Roadblocks to Pregnancy

I’ll never forget the day I first met Michelle. She was 38 and had 3 unsuccessful rounds of IVF under her belt. By the time she walked through my door she was visibly traumatised. Physically and emotionally spent.

Michelle was a confident career woman with a wonderful husband and a happy marriage. Like any couple in their position, their thoughts turned to children and they decided the time was right to start a family. After a year of trying, nothing was happening. Excitement soon turned to anguish as she realised pregnancy was out of reach.

Michelle started IVF on the advice of her doctor. Three failed attempts and a lot of pain and heartache later, she came to see me. She had another IVF attempt booked for 3 months time. The IVF clinic had advised her to look into natural methods that can increase the chance of success.

After 2 months of working with us she came in my office one day.

“I’m in shock.” she said, “I’m pregnant.”

She had become pregnant naturally for the first time ever. She didn’t even need the 4th IVF attempt.

I was deeply affected by Michelle’s story for 3 reasons:

1) She had a totally unnecessary prolonged and painful journey to motherhood.

2) She was given the wrong advice for her situation at the outset. The advice was well-meaning but it was not well tailored and so, not right for her.

3) This is not an uncommon story. I’ve seen this happen all too often.

It hit me – this is happening every day to women who are trying to start a family and it is putting their chances of having a baby on hold for years… sometimes forever.

There were some fundamental reason's Michelle wasn't getting pregnant that nobody had identified.

Put fertility to one side?

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If you’re anything like the women we work with you’re probably sick of the endless cycle of hope that you might be pregnant this month, followed by the feeling of loss and failure when you get your period. Your husband tries to offer solutions but he finds it hard to just allow your feelings. After a while you stop telling him when you’re feeling low, but you know this just creates more disconnection between the two of you. Your loving making has already become robotic as you try to fit it around your “ovulation window” and your busy schedules.

Maybe you’ve tried IVF as a “last resort” only to come out emotionally, physically and financially drained, but no closer to having a baby. You’re plagued by feelings of inadequacy “Why can’t I do the thing that everyone else does so effortlessly? Is there something wrong with me? I know stress doesn’t help. Maybe it’s my fault.” You may even have thoughts of “What if I can’t have a baby? Will my husband still want to be with me? It’s not like I’m fun to be around right now.”

If you can relate to any of this you are not alone.

There are certain key shifts we help our patients make that can make all the difference. One of these is what we call “putting fertility to one side.” We’ve all heard stories of the couples who just gave up trying and then magically got pregnant. Well the reality is, for many people the “trying” is part of the problem. Trying harder won’t get you there. You need a new approach. It’s so easy to put off happiness until you get pregnant. But this is really putting the horse before the cart. If you can be at peace before you get pregnant, often you remove the blockage that is stopping you from getting pregnant.

Now I’m not saying this shift is easy to make, but we see it happening all the time. You need the right strategies and you need to understand how your body and your mind really work.