Support Along Your Fertility Journey
I started writing about how naturopathic care can support the process IVF specifically, except then I just kept writing. And writing. So although most of this I wrote with my patients going through IVF, I feel as though some parts of it it applies to fertility patients wherever you may be on your journey.
Below I lay out a number of helpful tips: getting physical and mental support, navigating the medical system, and turning inwards to gain your own true answers of what is best for you. Take a look:
Overall Health Bloodwork Up Pertaining to Fertility
What does this look like? A very common occurrence will be a patient coming to me with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, having done a few rounds of IUI with no success. At this point although it may seem like so much blood work has been done, I tend to do a thorough work up. This is patient dependent, yet involves in depth thyroid testing, insulin resistance and its effect on ovarian reserve, general inflammation in the body, any immune factors playing a role in making the body a healthy place to grow a tiny human, and factors that may enable implantation to occur, yet not sustain it.
Are there any energetic blockages occurring for you? What in the * are you talking about? There may not be any scientific backing to this, yet hear me out as this is an important one! Energetic blockages often (if not always) occur on a very subconscious level so bringing concrete awareness to these is helpful. I love referring to a number of practitioners that can help explore these. Ask me for referrals – I’ve got my list!
Overall Physical Health Support
Overall health support involves looking at all aspects of your physical health not just the systems that pertain to fertility. Often times we don’t think, for example, about how digestion plays a role yet it’s the basis of our immune system/inflammation that is present or lack thereof. Inflammation affects ovulation, egg quality and uterine health.
Emotional Health Support
This also involves talking about and identifying where you are at emotionally with your fertility journey. Is your body holding a lot of anxiety with the whole process? For most, that’s a given. So figuring out ways for this to flow through vs hold it within is important. Is there sadness – like deep sadness – and where is that sitting in your system? Again, identifying this is helpful to then navigate through it.
Visiting the fertility clinic:
Often times fertility clinics can make couples feel like a number not a person. This is due to the sheer volume of patients that role through. Yet stop. Remember this is YOUR journey. You’re in the drivers seat to make this experience of growing your family how you want it to be. I often times suggest to patients to create a ritual when in the waiting room with their partner, or picture a bubble around them to feel supported by only love and light in what could feel like a sterile environment. This could look.
Conversations with fertility doctors
These can be short and sweet. Yet they don’t have to be. Again, remember you are in the drivers seat. This is your appointment and to make sure that you’re getting what you need out of it is important. Potentially writing down questions prior to seeing your doctor is a good idea so as to remember them all. Writing down answers if need be, is also a good idea. Take your time. Take deep breaths so as to slow down any hurriedness you may feel.
Getting second opinions
I find this is an important one as the world of fertility support broadens. You would think after all the testing you do through one clinic, that this is the ONLY answer your have in order for you to take your next step in your journey whether it be IUI or IVF. Its not. There are multiple fertility clinics out there who have very differing opinions on what is the right way to get answers via different tests and procedures, to unexplained infertility. So until you feel comfortable you have sought all the answers you are looking for, keep looking. I’m happy to explore options.
Fertility journeys are wild ones. The rollercoaster is like a drop of doom combined with three upside down elating loops before you feel like your heart is going to sore and next thing you know it your throwing up your corn dog. Allow yourself the space to feel the ups and downs.
And make sure to surround yourself with people who will ride the rollercoaster with you, and stand next to it supporting you through it. As your naturopathic doctor, I’ll be a constant. Consistent. And the one standing with a bag of mini donuts for you when you pull through on one of your loops.
I’m here for you.
Dr. Hillary Dinning