Commentary by Joelle Samples
Each year, National Infertility Awareness Week (April 21-27) serves to unite the millions of Americans who want to remove the stigmas and barriers that stand in the way of building families. This year, NIAW is on a mission to raise awareness about the significant lack of financial access that couples receive as they are dealing with fertility challenges and trying to build a family.
In my work as a holistic reproductive health and fertility coach, I serve as an advocate for these men and women. I serve as their “hub” for all things fertility. While a lack of insurance access is a huge problem for couples trying to conceive, I certainly don’t think it’s our only battle to fight.
When I think about the lack of access that couples receive as they are trying to conceive, I also can’t help but address the fact that conventional medicine often bypasses the root cause of the fertility challenges. Are we overlooking underlying health issues because we’re looking at the couple’s fertility challenges through such a narrow lens? If we broadened our lens and realized that a couple’s fertility is an extension of their health, maybe insurance would start covering the cost of care.
In her book, “The Fifth Vital Sign,” I love what Lisa Hendrickson-Jack has to say about the female menstrual cycle: “Just like your heart rate, body temperature, respiratory rate, and blood pressure, our menstrual cycle is a central part of who we are. If our body isn’t functioning normally, neither will our monthly cycle. Our menstrual cycle is constantly relaying information back to us about our overall health and wellness.”
Fertility health is more than just hormone levels. We must look at the body as a whole, address diet and lifestyle factors that may be affecting overall health and wellness and come up with a plan to get to the root cause of the fertility challenges for the couple as a whole. Creating a team of like-minded practitioners that can help you to achieve this goal will give you a much higher chance of success.
Joelle Samples is a holistic reproductive health and fertility coach in Noblesville. Learn more at yinRoot.com.