Welcome to the Carolina Sotomayor Podcast! In this episode, host Carolina Sotomayor speaks with Adrienne Irizarry, a practitioner of peristeam hydrotherapy, herbalism, sound healing, and Chinese nutritional therapy. Adrienne has a passion for helping women ease period symptoms, improve fertility, and ease life transitions.
The conversation begins with Adrienne discussing why Western medicine often fails to solve unexplained infertility. She notes that Western medicine tends to break the body down into silos, without considering the emotional and spiritual bodies.
Adrienne contrasts this approach with Eastern medicine, which considers the tri-fecta of emotional, spiritual, and physical bodies. She explains that Eastern medicine recognizes that each body is unique in its composition, and seeks to cure the root cause of symptoms rather than simply canceling them out.
If you’re struggling with unexplained infertility or simply interested in learning more about holistic approaches to women’s health, this episode is a must-listen. Join Carolina and Adrienne as they explore the differences between Western and Eastern medicine, and how taking a holistic approach can help us tap into our natural state of fertility.
What you’ll learn:
1:10 Who is Adrienne Irizarry?
4:46 Why Western Medicine is failing women with infertility?
10:00 Adrienne’s bad experience with an IVF doctor
19:57 Fertility is a natural state of being
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The Carolina Sotomayor Podcast is brought to you by Carolina Sotomayor and the Fertility Foundation.
Carolina Sotomayor is an Expert Womb Healer who helps women conceive by removing physiological blockages with Reiki. She is the host of the Carolina Sotomayor Podcast, a show that covers everything from fertility to postpartum to motherhood, and the creator of Fertility Foundation Collective, an online membership that helps women heal at their own pace to boost their fertility.
Carolina has served over 500 women from around the world to heal. She is passionate about helping women create their families. As a result, there are over 60 reiki babies in the world.
Fertility Foundation Collective: https://carolinasotomayor.com/membership
Carolina Sotomayor Reiki: https://carolinasotomayor.com/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolinasotomayorreiki/
Podcast Episode Transcript
Hi, I’m Carolina, your podcast host and expert wound healer. Over the past five years, I’ve served over 500 women to remove physical blockages in their bodies. We achieve this with Reiki. I believe healing doesn’t have to be done alone, nor should it be. We will hear stories of healing methods to heal with and guest speakers covering taboo topics you won’t hear anywhere else.
Let’s continue this journey of wound healing together.
Hello, friends. Hi. It’s me, Caroline, your Reiki master in podcast host. Today we’re talking about solving unexplained infertility with Adrian Ri. How are you, Adrienne? Thanks for being here. I’m so excited you’re here. I am awesome. I’m so excited to be here with you, and this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart.
So I feel like we’re best friends. So I know a lot about you, but can you tell our listeners a little bit about who you are? Where are you in the world, and why do you do what you do? Absolutely. So I am a holistic women’s health practitioner. I practice from an eastern medicine perspective. I have an office in Dover, New Hampshire.
So I’m up in the the northern region, new England. Yeah, , but dealing with the snow. So I came to this work by way of unexplained infertility on my own journey with fertility and. came up a lot against a lot of roadblocks and really felt like I couldn’t get the answers I was looking for in the Western medical model, which was incredibly frustrating for me.
Uh, incredibly. My kid growing up , I needed to know why things were happening, and I didn’t get any of those why answers and so, I found a lot of that wisdom in Eastern medicine, and it totally has called to me and felt as natural as breathing. So I offer, uh, non-invasive approaches to restoring health and harmony in the reproductive system in every phase of a woman’s life.
I fucking love that. I love that you said non-invasive, because a lot of things are so invasive when it comes to womanhood and taking care of our anatomy, or even going to the doctor’s visit saying, you’re like pap, right? So everything is so invasive, and if you do like I V F or I U I, IVF or iui, you know, there’s trigger shots, there’s needles there.
