Why Natural Fertility?
Natural Fertility vs. ART/IVF
If you’re hoping to get pregnant naturally, feel better than ever once baby comes; and you’re willing to potentially make some necessary lifestyle changes to bring that about, then you’re probably a great fit for our practice!
For three reasons, I have chosen to focus my fertility/infertility work specifically with women who are trying to get pregnant without the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).
Before I get into those reasons, I want to make it clear that I have nothing against IVF or western ART treatments; they have certainly proved miraculous for many women and in some cases are the only option.
Two vastly different fertility treatment goals
But I quickly discovered, after working more and more with infertility in my clinic, that to work with ART patients meant dividing my work and brain between two — often conflicting — goals and realities.
My number one goal with every patient who walks through my door, is to restore normal and healthy balance and wellness to their system, as explained in this post which goes into more detail about what exactly acupuncture and herbs do to help fertility in all the various phases of the menstrual cycle. That’s my passion, that’s why I love this medicine, and it’s what makes me excited to go to work every day.
When treating IVF patients, the goal is different: do everything possible to support the IVF treatment, often using protocol-based (i.e. not individualized) treatments based on modern studies; and increase the women’s tolerance of the process as much as possible.
So for the reasons listed below, I focus my fertility work on Natural Fertility
1) Chinese Medicine tries to SOLVE the problem, ART goes around it
While our treatments during ART definitely improve a woman’s tolerance of and successful results from the ART, it’s not at all about correcting the underlying imbalances that are causing her infertility in the first place — ART is going around those problems, and we’re just supporting that process.
And that’s great, for anyone working with ART. But it’s just not where my skills are focused.
When we focus on natural fertility, we believe that barring specific circumstances, fertility is the natural outcome of wellness and healthy/normal physiological functions. Restoring normal function however takes time, and when women are doing ART they’re usually starting it in the immediate future, which doesn’t give us time to fix anything. Again that’s just not the goal of the treatment in those cases anyway.
2) I wanted to get REALLY REALLY GOOD at correcting the underlying cause of infertility
My second reason is that I realized I can only really master a limited number of medical perspectives.
I found that keeping up on all the changing medical protocols, latest reproductive technology, new studies refuting the last ones, etc.; was time taken away from learning more and more and therefore getting better and better at the very complex art of using Chinese medicine to restore normal reproductive function.
My fertility work felt completely divided between two varying paradigms. So I chose to stick with my passion and dive 100% into the world of natural fertility.
3) My hands were tied by the constraints of the western treatment
Lastly, one of the most vital aspects of treatment for restoring healthy reproductive function, is herbs.
Women using ART are using medicated hormone protocols. And there’s a great divide between those who believe herbs are not only NOT damaging to use during stimulated cycles but actually beneficial; and those who say we can’t put our patients on herbs during stimulated cycles.
I happen to be in the camp that believes that anything we do that helps improve the body’s function will only benefit and improve the outcome of hormone stim cycles. And I believe herbs help.
But I don’t get to make that choice.
Instead, as acupuncturists just supporting the ART process, we defer to the recommendations of the RE, which in many cases means we don’t get to prescribe herbs.
So rather than not having the freedom to use all the tools in my toolbox, I just stepped out of the equation.
Acupuncture is still fabulous for assisting ART
I still believe acupuncture is an amazing support for women going through ART. Many more studies than not show the benefits and improved outcomes when acupuncture is paired with western treatments. If nothing else, the stress reduction alone is worth using it, since IVF is notoriously stressful.
So if you’ve found yourself at the end of this post and are about to start ART or have already started and you’re looking for acupuncture support in the process, give us a call and we’ll be happy to direct you to another acupuncturist who will be of great help!
But if you’ve either tried IVF and it didn’t work, or you’d just like to try the natural route now, I’d love to help you on your journey to motherhood.
You can schedule now by clicking the button below.