Fertility and Sexual Intimacy with Denise Wiesner, LAc: Rational Wellness Podcast 108

Denise Wiesner, LAc discusses Fertility and Sexual Intimacy with Dr. Ben Weitz.

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Podcast Highlights

2:14  Denise Wiesner’s practice has a focus on women’s health and fertility.  She found that a lot of couples that are having trouble conceiving having problems with their sexuality and intimacy and their doctors were not offering any help with those problems.  In fact, their doctors do not get a lot of training in sexuality and did not really feel comfortable even talking about such issues.  This is why Denise felt the need to write this book.

5:43  Denise discusses some Chinese medicine and Taoist concepts (Taoist tradition is the precursor to Chinese medicine) in her book and she pointed out that the Taoists had this really equal relationship between yin and yang, male and female, and they would actually prescribe certain sexual positions to help patients cure certain problems.  Denise also has chapters in her book on orgasm and foreplay and stress in her book.

7:37  Denise includes a discussion of the Chinese five elements of wood, water, earth, metal, and fire.  In Taoist tradition, the earth is the center and this is about digestion and if you don’t feel good, it gets in the way of intimacy for men and women. This also includes the microbiome in your gut, your mouth, your skin, on the penis, and in the vagina. If a woman is trying to get pregnant, its not good if she has yeast and other infections in her vagina, so we want to have that balanced.

9:21  The vaginal microbiome is really important and we’re just starting to understand it. The vaginal pH is supposed to be acidic and it starts becoming a little more alkaline around the time of ovulation, so the sperm can live in the cervical fluid and they can swim up to meet the egg.  If the vagina becomes too alkaline, a woman will get more yeast overgrowth.  The vaginal mucous membranes are very permeable, so you want to make sure that if you use a lubricant that it does not contain preservatives, like parabens.  Only a few lubricants have been approved for fertility by the FDA.  A lot of lubes have a high osmolality, which means that they have the ability to pull water from the tissues and this makes their vagina very wet, but it is not so healthy for the tissues. It is better for the woman to produce more cervical mucous, which can be facilitated with acupuncture and herbs and even something like N. Acetylcysteine can thin out the cervical mucus and this can be helpful. Denise mentioned that a lot of people like to use coconut oil. But ideally it is best if a woman produces her own cervical fluid and this can be facilitated with proper diet and more time spent on foreplay. She said that it often takes women 20-45 minutes to become aroused, so you have to give them more time.

14:00  Functional Medicine can help with fertility by looking at the hormones, like the thyroid to make sure that it’s working properly. Traditional MDs usually only look at the TSH, so we should also look at T3 and T4 and the thyroid antibodies. If they have very high levels of antibodies, this means that they have a lot of inflammation and we need to help them to bring this down with diet and look at a stool test and see if there is dysbiosis, which is part of the Functional Medicine approach. 

15:32  Electronics, laptop computers, and cell phones can decrease fertility. If you keep your phone in your pocket next to your scrotum or your laptop on your lap, it can decrease sperm counts and electronics in the bedroom can interfere with intimacy.  So we should keep electronics out of the bedroom.  And with 5G coming, we will have even higher levels of magnetic radiation entering our homes.  Also, pesticides, pthalates, fire retardants, Teflon pans, all are estrogenic and can interfere with testosterone levels in men.  So some detoxification can be helpful for fertility. When women are going through an IVF they will be taking high levels of synthetic hormones, so afterwards, some detoxification can help to make sure they get rid of these hormones.

18:14  Being on birth control for women can be very effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies, but after being on them for years and decades, some women have a tough time getting their periods back.  It can be a struggle to reestablish their normal hypothalamus/pituitary/ovarian axis.  Birth control is chemical castration and their bodies stop producing hormones naturally.  It can take some work to get their natural hormone production restored. 

19:52  Men and women often have sexual problems that a play a role in their difficulty in getting pregnant. There are a number of men who have been avoiding ejaculating in a woman for years to prevent a pregnancy or they may have ejaculatory problems due to masturbation to porn or due to the side effects of SSRIs. Antidepressants known as SSRIs (like Prozac, Zoloft, and Lexapro) make it difficult for men to ejaculate and make it difficult for women to reach orgasm.  It’s hard to make a baby if no one’s orgasming or ejaculating.  Another issue is women wanting to have sex while they are ovulating and men having trouble performing on demand. Denise suggested that men may not need to know when their wives are ovulating and they can just focus on having intercourse more often. There are some women who have pain with sex who may need a pelvic floor physical therapist.

23:38  The benefits of orgasm is that your brain stops thinking and you reach an enlightened or spiritual state.  Sex actually strengthens our immune system.  People today are so busy due to the modern work schedule and culture that there are couples that don’t even have time to see each other very much, except on weekends. 

