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Fertility 360

A look at the emotional cause behind a physical issue



Emotional Cause behind physical issue

A’ndrea Reiter looks at emotional cause behind the physical issue with one of her clients who struggled with Endometriosis.

In my fertility practice, I find there is always an emotional cause behind the physical issue and once that emotional aspect has been resolved it can positively affect the physical problem. I often use the analogy of a warning light on a car dashboard which, when lit acts as a warning that there is a problem which needs addressing.

Similarly, our bodies are letting us know that something requires attention when we come across problems with our fertility. In my practice, I have seen PCOS, endometriosis, male infertility, thyroid issues and unexplained infertility disappear once the emotional cause was dealt with.

Here is an account of one of my clients who conceived against all odds by addressing the underlying emotional issues that were causing her physical pain.

This is Lea’s story

When I first chatted with Lea, she explained that she had experienced a range of ongoing illnesses since her late teenage years. She had addressed her autoimmune issues with a strict gluten-free diet but was still plagued by a vicious case of endometriosis. This not only made her daily life (and especially around the time of her cycle) very painful but also made it harder to conceive naturally. She had been to a Chinese medicine doctor and taken many herbs and medications which had not solved the issue.

It is vital that we look at the ‘whole person’ rather than focusing on one issue or organ such as the uterus to get an understanding of the real problem(s). Like most of my clients, Lea had a combination of issues which were affecting her fertility. These could be broken down into four categories: External factors, Beliefs/Mindset, Body/Physical issues, and Energy/Law of Attraction.

External Factors

External factors include things like having a stressful job, family problems, or financial issues which can adversely affect our stress levels.

Lea was a PhD student who was also an editor at a very prominent magazine and was doing additional freelance work. This left her constantly stressed, never able to take a break and always falling behind in something. The main function of your brain is to keep you alive and safe (the so-called fight or flight response) – when you are not taking care of yourself your brain switches on its flight or flight mode and will effectively shut down your reproductive capacity, saving you from more stress.


Beliefs are thoughts and feelings which we construct and accept. These beliefs may not necessarily be based on fact but we come to treat them as such. Beliefs originate from many sources such as doctors, parents, and teachers; they can arise from our life experience or be adopted from wider societal norms. Beliefs can be surreptitious; they may lurk in our sub-conscience for years and years and only surface periodically. If our brain considers these beliefs as being a threat to our health and safety it will effectively block us from moving forward.

Lea had a complicated web of beliefs which were an ever-present reminder of how her life was playing out – ‘I’m running out of time; It should have happened by now, it’s never going to happen for me’ were very strongly held beliefs. Added to these, she also believed that as she suffered from multiple illnesses so would any baby.

Overthinking can create scenarios that create fear. Mindset work can dismantle this fear and turn it into a positive. It can neutralize your energy and enable you to move forward with certainty rather than an irrational fear. The power of positivity far outweighs the negativity surrounding the belief of ‘what might go wrong’.

Lea faced these fears, many of which had been going on for years and she is no longer plagued by them. This made her brain feel safe, so her fight or flight switch turned off, and her uterus turned back on!

Body/Physical Issues

Everybody part represents an emotion. For example, our knees are associated with our flexibility (or lack thereof) as a person and the throat enables us to voice opinions and needs. The body can be used as a brilliant map to discover what emotional patterns we need to address.

Lea had one of the most severe cases of endometriosis I have ever seen. It was wrapped around her uterus and bowels; she had one ovary removed and one fallopian tube was blocked. This would obviously overwhelm anyone, and not surprisingly she had been advised that IVF was her only treatment option.

Endometriosis is the physical manifestation of a number of emotional causes including
insecurity, disappointment, frustration, and blame. The reproductive organs are located in the Sacral Chakra which represents creativity, children, and relationships (family or romantic). The bowels embody the fear of letting go and releasing what no longer serves you.

In order that we might address the physical manifestation, we had to identify the emotional cause.

One of the things that arose was that Lea had a strained relationship with her mother for her entire life. Lea’s mother was controlling; she demanded high standards and wanted Lea to be feminine but Lea was a solitary and non-conformist child and young adult. She never matched her mother’s expectations and as a consequence, there were a lot of feelings of frustration, blame, and insecurity around her growing up.

In addition, Lea had experienced difficulties with her husband’s family who culturally different to herself. They held certain ‘traditional’ expectations and blamed Lea for not producing grandchildren. Lea was subject to passive aggressive treatment which caused her frustration, depression, and rage.

I worked with Lea to identify and address expectations that others’ held and enabled her to view herself in a positive light. By accepting and cherishing her personal and emotional strengths Lea was able to move forward, get pregnant and banish her endometriosis symptoms.

