How Life Upgrade has Helped Me

I was fortunate enough to attend Tracy Holloway’s Life Upgrade Foundation course for the second time last month.  Caught up with old friends and met some new ones.  Although I have done the course before and use Life Upgrade tools everyday, I still came away gaining a great deal.  During the course a few of us were discussing how difficult we find it to describe what Life Upgrade is all about.  I can say, however, some of the ways it has helped me:

I am a much happier and healthier person since discovering (and consistently using) Life Upgrade.  My stress levels are greatly reduced and if I ever do feel stressed I have the tools to deal with it effectively and efficiently.  I have found myself in situations which would have previously caused a great deal of stress and now feel calm and able to cope.  I am back in touch with my intuition and have the trust to follow it.  I am able to live in the present moment more and more, which is a wonderful place to be!  I rarely feel my mind racing with distracting thoughts; if I do I can use Life Upgrade to get back to the present again.  My life is now going in the direction I want it to and what’s more I know that things are only going to get better the more I use the Life Upgrade tools.

It is a joy to be sharing this with other people, as I know from personal experience how well it works.  I am constantly amazed at how the body and mind (when in harmony) can work wonders for health and well-being.  I am privileged to be working in this field and to be able to maintain a feeling of wonder at how amazing we really are!

If you would like to try out the Life Upgrade system I can give you a session, which is a demonstration of some of the tools.

After a session with me you will have some tools to use for yourself.   Using these tools consistently in your day-to-day life will allow you to see some of the potential of Life Upgrade.

To get the full benefit it is essential that you attend a course with Tracy Holloway.  I cannot recommend Tracy’s course highly enough for anyone who is looking to move forward in their lives.  www.tracyholloway.com

Coping with infertility

At any given time, there are around 3.5 million people in the UK who are having problems getting pregnant, but it doesn’t always feel that way when you’re trying unsuccessfully to conceive. Infertility is lonely and isolating, and it’s very common to start to feel cut off from friends and family.  You may worry that you’re the only one who feels this way when you find yourself dreading pregnancy announcements or avoiding events where there are bound to be lots of children.  Many of us end up feeling almost ashamed about our fertility problems, and there can be a sense of guilt too and worry that maybe we’re somehow responsible for what is happening to us.  Infertility can erode our self-confidence and leave us feeling depressed and miserable, but there are things you can do to help yourself get through it.

The more you know about your fertility and treatment, the easier it is to cope. When I went through IVF for the first time, there was very little information available about what it would be like to have treatment from the patient perspective, and that’s why I started writing books about it!  Now, there’s a huge range of sources of information and advice, and making sure that you are well-informed can make all the difference.  If you’re having IVF, do take a look at my book The Complete Guide to IVF which is a simple guide to the basics of what’s involved and includes the experiences of lots of people who’ve been through treatment.

The other key tip for coping is to seek out others who are experiencing similar problems.  You may feel you aren’t ready to open up to people you don’t know, but it can be so helpful to be in a roomful of others who know just how you are feeling.  Some clinics run support groups and the charity Infertility Network UK  http://www.infertilitynetworkuk.com/  have many of their own too.  If you don’t want to meet people in the flesh, talking to one another in one of the many online forums can be incredibly helpful too.

Perhaps most important of all,  do remember that infertility isn’t easy.  No one sails through fertility problems and treatment in a calm, relaxed state.  Infertility makes you feel stressed, and it’s inevitable that at times you will find it tough going.  Try to find space to do some of the things you’ve always enjoyed, and don’t force yourself to go to social functions that you know are going to be difficult.  Above all, be kind to yourself – you’re going through a difficult time, and you deserve it.

Website http://www.katebrian.co.uk/

Kate Brian on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/katebrian

Why infertility makes Christmas a tough time of year

Sarah Holland 

I’m always aware at this time of year how it must feel for someone who isn’t yet a mother or father but would dearly love to be. The festive season is so focused around children and families that you may feel lonely and at times excluded. At what should be one of the happiest times of the year, those struggling with infertility are left feeling sad and frustrated.

Parties and family gatherings can be difficult to face, and you may find that it’s at these occasions that people choose to ask “so, when are you going to have a baby?”. Add to that the fact that more and more people seem to be “only buying presents for the children this year” or tell you “Christmas is all about children really” and you couldn’t be blamed for wanting to run away from the festivities.

However with the right support and techniques there is a way that you can reduce the sadness and stress that you’re feeling, and bring back some magic into the celebrations for you and your loved ones.

Last year I made a video using the stress-busting technique EFT to help with the stress that Christmas brings to those challenged with fertility issues. Many told me it helped them through the festive season and brought back some joy and happiness for them. I hope it helps you too!

And this year I’m offering something very special that I want to be available to every single person who is trying to conceive through fertility issues and would like some nurturing support during the festive season and into the New Year. With this support I’d not only love to help you rediscover peace and joy this Christmas, but also feel hopeful and positive that 2012 will be the year that you have your baby.

Click here to find out more and how this support can cost you as little as $1!
==>> http://www.fertilemindset.com/merry-little-christmas

I look forward to supporting you at this special time of year, and I wish you love, health and happiness for 2012.

Stepping off the emotional roller coaster of infertility

 sarah holland fertile mindset

I realise that you may feel in need of emotional support as you try to conceive through fertility issues. You need support that’s effective, works quickly and can bring you the peace of mind and positive thinking that you know is so vital to supporting your fertility.

Perhaps you’ve heard about how successful EFT is at dramatically reducing negative emotions such as anxiety, sadness, worry and fear. But you’re not sure how to learn it or apply it to your own unique situation, and achieve the positive results in your emotional well-being and mindset that you know would be SO beneficial.Well here’s the good news! I have developed a low cost, fast working solution to help yo u switch your thinking from negative to positive, and support you in a multitude of ways as you try to conceive your baby.I know what an emotional roller coaster it can be when you have fertility issues, and I’d like to invite you now to take my hand as a support you stepping off the roller coaster and on to a much smoother, easier to navigate path.What am I talking about? Click below to find out!http://www.fertilemindset.com/inner-saboteur
Don’t delay in clicking above and making a decision whether to sign up. There are only limited spaces available, and the ‘early bird’ booking price ends soon. PLUS if you’re one of the next few to sign up you’ll be able to grab one of the remaining chances to have a private one-to-one telephone session with me, to work on a key emotional issue for you.

I look forward to you joining me on this exciting adventure!

With love and best wishes on your fertility journey,

Sarah Holland
Fertility Support Specialist

The Fertility Focus Telesummit is underway. but there is still time to join in!

The second interview of the Fertility Focus Telesummit was mine, on how “Creating an Effective Support Network Can Make All the Difference When Trying To Conceive.” I’m really excited by the response I have had, with many listeners emailing me afterward to thank me and/or tell me that what I shared really resonated with them. The Telesummit is completely free to listen to the live presentations, and the replays for 24 hours after each interview. If you didn’t know about it before, it’s not too late to get involved.

The 2nd Fertility Focus Telesummit, created and moderated by Sarah Holland, is running this week.  Twelve fertility experts from around the world, and 3 fertility bloggers, are speaking throughout the week on various aspects of fertility health and support.  Sarah started things off on Sunday, the 20th of March, with an introduction to the Telesummit and an explanation of how to get the most out of it.

Yesterday, Monday the 21st, saw the first two interviews; Dr Marion Glenville spoke on the nutritional aspect of fertility health, giving much of her hour-long presentation over to listeners’ questions and providing really comprehensive responses.  The second interview of the evening was mine, on how “Creating an Effective Support Network Can Make All the Difference When Trying To Conceive.”  I’m really excited by the response I have had, with many listeners emailing me afterward to thank me and/or tell me that what I shared really resonated with them.

The Telesummit is completely free to listen to the live presentations, and the replays for 24 hours after each interview. If you didn’t know about it before, it’s not too late to get involved.  Click here to register for the Fertility Focus Telesummit FREE!  You can listen live, and submit questions for each of the speakers, or listen at your leisure to the recordings afterward.  If you are really busy this week and know you won’t be able to listen in, OR you just want to have all 17 audio files to refer to over and over, Sarah provides the option of upgrading to a Golden Ticket so you can purchase the whole Telesummit’s talks, which will be emailed to you as an MP3 file afterward. This is an incredible value, this week only while the Telesummit is running, at US$67, including several bonuses. You can find all the information at the Telesummit website.

Because I’m a bit late in letting you know about the Telesummit and my own presentation on creating a support network, I’d like to share some of that information with you here.  Having been through several challenging years of recurrent miscarriage and secondary infertility myself, I have the benefit of hindsight telling me that I really could have coped far better if I had been more proactive about getting myself, and my husband, the right balance of emotional and practical support.  Infertility put a big strain on our marriage, and I felt very alone and fearful that I would not be able to have the children I had always dreamed of having.  We are fortunate to have come through those rough times, and to have our two children.  Using my training and experience as a fertility coach, I have developed a system to help each of my clients create a support network for their unique needs, thus easing their experience of infertility and efforts to conceive and helping them to feel less isolated and stressed.

