What To Expect From Fertility Treatment
Dealing with infertility is almost always a complex and emotionally trying experience. Becoming pregnant is a powerful biological drive that when difficult to achieve is often emotionally devastating. Treatment is expensive, confusing and both emotionally and physically draining. Our goal in treating you is always one thing: ACHIEVING A HEALTHY AND SUCCESSFUL PREGNANCY.
To put a finer point on it, our other goal is to accurately identify and correct the root causes that are preventing you from becoming pregnant. IVF clinics more or less bypass the treatment of some of the imbalances we consider due to the fact that they fall outside of general protocol. However, we find that by correcting these imbalances prior to IVF, our patients have a much better chance of achieving a healthy pregnancy. Conditions such as PCOS and Endometriosis often engender a hormonal environment that is hostile to the conditions optimal for the developing embryo.
For patients using Chinese Medicine in combination with IVF, the positive effects of treatment with Chinese Medicine are often evident from the start of an IVF cycle. The hormonal and follicular responses, as seen in blood work, are often far healthier than those in prior cycles. Similarly, women often report the return of normal timing in ovulation, a better cervical mucous flow, as well as the absence of menstrual and pre-menstrual symptoms.
Aside from addressing the physical aspects of this process, we seek to create a safe trusting environment where you understand what we are seeing and why we are treating it in the way we are. Too often the fertility experience is like a scary rollercoaster ride where you have little control or understanding about what is happening to your body. While treatment with IVF is often necessary. we seek to support you through that process and enhance the effectiveness of your outcome.
There are two basic courses of treatment with regards to fertility. Some women choose to use acupuncture as a support treatment to an upcoming IVF or IUI. This approach uses a series of acupuncture fertility treatments scheduled before and after the medical IVF and can enhance the chances of having a successful conception and implantation. While this is a valid and often successful approach, it does not address the underlying causes of the fertility problem in a meaningful way. Some couples choose this as a first step and then, if the IVF fails, proceed to a more thorough course of treatment.
The second, and from our perspective, more effective course of treatment is an in-depth examination of a woman’s menstrual and health history. The purpose of this exam is to determine and then treat all of the factors that might be affecting her ability to achieve a healthy pregnancy and birth. This exam entails a in-depth visit along with appropriate blood work and hormonal testing. The visit is followed up by a report of findings (ROF) where we go over herbal and nutritional treatment, acupuncture, dietary therapy and lifestyle counseling.
This approach allows us to push back the biological clock by addressing the metabolic factors that have led to the degradation of a woman’s reproductive ability. Besides feeling and often looking younger, woman will often find subsequent IVF cycles to be successful. It is not unusual for patients to have the happy surprise of having to cancel an upcoming IVF cycle because they have become pregnant using the “at home method.” Not every woman feels comfortable with, or is able to afford IVF as a treatment for infertility. Chinese medicine has been used for centuries as a stand-alone treatment for infertility. While IVF and other reproductive treatments can be successful in terms of creating a healthy baby, they are not known for creating a healthy woman. The intense hormonal intrusion into the delicately balanced endocrine system of the human body is rarely a happy event from the body’s perspective.
Treatment with Chinese and Functional therapies will always improve the healthy balance within the complicated ecosystem that is your body, even if it does not result in pregnancy. But it can be, and often is, a very effective stand-alone treatment for infertility. In every case, we will be completely honest with you regarding what we consider to be your chances, what choices in treatment are the best fit for your particular set of circumstances and perhaps, most importantly, when we feel pregnancy is impossible.
Before making an appointment, you are welcome to speak with Mr. Butler regarding your situation. He would be happy to answer any questions you have and aid in making a preliminary determination as to the appropriateness of your treatment options.