Dream and make whole! “Reinvent the life you want and your heart desires?’
“Every act that comes from purpose is supported by nature and has the potential to
change things is way’s you’ve never imagined.”
Virtually from childhood we start to rehearse for later life by role-playing mummies and daddies, with the expectation that we will become parents ourselves one day. During our adolescent years when our sexual hormones kick in we become more aware of the fact that boys and girls are definitely made differently, and we become more concerned with the experimental act of reproduction (getting sex), rather than the consequence of the act (getting pregnant), let alone the issues of reproductive health.
As adults, we quickly need to find our feet to adapt to life with all the liberties and restrictions that go along with it. For most of us we will begin to formulate our plans for what we want and need in our future. We may wish to work on achieving that dream career in the hope of gaining financial security and personal satisfaction, get that nice house with all the mod-cons and trappings that go with it, or we may wish to travel to broaden our horizons and search for the elusive meaning of life and so on.
There may well come a time during our life’s journey that we will all, at the very least, wrestle with the notion or idea that children may become part of our grand plan. At some stage the body’s maternal time clock will start to tick and it is extremely hard not to take notice when it does. For a large majority of women, and the occasional male, we may try to suppress these feelings, possibly for years, until we can’t ignore them anymore and need to fill that void in our lives. Today the choice of whether to have children appears to be continually pushed further down the long list of life’s priorities, until the day when we feel satisfied that the time is right. Now our perspective shifts from avoiding becoming pregnant just yet, to ‘now it’s time for action to start our family!’
Certainly we hear about other couples who haven’t been able to have children for one reason or another, but until it strikes us personally we don’t give it much thought. Many couples, when starting down the baby-making road, naturally expect a pregnancy to occur within a short time after they get serious about trying. But if too much time passes by, hope and expectation change to anxiety and doubt. If the problem continues we can begin to feel a sense of frustration, desperation and isolation.
Well-meaning friends and relatives with their less-than-subtle hints don’t help the situation and reminders about time running out, or your body clock ticking away. Others may question why you would want to mess up your lifestyle by burdening yourselves with raising children, why not just enjoy the finer things in life, isn’t having each other enough? If that’s not enough, everyone around you seems to be proving their fertility by getting pregnant and having babies, which just compounds your sense of inadequacy. Not to mention how difficult it is to keep on smiling, as the hot topic of conversation among your circle of friends revolves around their children.
There can be no doubt that infertility causes considerable emotional stress; however, we now know just how much of that very stress is in itself a cause of the infertility. Infertility can become an emotional, physical and financial roller-coaster ride. Failing to conceive a baby can be heartbreaking and devastating. Each monthly cycle becomes an agonising waiting game. With every disappointing attempt hopes and dreams feel like they are slipping through your fingers.
Infertility, when it directly affects you personally, can be intensely frustrating because it takes away your sense of control and forces you into a situation of dependency on others for help and support. Just when you thought you were getting your act together, the universe appears to single you out and throws a huge spanner in the works and disrupts your well-laid plans. When one aspect of your life becomes negatively impacted it will naturally affect the others like a falling house if cards. People’s confidence is crushed, decision-making becomes increasingly erratic and feelings of demoralisation and powerlessness are common among many couples.
Those who haven’t suffered the anguish of involuntary childlessness cannot begin to comprehend how it can take over your lives. Stuck in limbo, desperate and disillusioned, feeling irrationally responsible for their affliction, blaming themselves for past decisions, lifestyles and health neglect, asking themselves ‘what have we done to deserve this?’
During previous generations, conceiving a baby came easily to many couples. One would just have to look at their partner in that ‘special way’ and conception happened. But today, for some couples, climbing Mount Everest appears to be a less daunting task. Life is full of cruel ironies, for the couples that desperately want a family the road to parenthood seems frustratingly bumpy and difficult, while others who may not necessarily have pregnancy in mind, have a quick roll in the hay and fall pregnant.
There are many things that can be done, from both natural and orthodox medicine, to help ensure your best chances for success. There are many ways to treat reproductive problems. Natural pre-conception health-care can be very beneficial, not only for you and your partner, but can also greatly influence the odds of having a much happier and healthier baby. Conceptual health-care does not just stop when a positive pregnancy has been diagnosed but is encouraged to continue to support you throughout the pregnancy, labour and postnatal periods as well. If you are
properly prepared, then you will feel more in control over your reproductive destiny!
Facts of Fertility
The stats of the matter – we need more babies
Infertility is clinically diagnosed after a couple have been unsuccessful in their attempts to conceive after one year of trying to fall pregnant (after regular intercourse, sexual activity during the time of ovulation). It may also refer to the inability to carry a pregnancy to term. The condition may affect the male or female partner, or both. Of the 20 per cent of couples who experience infertility, the causal factor can be found in 80 per cent of couples. Therefore, 20 per cent are medically defined as infertile due to unknown origin or Idiopathic.
First-degree infertility is the term used to describe those who have never had children. Second-degree infertility describes those who have had children but find themselves unable to conceive again at any point in their reproductive life.
The phenomenal decline in fertility and reproductive health may have various explanations but there are three main factors that stand out: One – couples are waiting until they are over 35 before trying to have children; Two – there is a marked increase in sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia; and Three – rapidly falling sperm counts and quality, largely suspected of having something to do with the last several generations of increased ‘hormone-disruptive’ chemicals that we, our parents and our parents’ parents have become exposed to. The fertility problems that we are having today were possibly set in motion generations before we were even born.
Statisticians at the World Health Organisation (WHO) have estimated that the ability of a couple to conceive and to bear a living child affects some 80 million-plus married couples around the world at any one time and is increasing. Estimates also suggest that infertility now impacts on more than 1 in every 6 Australian couples (over 3 million Australians) and current trends are showing that this rate may continue to alarmingly increase and afflict more couples trying to have families in the foreseeable future. Experts are predicting that infertility will affect a shocking 1 in 3 in just the next ten years. If we are currently up to generation ’Y’ then we are seriously running out of letters in the alphabet.
Some studies are estimating that the average age for females to conceive for the first time is approximately 30.2 years of age, in comparison to previous generations, which were approximately 24 years of age. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show over the last 25 years, the percentage of births in women over the age of 30 has doubled. Women aged between 35 and 39 are having more babies than women aged 20 to 24. In Australia in 2004, there were 53.4 births per 1000 women aged 20 to 24, compared to 57.4 births per 1000 women aged 35 to 39. Fifteen percent of couples medically investigated for infertility have been found to have more than one cause for their infertility. Male reproductive failure may now comprise 50 to 70 percent of infertility cases in western countries. During the past twenty years the birth rate for women under the age of 29 has almost halved. The highest birth rate with women is now between the 30 to 34 age group, also during the past twenty years women aged between 35 and 39 have an increased birth percentage rate of around 65 percent in comparison to twenty years ago.
The ‘baby boom’ period in Australia during modern times peaked during 1961, with an average of 3.55 babies per woman. At the beginning of 2000, this number had declined to 1.75 babies per woman (below the replacement rate) during a women’s reproductive lifetime. In 2016, the peak numbers of babies born in Australia was 311,014 and then dropped to 309,142 in 2017 that was also the lowest recorded babies’ rate of 1.74, a dramatic reduction by half in only forty years with trends reflecting that this will continue to worsen. The the UK in 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime. The fertility rate as on 2017 also all but halved to 2.4 children per woman.
The fertility rates in Niger, west Africa, is 7.1, but in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus women are having one. on average. Mores economically developed countries including most Europe, the US, South Korea, and Australia have lower ferility rates. Even China, had changed from it’s famous one child policy as they have anticipated that they need to maintain a 2.1 child rate to sustain the economy. Children from the ‘baby boomer’ era are now entering into the ‘middle-aged’ category of the population. This is now placing more of a strain on our fragile economies because there are not enough younger generations of future taxpayers to match and support this aging population. Retirement ages will need to rise.
Finding Mr or Mrs Right and committing to a long-term established secure relationship is a significant factor in the decline in conception rates in recent times; the modern trends in society towards remaining single during our twenties has rapidly increased during the last decade. Studies by Monash during this time in 1986, 72 percent of women aged 30-34 and 65 percent of men aged 30 to 34 were married. By 2001, the comparable figures were 55 percent for women and just 47 percent for men. Marriage is occurring later in this current generation. In 1979 the median age of a woman marrying was 21 – in 2002 it was 29. This would be the equivalent of a woman aged 21 having over 1 million eggs dropping to some 250 thousand eggs on average at the age of 29. In 1976, 92 per cent of women had their first child under the age of 30 – in 2006 this had dropped to 27 per cent.
Infertility now affects tens of millions of couples worldwide at any one time, approximately 6.1 million clinically recognised sub-fertile or infertile American couples alone are being medically ‘treated’ at any given time; this number does not account for people who haven’t sought formal treatment. This data was published in 1995; therefore, considering present trends this number has possibly increased greatly since such time. Recent research reported from the Mayo Clinic in the United States has indicated that an average healthy couple in there 20s has a 20 percent chance of successful conception during any given month. After the age of 30, fertility drops another 20 percent – a small decline; after the age of 35 a drop by 50 percent (10-15 percent chance) – a more significant decline, and a woman over 40 the odds drop to 95 percent or a 5 percent chance of conception.
Comparatively in the grand scale of matters a decrease from 20 to 5 percent between the ages of twenty to forty does not appear to be a very wide gap considering the pressure media reports put on older women attempting to have a baby. After the age of 45 the conception percentage is about 1 percent. This may be largely due to the increasing rate of chromosomally abnormal embryos that can occur during this stage of reproductive life. Even with these statistical odds, the number of births among women aged 45 to 49 today has increased a remarkable five hundred (500) per cent from only a decade ago.
The greatest chance of achieving successful conception is believed to occur in the 25-to-30-year-old age group. Infertility can be a multi-faceted condition with potential causal influences coming from physiological, environmental, social as well as mental and emotional origins. Pinpointing the exact cause of the problem can sometimes be difficult. Ovulation, fertilisation, and the difficult journey of the fertilised ovum through the fallopian tube and finally into the uterus are highly intricate processes, and the struggle of life to find its way is fraught with many obstacles. Many scientists and environmentalists believe we are rapidly approaching a ‘Fertility Crisis’.
Recent evaluation of infertile couples revealed that male infertility or reproductive system problems (partially or wholly) affected between 40–50 percent of the cases. Of the 10 percent of couples that are unable to conceive, the male is found to be the cause in 60 percent of cases. The average male after the age of 24 has been identified to lose potency by 2 percent for every year thereafter.
From the year 2020 there will be more sixty-five plus year olds on the planet that child under that age of five. Researchers have found that nearly half the world’s countries now face a “baby bust”. – meaning there are insufficient children to maintain their population size, this would lead to many profound consequences for societies. One being ‘there will be more grandparents than grandchildren this will further add to migration and immigration wow’s making matters very difficult to sustain a global society.’ Women having babies after the age of thirty-five (35) are now branded with the term ‘geriatric pregnancy’ an are often being refused IVF treatment by numerous clinic’s after this age?
*Disclaimer – Please note this book is not intended to replace advice from a qualified medical practitioner; however, by reading this book you will be more aware of the options available to you. For those people who combine both natural and orthodox medicine, it is very important to keep your practitioners aware of all medications and supplements that have been prescribed for you.