During the call, I explained:

  • Why infertility support is so important;
  • The 5 most essential types of support every infertile person needs;
  • Why your partner is not always the best source of support;
  • How you actually create your personal support network;
  • What you can do is someone you expected to be supportive has turned out to be the opposite; and
  • How to maintain a really effective support network over a long period of time.

I’m also offering a Free Bonus to Callers from the Telesummit! I’ve created a comprehensive Worksheet that takes you through the process of creating your own infertility support network, step by step. So, if you haven’t already registered, don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

I’m listening to the other speakers throughout the week myself. I have to say, I’ve been very impressed so far. I’ve learned a lot already from both Dr Glenville and Andrew Loosely, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist. Other expert speakers during the week include Sarah Holland on using EFT for conception, Kristin Hayward, Zita West, Gabriela Rosa, Toni Weschler, Sue Dumais, Nicola Smuts, Deirdre Morris and Cindy Bailey. Then, you can listen to talks from 3 prolific bloggers, including the authors of “From IF to When,” “Eggs and Sperm” and “Survive and Thrive.” I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week.

Meditation & Fertility

If you are trying to cope with the stress related to fertility, meditation is truly a gift. This simple and effective practice can transform your fertility journey from an emotional rollercoaster to a more calm, controlled and even positive experience.

According to Dr. Alice Domar, Director for the Mind-Body Center for Women at Boston IVF, mind body techniques
such as meditation produce a relaxation response, which reduces stress and may increase your chance of conceiving. The relaxation response involves releasing feel-good endorphins and turning off stress hormones.

Studies have shown that the effects of meditation include:
• An increased sense of calm
• More control over the mind and thoughts
• A deeper connection to self and inner wisdom
• Greater clarity and focus
• A better ability to cope with stressful situations

Meditation, simply put, involves focusing your mind in a way that promotes the intention to reflect, contemplate
or quiet the mind. It’s easy to begin: just choose a goal like gaining control of your thoughts and quieting your
mind. Then you need to choose a form of meditation that best suits you.

Here are some that I use with my clients. Try them all and then find the one that works best for you.

Click here to read more…

What is the Fertility Solutions Programme?

Fertility Solutions was developed by Tracy Holloway as a whole person programme to support couples going through Fertility difficulties.

Experiencing fertility problems is one of the most stressful experiences to go through.  What is more a lot of people do not understand what it is like for couples experiencing problems.  Often couples who have been planning for a baby for years are asked “When are you going to start a family?”  This can only add to the stress, particularly if the couple have decided not to tell others about their fertility challenges.  What is more high stress levels are known to reduce the chances of conception so it is very important for couples to reduce their stress levels as best they can.

Fertility Solutions aims to give couples their best chance of conceiving by supporting them through the ups and downs of their fertility journey.  The programme includes Hypnosis, lifestyle support and a minimum of six sessions of Life Upgrade.

Hypnosis:

Hypnosis is a natural state that we all enter daily.  It’s those times when your imagination is active, so watching a film or reading a book.  If you are immersed in the story and your imagination is involved that is hypnosis.  You are completely in control and free to leave it at anytime.  Our subconscious does not know the difference between our imagination and reality so we can use our imagination to access the subconscious and create what we want in our lives.

Using hypnosis is a great way to address fertility, because we can access our imagination and address what is going on in our subconscious.  For example we may have spent years trying not to get pregnant, our subconscious may not have caught up with our new plans to start a family so using the imagination we can show the subconscious what we really want and it can catch up.  This then supports our body to conceive.

We may often have negative thoughts running through our minds, worry creating more worry and affecting our well-being.  Our negative thoughts can affect our hormonal balance but with hypnosis it is possible to bring them back to a healthy equilibrium therefore supporting conception.

Fertility Solutions hypnosis CDs have been developed by Tracy Holloway (a qualified hypnotherapist and renowned fertility specialist) in order to prepare the subconscious mind for conception.  The powerful CDs begin with deep relaxation; this prepares your mind for suggestion and supports you to release stress.  Once you have listened for at least a week to the first CD you can move on to the next.  Each one brings you relaxation and prepares the body for conception.  Some are designed specifically for those who are planning to conceive naturally, others support assisted conception and there are also CDs for those who have experienced miscarriage and fear their body cannot support a healthy baby.

These powerful CDs go hand in hand with the Fertility Solutions Programme but can also be very effective in their own right.

Lifestyle Support:

The Fertility Solutions Programme also provides advice and support on lifestyle.  For example I recommend that clients stop smoking and drinking alcohol in order to get their bodies in the best place for conception.  I will also make suggestions about diet and supplements to support fertility.  I recommend organic food as much as possible to reduce the residue toxins in the body and increase the nutrients in the diet.  For Couples with specific physical symptoms effecting fertility I may recommend certain supplements to support their body’s health.  Some people find these changes difficult and if this is the case then at least one of their Life Upgrade sessions will be dedicated to supporting graceful, effective and lasting change.

Life Upgrade:

Rather than an alternative therapy, Life Upgrade is a system which allows you to become more present in your day-to-day life.  It gives you simple tools that release negative thoughts running through your conscious and subconscious mind which have such an impact on the way you feel.  Letting go of those thoughts supports your well-being as a whole, physically and emotionally, as when we are in the present moment our body and mind is free from the distractions that create ill health and unhappiness.  The beauty of it is it is truly empowering; you are the one in control, you can deal with those thoughts and emotions as they come up rather than having to wait for your next session with a practitioner.

So how does it work?

Whatever is running in our subconscious mind affects the reality we experience.  The old programmes that are running are taken on by our subconscious mind because it think we need them to survive.  Some of those programmes are our own (from our childhood experiences for example) others have been passed down from our ancestors.

So here’s a simplified example; say one of my relatives had a bad experience at school, their teacher punished them for something they didn’t do.  Let’s say they got caned as a part of that punishment.  As an attempt to stop this happening again their subconscious mind took on the programme ‘Teachers can’t be trusted’.  This gets passed down the generations to me.  So I’m running the old programme ‘Teachers can’t be trusted’ I have no conscious knowledge of this programme nor of the events that took place to create it however it is there in the background as I go through life.

So every interaction I have with teachers in my lifetime is going to have alarm bells going of in my subconscious mind ‘Teacher’s can’t be trusted!’ therefore I will be searching for examples of this, on high alert for untrustworthy things teachers might do to protect myself from harm.  I am likely to misunderstand events as examples of untrustworthy teachers, which will only reinforce the programme I am already running.  I will certainly find it impossible to fully trust a teacher with all that going on in my subconscious.

Say I could clear that old programme so it no longer gets in the way?  Say I could completely delete it so that I can begin to interact with teachers and see them for who they really are?  Using Life Upgrade tools makes this possible.  Once I recognise that I am unhappy with my interaction with teachers I can clear the old programmes quickly and easily.  (I don’t even need to know what the old programmes are.)  What’s more it’s so simple you can do it yourself as you go about your daily business.  Each time you observe something that you want to change you just get out your tool box and change it!  I find that really exciting!

Life Upgrade tools make it easy to get back to the moment because they deal with the old programmes in your subconscious mind that distracted you from the moment in the first place.  What’s more in clearing these old programmes you are less likely to be distracted next time.  So Life Upgrade doesn’t just support you to get back into the present it also makes it easier to live in the moment, as each time you use the tools you are clearing old programmes that you no longer need.  Not only is this extremely helpful for those going through a long fertility journey, it is also useful for parenthood.

Who is Fertility Solutions Suitable For?

Fertility Solutions is suitable for anyone who is on their fertility journey and would like to support themselves to cope better from day-to-day.  It is suitable for those who are experiencing ‘unexplained infertility’, those with physical symptoms which are effecting their fertility (e.g. Polycystic Ovaries, Endometriosis, Fibroids and other complaints) and those who are going through medical intervention.  It is suitable for those who simply wish to improve their reproductive health and those who have decided to end their fertility journey and wish to live a fulfilling life without children. For more details visit my website or contact me to book your Free Initial consultation.

The big fertility issues on the BBC news in the last few months

High stress ‘delays pregnancy’

‘A scientific study has shown for the first time that high stress levels may delay pregnancy.

Oxford University experts measured stress hormones in women planning a baby naturally and found the most stressed had a reduced chance of becoming pregnant.

Relaxation might help some couples, but more research is needed, they say.’

Click on link to read the full article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-10942956

‘New test to dramatically increase chance of IVF success’

A new screening technique to test embryos could dramatically increase the chances of having a baby from IVF.

The test allows for any chromosomal abnormalities, the biggest cause of early pregnancy loss, to be picked up in embryos before they are reimplanted.

The UK-based researchers expect the technique to double or triple current IVF success rates.

Trials of the technique are being lead by fertility specialists at CARE Fertility in Manchester.

Read the full article here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11696644

‘NHS North Yorkshire and York suspends IVF treatment’

22nd October 2010 BBC News North Yorkshire

An NHS trust is to suspend IVF procedures as part of cost-cutting measures to help address a projected annual £30m overspend.

NHS North Yorkshire and York said IVF procedures would be halted in the final quarter of this financial year.