26:58 When men have issues with low sperm count or sperm that don’t swim as well, Denise will use a Functional Medicine approach and prescribe a fertility formula that contains CoQ10, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, L-arginine and L-carnitine.  Herbs like ashwaganda, rhodiola, Siberian ginseng, cordyceps, and horny goat weed can also be helpful. 

31:33   Denise mentioned that sexuality after menopause can also be a significant problem for some couples and women.  Some women in their 50s continue to have a very active and happy sex life. One of the problems is that women may be in the same relationship for so long that everything has become so predictable and boring.  Men and women need to spice things up and men need to make sure that they take plenty of time with foreplay.



Denise Wiesner is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and certified sex coach. She is the founder of Natural Healing and Acupuncture in West Los Angeles, where she sees patients 310-473-7474, and her website is DeniseWiesner.com and her clinic website is  NaturalHealingAcupuncture.com.  She has recently published a book on Fertility and Intimacy, Conceiving With Love: A whole body approach to creating intimacy, re-igniting passion, and increasing fertility.

Dr. Ben Weitz is available for nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also specializing in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure and also weight loss, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111 or go to www.drweitz.com.


Podcast Transcript

Dr. Weitz:            This is Dr. Ben Weitz with the Rational Wellness Podcast, bringing you the cutting edge information on health and nutrition from the latest scientific research and by interviewing the top experts in the field. Please subscribe the the Rational Wellness Podcast on iTunes and YouTube, and sign up for my free e-book on my website to going to DrWeitz.com. Let’s get started on your road to better health.  Hello Rational Wellness Podcasters. Thank you so much for joining me again today. For those of you enjoy listening to the Rational Wellness Podcast, please go to iTunes and I’ve us a ratings and review. That way more people can find out about the Rational Wellness Podcast. For those of you who’d like a video version, go to the YouTube page, WeitzChiro, search for Rational Wellness Podcast and please subscribe there. And also I provide a full transcript of every podcast, and it should be connected with the iTunes link, or you can go to my website at DrWeitz.com.  Great, so we’re going to get started.

So our topic for today is how to increase fertility by addressing issues about intimacy, as well as overall health and wellness, with Denise Wiesner.  Denise is a licensed acupuncturist and an herbalist, and the founder of Natural Healing and Acupuncture in West LA. She’s certified by the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine, she’s a certified sex coach, and she’s also a faculty lecturer for the Doctorate Fertility Program at Yo San University. And we’ll be talking about her new book, great new book, which will available very shortly, right? And you can pre-order right now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Conceiving With Love: A whole body approach to creating intimacy, re-igniting passion, and increasing fertility.  Denise, thank you so much for joining me.

Denise:                Thank you so much, Ben. Looking forward to it.

Dr. Weitz:            So how did you become so interested in fertility, and the second part is why did you decide to write this book?

Denise:                I got interested in fertility when I was having sort of my own fertility challenges, trying to have my second child. And what happened was I noticed that it was just becoming a chore and I wasn’t having, being able to conceive, and I was pulling my hair out, and very upset, and I was going to all sorts of different kinds of healers.  And one of the acupuncturists I went to actually kept wanting to treat my breathing, and she didn’t want to treat my fertility, and I was like, “I don’t care about my breathing, just put a baby in me.”  So I kind of really understand the struggles that my patients go through in trying to conceive.

Dr. Weitz:            Which is why a lot of patients literally go and have an embryo stuck in them, you know?

Denise:                Right. Yes. Absolutely. So I appreciate it, and so my practice became primarily women’s health and also fertility.  So I treat both men and women going through, trying to get pregnant naturally, and also using Western reproductive medicine. So that’s part one.  And part two is that, you know, as I’m treating all these fertility patients, I’m noticing that people are starting to talk to me about, that conceiving is a chore. And they’re starting to tell me all these kinds of issues, like men who aren’t able to ejaculate in their wives, so they’re now turning to reproductive medicine like an IVF in order to make a baby. And when I ask them if they spoke with their doctors about it, they told me they said something, but nobody gave them any kind of help.  And that made me really want to look at, you know, is there help out there? Are there people talking about sexuality and intimacy and conception? And I found that there wasn’t. So I decided to write a book.

Dr. Weitz:            No, it’s great. I think there’s a number of issues like that, you know? Doctors just not comfortable talking to their patients about sex, and their sex life, other than in a very cursory way, or just handing them a drug or something.

Denise:                Yeah. No, it’s happening a lot in my practice, where nobody’s really talking. When I look at like, MD’s, and how many hours they get learning about human sexuality, I think it’s like 20 hours or so.  And therapists get about 10 hours talking about, learning about sexuality, unless they go on to become specialized in sexuality.

