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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.