The trust will also lose 60 management posts and reduce the amount of money paid to voluntary sector organisations in a bid to make “significant” savings.

An infertility support organisation has described the decision as “appalling”.

Read full story here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-11604034

‘Sperm donors ‘deserve greater recognition’

Men who donate sperm for IVF should possibly be reimbursed more than women who donate eggs, a leading fertility campaigner has suggested.

Laura Witjens, who chairs the UK’s National Gamete Donation Trust and has donated her own eggs, says most people are not aware of the “serious commitment” involved in sperm donation.

She argues it is wrong to see it as less worthy than egg donation. But fertility experts say donating eggs is invasive and carries greater risks.

Fertility clinics are not allowed to pay for eggs and sperm, but they can compensate donors up to £250 for loss of earnings plus expenses.

That limit is about to be reviewed by the fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, particularly for women, who have hormone treatment and an operation to take out the eggs.

The question of reimbursement is being debated at the Royal Society of Medicine later.

Read the full article here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11576513

Fertility Yoga is a Healing Community

The main reason I created and starting teaching a Fertility Yoga class was to support my own health and well being. In the depth of my own fertility challenges, I was becoming more and more disconnected, depressed and isolated. Although my husband was very supportive he just couldn’t understand the extent of my grief. I felt misunderstood and at times, I thought I was actually losing my mind. I watched myself spiraling out of control and realized that I needed to shift something quickly.

The first class I taught filled up with little effort. Women were nervous and at the same time relieved to find some support. I experienced such a warm comfort as we shared our experiences with each other and I realized that I wasn’t alone and that other women were on a similar emotional roller coaster.

We all had such a profound experience in the first session of classes and I discovered a community of support that gave me HOPE! Within months I opened Family Passages Mind Body Studio where I continued to teach Yoga for Fertility classes as well as private yoga therapy session and a Couples Mind Body Program. I was touched by the impact the space had for women and couples and I was grateful to witness such amazing transformations in such a short period of time.

The classes provide a space for healing the mind, body and spirit. The yoga postures help support the body by reducing the effects of stress and improving blood flow to the reproductive organs. Each posture is held for 3-5 minutes and accompanied by a dialogue specific to fertility. The class allows for a deep experience of the posture and fosters a level of healing that miracles are made of.

I love to witness women coming in the door feeling defeated, confused and stressed and by the end of the class they leave feeling relieved, calm and supported on their journey. It is the most rewarding class as an instructor that I have ever taught in my 18 year career. It is like a yoga support group. There is comfort just walking in the door and realizing they are not alone. There is peace in re-connecting to their own inner guidance/intuition as they realize they no longer need to desperately seek answers outside of themselves.

They begin to befriend their body again, follow their guidance, find a sense of calm and discover a strength that will help them through their journey. I watch them come alive as they begin to take back control of their life. The learn how to identify and process their emotions and they use the mind body tools to shift their experience outside the class. They bring their yoga practice off the mat and into their lives each day, and their experience of fertility shifts and transforms.

Most importantly I don’t see women as “infertile” or “broken” or “failures”.

I see women as the Mothers I know they are.

I hold FAITH for them!

I BELIEVE in them, no matter what!

You can be a Mother! I know with my whole heart, that one way or another, you too, will bring your baby home into your arms. I will hold FAITH for you until you BELIEVE it as deeply as I do! Because when you BELIEVE something is possible, impossible is nothing.

To learn more about Sue Dumais and her Fertility Yoga classes and resources visit www.familypassages.ca

How do you begin again after a miscarriage or failed IVF cycle?

How do you begin again?

After a miscarriage or failed IVF cycle, there is the inevitable question hanging in the air: Are we going to try again? It may be a given that you still want a baby, however the criteria for whether you are going to try to conceive and carry a pregnancy will have been affected by the recent lack of success with IVF, or the terrible end of your pregnancy. Whether you are on your own, or with a partner, the criteria you use to make your decisions may have changed and need to be looked at again.

If you are on Twitter, or you follow some of the infertility blogs, you may be familiar with some of the abbreviations used by women who are trying to conceive and have a baby. One that frequently tears at my heart is BFN:( . It means “big fat nothing,” as in not pregnant this month.  You examine and re-examine the dates on the calendar, plan your activities around the possibility that you might be pregnant by then, and spend money on pregnancy tests that you know are going to come out negative.  You may also have experienced the elation of finding out you were pregnant and whispering it to the chosen few you trusted to support you through those intial, very secretive and exciting days, only to have to return to them weeks later and explain that the pregnancy was over.

How do you begin again?

After a miscarriage or failed IVF cycle, there is the inevitable question hanging in the air: Are we going to try again? It may be a given that you still want a baby, however the criteria for whether you are going to try to conceive and carry a pregnancy will have been affected by the recent lack of success with IVF, or the terrible end of your pregnancy. Whether you are on your own, or with a partner, the criteria you use to make your decisions may have changed and need to be looked at again. You must consider your current health, age, fitness, need for medical intervention, financial position, other commitments and your doctor’s advice. Assuming that you have decided that you do want to try to conceive again, naturally or with assisted reproduction techniques, the next set of decisions will be about when you begin trying.

Your timing

“When can I try again?” is one of the first questions that will come up in a woman’s mind once she has determined to pursue another pregnancy. Opinion, even among medical professionals, varies. Some doctors will say that, all being well, 3 months is a good amount of time to wait after a miscarriage. Others will suggest that an otherwise healthy patient wait until after she has had one menstrual period before trying to conceive. I believe that readiness is a combination of having had a check-up by the doctor or nurse a few weeks after your miscarriage or IVF procedure, feeling well in yourself physically and determining that you and/or your partner are both emotionally prepared to take the risk again. Why do I use that word “risk?” While many women go on to achieve a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage, and IVF can certainly be successful on a subsequent attempt, there is a risk that they will not be successful. Can both of you gather all your resources together and steel yourself against that possibility or do you feel painfully vulnerable?

Are you up to it?

Miscarriage and fertility treatment are both hard on the body and can cause you to feel physically depleted.  This is exacerbated by the emotional toll that they take. It isn’t unusual for a woman to feel that she wants to, or has to, jump right back in and try again and simultaneously think that going through this process again is the last thing in the world she wants to do at that moment. Have you ever felt torn in that way? The reason for this dichotomy can be that you have not recovered fully and need to build up your strength and stamina. It may be worth asking your GP for a once-over health check, paying attention to your appetite, sleep, energy levels and hormone levels.

Your emotional wellbeing

It could also be that you are putting on a front, trying to fool yourself and others about how you are really coping. What you say and what you truly feel must be congruent, or the result could be additional stress, sleepless nights and high emotion.  There may be no doubt that you want a baby, but being pregnant may be another matter entirely. Do you feel resilient; as if you have been able to pick yourself up, put your disappointment aside and look forward to the future? Or, do you feel fearful or hopeless? Your thoughts will affect your behaviour and very possibly, your outcome.

If you are trying to conceive, while simultaneously thinking that it will never happen, or that it will end disastrously, you are draining your positive energy away from your goal. You are literally telling your body, that it will not function the way it is meant to do and reinforcing that message every time you let your mind obsess in this manner. Ovulation does not occur in a vacuum; it is dependent upon signals from your brain to your ovaries. Additionally, the stress caused by negativity has been known to interrupt reproductive function, which may affect your periods, ovulation, fertilisation and/or implantation of the embryo.

Your negative thoughts, sadness, anger and stress are all understandable responses to either a miscarriage or the disappointment of a failed IVF cycle. How quickly you move through various feelings or thought processes to a state of readiness is unique to your circumstances and how you respond. You may feel conflicting emotions and be confused as to whether you are ready to try to conceive again. If so, a fertility coach can help you isolate your feelings about your miscarriage or IVF experience. This can help you prevent or reverse the spill-over into your abilities, body, medical treatment, relationship and future.

Are you both ready?

It isn’t unusual for two people in a relationship to have different ideas about whether they are ready to try to conceive again. On the one hand, the woman may (erroneously) believe that the previous attempt is her fault and feel the need to make up for it or prove herself. She may be itching to try immediately, in contrast to her partner’s more measured approach. Even if this self-blame is not present, she may feel there isn’t any time to waste. Only she can truly know how strong and physically healthy she feels, so her partner is reliant upon the information she provides.  A partner may be concerned about her health and want to ensure the safety of a subsequent attempt to conceive.  On the other hand, I have had female clients whose partners want to sweep it all under the rug and move forward as if nothing has happened. She may be unready; lacking in self-confidence and feeling unsupported.

Marriages have broken down from the stress of trying to conceive. One party may feel less committed to the idea of having a child than the other, so that when the disappointments, difficulties and costs are tallied up, they decide that they don’t want to put everything into the attempt.  The sacrifices necessary to divert money from other dreams to fertility treatment may be more than one is willing to make. To contemplate trying to conceive only for your partner’s sake, or while you are unsure, will only add to the stresses you will have to endure.