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah, no, I think many of the most important human concerns are sort of treated summarily like that.  Depression, here’s a pill. You know, what about the end of life? You know, doctors don’t even talk about a patient’s undergoing cancer treatments, they’re just taking these treatments a lot of times, which really aren’t even designed to save them, because doctors don’t want to talk about that, have those difficult conversations. And so this is great that you’re breaking this ground, this is very important that health practitioners either learn and become comfortable talking to their patients about this, or be able to refer to somebody like you, who is comfortable about it.

Denise:                Yeah. I think it, was it death, sex, and taxes are really hard to talk about?  Something like that? Yeah, so and it’s funny because …

Dr. Weitz:            You know, I’ll never show my tax forms…

Denise:                Yeah. That’s a whole other conversation. Whole other podcast.

Dr. Weitz:            So, in your book, you bring in a lot of Chinese medicine, and I was reading about some of these concepts of the wood, and the air, and the water, the energy, things like that.  Maybe you can explain, you know, how Chinese medicine can help us understand some of these issues.

Denise:                Yeah, okay. So in my book I have a lot of chapters. I mean, there’s chapters on fine tuning the engine, there’s chapters on orgasm and foreplay, and stress, and all sorts of things. But in this fine tuning the engine part, I really talk about the Chinese five elements. There’s wood, water, earth, metal, and fire.  So in Taoist tradition, earth is the center. And it’s really about kind of your digestion, really.

Dr. Weitz:            By the way, what’s Taoist tradition mean?

Denise:                Oh, Taoist tradition is really where I base a lot of my stuff. Because way back before … Taoist tradition was the precursor to Chinese medicine.

Dr. Weitz:            Oh, okay.

Denise:                Really what’s incredible about the Taoists is that they have this really equal relationship between yin and yang, male and female. So actually sexuality, and sexual positions were given to patients if they had issues. Like, “Oh, go do this position and that’ll cure this problem,” right? So the Taoists had a really great relationship to sexuality, which has since changed in our modern society, right? We have a lot of shame around it. So there’s a lot of Taoist breathing exercises that I brought into my book. But anyway.

Dr. Weitz:            But is there a double blind placebo controlled randomized clinical trial that shows that position is of clinical benefit?

Denise:                I think Masters and Johnson started doing that research, right? They had all that research on sexuality that came. I don’t know if it was … they were the ones who really founded a lot. Kinsey. They did research.

Dr. Weitz:            Right.

Denise:                But lab research is a little different than actually what happens in person, right?

Dr. Weitz:            Right.

Denise:                 So the earth element is kind of like the center, and digestion, and it’s important because right if you’re felling funky in your body, if you don’t feel good, you’re not gonna wanna make, you don’t want anyone to touch you, right?  That really gets in the way of intimacy for both men and women.  If they’re not healthy, if they’re not feeling good, right?  So earth element, we deal a lot with the center.  And that also includes the digestion, and your microbiome, right?  How that’s a big buzzword, right?  You talk a lot about microbiome.

Dr. Weitz:            Yes.

Denise:                 Yeah. So making sure … because there’s not only a microbiome in your gut, right? There’s one in your mouth, and on your skin, and there’s actually on on the penis and there’s one in the vagina. And we want that to be healthy. We don’t want a woman to have yeast infections and all sorts of infections, which women do get. And we want to have that balanced. So that’s kind of part of the earth element, is learning about the center.  And Chinese medicine is funny, because it just doesn’t look at digestion only, it kind of looks at emotions. So there’s this saying that overthinking and over worrying damage spleen and stomach, which is digestion. Right? And we know that doesn’t happen for anybody in this society anymore, right?

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah.

Denise:                 Yeah. So.

Dr. Weitz:            Everybody’s so highly stressed and overworked and trying to fit everything in, and yeah. Absolutely.

Denise:                Right, like eating in your car? I’m trying not to do. But like, shoving in the food as fast as you can, right? There’s no digestion happening, no enzymes.

Dr. Weitz:            Absolutely. And it facilitates eating of fast food because so many fast food items come in wrappers that you can hold in one hand, and shovel in.

Denise:                While you’re driving and talking on the phone.

Dr. Weitz:            Exactly. So you mentioned the vaginal microbiome, and that’s a really interesting topic. We’ve have some women use probiotics vaginally to help with yeast infections, and that’s something we’re just starting to understand.

