Fertility

The decision to start a family can be compelling and you may feel an urgency for it to happen straight away, but sometimes it doesn’t ‘just happen’.
At Ford wellness group we offer the following programs to enhance fertility:

  • Preconception care program
  • Natural fertility program
  • IVF support program

Both men and women will benefit from undertaking a course of treatment. We can provide you with a personal timeline for treatments which will offer you support from preconception to birth and beyond.

Female fertility

Preconception care is a support program of lifestyle advice, dietary advice and acupuncture treatments for couples who are planning to start a family.
By undertaking a program of regular acupuncture sessions prior to trying to conceive you can:

  • Improve your overall health
  • Regulate your hormones (Zhou et al)
  • Regulate ovulation and your menstrual cycle  (Chen)
  • Treat underlying conditions that may hinder conception
  • Learn more about your own body and discover the optimum time to conceive

We generally recommend a course of treatment for three menstrual cycles before attempting conception.

For women currently trying to conceive naturally treatment focuses on regulating the menstrual cyle and ovulation. This can be achieved with Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutrition and dietary therapy. Using these therapies we can effectively treat underlying conditions such as;

  • Endometriosis (Fu et al)
  • PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) (Johansson J et al).
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Fibroids
  • Ovulation issues
  • Hormonal imbalances such as high testosterone
  • Unknown infertility

Acupuncture may help you achieve a natural pregnancy. A meta analyses of studies investigating female infertility found that a 4 month period of treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine could increase pregnancy rates by 50% compared with Western Medical fertility drug therapy or IVF (Reid et al)

Male fertility

Acupuncture can have a significant impact on male infertility. Our clinic combines regular Acupuncture sessions with herbal and nutritional supplements to improve male fertility. Many couples enjoy the experience of visiting our clinic together as they start the journey towards parenthood.

50% of all infertility problems are a result of male factor infertilty. Recent studies have shown that acupuncture can benefit low sperm counts and reduce abnormal morphology.

Acupuncture has been found to improve the success rate for IVF when using intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). A study found a course of bi weekly acupuncture sessions over 8 weeks improved quick sperm motility, morphology and fertilisation rates (Zhang M et al.) The combined use of acupuncture and herbal medicine has been found to be the most effective way Chinese medicine can improve the quantity of sperm in men with low sperm counts

IVF assistance

An acupuncture IVF support program can be started anytime prior to or during an IVF cycle. We recommend undertaking a preconception progam for three months before IVF stimulation begins. There are various reasons why couples seek the assistance of IVF. IVF is a miracle procedure, however, in some cases the process can be long and difficult and additonal support emotional and physical support is required. Acupuncturists believe that a woman’s physical and emotional health is very important to the success rate of IVF. Our treatments will aim to combine relaxation with physical results.
Benefits of combining acupuncture with IVF;

  • Improves ovarian blood flow and function to produce better quality eggs (Sterner-Victorin et al, 1996)
  • Regulates hormones to produce a greater number of follicles
  • Increases blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining thus improving chances of implantation and reducing the risk of miscarriage.  (Kasius et al, 2014).  (di Villahermosa DIMdos Santos LGNogueira MB, et al,).
  • Relaxes the patient and reduce stress levels and anxiety (Grant & Cochrane, 2014).
  • Prevents the uterus contractions that can inhibit implantation. (Kim et al, 2003).
  • Reduces the side effect of IVF medications and aid recovery from IVF procedures

Acupuncture is commonly used in conjunction with IVF in various countries including China and Germany. Clinical trials are now revealing that acupuncture can increase IVF success rates significantly (A recent German study found that the success rate of IVF procedures can be increased by almost 50% when combined with acupuncture). Consequently IVF specialists in Australia are now also recommending concurrent acupuncture treatments.

We assist with support for

  • IVF preparation
  • Acupuncture during the medication phase
  • Acupuncture before and after egg pick up
  • Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer
  • Acupuncture for early pregnancy care

References

Chen BY. Acupuncture normalizes dysfunction of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Acupuncture & Electro-therapeutics research. 1997; 22(2):97-108.

di Villahermosa DIMdos Santos LGNogueira MB, et al, 2013 Influence of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilisation when embryo implantation has failed: a prospective randomised controlled clinical trial 

Fu Yu and Xia Tian, Clinical Observations on the Treatment of Endometriosis by Combined Acupuncture and Herbs, Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion 2005, 3

Kasius A et al. Endometrial thickness and pregnancy rates after IVF: a systematic review and meta-analysis. 2014 ; Jul-Aug;20(4):530-41. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmu011. Epub 2014 Mar 23.

Hullender Rubin et al. Impact of whole systems traditional Chinese medicine on in vitro fertilisation outcomes, Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 2015, 30(6):602-612
Johansson J et al. Acupuncture for ovulation induction in polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2013; 304(9):934-43

Johnson D. Acupuncture prior to and at embryo transfer in an assisted conception unit-a case series. Acupuncture in Medicine, 2006; 24(1):23-28.

Ozturk, et al,  2004 Sep;9(3):299-305. Role of utero-ovarian vascular impedance: predictor of ongoing pregnancy in an IVF-embryo transfer programme

Paulus WE et al. Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertility & Sterility, 2002; 77:721-724

Ried K et al. Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in the management of female infertility: a systematic review. Complement therapies in medicine. 2011 Dec;19(6): 319-31.

Smith C, Coyle M, Norman RJ. Influence of acupuncture stimulation on pregnancy rates for women undergoing embryo transfer. Fertility & Sterility. 2006;85(5):1352-1358.

Stener-Victorin E, et al. Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture. Human Reproduction, 1996; 11:1314-1317.

Wang Z et al. Clinical observation on electroacupuncture and Chinese drug for treatment of oligospermia and asthenospermia of the male infertility patient. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2008 Nov;28(11):805-7.

Zhang M et al. Influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology. Huazhong Univ Sci Technology Med Sci. 2002; 22(3):228-30.

Zhou et al. Electroacupuncture Modulates Reproductive Hormone Levels in Patients with Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: Results from a Prospective Observational Study, Evidence- Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013;2013:657234.

 

 

 

 

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