Fertility and Acupuncture
We have been specializing in fertility acupuncture and supporting couples through IVF for the last seven years. The reason’s behind one person’s difficulty conceiving can be complex, and diagnosing your individual pattern of disharmony is at the heart of traditional acupuncture’s approach to treatment. Acupuncture has a long and successful history in reproductive medicine and can play a huge role in treating infertility, gynecological problems and hormone balancing. You will receive an individual diagnosis, and treatment plan. This may vary from week to week as your treatment progresses and according to the stage of your menstrual cycle, but will be your own unique fertility plan.
We have your interests at heart- if we think we can’t help you, we will know who to refer you to so that you get the help that you need. We are here to support you through your fertility journey and as such we have appointments over a six-day period, and offer a flexible diary service for IVF patients whose appointment needs often change at a moments notice.
After you have had your initial consultation with us, we aim to see you at very short notice, and offer an email and text support service for any queries and questions relating to your treatment.
It can be a great idea to check out how fertile you are before you start trying to conceive. Many people are choosing to have an FSH test (a general test to see how easy it would be for a woman to conceive) and a semen analysis to see if everything looks ok. This is a great idea, and will show if there are any potential barriers to conceiving easily. We will help you understand these test results, and help you get your reproductive system in balance. We do this by looking at medical and lifestyle factors that might be affecting your fertility, and by devising a personalized plan to help you achieve your goal. This is usually a combination of lifestyle advice, supplement and herbal advice, and acupuncture. We believe that everybody has the right to specialist care to help them maximize their chances of conception and are delighted to be able to offer specialist services in the area of both male and female reproductive health. We sit between both Chinese and Western medicine worlds, drawing on the expertise from both to offer the best possible treatment to help couples conceive. Our approach is always with one sole aim – to give patients a greater chance of getting pregnant by increasing their overall health and well-being and making you stronger, healthier and ready to conceive. We will help you to make the necessary changes in your life and give you the confidence to prepare for conception.
Our acupuncturist holds a BSc(hons) degree in Acupuncture from the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine (part of Kingston University) and is a member of the British Acupuncture Council. She has completed post-graduate training in the treatment and management of fertility. Male fertility issues are also treated and if possible, both partners are encouraged to attend the initial consultation. The light and airy treatment room is large enough for couples to receive acupuncture at the same time, if it is recommended that the male partner has acupuncture too. Your initial consultation will begin after you have completed our fertility questionnaire, which, if time permits will be sent to you before your first appointment. Your consultation is extremely thorough and you be reassured from the outset that there is an awful lot we can do to help. We are pleased that we have helped many couples achieve pregnancy both naturally, and in conjunction with assisted fertility techniques and we are understandably very proud of our success rates.
As you begin your fertility journey you will be faced with lots of advice – not all of it correct!! Many couples experiencing fertility issues don’t always want to be given medication straight away, preferring to try an alternative route before looking at intervention. Our view here is that it is essential to spend time getting both body and mind as healthy as possible, and a comprehensive consultation often reveals simple obstacles that are often overlooked when couples are offered IVF as an early option. We believe that not everyone who has problems conceiving needs IVF, and this is where our approach differs to a completely western one, and is crucial to our success. Many couples are referred to IVF too soon- we believe it is better to explore the more natural (and cheaper!) options first. The following list of conditions can all be treated with acupuncture:
PCOS – Polycystic ovary syndrome, Endometriosis, Fibroids, Amenorrhea, Dysmenorrhoea, Menorrhagia, Ovulation issues, Pre-menstrual Syndrome, Irregular Cycle, Thicken and improve the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to help with implantation issues, Improve egg quality
If you do decide that IVF is for you, acupuncture has a huge part to play in helping couples substantially improve their chances of success with IVF. We will work alongside your chosen fertility clinic to help you prepare your body for IVF/IUI in order to achieve your goal We will help by looking at your diet, and suggesting supplements as well as regular acupuncture to help you feel more in control of your journey, as well as helping to explore issues around assisted conception if there are any. A recent meta-analysis published by the British Medical Journal suggests that women undergoing IVF who also have acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer have a much higher chance of conceiving than those that don’t. We recommend a 30 minute appointment before embryo transfer, and if time permits a 30 minute treatment post transfer. These treatments work by relaxing you and by increasing blood flow to the uterus to aid implantation. Acupuncture will also help reduce the side effects of some fertility drugs – helping you feel healthier throughout the entire process. Acupuncture will work with you during your IVF cycle, to ensure the best possible chance of success.
Sadly miscarriage affects around 25% of all pregnancies. Many couples don’t get the help they need and are encouraged to keep on trying and are not offered investigative test s until they have had at least three miscarriages or more. We will see you after your first miscarriage – in fact the sooner we see you, the sooner we can set about providing a way forward from this devastating event. Our comprehensive consultation usually identifies problem areas immediately, and we are able to provide guidance on whether you need to seek medical specialist advice. We have an enormous amount of information, resources and experience to draw from with the sole aim of helping you sustain your pregnancy to term.
Once you have happily conceived, we are able to offer you obstetric care in managing those problems commonly associated with pregnancy. As well as helping you past the early weeks, when you may be naturally anxious, we can help you with morning sickness, hyperemesis, nausea, as well as promoting healthy blood flow to the uterus. This is a vital part of our treatment in keeping both you and your baby healthy. Acupuncture can help with the tiredness that often accompanies pregnancies, as well as all the aches and pains that you might experience from backache to pubic symphysis. We can also help with raised blood pressure and anemia.
We know a lot about the things that can affect a mother’s wellbeing during pregnancy, as well as the health and growth of your baby. Regular acupuncture every 4-6 weeks throughout your pregnancy will ensure that both you and your baby enjoy perfect health.
If your baby is in a breech position and you don’t wish to consider external cephalic version (ECV), then consider coming to us for a treatment using moxibustion ( a heated stick containing mugwort). This is a very safe and effective treatment for gently encouraging your baby to position himself in the cephalic position. It is most effective during weeks 32-35, but can be used up to week 37.
Weekly acupuncture in the last few weeks of pregnancy (we would suggest from week 34 onwards) can greatly help with preparing for labour. As well as building up your reserves of energy ( needed for all that pushing!) , it can help with the release of endorphins to help you manage your labour more comfortably.
If your labour doesn’t happen to start on or around your due date we can help you with an acupuncture induction. Two treatments are usually required, 48hrs apart to slowly and gently induce labour. In many cases this prevents the need to have a hospital induction, and is a great way to get those endorphins moving to produce a more comfortable labour.
Post Natal and Beyond
You now have your baby and as feeling the joy and euphoria of becoming a new mother, you may well be feeling exhausted, tearful and wondering how to make yourself feel better. Acupuncture can help you with all these problems, as well as helping you with breastfeeding problems (acupuncture is GREAT for encouraging milk flow), and post-natal depression, as well as simply restoring equilibrium after the birth to help you get back to normal as quickly as possible.
We are also able to offer you free factsheets on fertility and pregnancy, as well as 20% on a range of pre-conception vitamins and relaxation CD’s.