Fertility in the western world has been a concern in the media recently — in England and Wales, the birth rate dropped in 2018 by 3.2 per cent, following 2017s statistics. This drop was also a 9.9 per cent decrease on 2012s peak. There are a few reasons that can explain this drop, including the fact that couples are choosing to focus on their careers and start their family later.
Yet, fertility is an issue for some. According to the NHS, while 84 per cent of couples will conceive naturally within a year if the have regular unprotected sex, one in seven couples may struggle to conceive. While some may go down the route of IVF, others may choose to have surgical procedures to help treat infertility.
Many people have tried complementary therapies such as Maternity Reflexology to help them conceive and provide support throughout the pregnancy and birth.
There are also supplements available for both partners to take to help boost their fertility levels. Health supplements like coenzyme Q10, for example, boosts fertility by improving sperm quality.
But, while these are all ways we can try to increase our chances of conceiving, there are many bizarre fertility rituals evident across the world. Here, we take a look:
A Zimbabwe cocktail
There are many foods and drinks that are aphrodisiacs. The likes of oysters, asparagus, and pomegranate are all said to have seductive connotations, while some restaurants and bars have concocted what they believe to be sensual cocktails.
However, locals in Zimbabwe have taken it to a whole new level. It’s believed that baboon urine carries hormones that can boost male and female fertility. People are known to mix baboon urine with beer in a bid to aid their likelihood of becoming parents. Unsurprisingly, medical professionals in Africa advise against this ritual!
Congo roof-top decorations
For some trendy bars, underwear might be a decorative feature. Muriels in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is well known for having ladies’ garments on show. While this is for décor, this isn’t the case in the Congo. It’s customary for the nation’s Yansi people to throw their underwear onto their roof when it’s a waning moon. This is meant to help boost fertility and the rate of conception.
Fertility furniture in Italy
Naples, Italy, is home to the mysterious ‘miracle chair’. Believed to have been owned by Saint Maria Francesco of the Five Wounds of Jesus, this chair sees thousands of women queue up to sit in it and be blessed with increased fertility levels.
There’s obviously no scientific proof that this will work, but around the chair are thousands of pictures of babies born to ladies shortly after they took part in this ritual.
In the west, when someone dies, wills are part of the process of distributing possessions among our nearest and dearest. However, Cantonese funeral traditions seem to have taken it one step further. Often, the daughters-in-law of the deceased will cover their stomachs with green cloths — this colour as associated with spring, growth and fertility. They will then rub their bodies against the coffin in a bid to gain the procreative power of the recently deceased person.
In Istanbul, you’ll find the Wishing Column at the Hagia Sophia Museum. The museum, which has previously been a church and then a mosque, sees people come from far and wide to see the column which is said to weep holy water. It’s often referred to as being the tears of the Virgin Mary. Women will stick their thumb into the hole and rotate it as far as they can in the hope of boosting their fertility levels. They believe that this is their way of being blessed by this sacred water.
A Hungarian hose down
In Hungary, Holloko, there is a yearly Easter tradition where men dress up in costumes and drench women in buckets of water. This ritual dates back to as early as the 2nd century and is believed to be a way to cleanse women in order to give them the gift of fertility. Women who want to participate line the streets in traditional clothing and wait for males to throw water over them.
Admittedly, not as fun and eccentric as other traditions, but Britain has a fertility ritual too including Cornwall’s ‘Crick Stone’. Its legend dates back over 4,500 years and it’s said that if a woman passes through it seven times, they’ll fall pregnant shortly after.
Article collated by natural health supplement supplier Pharma Nord, a stockist of Q10 tablets
Stork image by Sarah Richter from Pixabay
Crick Stones image by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay