The Mayo Clinic estimates that 10-15 percent of couples in the United States are infertile, infertility being defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year.
To address this need, Forest Park resident Alisha Fox started a fertility coaching business called Modern Fox Fertility a little over a year ago to help women conceive and have healthy pregnancies by changing their lifestyle — including diet, exercise, mindset, spiritual health, and stress reduction — instead of relying on pills, hormone shots and invasive procedures like in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Fox’s relationship with Rachel (not her real name) illustrates how her approach works. Rachel and her doctor had identified several issues that were preventing her from getting pregnant. The doctor responded by prescribing a “myriad of drugs and supplements” but she felt there was more she could be doing.
During Rachel’s first call to Modern Fox Fertility, Fox did a lot of empathic listening. “She really felt like I heard what she was going through,” Fox recalled.
Fox tried to discern where Rachel “was at on her journey” — what she had already tried, if she had seen a doctor, if any testing had been done — to get a better idea of where she was mentally, physically and emotionally.
“I’m not a doctor, so I don’t make any diagnoses,” Fox explained, “but lots of lifestyle choices can impact fertility that women’s health-care providers haven’t explored with them. A significant number of women, for example, are going through stages of grief at not being able to get pregnant.”
Fox told Rachel she believed she could be of assistance to and supportive of Rachel on her journey.
Rachel and her fertility coach made a “contract” to meet once a week for an hour to an hour and a half for three months. Fox said her program does not include prescribing drugs or giving hormone injections, but rather doing the hard work of “going inside” to explore lifestyle factors that may be acting as barriers to conceiving.
Rachel and Fox began by talking a bit about exercise but as Fox got to know her client, the major focus soon became self-care and spiritual health because it became clear that Rachel would often talk to herself in negative ways and was losing touch with her faith, which had been very important to her. Together they explored ways to restore a stronger relationship with God and how to talk to herself in more positive ways.
The good news is that Rachel became pregnant in the second month of Fox’s coaching, and she has continued seeing her coach to assure that she continues to have a healthy pregnancy.
Each client is different, Fox said. Sometimes what they eat can affect the quality of eggs their ovaries are producing. For others exercise may be important. With others it may be stress reduction.
One regimen doesn’t fit all, and she doesn’t tell clients what to eat or how much to exercise or how to pray. Her role is to coach, not dictate — to assist clients in finding what the right fit is, what works for them.
“In Rachel’s case,” Fox said, “we found things that were doable for her. For example, we decided that she would increase her yoga practice, but when it got to be too much, she reduced the amount of time she spent on it till she found that sweet spot of ‘enough but not too much’.”
Fox believes the reason many tactics to help women get pregnant don’t work is that they fail to get at the root cause of fertility, which might be stress or nutrition or the absence of a healthy spiritual life.
Not all of her clients are able to conceive and give birth, but she has a 100 percent success rate because whether a woman who works with her gets pregnant or not, she makes lifestyle changes that leave her healthier and more in control of her body.
A testimony to Fox’s holistic approach on her website comes from a woman named Beata, who says that Fox “goes above and beyond to ensure you have what you need to succeed. Alisha has genuine belief, with concrete certainty in you, and will guide you to succeed in whatever you need.”
To contact Fox, call 989-306-1119 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.