The primary organs responsible for successful fertility are the uterus, the kidney, the heart, the spleen and the liver.
For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have been associating infertility with a "cold womb" or "cold in the uterus". Cold Womb is one of the common results of deficiency of "warming energy" known as "yang."
The most common pattern in women with fertility issues or recurrent pregnancy loss is Kidney Yang deficiency. It correlates with low progesterone levels. It includes symptoms such as feeling cold, cold hands and feet, low libido, back pain with menses, fatigue, frequent urination, and low BBT readings. It has been a known practice to use acupuncture, moxa, and herbs to correct this imbalance.
In TCM, we refer to progesterone as a warm hormone or the "yang" hormone.
Yang deficiency means a woman is either not producing or not responding to progesterone. When the blood vessels in the uterus are cold, they contract, and egg implantation will not be nourished.
The uterus needs to be warm because when it's warm, it is a nurturing place, it is actively manufacturing nutrients and maintaining a highly nurturing home for the fetus.
How Do You Get a Cold Womb?
Eating uncooked vegetable salads, raw foods, cold foods, and cold drinks can cause a cold uterus. While it is understandable in constantly hot weather that you tend to gravitate towards cold beverages such as ice tea and iced coffee, these seemingly harmless lifestyle drinks can cause a cold uterus.
What you wear and your environment also affects your uterus. Wearing crop tops and always staying in an air-conditioned room can cause a cold womb.
Being barefoot on cold floors could cause cold feet. Your feet are your body's natural thermostat. If they get cold, blood vessels in your legs constrict, and blood flow decreases, causing your body to cool down. When this happens, the blood vessels in your abdomen also constrict, and all sorts of internal processes slow down, including your uterus.
Will doing these occasionally cause a cold womb? Most likely not. But a lifestyle that tends to incorporate these habits may.
What are the effects of Cold Womb?
Cold can damage your uterus by slowing down blood flow. This, in turn, leads to painful periods, clots in menstrual blood, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis. All of these are associated with decreased fertility.
Symptoms of Cold Womb can include:
Lower back pain
Cold hands and feet
Dark blood clots
Poor blood flow to reproductive organs
Low basal body temperature
How do you warm a cold uterus to improve fertility?
Chinese medicine practitioners know that the climate, food we consume, and the people we spend time with can all affect our internal temperature. Therefore, it is best not to consume raw-cold foods or drink cold beverages for women trying to conceive with any sign of cold in their bodies.
Eat only warm foods
Drink warm beverages
Adding ginger to your tea
Avoid cold and raw foods
Avoid iced beverages
Keep your feet warm
Take warm foot baths
Use a heating pad on your lower abdomen when you feel pain or cold (you can also use a hot water bottle).
Get regular acupuncture
Take Chinese medicinal herbs
Get moxibustion treatment
Keep your abdomen warm; wear moxa belt on your abdomen (avoid while pregnant)
Which Chinese Herbal Medicines can help with your Cold Womb?
Wen Jing Tang- this formula is also known as "Warm the Menses Decoction" This helps invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation.
Dong Quai- this blood-warming tonic enhances uterine circulation and is also estrogenic. Don't use this tonic if you suffer from inflammatory conditions such as acne, fever, or irritability.
Recipes to warm your womb
Miso soup with Tofu and Kale
Miso is a great way to boost your healthy microbiome and overall health. The miso benefits are enhanced by the prebiotic benefits of dark leafy greens such as kale, which also add a warming anti-inflammatory element from ginger, blood tonifying benefits from black sesame seeds, and delicious benefits from soy phytoestrogens—great for managing menopausal hot flashes.
1 cup of cubed firm tofu
3 cups of water
1 tablespoon of miso paste
¼ teaspoon of black pepper
¼ teaspoon of grated ginger.
3 cups of washed/chopped kale
½ teaspoon of black sesame seeds
½ chopped green onion
Bring water to a boil,
Add all the ingredients except for the miso paste.
Bring down fire
Allow ingredients to cook for 6-10 minutes, make sure to stir occasionally.
Allow a few minutes to cool down, and stir in the miso until it has dissolved.
Top it with black sesame seeds, green onion and extra fresh grated ginger
Use this tonic recipe to reduce inflammation, especially for menstrual pain. This contains a variety of ingredients that contain amazing anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric. It also has citrus and vitamin C that brings sweetness to the drink. This tonic can be consume anytime but is especially good for menstrual cramps, digestive bloating, seasonal allergies, and delayed onset muscle soreness.
1 tsp turmeric powder (you can also use ½ inch of peeled fresh turmeric)
1 tsp ginger powder 1 (you can also use 1 inch of peeled fresh ginger)
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (add less if too spicy)
¼ cup of water
1 orange juice
½ lemon or lime juice
1 tsp of maple syrup ( this is optional)
Add everything in the blender and then mix it. Strain if necessary. Drink it daily or as needed
Even if you aren't planning to have a baby any time soon, we recommend developing a good lifestyle and food habits aimed at preventing or reducing coldness in the womb. These habits will help you improve your overall well-being and prepare your body well for pregnancy in the future.