When you are at the stage of being ready to conceive, there are natural health treatments that can help optimise your chances of success, including those offered by our therapist Victoria Gazzard, as we find out
Prior to conceiving, it is ideal to try and get the body prepared and in optimal state so that conception has every chance of occurring. In the previous articles in this series, Victoria Gazzard talked through how her preconception programme can help with preparing you in the run up to trying for a baby.
In this next article in the series, we turn our attention to the conception phase itself. We began by asking Victoria about the important issues involved in achieving natural conception:
What do you see as the key issues around natural conception?
“For many, becoming pregnant doesn’t happen as quickly as hoped, which may not mean there is a problem; creating a baby is an intricate process. But women can often expect conception to happen straightaway, and get impatient or start to worry if it doesn’t. It is worth remembering that 80% of couples will conceive within six months; however, it may take longer, for example with older couples.
For conception to happen there needs to be a good understanding of how the body works, of being able to identify the fertile window and timing intercourse every two to three days throughout the cycle. In our previous preconception article, we looked at key times in the woman’s cycle.”
So when does conception occur?
“Due to ovulation usually only happening once in a cycle, there is only a small window for conception to occur before the egg is released. So lovemaking in the first half of the cycle before ovulation is essential, as the egg only lives for 12-24 hours once it has been released from the ovary. Sperm, however, can live up to seven days and travel up the fallopian tubes and can wait for the egg to be released.
If the egg or sperm are not particularly good quality, then conception is less likely. This is why I believe it is important to request a semen analysis and a hormone test to check egg reserve.”
How regularly do you advise treatment during the conception phase?
“Ideally, my clients and I would have had at least three months to prepare the male and female body before attempting to conceive (as we looked at in our other preconception article: Being ready to conceive.
Once this is over, depending on what is going on for the client and assuming all is well, I will generally time sessions pre-ovulation and then five to seven times post-ovulation. For the latter half of the cycle, it is a much more gentle session, and we can do light fertility massage avoiding the womb area, guided visualisations to help the womb feel a welcoming, warm place full of love to receive and nurture a potential embryo. However, I would always prioritise the pre-ovulation phase if someone is actively trying to conceive and could only commit to one session in their cycle.
My work is so adapted to the client and where they are at both physically but also on a session-by-session basis that I am always re-evaluating the focus of the treatment.”
How do the treatments you provide help clients feel in the right place physically for conception to occur?
“Physically, the treatments are about assisting the body to do what it should be doing naturally. They include a combination of reflexology, fertility massage, Reiki and relaxation techniques. They aim to help regulate the cycle, and improve any progesterone deficiency issues, as well as helping to get the body feeling good in order to be a nurturing, receptive space of a baby to want to grow in.
The treatments I offer also involve massage work to release tension in the hips and pelvis, improving digestion by massaging the stomach and intestines, and increasing circulation to assist with the transportation of nutrients, hormones and lymph around the reproductive organs and bring energy and warmth to the uterus. It also helps women connect with their bodies.”
What about being mentally and emotionally ready?
“The treatments help women to build trust in their body and in the whole process of becoming pregnant as well as becoming a parent. Many women don’t understand how their body works, might feel negatively about their body, and what it means to be a woman. They may have menstrual issues or have experienced trauma. With some women who are struggling to conceive, they may lose their sense of femininity. So the treatments can help empower women and help them celebrate themselves and their bodies.
Most of my work is to do with mindset – helping them to think positively about themselves and about their ability to conceive.”
What does this involve?
“If someone comes to me and I identify a potential mental block to conception, then I gently work on this through guided visualisations, meditations and emotional freedom technique (EFT).
As a couple, the work can also help with relationship issues. Ideally, both partners will be there at the consultation and both will receive treatments.”
So what sort of ‘mental blocks’ does EFT help with?
“Some women may when trying to conceive start to question a lot of issues around their life. For example, is this the right partner that you want to have a baby with? Or they have issues with the way they were mothered which has impacted negatively on how they feel about becoming a mother themselves. Some woman have gone through their life feeling that they will never become pregnant, or they may still be carrying trauma from an abortion, miscarriage or sexual abuse. EFT is a very fast and gentle way of identifying beliefs and negative emotions or patterning and releasing them in order to feel better, stronger and more positive.”
For more information on Victoria, please see the practitioner section on our website. Call Victoria direct on 07701 046 226 for further information and to book an appointment, or use her online booking system. Alternatively, contact the Alma Vale Centre on 0117 377 1186 or e-mail us on email@example.com.
Coming soon: the next article in our series will focus on other aspects of her conception programme, including lifestyle issues, treatment for the man, and for clients having IVF.
To view other articles in this series:
- Article 1 Being ready to conceive covered diet and lifestyle factors, managing stress through to the emotional aspects of preparing to become a parent, as well as looking at what the treatments would involve for the man.
- Because for the woman, preconception care is focused around their monthly cycle, in article 2, Understanding the woman’s cycle, Victoria talked about how the treatment works at each stage.