Denise:                Yeah. No, it’s really important because what happens with a woman during her cycle is her pH for her vagina, which is supposed to be acidic, starts changing around the time of ovulation because the cervical fluid that she produces becomes a little more alkaline, so the sperm can live in the cervical fluid, right?  So they can swim up to meet the egg.  If a woman is not acidic, she’s more alkaline during the month, she’s going to produce more yeast, right?  Because you really want an acidic vagina. So there’s all sorts of lubrications that people use out there, and I had spoken to lots of lube companies and got a great education on lubrication, and really more than I wanted to, but I learned a lot.  Because you know, unlike our mouth, when we digest something, we have a lot of acid in our stomach which breaks things down and gets rid of bacteria, right?  But we put something in our vagina, the mucus membranes, it absorbs. It’s much like our rectum, as well.

So when you go to use a lubrication, you want to make sure that it doesn’t have preservatives in it, like parabens.  Which the FDA has said is fine, but I don’t think is fine. So no parabens. And then there’s also this thing called osmolality of lubricants, which means the ability of it to pull out water from the tissues.  So a lot of lubes, the reason why women get very wet is because it pulls out the water from the tissue and that helps, it really dehydrates the tissues.  It’s not good for the tissues, and there’s a lot of lubes that have this high osmolality.  So with lubes like, there’s lubes that are good for fertility around that ovulation window because they’re a little more alkaline, they say they don’t kill sperm. There’s only a few that have been FDA approved, the FDA now approves them for fertility, believe it or not.

Dr. Weitz:            Huh.

Denise:                Yeah. So there’s a few of them have …

Dr. Weitz:            Is there a natural type of oil or other fat that makes a good lubricant?

Denise:                Yeah. I mean, I think like, I personally think coconut oil is great. I mean obviously if you’re trying to protect, using a condom it’s not good because it’ll just eat up the latex. But in terms of, you know, hopefully women, truthfully if women are healthy, and their cycles are really good, and they haven’t had surgeries on their cervix, they should be producing a lot of cervical mucus.  And that’s kind of what my job is as an acupuncturist and herbalist is to kind of help women to produce more cervical mucus.  And even something like N Acetylcysteine, right? It thins out mucus, right? It’s an antioxidant. But I give it sometimes for women because it actually thins the cervical mucus as well. Right?

Dr. Weitz:            Interesting. Now coconut oil’s a little alkaline, right?

Denise:                 You know, I don’t know the pH of the oils. Do you know the pH of them?

Dr. Weitz:            You know, I just recently interviewed Jennifer Fugo and we’re talking about the gut skin connection and she was very outspoken about the fact that, I haven’t posted the interview yet, so it’ll still be several weeks away, but she felt that coconut oil was too alkaline and the skin needs to be more acidic. So she didn’t think coconut oil should be used on the skin.

Denise:                 That’s really very interesting since everybody uses coconut oil everywhere these days. But the thing about it is is really, truthfully, women who are trying to conceive, really should produce their own cervical fluid.  If you’re not producing, you’re dry, then there are things that we can do the help make that by giving women herbs, and nutrition, and looking at everything.  Looking at their whole body.  And that’s really the truth, unless a woman has had like, surgery.  So I sort of steer away from the lubricants, because, “OK, here’s another thing.” This is in my book, and a lot of times women will become, because we have all these glands that secrete lubrication, right? If a woman’s not sometimes making her own lubrication, not only can it be from just maybe her diet’s not good, but it can also be from not enough foreplay. Which, you know, people don’t know, but it takes women like 20 to 45 minutes to really become aroused. And if you give a woman enough time, she will be.  And when you’re doing baby making, a lot of that time map goes out the window, so a woman’s uncomfortable and it’s painful. So that’s just one thing.

Dr. Weitz:            Interesting. What role can Functional Medicine play in understanding fertility, and in helping a couple improve their ability to conceive, and have a healthy baby?

Denise:                I mean, Functional Medicine is much like Chinese medicine, right? It’s looking more in depth at like, what’s out of balance in a patient’s body, right? So Functional Medicine is great because it’s really looking at the systems, like doing blood. You know, making sure, obviously the thyroid’s working efficiently. Thyroid has to function for fertility, and there’s actually lower ranges for fertility. Doctors want your TSH 2.5 or less. But what happens with doctors is they just do a TSH, and they don’t look at like, antibodies, TPO antibodies, TGB antibodies, and some women have very, very high levels. That’s where the functional medicine do look at those things, and therefore are interested in why someone would have high inflammatory markers, and try to get the inflammation down.  So you know, if I have women that has high TPO antibodies, we’ll be doing some type of antioxidants to help bring down this high level of inflammation. And also looking at their diet, like functional medicine does, right? Are they eating an inflammatory diet? Are they eating a lot of grains? Are they eating dairy?  And so Chinese medicine has similar kind of ways that we look at things, but functional medicine brings in the actual lab values, the actual stool test, the actual hormone test, and we can look at those in a much more in-depth level than just … or sperm, for that matter. You know? Yeah.

Dr. Weitz:            Good. Can electronics like laptop computers and cell phones affect fertility?