You know, medications, it’s so hard. Even, even the cost is invasive. So I love that you said non-invasive, and thank you for sharing. Your story for me is when women are looking to conceive through postpartum is the most vulnerable time, but the most frustrating segment is the infertility phase. Like if women are not conceiving easily, , getting answers from a practitioner is or from a doctor is so difficult.
It is the number one thing that I see that comes up, oh, I didn’t get an diagnosis, or they didn’t write me a script, or they can’t tell me why. It’s just possibly maybe P C O S, or they can’t tell me why my period is not returning. And this is in my stark opinion, is I feel like Western medicine doesn’t meet the needs of every person.
And most of the times they’re not meeting the needs of the average person. Meaning like emotional, mental, holistic. They’re just looking at the symptom. They’re not looking at the root cause, and they’re not taking the time to develop a relationship with the person to see. , what perfumes are they using?
What? Like what’s their diet like? Or if they’re, God forbid if they’re overweight like myself. You just need to lose weight. No, like I’m not getting my period. You just need to lose weight. No, no, no, no. Like I know I’m overweight, but my period should just still come anyway, so like. , why am I not, or like I’m doing the diet, I’m exercising, but I’m not losing weight.
I’m actually gaining weight. Why can’t you tell me my TH’s not working? Like why exactly. So, I believe that Eastern Medicine has offered so much that just the mainstream public still doesn’t know like how to approach it or even accept it to work with it. And I have had great success with Eastern Medicine.
Can you explain in your experience why Western Medicine is failing women with infertility? Oh, it is a long time. Please tell me your soap box . How long do we have? 30 minutes. Part of the reason that the system is failing is we have a, oh man, where do I start? We have a very birth control focused culture.
We spend so much of our time trying to prevent pregnancy that when we actually go to get pregnant, we don’t account for the fact that. These medications are designed to interrupt a healthy hormone cadence in the body, so interrupt it for long enough. Then the body goes, oh, hey, I have to figure out this thing again.
I need to learn how to do this and communicate in an effective manner because I no longer have this block between the hypothalamus pituitary variant access and. . Oh, okay. Well this is gonna take a little bit, but we’ll get there. Right. So now let’s look at the definition of what is, what is given as the parameters for infertility.
Well, you were considered infertile if you’ve been trying for six months, uh, with unprotected sex with a partner, and there is no. Healthy pregnancy that has resulted from that. Well, hold on a second. Now, let’s go back to the birth control culture. We’ve been on birth control. A lot of us were put on birth control, not because we’re actually trying to prevent pregnancy, but then we stay on it for that reason.
It oftentimes is given to young women to deal with period problems instead of, like you said, getting to the root of why those disharmonies were showing up in the first place. When we are put on those meds during a timeframe, when our body is practicing this hormone communication system that’s going on, which happens during your teen years, a lot of women are put on it in their, their teens or early twenties while their body is still figuring all this stuff out.
So now we’ve got disruption, disruption, disruption, and then. Nowhere in this process do we hold space for, hey, you’ve had a lot of hurdles put in the way of your body functioning in an optimal way, yet we only give you six months for your body to straighten itself out and then be able to get pregnant.
So I think that that falsely, there’s a lot of people that are put into this infertility or unexplained infertility category. . If they were provided with the right support for their body to come back online, they actually wouldn’t have any challenges there. That’s just talking about it from a, a physiological place.
Now, look at the energetic side of all of this, right? We have a culture that. There are a lot of women who walk into intimate relationships that have a lot of energetic or little Ty or Big T trauma in their past that stands as a block to things working the way that they should. Sometimes there are relationships.
Blocks on the part of one side of the equation or the other. There are lots and lots of things that can contribute to the infertility equation, and one of the things that really drove me to work in this area is, you know, two failed iui, all the diagnostics and you know, HEO grams, the H S G. Flush fluid backwards up in your reproductive system to see if there’s any blockages in there from a physical place, right?
All that stuff, horribly painful. Totally. To your point about things being very invasive, right? And you go through all of those diagnostics and those procedures and all of that is very invasive and it feels very intrusive and you. Sometimes sparse information about what is going on and why they’re doing it.
