When I started to research the impact of infertility and trying to conceive I came across some startling research by Dr Alice Domar. According Dr Domar “infertile women were every bit as depressed as the people who were confronting illness that could kill them”. I instantly connected with her on a gut level, I had done the sleepless nights lying there wondering what can I do to get pregnant. I know how it feels to have that constant reminder every month and I know how despite your best efforts you think about it all the time.
Nowadays there are a wide range of fertility treatment options available from the natural approach to more technically advanced techniques such as IUI, IVF and Donor Conception. There are huge advances in medical science in the fertility field every year but there is insufficient support to help women cope with the many challenges trying to conceive throws at you. There’s friends, family, work, not to mention the hammering your self-esteem takes and the huge strain it can put on even the best relationships.
According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)
- 1 in 6 couples in the UK experience difficulties trying to conceive
- male fertility problems accounts for about 1/3rd of all cases
- the same for female fertility problems,
- Leaving a further 33% of all fertility cases with no obvious case leading to a diagnosis of unexplained infertility.
There is no magic wand you can wave to get pregnant. There is usually a combination of physical and emotional factors such as low sperm count on the male side to physical issues such as blocked tubes, endometriosis and PCOS on the female side. The emotional distress from depression associated with fertility issues can be contributing factor to achieving a successful pregnancy. The good news is you can change this by doing something about it. Women participating in a Mind Body programme that focused on relaxation-response training, cognitive restructuring, and fertility relevant nutrition and exercise information have shown significantly better psychological scores even compared to women in a support group with discussion and emotional support.
Of course you can, there is always something you can do to improve your well-being and boost your chances of conceiving. It’s all about restoring balance both internally and externally. Some of the areas we can improve on are:
- Diet and nutrition
- Physical and emotional stress we put our bodies under
- Lifestyle choices e.g. work life balance, smoking, alcohol
- How we think and talk about trying to conceive and the impact it has on us.
It’s about putting together the pieces of your fertility puzzle.