Denise:                 Yeah. You know, I treat a lot of men, and I’m pretty lucky that way. And it’s amazing how many men carry their cell phone right next to their scrotum. And it’s, you know, electronics are heating, and there’s research about even just talking on the phone can increase your chance of having lowered sperm counts. So I really do try to discourage use of electronics.  And electronics in the bedroom get in the way of making babies. ‘Cause when everyone’s like, on their, checking their email and doing all this, right? There’s no intimacy. So one of my big things is trying to get electronics out of the bedroom, I’m probably guilty of that too. But yeah. So …

Dr. Weitz:            And you know, with 5G coming, we’re going to have even more higher levels of magnetic radiation entering our homes through our electronic devices, etc.

Denise:                 Yeah. You know, it’s very scary. My son’s a computer science major, and he’s always like, “That doesn’t matter,” whatever, he’s like, “Show me the research.” But I think it does interfere. I mean, what’s going on with our society that men’s sperm counts are so much lower than they’ve ever been? What’s going on when I see these men who have unexplained low sperm counts? Like, the doctor can’t find anything wrong genetically, and they don’t know why. That’s very interesting to me.

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah. Literally from the small sample we’ve had of the men we tested for hormones, 80% or more have low free testosterone, so it is truly getting to be really common. And part of the problem has to be some of these estrogenic substances that you mentioned. Pthalates, and there’s a whole series of this in a way, pesticides, fire retardants, Teflon, etc., etc.

Denise:                 Right. That’s sort of that idea, you know, about detoxification, right? And we have that, that’s functional medicine, it’s also Chinese medicine. It’s the liver, and we have to be able to detoxify. So oftentimes I’m testing and also putting people on detoxification. Especially if they’re going through an IVF and they’re taking a ton of hormones. I mean, these women have estrogen levels really, really high. And I will afterwards just tell them to do a little bit of a liver detox.  Because I know that, you know, we’re not supposed to have those superhuman levels of estrogen in our bodies, right? And then they pee that out, and you wonder where does that estrogen go? Right?

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah, I mean, speaking of hormones, what does being on birth control for years and even decades do to a woman’s ability to become pregnant?

Denise:                 Some women who are on birth control pills, some women don’t get their periods back. It’s very interesting, I have to work very hard to reestablish the HPOA access. You know, the hypothalamus pituitary ovarian access. Some women do get their periods with a little coaxing. I think, you know, they give birth control pills oftentimes without really checking women. I mean, they don’t check to see if women clot. Have any kind of clotting disorder. It’s interesting, and then they find out like, “Oh, I had a clot on the airplane,” and it’s like, “I’m on birth control pills. Whoops, I shouldn’t be on them.”  But they don’t do a lot of testing, they hand them out like you said. They just sort of hand them out to everyone.

Dr. Weitz:            And essentially it’s a chemical castration. These women are artificially having their menstrual cycles stop with chemicals for years and years, and so their body’s not naturally producing these hormones.

Denise:                 Right. And there’s a difference between the synthetic hormones that you get, and the ratios of them, and how they’re pulsed, right? We take, hormones all pulse in a certain way, and you take a pill it’s not quite the same. So I think it must have some impact, and I don’t know there’s a lot of research on that, I’d have to really look stuff up, it’s a very interesting thing. I’m not a big fan, but for those who have unwanted pregnancies I do see that birth control pills are the best form of birth control at this point in time.   So it’s a hard call for women. It’s a hard thing, what to do. You know?

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah. No, I understand. Can you talk about some of the sexual problems that men and women have that they often don’t want to talk about and why don’t they talk about these?

Denise:                 Yeah. This is my favorite thing to talk about, actually. Really because it just let’s people know they’re not alone. So I have men who have difficulty perhaps ejaculating in their wife, and I have a lot of men that are really shamed around that, because they’ve not ejaculated in a woman for years because they were trying to prevent pregnancy, so they didn’t learn how. And maybe they’re masturbatory style is very different than when they make love to their wife, and so it’s just a different sensation.  And so it’s learning how to re-do that style so that they can ejaculate. And there’s many reasons for why men can’t ejaculate in their wives, right? Fear of making a baby, or sometimes … you know, what’s really interesting is there’s a lot of SSRI’s, and one of the side effects of SSRI’s is they have like, it’s hard for men to ejaculate, and it’s hard for women to reach orgasm. And I actually interviewed somebody that was a psychiatrist in functional medicine, Hyla, Dr. Katz.

Dr. Weitz:            Oh, yeah.