Just that you have to have it done. To move to the next wicket, right? In this whole process, and after all of those Western diagnostics that I had had, because I wanted to have a baby with the love of my life and had had one successful pregnancy, so, Neither of us had ever thought that secondary infertility was going to enter the equation.
So there’s a mental and emotional component to that in and of itself. I finally reached the IVF doctor’s office. Right. And I had been kind of led to believe, and in my practice I see this a lot too, that the IVF doctor is going to be the wisdom keeper of all of the things as to why this is not happening for people.
Oh my God, that’s so true. They’re like, Oh, I’ll get to IVF and he’ll fix everything. Or she’ll fix everything. Exactly. And so I went through this gauntlet of tests. Yeah. So, you know, I had been through all of those diagnostics and. Was waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel, right? So I, I sat down across from this big pretentious desk.
The doctor whizzes himself in, throws himself down in his chair across from the desk, laughs. No eye contact with me. Nothing laughs and says There’s nothing wrong with your husband’s test results. There’s nothing wrong with your test results. I have no idea why you can’t get pregnant, but we can do I V F with ixi, then disappears out of the room again.
Didn’t look at a folder. Didn’t make eye contact with me. I was not a person. No explanation. I had no fucking idea what Ixy was, and I’m like, so now what? And the nurse comes in and I’m sure she probably got that deer in the headlights look quite a lot because there was no information, no explanation, no nothing.
She whizzes me into the next room. gives me the long list of medications that I need to get a hold of. I’m like, Hey. I had a heart attack on birth control at 25. Can I even have this stuff? It was, I just felt like there was such a disconnect in terms of communication. I got scared because I had had this episode on birth control.
It’s what brought me off of birth control. I’m so grateful to the ER doctor that saved my life. When I had a heart attack on birth control at 25, like so anyway, like all of these meds and how fast everything was moving, like I felt like my head was spinning. I got to my car 30 minutes from the time I touched down in the waiting room to the time I no was back in my car and I, no.
Yes, and I remember staring at the steering wheel and I burst into one of the other, no, in my entire life because I felt so hopeless and so lost. I’m so like, I’m so sorry, Adrian. That’s terrible. I got goosebumps everywhere. Was your partner with you? No. Because you were alone. I dealt with all of that by my myself.
Oh shit, I’m so sorry. He wanted to be there that day and he had a, I think it was a military obligation. There was something he couldn’t get outta. And he goes, I’m so sorry. I can’t go with you. I wanna be there. Call me after you get out of the appointment cuz I wanna know what happened. And so I like, I couldn’t even speak like, I was just like, ugh.
Um. They gave me a pile of paper I had to read to find out what ixy was. I had to read to find out that they could overstimulate my ovaries and I could have massive problems, like none of this was explained to me. They were just like, oh, call us if you have or put in a ticket if you have a question. I’m like an assembly line fucking appointment to address all the questions I’ve got right now and the, yeah, associated with all of this, like what you would expect, a $20,000 investment would be a lot more of white glove, high frequency touch.
Service, don’t you? But I find this story very, very, very true and very, very common. Almost like I used to work in pharmaceutical manufacturing. It’s like an assembly line, like, get in, get out, and here you go with the least amount of effort. There’s no comfort, there’s no vulnerability or empathy or emotional needs met in the slightest bit.
Well, and by the time I was sitting in that IVF doctor’s office, I had had four miscarriages at that point. No, I’m so sorry. I, I’m like, well, thank you. I, every one of them happened for a reason and I’ve made peace with it now and, and they’ve all propelled me to be the practitioner that I am today because.
By the time I got there, I’m like, dude, it’s not that I’m having issues getting pregnant, it’s that I’m not staying pregnant. Pregnant. Yeah. How does that, how does your, your approach solve this? You’re still looking at it from the getting me pregnant perspective, and so I had to have my ugly cry and move all of that emotion and energy outta my system, and then I got angry and I’m like, you know what?
