COVID-19 has been a challenge for many of us, however one population that may be feeling especially disappointed during all of this are individuals and couples who were hoping to embark or continue their fertility journeys through assisted therapies such as IUI, AI, and IVF (those stand for Intrauterine insemination, artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization respectively) .
As disappointing as this may be, we’ve compiled a few suggestions to help support you or anyone you know who may be struggling during this time. Even though participating in IVF or other reproductive technologies isn’t an option at the moment, by supporting your mind and body , you will be even more equipped to embark on your assisted reproductive journey when it is safe and healthy to do so.
Taking Charge of your Fertility – The book !
Depending on where you are at in your fertility journey one of the BEST books written on the topic is Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Weschler. This evidence-based book is probably the one we all should have received when we started puberty in the first place! It is full of clear, logical information which will shed light on a lot of the “myths” you may have heard and give you practical and useful information and images (ever wonder what those vaginal secretions are supposed to look like?). Even as someone with multiple degrees in health sciences and anatomy, I still learned so much for this book!
Supplements and Nutrition
With busy work schedules and always being on the go, it can be hard to keep up with eating healthy and taking care of ourselves. But as COVID has shifted how we are operating in society many of us are finding a bit more time to be cooking at home, especially as many restaurants are closed. According to the Harvard Health Blog, fertility has been shown to be augmented through certain dietary supports.
For those trying to conceive naturally, an increase in folic acid, Vitamin B12, Omega-3 fatty acids and following a Mediterranean diet are all linked to improved fertility. While for couples who are utilising assistive fertility technologies, studies suggest that isoflavones (plant-based estrogen’s with antioxidant activity often found in soybean or nuts like pistachios) as well as folic acid are correlated with higher success rates in women while male fertility seems to be enhanced with the consumption of antioxidants (think bright fruits and vegetables!). Another nutritional finding is that couples who eat seafood together often become pregnant faster than those that did not!
Although receiving all your nutrients from food sources would be ideal, there is always supplementation, especially for practical purposes, like ensuring you are getting enough folic acid. Now would be a great time to connect with a health care practitioner to specialises in fertility who may be able to guide you on your journey and advise the best supplementation protocol for you! In fact we even have a few people you can connect with right here! Our very own Sean Quigley has years of experience and specialization in this area after working at a holistic fertility clinic in Vancouver for years before joining us here in Kingston, Ontario!
Make your Bedroom a Sanctuary
Do you love your bedroom? If it feels cluttered and out of control it’s probably not the most ideal place for sleeping, and definitely not the mood you want for other bedroom things! Take this opportunity to get your bedroom right. Maybe new pillows? A candle or two that you actually LIGHT vs just let it get dusty…by creating a more relaxing and inviting space it will not only help you sleep better (integral for regulating hormonal systems) but it may make other activities more inviting as well!
Take time to heal yourself- and your relationship
No matter how good we feel we are doing and how supportive our partner is, every individual has their own story, their own strife that they deal with on a daily basis , whether it is conscious or not. Do certain topics really trigger you? Do you and your partner fall into the same patterns or arguments where neither of you is feeling particularly supported? Are you trying to figure out how to navigate having a child on your own without a partner in the picture? This time may be a wonderful opportunity to work through some emotional turmoil that may be knowingly or unknowingly holding you back, not just in terms of fertility, but in all areas of your life.
Of course therapy for either you as an individual or as a couple is a great option (and we know some great ones) but here are a few other DIY options!
- The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer https://untetheredsoul.com
- Listen to Esther Perel’s podcast- “Where should we begin” to hear all different kinds of couples share their experiences in private couples therapy sessions – you’ll be shocked to hear just how common many of our feelings in a relationship are!
- Try an online couples course! We love Esther Perel’s “Rekindling Desire” course as well!
Hopefully this will give you some inspiration during this time! As difficult as it may be to have plans derailed, this time is an opportunity for us to lean in to the truth that the world works in ways that we sometimes have no control over. So let’s focus on what we can control this week! Sending you love, light, and baby dust!
*other than links within our own site, FCHN does NOT receive any compensation for any of the products or services mentioned in this post – we share only what we use and believe in!