Denise:                 Yeah, I interviewed her because we were talking about what can these people do? Because they’re given SSRI’s and maybe that’s not the best thing in order to make a baby because no one’s orgasming and no one’s ejaculating.  So that’s a problem, so that’s one of the things. And then I also have, men can’t get an erection when there’s pressure. Like, when they know their woman’s ovulating, and they all of a sudden have to perform, you know, that moment, and the woman’s like, “Okay, now honey.” Men sometimes just can’t really perform on demand, right? And so my book is really this idea of maybe men don’t need to know when their wives are ovulating. Some men like to know, but maybe it’s this idea of having intercourse more often, having connection more often so it’s like your having it and you’re also having it during baby making time. It’s not just, “Okay, this window we have to do it now.” And then men are like, “Ah!”

So I see those things in men, and I see some sexual pain in women. That they don’t tell anybody. That like, it actually hurts, and they don’t know why. And you know, oftentimes my job as a a Chinese medicine practitioner and sex coach is to like, “You know, you need to go to a pelvic floor physical therapist. Your pelvic floor is like, ripping.” God, I had a woman who couldn’t have intercourse because every time she had intercourse with her husband she’d get a UTI, urinary tract infection. And so it started becoming, she had vaginismus, her muscles started closing down, and they couldn’t have intercourse for a long time, ’cause of the trauma of thinking like, “Every time we have intercourse I’m in pain.”  So unraveling that takes a few people, right? Takes like the physical therapist, and some emotional support, and I can help, and so it’s really pointing people in the right direction.

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah. Probably could use some cranberry D mannose to coat the urinary tract to make bacterial less likely to adhere.

Denise:                 Right. So it’s really addressing, exactly. It’s addressing it in many different avenues, not just the pelvic floor physical therapist, but it’s also looking at how to relax the woman, and how to prevent UTI’s. Like, what’s going on that she keeps getting UTI’s? And you know, help the gut function, and exactly what you’re saying. Perfect.

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah, and those antidepressants are handed out like candy. And then there’s a series of other drugs. So for example, some of the drugs that men take to try to increase hair growth, like Propecia also affect erectile dysfunction.

Denise:                Oh my god, and toxic to fertility. So not good for, yeah. All those things, right?

Dr. Weitz:            Right.

Denise:                Yeah.

Dr. Weitz:            So when you, in your book you talk about the benefits of orgasm in sex besides, you know, being able to conceive.

Denise:                Oh yeah. It’s orgasm, but you know what? It could be like a deep hug, it’s oxytocin. It’s the hugging drug, right? And it’s like 30 seconds, 20 to 30 seconds of like that deep embrace, and you produce these chemicals, and orgasm is the best. Because orgasm, there’s something that happens where your brain, it just stops and you don’t think about anything, it’s this moment that’s really beautiful for men and for women, and it’s sort of an enlightened state. I mean, it’s a state where you can really ascend, it can be a very highly spiritual state. It’s not just about like, gotta have an orgasm, but it’s this connected, beautiful moment in time where all these feel good hormones are in your body and we want more of that.  Because those help our immune system, actually. Like, sexuality is good for our, it helps our immune system. And that’s a very important fact that people forget because they’re so busy.  People are so busy at work, and so stressed out, that they like, they can’t, you know, the idea of taking an hour to like, have lovely, slow connection with a partner doesn’t happen.  I mean, I have people that don’t even have date nights.  They see each other very little, maybe on the weekends only.

Dr. Weitz:            Right. It’s interesting that this problem of, you know, if you call it a problem, right? I think it is, of people having less sex and having less babies is actually something that we see throughout the western world, and you see it in a lot of these countries in Europe, etc., where the native population is becoming a minority partially because they’re not having a lot of kids.  And in some of the Scandinavian kids, they actually have commercials on TV encouraging people to have sex.

Denise:                Yeah, you know …

Dr. Weitz:            Government incentives and stuff for them to conceive.

Denise:                Yeah. It was kind of scary because I attended a reproductive endocrinology lecture and the doctor, a reproductive endocrinologist, was talking about he thinks that one day it’s just going to be like you go to get an IVF to conceive your baby, and sex is only for fun, and it’s not used for fertility anymore, for making a baby, you just sort of do it in the lab. And I thought, “Oh no. That’s such a scary … is that what’s going to happen? We’re going to all have these like, designer babies?” To me, that’s a scary thought, you know?

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah. We should be way more connected to the earth than we are, and that’s like the most extreme example, you know? Yeah.

Denise:                Yeah. I mean, when healthcare dictates that.  You know, right now IVF is, some insurances cover it, but you have to have money.  And it’s really unfortunate, because there’s some people that really need IVF.  I have men who sometimes have, have had … I have testicular cancer guys, like quite a few in my practice.  And their sperm counts sometimes aren’t as good to make a baby naturally, so they need the help of IVF.  And that’s what IVF is for.  I’m not anti-western medicine, it’s just that some people rush to it when they don’t really need to. ‘Cause of the fear, and the anxiety we have in our society, and maybe they’re having relationship issues as well.

Dr. Weitz:            Right. When men have issues with sperm count, or swimming ability, etc., what are some of the things that can be done to help?

Denise:                So glad you asked that. You know, in Chinese medicine … okay, first of all. Western medicine. There’s a lot of, or I should say Functional Medicine, there’s a lot of nutritional substances that we give men. We give men fertility formulas that contain CoQ10 and Vitamin E, and selenium, and zinc. Zinc is very important. L-Arginine is good, L-carnitine, those are sort of standard in men’s fertility formulas. But then there’s actually specific herbs that men can take to help their libido and help sperm, but it really depends on what’s going on.  So a man who maybe has a low sperm count due to maybe a varicocele, so it’s like a varicose vein in his scrotum, he in Chinese medicine would need more cooling of his testicles and more blood flow and cooling herbs. We might have him just put an ice pack actually, to cool them down and take herbs for blood flow, which would be different for a man who has a low sperm count due to, we call like, low kidney energy in Chinese medicine. Or maybe he’s over stressed, or he’s over exercising or something of that nature.

So herbs like, I was just pulling them up actually, looking at my book. One of my patients who had testicular cancer, a doctor told him he should take ashwagandha, and he called me. “Doctor says I should take ashwagandha. What do you think?” And I thought, “Yeah. Ashwagandha.” Ashwagandha is a great adaptogenic herb, it’s shown to like, improve sperm, interesting enough. And it’s calming, so it would be a great herb for him because he was sort of anxious.  And I also give cordyceps, it’s a fungus, it lives on caterpillars, but they make it.  Cordyceps also helps sperm, and it also helps egg quality. And it also helps, good for stress, good for your adrenal glands to be good for them.  So that modulates. And then there’s things like, we call yin yang huo. Horny goat weed. Horny goat weed is an herb that helps libido, there’s a bunch of them.

Dr. Weitz:            Yes.

Denise:                And what I want to say is like, ashwagandha. Okay, you can take ashwagandha singly, but there’s these amazing formulas that have all the adaptogens. Like, rhodiola, and ashwagandha. You know, and Siberian ginseng. And I kind of like to take herbs in formulas as opposed to just single herbs. It’s how the Chinese do it, and I find it’s much more effective to give a formula for a man than just a single herb.

Dr. Weitz:            As a provider, how do you bring up questions about sexuality with the men and women you’re seeing?

Denise:                That’s a great question. I have a form that they fill out, and one of the questions is about libido. Because it’s part of who we are as humans, right? It can tell us a lot of about what’s going on, if there’s deeper issues.  I mean, I had a man who couldn’t get an erection, and really, he ended up having a heart attack because it was blood flow issues. So I think it’s a really important question that we need to ask for providers, our patients, yeah? We shouldn’t eliminate that question. So basically they put a check on my form, and a lot of women, really I would say 98% of my patients that are women check the low libido box.

So I basically ask them, “Hey, you checked the low libido box, and I want to know what’s going on.” And really just try to find out, libido is really complicated. It’s complicated for women, maybe less so for men, but it’s complicated for women. Like, is it stress, is it past trauma, what’s going on? So we go a little in there, and then men oftentimes, on their checkbox, if they have erectile dysfunction, they check it. Believe it or not. So I just say, “Hey, you checked the box with low libido, erectile dysfunction, what’s going on?” And believe it or not, people really wanna talk about it.  Because nobody asks them. And they don’t know what to do about it, and they don’t know who to go see, and it’s just this sort of shame that they live with, and I’m really encouraging more providers to talk about this area. You know, and also refer out, let them know that there’s therapists that actually specialize in sexuality. That you can talk about these things to, if there’s trauma, or past issues with this, right? And I just feel like it’s important for people to be empowered around this topic.

Dr. Weitz:            Yeah, no, I think this very important book, and by the way I think your next book should be about sexuality after menopause, ’cause that’s another whole set of issues.

Denise:                Oh, yeah. I also treat that. That’s a whole, or sex after kids. Right? Where everybody’s like, scrambling around, you remember that. You know, everyone’s like, “Oh my gosh, I need to sleep, don’t touch me.” So yeah, sex after you have the baby, or in menopause. But you know, there’s an interesting …

Dr. Weitz:            Sex after your hormones fall off a cliff.

