If you are scheduled to start IVF, it is recommended to book a course of 6 weekly acupuncture sessions before the transfer date to prepare your body physically and to help you to feel more relaxed. We regularly see clients to support them on their IVF journey.
Infertility is defined as a person who is biologically unable to have children. It is a diagnosis which can cause a great deal of emotional distress. In most cases, this diagnosis is wrong and a couple is 'subfertile' meaning they are experiencing difficulty having children. The majority of subfertile couples are able to bring happy, healthy babies into the world. It is very common to experience difficulties having children with about 1 in 7 couples struggling to conceive. It is also relatively common for women to suffer from multiple miscarriages.
About 30% of subfertile couples around the world can be attributed to the man, and 40 % attributed to the woman. This leaves about 30% of couples, whose subfertility cannot be solely attributed to one person. Also, in about 35% of cases, conventional medicine cannot find any reason for the subfertility and classify these couples as ‘unexplained’.
Causes of Subfertility
The vast majority of subfertility causes are non-structural. Although a patient may have structural conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids or polycystic ovarian syndrome, these conditions are actually a symptom of imbalances in the body and are often reversible using Chinese Medicine (herbs and/or acupuncture) if treated quickly enough.
Treatments for Subfertility
Depending on the cause of subfertility, conventional medicine generally has two approaches to treating subfertile couples. The first is assisted fertilisation involving drugs to artificially stimulate egg production or the artificial delivery of sperm into the vagina. If the doctor feels that conception inside the uterus is not possible, then treatment turns to assisted reproduction such as In vitro fertilisation (IVF). The process involves monitoring and stimulating an individual's ovulatory process, then removing eggs from the woman's ovaries and fertilising them with sperm in a laboratory. The fertilised egg, called an embryo, is then returned to the woman's womb to grow and develop. It can be carried out using your eggs and your partner's sperm, or eggs and sperm from donors. If there are any structural causes for infertility then a doctor may recommend surgery to address these issues.
Chinese Medicine (acupuncture and/or herbs) views a person as a system of interrelated structures, fluids and energy which must constantly be kept in balance in order to be healthy. The majority of cases of subfertility are caused by conditions which are not simple structural problems but relate to the bigger picture of overall health and balance. In many cases the cause is actually unexplained by conventional medicine, whereas Chinese medicine is equipped to treat these larger and more abstract conditions.
By choosing Chinese medicine to help with subfertility, you will feel an improvement in your general health, energy and emotions, as the treatment we give will seek to re-balance your entire body. Another benefit is that acupuncture is absolutely complementary with conventional medical treatments. The two approaches are known to work well together to achieve a healthy baby.
In Chinese medicine, your emotions, diet, age and lifestyle can affect your fertility. At the initial consultation here at Bubbling Spring Acupuncture Clinic, we encourage both couple members to attend the appointment where we will discuss all aspects of your health and lifestyle. Then we can decide whether one or both of you require treatment to reverse the body’s imbalances to regain fertility. Helen will also give homecare advice if appropriate.
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