Acne and fertility may not seem like two things that have much in common, but you might be surprised to learn that there are actually many connections between them. So let’s take a look at how acne and fertility are related, and how taking a holistic approach to your health and well-being can help you address both of these issues.
At the core root of chronic acne, we have poor gut health, sluggish detox pathways (like your liver!) and hormonal imbalances. Guess what also impacts fertility? Gut health, liver function and hormones. These three areas of the body can all have a major impact on your ability to conceive and carry a healthy pregnancy.
Your gut is home to trillions of tiny microorganisms – collectively known as your gut microbiome – that play a crucial role in keeping you healthy. When your gut microbiome is out of balance, it can lead to a variety of health issues, including poor digestion, inflammation, and even autoimmune conditions. But what does all of this have to do with fertility?
Well, it turns out that there’s a strong link between gut health and fertility.
When your gut is healthy, it can help to regulate your hormones and support a healthy menstrual cycle. But when your gut is struggling, it can disrupt your hormones and make it harder for you to conceive. Additionally, poor gut health can lead to inflammation and oxidative stress, which can damage your eggs and sperm and make it harder for fertilization to occur.
Your liver is a hard-working organ that’s responsible for filtering toxins and wastes out of your body. When your liver is functioning properly, it helps to keep your hormones in balance and support healthy fertility. But when your liver is sluggish or overloaded with toxins, it can disrupt your hormonal balance and make it harder for you to conceive.
This is because your liver plays a crucial role in metabolizing hormones like estrogen and progesterone. When your liver is working properly, it helps to clear excess hormones from your body. But when your liver is struggling to keep up, those hormones can build up in your system and disrupt your menstrual cycle.
Hormonal imbalances can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, poor diet, medications, environmental toxins and underlying health conditions. When your hormones are out of balance, it can disrupt your menstrual cycle and make it harder for you to conceive and carry a baby to term.
But here’s where things get really interesting: hormonal imbalances can also be caused by poor gut health and a sluggish liver. When your gut is out of balance, it can disrupt your body’s ability to produce and regulate hormones. Similarly, when your liver is struggling to keep up with its detoxification duties, it can lead to a buildup of toxins in your body that can disrupt your hormonal balance.
“I want to clear up my skin but I’m also actively trying for a baby. Can I do both at the same time?”
This is a question we get asked regularly.
Short answer? No.
Long answer? Kind of. Lemme explain…
For our acne clients in The Clear Skin Solution, we do very targeted and deeply therapeutic protocols. We work through killing off overgrowths of yeast and bacteria, repairing the gut lining, intensitive detoxifications and thorough hormonal balancing – all of which are contraindicated for pregnancy. The health of the baby is always the top priority and any of these measures would impact that.
We highly recommend holding off on trying to conceive if you’re actively working through clearing up your skin.
Now here’s the good news.
When we’re working therapeutically to clear up acne, what we’re really doing is getting the body back into an optimal and balanced state.
We’re focusing on the same practices you would follow if trying to get pregnant but have the ability to be more aggressive than if you were actively trying. We have more flexibility with supplements and therapeutic protocols to set the stage.
Giving yourself time and working to get your body in the most optimal health gives you the best foundation for a successful pregnancy.
Here’s a good way to look at it…
Sometimes we have to put plans on pause. If you can’t go on that dream vacation because you can’t afford it right now, what do you do? You pause and plan. You adjust your finances so you can put a little away every month. You fill that empty vacation account and envision the prize waiting at the other end. You may have to save longer than your friends to take that same vacation but it will be worth the wait, right? Yes! It will be.
The same is true for fertility. Sometimes you just need to pause, plan and prepare. It is important to get to the root cause of the issue.
If you and your partner have decided to try for a baby now there are a few things you can do to support both your skin and fertility health.
If you need more help with this, check out Glowing Mama. I lay out the exact recommendations I provide to any of our clients who become pregnant while working with us – including pregnancy-focused supplementation, nourishing meal plans/recipes and pregnancy-safe skincare.
At the end of the day, taking a holistic approach to your health and fertility can help you get to the root of the issue and improve your chances of conceiving a healthy baby.
For many women, fertility isn’t a straightforward and easy process. My journey to have our second baby was a heartbreaking journey – you can read more about my journey here and here (trigger warning: pregnancy loss).
Even when you’re doing all the right things, it can still be an exhausting and emotionally draining journey. If you find yourself here right now, I have two wonderful baby-making colleagues to refer you to.
Dr. Kelsey Duncan specializes in helping women who have been trying for at least three months through her Fertility Confidence Method. She’s a Naturopathic Doctor who takes an evidence-based approach to fertility. You can listen to a recent podcast I did with her here.
Dr. Laurie Terzo specializes in helping women 35+ improve their fertility and conceive naturally through her program, Fabulous Fertility Over 35. As a holistic doctor, she combines her background in both functional medicine and Chinese medicine to support her clients’ fertility journey.