We are often contacted by women asking about the Gerson Therapy in relation to women’s reproductive health. The following information addresses common concerns with respect to the Gerson Therapy and birth control, infertility and pregnancy. These answers are based on the experience and opinions of the seasoned Certified Gerson Practitioners who have practiced the Gerson Therapy for many years, but we encourage all patients to work directly with their primary physician for specific advice.
The first two sections regarding birth control, infertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding are intended for Gerson patients. A Gerson patient is defined as an individual who is treating a chronic or degenerative condition using the Gerson Therapy treatment system (Gerson Therapy diet, juices, supplements and coffee enemas), most often with an individualized protocol provided at a licensed Gerson clinic or by a Certified Gerson Practitioner. Gerson patients who are not working with a Gerson doctor are advised not to rely solely on this information and are strongly encouraged to work with a Certified Gerson Practitioner for safe and individualized medical guidance.
Gerson Patients & Birth Control Methods
Why are hormonal birth control pulls not recommended for a Gerson patient?
Hormonal birth control pills are not recommended for Gerson patients because part of the Gerson Therapy is to restore the body’s natural hormone system, and introducing a hormone based medication could disrupt this process. Additionally, hormonal birth control pills contain synthetic versions of female hormone and can have side effects such as: intermenstrual spotting, nausea, headaches, weight gain, mood changes, and again have the potential to disrupt the body’s restoration process. Some of these side effects could make it difficult for a patient to pinpoint whether they are experiencing a healing reaction, a symptom of hormonal birth control pills, or a symptom of their diagnosed illness.
Could the Gerson Therapy cause any issues with an IUD?
When the immune system is revived, it begins to detect foreign objects and attempts to remove them from the body. Because of the potential ejection reaction, IUDs are not highly recommended for Gerson patients. This could cause chronic inflammation in the area of some foreign objects–especially if they are not removed–and there is the potential of the IUD being dislodged.
My Certified Gerson Practitioner has advised me not to get pregnant due to my illness. What are my choices for birth control?
There are many contraceptive options, and a Gerson doctor can provide information on birth control options if they have advised their patient not to get pregnant. However, some options that align with the Gerson Therapy are: barrier or rhythm methods, non-lubricated condoms with a water based lubricant or flax seed oil, and vasectomy for male partner.
Over the years, The Gerson Institute has collected anecdotal evidence regarding use of the Gerson Therapy for infertility. Many patients suffer from numerous health issues, and some women who could not get pregnant have been able to conceive after using the Gerson Therapy to treat a separate chronic disease. Some women have used the Gerson Therapy specifically for infertility, while other have used just parts of the Gerson Therapy with success. We receive less infertility inquiries from men and therefore have little information on the results they experienced. Ultimately, nutritional support and detoxification can provide a solid foundation for treating infertility, but we recommend consulting with an OB-GYN, endocrinologist and/or fertility specialist to formulate a treatment plan and monitor progress.
Pregnant & Postpartum Gerson Patients
Are coffee enemas safe to use while pregnant?
Due to caffeine’s stimulating effects on the body, it is best for a pregnant mother to consult a Certified Gerson Practitioner to determine if coffee enemas are safe to use. They also should consider for what purpose they are being applied, and if the mother has a diagnosis requiring treatment.
Can I breastfeed while on the Gerson Therapy?
Whether a woman can breastfeed while using the Gerson Therapy needs to be determined on an individual basis by a patient’s Certified Gerson Practitioner, but it may be possible. Observation of the child is necessary to determine if aspects, such as the coffee enemas, are affecting the child’s behavior by causing hyperactivity and restlessness.
What should I do for my child if my breast milk is not safe?
In cases where breast milk is not safe, a pediatrician should be consulted for appropriate options. Nevertheless, seeking high quality options that avoid unnatural ingredients such as: added sugar, soy, and GMOs is a wise decision.
What supplements can a Gerson patient take while breastfeeding?
Any supplementation while breastfeeding should be discussed with a pediatrician, obstetrician and/or Certified Gerson Practitioner.
Gerson Therapy & Healthy Women
The Gerson Therapy is a treatment designed for chronic and degenerative illnesses, and therefore is inappropriate for healthy individuals to use for a prolonged period of time. The definition of health, as stated by the World Health Organization, is: “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” There are those who are healthy, meaning they are physically, mentally, and socially well, but still want to use aspects of the therapy to support their body in preparation for pregnancy or after birth. The following information is in response to questions frequently asked by women in this phase of life.
What aspects of the Gerson Therapy can I use to prepare for pregnancy?
One of the most important aspects of preparing for pregnancy is nutritional support. There are individuals who have used aspects of the Gerson Therapy to prepare their bodies for pregnancy and/or increase their fertility.
The Gerson Therapy diet is low in sodium, fats and proteins – Dr. Gerson found that inclusion of protein in the diet reduced sodium elimination and slowed the process of detoxification, while fats encouraged tumor growth. However, someone who is not on the Gerson Therapy, particularly someone who wants to get pregnant, will need to add healthy fats and proteins such as organic, non-fat plain yogurt, clean fish, lentils and pasture raised eggs.
Moderate to occasional detoxification may help prepare the body, but it is best to work with a naturopathic or holistic physician for safe application of detoxification methods.
Lastly, once a woman becomes pregnant or is preparing for pregnancy, they may need more iron and folic acid that often requires the incorporation of a prenatal supplement. This can be discussed further with a naturopathic/holistic doctor or OB/GYN.
I’m a healthy woman, are coffee enemas safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?
If a pregnant mother is not ill, then they should consult their doctor before introducing coffee enemas and determine how necessary they are. However, if coffee enemas are taken, this should only be done under the guidance of a naturopathic or holistic doctor who can offer information on strength and frequency.
When breastfeeding, caffeine in the enemas could pass from the mother into the breast milk and lead to hyperactivity, irritability, and indigestion in the baby. The mother should also consider why she is interested in taking coffee enemas during this period of her child’s development, and whether that purpose could wait until until birth and/or breastfeeding has completed.
I’m healthy, but want to juice while pregnant. How many juices and what kind do you recommend?
On average, three or less 8 oz. juices per day may be safe for a pregnant mother to consume, if they are healthy, but individual evaluation is recommended by a doctor. Gerson juices contain a large amount of potassium and other nutrients which can stimulate cellular detoxification. The number of juices often needs to be restricted to prevent too much detoxification during pregnancy. You can learn about the types juices used on the Gerson Therapy on our website’s Frequently Asked Questions page.
We also want to share a few resources for more guidance either with applying the Gerson Therapy or for healthy women who need assistance with reproductive health, pregnancy, and/or perinatal care. We encourage personal research, but we hope these resources help to start the process.
- Certified Gerson Practitioners – www.gerson.org/gerpress/certified-gerson-practitioners
- Find a Naturopath – www.findanaturopath.com
- Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians – www.pedanp.org
- Holistic Pediatric Alliance – www.hpakids.org
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Written by: Kayla Szampruch
Post by: Nicole Ferrer-Clement