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Thursday, March 02, 2017


Flax Seeds for Fertility and Conception

Flax seeds are a great hormone regulator and help with estrogen metabolism.  You should keep flax seeds either refrigerated or frozen because their natural oils can easily spoil. When I was trying to conceive, I would consume flax seeds in the form of flax meal (gound up).  Flax seeds contain something called lignans.  Lignans are phytoestrogens which, bind to estrogen receptors blocking the effects of the stronger more harmful estrogens.  Flax seeds are also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which help your body manufacture the “good” prostaglandins.   
Prostaglandins play a critical role in menstruation, conception, and pregnancy.  There are different types of prostaglandins, some are helpful and some are harmful.  Some prostaglandins assist the uterus and the fallopian tubes to contract which moves the egg to the portion of the tube where fertilization is most likely to occur.  Prostaglandins also surge at the end of a menstrual cycle causing
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the corpus luteum of the ovary to shrink down which tells the body to start a new cycle.



If there is an overproduction of prostaglandins (with endometriosis, for example) and woman becomes pregnant or is pregnant, this could cause the uterine lining to shed ending in a miscarriage. Additionally, overproduction of prostaglandins could cause contractions so powerful that the egg moves too fast before conception can occur.

In terms of getting pregnant and staying pregnant, it is important to help your body manufacture and shift the balance to good prostaglandins by eating foods that create the building blocks for these substances. Specifically, you need to be consuming essential fatty acids since your body can’t manufacture these by itself.  Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly helpful.  The three main forms are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). EPA and DHA are considered long-chain forms of omega-3 and are found in fish, fish oil supplements, and algae extract. ALA, the short-chain form, is found in foods like flax seeds.

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