We all know someone who has been affected by fertility problems, and the NHS estimates that around 1 in 7 couples will have difficulty conceiving. Nevertheless, the official advice is to continue having unprotected sex regularly (every 2-3 days) in order for most couples to be able to conceive within a year.
Charlotte was one such woman on the receiving end of this advice! Her difficulties conceiving lasted for 2 years before she found lifestyle fertility massage (or womb massage) – a technique which has been used to relieve constipation and other abdominal pain since the nineteenth century! Even when used to increase bowel movements, it has been found to reduce feelings of discomfort, instead inducing feelings of relaxation which play an important part in conception. Relaxation helps to release the all-important LOVE hormone, Oxytocin, which helps mothers all the way from conception to delivery.
According to The Sun, Charlotte is not the first mother to have come close (or even have unsuccessfully tried) to use IVF before falling pregnant with the help of lifestyle fertility massage…
So, Charlotte, how did womb massage help you?
Tell us a bit about you and your family.
I’ve been together with my husband for 10 years now (married for nearly 5). We have two boys called Charlie and Cal, aged 2 and 8.5 months. We chose to have a small age gap based on many factors, the first being fertility. I was worried following the birth of my eldest that I would never conceive again so decided to try straight away while my hormone levels were still high! We hope to extend our family in the future but for now have ours hands full with the boys!
Do you suffer with any diagnosed illness in relation to your periods?
I had no diagnosed issues with my periods, I had seen doctors previously because I struggled with heavy painful periods but was only ever offered the contraceptive pill!
How long did you try to conceive with your children?
We tried for a few years without medical guidance or seeking any help to conceive before we started to get overly concerned – there seemed to be a surge in people getting pregnant straight away or by accident which got us worried about our own fertility. Our doctors seemed to snub us by saying things like; “it just takes some people longer,” and they kept throwing the statistic that “80% of people conceive naturally in 12 months” which was no comfort whatsoever! We were never given any advice or tips on boosting fertility or our chances of naturally conceiving either!
When did you first hear about womb massage to help with fertility?
One of my close friends suggested womb massage after seeing an ad on Facebook. Admittedly, I was very reluctant at first. I had done so much research on fertility and conception and couldn’t see how a massage could ever help. I had become obsessed with knowing the dates of my cycle etc., so a massage seemed very pointless and easy and very UN-medical! Regardless, I booked an appointment just to tell my friend I had tried it more than anything else!
I personally found that there’s a lot of pressure to conceive, once people know you’re struggling, particularly close friends who want you to have a baby. I think there’s always an anticipation for your to become pregnant and people are always waiting for you to achieve that baby dream, so I felt the need to try everything people told me to, so I could, in a way, relieve some pressure and “people please” even if didn’t get pregnant!
Were other family members and friends sceptical about womb massage?
We never told family the real reason we went for a womb massage… It sounds awful, but we never told family members that we were struggling with fertility. There was never a right time to say we were really struggling – we had always kept our desire to have children quite hidden, so I think our years spent trying would have been a shock. Our close friends knew however, and were so supportive, sending us messages of good luck on the day of the massage! Personally, I find some conversations and subjects are just easier with friends than family, for example, you don’t want your family knowing you Googled “best positions to get pregnant”!
What did your husband think about using womb massage as a way of trying to help you conceive?
My husband was surprised I had booked a massage, I didn’t tell him until I had booked because I was in two minds about actually going! In the end, I took him along with me and we both came out feeling so much better and educated about our situation. I think it was also good for him to see me actually feeling positive about it all! I had been going through a phase of just being so negative and convinced that we would never have our own baby.
After you had the recommendation from your friend, did you look into how womb massage works?
I must admit I went into womb massage a bit blind! I had a look on the Facebook page and skim read and booked on a whim! All I really knew about it was that it was an external massage (part of me was worried it would be an invasive treatment) when I arrived Kerry
explained its benefits, how it worked and talked us through what she was doing and why.
Where did you find someone who offered the lifestyle fertility massage treatment?
My friend found her page on Facebook
and sent me the link. I had a Google search and couldn’t find anyone else offering the same treatment in Kent and Sussex, so it was our only option without travelling miles away. I read through the reviews which gave me the boost to book because there were just no negative stories there! Normally with most companies or products there is always a negative review somewhere!
How did you access the lifestyle fertility massage treatment?
I went to visit Kerry at her treatment room based in Hastings, I didn’t really know what to expect, I thought it would be quite a hippy treatment but I was pleasantly surprised! It’s external and a massage on your abdomen.
Is womb massage something you can try at home? Did you?
It’s not something I think you can do at home – not the massage itself, anyway – but Kerry gave me so much advice that the doctors never had given me! For example, I love dairy products but never even considered the additional hormones I was taking in (for example, the hormones they give cows so they continually produce milk). She also put my mind at ease that I wasn’t “faulty” and for the first time I felt listened to and not like I was a burden on the doctors’ time!
Did you use womb massage postpartum following the birth of your boys?
I never went back to Kerry following the birth of my first son, as I saw so much improvement from just the two sessions I had! I fell pregnant following the 2nd massage! My cycle was 32 days pre-massage (and I struggled with PMS and bad period pains), but within one massage my cycle was 28 days, so much easier to trace and track my ovulation days, my hormones were so much better and I had no period pain! I also felt less sluggish than I usually do. I intended to go back for massages when trying to conceive my second, but I was fortunate and fell pregnant straight away. I spent the month before we tried for another baby putting into practice the nutrition guidance Kerry had previously given me.
Was this the first kind of treatment you tried to help you conceive?
We had an appointment booked with the gynaecology team at hospital the week that I found I was pregnant with my son. We had battled through the GP for over 2 years to actually get referred, the only “help” the doctor had given us was that my weight was the issue (I was a size 10-12) and that we had “unexplained infertility.” This basically meant that there was no physical reason for it, and they weren’t going to investigate it further. I left all the doctors appointments feeling deflated and useless. I don’t consider myself to be big in weight so to be told my size was the issue was a big blow and my confidence dropped off a cliff!
How long did it take to see results?
I saw results almost instantly following my first treatment, my moods were better, my PMS was so much better and my period was lighter and it was the first time since having them that I didn’t need to take painkillers just to get through the day!
Did you experience any complications in either pregnancy?
I didn’t have any complications in my pregnancies other than a little anaemia in both! My first was born 2 weeks early – nice and healthy – and my second was only a day early.
Overall, what are your feelings about womb massage and would you recommend it to other parents trying to conceive?
I would fully recommend womb massage! I’m convinced it helped my conceive my boys! I was really low before we went, I felt the full weight of infertility, I saw babies literally everywhere and everyone seemed to get pregnant easily around me, we didn’t confide in many people that we were struggling, unless someone’s been through it themselves it’s a tough subject and there’s not much comfort friends or family can provide. Kerry, who did the womb massage made me feel so at ease and gave me so much information my doctor didn’t ! Even if your not trying to conceive she can help with women’s health issues and cycle problems !
Thank you so much Charlotte for sharing your story!
Have you tried womb/lifestyle fertility massage? Did it work for you? Let us know in the comments!