The central issue for women with Blood PFPs revolves around the health of their blood and the energy reserves needed for optimal fertility. We’re familiar with blood tests being a crucial part of diagnostic tests, and there are multiple aspects of blood health, with narrow ranges for “healthy” blood. Many factors alter blood test results, including age, diet, trauma, hydration and immune challenges (which can change how blood behaves rapidly).
Blood tells us much about our health, and the quality and quantity of a woman’s blood naturally change across the menstrual cycle, with lifestyle, diet and pregnancy. We all experience fluctuations in energy, but Blood PFP women tend to be more tired than most because they have blood issues (which may not show up in tests).
There are close connections between Blood PFP and Energy PFP as blood is essential for the transport of oxygen and nutrients to muscles and organs. The digestive weakness and dietary issues that are common features of Energy PFP also contribute to the development of Blood PFPs, and anaemia creates feelings of tiredness. In many ways, our blood is a significant energy reserve that supports muscle and organ function, and it’s crucial for fertility. There are variations in how a Blood PFP can develop, which we’ll call “Constitutional” and “Life” Blood.
Our constitutional health is based on the genetic packages we inherit from our parents, and the genes on our chromosomes determine much about how we develop and respond to life’s challenges. The genes we carry have a profound effect on how we make blood and how well it functions; however, genes aren’t 100% stable, and their behaviour (and structure) changes in response to age, diet and the environment:
Anaemias are conditions that reduce red blood cell numbers, the amount of haemoglobin in the blood, or haemoglobin’s ability to transport oxygen and waste products. They all leave the person feeling tired and reduce their ability to function.
|Thalassemia||Genetic (HBA1 & HBA2)||Reduction in haemoglobin production|
|Acanthocytosis||Genetic||Abnormal blood cells as a result of an inability to digest fats fully|
|Aplastic anaemia||Genetic, immune disease or toxins||The bone marrow doesn’t create enough blood cells|
|Megaloblastic anaemia||Genetic||DNA synthesis in red blood cells is inhibited|
|Sickle cell anaemia
|Genetic||Abnormal cell shapes have developed in response to potential local diseases|
These forms of anaemia are due to lifestyle choices or events that reduce red blood cell numbers, the haemoglobin in the blood, or haemoglobin’s ability to transport oxygen. We’ve listed the main causes of non-genetic anaemia, but other triggers, including exposure to severe cold, or menopause, can also induce anaemia.
|Iron deficiency anaemia||Dietary||Low iron levels reduce the production of red blood cells|
|Protein deficiency anaemia||Dietary||Low protein in the diet restricts blood cell formation|
|Scurvy||Dietary||Low Vitamin C, which is needed to make collagen which is part of blood cells|
|Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia||Dietary||Low B12 reduces the production of red blood cells|
|Folate deficiency anaemia||Dietary||Low folate in the diet reduces the production of new blood cells|
|Post-haemorrhagic anaemia||Blood loss||Trauma or any other causes of bleeding reduces blood cells in circulation|
|Pernicious anaemia||Loss of gastric cells||The loss of gastric cells reduces the absorption of Vitamin B12 and red blood cell production|
|Chronic disease anaemia||Inflammation||The body converts iron into ferritin in response to inflammation|
|Drug-induced anaemia||Medication (esp. penicillin)||High doses of drugs reduce blood cells in the spleen or trigger an autoimmune reduction of blood cells|
Diet is a significant factor for abnormal blood values, which offers the possibility of improving blood reserves and function with dietary changes. Blood loss is another consideration, and as women can have heavy periods, they’re more likely to be Blood PFPs than men. However, both sexes can silently lose blood, and this is usually via intestinal ulcers.
Blood is crucial for our health and wellbeing as it moistens, provides oxygen and nutrients to cells, removes waste products, is vital for immune health and distributes heat around the body.
Our emotional well-being and the state of blood have some close connections:
Given how crucial blood is for heart health, this isn’t surprising, and lower blood volumes and function increase the chances of feeling vulnerable and of palpitations. This connection to emotional vulnerability increases the importance of maintaining a healthy autonomic nervous system (ANS) balance to support the autonomic “feed and breed” side of the ANS.
The ANS is crucial for our hormone balance, sexual arousal and fertility levels, and a balanced ANS increases oxygen supply to the ovaries, enhances mood and promotes sexual health.
Healthy blood is crucial for immune balance and vitality, and for women, it’s also crucial for supplying the energy for eggs, follicles, and the womb lining to grow. Problems with circulation and blood function reduce female fertility as blood carries oxygen and hormones, and low oxygen levels raise the chances of sub-optimal organ function and cell death.
Anaemia can play a significant role in female infertility by disrupting the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovary axis. This is because low oxygen saturation leads to hypoxia and “oxygen debt”, which puts great pressure on cells, especially when they’re growing and dividing. The expert advice is:
“Any attempts to treat infertility [ ] should be delayed until anaemia is treated.”
A staggering 30% of non-pregnant women have anaemia, and anaemic women are up to 60% more likely to have fertility problems due to:
Thalassemia major is the most common haemoglobin disorder in the world, and those of Mediterranean, Arab or Asian origin are particularly affected. About 1.5% of people worldwide carry the gene, and 40-80% of women with the condition have damage to their pituitary glands that affects menstrual cycles. Despite this, medical advances enable many women (and men) with this condition to conceive.
Making blood is a complex business, relying on genetics, multiple dietary factors, gut health and unexpected issues such as the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) from the kidneys stimulating stem cells in the bone marrow to produce red and white blood cells. Not all Blood PFP women have a medical condition, but improving the health of their blood goes a long way to raising their fertility and the chances of conception.
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We also outline the best ways for Blood PFPs to adjust their weight and manage stress to improve monthly conception rates. The different profiles have different challenges and needs, which is all part of the PFP discussion, along with personalised ways to improve fertility health, and the tests and treatments most likely to be appropriate for you. The morefertile approach: