You’re not imagining it and it’s not just you. Living with and working through fertility challenges has a scientifically proven impact on a person’s perceived quality of life.
Research has shown that people dealing with fertility challenges have a distinct lack of self-compassion, and are less aware of their unpleasant thoughts and feelings than their non-fertility challenged friends.
The concept of self-compassion is just showing the same compassion you would toward someone else, to yourself. Essentially, having a sense of acceptance towards aspects of yourself and your life that you dislike.
A lack of self-compassion has been directly linked to over thinking, and feelings of depression, stress and anxiety. Aside from the fact these emotions are exhausting and draining on physical and emotional resources, these feelings have been correlated with a lower perceived quality of life. Conversely, self-compassion has been correlated with optimism, positivity and a higher perceived quality of life.
A recent study of people undergoing IVF found that a 6-week course of mindful meditation practice resulted in a significant increase in self compassion compared to a control group which did not partake in the program. The measurable domains included scores regarding coping skills, and environmental and social tolerability.
The meditation group also reported
But that’s not all…
This study found that in addition to having a more positive experience of life in general, the experimental group also had a higher successful IVF conception rate at 6 months post program, with a success rate of 44% vs 26%. Although the study group size was small (n=108), this is a very optimistic finding.
Tuning in and tuning out. Most of the patients I work with are busy. Finding time and motivation to engage with a mindful meditation practice can be another chore that is filed under to-do-at-some-point-eventually.
Here at The Fertility Suite, the noise cancelling headphones are the opportunity to tune out to the world and tune in to a guided meditation during your acupuncture treatment. Guided meditations are selected specific to the patient and the circumstance – that can mean as per the menstrual cycle, or the IVF cycle, the stage of pregnancy or any other ailment that we’re working with - like improving sleep or decreasing anxiety. Good-bye turmoil, hello self-compassion.