Entries tagged with “infertility”.


What does medical science have to say about the impact stress has on fertility and women who are dealing with infertility?

Research demonstrates the effects of stress are multilayered, including direct effects on the body and indirect effects on a person’s ability to copy and stay in treatment. If I included all the research, this newsletter would be more like the length of a doctoral dissertation. Let me review four of the studies.

In a study of women undergoing either IVF or GIFT procedures, researchers asked the question: Does stress affect fertility and pregnancy rates? The researchers looked at whether stress from a patient’s life situation or stress from the procedure negatively reduced the patient’s ability to achieve pregnancy or to have a live birth. The women were given questionnaires to rate their moods, feelings about infertility, expectation of achieving pregnancy, amount of social support, coping style, and overall stress levels. The questionnaires were completed at their first clinic visit, before and after hormone use, and before embryo transfer.

The results of this study found women who had higher expectations of achieving pregnancy and had less overall stress had a greater number of eggs retrieved and fertilized, a higher number of embryos to transfer, and a higher pregnancy rate as compared to the women who had a lower expectation of pregnancy and a higher rate of stress.

Another study looked at the impact of group psychological interventions on women who had been experiencing infertility for less than two years. This study found women who participated in a mind~body group were more likely to conceive as those who did not.

A third study looked at why women who carry insurance for IVF stop treatment before having a live birth. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents stated it was stress that stopped their participation. The main stressors reported were the impact on their relationships and feelings of anxiety and depression.

Finally, a study looked at the impact of a mind~body group on women, 40 or younger, going through their first IVF cycle. Fifty-two percent of the women participating in the group were successful, while only 20% of the control group became pregnant.

While research demonstrates a mind~body~spirit approach is not a magic pill that guarantees pregnancy, this type of approach, whether used on its own or in conjunction with a medical approach, improves the likelihood of pregnancy.

Possibly even more importantly, it lessens anxiety and depression and gives tangible coping skills for this very challenging life situation. Why do I say this is even more important that getting pregnant? You are able to return to yourself and make choices about treatment from your whole self, which means you make decisions you will be at peace with for the rest of your life.

Not only that, when you are successful, when you do bring your beautiful baby home, you will be able to be even more present and have the tools to help you with the myriad of emotions that come with being a new mother.

Whether you choose to use my products or services, or some other practitioner’s, I highly encourage you to bring this approach into your journey. Your body, mind, and spirit will be refreshed and help lay the foundation to bring you your baby.

Source

Domar AD1, Clapp D, Slawsby EA, Dusek J, Kessel B, Freizinger M. Impact of group psychological interventions on pregnancy rates in infertile women. Fertil Steril. 2000 Apr;73(4):805-11.

Domar AD1, Smith K, Conboy L, Iannone M, Alper M. A prospective investigation into the reasons why insured United States patients drop out of in vitro fertilization treatment. Fertil Steril. 2010 Sep;94(4):1457-9

Domar AD1, Rooney KL, Wiegand B, Orav EJ, Alper MM, Berger BM, Nikolovski J.
Impact of a group mind/body intervention on pregnancy rates in IVF patients. Fertil Steril. 2011 Jun;95(7):2269-73.

Klonoff-Cohen H, Chu E, Natarajan L, Seiber W. A prospective study of stress among women undergoing in vitro fertilitzation or gamete intrafallopian transfer. Fertility and Sterility 2001;76:675-687.

Jennifer Bloome is a Fertility Expert helping women energetically balance and heal their mind, body, and spirit to boost natural fertility. Jennifer is the creator of the internationally recognized Journey of the Heart series of guided meditations to support women in all stages of fertility treatment and pregnancy. For 3 no-charge guided meditations as well as information on teleclasses or individual sessions, please visit http://www.anjionline.com.

Stop Sign WhoaThis may sound like strange advice coming from someone whose business is based on fertility meditations and Unlock Your Fertility coaching services:

Sometimes the best step you can take for your fertility is to remove your focus from fertility.

Why?

