This article is written by Gabriela Rosa, fertility specialist, naturopath, author, mother of two, and founder of Natural Fertility Breakthrough—an Elephant Mindful Partner. She and her team of clinicians are dedicated to offering hope to couples who have been trying to conceive and/or overcome miscarriages. We’re honored to be working with them. ~ ed.
When you’ve been trying to conceive for months (or years like many of the patients who come to me), it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one struggling.
Especially if you have lost one or multiple pregnancies, undertaken multiple rounds of IVF, or are simply diagnosed as having “unexplained” infertility.
You probably know at least one couple who discovered themselves “accidentally pregnant,” who without even meaning to have secured your dream of parenthood. Yet, despite infertility being on the rise—symptomatic of modern lifestyles—it is all too common for couples to suffer this trial in isolation, to think they are alone or the odd ones out, despite many hundreds of others that also need support on this journey.
So if this sounds familiar, here are a few things to consider that will help shift your perspective and perhaps renew your hope in yourself, each other and your journey to parenthood…
1. Discover What You Need
It’s hard to know what options remain when you feel like you’ve already tried everything, without success. What you need is clarity about where you are at and what you can do, to regain control of your outcome.
Rarely if ever will this equate to a simple diagnosis, however with a methodical approach and thorough investigation process, couples can establish a clear path to success. Provided a clear understanding of the factors at play and a comprehensive picture of your individual and unique circumstances, you have the basis upon which to transform your results.
2. Understand Why
In 20 years in clinical practice, despite the diversity of individual situations I see, it is my professional experience that couples facing fertility issues will always present with multiple (sometimes minor) factors, which present an obstacle to their success. What I can promise you is that the cumulative impact of seemingly “minor factors” absolutely can and does make all the difference between getting pregnant, or not.
What do I mean by minor factors?
Well, by minor I mean subclinical issues that are too often overlooked, waived aside, or simply not tested for and identified. As for fertility factors, these range across dietary, lifestyle, environmental, biochemical, physical and emotional realms—all having both a direct and indirect impact on your current fertility results.
Each couple’s fertility rests on a complex matrix of interrelated fertility factors which is why a proven methodology is important because it breaks down the complex discovery process into logical steps which are easy to progress and ensures a thorough investigation. Become methodical and systematic in your quest for answers (or find a team who will do this for you) and you soon identify opportunities that exist for you.
3. Team Up
When struggling to conceive, the emotional, mental, and physical effort, the time and money invested can really take a toll on your sense of self and your relationship with your partner. Despite challenges, it is vital to remember you’re on the same team because, right now, both you and your partner are carrying half the genetic material to create your baby-to-be.
That’s 50:50, make no mistake about it—a healthy baby requires two healthy prospective parents. Even if you are using a donor egg, sperm, or embryo, the right preparation is required of both of you, to give your baby the best possible chance of being born alive and well.
Keep in mind improved results do not simply materialise overnight—you both must put in the work, which at a minimum I recommend as 120 days, because from a biological standpoint, typically the egg takes a minimum 120 to 240 days to fully mature (primordial to primary follicle takes approximately 120 days and primary to ovulatory follicle takes another 120 days). The sperm takes approximately 100 days to form through one sperm cycle and it may require 2-3 cycles to reach optimum sperm health through lifestyle interventions.
Preconception preparation and everything that follows inevitably requires people to make better choices. Some of the lifestyle changes our program demands are not easy—yes, you’ll need to quit smoking, forego coffee, and cut out alcohol—necessary for scientifically proven reasons. And there are many easier, yet significant choices you can make each day too.
4. Begin by choosing each day to take charge of your health:
> Eat the colours of the rainbow, ideally organic, and base your meals on vegetables and protein
> Drink good quality, filtered water, stored in glass bottles
> Avoid dairy, gluten, excess sugar, trans fats, and junk food
> Exercise regularly
> Sleep well
> Stress less
> Minimise fertility toxins in your home
When it comes to transforming your fertility, I promise you there is hope—and incredible value—in mastering and applying the basics.
5. Keep Learning
Educate yourself and become proactive about what you can do to optimise your chances of creating a healthy baby.
To learn more about why and how to make changes that can transform your results, register today for my #FertilityChallenge—a free education and activity series that has helped over 65,000 people in more than 100 countries take charge of their fertility results, even when other treatments have failed.