Pregnancy possible with evidence-based approaches
Kristy Keesing-Goldsmith relishes being mum to three-year old Charli-Rose and one-year-old twins Zavier and Zachary.
Five years ago she thought she thought she would never have children of her own.
Having suffered Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome for years and four miscarriages, she was told by two doctors that her only option was IVF. The IVF doctor she consulted told her the clinic would not be able to help until she had lost weight, which she struggled to do.
“That was really hurtful and discouraging to hear because I really wanted to be a mother,” Mrs Keesing-Goldsmith told The Catholic Weekly.
An encounter with Blacktown GP Dr Van Nguyen after contracting a strain of the common flu opened up the alternative of restorative reproductive medicine, a field that’s growing alongside the IVF space with great results for women’s health and fertility – but is much less known.
“I’m so grateful and I honestly believe that more doctors should be studying this“
After learning to chart her monthly cycle and with clinical support from Dr Nguyen, she fell pregnant within a month with Charli-Rose. She is convinced that without Dr Nguyen’s support throughout both of her pregnancies they would not have succeeded.
“I’m so grateful and I honestly believe that more doctors should be studying this and providing this to people because it does work,” she said. “I tell all my friends that have PCOS and things like that it doesn’t mean you can’t have a baby.”
The couple are among many who have found hope in fertility awareness methods with the three main ones being the Billings Ovulation Method, Sympto-Thermal Method and Creighton FertilityCare model.
They each promote women’s overall health and, particularly the Creighton model which is integrated with medical care, offer wholistic alternatives to IVF that are respectful of the couple’s relationship and any new life.
Blacktown FertilityCare practitioner Vinetta Lobo e Kakodkar said that its method of charting enables a woman to monitor her monthly cycle from which trained practitioners and doctors can gain valuable information to promote a women’s reproductive and gynaecological health and help couples to achieve pregnancy or avoid or space pregnancies.
FertilityCare an wholistic approach to women’s health
“[In cases of infertility] it gives us an wholistic understanding of what is happening with the couple, and helps the doctor to diagnose and then treat the underlying problem accordingly,” she told The Catholic Weekly. “And it is not only about women’s health and fertility but promotes relationship bonding as well.”
North Ryde couple Amanda and Noah Silveira are expecting their first child this month.
They are convinced that using the Creighton model of fertility awareness helped them to achieve and maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Mrs Silveira was prompted by a family friend to look into the method after she was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD) and failed to find a solution from GPs except to take the birth control pill.
“I was looking for something more natural,” she said. “Then when I got married we were also looking at using it for achieving and avoiding pregnancy.”
Mrs Silveira said she learnt in one or two sessions how to track and record her monthly cycle, and it took a month of practice to become confident in using the method.
With the integrated care of Dr Van Nguyen she was able to alleviate the effects of her disease and after using it to try to fall pregnant was successful after the first month. Like Mrs Keesing-Goldsmith she was carefully monitored by her GP throughout the nine months.
Mr Silveira said the results were “pretty impressive” and that he had learnt a lot about his wife throughout their fertility journey.
For more information about FertilityCare see www.fccau.org or call Vinetta Lobo e Kakodkar on 0430509890.
Fertility course for medicos
An online course will be held next month to train medical professionals in the management of infertility.
The FEMM (Fertility Education and Medical Management) course will be run from 5-7 June by Professor Pilar Vigil, an international expert on fertility, infertility and natural family planning.
The course has the support of the Australasian Institute for Restorative Reproductive Medicine (AIRRM), and the institute has invited Professor Vigil to speak at its biennial National Fertility Conference in 2021.
This October AIRRM will hold a live-streamed day conference open to anyone who is interested in natural fertility management. For information see www.airrm.org.au.
For those interested in becoming a FertilityCare practitioner, an education program will be held in Sydney from next January. For information contact program director Margaret Howard at [email protected]