For the fifth blog I am writing during the celebration of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) from April 21-27, 2019, sponsored by RESOLVE, I will continue with the theme of promoting natural fertility enhancement with what I have termed ”fertility consciousness” in previous blogs. I have introduced this state of mind, simply because we all require balance in our lives these days, especially women, but men as well.
We are beginning to understand what it means to have “work-life” balance so that there is more meaning to our jobs and to our relationships at home. Today, it is not only important to add IQ in the equation of balanced life and work, but EQ (Emotional Intelligence) as an essential ingredient as well that will help guide us towards successes in the workforce and in our lives.
The same can be said for balancing out our bodies, minds, spirits, and emotions when we are seeking to enhance our fertility holistically in a world that is stressed out beyond what is productive. What are some of the biopsychosocial aspects of female infertility that impact women in the 21st century? Well, first of all, we live in a world where misogyny and paternalism are still rampant, although with the #MeToo Movement, women are electing to make changes.Thank goodness!
Other societal opposing goals that impoverish fertility consciousness are inequality, sexual abuse, and the glass ceiling, to name a few. Women may wait to become pregnant after they settle into their lives financially because the cost of raising a family is high. Cheaper childcare is at a premium. Yet, these days, women are expected to work and pull their weight in the workforce and at home, without the benefits that men receive.
Since women are making choices to stay in the workforce longer, they miss their optimum reproductive years, thus reducing their chances of a natural fertility cycle. The multi-billion dollar IVF industry particularly targets older women, promising babies at any age with donated eggs, even into their 50s and 60s. We have an abundance of for-profit IVF and “fertility clinics” that claim to enhance fertility at a great cost, but all they actually do is improve the chances of having a baby for some couples. This is because they cater only to their physical needs through technology, if that. I call this approach, The Humpty-Dumpty Syndrome, and you know what happened to him!
Of course, producing children at mature chronological ages is possible through technology, however improbable, because there is a decrease in fertility and an increase of birth defects, miscarriages, still born births, and harm to both mother and baby. The longer a woman waits to conceive, the more challenging and stressful it becomes for her. In these cases it is even more important to balance one’s self before attempting pregnancy, but this is true for younger women as well.
A way that women get out of synch with their own fertility is by lacking knowledge about their own bodies and the ability to be their own fertility experts. They are not educated on how to avoid pregnancy or how to encourage it, naturally or otherwise, depending on the situation at hand. The fact that there is a stigma in many cultures around the globe for women with the diagnosis of infertility, progressive dialogue is closed off because of shame. This is what RESOLVE is attempting to mitigate through this advocacy promotion during NIAW, which, as I mentioned previously, is all well and good, but not sufficient because not everyone is ready for such personal discussions yet.
It remains taboo for women to speak up about how they feel and how they think about their fertility challenges. They never have the chance to release their fears and past traumas, and the tension builds up over time, especially for those with longer term issues. I suggested that it is essential to start dialogue about these issues, when you are ready and to speak to those healthcare professionals and trusted friends and family who will understand what you are going through during your journey.
This process of self-expression and self-exploration is important because holding in emotions can do you in, for sure. Infertility can lead to anxiety and depression, and even suicide. I know this because my husband’s cousin had endometriosis and infertility for many years but committed suicide after finally having children. So my advice is to speak out in measured amounts and in small steps to improve fertility and to develop the “Expectant Mind.” Remember that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
I will be back tomorrow with blog # 6 during this celebration of NIAW. Please feel free to join me to learn about how you can reduce stress, improve fertility naturally, and have the baby of your dreams in the most beautiful and joyous way possible.