Why I Went from IVF Nurse to Naturopath

Working in fertility, I saw a lot of heartache.  More workdays than I would like to remember would involve saying the gut-wrenching words “I’m so sorry, the pregnancy test result is negative”.

Something they wanted more than anything in the world, wasn’t theirs for another month. I could hear the quiver in their voice and the choked-up tears. Sometimes I would cry too.

But, amongst the sad lows, there were just as many high-highs. Those times when I could share in the joy by telling them the best news. “You’re pregnant!” Such elation! This was the absolute best!

After working in fertility and IVF for so many years, I always felt privileged to join this private and intimate journey with thousands of couples. But, from my nursing perspective, I could see two major recurring themes.  Firstly, that stress and the emotional rollercoaster was extremely taxing.  Secondly, while IVF advances are incredible and helping countless infertile couples achieve their dreams, there were still many unknowns when it wasn’t successful.  And sometimes these unknowns led back to lifestyle.

Why Naturopathy?

Lifestyle factors are generally accepted and acknowledged by fertility specialists, yet often there aren’t the resources available to guide people through to make the changes. And since I always had a passion for educating and offering empowerment, it made complete sense for me to learn more about the impact of lifestyle choices, to be able to serve fertility patients in this added way.  And this is where my exploration of natural therapies began… which led me to naturopathy. My fascination and utmost respect for IVF treatments remained, but I became enthralled by natural health and the holistic approach.

Given my scientific nursing background, I was pleasantly surprised at the high standard expected of the Naturopathy Bachelor degree. There is a whole world of natural herbs, nutrients, and extra treatments that can be offered to potentially help with countless conditions.  After many years of a hard-slog of juggling fertility nursing and studying naturopathy, I eventually got there and graduated with my Naturopathy degree.

While I dearly loved being a fertility nurse, it was time to shift focus. I could stay in an educating and supportive role that I treasured and remain a part of the special journey of fertility, but also offer long-term natural alternatives to optimise patients’ health. I had finally found the winning combo.

Fast-forward to the present day

I now have Sage Naturopathics. A busy naturopathy clinic, focusing on women’s health, hormones, fertility and IVF support. I spend the one on one time with clients and explore the challenges they face with their fertility. I love being able to offer natural alternatives, which may support their IVF journey and feel honoured to still be able to share in the moments – the rollercoaster.

 

For those that chose naturopathic support during IVF, not only do they report back they feel better in themselves, but overwhelming they say they feel more armed to cope with the ups and downs of the treatment cycle.  They have another person on their team for support.  As one thing I was acutely aware of, is the loneliness people can feel when struggling with fertility. This is not something that should be endured alone. Infertility affects 1:6 couples. You do not need to feel alone

 

One final note;

I hope people know that when it is finally their turn and they get those three incredible words “you are pregnant”, not only is this news amazing for them and their partner, but they have made their naturopath and IVF nurse’s day too.

 

In health and happiness,

Caroline Anderson

Sage Naturopathics (Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast)

 

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