Fertility and the Patriarchy

Fertility & The Patriarchy, People Pleasing, And Perfectionism

I hear many of my students making assumptions and having biases about themselves and their fertility that just aren’t true – and it fires me up 🔥 Because I know that you can profoundly affect the course of your fertility when you uncover and address some underlying patterns of thoughts and behaviors.

YES – you can change your biochemistry with your thoughts. You can boost your fertility by changing the way you think about it! So let’s start to untangle some of the limiting beliefs and engrained stories we are telling ourselves. You can listen to this with a little extra comentary on the Fringe Fertility Podcast.

In this post, I’m shining some light on the patterns society & culture has programmed into your subconscious and how they affect your physiological fertility and your experiences with fertility.

The BIG 3 Ps of subconscious patterns that are affecting your fertility OR as I like to call them – The 3 strange bedfellows of fertility

1️⃣ The Patriarchy: most of us live within a patriarchal society that values masculine over feminine energies.

But before I go any further – I’m not saying that patriarchy is the root of all evil and to hate all men – no no no. What I’m saying is – let’s open our eyes and see how it affects our fertility, beliefs around fertility, and life.  Once we see, we can begin to understand and make changes that will release some very deep rooted tension in our minds and bodies. When we do this, it’s as if the body exhales from all that pressure and allows us to be healthier and happier – more fertile.

Here’s a few ways your fertility may be influenced by growing up and living in a patriarchy

  • Believing that your worth as a woman in society is only as a mother
  • We live on the timeline of the patriarchy – 24-hour cycles
    • female bodies work on a monthly cycle – we are forced to fit a mold that flows against our natural rhythms
  • Western society values and awards masculine traits: doing too much; pushing through hard emotions; success & achievement; linear, analytical, and rational thinking
    • The feminine energies of being, receiving, feeling, allowing, and creating are not valued – and yet THESE feminine energies are key for conception, pregnancy, birth, and parenting
  • Fertility treatment is VERY masculine – it controls your hormones, forces the body to go against its natural cycle (of producing only one egg a month), and is rational and mechanical
    • Please – don’t misunderstand me! I’m not saying that fertility treatment is BAD – I’m just saying be aware of how heavily the scales are tipped to the masculine

So – what to do about this? It’s time to embrace the feminine and bring more of it into your life. Recognize when you’re channeling all that masculine energy and instead, nurture and nourish yourself rather than depleting yourself.

2️⃣ People Pleasing – doing everything for everyone else before putting yourself first. What you’re doing is often not fully appreciated, acknowledged, or valued – so resentfulness may also come into the equation

People pleasing stems from the patriarchy and how we were raised as girls/young women & expected to behave as women in society – smile pretty, be seen not heard, be polite, say the right thing, be the perfect hostess etc etc etc..

  • People pleasing has been studied and shown to correlate with autoimmune disorders, endometriosis, depression, anxiety – and all of these affect fertility.
  • Here are just a few ways people pleasing shows up in fertility:
    • Shouldering ALL the burden of researching and implementing lifestyle changes because you don’t want to bother your partner or think they won’t help
    • You’re running around to appointments and STILL also doing all the shopping, cooking, errand running, and you don’t ask your partner for help because THEY’RE working hard
    • Hiding behind a smile when someone asks inappropriate questions because you don’t want to make THEM feel bad
    • Doing whatever your doctor tells you even though you think it’s the wrong call

What to do? Set boundaries and ask for help. Boundary setting is HARD, but it is so important. You NEED to take care of yourself…and there is no need to have to apologize or feel guilty for taking that time. One of the best quotes I heard about boundary setting was that ‘only YOU can set boundaries for yourself, you can’t expect other people to make boundaries for you. AND you have to enforce them.’

And ask for help – it’s not a weakness, it is a blessing. Ask for your partner to do the grocery shopping, or cook a couple times a week.

3️⃣ Perfectionism – having the disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable.

  • Here’s a study that looked at perfectionism (and other traits) as a variable to quality of life during infertility and the results show that those who have perfectionist tendencies had a harder time dealing with infertility and fertility treatment
  • Perfectionism shows up in your expectations of yourself, your body, your doctors, and your timeline: wanting the ‘perfect’ number of follicles, the ‘perfect’ thickness of endometrium, the ‘perfect’ family configuration, ‘perfect’ timing etc
  • Perfectionism can lead to paralysis & procrastination – when you don’t do anything or keep putting things off because you’re waiting for the perfect time or it’s just not perfect yet…
  • Perfectionists are more likely to experience depression and anxiety
  • The hardest part about perfectionism is noticing when you’re falling into it’s hold. One of the things I like to do when I feel perfectionism creep in is to tell it to piss off. Like out loud – Piss Off Perfectionism.

I know, you might be saying right now, ‘holy crap’, I’ve never thought about it this way before!

This is the first step to changing the playbook you’re working from.

If you want guidance and support on your fertility journey and the 3Ps were an eye opener for you! Then check out the 40 Days to Fertile Freedom Program.

XO Kerry

What's your fertility type?

What's your fertility type?

Your dosha, or personal constitution, determines how you approach & experience your fertility, as well as what yoga poses are most balancing and nurturing. Take the quiz, find out your predominant dosha, learn how it affects your fertility experiences, and get 3 poses that align with your inherent nature!

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About Kerry

About Kerry

Kerry Hinds is a E-RYT, RPYT, Relax and Renew® Certified Teacher, Fertility Yoga Teacher, and Reiki Practitioner. She is the founder of Fertile Body Yoga and teaches weekly fertility yoga classes and offers other avenues of mind + body support for those trying to conceive. All is available in the FBY Virtual Studio.

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