Cold types generally feel colder than most other people, and they also tend to ‘feel the cold’ more. This is usually from a metabolism that’s producing less heat, and a lower metabolism also means most (but not all) ‘cold’ types feel on the tired side. While a slow metabolism can create a ‘cold’ type, it can also be caused by physical cold in the environment penetrating the body, in a similar way to how lying on a cold surface can cause a ‘frozen shoulder’, cold can ‘penetrate’ the womb. Swimming in cold water during the period is a classic way for this to happen (as the womb’s very vulnerable then), and a cold womb is a much less friendly place for an embryo to implant, and challenges the warmth needed in the luteal phase of the cycle.
External cold is probably the most common reason for reduced fertility in otherwise young fit and healthy women, especially if they have painful periods and irregular cycles; this is because the action of cold contracts tissues and obstructs the flow of fluids, which creates stabbing, fixed pain with a contracting/sharp feel to it. Applying warmth reduces the cold and encourages the flow of the period, and this greatly reduces the pain.
However, for most ‘cold’ types, internal cold is usually the issue, with too little energy being burnt to warm the body and drive the body processes at their optimum rate; to use a cooking analogy, the ovens on, but the temperature’s too low…. and just raising the temperature improves the cooking until you get the perfect bake! The metabolism is closely linked to hormone balance, and low thyroid hormone levels can often cause a ‘cold’ type (with tiredness, coldness and reduced fertility) but it’s also possible for the body to be internally cold for non-hormonal reasons.
Internal cold ‘types’ are cold in a general way and the ones who fertility chart will often see relatively low basal body temperatures (BBT) across the month. The lower metabolism means less calories are burnt than by ‘warmer’ people, and this can make keeping weight off a challenge, and ‘internal cold’ women may need to visit the bathroom more, or get water retention before the period if the kidneys are affected by the cold. A chilly lower body also tends to dampen the libido and interest in sex can generally fade for both sexes, and cold can also tighten up muscles in the lower back and knees, making them feel weak or achy.
The menstrual cycles of cold type women tend to be irregular or long as cold slows the cycle down and periods tend to be light with thin, pale blood that sometimes have stringy bits. If there’s period pain it eases with warmth, and the lack of warmth in the lower abdomen can encourage a watery discharges unconnected to ovulation. During the second (luteal) phase of the menstrual cycle progesterone heats the body and readies the womb for implantation, and if the cold’s extreme it can affect the higher temperature needed and this can cause a shorter luteal phase than normal. Focused changes to diet, lifestyle and Chinese medicine mean it’s quite possible to warm of the body and womb to improve the chances of having a baby.
Lifestyle, diet, tests and treatments for ‘cold types’
The most important thing for ‘cold’ types is to raise their temperature, speed up their metabolism which will increase fertility. ‘Cold’ men tend to have less libido and this can also lower sexual performance and sperm quality. ‘Cold’ women are particularly challenged in the luteal phase, when the womb needs to be receptive (think like a gardener; seeds germinate best when sown in warm soil) and temperatures need to be higher for ten days if you’re going to get pregnant. There are a number of ways to raise your temperature:
- Dietary changes
- Lifestyle changes
- Treatments and tests