Unfortunately, many people put their bodies in the hands of their doctors instead of empowering themselves with the knowledge and insight to bring things back into balance. At the same time, doctors present their diagnosis in absolute terms, which makes it very hard for the patient to see the possibility of overcoming the diagnosis. Personally, I’ve never considered a diagnosis as the be-all-end-all, especially in the context of fertility. Here’s why:
Diagnosis Doesn’t Define You
Your diagnosis is a definition. In fact, Western medicine defines infertility as when a woman has been unable to conceive after a year of unprotected sex. Yet in practice, I have witnessed women who naturally conceive beyond a year of trying to get pregnant. Does that make them infertile?
I’m not suggesting that you ignore your diagnosis, or live in denial of it, but think of it as a jumping-off point, an opportunity to become proactive in your fertility journey and overall health. From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), your diagnosis is evidence that your body is not in balance. However, TCM also believes that with the right internal conditions, your chances of conceiving and carrying a healthy baby to term are great.
Use your diagnosis as a wake-up call to start being a balanced, healthier you!
Your Diagnosis is Temporary
When a woman hears a diagnosis of infertility, she infers, “I am infertile.” My perspective is that, at that moment in time, that woman’s system is simply saying, “No, not now” to having a baby. Instead of using the words “infertility” or “infertile,” I encourage women to say, “At this time, I am having a challenge with my fertility.”
Often, the only fertility challenge I diagnosed was that they were out of balance and needed guidance to create a nurturing environment and prepare their soil to receive and nurture their seeds.
Focus on the Big Picture
Western medicine relies on technological diagnoses that are often driven by numbers – for example, the number of days that are considered an irregular menstrual cycle. TCM goes beyond and looks at the quality of menses to evaluate overall health and degree of balance. TCM also considers your lifestyle habits and your physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. The philosophy in Chinese medicine is that you are most likely to conceive naturally when you are more balanced physically, mentally, and emotionally.
One of the most difficult things I see in my clinic is a woman who is in her mid-thirties, still feeling young and vibrant, yet distressed after a fertility doctor has used terms like “unexplained infertility” and “advanced maternal age.”
Opinion, not Fact
Many patients believe a doctor’s words are the absolute truth, but that diagnosis represents a particular doctor’s beliefs and theories, based on experience, statistics, and research. Without intending to discount these, any doctor’s knowledge of research can be outdated, and their experience is necessarily connected to their own practice.
Remember that a diagnosis is usually more opinion than fact and that you can always get a second opinion.
You are a dynamic human being. With a renewed perspective, you and your body can both change. Do not let a doctor’s words stop you. Your pathway to pregnancy may just be different than the one you had planned.