Meet the Author! Getting to Know Sarah Zadek – Author of “It Takes Two… And A Uterus”

It Takes Two… And a Uterus: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Enhancing Your Fertility

Dr. Sarah Zadek
Tellwell Talent (2023)
ISBN 9780228884187

Dr. Sarah Zadek is a writer and licensed naturopathic doctor with a clinical focus on reproductive health, endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Zadek uses the latest evidence-based therapies to help patients correct hormonal dysfunction and immune disorders including: endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, and challenges with fertility (ovarian, uterine and testicular).

Sarah is an author and has written for multiple publications and websites across North America including the NaturalPath, Naturopathic News and Review (NDNR), Naturopathic Currents, Eco Parent Magazine online, Advanced Orthomolecular Medicine (AOR), and Bird&Be.

She is a mother to a toddler, two golden doodles, and currently practices at Conceive Health in Toronto, offering virtual consultations across Ontario.

Hi Sarah, welcome to Reader Views! What is It Takes Two… And a Uterus about?

Thank you so much. This is a fertility guide that answers the question, “What else can I do to improve my odds of a healthy pregnancy and live birth?” It starts with the factors in your diet, lifestyle, and even genetics that can affect your fertility, and dives into what exactly makes a good quality egg and sperm, and a healthy uterus. The book provides easy-to-follow ways to enhance your fertility by addressing your health preconception. Additionally, I’ve included information on fertility treatments and what to expect if you need to go down that road, and which supplements may improve outcomes.

What inspired you to write this book?

When it comes to health and preventative medicine, I’m passionate about learning and teaching others, and as a lifelong writer, creating this book came naturally. I love taking complex scientific principles or research papers and making them easy to digest and understand for the average person. The wonderful thing about science and healthcare is that our knowledge is always changing and improving and I wanted to provide an up-to-date, relevant informational guide for those who are trying to get pregnant and grow their family.

What is the primary goal of It Takes Two… And a Uterus?

The goal is to give people answers and provide guidance when making dietary and lifestyle changes that can improve fertility goals. It’s to empower individuals and support the healthy function of their reproductive organs, delay cellular aging and the development of chronic diseases. This is a fertility book but it’s also a source of information on how to extend your health-years so you can spend that time with your family (whatever that family looks like).

Who is the target audience for your book?

The majority of my patients (those who typically seek out healthcare and health/fertility information) are reproductively female, but the book was written for anyone and everyone of reproductive age.

How will both women and men benefit from reading your book?

There is a lot of emphasis on egg quality in the fertility world, but we’re also seeing a significant decline in male fertility over the past 20 to 40 years. I wanted to create a resource that captures both egg and sperm quality (afterall, “It takes two”!), so I’ve included information and treatment options that address both. Although there is a whole chapter dedicated to sperm and male reproductive health, that information is also peppered throughout the entire book.

What are the key factors that affect fertility?

The human body is complicated and is not necessarily divided into little compartments, but is a system of continuously interacting components. Overall fertility relies on egg and sperm quality, healthy hormone regulation, and a receptive uterus. Therefore our fertility can be affected by:

  • Your unique genetics and health conditions
  • Diet (what you’re putting in your body)
  • Drugs and other substances that are being used (including caffeine, alcohol, cannabis)
  • Your microbiomes: The composition of bacteria in your gut, vagina and uterus (if you have the latter two)
  • Physical activity level
  • Having a healthy sleep cycle
  • Stress exposure and management
  • Exposure to environmental toxins (including the products you use on your body and in your home!)
  • Obesity and body composition

It seems fertility issues are becoming more and more common. To what can you attribute this rise?

I think it’s a combination of factors. First is the increased use of chemicals over time, including the prevalence of phthalates in our environment (slathered on our skin, inhaled, and/or ingested–from plastic food packaging to fragranced body products). Secondly is the incidence of insulin resistance and obesity. Adipose (fat) tissue is a hormonally active organ system, but even without being obese, having a diet high in sugar and simple carbs, and low in fiber can drive poor insulin regulation–a hormone that can directly act on the ovaries!

