Natural Fertility

A significant focus of my practice is the treatment of fertility problems. Chinese Medicine is widely recognized as a powerful tool for difficulties with conception and frequent miscarriage. Many patients have been able to conceive and give birth to healthy babies despite years of failure prior to receiving treatment.


Chinese Medicine has traditionally been used extensively to help with both male and female infertility. About 50% of fertility problems are male factor – meaning that there is a problem with the male partner’s sperm. Chinese Medicine can help significantly with most common sperm issues such as low numbers, poor motility (ability to swim) and poor morphology (shape).


For women, problems include irregular or infrequent periods, inability to ovulate, polycystic ovaries, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), endometriosis, fibroids, and hydrosalphynx (fluid in the fallopian tubes). Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been traditionally used in helping restore normal function and improving the chances of conceiving naturally.


Fertility treatments using Chinese Medicine generally involve acupuncture, herbs, and dietary and lifestyle advice for both partners. This is referred to in medical literature as “Whole Systems Traditional Chinese Medicine,’ and has been shown in medical studies to significantly improve fertility and IVF outcomes. Typically, it requires three months of treatment to significantly improve most patients’ fertility profile. This gives the body a chance to fully integrate the effects of the herbs and acupuncture and gives the practitioner time to monitor your progress and adjust the treatments accordingly.

IVF

Because Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine help make patients healthier, it is no surprise that they can help increase the success rate for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Medical studies confirm this. Studies conducted here in Australia and abroad consistently show that acupuncture increases your chance of IVF success by a whopping 50-65%, making acupuncture essential while undergoing IVF procedures!


I work with patients in preparing them for IVF and assisting them throughout the process. As with natural fertility, I recommend beginning treatment with Chinese Medicine (acupuncture and herbs) three months before undergoing an IVF cycle. This applies to both women and men. For women, the three months gives the patient and I time to prepare the body for maximum reproductive health before stimulation, egg collection and transfer of an embryo. For men, the quality and quantity of sperm can be significantly improved, thereby aiding the in vitro fertilization process.


Even if you are currently in a cycle or about to begin one, acupuncture and herbal medicine is still recommended – every little bit you do will maximise your chances of success.

Pregnancy and Post-Partum Care

For both natural fertility and IVF, follow-up care is provided throughout the pregnancy. The symptoms of common ailments during pregnancy such as morning sickness, lethargy, back pain, leg cramps and the like are easily dealt with using acupuncture and herbal medicine. Even symptoms of more serious conditions such as threatened miscarriage, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes can be helped (in conjunction with Western medicine). Closer to the due date, acupuncture can help turn a breech baby* and help with labour. And after birth, ongoing care to support the mother is available.



*For research on breach presentation and acupuncture see:


Acupuncture plus moxibustion to resolve breech presentation: a randomized controlled study. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2004 Apr;15(4):247-52.


Cardini F. & Weixin H. (1998). Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 280(18), 1580-1584. Free full text: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=188144


Coyle ME, Smith CA, & Peat B. 2012. Cephalic version by moxibustion for breech presentation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 5. Art. No: CD003928. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22592693


Vas J, Aranda-Regules JM, Modesto M, et al. (2013). Acupuncture Medicine 31: 31-38. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23249535


Li X1, Hu J, Wang X, Zhang H, Liu J. Moxibustion and other acupuncture point stimulation methods to treat breech presentation: a systematic review of clinical trials. Chin Med. 2009 Feb 27;4:4. doi: 10.1186/1749-8546-4-4.