I always felt like I’d find an explanation someday for my fertility issues. I have one healthy child but my husband and I have had two miscarriages and one stillbirth. I’m not infertile. I can conceive. But for me pregnancy usually only lasts about three months and then I have a miscarriage. As time has gone one, my pregnancies last for shorter and shorter periods of time. First, we had a stillborn baby at 5 months. Then, a year later, I had a miscarriage at 4 months. Five years ago we had another miscarriage at 3 months.
Recently, it’s come to my attention that I (and my husband and my daughter) have an infestation of parasites in our intestines. You can read more about our parasite story here but suffice it to say, I thought I was going to die and so I started looking for the problem. And I didn’t find it at a doctor’s office. I found the answer in forums and individual posts by people with stories similar to mine.
So what does an intestinal parasitic infection have to do with female infertility? Some worms will crawl out of your butthole to lay eggs at night and then “get lost” and go up the “wrong hole” into the uterus or the bladder. Inside the bladder and the uterus, they may lay eggs or take up residence creating all sorts of disruptions (including cystitis, for example). Parasites in the ovaries could cause the ovaries to shut down (theoretically that is, although I doubt that studies have been done on parasites and human ovaries). The ovaries are the organs that make female sex hormones and so it would obviously be undesirable to have a parasite in an ovary hijacking your body’s hormonal balance, especially if you’re trying to conceive.
Parasites in the uterus may compete with an embryo for resources ultimately leading to a miscarriage or a stillbirth. It makes me angry to think that doctors could have suggested a parasite cleanse before I became pregnant (or even following a miscarriage), but modern medicine doesn’t buy into parasites. At the ultrasound while our stillborn baby was still alive, my husband and I commented to each other about how skinny he was. I would guess that there were worms feeding off of my placental while I was pregnant and our baby starved to death. But if you go to the doctor to talk about parasites, be prepared to be laughed at. To medical doctors in the United States and Europe, parasites that prey on humans simply don’t exist. We’re a “clean” society. A First World Country, for crying out loud. Parasites? Not here. The CDC makes the claim that very few people are infected with parasites in the U.S., but parasitologists won’t lie to you. Parasites are everywhere! Even parasites have parasites! If you want to know why modern medicine resists the idea of parasitic infections, you can read my article, Why Your Doctor Never Told You about Parasites.
But that’s okay. Your doctor doesn’t have to tell you about parasites because you can learn about them on your own and you can even treat them yourself. In fact, you should treat them yourself, or at least consider treating them yourself with stuff like wormwood and black walnut tinctures that you can buy online or at the local Whole Foods, Alfalfa’s, or Vitamin Cottage. A lot of the prescription medication for parasites doesn’t work and it’s toxic stuff too. In contrast, herbal remedies are tried and true. People use many of the same plants to cure parasite infections throughout the world from the Amazon to Africa. Some prescription medicine for parasites in the intestines may cause you to lose your hair. This is NOT the sort of thing you want circulating in your body just prior to conception.
Before I say more, I need to make sure that you know that you should NEVER take wormwood during pregnancy because it can cause an abortion. Do a parasite cleanse before you try to become pregnant.
It would be nearly impossible to rid your body of parasites entirely. They’re always going to be there, but the key is to do bi-annual cleanses (unless you’re pregnant and then you’ll have to wait) and to eat foods that keep your intestinal ecology balanced. If you’ve been trying to conceive and had no luck at it, consider doing a parasite cleanse. Be aware that if you don’t feel ill initially, the cleanse may actually make you feel ill. And you might see worms in your stools (you don’t have to look if it grosses you out, BUT if you see them, then you may have discovered the source of your fertility problems!) The reason why a cleanse could make you feel worse rather than better is because as parasites die inside your body, they poop and fart out waste products that your body has to metabolize. You might have headaches and feel achy and generally awful. But, after the cleanse, you should feel more energetic, if you were having menstrual problems, it’s very possible that they’ll resolve themselves (or at least change in some way, which is a good sign), and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term.
In my article Parasite Symptoms: Our Experience I explain a little bit more about our story and in the article Treatment for Parasites I provide our recipe for the parasite cleanse. You can create your own too, but just make sure that you don’t overdose on wormwood. Wormwood is a potent herb and it is possible to overdose and die from it. Start with a lower dose and then increase the amount that you’re taking slowly over a few weeks. If you take a high dose at the beginning of a parasite cleanse you might feel really awful from a strong die-off reaction. It’s best to go slow at first and increase the dosage amount incrementally.
If you’re pregnant and you suspect that you have parasites, there are several things you can do. Eat apples, pumpkin seed butter or pumpkin seeds, and tahini for snacks either together or separately. These foods are aversive to parasites. Wash your southern regions several times throughout the day and perhaps once or twice during the night too. This will wipe away extra eggs laid outside the body and discourage transport of parasites into the bladder or uterus. And finally, take Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth twice a day. This stuff isn’t absorbed by your body. It just passes through your intestines and then out of the body. But when it comes into contact with parasites, it slices them open and then dries them out. Then they’re flushed from the body.
You can talk with your doctor about your parasite cleanse, but read this article first before you do: Why Your Doctor Never Told You about Parasites so that you can prepare yourself for your doctor’s reaction. If you’re looking for some of the reasons for infertility in women, parasites are a biggie in the United States. Read my article about symptoms of a parasite infection to learn more about why most people don’t realize that they’re infected.