Experiencing Functional Genomic Fertility 

Learn about a holistic approach to fertility before you venture to assisted, reproductive technologies (ART). You may save time, money, and heartache.

Why Functional Genomic Fertility?

Ever since I was in high school, I’ve had a passion for nutrition and optimizing my health. However, my passion for birth work began in 2002, back when “doula” was a pretty foreign word to most folks. I read Suzanne Arms’ Immaculate Deception and felt called to empower women to have positive, blissful and healthy birth experiences. I entered a birth doula certification program and after a short while, ended up becoming an apprentice to a homebirth midwife for over five years. During those five years, I attended over 100 births, including a few twin births and many breech births.

Until I started working with the midwife, I had no idea that fertility issues and miscarriages were such a common occurrence. This fact stuck with me and I couldn’t help but wonder how much a mother’s state of health had to do with it. As my apprenticeship was coming to an end, I enrolled in graduate school for holistic nutrition to nurture my “other passion.” Over the years I became certified as a yoga instructor, with additional certifications in prenatal and postpartum yoga. I also got trained in placenta encapsulation and started an on-call doula collective.

I gave birth to my first child in 2012, born at home with the help of my midwife mentor. Since I could no longer be on call to attend births, I took a job as a research assistant for a naturopath to research genetic polymorphisms and the metabolic pathways that many are involved in. It became clear to me that I could help clients with reproductive problems by using the unique set of tools I had accumulated in the areas of hormones, nutrition and genomics. My two passions collided and Functional Genomic Fertility was born!

What Is Functional Genomic Fertility?

Functional Genomic Fertility (FGF) gets to the root causes of reproductive issues using genetic interpretation, functional lab testing and a meticulous intake session that covers all areas of diet, lifestyle and environment of your past and present conditions.

Because it’s so personalized, you’ll never feel like a number or like someone is trying to fit their fertility protocol on you because it worked for other folks.

One of two things will happen when you use FGF:

  1. You will address nutrient deficiencies, improve health all the way upstream to the cellular level, uncover and clear toxins that have been slinging wrenches into metabolic pathways, and learn what “healthy” foods you’ve been eating that have actually been taxing your fertility and health. Addressing these foundations will ensure your ART works like a dream.
  2. You experience all the awesome things mentioned in #1 and have a successful pregnancy without needing ART.

Did you know?

When there are stressors signaling an alarm in your body, eliciting the fight or flight response, the body inherently knows it is not a good time to make a baby.

Stressors come in all forms – food sensitivities, toxins, compromised gut health, nutrient deficiencies, blood sugar issues, mold exposure, chronic emotional/mental stress, and inflammation just to name a few!

The process of FGF exposes what’s causing YOUR alarm to holler. Your genetic report can shine a bright light on genetic predispositions that can cause said stressors, while functional lab testing can allow us to know if those genetic variants are expressing and if so, to what degree.

I know that time is a critically important factor for people that want to have a successful pregnancy. I get it. FGF cuts through so much guesswork since there is often more than one arrow pointing to the root cause.

FGF saves you money and gets to the ROOT cause

If I threw all the lab tests I would ever want to use to get a full picture of what your root cause/s could be, it will still cost FAR LESS than one cycle of IVF, AND you’re getting your body more nourished, improving its detoxification abilities, and addressing the root cause that is making your body think now is not a good time to have a baby!

Rather than artificially forcing your hormones into specific levels to achieve pregnancy, FGF finds WHY the hormones are out of balance and addresses this accordingly. This could be, for instance, because of an “unwelcome guest” flying under the radar in your body (viruses, fungal overgrowth, parasites, etc), blood sugar issues (which is super common, even in those folks without any symptoms), or exposure to xenoestrogens (hormone mimickers) found in plastics, pesticides, and other commonplace things.

I firmly and wholeheartedly believe that the body was designed to do two things: Heal itself and procreate. Using FGF tools, we find what tools the body needs and doesn’t have, and/or what is present that the body wants gone.

To summarize, here are three ways to know if Functional Genomic Fertility is right for you.

  1. You want to address root causes of reproductive issues, including wonky periods, endometriosis, PCOS, miscarriages and “unexplained infertility.”
  2. You want to learn how to truly nourish your body by finding the correct foods and supplements that match your biochemistry and genetic makeup.
  3. You want to bolster your body before ART to enhance chances of success.

About Jaclyn Downs

Jaclyn is a Functional Genomic Nutrition Consultant that has a passion for fertility optimization and reproductive wellness! Working from a functional approach means getting to the root cause of health issues like infertility and repeat miscarriage. Unlike fertility specialists in conventional medicine that focus on forcing hormones to be within certain levels, Jaclyn works with you to figure out why the hormones are imbalanced in the first place and to create personalized plans of action based on your genetics, health history, diet/lifestyle and biochemistry.  Jaclyn has a BS in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a  researcher and practitioner with the NutriGenetic Research Institute.

For further reading:

Ovulation tests and fertility tracking 101

Early Signs of Pregnancy

Birth Centers and Home Births: The Basics