With nearly three decades of experience as a therapist behind her, Marisa Peer is an authority when it comes to matters of fertility. Marisa’s belief, that the thoughts and words we choose have a direct impact on how our lives play out, has helped many women to conceive.
Marisa’s interest in addressing infertility was inspired by personal experience. Despite being informed by medical experts that she would never bear children, Marisa employed her firm belief that the body does precisely what the mind tells it to, giving birth to a healthy daughter, Phaedra, after just a month of trying.
“I got pregnant so easily and had a perfect baby despite all this advice, so I then went on to work with a lot of other women who also believed they couldn’t get pregnant. We had such a high success rate that I wrote Trying to Get Pregnant (and Succeeding), which then made me decide to write my latest book, You Can Be Younger, focusing on the ageing process.
“Women are told from their thirties that they’re too old and their fertility is declining. But there’s this research now that’s saying this isn’t the case at all. Women get worried very early on that their bodies are shutting down, when actually people have been having babies in their forties for hundreds of years – and their forties were more like their sixties back then.”
Just as Marisa’s book dictates we shouldn’t be restricted by chronological age, that you can fine tune your body to become physically and mentally at least ten years younger, the power of the mind can be directed to enhance fertility.
“Your womb is ageless, which is why women in their seventies can carry an embryo, and it’s also why someone in their sixties can have IVF with a donor egg and be pregnant. The only part of your body that’s ageing is your eggs. And amazingly you can motivate your mind to ovulate better quality eggs. And if you pay attention to certain things like diet, supplements, and being less stressed, your egg quality will change anyway.”
Marisa has taken it upon herself to tackle two different stands of infertility; unexplained infertility, and secondary infertility.
“Unexplained infertility means that when they run the tests your eggs are fine, your womb is fine, your FSH levels are good, your hormone levels are good, your partner’s sperm is good, and yet you’re not getting pregnant. And I believe that unexplained infertility means that it’s a mental block, not a physical block. You have so many people who can’t get pregnant then as soon as they have IVF and become a mother, they get pregnant naturally immediately afterwards. Or people adopt and then conceive naturally straight after.
“The second biggest infertility is called secondary infertility, which means that you have a baby and it’s all fine, but you cannot get pregnant again. And that’s usually because if, after birth, people say things to their selves like ‘I can’t go through this again’ your mind picks up that you never want to go through it again, which simply isn’t true.
Marisa’s techniques include visualisation, affirmations, and positive metaphors; in all, confidence is key. Visualisation is the route to circumventing many mental blocks, including weight loss, anxiety, and stress.
“It applies for everything. People who can’t lose weight will say thing like, ‘I went out to eat last night and I know I gained a pound…’ but it’s really important to try and pick up a belief that will be beneficial for you.”
Other things you can do to actively increase your fertility include making changes to your diet.
“The worst thing you can do is have a high sugar high carb diet. Remember that carb is a sugar. You are making a baby after all, so you should have a diet with much more protein in it. It isn’t that you shouldn’t have carbs, but what happens with a carb diet is that your insulin levels go up and they crash so dramatically that that can actually overwhelm a baby.
“The hormones you need to get pregnant are completely disrupted by too much insulin. You need to cut down on dairy, too. No female can conceive when they are breastfeeding, because that’s nature’s birth control – as long as you’re making milk nature knows you’re feeding a baby so your periods won’t come back. So when you’re eating dairy you’re actually eating a cow’s birth control –of course people get pregnant on dairy but it’s not a great thing to have.”
With literature covering a host of different topics – losing weight, getting pregnant, looking younger – a streamlined, fresh-faced Marisa certainly looks the part.
“I can’t write a book about ageing and then look knackered – you become an example. When I wrote about being thin I couldn’t start walking around Tesco eating baguettes … There’s a pressure to walk my talk, which isn’t a bad thing at all!”
You Can Be Younger by Marisa Peer is available now, £13.99 Trade Paperback.