Navigating Fertility Struggles through the Festive Period
As a specialist Fertility and Women’s Health acupuncturist, Anna’s focus is on supporting clients through fertility struggles and often sees these clients struggling emotionally around the Christmas period.
Navigating fertility issues during the Christmas period can be emotionally challenging, as this time of year often revolves around family, children, and celebrations.
Here are some tips to help you cope with fertility challenges during the festive period:
Know that’s it’s ok to feel how you are feeling, don’t put pressure on yourself to be ‘happy or ‘positive’.
Surround yourself with only the people who make you feel good and make space from anyone you need to.
Plan little things to look forward to like a hot chocolate and your favourite film.
Try some affirmations that feel right we don’t believe in toxic positivity ( forced positivity) but affirmations such as ‘I take things one day at a time.” I am safe and in control.” ‘I can accept myself in this moment’ can with the anxiety and worry that are often experience whilst on a fertility journey.
Watch your favourite comedies.
Plan some exciting things for the new year- don’t put your life on hold!
Acknowledge Your Feelings: It’s okay to feel a range of emotions, including sadness, frustration, or even anger. Allow yourself to feel and acknowledge these emotions without judgment.
Communicate with Your Partner: Share your thoughts and feelings with your partner. Discuss how you both want to handle holiday events and decide together which ones you feel comfortable attending.
Set Boundaries: Be honest with friends and family about your situation and let them know if you need some space or if certain topics of conversation are difficult for you. Setting boundaries can help protect your emotional well-being.
Plan Ahead: Consider planning activities that you enjoy and that can serve as a distraction during potentially challenging times. This could be anything from a quiet evening at home to a getaway to a place you both enjoy.
Create New Traditions: If the usual holiday celebrations are causing stress, consider creating new traditions that bring joy without triggering difficult emotions. This could be a vacation, a special meal, or a charitable activity.
Seek Support: Connect with others who may be going through similar experiences. Joining a support group or talking to friends who understand your situation can provide emotional support.
Self-Care: Take care of your physical and emotional well-being. Make time for activities that bring you comfort and relaxation, whether it’s reading, taking a walk, or practicing mindfulness.
Educate Loved Ones: Sometimes, well-meaning friends and family may not fully understand the emotional challenges you’re facing. Educate them about your situation, so they can be more supportive and sensitive to your needs.
Consider Professional Help: If the emotional burden becomes overwhelming, consider seeking the support of a mental health professional who specializes in fertility-related issues.
Focus on Gratitude: While it may be challenging, try to focus on the positive aspects of your life and the things you are grateful for. This mindset shift can help improve your overall well-being.
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Vaginal Microbiome Test
Gastrointestinal Microbiome test
I have diabetes or a family history of
I find it hard to lose weight
My gums bleed when I brush my teeth
My gums are swollen
I often get Mouth ulcers
I frequently have Bad breath
I have Periodontitis
Recommendation: Vaginal Microbiome Test
From the answers you have submitted, we believe taking a Vaginal microbiome test could aid your fertility. By looking at your vaginal microbiome we can assess if you have an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria which could be impacting your fertility. To arrange a test please contact Anna
Inside the vagina is a host of diverse bacteria known collectively as the vaginal microbiome. The dominance of different bacteria is influenced by where you are in your cycle, your diet, use of tampons, sexual intercourse and lifestyle.
The Bacteria found in the vagina is there to protect and influence the delicate balance in the vaginal tract. Pathogenic bacteria and Bacterial infections such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), bacterial vaginosis (BV) and urinary tract infections (UTIs) can affect fertility and pregnancy outcomes.
Research now suggests that an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria known as dysbiosis could result in problematic bacteria entering the womb causing issues with embryo implantation, and pregnancy complications.
This overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria can also have a negative impact on sperm, by coating the sperm that enters the vagina in toxins, making is less likely it will fertilise an egg.
The vaginal microbiome should be made up of a variety of Lactobacillus bacteria. Research has shown that the more good bacteria you have present the less chance of pathogenic bacterial growth, and an ideal vaginal PH will be maintained. A vaginal PH of between 3.8-4.5 is crucial for helping sperm survive the journey through the vagina to fertilise an egg and prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria.
A healthy vaginal microbiome not only increases the chances of pregnancy, and decreases the chance of miscarriage, It also impacts a babies immune system and health during birth.
Recommendation: Gastrointestinal Test
From the answers you have submitted, we believe taking a Gastrointestinal microbiome test could support your fertility. The health of our gut plays an important role in fertility. To arrange a test contact Anna.
The gut does far more than just break down the foods we eat and absorb nutrients, especially when it comes to fertility. Poor gut health can cause an estrogen imbalance, which may lead to infertility issues including endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Bacteria inside our gut plays an important role in our immune system. When our gut is unhappy it can lead to problems with our immune function causing chronic inflammation, which in turn can result in recurrent pregnancy loss. Chronic inflammation may also cause decreased progesterone levels leading to implantation failure.
Recommendation: Oral Test
From the answers you have submitted an oral test would be required. Our oral health can have an impact on fertility and pregnancy outcomes.
The Oral Microbiome and fertility
Periodontal disease (or periodontitis) is a prevalent oral health condition which has been estimated to affect 20-50% of the global population and is regarded as one of the greatest threats to oral health it is characterised by chronic inflammation of the periodontium (the tissues which surround and support the teeth) Early signs and symptoms to be aware of include swollen gums which bleed easily and halitosis (bad breath)
Periodontal disease it is linked with fertility issues, as inflammation in the gums can be spread throughout the whole body, which in turn can go on to prevent ovulation through the inhibition of hormone signalling that is required to trigger ovulation. Research has also shown the link with negative pregnancy outcomes such as miscarriage, preterm birth, and low birth weight. This may partly be driven by translocation of oral bacteria and/or their by- products into maternal circulation, which may then cross the placenta, reach the foetus, and stimulate an inflammatory response in the foetus. In turn, this may increase the risk of miscarriage or premature birth.
The Oral Microbiome and Male Reproductive Health
Periodontal disease has also been shown to negatively impact male reproductive health
•Sperm health: men with periodontal disease have been shown to have poor sperm quality, including sperm with poor motility. The intimate relationship between oral health and male reproductive health has been further elucidated by identification of oral pathogenic bacteria in the semen of men with fertility issues
• Erectile function: men with periodontal disease have been shown to be 2.85 times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction. An erection is caused by an increased flow of blood to the penis following sexual arousal, facilitated by increased production of nitric oxide (NO) in the local blood vessels which allows them to dilate, increasing blood flow. Chronic inflammation, which can be derived from the oral cavity as in the case of periodontal disease, may inhibit NO signalling and thus, drive erectile dysfunction.
No questions have been answered. For more information please contact Anna.