Regaining Fertility:
Unraveling the Misconceptions of the Autoimmune Process, Part 1

If you have had an egg retrieval, then your ovaries might be in an autoimmune reaction phase.

Although retrieving one’s own eggs to create high-quality embryos is often necessary during the fertility journey, it is a very invasive procedure. The invasiveness not only stems from the procedure itself but from the pharmaceutically induced follicle development as well.

Think of the whole surgical intervention as a multiple needle biopsy into delicate and, for the majority of women, compromised tissue. After the egg retrieval, the sperm is introduced to create embryos. The embryos are graded for quality and often tested for genetic abnormalities. Then one or more embryos are transferred into her uterus. The remaining embryos are frozen.

When the embryo transfer results in either failed implantation or miscarriage, most patients and doctors alike have no idea why.  We real health practitioners of course always ask and, generally, have a why. What I have observed throughout my many years working at one of the busiest fertility clinics in the world, combined with the teachings of Dr. Royal Lee (thanks to Mark Anderson and to Selene River Press), is what I consider to be an autoimmune reaction of the ovaries.

In terrain theory, when an organ or gland is compromised, performing a surgical procedure on it is going to further compromise it. Most women who are struggling with infertility have compromised ovaries. This compromise shows up via the thyroid, irregular periods, erratic progesterone levels and, of course, infertility. As we know, there are so many factors contributing to ovarian compromise. Most patients do not prepare themselves for an egg retrieval outside of pharmaceutical support.

During a transfer, the ovaries are chemically primed for the transvaginal retrieval which is done with a needle. The woman is put under anesthesia for this procedure and then either does a fresh transfer three days later or a frozen transfer (FET) at a later date. If it is a FET, there is time to recover the integrity of the ovaries. In the case of PCOS, an egg retrieval can easily lead to OHSS or ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. This can be a very dangerous situation for the patient who is generally hospitalized to ensure proper drainage and monitoring.

So why am I determining that the ovaries are in the autoimmune stage? Based on Dr. Royal Lee’s definition of the autoimmune process, the surgical procedure creates an injury to the already compromised tissue. He proved that the autoimmune response is not your body attacking itself, it’s attacking nucleic-acid-containing tissue proteins that do not belong in the bloodstream and act like any other foreign protein by instigating antibody creation. In other words, the tissue proteins act as an autoantigen.

Autoimmune is a late-stage degeneration result of a breakdown of body tissue. Your blood is not supposed to be a dumping ground for waste. The lymphatic system has that job. So when these proteins or autoantigens have leaked into your blood, your immune system is simply doing its job by showing up on the scene–autoantibodies are recruited to eliminate the foreign pathogens.

Because the autoimmune phase is not a standalone disease but is a late stage degenerative process, you can see why the egg retrieval process would trigger the immune phase in these already weak and damaged glands.

What causes your cells to lose their membranous integrity and allow the proteins to leak out in the form of autoantibodies?  Everything. Everything includes: injury to the tissue (i.e., an egg retrieval), stress hormones, toxins, heavy metals, mold/fungus, viruses, and bacteria (i.e, STD’s), repeated antibiotic use, lack of proper nutrition/nutrients, misaligned uterus/ovaries (i.e. retroflexion/retroversion) and emotional blockages including trauma. All these factors are behind what is causing infertility to begin with. And all these factors are behind recurring pregnancy loss.

According to an article by Goodwill IVF, “the miscarriage rate for women under the age of 35 who have healthy embryos is around 10-15%. This rate increases to 20-30% for women between the ages of 35-39 and 30-50% for women over the age of 40. Additionally, the quality of the embryos can also play a role in the risk of miscarriage.”

So what are the solutions for women undergoing an egg retrieval and/or IVF transfer? Knowledge and understanding is always the foundation. I spend a lot of time educating women about the inflammatory response vs. inflammatory cause.  Inflammation is the body’s way of protecting the chronic degeneration that the ovaries are enduring. Chasing inflammation naturally with herbs like turmeric can be helpful but limited. The ovaries need to be repaired on a cellular level. Once you understand that your ovaries are in an acute and chronic phase, you can rely on this timeless information to rapidly heal yourself, and avoid the autoimmune phase as you return to the homeostasis you are intended for.

Synthetic Vitamins Are Killing You

“Today, the majority of people in the civilized world are becoming victims of degenerative disease resulting from chronic poisoning and malnutrition.”
Dr. Royal Lee 1934

The first step is always to eliminate the synthetic from your nutrient based regime. It has been proven that synthetic, isolated vitamins are creating imbalances in your body and therefore decreasing your fertility.

I have personally asked hundreds of women on the IVF journey what supplements they take. The list always includes Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E. Why? Because these are for sure important micronutrients to support your endocrine system. However, vitamins exist in nature as complexes not isolates. For instance, most vitamin C supplements are only ascorbic acid, not the complete C complex. If you are taking ascorbic acid as your vitamin C, you may be causing more harm than benefit.

The same is true of vitamins D & E. You must find brands that are formulated for absorption vs. labeling. We have been taught to read labels for dosages and this does not translate to absorption. If you are taking synthetic, isolated nutrients, you are most likely creating the exact imbalance in your body that you are trying to correct!

The treatment protocol for women looking to support their reproductive organs and to recover from an egg retrieval is personal, customized, and very effective. I have had such great results with women who often have had four or more miscarriages. Once they understand what is happening and invest in the healing process, the results are astounding. As a Certified Light Therapist and Acupuncturist, I always send my patients home with phototherapy patches which reflect light back into the body and accelerate absorption of the necessary nutrients the ovaries need.

For more information, contact Jennifer Waters, L.Ac. @ or

Images from iStock/Chinnapong (main), Colorsandia (post). 

Jennifer Waters

For over 25 years, Jennifer Waters, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac. has had the privilege of working in private practice with countless patients of all ages and backgrounds. Her passion is discovering the root cause of dis-ease so that you can lead a life of resiliency and health. Jennifer has been a practitioner of meditation for over three decade and holds the following certifications:
-Diplomate and Licensed Acupuncturist
-Certified Arvigo Therapist
-Master Photobiomodulation Light Therapist

After founding her practice in Central New York in 1998, Jennifer took on roles as an acupuncturist at CNY Fertility and auriculo-detox acupuncturist at Helio Health. She supports practitioners looking to incorporate phototherapy into their clinical practices as well.

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