Energy/Law of Attraction

According to the Law of Attraction, like energy attracts like energy. For example, if you constantly say “getting pregnant is hard” and you have low expectations these will be matched with pessimistic thoughts and experiences such as negative pregnancy test results.

Lea held her a negative opinion of herself. Her experience of autoimmune diseases in her twenties, as well as endometriosis and subsequent infertility, affected her faith in her own body. However, as the body takes orders from the brain, the blame lies here. We needed to shift her energy – as long as she was seeing herself as defective, she was attracting a match to that energy which was preventing her getting pregnant. We, therefore, began focusing on what her body was doing right; thanking it for all it does on a daily basis and restoring trust in it.

She always felt that she was focusing on trying to get better and “fix” her physical condition. That may sound positive on the surface, but from a Law of Attraction perspective, “I have to fix it,” actually says to the Universe, “I’m broken. I’m defective.” So that’s the energy she was being met with. A few energetic tweaks like this and she was on her way.

Lea is now 40 and had with one ovary, one blocked fallopian tube and severe endometriosis. The medical opinion was that she couldn’t conceive naturally. She overcame the odds however and achieved it. She has had a healthy pregnancy and is due in early 2018.

By looking at the mindset component you can uncover the mental blocks that are causing the physical issue and not only move your fertility along, but every area of your life. You are no different than Lea. You can do this. And if you need help, visit

All the best on your journeys, mamas.

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Fertility 360

Study Points To Fertility As A Leading Economic Indicator



Study Points To Fertility As A Leading Economic Indicator

Many research studies have shown that when the economy does well, people have more babies, and when the economy does poorly, they give birth less.

New research from the University of Notre Dame, however, discovers something unique — people appear to stop conceiving babies several months before recessions begin.

The study, “Is Fertility a Leading Economic Indicator?” was published Feb. 26 in the National Bureau of Economic Research’s working paper series. It is coauthored by Notre Dame economics professors Kasey Buckles and Daniel Hungerman, and Steven Lugauer from the University of Kentucky.

The team compared conceptions to other well-known economic indicators — such as consumer confidence and durables purchases — over the past 30 years and found that conceptions fall at the same time or even before other indicators whenever a recession is about to start.

“We show that for the last three recessions, conceptions predicted the downturn just as well as traditional economic indicators did,” Buckles says.

The team examined data on more than 100 million births spanning decades in the United States. Unlike most studies that use data aggregated up to the year level, the NBER paper focuses on the timing of births within the year using monthly or quarterly data, which allowed the researchers to study changes occurring months before a recession — changes that papers using annual data would miss.

“Once you examine monthly or quarterly data, the pattern becomes obvious,” Hungerman says. “We show the existence and magnitude of this pattern before the Great Recession, and it’s striking since that recession was famously hard to predict. None of the experts saw it coming, and in its first few months, many business leaders were convinced the economy was doing OK — even as the number of conceptions plummeted and had been falling for a while.

“While the cyclicality of fertility has been studied before, the possibility that conceptions change months before recessions begin has not been shown before,” he says. “In fact, some well-known studies have even declared that the pattern we find shouldn’t exist.”

“One way to think about this,” Buckles says, “is that the decision to have a child often reflects one’s level of optimism about the future.”

The study also shows conceptions are slow to rebound when recessions end. The Great Recession famously had a “jobless recovery.” This study finds it also had a “babyless recovery.”

The paper is available online at

Also published on Medium.

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Fertility 360

Rainbow Babies: Tips To Move Through The Joys, Fears And Tears Of Pregnancy After Loss



Rainbow Babies

Congratulations! You’re pregnant! Everyone around you is excited except, perhaps, for you. Last time this happened and/or the time before that and/or the time before that, the pregnancy didn’t continue. You may have had a miscarriage, a stillbirth or a neonatal loss. You may have felt isolation, grief, anger.

In fact, you may have thought this pregnancy would resolve these feelings when, in fact, you’ve been noticing lately that they’re all still lurking in the background. To make matters worse, you may now be feeling petrified you’ll lose this baby too. Worry, fear and uncertainty are very commonly felt by pregnant people who’ve experienced a loss.

Here are some suggestions to help you move through the challenges and enjoy pregnancy again.

1) It was not your fault
Whatever happened last time, it was not your fault. Not all pregnancies are perfect. Not all births end up in live babies. You did your best. Shitty things happen. It was not your fault.

2) Choose the right health care provider
It’s normal to be emotionally vulnerable. It’s normal to feel anxiety. It’s normal to want a million extra appointments but then simultaneously feel like that high after your fourth ultrasound was too short-lived. It’s also normal to be happy.

Research suggests that pregnant people following a loss do better with care providers that respect their unique experiences. Most often, this can be found in a care provider that provides strong continuity. For some this is someone they’ve worked with in a previous pregnancy. Others prefer to start afresh. Good, consistent professional support that honours your individual experiences is not only important for your personal wellbeing but it also improves pregnancy outcomes.

