Talking to a Fertility Counsellor About Fertility & Infertility Problems

Talking to a Fertility Counsellor About Fertility & Infertility Problems
As a fertility counsellor, I see all types of clients who come to talk about their fertility and infertility problems. Counselling is for anyone, male or female who would like to talk in confidence about any aspect of their fertility. Clients may come to therapy for just a few sessions to talk things through while others choose to attend more regularly depending on their circumstances.

Fertility counsellors provide professional experienced therapeutic support to women, men and couples who are affected by potential and existing infertility problems. They are also experienced in working through grief and loss, relationships problems and the many life circumstances which bring clients into therapy. Many of us are familiar with hearing about couples who are having difficulty conceiving or who are going through IVF treatment.

The reality is that there is a broad range of reasons clients come to talk about fertility, it is not just for couples who are having difficulty conceiving.

Therapy can be beneficial for anyone who would like to talk openly and honestly about their fertility plans or fears for the future at any stage. Getting support and guidance on lifestyle changes, reducing stress and addressing relationship problems ahead of getting pregnant is common. These days there is a range of options to contemplate when it comes to preparing and planning for a child depending on the circumstances. It can be difficult to talk openly about these options with family and friends. Natural conception, IVF, surrogacy, adoption, fostering and choosing not to have children are all choices that can be talked through with your therapist.

Other common reasons clients come to fertility counselling are related to physical, reproductive, psychological and sexual problems. Social factors such as career, relationship breakdown and the absence of a committed relationship also can have a direct effect on planning a family. Each person’s circumstances are unique to them and their relationship. Similarly, everyone copes and deals differently with life’s challenges particularly in a relationship where both people are trying to support each other. Understanding how to cope better and look after yourself with the support and guidance of a therapist can help make life feel less complicated.

Women may have a concern about fertility and having a child at any stage. This concern can come long before they are even ready to consider getting pregnant. This anticipatory worry can be linked to all types of life experiences such as relationships status, sexuality, sexual abuse, fear of pregnancy or sexual dysfunction i.e. vaginismus. For women who are having difficulty conceiving or staying pregnant, primary or secondary infertility is often an ongoing worry, something which they are trying to navigate through with little adequate support. The total loss of fertility on either side of a relationship may happen completely unexpectedly due to a sudden illness or accident and is often deeply traumatic and distressing.  

Infertility counselling also supports women who are experiencing chronic medical conditions, reproductive surgery, premature menopause and disability which may result in fertility complications. Coming to terms with the consequences of any of these conditions with the support of a therapist over time can be part of a healing and recovery process.    

Infertility often puts a natural strain on the strongest of relationships. Many couples feel that these challenges help to bring them closer together and give their relationship a deeper meaning. At the same time, they each may experience stress, tension, isolation and a range of complicated mixed emotions. Learning how to positively support and understand each other is important to the well-being of both individuals who will invariably be experiencing different things at different stages. Therapy can help couples to feel supported together and learn how to be emotionally more supportive to each other.

Parents, family, friends and even co-workers can be effected by infertility. Being able to talk freely in therapy about how best to deal with these extended relationships and situations can help to reduce stress and tension. Fertility counsellors are familiar with the many challenges that come with fertility problems and are there to help you through.  

If you or your partner are effected by any of the problems mentioned in this article or are concerned about anything relating to fertility then talk to your GP or local Fertility Counsellor. You can book an appointment online and find out more about fertility counselling and fertility reflexology in Co. Kildare, Ireland at www.orlaghgahan.ie 

The National Infertility Support and Information Group provide support meetings and information to anyone experiencing infertility in Ireland.

The British Infertility Counselling Association has helpful articles, information and links on their website and on all social media platforms.  

  

Fertility – What Are The Benefits of Fertility Reflexology

Fertility – What Are The Benefits of Fertility Reflexology

Fertility reflexology is a wonderful complementary health therapy which can be received as a proactive approach to improving overall fertility and in preparation for IVF. Therapeutically treatments are relaxing and have a positive effect on the body, particularly the nervous system.

Ultimately reflexology treatments help promote a balance of mind and body through fertility while also being supported.

There is ongoing research around the world proving the effects and benefits of reflexology for both fertility and pregnancy. All Irish private health insurers providers recognise reflexology as a complementary health therapy which promotes overall health. Many insurance providers cover reflexology as a day to day expense and also specialist fertility reflexology as an additional benefit when received from a registered reflexologist. Fertility clinics around the world employ fertility reflexologists to provide reflexology before and after treatments due to the positive effects on the patient.