When you are over-focused on doing for your fertility, several things can happen:

  1. You are so focused on the doing, so much that you don’t achieve the being-state, which is an important part of whatever technique or method you are using.For example: Let’s say you decide to take a yoga for fertility class. Except, you are also doing acupuncture. Meditation CDs. Eating a whole foods fertility diet. Oh, and working 40+ hours to save up for a potential IVF down the road.So, you fit in the yoga for fertility class, but you race to get there, enjoy the class, but then you are off to somewhere else immediately, completely losing the Zen state you achieved.

    Yes, you can “tick” the box that states, “Take a yoga fertility class.” But, you aren’t letting it completely work for you. Just showing up and doing the class isn’t what creates the changes within your body.

  2. You are so focused that you begin to think you are the one who is creating the pregnancy (or not).Your job is to be in alignment (energetically, physically, and spiritually) with fertility, the actual process of conception will happen outside of your will.When you get micro-focused on every single detail, you create this sense of needing everything to be “perfect” and feeling super stressed when that doesn’t happen. Or, you end up beating yourself up because no matter how hard you work, conception isn’t happening.

    This puts your body in the opposite state to fertility.

  3. You view everything in your life through the lens of (in)fertility.You spend all your time in comparison (to your friends, family, people in the news). (In)fertility masks everything else in your life and leaches every ounce of joy from all aspects of your life. Life becomes, in a word: miserable.

So does this mean you should revert to not thinking about fertility at all, drink wine constantly, and become a complete couch potato?

Well, perhaps.

What I am suggesting is to dive deeply into thinking about what it is you are attempting to create as you focus on your fertility. My answer to that question is that you are creating the space with your mind, body, and spirit to allow a pregnancy.

Sometimes, to create that space, you need to shift your focus away from fertility. Instead, place that focus on creating peace. Quiet within your body. Learning to receive. Releasing old resentments. Trusting the Universe to bring you what you want.

Read over that list again. How does your body — not your mind — respond? Can you feel a sense of ease? That’s exactly what you want to create.

Maybe a glass of wine isn’t a bad start.

Jennifer Bloome is a Fertility Expert helping women energetically balance and heal their mind, body, and spirit to boost natural fertility. Jennifer is the creator of the internationally recognized Journey of the Heart series of guided meditations to support women in all stages of fertility treatment and pregnancy. For 3 no-charge guided meditations as well as information on teleclasses or individual sessions, please visit www.AnjiOnline.com.

When you fight against your infertility as opposed to opening to your fertility, you actively engage the fight or flight (stress) response, which negatively impacts the very system within your body you want to heal and engage.

So many of us are trained to “fight” for what we want. To push. To strive. To plan. To make it happen.

When it doesn’t work to create your family this way, it’s as if your whole world shifts on its axis.

How do you create something in a new way?

The first step comes in acknowledging that being is as important as doing.

Being could look like:

Meditation
Enjoying nature
Quietly watching a crackling fire
Yoga

Being can also look like noticing where you are already a creative, fertile being.

A good question to ask yourself every day is: “How do I choose to be today?”

When you include this question daily, you’ll be on your way to laying a great foundation for opening to your fertility.

Jennifer Bloome is a Fertility Expert helping women energetically balance and heal their mind, body, and spirit to boost natural fertility. Jennifer is the creator of the internationally recognized Journey of the Heart series of guided meditations to support women in all stages of fertility treatment and pregnancy. For 3 no-charge guided meditations as well as information on teleclasses or individual sessions, please visit www.AnjiOnline.com.

In order for healthy conception to occur, your mind~body~spirit system must be open, communicating, and supportive of your intellectual desire to conceive. Each aspect of the system can place ‘stop signs’ to conception. Now, that’s anthropomorphizing in a big way… and yet, our mind~body~spirit system is a very alive system that has many moving parts, all working together to bring your heart’s/soul’s desire to physical existence.

What gets in the way of this happening? Why WOULDN’T your system work towards creating your heart’s desire?

The simple answer to this question is: safety.

Your mind~body~spirit’s main job is to keep you safe and alive. It’s in easy to think of some forms of safety: keeping you from stepping out in front of a bus, or deciding not to slip into bath water that makes your foot reflexes recoil from water so hot you would burn your skin. But what if safety came from your belief that you can’t share your true thoughts? Or that it was more important that someone else be happy than you? Or if something comes easily to you, you don’t deserve it?

Where do these beliefs come from?

Life experience. And not necessarily even your OWN life experience.