Denise:                Tank, yeah. I think that you know, and just to mention that, that’s not in my book, but just to say that because you know, yes. Menopause. I know that intimately. It’s not, I think it doesn’t have to be a tank. And if you ask some women in their 50’s, they’d say they have the best sex that they’ve ever had in their entire life. So this idea that everything has to tank, sometimes it’s just that women have been in the same relationship for a really long time, and everything’s very predictable and everything’s kind of boring. And remember I mentioned that like, 30-45 minutes of foreplay? That’s not usually happening.  And so maybe if there’s a way to spice things up or recreate things, or … women, surprisingly enough, maybe can change. So women think, “Oh, no, it’s very common that a woman in menopause, her husband will be like, ‘Hey, let’s have sex,’ and the woman’s like, ‘Ugh, god, I don’t want to.'” But if a man were to really arouse, and I don’t mean like just touching, maybe a woman would be in the mood. So I just got a rose today from one of my colleagues, and these rose petals are super amazing. You could just take a rose petals, lie them on the bed, and just do a touching exercise with rose petals. I mean, when do we do that? Who has time for that anyway?  But it’s just to remember these kind of small things can really wake people up and that even though a woman’s in menopause, maybe she hasn’t been touched by rose petals in a very long time in her life. And maybe that would be the thing that would kind of light her up to really back into her moment. So I’m not sure, I’m not wedded to like, it’s only because women’s hormones drop. You know? I see plenty of women who don’t have hormones, who have a fine sex drive. So that’s a whole other topic.

Dr. Weitz:            That’s great. So one more question since we seem to be in a marijuana revolution in this country, and we live in California where marijuana is now legal and it seems like everybody’s starting to experiment with CBD oil in healthcare practices for every possible condition. How do these affect fertility?

Denise:                 We see CBD everywhere. First of all, marijuana is not good for sperm. Sperm slow down, and it’s not good. So if your man is smoking marijuana, or ingesting with edibles, or whatever, I would say give him 70 days of no edibles. Because it’s not good for sperm counts. That’s just …

Dr. Weitz:            Sperm slow down, they just want to sit on the sofa and not go to work.

Denise:                 Yeah. Not so good. Yeah, sperm, it’s just not good for sperm. And that’s, I’ve interviewed enough urologists, reproductive urologists, and they’ve told me firsthand, “Please don’t, no marijuana for sperm counts.” We don’t know, I don’t know there’s any research on egg quality, but I imagine if it’s not good for sperm, it’s probably not good for eggs. We just don’t know enough about that. That’s just THC, right?  But then there’s CBD. The problem with CBD is that we don’t know enough about CBD. So there’s CBD from hemp, and there’s CBD from, with THC in it, and we don’t even know. There’s no quality control with CBD at all. So you take CBD you don’t even know what you’re getting. Every vendor wants to sell me CBD, and I don’t know really how much is in it. Do you find the same thing?

Dr. Weitz:            Yes. I think there’s a lot of confusion about it. I think there are some specific rules as far as, if you want to sell CBD it has to have less, a certain amount of THC, and if it has more then it has to be … it’s all legal, but …

Denise:                 You know what? No, but there’s CBD from hemp, and there’s CBD from cannabis. Right? The CBD that’s made from hemp has no THC in it. And the CBD from cannabis I think maybe does or doesn’t or I’m not really sure. And there’s so much debate about that. I’m not anti-CBD, I see it do some good things, I don’t think it’s the do-all end-all, I think it’s just the rage right …

Dr. Weitz:            People use it for sleep and relaxation.

Denise:               Yeah, yeah. And I’m not anti-CBD at all, I actually have used it myself and think it’s really good and I love the CBD ointment for pain, I think that’s great, and inflammation. But I think if you’re trying to have a baby, until we know more, it’s just hard to say because I don’t know that there’s any research. I do have a colleague that did a lot of CBD oil in her 40’s and did get pregnant. So that’s just kind of a funny aside, but I don’t know and I don’t recommend it because I don’t know enough research about it.

Dr. Weitz:            Right. Great. So any final thoughts for our listeners? And maybe you can tell us how viewers and listeners can get a hold of you and where they can pre-order your book?

Denise:               Okay. The final thing I wanna say, and we’re so focused sometimes on you know, on money-making, and busy, and lab tests, and health, that we forget to kind of drop into the place in our hearts where the love lives, and it’s always a good reminder to really live in that place of love. You know? We can live in fear, and there’s enough of it in our society right now, but just be in gratitude and love is the best place we can arrive to. So that’s really my, that’s why I think conceiving with love, it’s all about the love.  All about the love. That’s my final thought. And then if you want to get a hold of me, I have a website that’s my name, DeniseWiesner.com, and there’s a lot of information about me and what I do, and it also links to my clinic, and my book is available through Amazon. It’ll be available pre-order and out May 28th. And it’s also I think in Barnes & Noble, and it’s also, it’s published by Shambala so you can also get it on their website as well.

Dr. Weitz:            Awesome. Thank you Denise.

Denise:               Thank you, Dr. Ben Weitz. You’re the best.


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