The best advice I can give any couple in this situation is to talk. Be open about how you feel, what the loss meant and how you want to proceed now. If either of you are unable to communicate effectively without someone teasing the words out of you, get someone to act as a facilitator. A good fertility coach will help the two of you say what you really think and feel; not imposing her own ideas or taking sides. Perhaps a joint visit to your GP or gynaecologist will help the two of you find mutual ground.

Just knowing when it’s right

As quickly as it came over, an emotional cloud can lift. A new day, an overheard inspiring word, reassurance from someone you trust or just some release inside of you; any of these can shift how you feel about beginning the process of conception over again.  You may not be able to explain it to someone else, but you just know you are ready.  If trying again feels right and you can maintain that feeling for a few calm days (no roller-coaster emotions and changing of mind), trust your instincts. Only you can know for sure.

Lisa Marsh is the owner of Your Great Life, a fertility coaching and advocacy business in Stanmore, North London. She also writes for her own blog; http://yourgreatlife.typepad.co.uk.   You can follow her on Twitter @yourgreatlife. Contact Lisa for individual or couples fertility coaching, via phone or office visits, or to find out about educational workshops on fertility issues from menstruation to menopause: Tel #011-44 (0)20 8954 2897 or email lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk

Proper Etiquette When Speaking About Fertility

Many couples struggling to conceive tend to keep it to themselves. They often don’t share with work colleagues, friends and even close family. Many of my clients haven’t even told their own parents. Times where they found the courage to share some of their fertility challenges, responses from others feel insensitive and in some cases feel downright hurtful. Once bitten twice shy, they quickly realize that telling others about their fertility is not in their best interest. Whether is it for fear of judgment or worry of what others might say, in time, their fertility journey becomes very isolating.

Unless you have had a personal experience with fertility challenges you can never truly understand the depths of this deeply emotional journey. How do you respond in a supportive way when you have never had issues with your own fertility? What can you possibly say to woman that has just had a miscarriage that would feel comforting and supportive? Each week I hear my fertility clients say over and over again that other people in their life “just don’t get it”. People often dismiss their worries or anxiety by responding “Just relax and it will happen”. What they don’t realize is that the psychological distress is high, making it difficult to “just relax”. A common response is “Don’t worry you can always adopt”. As if adoption was a simple and easy alternative.

Recent research has shown that for many women fertility issues can create levels of anxiety and depression equivalent to women with cancer, HIV status or heart disease. So telling a woman that she can always adopt would be like telling a breast cancer patient, not to worry she can always get another breast. Obviously you would never do that, but to a woman with a deep desire to have a baby, it can feel that insensitive.

I know that people don’t intend to be hurtful and I remind my clients of that on a daily basis. I remind them that they are not hurt by what others are saying, they are feeling hurt because of the meaning they are placing on the words that are said.

Here are some of my client’s interpretations of the comment about adoption.

“It’s not going to work anyway I might as well give up.”

“I am a failure.”

“No one believes I can get pregnant.”

“I might as well accept defeat.”

What do you Say?

So what can you say or do to be supportive? I have created a list of suggested responses to specific challenges couples face on their journey. Keep in mind that sometimes the best response is no response. Often they just need you to listen.

Click here to read more and/or to download the full article.

5 simple things you can change that may increase your chances of conceiving

Its funny how often the simple changes can bring the biggest rewards.

1) Make sure you have sex at your most fertile time .

Now this is not to say that you should only have sex at your fertile time, in fact there is lots of evidence to show the opposite. To keep the sperm supply at its best, you should have regular sex throughout the month but it is pretty crucial that you have intercourse during your fertile time (around ovulation)

How do you know when its your fertile time ? That the subject of a whole other blog post on ovulation predictor tests & methods

2) Replace your usual personal lubricant with a sperm friendly lubricant

These days many couples use intimate lubricants either for foreplay, intercourse or both. Many intimate lubricants (including saliva) in common useage are not sperm friendly ie this means the lubricant can actually impair or damage sperm-not good news when you are trying to conceive.

In the UK there are currently 3 personal lubricants on the market that have been designed especially for couples trying to conceive and are clinically proven to be sperm friendly. They are Pre-Seed, Conceive Plus and Zestica Fertility.

To find out more about fertility friendly personal lubricants click here

3) Stop your man using his laptop on his lap

It is amazing how many men spend most evenings with a laptop on their laps while watching television or travelling on a train. Laptops heat up very quickly and generate large amounts of heat that can be detrimental to sperm. The testicles, which is where the sperm are produced and stored, are outside the body because if they were inside the body the heat from the body cavity would impair & damage the sperm. When a man has a laptop on his lap it is right over his testicles and this is likely to cause overheating.

I recently came a cross a couple where the man’s sperm count had come back with a low motility count, and he was using a laptop on his lap for extended periods most nights. He changed this laptop behaviour & the sperm count and motility has improved.

4) Keep your weight at a healthy level.

There has long been  anecdotal eveidence to suggest that weight is important but now this has been backed up by clinical evidence to suggest that fertility is reduced in both overweight women & underweight women.

5) Relax-

I know its easier said than done, but more and more studies are confirming that stress can be a big factor in unexplained infertility. Sometimes the stress of trying to conceive itself can actually hamper your attempts.

Look at other areas of stress in your life and see if you can reduce or alleviate them. Consider alternative therapies which are often excellent at helping to alleviate or manage stress. Yoga and Pilates for example are great at teaching you to relax. Make a list of things that you can do to help you relax each day and make sure you do one of them each day. It can be as simple as taking a lovely bubble bath or taking a walk outside in the sunshine. You know the things that help you to relax-so make time to do them

A Positive Change For Fertility Solutions Programme

My Fertility Solutions sessions no longer contain Theta Healing I now use Life Upgrade with all my Fertility clients.  If you have read some of my other blogs you may well be wondering why I have made this change.

What Life Upgrade has done for me.

I have adapted the way I work because of my own experiences and what I have found to be helpful for myself.  I have found Life Upgrade transformational in supporting my own well being and reproductive health.  I have successfully used Life Upgrade in my day-to-day life to lower my stress levels.  Not only has Life Upgrade helped me reduce stress it has also improved my physical health.  I have Endometriosis and up until recently have experienced debilitating pain for 1-3 days each month.  I have found that through using Life Upgrade tools I can manage my pain.  I am now able to be active on those days when formerly I would have been unable to move.  I have seen such a dramatic shift in the pain I experience I firmly believe it is possible for me to experience a period without pain if I continue to use Life Upgrade tools.

So What is Life Upgrade?

Rather than an alternative therapy, Life Upgrade is a system which allows you to become more present in your day-to-day life.  It gives you simple tools that support the release of negative thoughts running through your conscious and subconscious mind which have such an impact on the way you feel.  Letting go of those thoughts and feelings allows you to move forward and live your life, whatever else is going on.  In doing this you are also supporting your well-being as a whole, physically and emotionally, as when we are in the present moment our body and mind is free from the distractions that create ill health and unhappiness.  The beauty of it is it is truly empowering; you are the one in control, you can deal with those thoughts and emotions as they come up rather than having to wait for your next session with a practitioner.

What does this mean for Fertility Solutions?

The framework for the Fertility Solutions is still the same.  There is a Free Initial Consultation so I can assess your needs followed by six sessions specifically designed for you as an individual.  Through each session I will guide you through Life Upgrade tools to support your health and well-being.  From the first planned session you will be able to take home the basic tools and use them in your own time.  Using the Life Upgrade tools consistently will transform your Fertility Journey so you can continue to live your life and find enjoyment, what is more living in the moment increases your chances of conception.  The programme still involves hypnosis CDs to support your Fertility Journey.

Who is Fertility Solutions Suitable For?

Fertility Solutions is suitable for anyone who is on their fertility journey and would like to support themselves to cope better from day-to-day.  It is suitable for those who are experiencing ‘unexplained infertility’ and those with physical symptoms which are effecting their fertility (e.g. Polycystic Ovaries, Endometriosis, Fibroids and other complaints).  It is suitable for those who simply wish to improve their reproductive health and those who have decided to end their fertility journey and wish to live a fulfilling life without children.

Select the sources of your information about infertility carefully to avoid overwhelm

We now seem flooded with so many references to infertility that many of the information and resources currently available are being overlooked. Infertility and IVF have almost become ubiquitous topics in the health sections of major newspapers and monthly magazines, like weight loss, skin care and cosmetic surgery. Infertility support websites, forums and blogs abound, but even if an infertile person belongs to dozens of them, how many can they actually read and appreciate? I check out as many as 10 new infertility resources a day, and I can tell you that there is a wide range of depth and quality of the information available.

Is there too much information about infertility available now?

My first instinct would be to say “no, absolutely not!” There are women and men out there who don’t know nearly enough about the road ahead of them as they begin to wonder why they haven’t conceived yet.

Anyone who has been diagnosed as infertile and doesn’t know what to do next, where to get support or the pros and cons of treatment, has a steep learning curve. There’s also the potential of vital time being wasted as overwhelm sets in and incapacitates infertile people who need to research, reflect and agree. On top of these first-hand needs, there’s the need to promote public awareness about the physical, emotional and financial aspects of infertility; to promote sensitivity, encourage medical science, motivate regulatory change and improve access to treatment.

However, we now seem flooded with so many references to infertility that many of the information and resources currently available are being overlooked. Courses, conferences and symposiums are going begging for attendance; whether aimed at professionals or the prospective patient. Infertility and IVF have almost become ubiquitous topics in the health sections of major newspapers and monthly magazines, like weight loss, skin care and cosmetic surgery. Infertility support websites, forums and blogs abound, but even if an infertile person belongs to dozens of them, how many can they actually read and appreciate?

I check out as many as 10 new infertility resources a day, and I can tell you that there is a wide range of depth and quality of the information available. It can be incredibly confusing for the newly diagnosed or freshly motivated infertile person to encounter. How do you know who to follow, what to attend or how much validity to give to a particular expert, whether professional or from personal experience?

Ten tips for fighting infertility information overload

  1. Browse – Whether on the internet, at an event or looking through the back of a magazine, take the time to investigate all of the groups putting out information about infertility.
  2. Ask for information – One fantastic aspect of social media is being able to pose a question to the universe and get an answer. It’s like Google info + opinion in one.
  3. Go by recommendations – If you see something you like posted on Twitter or Facebook by people you respect and like, chances are that you will like the sites they like.
  4. Categorize – Balance is everything when your mind is focused on one subject: infertility. So gather and categorize resources. Ex. medical information, emotional support, infertility news, beautiful writing, humour, etc.
  5. Find the right site for your personality – If you want to share your test results down to the nth degree of detail with others who understand the numbers, find the right site for that. Others may just want to share feelings.
  6. Look at an event’s content before registering – Some of the biggest events are more about selling you treatment and travel options rather than giving you substantive information. It’s great to know about providers and get a chance to talk with them, but you don’t just want to go home with loads of brochures for the bin. Are there seminars offered at the event? Is there a Question & Answer period?
  7. Don’t join everything – One of the greatest causes of overwhelm can be too many email newsletters flooding your inbox. Instead, try bookmarking or Favourite the blogs and websites you find and go to them occasionally, until you decide how useful they are.
  8. Leave comments where asked – Give feedback after articles, on blogs, on forums and at events telling how useful, enjoyable and accessible you found them, or where they missed the mark.
  9. Support the infertility resources you do value: When you have found an excellent resource, help keep it afloat by paying the membership price, buying the entry ticket, book or magazine, nominating the blog for an award, Tweeting the link, or donating to the charity.
  10. De-clutter – If you look back a month and see repeated, unopened emails from infertility groups or blogs, take the pressure off yourself by clicking on “Unsubscribe.” You can always visit those sites and blogs if and when you find extra time.

Fight the overabundance of information and overwhelm by singling out the good resources by quality and deleting or ignoring the rest.  Likewise, if you think a particular health journalist is doing a great job, champion their efforts by replying when appropriate and posting links to their work on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t be afraid to make a comment rating the value of what’s out there on infertility. It’s worth showing a bit of loyalty to a particular source too: It’s a win-win situation.  You can develop a rewarding rapport with a blogger or a group of contributors to a forum. You may also qualify for special deals on publications and events. Your membership, visits and purchases help their stats, which raises their profile and/or brings in revenue.

Readership is everything, so if you aren’t supporting the less-than-helpful information providers, they will get the point eventually. Remember, it’s not about how much information you can take in; it’s about the quality and usefulness of that information.

Lisa Marsh is the owner of Your Great Life, which provides one-to-one and couples’ fertility coaching, educational seminars, support groups and advocacy for matters related to women’s health, infertility and family-building. Contact Lisa by email lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk or by following her on Twitter @yourgreatlife.

How Successful is the Fertility Solutions Programme?

This question has come up a few times in conversation with people lately so I thought I would write about it in this blog.

It’s a relevant question but one that is difficult to answer because it depends on your criteria for success.  I cannot use pregnancy rates to gauge success because not all my clients want to become pregnant as a result of their sessions (some come to me for their reproductive health, rather than to conceive).  I can say that all the clients I have had have reported back that they have felt better in some way.

Those coming to me for reproductive health, Fibroids or Endometriosis for example, have told me they have noticed a shift in their symptoms after their sessions.

After specialising in Fertility Solutions for just over a year 3 of the women I have worked with are now pregnant or have had their baby.  One of these women listened to the hypnosis CDs alone the others also had Theta Healing.

Some of the women I have been working with are still planning to conceive and some of those have chosen to use medical intervention.  However all the women who are still planning for their babies have said that the programme has supported them to cope on their Fertility Journey in some way.  Some have said they are less stressed, others find they are no longer upset about seeing other women with babies and I have also supported women to feel at peace with past abortions or miscarriages.

So Fertility Solutions is not just about pregnancy rates, it is about enhancing reproductive health, supporting the over all well-being and in doing so it also gives couples their best chance of conception.

I offer a free initial consultation so you can find out if Fertility Solutions is the right choice for you. Contact me for more details.

TLC For TTC

When we use the acronym TLC for tender loving care, we generally mean one person to another. However, I believe that it’s also to spend some time and effort on your own behalf.  I promote self-care in all areas of an infertile person’s life, both for emotional wellbeing and to maximize the chance of conception.  It’s not as easy as saying we will make changes.  It requires a positive attitude, a desire to change and taking action. I have to work at it too. This is part my own ongoing self-development, and being aware of it helps me understand a client’s efforts and difficulties. Success requires:

  • Self-awareness;
  • Honesty;
  • Motivation; and
  • Follow-through

The self-awareness that is required in order to improve lifestyle choices is:  1) knowing your own habitual way of operating, and 2) identifying the areas in your life which have a potential to be neglected, as a result. Even if others perceive a decline regarding your health, and tell you, it won’t make much difference until you can admit it to yourself. This realization may not be triggered until the connection is made between your choices (healthy sleep, eating, alcohol, exercise, hygiene, nutrition and/or medication) and the delay or absence of conception.   

The stress related to infertility can be unhealthy in itself, but in some ways, stress can actually provoke necessary action. If your fertility clinic delays your IVF cycle until you lose weight, stop smoking or bring down your blood pressure, it will force self-awareness, require honesty and provide motivation.  Honesty is an admission of the state you are in and your responsibility for it. It’s most important to be honest with yourself.  However, honesty with someone else about your difficulty in giving up a bad habit can be rewarded with support and helpful suggestions.  Choose the person who is likely to support your efforts the most, rather than a person who will express disapproval, criticize you and say I told you so

Motivation is what propels you forward. If becoming pregnant and having your own baby is the paramount issue in your life, then you have a motivator that is easy to visualize. You have probably thought and talked of little else lately, so it’s fresh.  Write down everything about pregnancy and motherhood that you daydream about, starting with the line on the pregnancy-test stick, to going to the playground with a group of friendly mothers, all with your babies in strollers. Your list may include:

  • Joy of telling my husband “we are pregnant;”
  • Feeling the physical signs of pregnancy;
  • Having a pregnant belly;
  • Picking baby names;
  • Shopping for cute baby clothes…and so on.

Next to each point, put a check mark if it is motivational or an X for something that won’t motivate you to work a bit harder on self-care.  If having a baby is your most important aim right now, use these motivators when reaching for a pint of ice cream, a cigarette, or a gin and tonic.

Just talking about making changes is not enough; it means nothing without follow-through. It’s one thing to identify what you need to do, another to honestly assess where you are falling short and still another to finding that which will prompt action on your part. The last piece of the puzzle is taking action, or following through on your commitment. This is where most people begin to feel like it’s all too much work. 

With infertility, you could be on this self-improvement course for months or years without yet achieving your ultimate goal: the baby.  Having only a long-term reward in sight, no matter how important, can’t always keep you going, especially when you may also be experiencing other challenges in your personal, social and work life.  Several short and medium-term rewards will work better to motivate you; so build them in to your scheme every few weeks.  Focus on one area for a while, to the point that you are satisfied that you have embedded a new habit. Reap a reward, and then add the next goal.

Ask for help. Do not just nominate a person to support you, putting the responsibility for action elsewhere, rather than on yourself. No one wants to be put in the position of nagging you and earning your resentment.  If you feel unable to do it on your own, consider partnering up with another woman who is also trying to conceive.  Alternatively, if there is an area of self-care that you and your partner both need to work on; such as weight loss, or giving up caffeine, you could have it easier if you both tackle it at the same time.  Agreeing to hold each other accountable for your commitments is a good way of keeping honest.

With the amount of hard work it takes to improve our habits and increase our self-care, it would be a shame not to sustain the positive results. In coaching clients, I have seen people who think that once they have heard something, they are capable of putting it into action.  However, hearing and learning are two distinctly different things.  You need to understand why you weren’t taking care of yourself before.  You must be equipped with the tools to counteract temptation and subconscious habits. You need to develop trust – a belief that you are deserving of TLC. This takes time to embed.

Every once in a while take a stock-check of your emotional and physical health, taking care to note where they may have declined. Go back to the beginning by reflecting on your attitude, behaviour and effort.  You will have already learned the methods needed for improvement, so a reminder will set you back on a healthy path. Use positive affirmations such as EFT techniques to embed the new learning. Why? Because you’re worth it.

Lisa Marsh is a fertility coach, working with individuals and couples to enhance their chances of conception, reduce stress and carry a healthy pregnancy among other things.  She has a fertility blog http://yourgreatlife.typepad.com, coaches in person in North London, and by phone in the UK and internationally.  You can contact Lisa for coaching on lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk .  You can follow Lisa on Twitter @yourgreatlife to get great Fertility Support and Miscarriage Support tips, as well as links to news, her articles and connect with others in the IF community.

Fertility Solutions and Physical Healing

The Fertility Solutions programme uses mind body techniques to address reproductive health.  Mind Body techniques work with the mind in order to heal the body and there is growing evidence to show that working on the mind will affect the health of the body.  Stress is a perfect example, it is widely accepted that reducing stress has a positive affect on the physical body, strengthening the immune system and reducing the risk of heart attack for some.

Fertility Solutions uses Theta Healing to address physical symptoms. A Fertility Solutions Practitioner will have experience working with couples who have physical symptoms affecting their fertility; PCOS, endometriosis or fibroids for example.  Using Theta Healing it is possible to explore the mind’s influence on the physical body and release issues which are contributing to the symptoms being experienced.

Some people who find they have physical symptoms, which affect their fertility, will have suffered with bereavement or shock and trauma. In fact emotions such as shame, guilt, worthlessness, resentment and anger will stress the body if left unaddressed may result on an adverse effect on physical health.

As the programme uses mind body techniques it offers couples the opportunity to address their fertility without any invasive procedures and lays the foundations to give couples their best chance of conceiving.  Similarly it is useful for those who have chosen to use medical intervention (e.g. IVF) as it can address any stresses or issues that arise throughout treatment.

So Fertility Solutions supports the whole person; it addresses both the physical and emotional body. Whatever physical symptoms or emotional stresses you are experiencing on your Fertility Journey the Fertility Solutions Programme can help.

Fertility Solutions and Medical Intervention

Choosing medical intervention to conceive is not always an easy decision and certainly not one made lightly.  Experiencing ‘infertility’ is very stressful and adding invasive medical procedures to this can only increase stress.  Couples who are at the stage of medical intervention on their Fertility Journey are likely to be aware of how stress affects their well-being and fertility.

Fertility Solutions supports the whole person using hypnosis and Theta Healing, those going through assisted conception can use the programme to support their journey and reduce stress.  The hypnosis CDs are designed to relax and support fertility, there are those which have been recorded specifically for couples going through medical procedures.  For example there is one to encourage relaxation and the natural stimulation of the chemicals needed within your body to support conception, another designed to support the egg once conception has taken place, especially helpful for women who may be afraid of a miscarriage.

Along side the Hypnosis, Theta Healing allows couples to address any emotions or physical symptoms that may be affecting their fertility.  It is possible to support assisted conception by addressing any issues around the medical treatments for example; this in turn will aid relaxation and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.

As a Fertility Solutions Practitioner my aim is to support my clients best chance of conception.  The programme allows us to address the whole person, physically and emotionally awakening creative power and increasing the chances of conception taking place.

Homeopathic treatment of unexplained infertility by Nicola Berman & Cassie Everett

According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority over 20% of conception problems are diagnosed as unexplained infertility1. This means that following a series of fertility tests and semen analysis no medical reason can be found for the couple’s inability to conceive and, therefore, no treatment can be offered – other than suggesting assisted conception such as IVF, ICSI or IUI.

Homeopathy offers an alternative viewpoint and an alternative, gentler, non-toxic form of treatment. In this blog post Nicola Berman and Cassie Everett, homeopaths and co-founders of Juno Natural Fertility, explain what homeopathy is and how it can help you get pregnant.

Homeopathy is a natural, holistic medicine which views the mind and body as one, understanding that how you feel emotionally can determine how you feel physically. Stress, anxiety and trauma will almost always manifest themselves in the body. If you have been under prolonged stress your body will divert its energy to those organs which are needed to cope with the stress and unfortunately your reproductive organs will move to the bottom of your body’s priority list.

Herbert Benson, MD, identified the reverse of the body’s stress response, which he called the ‘relaxation response’2.  He found that undertaking relaxation techniques can bring about many beneficial changes in the body including a lower heart rate, slower breathing, reduced muscle tension and positive changes in brain waves. Homeopathy recognises that in order to effectively treat fertility issues, it is important to treat any underlying emotional stresses.

Another possible factor in unexplained infertility can be found in the family medical history; homeopaths call this inherited weakness. Strengthening a person’s whole constitution, including addressing any inherited weakness, using homeopathic remedies, can reduce the chance of them expressing familial diseases later in life. So if there is a history of reproductive disorders or early menopause in your family, homeopathy can be used to lessen the impact of this on your health to facilitate a natural conception. Another way of looking at the inherited weakness is that we have our own unique patterns of illness. When under considerable stress we get ill and our body produces symptoms. For you it might be that every time you’re run down you get cystitis or perhaps it’s tonsillitis or a skin breakout. If your inherited weakness is in the reproductive system, you could be more likely to have fertility problems and we would use homeopathic remedies to address this.

Homeopathy works by the ‘law of similars’, also described as treating ‘like with like’. In short, this means that a substance that causes symptoms in a healthy person can also bring about cure in a sick person. One simple analogy is the onion. In its crude form it can cause symptoms such as streaming eyes and runny nose and in its homeopathic form, called allium cepa, it is often used to treat hayfever. Similarly drinking too much coffee can cause sleeplessness and restlessness, but used homeopathically the remedy coffea is an effective treatment for insomnia.

A homeopathic consultation involves a thorough investigation of a person’s health, physical and emotional, as well as their personal medical history and family medical history. This is most important, as homeopathy understands that any unresolved event, emotional or physical, or any active inherited weakness may cause a lasting imbalance which will eventually be expressed in physical symptoms such as infertility. Homeopathic treatment is always individualised to the person and remedies are given based on the particular details of each person’s case.

Kate (37) had been trying to conceive for almost three years when she decided to try homeopathy with Juno Natural Fertility. She had had all her tests done on the NHS and they had all shown normal levels.

Kate had a chronic disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which she had suffered from since the age of 15. This condition affected her joints and soft tissues, resulting in her muscles, tendons and ligaments being painful most of the time, which was very debilitating for her in terms of her day to day life and frequently caused her to feel upset and frustrated. The intensity of this condition over a prolonged period of time would take up a lot of her energy reserves.

Her periods were very painful and heavy and she also experienced some PMT symptoms including irritability, breast tenderness and weight gain, suggesting she had hormonal imbalance. In the past Kate had taken the pill for nine years, which may have contributed to this.

Kate was given a combination of homeopathic remedies to help support her endocrine glands in order to balance her hormone levels, as well as detoxify any residual effects from the contraceptive pill. These remedies included: Carc, Folliculinum, Medorrhinum, Borax, Nat Mur and Sepia.

During her second consultation Kate reported that her next period had been lighter and the pain was less intense. These were positive signs that her hormones were rebalancing and her system was detoxifying. Her EDS symptoms had increased in intensity, which suggested that more energy was being diverted to this area, so her next homeopathic prescription Carc and Calc Fluor focused on these symptoms with the aim of freeing up more energy for other areas of her body.

At her next consultation Kate reported little change in her EDS symptoms, although the focus of the discussion moved more towards the stressful month she had had and her feelings of frustration and sadness. It became apparent that her emotions were having a greater bearing on her overall health and wellbeing than was previously evident. Therefore, she was prescribed the homeopathic remedy Thuja to also take into account her emotional state. 

Kate became pregnant the following month and in August 2009 she gave birth to her beautiful daughter Evie.

If you are currently experiencing feelings of anxiety or emotional upset, then why not try a homeopathic remedy to help relieve these feelings? Putting your body into a calmer and more balanced state may be exactly what you need to help you fall pregnant. Simply select the remedy below that most closely matches your thoughts and feelings and take one pill when needed, up to a maximum of three a day for three days, leaving at least a week before repeating:

Arg Nit 30c – for anticipatory anxiety, worrying about the baby before or during pregnancy, anxiety before doing a pregnancy test

Gelsemium 30c – for anxiety especially after a shock or bad news e.g. from a miscarriage or diagnosis from the doctor

Ignatia 30c – for the emotional rollercoaster, feeling very tearful and even hysterical, embarrassed about emotions

Natrum Mur 30c – for repeated grief and disappointment, want to be on your own, can’t cry any more

Phos Ac 30c – for emotional exhaustion, feeling flat and lacking energy, foggy head

Pulsatilla 30c – for feeling weepy all the time, don’t want to be alone, feel better after a good cry

If you have not experienced improvement after a month, then consult a qualified homeopath for a more thorough investigation and personalised remedy. Nicola and Cassie from Juno Natural Fertility offer consultations in clinics across London; in Covent Garden, Mayfair, Thornton Heath and Hendon, and if you are based outside London telephone and Skype consultations can be arranged upon request.

