I visited my GP when I had started to develop mid cycle spotting and my periods were getting heavier, clotted and cramps were getting worse. She felt it wasn’t too much to be concerned about but gave me the name of a gynaecologist if I felt I needed to investigate further.Since I was in my early thirties and knew that perhaps I would like children in the future, I thought it was best to get everything checked out. I also just had a feeling there was more to it.
I explained my concerns to the gynaecologist. Similar to my GP, she felt there wasn’t really anything to worry about but considering my age and hopes to conceive, she would proceed with investigations. These included blood tests, a HSG and ultrasounds, all of which were coming back normal.
At this point we had been trying to conceive for nearly a year so the doctor had my husband come in for semen analysis. His results showed slightly low morphology but again, the doctor felt that this was not at a level to be concerned about. We were advised to continue trying for a few more months, take multi vitamins and then come back to get retested. Months on, we were retested but nothing had changed. We were diagnosed as ‘Unexplained’. While it was good to know there was nothing ‘wrong’, it was a frustrating outcome that left us wondering why couldn’t conceive. We were both healthy, active, non-smokers, didn’t drink much and didn’t have extremely stressful lives.
At this point we were 2 years trying to conceive and were advised that our next step would be to proceed with fertility treatment at the clinic by way of ICSI. We decided however, to hold off for another few months before we went down that route. In the meantime, a colleague of mine had visited Siobhán and taken part in her radio programme, which I eagerly listened to. (She successfully conceived within a few months of seeing Siobhán.) Parts of it were difficult to hear as it felt so close to what we were going through but it also gave me hope that perhaps there were other options out there other than IVF.
I mentioned it to my husband and he was on board straight away. We had nothing to lose so we booked a visit. Nervous and not knowing what to expect, we were comforted by Siobhán’s approach. After checking our tongues, she told us what she felt might be causing our fertility issues and pin-pointed things in both of us that left us in no doubt that Siobhán knew what she was talking about. She had identified the initial concerns I had gone to my GP with but instead of saying they weren’t a problem, they were among the first things she addressed. For me this was everything. My body had shown me there was an issue and Siobhán had listened.
Under Siobhán’s guidance, we began taking Chinese herbs and supplements in conjunction with a change of diet. We were also encouraged to do acupuncture.
Another area of adjustment was our mindset. While neither of us would have thought we were particularly stressed, we have learned new techniques throughout this process that have given us a different outlook on things and I have seen a real shift in the way I approach everyday life. I am calmer, more at ease and settled in myself.
Incredibly, after only 3 months following Siobhán’s advice, my period was late so I did a test, not expecting it to be positive but it was. I couldn’t believe it! After nearly 2 and a half years of trying, we were finally expecting our first child.
Now we are proud parents to a beautiful, healthy baby girl. She is now 4 months old and thriving. During labour, I leaned into the mindset techniques I had adopted along the way, like meditation and having total faith in myself and my body. In the end, I was fortunate enough to have a natural birth using only gas and air and had no complications whatsoever. This meant that recovery has also gone really well so I couldn’t have asked for a smoother experience.
I hope that in writing this, it might give others who have found themselves in a similar situation some encouragement. I had never even heard of TCM as a way of treating fertility issues and feel so thankful that others shared their stories because had it not been for them, we would not have heard about Siobhán and not had our own success story to share.
Gillian - Ballinteer, Dublin -2020