I have never encountered a couple with infertility who had made a decision to try nothing to fix the problem until they got more clarity on the situation.
I’m sure they exist, but every client that uses my program has already gone far down a road of trying things before they find me.
The thing is it would be better on balance to do nothing until you knew more about what the issues were, because good intentions don’t always translate to good outcomes. There are hundreds of possible interventions a couple could try in an effort to solve their problem and get pregnant…and some of them will help, some will be neutral but lots of them will actually make things worse.
Even a safe bet like cutting out ‘bad food’ can backfire because people classify bad food differently.
Saturated fat is one such case.
Sugar and processed sweet foods you would imagine should be universally good to cut out right? On balance I’d say yes, but some women are underweight and even dropping bad food means dropping calories that help maintain their current weight. Being underweight is a bad idea for fertility, as is being overweight, but the complications are different. Underweight is more associated with infertility than overweight, which in turn is more associated with pregnancy complications!
But what about simple vitamins? Surely a decent multi is a safe bet, right? More often than not I would say yes, but still there are some people who have genetic or metabolic differences that can create problems if they take the wrong form of a vitamin or too much of it.
People can take niacin (vitamin B3) and feel better but soon run into issues with neurotransmitter imbalances that bring on depression.
People can take bog standard folic acid only to end up jittery due to an over production of some compound in the blood.
Why is it all so complicated? To answer this, you must recognise that if you already have infertility it means you are more likely to possess metabolic characteristics different from the norm, therefore you are part of a – let’s say special – cohort of people. You could be statistically ‘normal’ (meaning your key body functions operate within the standard distribution norms), but you are more likely to fall outside this or be on the fringe, and therefore issues like I mention above (plus a dozen others) are more likely to be relevant to you.
To put that in simple terms, a regular person is probably fine doing any of the above things to help fertility, but a person who is infertile is more likely to set themselves back by doing the same things.
You might see this as being dealt a bad hand of cards, but I see it as an invitation to learn and to grow.
I’ve been told by some clients over the years, when they were going through a very difficult dark time and full of fears and doubts that they’d prefer to have a disease like cancer because at least they’d know what is wrong.
But I see it differently. From where I stand, I see people with infertility being more willing to confront it than are people with cancer. The motivation seems different. Many cancer sufferers lie down and die…or give their power over to the medical system (which is a symbolic version of lying down to die), and ultimately, they don’t embrace change and thrive as a result of their experiences. Many do, but most don’t.
It’s different for people with infertility…most of them fight, but more of them are willing to look introspectively and change.
The flip side of this is that more of them will end up making bad decisions based on the endless peddling of simple solutions for infertility.
Are there safe things one can do to help?
Yes, totally. Yoga, walking regularly, relaxing, becoming aware of your breathing, honestly assessing your career to see if it suits you or not. These really do help.
The mirror image of having the right to make your own choices is the acceptance of the consequences of making them, and even more poignantly the consequences of not making choices.