This is not working, and if this isn’t working for me, it’s not working for other people. And I truly, deeply believe that there is an answer to my question. I just can’t find it here. And so I was at an acupuncture appointment because I faithfully go to acupuncture to keep myself sane. I was laying on the table essentially sobbing about the fact that I, I, I’m like, needle me for all the grief.
I get it outta . I, cause I had a wall and I had a background in Chinese nutritional therapy at that point, but I hadn’t like taken a deep dive into herbalism or any of the other things and. Working in a corporate job that I really do think contributed to the recurrent miscarriage because of stress and you know how they made me feel as a human being, you know, just minor things like that.
Right? So , that’s why I left corporate. I decided that. I was gonna take a deeper dive into Eastern medicine because in that conversation with my acupuncturist, she goes, well, you know, you, there’s several different diagnosis in Chinese medicine for why people struggle with fertility. She goes, , take a look there.
And so in my research, I just felt like I came, became super hungry for information and I’m, I’m one of the few, I mean, I haven’t found anybody else like me in the world that uses this synergistic approach of herbs and pelvic steaming. And I use acus because, you know, there are some people that will not go to acupuncture because they’re adverse to needles.
And the beautiful part is with sound. , I can work on them on the table or I can work out on them at a distance, which is such a gift. So I use this non-invasive, well-rounded approach to help move emotions and energy. So we deal with the, the emotional, energetic side of the equation at this. Same time that we’re, you know, cuz there’s such that trifecta approach to Chinese medicine, there’s a spiritual, emotional and physical reason that is culminating in why you are having x, y, z block or pain, or your periods not showing up the way that it should or, and so on and so forth.
Because, you know, periods can disappear because of. Periods can disappear because of hormone reasons. Like there can be a lot of things that feed that equation, and so I love that. Chinese medicine had those answers for me, and I made it that hill that I was gonna die on, that I was gonna educate the world that you know, little things that they can change in their own lives to support the health and wellness of their reproductive cycle, how their period was showing up and in turn support their fertility because if your period is happening in a nice, healthy.
Way. You have the resources for the blood rich endometrial lining for proper egg development ovulating at the appropriate time. Like your whole system communicates with itself better. When we take some of those roadblocks out, and because we live in a society that is go, go, go, go, go all the time, we don’t.
Hold space for the fact that women are cyclical beings and we have different gifts and strengths in each of the phases of our cycle. Hell, there, there’s a lot of women that don’t even know they have four phases of their, I know I just did a podcast about this yesterday, like, and we were talking about the four, she calls it seasons.
Yes. Um, instead of phases. And she’s like, summer, winter, fall, spring, and. and I was like, just so that everyone’s listening, your period cycle is, you know, those four week, four phases. It’s not just when you bleed. Yeah. And I think that that’s a, you know, it was an eye-opening experience. I know it’s not just when you bleed, but most women think it is only when you bleed.
So, yeah. There’s one thing that you mentioned that was very important and from our planning phone call was so important is that you consider. The facts you consider bodies unique in their compositions. So we’re not trying to cancel out our symptoms, we’re looking for a root cause. Right. But whereas in Western medicine, our doctors thought to notes, don’t travel from one to the next.
Yes. So when you’re. Western medicine is essentially feeling to consider the emotional body and feels to holistically look at a whole physical body, meaning like emotional, mental, spiritual altogether. But within your practice and within Eastern medicine, you talked about the trifecta, the emotional, spiritual, and physical bodies and how they interact in flow, in fluid are with each other.
I think it’s really beautiful that you’re able to use so many modalities. To really help women heal, and I love that you’re also virtual, like that is so important. So you can serve so many other women across the world. So fertility is a natural state of being, and our environmental container gets in the way of that.
You once said that, and I put it down as a quote that I wanted everyone to hear, so let me say it again. Fertility is our natural state of being and our environmental container gets in the weight of that. Said Adrian . It’s true. I want everyone that’s gonna be in a quote card should be in a mug, so I love that you use sound, you use steaming.