Most of our beliefs are in place by the age of seven. Some people even say three. So as an adult, you’re making decisions and beliefs from a child’s point of view.

What’s more: the part of brain responsible for recording emotions begins developing from the second day of conception. Can you have emotions this early? Your Mother did. From very, very early on in your Mother’s pregnancy with you, you were picking up on her emotional experiences and her vibrations.

If there was some stress and then some relief and then some stress and some relief then you learned that when stress happens, peace isn’t far behind. But, if there was a lot of fear and worry and no relief — your very basic systems learned the world isn’t a place to be trusted.

By the age of three you already developed the “lens” you look at life through.

Add to that the other beliefs you may have learned as you are growing up: keep quiet. Children are a hassle. You can’t have what you want. These beliefs weren’t yours to start with; they simply came with your experience.

You might begin to think that you are doomed. Or I’m telling you to place blame squarely on someone else’s shoulders. Not at all.

The idea is to begin to take a look at your own beliefs about the world. Are they really true? What do you really want to believe? How could NOT getting pregnant seem like a safer solution to your body than GETTING pregnant?

That last question’s a doozy. At least it can be when you haven’t thought about conceiving from a mind~body~spirit perspective. The first step is to find the beliefs. The next step is to begin to build new beliefs and remove those stop signs your body thinks are keeping you safe.

You hold the power to change the “lens” through which you see the world. The “lens” that creates the beliefs that can create the stop signs to conception. How wonderful will it be to clean house of the beliefs that are creating things in your life that weren’t even yours to begin with!

Jennifer Bloome is a Fertility Expert helping women energetically balance and heal their mind, body, and spirit to boost natural fertility. Jennifer is the creator of the internationally recognized Journey of the Heart series of guided meditations to support women in all stages of fertility treatment and pregnancy. For 3 no-charge guided meditations as well as information on teleclasses or individual sessions, please visit www.AnjiOnline.com.

A very common reaction when you begin learning how your thoughts and emotions affect your fertility is to say, “You mean you’re telling me it’s all my fault? It’s all my fault that my health or my life isn’t the way I want?”

From there it is so easy to slip into feeling guilty and shameful (“How could I have let myself think like this?” or “Why didn’t I know this sooner?”), or to begin to slip into anger at being blamed. “Why in the world would I ever choose to have fertility issues?” “What series of thoughts or beliefs would I ever choose to have that would lead to miscarriage or loss?”

Here’s the thing: it’s not a conscious choice. Of course, you would never consciously choose these outcomes, these challenges. Your web of thoughts, emotions, and beliefs (dating back to your experiences as a very young child) affects your fertility at a subconscious level.

Mind~Body connection does NOT mean you are consciously choosing to have difficulty conceiving. There’s absolutely no blame; simply an opportunity to learn how to positively affect your fertility now you are aware of factors that used to be outside of your control.

Mind~Body connection does NOT mean you are causing fertility issues because of not being able to handle life’s everyday ups and downs. It’s not as simple as just relaxing more.

That doesn’t change the fact, though, that feeling blamed is the number one reason why people leave Mind~Body information behind.

Mind~Body work is about realizing the power of your thoughts and beliefs, and choosing to take responsibility for your own thoughts and emotions from this point forward.

It is about looking at your underlying thoughts and beliefs to see what is creating the dis-ease in your day-to-day life. Then once you have that knowledge, learning how to use that same connection to create the emotional and physical health you want.

But responsibility is NOT about judging your thoughts and emotions by assigning fault, blame, shame. Or, allowing someone else to judge you and invalidate your feelings and experiences because it’s “your fault. “In fact, all of these work against the very goal you are working to achieve.

Though, so many of us were raised to believe creating shameful thoughts about ourselves would motivate us to do more, to achieve more. However, motivation through shame leaves behind scars that create even more physical or emotional dis-ease.

Mind~Body work is about learning to look at this unconscious web of thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, and take responsibility for your emotions now that you know how they can affect your fertility. This means you don’t have to feel like a victim anymore. There are concrete steps you can take to creating the physical and emotional health you desire. How empowering is that?

I want to leave you with this idea: The fertility you have today is in part a product of your thoughts and emotions from yesterday. What you think about and experience today creates your fertility of tomorrow. Are you ready?