Women’s reproductive healthcare is also critical. Women are more likely to have damage to their reproductive organs if they need proper medical attention and can’t get it in time (or at all). We also have very high physical expectations of women, and painful, heavy periods, which could be a sign of endometriosis (an inflammatory and hormonal disorder that can cause infertility), are often overlooked or thought of as “normal.” We need more reproductive education–even something as simple as teaching women how to track and understand their menstrual cycles and how to time intercourse on the days they are most fertile.

Lastly, we live in a society that is very work-driven and convenience-driven, so it’s common for people to put their health and wellbeing (including healthy eating and exercise) on the back-burner.

The pressure of conceiving must be very high. Do you have any advice to manage stress levels during the journey?

First and foremost, have a support system in place. Yes, I’m going to tell you to work on your breathing, and maybe journal or meditate, exercise regularly, and spend some time outdoors, but without a support system, this can be a very lonely and isolating journey. Your support system can be whoever you want: a partner, best friend, family member, social worker or psychotherapist, your church, or even an online/virtual support group. Have someone to talk to when you need it. You are not alone and you need a space to work through your thoughts and feelings.

Are there any misconceptions about fertility that you address in your book?

Yes, why sperm health is so important. Testicular-factor infertility accounts for about half of all infertility cases. There are also reports of declining sperm counts and quality in North America and some parts of Europe over the last 20-40 years. This makes it critically important to address the health of both partners (or known donors and surrogates) when trying to conceive, instead of putting the emphasis solely on the partner who will be carrying the pregnancy.

What do you think is the most important factor when it comes to a successful fertility journey?

This isn’t a solve-all piece of advice, but it can be a major fertility roadblock: If you have a partner or live with family, don’t sabotage each other. If your partner smokes and you both are trying to have a baby, they need to quit smoking. If they’re trying to eat more healthily and you constantly keep junk food and sugary sodas around, that has to disappear. You and your partner/household need to be on the same page and support each other.

What are some basic lifestyle modifications that could help improve fertility?

The basics:

  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night
  • Drink 2L water per day
  • Avoid fried and fast foods and half your plate at dinner should be vegetables
  • If you smoke, quit (same goes for cannabis)
  • Enjoy 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week

How should one read It Takes Two… And a Uterus? Is there a step-by-step method or program to follow?

Read from the beginning all the way through, like a novel. I’ve ordered the chapters so that it progresses from the principles of fertility to modifiable factors, and ends with specific treatments and conditions.

How does It Takes Two… And a Uterus stand apart from the many books on the market about infertility?

Where most fertility guides focus solely on female fertility and egg quality, this guide addresses the egg, sperm, and uterus. I also wanted to take into account that some people are going on this journey alone and are using a donor or surrogate. As well, people can be at different points in their journey: just starting to think about trying to conceive, already trying and haven’t been successful yet, are about to start fertility treatments, or are already into IVF and/or embryo transfers. I wanted to create a resource that encompassed all of these.

What do you hope readers take away from It Takes Two… And a Uterus?

Ultimately, biology is going to do its thing–we can’t control every cellular or biological process, but we can provide our bodies with the support they need to function better. And we have evidence that–even if your genetics are programmed to work against your goals–diet and lifestyle changes do have an impact on your health and fertility.

What is the next step after reading your book? Do you provide coaching or consulting services?

If you’re interested in a consultation and individualized treatment plan, myself and our team of naturopathic doctors at Conceive Health ( offer services in-person (including fertility acupuncture) and virtually across Ontario, Canada.

What’s next for you? Will you write additional books on this topic or something else?

I will absolutely write another book, I just haven’t pinned down which aspect of health I want to focus on. I’m currently obsessed with anti-aging research since it plays such a huge role in fertility. If you read the book you’ll also find out I’m very enthusiastic about exercise, sport psychology and running, so that may be another topic I’ll write about.


Sarah Zadek – Author (

Dr. Sarah Zadek ND | Toronto ON | Facebook

Dr. Sarah Zadek (King) ND (@sarahhealthyfox) / Twitter

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