If anyone doesn’t know what steaming is, do you want to explain to them what steaming is? Absolutely. So pelvic steaming is this gentle practice of sitting over a custom blend of herbs, and so essentially you make a tea and the pot underneath steams and you sit over the steam. It influences the body in some really powerful ways.
Sometimes people have a hard time getting enough of the right resources because their digestion isn’t working well. That’s a very common thing in Western culture. . So this way it gives us a, an ability to nourish the body in a way that bypasses the digestive tract so you’re able to make gains. I also work on digestion with people when I see that this is like a combination one two punch, but it gives us a way to very gently influence the system with the right tools.
I also totally believe. That a big part of why it works is because there are two very important acupuncture points on your per your perineum is that space between your external genitalia and and where you go poop, right? So in your per, you have two very important acupuncture point. That help with emo emotional regulation, system regulation, dealing with the root cause for a lot of recurrent infections.
The list goes on and on, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not really keen on the idea of anybody sticking needles down there. So the beautiful part, and Accu, there are acupuncturists that do. Thank you. , no thank you. But I would not feel comfortable with that. So one of the things that I, not near my bum hole
That’s where I draw the, you’re right. Yeah. No, I’m good. I’m good. But the beautiful part is you’re able to stimulate and get all of the really powerful system-wide benefits, being able to gently create influence from this part of the. Body, one of those two points is a low point in the acupuncture system.
Low points move things that are stuck and so you’re able to move stuck emotions and energy and maybe even blood. Cuz if blood stasis is part of the issue and you’re getting really big clots, it’s going to help with the resolution of that symptom. But we’re also getting at the root cause of why it’s happening in the first place.
So, you know, our fertility, this is so good. This is so juicy. Our fertility is a natural state of being, but here’s the thing. We live in a world that’s moving faster than it’s ever moved before. There’s no space held for the fact that women are cyclical beings. I did a whole little mini-series on my podcast, the Reproductive Rebel Podcast, specifically talking about what it means to be a cyclical being right, the gift in these different phases, but.
you know, not holding space for that. What it ends up doing is it creates this trigger in our system and our primal brain is only wired for two things, survive and procreate, and if survive is the mode that you’re stuck in because you’re overstressed, you’re not getting enough to eat or enough of the right things to eat, or you don’t pause when your body is requiring it because this is where you are in your hormone cycle.
The list goes on and on. , anything that creates a stressor in the system. actually cancels out procreate. So that happens in terms of having period problems start to come in slowly and, and you’ll see the period problems first. And then when people go to use their fertility, then that is where we see it show up also.
But this is why I say fertility is a natural state of being and if our period is healthy, It means that we’ve eliminated some of those stressors. It means that we’re nourishing and resourcing the body the way that she is requiring it, and then your fertility is just going to simply show up. So heal the period.
you know, strengthen the fertility, healthy periods, healthy babies. Absolutely. I just wanna, I’m just so in awe of everything that you’ve shared. It’s, you know, learning about our bodies is so powerful. Knowledge is power. Dealing with a period, symptoms may look different for every person, but I’m so glad the world has.
You as a resource, not just with sound healing, but with steaming, but just like whole eastern medicine and healing the trifecta. Thank you so much for being here, and thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with our listeners. Where can they find you on social media? So the easiest place to find me is on Instagram.
That’s where I am most active. You can find me at Moon Essence me, and you can also find me with my podcast, the Reproductive Revel Podcast. It’s a really great podcast, by the way. You should go run and listen. We just did an episode together. We, Adrian, thank you again for being here and it’s just a true honor to have held space with you and I can’t wait for our listeners to tag us in their Instagram stories and let us know and slide in our dms how they felt about this episode.
Thank you so much for having me. It was an honor to connect and serve you this week. If you were a spiritually curious person wanting to conceive, heal blockages in your fertility, click the link in the episode description to learn more about the Fertility Foundation collective. Until next time, my friend know you are love.