There is extensive research on stress and infertility which proves stress has a negative impact on fertility. Many times the impact is not incorporated into treatments and procedures that women do to help them conceive. Joanne Verkuilen, Founder and Co-CEO of Circle + Bloom started Circle + Bloom to give women the opportunity to take more control of their fertility and give them a program designed specifically to address this overlooked stress and infertility link. The program is Circle + Bloom Mind + Body Fertility Program and is based on medical and scientific research and encompasses a proven method to create a mind + body connection to bring about real changes in the body, helping you avoid stress and infertility. Bernie Seigel, M.D., NEW YORK Times best-selling author of “Love, Medicine & Miracles” endorses the program. You can gain more information at www.circlebloom.com.
I have PCOS and have known about it since my late teens. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a hormone imbalance that affects about 5-10% of women in the U.S. It basically puts your ovaries into overdrive, producing many cysts (hence the “poly” in the name) instead of healthy eggs. Throughout my twenties and early into my marriage, the diagnosis that “pregnancy may be difficult” was there lurking in the background, but I honestly didn’t get too hung up on it as it was something to be dealt with at a later time. I was blessed to have two perfect children, but not without a lot of heart-ache and emotional ups and downs along the way.
Our first child came within six months of “trying but not trying.” It was easy, actually. No temperature monitoring, no buying pregnancy tests in bulk, no infertility procedures, and more importantly, very little stress. There was no figuring out when my period was supposed to come, and waiting with baited breath to see if it did. It was living life normally.
The second child, who came almost five years later, was a bit of a different story.
I had two miscarriages along the way and right after my second miscarriage, we attended the wedding celebration of a very dear friend who was already about four – five months pregnant. She had on this stunning cream colored dress and her baby bump showed just enough that she looked curvy and round in a beautiful, almost primitive way, like one of those ancient fertility statues showing a swollen figure representing birth and new life. She moved through the crowd effortlessly and her smile never left her face.
I was devastated.
My brain, being depressed and anxious about my situation, ran on its own. It bitched constantly. The negative self talk in my head went something like this:
I am sure that I am causing my own infertility. I can’t do anything right. My low self-confidence causes all of my problems, and being infertile is just another one. I hate how I deal with things. Look at all of those other women who are so secure in who they are, and of course they get pregnant with no problems. I don’t deserve my dreams coming true.
I believe fundamentally that life is a journey, and everything happens as it should. For me, self-discovery and finding peace happened while commuting on the New Jersey Transit, and I am grateful every day that for it. Once we moved to the suburbs, I found myself very begrudgingly commuting almost one hour each way either on a train or bus. At first, this time spent in quiet solitude was boring and almost difficult. I then started journaling, being completely honest and raw with my pen. Then I started reading constantly, becoming a voracious reader mainly of spiritual books, self-help and stress and infertility books. Some kind of window opened in my brain and I could not learn enough about human nature, what I wanted to accomplish and the ideas and creativity started to pour out of me. It was during this time that I brainstormed the Circle + Bloom program.
Looking back, I am convinced that most of my stress and infertility came as a result of “sleeping” through life. Letting my mind-negativity rule my internal and external world. When that started to change – when I became more aware of my thoughts – I could simply let them go. I could acknowledge the fact that the thoughts were negative, and then explore where that thought was stemming from and hopefully find the truth of my being in the process.
The result? Internal peace. Living in the present moment. Being thankful for each and every minute, idea, and expression of my self. Living in a world where I choose positive thoughts, I choose to be grateful and creative, and I choose to love myself. When I do have negative thoughts, I treat it as a wonderful opportunity to learn something more about myself instead of adding to stress and infertility. It’s a true awakening and if I can do it, so can you.
By becoming more aware of your own thoughts, I believe that stress and infertility can be controlled, managed, and understood from a different perspective. Being aware when you see another woman pregnant, paying attention to the thoughts are running through your mind – but (and this is very important) trying not to label them. Don’t berate yourself for having negative thoughts. Just accept them as is. The simple process of becoming aware of those thoughts, the greater consciousness within you gains greater control of your mind, your well-being, your levels of happiness. If stress is therefore reduced, your bodies become more balanced, which could result in an absence of stress and infertility.
My new self-talk?
“Everything that I have I am grateful for. I feel abundance in my life and feelings of peace and security come as a result. What can I do right now that furthers my goals as a positive contributor to my life, my family and my community?”
Written by Joanne Verkuilen – Circle + Bloom
Do you think your thoughts can impact your health with stress and infertility? Do you ever catch yourself thinking negative thoughts? Would love to know what you are thinking!
Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.