The National Register of Reflexologists Ireland is the main governing body for professional reflexologists in Ireland. They promote the following benefits of reflexology for sub-fertility;

  • Provides support at a challenging time.
  • Promotes general well-being.
  • Improves blood flow to the pelvic area.
  • Improves sleep and increases energy levels.
  • Helps to regulate hormones and the menstrual cycle.
  • Reduces pain in endometriosis.
  • Increased success rate in IVF.
  • Reduces stress levels.
  • May help regulate menstrual cycle with Polycystic ovaries.

Many women received fertility reflexology as a proactive approach to improving their overall fertility. This is often also combined with various changes in lifestyle to improve overall health and well-being. Where there is no known medical condition that will stop you conceiving or decrease your chances it is very worthwhile to have a course of treatments before embarking on a more invasive, stressful and often expensive alternative. Often the affects of fertility reflexology are cumulative so a commitment to treatments and lifestyle changes is required for the best possible outcome and to prepare for pregnancy. Women may also receive fertility reflexology through IVF which can help reduce stress, improve overall mood and support women through the various stages of treatment.

Orlagh Gahan is a Registered Reflexologist with the NRRI and a Fertility Counsellor accredited with the I.A.C.P in private practice in Co. Kildare, Ireland. She supports women and couples through natural and assisted fertility treatments, infertility, sex therapy and pregnancy. Orlagh also provides a unique 90 minute Fertility Combined Care appointment which combines fertility counselling support with fertility reflexology to improve overall physical mental and emotional health. 

Pregnancy Essentials – Hospital & Baby Bag Checklist

Pregnancy Essentials – Hospital & Baby Bag Checklist

Your new baby is arriving soon and you probably have a lot on your mind so being prepared can help to reduce any anticipation you may be feeling. Taking plenty of time to enjoy the experience of getting your hospital bag ready can help you to prepare mentally for labour. It is never to early to start packing your bag, a good rule of thumb is from around 34+ weeks or early in your third trimester. Ask your consultant and midwife what items will be available during your hospital visit, they often provide pregnancy balls, towels and baby hats to name a few. This helpful hospital & baby bag checklist will make sure you and your baby are fully prepared for your trip to hospital. Don’t worry if you forget anything, you will have plenty of time for someone to bring more supplies as you need them. 

Essentials For Birth:

Birth plan ☐
Loose nightdress for labour   ☐
Nightwear – Plenty of changes  ☐
Disposable maternity briefs ☐
Dressing gown ☐
Perineal gel ☐
Slippers or Flip Flops ☐
Toiletries – Toothbrush, tooth paste, shampoo, rejuvenating shower gel ☐
Maternity sanitary towels  ☐
Face cloth ☐
Cold drinks & water ☐
Hairbrush, hairband or clips to keep hair out of Face  ☐
Bikini if you are using a birthing bath  ☐
Phone & charger  ☐

Non Essentials But Good To Have:

Pregnancy birthing ball (Often provided by Hospital)   ☐
Tens Maternity machine for contractions   ☐
Beanie Bag to heat for back pain   ☐
Essential oils to help with relaxation or tiredness.  ☐
Rejuvenating face mist spray  ☐
HypnoBirthing or GentleBirth music ☐
Music device or tablet ☐
Ear plugs  ☐
Something to read i.e books, magazines ☐
Lip balm – Lips can get dry during labour   ☐
Glucose sweets for energy  ☐

For Mum Post Birth:

Loose cotton top suitable for skin to skin ☐
Plenty of maternity underwear  ☐
Toiletries ☐
Lanolin nipple cream     ☐
Disposable nursing pads  ☐
Maternity nursing bras  ☐
Light snacks and drinks for energy ☐
Makeup Bag ☐

For Your New Baby:

Baby gros & vests  ☐
Baby hat, socks and mittens ☐
Newborn nappies ☐
Baby wipes ☐
Newborn Soother ☐
Blanket (Provided by Hospital) ☐
Car Seat ☐

Orlagh Gahan is a Complementary Health Therapist and Psychotherapist in Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland. She providing a range of therapies for health, pregnancy and fertility. Find out more or book an appointment online at www.orlaghgahan.ie 

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