Jennifer Bloome is a Fertility Expert helping women energetically balance and heal their mind, body, and spirit to boost natural fertility. Jennifer is the creator of the internationally recognized Journey of the Heart series of guided meditations to support women in all stages of fertility treatment and pregnancy. For 3 no-charge guided meditations as well as information on teleclasses or individual sessions, please visit www.AnjiOnline.com.

From a Western Medicine prospective, or even from what we value here in the United States, getting to a “better feeling place” doesn’t really rank very high in importance. In fact, Americans tend to take on the personal mantra: No pain, No gain.

When it comes to your body and your fertility, nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve spent time in this newsletter and in all my classes sharing with you what happens when you push yourself relentlessly and ignore the pain that infertility typically brings.

What I would like to share with you today are the benefits that come from trying something new and making feeling better one of your highest priorities.

You will find a wealth of benefits throughout your Mind~Body~Spirit system. I’ll take them one by one. Here’s what you can expect in each aspect of your system when you step into the better feeling place:

Mind

  • Immediately, any fog or cloudiness in your mind will begin to clear.
  • You’ll be able to make decisions again.
  • The wear and tear of obsessive thoughts will disappear.
  • Emotions like hope, believe, and expectation will begin to become possibilities again.

Body

  • The ever present low level stress in your body that engages the stress response will stop.
  • Your cells will move from “protect mode” to “growth mode,” allowing them to function at their peak potential.
  • The pressure will come off your reproductive organs as well as multiple systems in your body like your immune system, endocrine system, and neurological system. Now they can communicate with each other and work at their fullest potential.

Spirit

  • As you release the pressure at both the level of the mind and the body, you become even more connected to Spirit, God, Your Higher Self, Universal Energy — whatever word you use to describe the higher power that is part of all of us.
  • As you open back up to your connection, you allow the full power to flow through you again, allowing you access to eternal wisdom and insights.
  • When you open up to a higher power, you immediately take the burden off of you — such relief.
  • You open up to the wisdom of this higher power. No longer do you have to live, wondering about the “how’s” or “when’s.” You follow the insights that come up, but you no longer have to push hard and choose everything.

Stepping into a better feeling place isn’t a one time action and you don’t have to do it all at once. Each time you make a small step or make a small decision to step into a better feeling place, you bring yourself that much closer to all the benefits I listed.

And, since what you really want is to have a family — you can think of everything else as a “side effect.” How many other fertility enhancers can provide a list like this?

Jennifer Bloome is a Fertility Expert helping women energetically balance and heal their mind, body, and spirit to boost natural fertility. Jennifer is the creator of the internationally recognized Journey of the Heart series of guided meditations to support women in all stages of fertility treatment and pregnancy. For 3 no-charge guided meditations as well as information on teleclasses or individual sessions, please visit www.AnjiOnline.com.

As humans, we crave meaning. We need to know WHY something is happening. Perhaps it’s the thought that if we know the “why,” we’ll know the “how” to solve the issue that fuels the search.

Sometimes, though, the unresolved search for meaning leads to considerable stress and leads us to ask questions that are even more difficult to answer. Because they are difficult to answer, we often “make up” our own meanings that come more from our wounded self than from Truth.

A question that often comes up when I speak to clients is: “Is it possible that I’m just not supposed to have children? Maybe God doesn’t want me to have children?” Sometimes clients have already decided they are being punished by God. Or simply, children aren’t part of their life purpose.

If this is something you have been thinking about, here’s my suggestion.

When you are dealing with an issue as charged as infertility or loss, it is easy for the hurt part of your mind to give you an answer that isn’t true.

To get a true answer, schedule a time when you can go somewhere very quiet and a place that you feel most connected with your higher power. Spend several minutes just breathing. Allow yourself to come into this present moment. Then, in whatever way feels most comfortable and authentic, connect with your higher power.

When you feel the connection, ask the question: are children part of my life path?

Notice the impulses and intuition that you receive.

Connecting and asking the question from a quiet and centered space is the only way to get a clear answer. This allows you to get an answer that is not from your conscious mind or the part of you that has been hurt over and over.

No matter what your question, this process will help you receive answers; and you will stay out of the negative downward stress spiral that comes when the hurt part of you is trying desperately to answer the question.

