiving. He also talked about his favorite supplements, including Femmenessence Maca-Harmony and gave a very special offer for you!

You can get a 6 month supply for a special discount:

  • 3 Boxes of Maca Harmony (for women)
  • 3 Boxes of Revolution MacaLibrium (for men)

You get 10 % off , making this a 6 month supply of this fantastic product just $197. Just call Natural Health International at 415-243-9991 and give the promo code ELEVATE.

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What You Need to Know Before You Get Pregnant

Natural health and metabolism expert, teacher, consultant and radio show host, Dr. Corey Schuler got into functional medicine (specializing in fertility) by way of chiropractic medicine ([5:16]). “It was a way to delve into the holistic world,” he says. “And then I just kept going down the rabbit hole of nutrition and functional medicine – going and going and going.” Since then, his practice has developed into the treatment of, among other things, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and other fertility issues with women and couples.

Patterns With Couples Seeking Fertility Help

There tend to be patterns with couples seeking help with fertility ([7:40]), which can be broken down into several general categories (while understanding that each person has unique aspects of their situation). For some, it’s amenorrhea (a history of missed or inconsistent periods). Another group are those who struggle to successfully conceive a second time after a successful first pregnancy and birth. Others come in with uterine fibroids that make conception very difficult; still others fall into the 40-and-older category of women who want to be pregnant. And the final group Dr. Corey treats is what he calls “100% female-focused fertility” or when he just sees the woman (in other cases, he treats the man too).

Fine-tuning Your Health Before Conception


Every health choice since childhood will play a role in your ability to conceive.

Overall health is obviously very important when trying to conceive, so I wondered how long before you start to try should you be thinking about fine-tuning your health? ([10:10]) Dr. Corey’s initial response of “seven years old” caught me surprise until he explained that we are the culmination of our choices combined with the “deck we’re dealt”. So literally every health choice since childhood will play some sort of role in your ability to conceive.

But since we can’t go back and fix the mistakes that were already made, Corey recommends a solid year of conscious attention to pre-conception work. These efforts can even go so far as to affect the epigenetics of the baby, even if you (and therefore the child) are predisposed to certain disorders. As little as four months prep time can be effective, but the protocol is far more intense – “you would hate me on that protocol”, he says.

Blood Work for Fertility Issues

In the world of fertility issues, there can be about a million tests to run, so it can be really confusing about which ones are actually helpful ([12:05]). Dr. Corey says that his “basic” blood work looks pretty different from the average M.D.’s. “I like a lot of blood work for a broad-spectrum view of what’s going on.” Issues like hormone imbalances or iron levels out of whack can’t be found by doing one test.

Dr. Corey’s basic blood work panel includes a comprehensive metabolic profile; full iron panels; a lipid test; thyroid markers; CBC markers; and a urinalysis. Outside of these panels, Corey also looks at how well methylation takes place in your body ([16:33]). If it’s not effective there will be a lot of metabolism issues that surface. Testing a few markers, including homocysteine, histamine, serum folates, urinary pyroles, and levels of zinc, magnesium, and B-6 present a good picture for him. When the last three are low (as is common in pyroluria), you may need to replenish in heavy doses. Low levels of zinc and magnesium play a role in many different enzymes, including the ones that enable sperm to penetrate the egg.

The Best Conception Diet

When it comes to the best conception diet ([22:21]), vegetables are key. “As many as you can tolerate,” Dr. Corey insists. Also, lean meats and copious amounts of healthy fats, such as avocado, walnut oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. This diet works equally well for men and women in the conception process.

Why is it so important to have a lot of fat in your diet? ([24:48]) Hormones play a big role in conception (including progesterone and estrogen), and they are made from the cholesterol molecule. So hormones need cholesterol to be created and maintained well. This is really important in developing a healthy brain in the baby too.


Dr. Corey Schuler and I both believe supplements are an important part of fertility nutrition.

I’m a big fan of supplements, so I asked which ones can help increase your chances of getting pregnant. ([26:16]) For men, the intermediate bio-markers Dr. Corey looks at are sperm count, motility, and volume. With women, he checks ovulation (is it happening?), as well as a physical exam for other factors. For some, the B-complex Inostotol – a natural version of Clomid – can encourage ovulation. For women who have been trying for a while, or women 40 and older, low-dose melatonin can support the health of the egg by providing antioxidant support.

He also likes maca, particularly Femmenessence MacaHarmony. While maca has been used in Peru and Bolivia for years, all of its different healing properties haven’t always been fully understood. Maca roots are multicolored, and it’s been discovered that each color treats specific issues. Red maca, for instance, reduces the size of prostate in men, while supporting fertility in women.

I know a lot of people pick up maca at health food stores and put in their smoothies, but I wasn’t sure if this is sufficient when trying to get pregnant. ([39:58]) Dr. Corey says for someone with PCOS who is at risk because of high androgen levels, a phenotype blend of maca skyrockets testosterone levels while making fertility plummet. With Femmenessence MacaHarmony, this doesn’t happen – in fact, it has quite the opposite effect – so the type of maca a woman takes really is important.

There is also a correlation between mood and maca. ([42:44]) Since mood is controlled by neurotransmitters and hormone levels, balancing hormones really makes a difference in mood … and fertility. In the same way that cancer patients with a positive outlook tend to have better physical responses to treatment, couples who cultivate a positive approach to their conception process actually tend to get pregnant easier. Taking the stress off of conceiving really can improve your chances.

The reason Femmenessence is so much more effective than other brands is because of the way it is cooked. ([45:30]) While raw maca powder is easy to process, it’s not easy to digest. However, cooking maca tends to cook off the active constituents, so it’s a fine art to produce a form of maca that is both easy to digest and still full of its naturally healing ingredients.

Femmenessence cooks maca at low temperatures and high pressure, resulting in pregelatinization that is mostly raw – the best of all worlds. It’s soluble and therefore bioavailable without giving you digestive issues. You can find it at many health food stores, and if you call into National Health International, you can get a special deal using the promo code ELEVATE when you call (415) 243-9991.

Standard dosing is two capsules a day, one taken in the morning and one in the early afternoon ([50:37])

Important Factors to Consider When Prepping for Conception

Other important factors to consider when prepping for conception ([51:49]) are to start treating yourselves “like kings and queens”, as Dr. Corey says. Take care of yourself – make choices that are consistent with good conception health. Don’t get into situations that you know are going to stress you out; establish stress-reduction techniques. Increase that pregnancy-friendly hormone oxytocin between you and your partner. Be on the same page; prepare together. And finally, have sex, but not too often (not every day) to optimize sperm count and motility, and plan it around ovulation.

Learn more about Dr. Corey Schuler at

Duck Photo Credit: Wade Morgen via Compfight cc

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