3) Ask for what you need
After a loss, many people find the need for more personalised care to support them through their pregnancy and birth. If you think you need a more frequent schedule of visits for your own wellbeing, ask. If you want to know how to get reassurance in the middle of the night, ask. If you need them to start the appointment with a fetal heart rate check, ask. If you want an additional ultrasound for reassurance, ask. Take an active role in planning your pregnancy and birth. If you’re not finding your care providers responsive, ask to change to someone else. Research suggests that feeling a sense of control in your journey can help you enjoy your pregnancy again.

4) Build your community
After experiencing loss, it’s not uncommon to delay emotional involvement in a subsequent pregnancy and that’s okay. This is your pregnancy and your baby. You get to decide when you announce your pregnancy to the world. You get to decide how you feel about your baby. However, sometimes this valuable protective mechanism also deprives us of seeking necessary support. Many woman do not get adequate emotional and psychological support to deal with their feelings.

While you may be turning to your partner, he or she may also be processing the pregnancy differently, particularly at triggering times, for they are on their own journey of isolation, grief, anger. Bring those into your community who will be there for you when things are tough. Ask your care provider to connect you with someone who’s experienced loss. Consider seeing if there are any support groups in your area for folks who’ve had similar experiences to your own. Research suggests group support helps diminish feelings of isolation and allows for stronger relationships between partners moving forward.

5) Prepare for your rainbow baby
The vast majority of people who’ve experienced losses do go on to have healthy babies. We call them rainbow babies. For, they are the beautiful babies we welcome into the world after the storm that is loss. Just think: you’re pregnant with your rainbow baby! Find ways for you and your support people to celebrate milestones, even when you’re feeling fears to the contrary. Find ways to do the things that normalise, even if a bit of adaptation is necessary.

If you think you’d feel isolated attending a regular childbirth education class, sign up for a private one instead. Read positive books about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. Do the silly things you always imagined you’d do. Be determined to maintain hope: your rainbow baby is on the horizon!

If you want to find more support you can contact Rishma via her website

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Fertility 360

If You Wish To Get Pregnant Do Not Waste Time. Put Yourself In The Very Best Hands



If You Wish To Get Pregnant Do Not Waste Time. Put Yourself In The Very Best Hands

Time-wasting is not an option when racing against the clock. When the aim of that race is to get pregnant, missed opportunities can never be recuperated. If a woman is of a certain age and not getting pregnant, there is only one sensible piece of advice: put yourself in the very best hands and do not leave what quality reproductive medicine can do for you to chance.

“The greater our ability to resolve issues, the more complicated the issues in the patients we treat become,” admits Instituto Bernabeu, a leading clinic for patients who, according to the statistics, have previously been unsuccessful an average of 2.5 times in courses of treatment performed by other clinics. These couples turn to Instituto Bernabeu looking for efficiency, effectiveness and quality. The clinic is convinced that personalisation and a comprehensive analysis of the patient are essential. Experience is also key. Each situation is studied in detail and the specialist then transmits the patient’s characteristics and needs to the medical committee and the case is studied and assessed. Gynaecologists, biologists, embryologists, geneticists, andrologists and pharmacists all play a role. This multi-disciplinary team helps the patient by pooling all its knowledge and using ground-breaking technology in order to achieve the desired pregnancy.

Understanding human reproduction requires sub-specialisation in each phase of the process so that personalised responses can be provided. Treatment cannot be generalised. Over a decade ago, Instituto Bernabeu was a pioneer in setting up different healthcare and research departments and these departments are continually updated and enriched with each new development. The clinic’s Implantation Failure and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, Poor Ovarian Reserve units, the unit that deals with immunology issues and the specialists in the impact of genetics in gametes and embryos are clear examples of this. Each unit is managed by experts in the field. Each couple is a world in itself and needs cannot be met using standard courses of treatment.

In a society where globalisation is a trend, health issues must be given the importance they deserve. Medicine must search for solutions suited to each patient. Personalisation is key and, with this in mind, Instituto Bernabeu invests heavily in on-going training for its entire team; leading technology; and a specific infrastructure that, furthermore, adheres to strict quality standards and performs external audits in order to verify the efficiency of each phase of the process.

Healthcare goes hand in hand with constant research. “Each couple teaches us something new. Each course of treatment opens up a door to understanding human reproduction. The challenge we face is amazing because we have to design the specific solution that each patient needs,” explains Dr Rafael Bernabeu. In 2017 alone, Instituto Bernabeu delivered over 25 scientific research projects that were accepted for presentations at leading international human reproduction congresses. They were all borne of the search for an answer.

Personalisation and use of the very latest developments can turn into the difference between getting pregnant or performing unsuccessful treatment.

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