Dealing with Infertility as a Couple: Analysis by a Specialist Trained in Chinese Medicine

Infertility is a very recurring topic and it is quite common to hear stories from couples who are going through this phase. Paula Castro, fertility specialist and trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine, writes to us about a transversal feminine situation, explaining how to overcome what is, for a couple, the biggest challenge.

A common story

Maria has wanted to be a mother since 2014, but she has all the statistics against her. Other girls enjoy their first menstruation with embarrassed vanity, but she only associates it with pain. She began by associating fertility with a deep pain, which prevented her from experiencing adolescence like other girls (she had to stay at home for a few days and take medication) and, when she returned to school, everyone knew she was having her period.

One day, her mother took her to the gynecologist and came out with a wonderful pill, which was going to be the solution to all her problems: the pill. Now yes, I was a woman! No more pain, no more bleeding and it could even prevent pregnancy.

The years passed and Maria grew up. She became an autonomous woman, with self-esteem, married, with a job that gave her professional fulfillment and a good financial income. What was missing? He began to feel his biological clock crying out for children! For her and her husband, the icing on the cake was becoming parents and expanding their family.

At the first family planning consultation, tests were carried out, nutrition and supplements were advised to prepare the body and the doctor recommended starting attempts to get pregnant three months after stopping the pill. Happy and radiant, they followed the instructions to the letter, but instead of the positive, menstrual pains appeared – the arch-enemies of a distant past, which the first doctor said were normal, because, after all, "any woman can have menstrual pains".

Time passed and, at 35, she discovered that, clinically, she was getting “old” to be a mother. She was diagnosed with endometriosis and the most effective treatment for the pain was the pill. But how do you get pregnant while taking the pill? In a fight against time, the most viable hypothesis was to move towards assisted fertility. And life changed radically: exams, medication, hormonal injections and a tight schedule just for the “child project”.

Even without knowing it, Maria changed. And the only person who knows why is her husband. But he is so sad that he also doesn't know how to deal with his pain and the loss of intimacy. Having a child should be a project for two, but the medical team that will help them is enormous and it seems that everyone knows better than him how to make babies.

Maria is all of us, who fight to reverse the fertility process, while fighting to save the relationship. And we all need urgent help, but not just assisted reproduction. There is a lot of work to empower the couple that has to be done so that the relationship can overcome these difficulties.

HOW TO OVERCOME THESE DIFFICULTIES?

Did you know that pearls are formed from a tiny grain of sand that enters the oyster? And does this cause pain, hurt and irritate your most sensitive mucous membranes? In response, the oyster secretes a liquid to surround the grain of sand and make the invader that it cannot expel bearable. If we expand this example, we can help the couple to rebuild themselves and emerge stronger from this process.

When a couple has their second child, the first child's basic needs must be met. I argue that the first child of a relationship is the relationship. So, before the royal son takes over the space that the firstborn occupies, we have to look at this couple and help them grow and have foundations to support them.

Some women feel hurt when they realize that they are not at the same level of commitment to fertility. And there's no problem. We cannot demand from others the same priorities as us, nor that they assimilate information at the same speed. For some biological reason, it is women who bear the baby for nine months. What's important is to be there and respect their feelings.

Something I also often hear from my patients is: “Being in an assisted fertilization situation, it is as if I assume that, naturally, pregnancy will not occur. So, without libido, why have sex?” This analysis is understandable, but we can look at the situation from another point of view: by removing the responsibility for natural conception from the couple, sexuality can be free. There is an infinite possibility of exploring the body, the sensations that bring the couple closer and many other benefits.

Between intense orgasms and sertraline (an antidepressant drug), which do you prefer?

Deepening sexuality is the natural antidepressant that couples need. Working on sexuality is part of the control and treatment techniques for gynecological pathologies that lead to infertility.

Where to start?

We must start by eliminating all beliefs, taboos, shame and demands. Clearing the past is the best way to build the future. Simply feel and let your body explore.

It's easier for men, as they think about sex at least seven more times a day than we do. Therefore, part of the process involves making women think more about the subject to develop libido. And we have two ways to do it:

  • Create exposure to the theme: watch romantic films and move on to erotic films, read themed books, talk to friends about experiences. Allow yourself to fantasize (the fantasy does not have to be shared and does not need to be acted out).
  • Force the brain to expose the stimulus, to create a reaction. You can do this by practicing daily Kegel exercises, which not only have extraordinary effects on gynecological health, but also awaken us to desire and pleasure.

Kegel in assisted reproduction

Kegel exercises provide an improvement in the functioning of the intestines, since the “massage” that the movements make on the abdomen improves peristaltic movements. This way, the intestine starts to function better and establish a correct relationship between good bacteria and harmful bacteria. By achieving this balance, we have a base immunity that is conducive to combating various diseases.

Because we increase blood circulation, there is a considerable reduction in menstrual cramps and a reduction in menstrual flow time, and there is also a normalization of vaginal lubrication, essential for regulating vaginal pH and for pleasure in sexual intercourse.

Practicing these exercises improves libido, as it activates the muscle, sending the message that we are going to have sexual intercourse to the nervous system – when, in reality, it is not going to happen. In this way, we exercise this axis and remind you that that area exists, creating unrewarded desire and expectation.

Practicing Kegel helps us achieve more pleasure and more intense orgasms, because we increase local sensitivity and the nervous system's response. The more intense the stimuli, the more intense the responses. And this is how we get the icing on the cake: reaching multiple orgasms much more easily.

There are plenty of reasons to invest in pleasure during any assisted reproduction marathon. Is there anything that brings the couple closer than the materialization of love? The truth is that, even with low fertility, we can make a beautiful pearl necklace.


Paula Castro has a degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is a fertility specialist. It accompanies women who want to be mothers and deal with difficulties, helping them to enhance their fertility and rebuild themselves as women.


Follow Paula on social media:
Facebook: acupuncturaportugal
Instagram: @mtcpaulacastro

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