Whether you’re considering starting a family or you’re already working with a fertility clinic, we can help.
Fertility issues can be deeply stressful and emotionally draining for many people. Many women and men can feel powerless with so much out of their control. What many people don’t know is there are actually many easy, affordable, and feel-good ways to optimize your fertility.
Fertility support we offer
We can help if you:
• Have had a hard time getting pregnant naturally
• Have been diagnosed with
– Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS),
– Poor ovarian reserve,
– A medical conditions linked with infertility
• Have had recurrent miscarriages
• Are using IVF or other medical fertility support
• Are worried about your age and want to support your body to maximize your chances of pregnancy
• Want to optimize your chances of becoming pregnant naturally or with assisted reproductive procedures
For those trying to conceive naturally, Chinese Medicine can:
• Regulate irregular cycles
• Treat endometriosis, fibroids and/or PCOS
• Help improve circulation to the reproductive organs and improve egg quality
• Help “pin-point” ovulation and the best time to concieve
• Help secure a pregnancy once you are pregnant
Men and Fertility
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs can help you if you have:
• Low sperm count
• Poor morphology
• Low sperm motility
• Low semen volume
• Low libido or erectile dysfunction
• Low testosterone
• Mechanical blockage
How long does it take and what to expect?
Egg and sperm development doesn’t happen overnight. It takes 3 months for a follicle to develop into a potential egg and 72 days for male sperm to develop. Everything that we do in those 3 months can help to contribute to the quality of the sperm and the eggs. Therefore, when we’re working with you, we usually say to try at least 3 months of treatment to really notice any changes.
Having said that, many of our patients start to notice changes right away and some even get pregnant before the 3 months is up. Not only are we working on helping you get pregnant and stay pregnant, we’re also trying to help you be the healthiest person you can be throughout this process. Treatments aim to strengthen your body and correct any imbalances that may be impeding conception. And when you become more balanced…you feel better!
When you seek treatment with us, we will look at all aspects of your life and take a detailed health history to determine where imbalances may lie, and then make the appropriate recommendations (diet, lifestyle, herbs and acupuncture) to restore equilibrium to your body. When balance is restored, the hormones needed for conception and pregnancy work together harmoniously.
For those going through assisted fertility treatment (IUI’s or IVF) we can help:
- Improve quality and quantity of follicles
- Improve lining of uterus
- Reduce side effects form Western drugs
- Reduce stress associated with a cycle
- Strengthen immune system (or regulate if autoimmune conditions such as elevated NK assay levels)
- Increase the success of implantation
- Decreases chance of miscarriage once pregnant
- Improve male issues such semen quality and quantity
Acupuncture can be used safely and effectively during an IVF cycle. Many women use acupuncture to help improve their chances of conceiving while minimizing side-effects of some of the medications. Using acupuncture and TCM in conjunction with Western fertility treatments can be a highly effective in helping to increase success rates and helping to keep the couple healthy and strong in the process.
IVF Preconception Care
In the month before your IVF/ICSI cycle, we follow an evidence-based acupuncture protocol to prepare your body for embryo transfer. 8 treatments before embryo transfer is optimal. These treatments can be spaced at one/week or twice a week during the 5 weeks prior to egg retrieval. But not to worry if you don’t have that much time, even getting a few treatments in before retrieval can still be very helpful. Research has shown that acupuncture helps improve the success rate of IVF/ICSI by:
- Improving blood flow to the ovaries and uterus
- Improving response to hormonal stimulation
- Alleviating possible side effects of fertility medications
- Improving the thickness and perfusion of blood to the uterine lining
- Calming the uterus to help prepare for and support implantation
- Reducing stress and promoting relaxation
For males with sub-optimal sperm parameters, we recommend regular acupuncture treatments during the three months prior to an IVF/ICSI cycle and then scheduling visits 2 times per week for the 2 weeks prior to your partner’s egg retrieval. These acupuncture treatments may be supplemented by the use of Chinese herbal medicine, dietary and lifestyle counseling and nutritional supplements.
IVF Embryo Transfer
On the day of your embryo transfer, we will do a relaxing and supportive acupuncture treatment before and after your transfer, right at the fertility clinic. This helps support your body in the IVF process and reduces the stress of having to race around trying to fit everything in.
There are very well-respected studies that show using acupuncture with IVF increases the success rate of the acupuncture group to 42.5%, compared with 26.3% in the control group, when treated with acupuncture before and after their IVF embryo transfer.
Pregnancy Support (first trimester)
Once you’re pregnant, we suggest continual support with weekly acupuncture treatments until 12-13 weeks. This helps to stabilize and support your pregnancy. This is especially important if you have had a previous miscarriage or with pregnancies conceived using IVF. The treatments are gentle, supportive and relaxing and help promote a healthy pregnancy.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture provide a safe, gentle and cost effective way to support your body through pregnancy. Not only can it help alleviate many problems that commonly develop during pregnancy, but it can also enhance your overall sense of wellbeing and health. TCM is also an excellent compliment to midwifery, doula and obstetrical care.
TCM can be used to treat specific issues during pregnancy such as morning sickness, pain and discomfort or to help regulate high blood pressure. It can also be used to help prepare for the birthing process as well as post-partum to help in recovery and re-balancing.
We can help you with your pregnancy concerns including:
- Threatened Miscarriage
- Morning sickness / Nausea
- Back pain, sciatica and pelvic girdle pain
- Edema and Swelling
- Breech presentation
- Posterior presentation
- Birth Preparation & Labour Induction
- Pain Relief During Labour
- Postpartum Care
Common uses for acupuncture and TCM during pregnancy:
Prevent miscarriage – Acupuncture and TCM can be very useful if there has been a history of miscarriage. Acupuncture and herbs help to prevent uterine contractions, stop spotting or bleeding, relax the body and also provide a stabilizing and calming function in the uterus.
Morning Sickness and strengthening digestion
For many women the digestive system becomes very sensitive. Acupuncture has been shown to relieve nausea and vomiting, treat heartburn, constipation and can even alleviate hemorrhoids.
Increase energy, reduce edema and improve circulation
By supporting the body to keep a healthy balance we can benefit energy and circulation–anything from general swelling and water retention to sinus congestion. This helps to create a more comfortable state so one is better able to enjoy pregnancy and the changes that go along with it.
Ease pain and discomfort
Pain and discomfort can show up through all stages of pregnancy. Acupuncture can help to ease pain including low back or sciatic pain, headaches or general body discomfort.
Regulate blood pressure
Elevated blood pressure can be a serious concern during pregnancy. Acupuncture can help regulate blood flow throughout the body helping to normalize blood pressure and decrease hypertension.
Insomnia & anxiety
For many women worry, anxiety and overall tension can increase with a pregnancy. Acupuncture can be deeply relaxing and can reduce stress for the mother and developing baby. It can help alleviate sleep disorders and it also allows the flow of energy to remain open which can help prevent post-partum depression.
Acupuncture has also been shown to be helpful for other conditions such as slow intrauterine development, lack of amniotic fluid, hemorrhaging, etc.