In April Juno Natural Fertility are running two seminars ‘How to get pregnant with natural remedies’; one focussing on Unexplained Infertility and the other on Polycystic Ovaries and PCOS. Tickets cost £25 and can be booked online at www.junonaturalfertility.com/seminars or by calling 0845 423 8962. Places are limited, so early booking is advised.

 

Theta Healing and Fertility

Theta Healing is and energy healing which allows us to explore and release the memories we hold which may be blocking our full potential.  The Fertility Solutions Programme uses Theta Healing and Hypnosis to gently discover and release any beliefs, memories or emotions that may be blocking conception.  The process can also address physical symptoms such as PCOS.

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> Tracy Holloway developed the Fertility Solutions Programme after years of working in the area of fertility.  Tracy has worked as a Hypnotherapist, Psychologist and Theta Practitioner who is renowned in the area of fertility.  She has brought together her rich knowledge and experience to develop the unique programme which explores the well being of the whole person in order to support their reproductive health.

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> Using Theta Healing it is possible to address physical symptoms which may be affecting fertility, for example PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis and Sperm motility (to name a few).  It is also possible to address emotional issues which affect couples who are experiencing fertility challenges.  Many of my female clients will talk to me about their grieving each time their period arrives.  They describe their fertility journey as a roller coaster ride. They have hope during the month then the grieving starts as their cycle begins again.  Using the Fertility Solutions Programme it is possible for women to view each cycle as a positive thing, their body is working in the way that will make pregnancy possible at some point in the future, rather than a setback.  Sometimes a simple relieving of stress is enough to support conception.

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> One thing that is important to remember is each couple is unique, their journey is unique and they will conceive in their own time.  In other words it’s best not to compare yourselves with others because everyone’s journey is different.  Using the Fertility Solutions programme it is possible to address the emotional stresses and strains and focus on other areas of your life (enjoying your relationship for example) rather than relying on conception to bring happiness.  By addressing both physical and emotional aspects of fertility it is possible to have your best chance of conception.

My journey to motherhood and becoming a fertility coach

As I sit at my kitchen table and write this blog I am incredibly aware of just what a lot has happened over these last few years . And how , for all the noise , tantrums and lack of sleep I will never cease to be amazed that I have finally got here .That I can finally be a mum .I guess thats one of the only advantages to having had such a fight to get my family . I will never take it for granted .Change the scene to about 8 years ago and the situation was very different and in a sense  where our  journey began  . 

I had met my husband at university and always had a strong friendship as well as romantic hope for him . So it was with little suprise that we finally told family and friends that we were getting married in 1997 . We were very much in love and talked from early on about how great it would be to be parents .The summer before we officially started trying I remember being on holiday and writing a list together of our top girls and boys names for the family which lay just within our reach . There was such optimism and such hope . It was to be over so soon .We tried for a family for about 9 months before I could take it no longer and assumed there was something wrong .

I was never known for my patience and thus nearly everyone told me to calm down , stop trying so hard etc etc ….the usual . But deep down I really just wanted reassurance . And so I persuaded a doctor to do some initial tests on both of us . Fully expecting the results to match the helpful comments of friends and family . That we would be fine and to just relax more .However the results for my husband were utterly devestating . He was Azoospermic , there was no sperm whatsoever  present . The ” kindly ” doctor pronounced we would never have chidren and we were sent on our way .

And just like that our world crumbled and a new chapter began .We then went through every test we could do , choosing to use my savings rather than wait ..again that old impatience . I found out information about my inner workings that I never thought I would know . And certainly more about my husband than is common in most marriages !Finally we saw one of the top specialists in the country and were told in no uncertain terms that ours was one of the worst situations a couple could find themselves in .” If I were you mr Sizer i wouldnt put my wife through IVF but would look at Donor or adoption . You have a 1 in 125,000 chance of this ever working “To say my husband was crushed would be an understatement . And I grieved that day as Much for what it was doing to him as  for the loss of our dreams .

Over the next few weeks we re emerged from the duvet and began to talk . ..and talk ..and pray and talk . Until finally , and for no good practical reason we chose to give that 1 in 125,000 chance a go . Not good betting odds but I guess we needed to close the door before moving on .And so we started IVF number one at the lister clinic , a wonderful warm enviroment who supported us all the way , even when they felt it was a run to nothing .The cycle went badly to begin with and then got worse with the realisation that I was what they called a “poor responder ” ( how I hate that phrase !) and probably early menopausal ..just to add to the tension !!Finally however 4 eggs were obtained , my husband had a very painful op to remove the few sperm he did have and the wonderful world of science miraculously made 4 embryos .Just 3 days later 2 little bundles of potential were lit up on a screen and shown going into my womb …and so began the dreaded 2 week wait .Again we were so low on hope that I almost didnt do a test on the set date . But eventually we did . And amazingly 1 little ball had made it .I was pregnant !! 9 months of  elation and anxiety ensued until finally on April 26th 2003 our first miracle was born and Hope Sizer came into the world .We were literally over the moon to become parents and loved those early days with our new daughter .

And yet our dreams of a family had always been of two or more children .And though family and friends pretty much begged us not to keep going we entered the wonderful world of ART once again when Hope was just over a year old . The abridged version of what happened next was that amazingly , our odds actually seemed to get worse ! I was diagnosed with High FSH , and an over active immune system as well as the initial poor responder bit !  We went through 3 more cycles and two miscarriages before our final attempt at the ARGC clinic .This was to be it . Enough of the battering .And so a new regime was started ,new protocol and an immune suppresant drug for a mere £2000 extra .Two embryos put back in and …..well lets just say Barnaby sizer is a very meant little boy !

We finally felt like a family.I have done many things in my life that I am proud of and many things make me grateful . none of them howehver come close to the pride I feel personally and as a couple, in fighting for our family .It was without doubt the hardest thing I have ever done , possibly ever will do  , and amazingly it was worth it .During my time going through IVF I retrained from a counselling background , into Life coaching and began to specialise in supporting encouraging and resourcing couples through Infertility .

To come up with specific coping tools  through this most emotional of times .One of the key things I always say to people is to never belittle what you are facing . Infertility has recently been given a stress point reading akin to Cancer and Bereavement and as such a person dealing with fertility issues needs support . A new chapter has again then started for me through this work . A new chance to help support and encourage other people facing the difficulties of Infertility . Whether it is running the support group , running workshops or speaking to the media I remain passionate that people facing Infertility should be as best looked after as possible .

Best of luck to everyone reading this 

Anya Sizer

www.thefertilitycoach.co.uk     

Coping on your Fertility Journey

Fertility problems are one of the most stressful experiences to go through. What is more a lot of people do not understand what it is like for couples experiencing problems. Often couples who have been planning for a baby for years are asked “When are you going to start a family?” This can only add to the stress, particularly if the couple have decided not to tell others about their fertility challenges. What is more high stress levels are known to reduce the chances of conception so it is very important for couples to reduce their stress levels as best they can.

Mind/body techniques can be really helpful when dealing with the stress Fertility issues can bring. Meditating is great because it brings stillness to the mind relieving it of all the clutter that we tend to live with on a day-to-day basis. Regularly meditating can help to reduce that clutter at other times. If you are someone who finds meditating difficult listening to a CD of guided meditation can be helpful to start with. It’s a question of finding what works best for you.

Practicing being mindful during day-to-day tasks is also a helpful way to reduce stress. For example being mindful whilst eating means that you smell the food. Look at the colour. Be aware of the texture in your mouth. Really taste it as you chew. Take your time. You can apply this mindfulness to anything; just make sure you are using all your senses to do it.

Of course Fertility Solutions can help too. Using Theta Healing it is possible to reduce stress levels and using the Fertility Solutions Programme means you will not only reduce your stress levels but also give yourself the best chance of conceiving be it naturally or with medical intervention.

Hypnosis and Fertility

Hypnosis is a natural state that we all enter daily. It’s those times when your imagination is active, so watching a film or reading a book. If you are immersed in the story and your imagination is involved that is hypnosis. You are completely in control and free to leave it at anytime. Our subconscious does not know the difference between our imagination and reality so we can use our imagination to access the subconscious and create what we want in our lives.

Using hypnosis is a great way to address fertility, because we can access our imagination and address what is going on in our subconscious. For example we may have spent years trying not to get pregnant, our subconscious may not have caught up with our new plans to start a family so using the imagination we can show the subconscious what we really want and it can catch up. This then supports our body to conceive.

We may often have negative thoughts running through our minds, worry creating more worry and affecting our well-being. Our negative thoughts can affect our hormonal balance but with hypnosis it is possible to bring them back to a healthy equilibrium therefore supporting conception.

Fertility Solutions hypnosis CDs have been developed by Tracy Holloway (a qualified hypnotherapist and renowned fertility specialist) in order to prepare the subconscious mind for conception. The powerful CDs begin with deep relaxation; this prepares your mind for suggestion and supports you to release stress. Once you have listened for at least a week to the first CD you can move on to the next. Each one brings you relaxation and prepares the body for conception. Some are designed specifically for those who are planning to conceive naturally, others support assisted conception and there are also CDs for those who have experienced miscarriage and fear their body cannot support a healthy baby.