Jennifer Bloome is a Fertility Expert helping women energetically balance and heal their mind, body, and spirit to boost natural fertility. Jennifer is the creator of the internationally recognized Journey of the Heart series of guided meditations to support women in all stages of fertility treatment and pregnancy. For 3 no-charge guided meditations as well as information on teleclasses or individual sessions, please visit www.AnjiOnline.com.

How many times have you heard women are born with all the eggs they will ever produce? How many times have you heard there is nothing you can do to change the health of your ovaries, follicles, and resulting eggs?

Neither of these is true and it breaks my heart each time I hear a new client talk with me about these fears.

Dr. Randine Lewis addressed both of these issues very eloquently in a recent blog post. If you are not aware of Randine’s work with fertility, please visit her site at TheFertileSoul.com, or pick up a copy of her book, The Infertility Cure.

I am sharing her full article with you today.

Can Women Make New Eggs?

By Dr. Randine Lewis
TheFertileSoul.com

A new study confirmed the underlying belief, unproven, that the ovary contains deep, hidden stem cells, capable of becoming new eggs. It was previously believed that a woman’s ovarian potential was determined before birth, and was incapable of being improved upon. While science hasn’t been able to study ovarian potential from healthy, living ovarian tissue, rodent studies have supported the idea that mammalian ovarian cells have a potential to produce new cells. Yet, the only tissue science has previously had to study was pathological or diseased tissue, removed from the body. It was previously proven that menopausal ovaries, when placed in a younger, healthier body, were capable of ovulating again. Science does not know how, why, or under what circumstances those stem cells can produce eggs.

The ovaries respond to cues from the internal environment (the blood circulation, hormones, nutritional status, oxygenation, stress hormones in the blood., toxin and antioxidant levels…) and create a follicular environment to mimic the body’s internal response to its external environment. It is within that follicular environment that the eggs (which have been in a dormant state since before birth) undergo meiosis, and wait to see if they will be selected for maturation and ovulation.

Knowing that ovarian tissue is capable of producing new eggs, and knowing that primordial follicles remain dormant until called into circulation by communicating with the body’s internal environment (which is based on her emotional interpretation of the external environment), let me provide a couple of stories from women I have treated.

  • A woman underwent high dose radiation and chemotherapy, which “killed” her ovaries. She conceived naturally.
  • A woman in ovarian failure, with an FSH value over 100, conceived naturally.
  • A woman conceived during her 7th IVF at age 47.
  • A woman conceived naturally with ¼ of one ovary.
  • A woman conceived naturally with only one ovary on the left, and only one fallopian tube, on the right.
  • A woman gave birth to her first child, conceived naturally, at age 48.

The body is capable of miraculous feats, when provided the right cues. I am less concerned with how to manipulate stem cells in the lab ten years from now, than I am with providing the right environment where the body can call upon its deepest, dormant potential now.

While the examples might be clinical anecdotes and not research worthy, the beauty of these stories is that each of the women above had to call upon a higher potential within.

According to Chinese medicine, the energy that stirs this primordial potential comes not from the Kidneys (which govern the ovaries), but from the Heart (Spirit’s) interaction with the primordial potential within the ovaries. Energetically, ones highest potential must reach into one’s most basic potential.

When an internal pressure cooker is provided (like the fertility journey,) an internal state of tension is produced, requiring one to call upon this higher level of interaction. If it isn’t accessed, the HPO axis continues on its previous (horizontal) pathway of decline. When a woman can access her heart’s highest potential, we can consider it an evolutionary jump, calling upon that hidden (vertical) potential to now manifest at a higher level.

Dr. Randine Lewis is the author of The Way of The Fertile Soul (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2007) and The Infertility Cure (Little, Brown & Company, 2004), and her work is regularly featured in the international media including on CBS’ The Early Show and in the Washington Post, The Economist, the Wall Street Journal Europe, the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Elle magazine, Organic Style magazine, Pregnancy magazine and other publications. Dr Lewis is also the creator of The Fertile Soul ® body, mind, spirit program of deep internal healing based upon Taoist and Chinese medical practices. For more information, including retreats, please visit www.TheFertileSoul.com.

