National Infertility Awareness Week

I did another stint on Redshift Radio today. This time it wasn’t about plugging the Therapy Centre, but about National Infertility Awareness Week.

Did you know that infertility affects 1 in 6 people in the UK?

That’s a staggering 3.5 million people affected by infertility.

In fact, I bet you know quite a few people who might be experiencing infertility right now. Only it’s unlikely you’re aware. Because unfortunately, people don’t feel they can talk about it.

National Infertility Awareness Week

A little while ago I saw a post on Facebook saying that Sarah had recently set up a South Cheshire Infertility Support Group.

I got in touch with her straight away to see how I could help. It was one of those things that you feel an immense urge to do, even though at the time you’re not entirely sure why.

You do it without even thinking!

On reflection I realised it was because it stirred those emotions that I felt so strongly before Lil Man came along.

We didn’t suffer infertility as such. But we did find out that having a baby isn’t anywhere as easy as you always think it will be.

We went through elation at being pregnant & then crushing disappointment four times.

Four miscarriages. In the space of a year.

Four miscarriages while numerous family & friends around us happily fell pregnant & had their own babies.

And while we clearly weren’t infertile we did wonder if we were ever destined to be parents.

Therefore, I can identify with some of the stress, anxiety & emotions relating to infertility.

And what we experienced before we got to parenthood, is the reason we were guided down the holistic therapies path.

We felt drawn to learning Reiki. Both hubs and I were in very stressful jobs at the time and felt we needed something to relieve the stress & balance out those emotions. During this time I also had Reflexology & decided I would learn that too. It was so lovely I wanted to be able to do it for others.

Earlier this year I completed a Maternity & Conception Reflexology course to give me more of an understanding how to help and that is something I love doing, something I’m extremely passionate about.

Having not found it as easy as ditching the contraception & finding a nice positive result on a pregnancy test a few months later, I can understand just how much the whole thing consumes you. It dictates how you feel, how you are around others & can easily take over your whole life without that ever being the intention. To be able to relieve some of that for someone and help them to feel better about it all is just amazing.

Having done lots of research about conception and fertility this last year I’ve found there’s a huge debate as to whether stress affects fertility or not.

While it might not be a direct cause of infertility, it certainly doesn’t help. Stress does immensely strange things to us and when we’re under extreme stress, our bodies don’t function the same. Everything can be affected by stress, especially those functions that aren’t hugely important to our short term survival, like our reproductive system.

We talked quite a lot today about what you can do when you are stressed and you feel it might be affecting your fertility. It’s not quite as easy as people think. You know, when there are people who tell you to ‘just relax and it’ll happen’. That might possibly be true, but you can’t just suddenly ‘relax’ when you’re stressed to the hilt and not used to it.

Unfortunately, relaxation is now one of those things that we need to learn to do. Like going back to basics and learning to breathe properly for a start.

But I think the most important thing to do is find something you enjoy, whether it be meditation, a massage, a Reiki or Reflexology treatment, or even an exercise class, going out with friends or finding a hobby. It’s important to enjoy it otherwise it’ll be one of the other things to add to your list of stress and you won’t make the time to do it.

And if you are suffering infertility, a support group can be invaluable. People who will understand exactly what you’re going through. People who may be able to offer very useful advice. People who are interested in listening and people who are easier to confide in because they’re not invested in your situation. You could also find some lifelong friendships too.

So if you are going through this, please don’t suffer alone. Find someone to talk to as well as talking to your partner. Find something to do that you enjoy, something that will help to to relax or just somewhere you like being and consider joining a support group.

If you’d like to attend the South Cheshire Infertility Support Group or would like more information, please get in touch with Sarah at The group meets once a month in an informal setting and couples and individuals are more than welcome.

And if you’re in an area where there isn’t a support group then please consider setting one up.

There’s more information about this on the Infertility Network UK website and plenty of information about fertility in general.

Infertility Network UK

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  1. says

    Thank you for your post. We are currently suffering secondary infertility and it is heartbreaking. We’ve been trying for over a year and I’ve had my hormones level checked and after having hubby tested awaiting a consultant referral.
    We are so lucky to have my little man but I can’t even begin to explain how strongly I feel the desire for another. It really upsets me seeing my little man playing on his own, and so want to give him a sibling.
    I hope every day we have a happy ending!
    Not a frumpy mum recently posted..Watch the gap!My Profile

    • Kate says

      I’m so sorry to hear that lovely. I guess that people don’t really get why it’s so hard when you already have one child, I’m sure secondary infertility is worse in terms of people understanding how hard it is, but there is a massive positive in that your body has done it once so less likely to be a medical reason it can’t happen again. Someone I’m very close to was suffering from recurrent miscarriages (a lot) after her first child, she had tests and the outlook was pretty bleak. Was possible for her to have another but extremely challenging, pleased to say she’s now pregnant and due after Christmas! I have everything crossed you get your happy ending too xx

  2. says

    This is a really great and informative post. Myself and my husband are lucky to have three children, but I do know people who are and have been affected by infertility. It’s great that you have taken time to write this, I will be sharing this with them x
    Kerrie McGiveron recently posted..Thanks a BUNCH, Britney…My Profile

    • Kate says

      Thanks Kerrie, I have so many clients who are affected and while I can empathise with them & most of them I can help, there are some that just can’t conceive and I feel so sad for them x

    • Kate says

      Information and the support too, amazing how much more successful people are when they feel supported. There’s actually research that shows women are less likely to miscarry too if they feel supported. I’m sorry to hear you suffered too Alison x

  3. says

    As someone who doesn’t have or want children I can’t understand how you must feel.

    I am a great believer in what will be will be and if it’s meant to happen it will.

    I know a few people who tried for years and went through IVF etc with out success. One couple decided not to go through with the last course and spent the money on a once in a life time trip and got preg naturally on that trip.

    Que Sera Sera
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    • Kate says

      Amazing how much that happens Steph! Theres a huge debate whether stress is a big factor in infertility & things like that strongly suggest it is!!!

    • Kate says

      Thanks lovely, what we went through was heartbreaking enough, I can’t imagine doing rounds and rounds of ivf, but sadly for some that’s their situation and it’s just awful.

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