A staggering number of couples battle to fall pregnant: one in seven, to be exact, according to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. It’s simplistic to say that the heartache and frustration experienced by these couples could be solved if they merely looked to the skies but, says fertility astrologer Nicola Smuts Allsop, it’s not a bad idea. She believes most people don’t understand quite how fertility astrology works, especially as many equate astrology with their monthly horoscopes. In fact, she explains, the practice may be regarded as one of the oldest vehicles used by humans to make sense of their worlds. “Astrologers recreate a picture of the night sky at the moment you were born to gain insight into your specific character,” she says. The manner in which these elements come together has a marked bearing on your life.
This is why the path of the heavenly elements has long been used to predict earthly concerns, including finance and medicine. “Astrology used to be considered part of medicine,” Nicola observes. Galen, a Greek physician during the time of the Roman Empire, theorised that the moment of an individual’s birth predisposes them to certain temperaments and conditions, and that these should be treated with specific herbs and preparations.
Whether or not you agree, the reality is that illness – or any physical condition – can’t be regarded as a series of symptoms. As Nicola insists, each of us is unique and must be treated as such.
So, how does this relate to having a baby – or not? Firstly, your astrological signature (the position of the planets at the moment of your birth) may manifest emotionally and, eventually, physically. Maybe you’re an emotionally defensive person, one of the many possible outcomes of that particular astrological signature. This emotional characteristic may, ultimately, bring to bear on your body, so that your eggs also become defensive. Or, says Nicola, you may have grown up with the sense that there wasn’t “enough” – perhaps because, as a child, you were told that there wasn’t enough money, or because you felt you didn’t receive enough love. If you receive this message often enough, your body might internalise it – the upshot being that it doesn’t produce enough eggs. In other words, your body makes it hard for you to fall pregnant as protection against a world which, as you have told it time and again, doesn’t have sufficient resources.
Fertility astrology may help you understand these aspects of your character, but it’s not every astrologer’s job to help you work through these issues. She may merely point them out, so that you can choose to address them with the help of a therapist – or not. More importantly, she will use your astrological signature to pinpoint the times of the year when conception is most likely.
More targeted, less random
That’s crucial, according to Nicola, because it’s actually very hard to fall pregnant – as most infertile couples know only too well. She cites fertility expert Dr Robert Winston, who once noted that even a couple in their early 20s, having sex every day for a year, have only a 15% chance of falling pregnant each month.
Given the complexities associated with IVF – including the physical and emotional symptoms caused by the rise of hormones surging through your body – it makes sense to limit your attempts to times when the process is most likely to succeed. Nicola is emphatic about this, pointing out that IVF treatments are a costly exercise that place pressure on a couple. “The fewer treatments you have, the better,” she states. “Astrology fertility removes the random element from the process, so that you use less medication. That, in itself, is desirable, but it also means that there’s less impact on your sex life, so there’s less loss of intimacy and less resentment.”
How does fertility astrology work?
A fertility astrology consult is similar to other sessions with an astrologist, in that you provide the time, date and place of your birth. The astrologer uses these to create your astrological signature and derive the best potential times for baby-making.
Nicola says that, regretfully, she doesn’t hear back from all her clients, but she is generally 75% accurate in her predictions. That said, there is demand for her services, which led her to release an app, FertilityAstrology (available for R165 on Google Play and iTunes) which gives couples the opportunity to access the same information she usually provides through her hour-long Skype sessions.
Nicola is clear on the fact that her advice is intended as a guide only; she is not a fertility specialist. She does, however, work closely with gynaecologists and medical experts and her anecdotal evidence is astounding: “I made my first prediction around fertility during my second year practising as an astrologer. The client had tried to fall pregnant for five years, but she and her partner ultimately divorced. She contacted me for advice about work, and on the strength of my predictions in that area reached out to me again when she was about to adopt a child. I told her that she would, in fact, fall pregnant with the child of her former partner; something that she believed would be impossible as she was 43 and he was living overseas. As it turned out, she ended up visiting him and one thing led to another – she gave birth to his baby nine months later.”
’It worked for me’
Raylene de Villiers and her husband, Jacques, had been through five fruitless IVF procedures and five years of trying for a child. They met Nicola just as they were about to embark on their sixth IVF cycle and rescheduled the date in line with her predictions. They soon welcomed their triplets. Jacques then contacted her some months later regarding a work matter. “While they were chatting, Nicola gave him some ‘lucky’ fertility times – but, since we had struggled to fall pregnant the first time, we disregarded them. Then our son was born.”
A specialist’s view
Dr Candice Morrison, a gynaecologist at Wijnland Fertility Clinic, Cape Town, maintains that there is a place for alternative or complementary medicine. “Lunar cycles and menstruation have been linked for thousands of years, with the menstrual cycle being the same length as a lunar cycle (28 days). However, in Western societies we have lost this link,” she points out, adding “modern cities are filled with bright lights and cycles have been regulated with the Pill.”
Dr Morrison says there is certainly truth in the observation that “ovaries go through good months where they stimulate well and bad months when they don’t respond to the medication. If astrology can help to predict which months are better to begin treatment, I would recommend it to those patients who ask for alternative therapies while they undergo fertility treatment. Most of the patients we see have tried everything and are desperate, so I certainly support exploring all possibilities.”
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.