Fertility Support & Guidance

How Can Acupuncture Help With Fertility?


Are you on your fertility journey but are starting to get frustrated?


Are you considering spending thousands $$$ on IVF and would like to improve your change of success?

Do you want to develop a much deeper understanding of why you can’t fall pregnant – and also understand what you can do about it?

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to aid fertility.

In Australia, acupuncture is used as a support therapy for primary fertility treatments including IVF.

For 20 years, Dr Sandra has helped guide, coach and support thousands of couples through the fertility maze.

These couples have found it invaluable to boost their base health and have a caring, passionate and knowledgeable natural therapy practitioner in the corner as they take the steps required to bring their dream of having a child to life.

The Fertility Essence Method

Dr Sandra developed the Fertility Essence Method which uses acupuncture, medicinal herbs, supplements, diet and lifestyle modifications to address health imbalances to boost natural health and vitality.  

Dr Sandra has refined her method after 20 years of practice having seen thousands of couples who were struggling with fertility issues.

Vibrant health is the cornerstone of fertility health. 

With vibrant health comes your best chance to conceive either naturally or through other assisted fertility treatments.

Evidence of how Chinese medicine may help people with fertility issues.

 

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What Causes Infertility?

Around 1 in 6 couples now have trouble conceiving.  There are many potential causes of infertility on both the female and male sides.  

Common factors include endometriosis, PCOS, tube structural issues, period problems, ovulation issues, thyroid issues, etc…

Factors also include age, diet, stress and toxin load.

Sometimes there can be no cause found in Western medicine.  This is unexplained infertility and can be extremely frustrating to deal with.  In these cases, support by Chinese Medicine can assist by helping to return the body’s base health so it can better self-regulate.  This gives you body the best chance to sort out whatever is preventing you from conceiving.

Important Hormones for Reproductive Health

There are two hormones that play aa important role for a woman to conceive. 

1. Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH)
FSH stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles in the ovary prior to releasing an egg during the ovulation phase. This hormone prepares the maturation of the egg to be released.

2. Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
LH produces oestradiol (female sex hormone) in the first week of the cycle and then will release an egg  from the ovary in the second half of the cycle. The follicle is the corpus luteum, which produces oestrogen and progesterone. These two are critical to endometrium development and aid the fertilised egg to implant and develop.

These two hormones must to be balanced for a couple to successfully conceive.

Hormone imbalances can also be an aspect of conditions such as  endometriosis, PCOSor pre-menopause – all potential causes of infertility in women.

3. AMH

 Anti-Mullerian Hormone is produced by Granulosa cells; which surround each and every egg in a woman’s ovary. The more eggs the more granulosa cells and obviously the more AMH produced. To conceive a woman maintain or improve their AMH production. 

Low AMH level is typically below 9 pmol/L (4 ng/mL).  Some women with a low AMH level can still produce a good egg, conceive and have a healthy pregnancy with Acupuncture and  herbal medicine therapies used alongside Western medical intervention. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26455718)

Who Do We Love to Help?

  • Women who are over 30
  • Women who have a history of period and ovulation problems
  • Women who have endometriosis, PCOS, diabetes or thyroid issues
  • Women who have a history of miscarriages
  • Women who have tried IVF or IUI
  • Men with sperm quality issues

Research and clinical observation suggests that Acupuncture and herbal medicine may increase the body’s progesterone level and regulate the levels follicle stimulating hormone, Estrogen (increases as the follicle grows), and luteinizing hormone, which, in women, heralds the impending release of the egg. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2645571)

IVF Support Acupuncture?

IVF acupuncture is commonly used to support IVF during egg retrieval and transfer

We understand Acupuncture IVF

We’re familiar with the majority of IVF hospitals and clinics and know how each one works. From experience we also know the different treatment protocols that Western medicine uses to perform IVF treatments. For example, some doctors transfer at day 3 and some at day 6. Some doctors use ICSI straight up whereas some prefer not to; and some doctors will transfer 2 embryos others will only transfer one. Also we know why certain doctors will or won’t use a certain procedure for certain couples.

We take the time to explain acupuncture IVF support

Many ‘first timers’ of IVF can find the whole process confusing.  This is because a lot of doctors and nurses administer the medications but don’t explain thoroughly what you might experience during a stimulated cycle.  The same for what you may go through emotionally. For instance, if you are prescribed the nasal spray it can give you headaches.  It can also create an emotional roller coaster with the ensuing change in hormones, which you may not be told about.

We aim to reduce inflammation to improve the chance of implantation

The medications and procedures used in IVF can overstimulate your system. This causes inflammation around the uterus that isn’t good for embryo transfer. Acupuncture IVF support aims to reduce this inflammation to provide an improved chance of successful implantation.

Acupuncture IVF during egg retrieval and transfer

IVF acupuncture is commonly used to support IVF during egg retrieval and transfer. Acupuncture IVF support aims to improve blood flow to your uterus, bolster your kidney/reproductive function and enhances follicular development to improve egg quality. Importantly, fertility acupuncture may also keep you calm during IVF procedures.

Our protocol for acupuncture IVF support

We recommend an acupuncture treatment in the 24 hours before egg retrieval and another acupuncture treatment in the 24 hours after egg implantation.  (Note if you are tired, or have done multiple rounds of IVF, or have a history of miscarriage, we recommend you seek treatment in the month or two prior to the transfer.  This gives us time to fill your fertility cup to give you the best chance of success).

Many health practitioners may recommend acupuncture as an adjunct treatment that may assist with IVF treatment. There is continuing research about how acupuncture can assist with the effectiveness of IVF treatment and you should consult your treating practitioner/s about how acupuncture may be able to help you.

Book IVF Support Acupuncture

Want more information about the benefits of acupuncture on IVF support and pregnancy rates?
Acupuncture performed around the time of embryo transfer: a systematic review and meta-analysis: https://www.rbmojournal.com/article/S1472-6483(18)30675-8/fulltext 

Research supporting the beneficial effect of acupuncture for IVF pregnancy rates: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0015028206002123

Other research and evidence.

*Note AHPRA does not recognise these studies

Pregnancy Acupuncture

Congratulations, you’re pregnant!

Falling pregnant can be one of the most exciting times in your life. But for people who have lost babies in the past, or have struggled for a long time to conceive, it can be a time of ongoing anxiety. That’s why we aim to make your pregnancy a more joyful experience and help you carry to term more comfortably.

The first trimester

Weeks one to twelve is typically a higher risk time. During this phase our focus is on helping you stay strong and alleviating morning sickness and anxiety.

How?

Acupuncture aims to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow to your uterus.  It also helps to regulate the hormones that are released during this time, which may be contributing to your morning sickness.

Weeks thirteen to birth

Healthy mothers have the best chance of delivering healthy babies. Acupuncture can be a great way to help keep you healthy and strong. It can also help alleviate some of the uncomfortable symptoms many women experience that can get in the way of them enjoying their pregnancy.

  • Helping you ride the emotional roller coaster
    As being relaxed and happy is an important part of conceiving and carrying to term, we use acupuncture to help relieve stress and anxiety so you can more effectively manage the emotional roller coaster that comes with trying to fall pregnant and being pregnant.
  • Body aches and pains
    Back pain is the most common pain we encounter, but as you advance in your pregnancy the movement of your joints as they adapt to the pregnancy may create hip or carpal tunnel pain. We have excellent tools to help alleviate these symptoms.

We monitor your progress through pulse and tongue diagnosis, blood pressure and temperatures.

Post-pregnancy recovery

Pregnancy is probably one of the biggest challenges your body will ever go through.  It takes an incredible amount of energy to produce a healthy baby. But acupuncture and can do wonders to get you back on your feet faster.

How does Chinese medicine help post-pregnancy?

Acupuncture helps to clear lochia (fluid retention) and restore your energy and strength faster so you can get back to doing the things you love.

Male Infertility

The greatest focus is initially on the female partner, but it’s equally important to review the male’s reproductive health.  Stress, toxins, age and emotional state may all affect male fertility too. 

Males are reported as infertile in 8-9% of cases, 15% of Australian couples are infertile and of these couples with fertility issues, a staggering 40% of males contribute to the infertility dilemma. (Source: https://rbej.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12958-015-0032-1)

We look at sperm motility and morphology and how his base health level may be affecting these.

Simple things like smoking or regularly using a laptop on his lap (the heat from the laptop can affect sperm production) can have a significant impact.  

As with females, males who are strong, healthy and vibrant have a better chance of helping their partner conceive.

A Healthy Sperm count with good motility and better shape is desirable in any fertility treatment. A combination of therapies including Western Medicine and supportive herbal medicine and Acupuncture appears to be of greatest assistance in achieving this goal. (Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26333228/)

A Chinese Medicine Look at Fertility

As an adjunct therapy to primary Western Medical treatments for infertility, Chinese Medicine takes a very different view.  In fact, it is this different view that can help provide a more complete picture of why a couple is experiencing infertility and one of the main reasons to embrace Chinese medicine.

According to Chinese medicine principles, fertility is most impacted by how well both the Liver and the Kidneys are functioning.  The Liver has significant influence over the cycle and is often a factor with irregular or painful periods and PMS.  

Healthy Kidney function is at the foundation of a healthy reproductive system.  

Fundamentally, if organ function is healthy, the body is healthy.  And a healthy body with good vitality is so important to successfully conceive and carry to term.

Helping You Feel More In Control of Your Fertility Health

Part of the stress of dealing with fertility issues is not really understanding what’s happening and not feeling in control of your situation. 

Dr Sandra is an expert in helping you understand fertility and in Chinese medicine.

Dr Sandra is very thorough.  She will review your Western Medicine results including blood tests, scans and other tests.

Assess your overall health from a Chinese Medicine perspective including pulse and tongue diagnosis.

Do a complete Case Review of your health history, diet and supplements. 

It’s a comprehensive review of your overall health and fertility situation.  

Your General Health & Your Fertility

Falling pregnant, carrying to term and having a healthy baby takes a LOT of energy.  Your body needs to be strong.

Good health and vitality means your body is in the best position to do what it is designed to do.  And in the case of fertility, that’s to conceive, have a problem-free pregnancy and to have healthy children.

We often tell our patients that symptoms are markers of ill-health.  If you are in perfect health, you have no symptoms. So generally, the more symptoms you have the greater the challenges you have with your health.

If you experience any of tiredness, anxiety, digestive issues like bloating or reflux, stubborn pain, headaches, PMS, period problems, skin issues, allergies, bowel problems, depression or a whole raft of other symptoms, then something is not quite right with your health.

This may put your fertility out of whack enough to create challenges.

If you improve your base health you give yourself the best chance. Medicinal herbs, targeted supplements, acupuncture, diet and lifestyle advice can help you improve your base health. 

Why choose Dr Sandra Wu to help you with your overall health, fertility and pregnancy?

Sandra can help you with your overall health,  during specific periods of your IVF and pregnancy journey or can be with you to support you all the way through.

  • Experience. Sandra has treated hundreds of women with fertility difficulties, with many of them doing IVF. Sandra also has three young children of her own so understands first-hand what you are going through.
  • Success. Hundreds of babies have been born by patients undergoing IVF while receiving Sandra’s support care.