Infertility has sadly become a global crisis.
There are a lot more fertility options today than people ever had access to before. Stats have shown that fertility clinics across the country have doubled in the past decade. While these options can be valuable for many, the pathways are not easy to navigate. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a common option that can be daunting for many.
For all the individualized IVF treatment protocols that clinics perform today, the success of these procedures falls in the 40-50% range. In vitro treatments are based on age, diagnosis, and blood chemistry. While a tailored treatment is great, here is the problem – IVF is more quantitative than qualitative.
So, what can you do to improve your chances of success at IVF?
The importance of a foundation
The fact that you need to resort to in vitro fertilization indicates that there is a breakdown in the reproductive process at some level. Identifying obstacles like an over-taxed liver, enhancing resources like blood and qi, and qualifying sleep, and rest – is of utmost importance. Those are exactly the things that fertility clinics fail to address.
Preparing for IVF is like preparing the ‘soil’ (uterus) for new growth. Your plan should be unique to what your ‘soil’ needs for in vitro fertilization. Your reproductive system, digestive system, and mental-emotional health contribute to the health of the ‘soil’. You begin by removing toxins, strengthening, and balancing your organ systems, and finally nurturing your spirit.
Focus shifts from one area to other depending on what each individual needs. Some need to simply de-stress (aka move Liver Qi) to be able to get a successful IVF outcome while someone with low AMH may need a solid targeted approach to boost egg quality.
The tools to achieve those results are varied. Adopting a multi-faceted approach is important to optimize success.
Whole-systems TCM approach
A whole-systems TCM approach for IVF success is an effective and complete approach. It involves –
- Acupuncture (see below for recommended treatment plans)
- Chinese herbal medicine (ideally taken 2-3 months prior to starting in vitro stims)
- Dietary changes – Eliminating damp foods and adding boosters. Our TCM practitioners can tailor your ‘fertility’ diet to exactly what YOU need.
- Lifestyle changes – Pro-fertility lifestyle will mean improving sleep, reducing stress, and detoxing the liver.
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Acupuncture and how much?
Acupuncture has the power of improving IVF outcomes by up to 65%! Evidence-based studies suggest incorporating 3 months of treatments leads to improved IVF outcomes. That’s 12 sessions leading up to stimulation. The frequency of treatments is once a week. The month of IVF sessions is twice a week. Logging in 1 session pre-transfer and 1 session post-transfer is essential. The pre and post-transfers are best performed within 24 hours of the embryo transfer.