I had the pleasure of chatting to Professor Joyce Harper in today's episode. We have a real mix of guests on this show as you know. It's important to recognize that a part of this journey is just absorbing information, and that can be absolutely overwhelming. It can sometimes be hard to hear the truth or the science behind all of this because sometimes it’s not what we want to hear. In this episode, we hear from Joyce what it was like working as a profession in the field going through fertility treatments, and how it still impacts her now having this insight, knowledge and empathy. I love her way of way of talking about this information. I hope that by listening, you begin to empower yourself with knowledge, while not getting overwhelmed by it or allowing it to dictate your life.
Professor Joyce Harper. Joyce is a Professor of Reproductive Science at the Institute for Women’s Health at the University College London. She's the Director of Education at the IFWH and Head of the Reproductive Science and Society Group. Joyce has worked in the fields of fertility, genetics, reproductive health and women’s health for over 30 years and she’s particularly passionate about education and discussion about all aspects of women’s health. Joyce is also the mother of 3 sons all born through IVF.
In this episode, we speak about:
• Joyce’s passion for education about reproductive health
• The importance of normalizing menstrual cycle conversations to minimise misinformation and properly provide people with information and support
• Working as a professional in this field while personally going through fertility treatments
• Preconception health as evidence for fertility and how balancing your 4 pillars of wellbeing - Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, Mental Health/Wellbeing - can empower you on this journey
• Specific, technical advice for those who are at the start of trying to get pregnant
• The disconnect between patient and healthcare professional, and why it’s even more important to empower the patient not just with knowledge, but understanding what's happening emotionally and mentally.
• and more!
I also want women to understand their menstrual cycle, just for their own reproductive health. There are some women who have problems with their menstrual cycle - if you’re never taught this, how are you going to know what’s not right? We need to get these conversations on the table. Let people know what’s not normal. It’s not all about having babies. Majority of it is education about reproductive help.
What my mission is with the education is just to give men and women the information to make sure they know, because we’re never taught this.
We are all totally individual. So what applies to one person will not apply to you. What anyone needs to do, individually and as a couple, is take it all in and then decide what’s right for you. That’s what’s really important. There is nothing magic that says: if everyone does this, they’ll get pregnant. It just doesn’t work like that. We’re too varied and too individual.
Take in what you can, be aware that people are going to have different views and decide what’s best for you.
Connect with Professor Joyce Harper:
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About Alice Rose
Hi! I'm Alice and I am on a mission to support and empower anyone trying to grow their family (and while I’m at it, changing the social narrative we see around fertility too...) Learn more about me at www.thisisalicerose.com
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