The desire to start a family is a powerful one, and should be the highlight of any loving relationship. However, for some couples, conceiving a child is fraught with stress, setbacks and failures, creating an emotional rollercoaster.
Approximately 1 in 6 couples will experience difficulty whilst trying for a baby, and there are a number of factors that can affect your chances. Unexplained Fertility is probably one of the most difficult issues to come to terms with as we expect the medical profession in a world of modern science and advanced technology to have all the answers. Some couples find themselves in a state of numbness, limbo and helplessness. However, even when couples are told they can’t have children, ‘miracle’ babies are still born.
Even today, woman assume that if they are having trouble conceiving, it is something they are doing wrong, or something is wrong with them. However, the statistics show this is true in only 30% of cases; 30% is men’s fertility issues, 30% is both parents have problems, and 10% is unexplained.
One of the biggest surveys on Male fertility in France showed that between 1989 and 2005, the average sperm counts fell by a third, and the percentage of sperm with abnormalities and mobility problems has increased. So, what has changed to cause this decline? Much of it seems to be linked to lifestyle, environment and diet.
In a modern face paced world, we expect everything to happen instantly, including getting pregnant. Yet even a healthy couple will be trying for an average of 18 months before they conceive, so sometimes we think there is a problem when in fact we are just being impatient!
Statically, 84% of couples will be pregnant within a year, and around 92% of couples who are trying for a baby will be pregnant within 2 years. Remember, nature works at a much slower pace than we do with our hectic lifestyles!
So, can Reflexology help with Fertility?
There is strong evidence to suggest that many people have benefited from Reflexology, and the success stories are often printed in the news. The Daily Mail printed a success story in March 2003 about a couple who had been trying for their second child for 3 years. Doctors told Mrs Chapman that she had a hormone problem, so IVF would be a waste of time, and she was devastated.
With nothing to lose, she had three months of Reflexology, and at the end was delighted to see her hormone levels had returned to normal. She fell pregnant soon afterwards, and gave birth to healthy baby boy they named Fraser.
The Telegraph posted an article online in June 2008 about a woman who was so impressed with Reflexology after having her own miracle baby that she went on to set up a complementary clinic and now helps other women become pregnant.
In February 2015, the Mail Online published an article about a Reflexologist in Wales who has helped over 300 couples conceive miracle babies with Reflexology and Reiki. It follows the success story of Rebecca Jones who was advised to have a hysterectomy for her endometriosis. She had surgery to release her ovary which was stuck in her abdomen, but it caused so much damage she had to have her right tube removed, leaving her with a less than 50% chance of conceiving. After receiving treatment at the clinic she conceived naturally, and went on to have the child she had always dreamed of.
How to increase your success rate
Infertility has been linked to heavy metals in the blood stream such as lead, mercury and cadmium. Stress, food intolerances, smoking alcohol and urinary infections all play a factor in reducing your chances of getting pregnant.
Here are some ideas for couples - make healthy changes to your environment, diet and lifestyle before trying to conceive to increase your fertility naturally.
Check your vitamin and mineral intake – folic acid is important for females and zinc and magnesium are essential for healthy sperm. Diets with low levels of zinc and magnesium have been linked to infertility in women. Foods rich in Zinc include brown rice, lentils, organic nuts and seeds. Add sunflower seeds, pumpkins seeds and linseeds to any low-sugar breakfast cereal as these are high in minerals and essential fats. Leafy green vegetables, honey, beans and nuts are all good sources of magnesium.
Reduce coffee, cola, chocolate and alcohol intake - which all contain caffeine. Caffeine has been found to reduce sperm mobility, affect impotence and reduce the chance of conception. Try caffeine free alternatives such as fruit teas, dandelion tea and green tea.
Reduce saturated fat, refined sugars, and salt intake – they provide empty calories and upset hormone balance, as well as depleting the body of the nutrients needed to conceive. Cut out convenience foods such as white bread, pastries, cakes, biscuits and sugary cereals.
Switch to organic foods - eating less processed and tinned foods at the same time. Organic foods contain fewer chemicals and hormones which often disrupt the hormone balance needed to conceive. Offspring in cattle exposed to high levels of pesticides are known to be born with higher levels of malformation. Choose lean organic poultry and meat, eggs, fish and vegetables.
Stop smoking – cigarettes contain the heavy metal cadmium which competes against Zinc.
Keep cool – the testes need to be two degrees cooler than normal body temperature to produce sperm. Mobile phones, laptops, tablets, cookers, saunas and tight pants will all increase the heat in this area. If you are deskbound, or drive long distances, wear loose fitting underwear and trousers, and reduce your exposure to electronic equipment, especially on your lap.
Drink more water - Much of the water in the UK is contaminated with high levels fluoride, aluminium, copper and cadmium, as well as pesticide residue and traces of the contraceptive pill, all working against you conceiving. Drink filtered water to keep levels of heavy metals down, also keeping you hydrated which will increase the chances of conceiving.
Exercise – not too intense as to create too much heat, but gentle yoga is perfect. Also get a BMI (Body Mass Index) check as weight can affect your fertility. A healthy range is between 25-25.
Stress relief – this is a stressful time for many couples. When Women are under stress, the body releases adrenaline and shuts down the endocrine system, preventing conception. Any activity which you enjoy and helps you relax is great. You could try crafting, swimming, walking, listening to music, gardening, or taking a nap! Reflexology can be placed in this category too.
For more information, watch this short video from the association of Reflexologists.
Don't lose hope. When the Sun goes down, the Stars come out.