These powerful CDs go hand in hand with the Fertility Solutions Programme but can also be very effective in their own right.

Hypnosis for Fertility – Session one

I’ve been wondering what I could write that would be useful for the readers of this blog and as a lot of what I get when I mention that I am a Hypnotherapist is “oooh, that’s not for me.  I don’t want to be out of control.  I probably can’t be hypnotised anyway”.  I thought that it might be useful to write a series of posts that will take you through what Hypnosis for Fertility sessions might involve for you. All treatment plans are devised based on the individual so your sessions may not follow exactly the same path but these posts will hopefully give you an idea of what to expect and clear up any myths or concerns you may have or heard regarding hypnosis.

Actually, although this is about session one there is some stuff that goes on prior to me ever meeting you and so I will mention this first. Normally there will have been a first phone call or at least an email. Someone will have read about HypnoFertility and probably have had a look at my website www.tums2mums.com and found out a bit more about me and the way that I work. The phone call / email enables them to ask any initial questions to make sure that they are comfortable with booking their first session. Once this has then been booked I send out an ‘Intake’ form for them to complete and return to me prior to attending. I also send them a stress buster and progressive relaxation mp3 to start listening to.

Session one itself is all about information giving on both sides. I spend time explaining how hypnosis supports fertility (both natural and assisted conception), how the mind works and its impact on the body both positive and negative and what being in the state of hypnosis feels like (not what you would expect from a stage hypnotic show – just a nice relaxed feeling mainly). We will review the information provided in the intake sheet and most importantly discuss your goal of therapy.

Now you might well say “but you know my goal – I want a baby”. But goals need to be SMART (I’m drawing on my days as a trainer here). Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound. Now whilst I do spend time with you helping you to imagine what it will be like to be pregnant, holding your baby in your arms, feeling positive about you ability to have your baby. Because we actually have no control over timescales or achievability for this it is not a goal we can measure. What we will be aiming for is creating the best possible circumstances which themselves will support fertility.

This in turn means that the feedback I get from clients is that they feel more in control of their lives than they have for years. Friends and family are saying that they look more relaxed and happy. They are feeling less obsessed and more able to enjoy life. Things that had been bothering them for a long time now don’t seem significant at all. And many other positive changes particular to them. These things in themselves help to return the body to a state of normalcy and give the best opportunity for having their desired baby.

There may or may not be time to actually carry out some hypnosis during session one but if there is it will be something gentle introducing them to how it feels and starting the process of restoring balance in their lives.

In part 2 of this series I will be taking you through the next steps as we move on to Session two.

If in the meantime you have any questions based on what you have read about Session one please post a comment and I will answer them.

Dany Griffiths

Hypnotherapist specialising in

Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond…

www.tums2mums.com

Going in Circles With Infertility and Stress – Part Two

Take a Time-Out to Control Your Stress 

Liken the accumulation of stress from infertility to a traffic accident in which the first car stops suddenly. No one has been injured and the damage from the two-car accident is contained, but neither of the parties has put out flares signalling danger.  As a result, each successive car behind them piles up, multiplying the level of damage.  Similarly, small signs of stress like nail-biting or cranky behaviour, may seem harmless, but you don’t have to be falling apart to internalize damage.  If your ultimate goal is to become pregnant, your initial, short term goal must be to lower your level of stress, clearing a space for the work to begin.  Then, keep it clear throughout your attempt to conceive.  

If you are aware of areas of your life in which stress shows up, the next step is to acknowledge the stressor and change your response to it. When you feel your personal signs of stress creeping up, you can deal with them on the spot by practicing this short visualization technique I call a time-out. 

Time-Out – I call this visualization a time-out because all it takes is excusing yourself for a few minutes. When you become practiced at it, it feels like you have had a mini-holiday. It is useful in a few ways.  

  • Replacement – By focusing on an image in your “mind’s eye,” you block out the image corresponding to your stressor.
  • Relief – Placing yourself within the positive image/scenario you have chosen, and imagining its sights, sounds, smells and tastes, helps to break the emotional connection you felt in response to the stressor.
  • Rapid – It’s a quick fix, free of cost and no prescription needed.
  • Restorative – It is very empowering. Mastering the visualization allows you to re-gain control of your stress and restore calm.    

Take Two – A 2-minute visualization exercise can be slipped into your daily life without attracting attention.  Whether you are working, busy with your family, at a party or involved in a project, it is easy to slip away for two minutes at a time.   Any Time, Anywhere – Privacy and safety are the two required elements, in order to allow you to break the connection with your current environment. Be creative; you can find privacy in the busiest places: empty offices, walk-in closets, the loo or even sitting in the car on your own driveway. In order to reach that quiet space inside, it may take four or five minutes at first, but with some practice, you will be able to reduce the time it takes to regain control to about two minutes. Please use caution and do not practice it while driving.  Pull the car over to the side of the road if necessary.  Define Your Image – Close your eyes. Isolate a specific image, real or fantasy, which evokes a 100% positive feeling. If an image of your last beach vacation, however lovely, brings up the nagging feeling that you didn’t look great in your bikini, it isn’t the right image for this exercise. Your image can be a frozen moment in time, such as the kiss at your wedding ceremony, or a conjured image of a beautiful place you will go in the future. Let your mind play on this image, vivid detail and colour, sharpening the detail. Imagine that you can smell the air, hear the sounds and even taste something that is evocative of the memory or fantasy of your choice. This image should make you smile. The emotions evoked by your image might be peace, happiness, confidence, contentment, hope or a mixture of other positive feelings.   Write Your Story – Silently, describe the scene to yourself as if narrating a script. For example: “I am dressed in white, on the silvery-grey, wooden deck of my house. I am looking down at miles of virtually empty beach. The ocean is deep blue and turquoise; the sky melts into the horizon. The late afternoon sun is making millions of white, jewelled ribbons dance on the water.  I see a few people walking or sitting and enjoying the peaceful day.”  Now you know mine; it’s your turn. Make it as real in your mind as you can. Are your feet bare? What is the surface under your feet? Is your skin cool, warm or hot? What do you hear, smell and taste?  Are you alone, or with others?  

A Good Place

To Begin Every Day – Use your Time-Out to start each day until it becomes habit and you can fit the exercise into two minutes. This works well for clearing any non-specific stress; you know, the feeling that you want to crawl back under the duvet rather than face the day.  A good place for this is in your morning shower, because it’s private, you feel the pleasant sensation of the water and it blocks out most noise.  

Step by step:

  • Relax – Close your eyes and breathe fully and slowly several times. Concentrate on your breathing for as long as it takes to empty your mind enough to begin the visualization. Invite your positive image into your mind, filling out “the frame” with the context that envelops that beautiful image.
  • Drop yourself in to your visualization. If you are a fan of Star Trek, you can imagine “beaming down to the planet.” I prefer to use a different technique:  It feels as if an artist suddenly changed a 2-dimensional picture into a 3-dimensional environment that you can enter.  Imagine that image slip like a liquid over your head and down your body until you see yourself clothed and positioned as you were during the first Time-Out.
  • Become One with your image – Focus on and isolate each part of your body and “feel” them connect with the physicality of air, earth or water in the place you imagine yourself to be. Direct your mind to travel up your body, recognizing the sensations you feel, from toes to shoulders, and then out to each hand, up your neck and to your head.
  • Emotionally connect to your image – allow yourself to recognize the feelings conjured by your visualization. This is like “getting into character” for your own dramatic performance. Are you: euphorically in love? Flush with success?  Comforted by an embrace? Peaceful and still? Dazzled by beauty? Exhilarated by speed?
  • Lock it all in – Bring your arms up and wrap them around yourself. First you were part of a positive image; now draw that positivity into you and lock it in with a hug. I find that the physical embrace centres and comforts me. Try it, especially if you have been feeling tired, lonely, fearful or shaky. If you are not in a private enough space, you may feel it is enough to just clasp your two hands together in a firm grip.
  • Acknowledge that you will have challenges during the day and that you are strong enough to embrace them without fear of over-reacting. Then, shake your arms out and slowly open your eyes.
  • Repeat your visualization however often you feel the need. 

If ever you can’t relax enough to bring up your Time-Out image, use props and your other senses to give you a prompt:

  • When you open your eyes, write down what you saw in your mind’s eye, in a very descriptive way. This is one place that the gratitude journal really comes in handy. Knowing that you are doing something positive for yourself is very empowering. The physicality of writing and seeing your description on paper will further anchor the image and your positive response to it, and you will have it to look back at if need be. 
  • Practice your visualization while holding a talisman in your hand.  Then whenever you feel stress rising, hold and rub it between your fingers. I use a tiny silver ball with the faint, twinkling sound of chimes, to trigger both visual and auditory memories of my happy place.

I would be very interested to hear from you about your use of the Time-Out exercise; what your image is and how well it works as a stress reliever. 

My blog is http://yourgreatlife.typepad.comMy website is http://yourgreatlife.co.uk Contact information:  020 8954 2897 or lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk