“The fertility cycle is a cycle entirely of living creatures passing again and again through birth, growth, maturity, death, and decay.”~Wendell Berry
Author’s note: This is a challenging post to write; however, I feel that it is a very necessary one and I speak these words with fierce love and compassion for all women.
The truth behind why you’re not getting pregnant is it’s f**king complicated. There is no way around it. There are no easy answers, especially for the countless among you who carry the heavy burden of “unexplained infertility.” This is the truth that few are willing to speak.
Factors affecting fertility
The truth is that there are many factors, both seen and unseen, at play. Some of the commonly explored or more seen factors are: physical blockages, problems with ovulation, pcos, endometriosis, diminished ovarian reserve, dietary factors, lifestyle and stress, endocrine disruptors and factors affecting semen quality. Most often, I see a combination of at least 2 or more of these factors playing a role in the conception and pregnancy process.
The list above is strongly rooted in biomedicine and reflects what most women experience as feedback at some point on the journey of trying to determine why pregnancy just isn’t happening or isn’t being sustained, in the case of recurrent miscarriage. There are also a whole host of unseen factors at play that generally don’t get as much attention as you search for a “diagnosis” and path towards treating infertility.
These factors are like the shadow aspect of fertility. They don’t receive as much attention because they reflect aspects of the feminine that are held in shadow collectively. Some of these include:
- Trauma of various natures but especially related to the pelvis and boundaries.
- Tendency to override yin energy to serve yang. Yin is lunar, feminine and dark, while yang is solar, masculine, and bright. This pattern reflects the cultural narrative that prizes production, doing and achieving (all yang) over nurturing and being (yin). This is also largely the path that modern medicine and assisted reproductive technology takes. (And yes, there is definitely a time to use that consciously.)
- Relationship challenges.
- Emotional blockages or habitual patterns that create constraint or holding in the pelvis.
From microcosm to macrocosm
These are the most common that I see for individuals; however, there is also a larger view to take on why you’re not getting pregnant. That being our current collective relationship to the Earth, including how we do or don’t take care of her, show respect and make an honest attempt to live in harmony with the nature that we come from. Women’s bodies are a reflection of the Earth and have an intimate connection to this living entity. It’s no coincidence that we now see a prominent leader who publicly degrades women and also prioritizes profit over taking care of our environment. This is nothing new. It’s just that now we can see how endemic it really is.
Just as the Earth shifts with global warming, deforestation, droughts, excessive hazardous waste, etc., the female body (and all bodies) feel these changes. We cannot separate one from the other.
One concrete example of this is the reduction in mineral content in the soil that grows our food, which results in less minerals available in our diet. Even if you eat an all organic, locally sourced, mainly plant based diet, if the soil is not rich in minerals you will still come up short. Since many minerals, which are yin in nature, are essential for optimal fertility, it’s vital to address this directly.
Your relationship to your environment or lack thereof can profoundly affect your fertility. Taking a wider vision, we see that as the Earth suffers so do we and in particular so do fertility rates.
Side note: Although my main focus here is women, this also most definitely affects men. This is clearly seen by studying the drastic drop in average sperm counts in the last 50 years, which you can read more about here and here.
Modern Reproductive Medicine
Modern medicine is great at offering quick fixes and easy solutions and even when it comes to fertility, they have that down to meticulous details. The hormone injections, blood draws and daily ultrasounds provide some sense of control over the process. “How could this not work?” you might think to yourself. Well, the reality is quite different and I often feel that modern medicine is creating a false sense of control over the fertility cycle and process of conception. What many in the fertility world don’t want to recognize is that we aren’t in control. We simply cannot be completely in control of a process that is ultimately an expression of nature in her most wild and wise ways.
Also, as I mentioned above, modern medicine prioritizes serving yang energy at the expense of yin. There are times when this is a valid approach; however, not very often as it doesn’t truly address the reason why you are experiencing infertility. It is more about forcing, manipulating and trying to control the body. It works for many, but to what expense? And when it does work, how supported and nourished is the body during the pregnancy?
These are challenging inquiries and there is not one right answer or approach. I bring them into awareness so that you may make conscious decisions about your process.
So, what does this mean for you? Someone who longs to have answers and explanations as to why it’s not working for you?
Besides the fact that it means you may feel uncomfortable, anxious or a whole range of other emotions; it also means that within this immense challenge lies the opportunity for great transformation on all levels of being – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Often when you’re not getting pregnant on the timeline that you expected, you are being asked to look at many layers of your life that could be affecting this. The body has its own intelligence and may have a reason that it’s not directing life force energy towards reproduction.
When you are willing to listen to the body, be with the challenging emotions and get the support you truly need, you will find the answers that you long for. They are not out there somewhere beyond yourself. While it can be very useful to consult with doctors and healers and get lab tests done and all the practicalities of navigating infertility, there is yet more inner work to be done. All of it matters for your lasting transformation.
After seeing women through this process many times, I understand the many pieces that need to come together to optimize fertility while also attending to the deeper layers of embodying the feminine, trusting your process and feeling supported along the way. I’ve created a 3 month virtual mentoring journey that dives deep into conscious conception, thriving health and embodied sex education. Wherever you are on your journey, this could be a supportive next step for you. Find out more here.
And most importantly remember that you are worthy of support. You deserve to find the answers you are longing for and you can feel empowered on your path to pregnancy.