Would you give your purse to your doctor?

The concern about cholesterol pops up now and again.  It reared its head again when  a client asked about it this week.

Mainstream medicine tends to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease to your cholesterol numbers.  Often just the one number of total cholesterol.  Utterly ridiculous but that's a whole book in and of itself.

To keep it simple, if you're trying to get pregnant but your cholesterol is above the 200 mg/dL cut off, avoid the medications cuz they're band-aids and they don't address the root cause, usually a less than optimal lifestyle.  Rather, make the changes to get yourself as healthy as possible so that your body can self-regulate.  

Turning to cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins is the last thing you want to do when trying to get pregnant.  

A few reasons for this...

  • Cholesterol is critical for hormonal regulation.  That's cuz hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA are converted FROM cholesterol.  Hormones are involved with reproduction, maturation of eggs and sperm and preparing the uterus for the embryo.  If you artificially lower cholesterol, you've now reduced an essential component of fertility health.
  • Cholesterol is needed for the cell walls.  Like your purse, it keeps all your essentials inside otherwise everything would spill out.  Without enough cholesterol, a fetus won't have enough building blocks to continue development.  Leading me to the next point... 
  • Statins are contraindicated for women who are pregnant.  According to the label for Lipitor (a common medication prescribed to lower cholesterol),  "LIPITOR is contraindicated for use in pregnant women since safety in pregnant women has not been established and there is no apparent benefit of lipid lowering drugs during pregnancy. Because (Lipitor and other drugs that work similarly) decrease cholesterol synthesis and possibly the synthesis of other biologically active substances derived from cholesterol, LIPITOR may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. LIPITOR should be discontinued as soon as pregnancy is recognized. Limited published data on the use of atorvastatin are insufficient to determine a drug-associated risk of major congenital malformations or miscarriage."  And let's not leave the dudes out in the cold...
  • A study of Lipitor showed it "significantly affected sperm parameters (vitality, number, motility, morphology and acrosome reaction) and changed their seminal fluid composition. These consequences occurred after only 5 months of treatment."  That's no bueno for the men.

So, there's my 2 cents worth on cholesterol.  Don't worry about it when you're trying to get pregnant cuz you need those lovely little molecules for fertility and baby health.  

More 2 cents in my Fertility Top10....http://zenfertility.com/top10

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Julie Chang,
Natural Fertility Eggspurt

The Real Deal:

  • Natural Fertility Coach
  • Licensed Fertility Acupuncturist for 18 years
  • Master in Traditional Oriental Medicine, Magna Cum Laude
  • B.S. Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, UCLA

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