Playing to your Strengths

This is a brilliant article written for the Huffington Post by Aimee Raup, an American acupuncturist and author.

I like this article so much that I'm going to quote huge chunks of it!  It sums up exactly what we're trying to achieve at the Natural Fertility Centre.  Here's the first quote:

The dialogue surrounding fertility needs to be about the preservation and improvement of overall health — mentally, emotionally, physically and nutritionally — and not only about age and egg freezing. We need to start talking about the fact that the way you live your life, the food you eat, how much you sleep, how happy you are, how you manage your stress and your overall state of well-being mentally and emotionally affects not just your ability to conceive but the quality of the eggs in your ovaries.
image: essentialtennis.com

image: essentialtennis.com

You only had to wander around the Fertility Show in London last month, to see that there is far too much emphasis on medicalising fertility and you have to question who's interest that serves?  Who benefits from implying that women are finding it difficult to conceive naturally.  Where is the advice on managing expectations and understanding how long it can take to conceive?  Where is the common sense advice on knowing your fertile time or regulating your cycle which could help you to conceive naturally.   Where is the nutrition and lifestyle advice which could help a couple avoid unnecessary pharmaceutical intervention or medical procedures?  Again, you have to ask, who is benefiting from this?  Clue: it's not normally you!

 Even the IVF nurses I've chatted to here in Scotland admit that many of their 'unexplained infertility' patients are probably trying at the wrong time, so why is fertility awareness not being addressed?  Instead, most couples are guided immediately towards IVF.

You do have a choice even though this is not emphasised.  You can improve your general health, maximise nutrition in order to benefit egg and sperm quality, regulate your cycles and be really engaged in (but not obsessed with) your fertility health. 

Many couples we see at the NFC feel that they have no option but to use IVF.  For some this is true - for those with blocked tubes, male factor problems and even for those who just need to try something different after years of trying naturally.  But it should not be the first or only option.

The new fertility conversation needs to be less about age and the fear of time running out and more about the power women (and men) have to not only change their health, but improve it. Rather than focusing on all the possible problems, we should be focus more on prevention and preserving health, more on believing in our bodies and more on optimizing overall health and well-being physically and emotionally. If we are encouraging women to freeze their eggs, we should also be educating them on the fact that science now shows that how they live their lives — in every aspect — affects not just their health and how they age but the quality of their eggs.

At the NFC we aim to help couples regain their self-belief, to really understand their fertility and to get the best out of it.  We encourage informing and empowering our patients - with great results.  For those who have, or are chosing, IVF, we support and advise as much as is needed.

A large percentage of our patients say "I wish I'd known about you earlier" and we are trying to get our message out there.  The emphasis on medical management of fertility is very strong and plays on fears whereas we believe that we work with your strengths.