Over the past twenty years, fertility problems have increased dramatically. At least 25 percent of couples in the UK planning a baby will have trouble conceiving, and more and more couples are turning to fertility treatments to help them start a family.
Infertility is the inability to conceive a child. it also refers to the state of a woman who is unable to carry a pregnancy to full term.
Many problems with couples trying to conceive are due to an increase in their age. About 40 percent of the issues involved with infertility are due to the man, another 40 percent due to the woman, and 20 percent result from complications with both partners.
Experiencing infertility can place great stress and anxiety on couples. The pressure of social interactions from friends, family members or even social events are often set aside due to the complicated feelings evoked while trying to get pregnant. Stress then builds up as the shifts and changes occur in one’s support network due to the demands and expectations of conception. The prospect of remaining relaxed and not worrying about the outcome can put a strain on any couple’s relationship..
Other things that can contribute to this heavy stress load include the demands of infertility treatment, feelings about self-image, managing the relationship, successful communication with a partner, and the roller coaster of hope and hopelessness. Consequently, it is important to continually check in with yourself and your partner, making sure you take the best care of yourselves while going through conception?
The assistance of complementary and alternative fertility treatment used for couples seeking fertility care have been well documented with a good success rate in many cases.
Acupuncture fertility treatments have been well researched, where several needles are inserted into specific points on meridians or energy channels. Traditional Chinese medicine follows the principles that some illnesses are derived from an imbalance in the body’s natural energies or ‘chi’.
For pre-conception, acupuncture targeting fertility works by encouraging fresh blood to specific points that influence our reproductive organs such as our fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus. The belief is that these organs are found on one of twelve meridian lines called the ‘conception’ meridian.
The theory is that depleted blood stores in a woman – such as irregular periods – can hinder ovulation so encouraging more blood to these areas will help to bring the body back into balance and stimulate ovulation.
The use of acupuncture in conjunction with IVF has been greatly researched, and it is now sufficiently accepted that acupuncture increases success rates with IVF treatment. Ideally patients will have a visit with the acupuncturist on a weekly basis for a month prior to the embryo transfer taking place.
Pre-Conception Reflexology is also increasingly considered as alternative treatments to support the fertility process. Research by The Association of Reflexologists suggests that up to 50% of women find themselves pregnant within 6 months of commencing treatment.
By stimulating the reflex points of the feet relating to the reproductive organs, it can help to restore imbalances in the area. Most people will start to respond positively to Reflexology within 3 to 6 weeks, during which time your therapist can work through the general imbalances and start to address the more severe imbalances.
The benefits of reflexology for women’s complaints include pre menstrual syndrome, heavy and irregular periods, painful periods and some fertility problems. For men it can be beneficial for treating, low sperm count, decreased sperm mobility,fluid retention around the testicular area, prostate gland problems, low levels of testosterone (hypogonadism) and after effects of testicular cancer/ surgery.
Many client’s have reported feeling 100% more positive and relaxed, saying that they sleep better, have improved sex drive. The women may have more regular cycles, better flow, less pain and a percentage of women are likely to successfully conceive within a course of treatments. Some of these women have suffered from conditions such as polycystic ovaries, recurrent miscarriage, unexplained infertility and hostile cervical mucous.
One of the most common issues during the pre-conception process is Overcoming Stress. For many women, the stress and anxiety associated with failing to conceive can be overwhelming. Reflexology treatment can give them a more positive outlook towards their wellbeing, allowing them to deal with their fertility issues in a more constructive way.
Having regular treatments help to create a healthier mind, body connection for a possible pregnancy to occur by encouraging the body to work more efficiently. The treatment qualities are excellent for creating a balanced mind, body and spirit.
If you are trying for a baby and beginning to get anxious and frustrated because progress doesn’t seem to be going in the right direction, you may want to consider just having some quality time to wind down and relax and for both couples together one of the most helpful solutions could be ‘mindfulness meditation.’“Letting go” on a daily basis can completely change your attitude towards everything. Just 10/15-minutes of meditation can be medicine for an entire 24-hour period. A regular practice promotes healing and greater serenity, well-being, and confidence. Your anxiety fades away. Stress is replaced by abilities and the capacity to handle life’s demands with composure. You grow more patient, less reactionary, and less easily triggered. You deepen your intuition and physically feel your connection to your self.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness meditation guru says “The goal of mindfulness is for you to be more aware, more in touch with life and with whatever is happening in your own body and mind at the time it is happening–that is, in the present moment. If you are experiencing a distressing thought or feeling or actual physical pain in any moment, you resist the impulse to try to escape the unpleasantness; instead, you attempt to see it clearly as it is and accept it because it is already present in this moment.” You can find out more from his book Mindfulness for Beginners.
One way to envision how mindfulness works is to think of the mind as the surface of the ocean. Within which there are waves, big and small. Many people think the goal of meditation is to stop the waves so that the water will be flat, peaceful, and tranquil–but that is not so.The true spirit of mindfulness practice is explained by the 70 year old yogi, Swami Satchidananda, in his Yoga teaching DVD – Surfing The Waves”. He states “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
Learning to take care of the temple that is your body will help you on your path towards wellbeing. Finding ‘pratahara’ – the withdrawal of the senses in yoga meditation practice will help settle the mind. Fuelling your body with nutrition, physical movement, replenishing sleep, and pampering will help to maintain a healthy day to day balance.
Let your self-care practice be self-love in action. Be calm and peaceful. Allow the abundance of love to flow between you and your partner to procreate your offspring for the future.
Anne Moore ITMA CThA, Massage therapist & Yoga teacher, Owner Vidatherapy Spa, Teddington, South West London.