 

Dealing with infertility means becoming exposed to many difficult topics. You are inundated with facts and figures about age and chromosomes. You experience first hand the heartbreak of loss, whether that is the loss of trust in your body, the loss of the naïveté other women get to have regarding pregnancy, or the loss of a baby.

Of course you don’t want to spend any more time than you have to dealing with the difficult topics.

However, from a body/mind perspective, it makes a difference HOW you handle the difficult topics. Sometimes, instinct makes you want to turn away from the difficult topics, to protect your heart, to keep from being completely overwhelmed. Oftentimes, the easiest way to do this is to bury the emotions, the memories, and the thoughts.

The problem with this, to borrow the title from a wonderful book on this topic, “feelings buried alive NEVER die.” Not only do they not die, they go on living in your subconscious and the cells of your body. They are very much alive and influencing how the cells of your body are acting and behaving.

Stay with me here, because I know this can be an overwhelming concept at first. It is NOT my goal to have you scared of your thoughts and emotions. In fact, you have more power than you know when it comes to these thoughts and emotions.

Here’s the key to handling thoughts and emotions: Instead of feeling like the choice is to either bury the emotion down deep or to push it away and try to pretend your way into having it not bother you, take your feelings or your thoughts one step at a time.

Take the “scary” or emotional thought and see what the next best thought is you can have about it. The new thought doesn’t have to be all bright and shiny and positive, that’s not going to be believable. It just has to be a little bit better than the thought before.

So for example, let’s take the thought:

“My body is never going to do what I want it to do.”

Shift that to:

“My body hasn’t been doing what I want it to do.”

Feel the difference in those two statements. Read them each out loud and really feel the difference.

Shift that to:

“I’m learning new ways to work with my body that I didn’t know about before.”

Now, read the first statement and this statement out loud. Feel the difference.

If you never take this thought any farther, can you feel the difference of where you have “left” your thoughts and emotions on this topic? Even a shift like this will make a profound difference in the cells of your body and your reproductive system.

As you get more skilled with shifting your thoughts, you will discover the power that your thoughts and emotions truly hold.

Jennifer Bloome is a Fertility Expert helping women energetically balance and heal their mind, body, and spirit to boost natural fertility. Jennifer is the creator of the internationally recognized Journey of the Heart series of guided meditations to support women in all stages of fertility treatment and pregnancy. For 3 no-charge guided meditations as well as information on teleclasses or individual sessions, please visit www.AnjiOnline.com.

When there is something you want — but don’t have yet — you can end up focusing so hard on what you don’t have that there isn’t any space left to allow in what you do want.

"If I just hold on a little harder, work a little harder, I’ll receive what I want."

This is what we’re all taught, right? If I am just "good enough" or if I "sacrifice enough" I’ll prove to whomever makes the rules that I should really have what I want.

In truth, you just get more and more, and more closed, and hurt and tired as you make your grip tighter and tighter onto the thought that you don’t have what you want. Your heart and your body close down and you retreat from the world around you.

NOT the path to getting what you want — particularly fertility. Fertility is about openness, nurturing, nourishment.

As difficult as it sounds, begin to release your grip on those "don’t have" thoughts. Allow yourself to become more open and you will find yourself opening up to receive what you want.

But, being closed helps to keep the pain away and keep you safe, right? On the surface, it feels like this is true, and yet, being closed cuts everything off.

Think of having a deep cut on your arm. Initially, putting a tourniquet above the cut keeps the blood from spilling out. But, if you left that tourniquet in place for too long, there would be no nutrients or oxygen coming to that part of your arm and eventually, it would die.

Taking the first step to opening is often the hardest. Here is an energy technique to help ease the fear:

Place your right hand on your right temple, and your left hand on your left temple. Begin to gently tap on the bone. Staying on the bone, tap up and over your ears. While you are tapping, say out loud, "It is safe to open back up. I am ready to open back up." Repeat 5 times.

Now consider this: how can I open up to my FERTILITY instead of closing down because of my INFERTTILITY?

Jennifer Bloome is a Fertility Expert helping women energetically balance and heal their mind, body, and spirit to boost natural fertility. Jennifer is the creator of the internationally recognized Journey of the Heart series of guided meditations to support women in all stages of fertility treatment and pregnancy. For 3 no-charge guided meditations as well as information on teleclasses or individual sessions, please visit www.AnjiOnline.com.