Archive for the ‘Fertility’ Category
Are you about to begin IVF fertility treatments? Whether it’s your first or you have already been through a few cycles, combining acupuncture with your IVF treatment plan improves the success rate by increasing chances of implantation and pregnancy.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can address common fertility issues such as unexplained infertility, poor egg quality, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, repeat miscarriages and more. Both female infertility and male infertility can be effectively treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
If you have never tried acupuncture before, however, you might be wondering if it is right for your particular fertility problem. During your search on the internet for ways to solve your fertility problems, you have read articles or heard from women on fertility forums who have used acupuncture to help them get pregnant. However, you are still unsure if it is right for you. There are many acupuncturists whose websites claim they can help improve your fertility. So how do you choose? I completely understand your hesitance. If I were in your situation, I would also feel the same way.
It is exactly for this reason that I offer a 45 minute consultation together with an acupuncture treatment. During the consult we will have time to get to know each other. We will sit and look at your health and fertility history in depth. I will identify diet and lifestyle changes you can implement immediately that will enhance your fertility. At the end of the consultation, you will have a very clear idea of how acupuncture will help you.
The cost of this initial consultation plus your first acupuncture treatment is 100₪.
Call Sharon at 054-916-0156 today to move ahead on your fertility journey.
Offer expires April 30th, 2013
I love this story about the relexologist, Dina Doadi. She has never seen the feet of the people she works with because she is blind. She has helped so many people with their health issues including fertility problems. This may be amazing to many that she can do this, but to me it illustrates how healing comes in many forms and how all the senses can be used to help diagnose someone not just sight.
I already begin to build a picture of my clients from the very first phone call where I am simply listening to someone’s voice. When we meet for the first acupuncture treatment, I am not just observing them but listening to the sound of their voice, their breathing. I also take their pulse and palpate their skin and muscles to see how soft or tense or dry it is. All of these things, in addition to what is said, are important for diagnosing someone and for deciding how to treat their health issues effectively.
If you are going through fertility treatments (in vitro fertilization IVF or intrauterine insemination IUI), combine acupuncture and Chinese medicine to balance side effects of the treatment and increase your chances of getting pregnant. Read one woman’s storyhere about how she struggled for years with gynecological and fertility problems before eventually getting pregnant with help from IVF and acupuncture. Call Sharon at 054-916-0156 or email Sharon@dikurnashi.co.il for more information.
Great news out of Tel Aviv University: a recent study (1) showed that a combination of acupuncture and herbs with fertility treatments (IUI – intrauterine insemination) is a winning solution for hopeful mommies who are having trouble conceiving. Over 65% of women doing a combo of IUI and acupuncture & herbs conceived compared to only 39.4% of women in the control group, who received no additional therapy with their IUI. AND the test group had a higher average age (39 years) than the control group (37 years).
Every day I see the how acupuncture and Chinese medicine benefits my patients with infertility problems. Now there’s one more study to prove it!!
To read the clinical trial, click here
1.Sela K, et al. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment for women undergoing intrauterine insemination. Eur J Integr Med (2011), doi:10.1016/j.eujim.2011.04.020
Join Sharon Kastoriano, Licensed Acupuncturist and Fertility Specialist, for an evening seminar packed full of information on how to enhance and improve your fertility.
Attend the seminar and receive your Personal Fertility Action Plan together with a 30 minute free phone consultation
Date: Monday, November 14th in Tel Aviv.
Time: 19:00 to 21:00
Language: English but handouts will be provided in Hebrew as well. Hebrew speaker will also be available to translate.
What You Will Learn:
- Fertility Awareness (figuring out the best time to try to conceive, timing ovulation, charting your menstrual cycle)
- Fertility Typing (learn about YOUR fertility type and how YOU can help yourself with diet, lifestyle, supplements and acupressure)
- Common Fertility Problems such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, recurrent miscarriage and the best course of treatment
Who Should Attend This Seminar?
- Have you been trying to conceive with no success?
- Are you thinking about doing fertility treatments such as clomiphene citrate, insemination or in vitro fertilization but not sure if it’s the right choice for you?
- Are you already doing fertility treatments but still not pregnant?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then this seminar is for you.
Cost: 75 NIS
You will leave this seminar with useful and practical information on how to improve and enhance your fertility.
You will also receive your Personal Fertility Action Plan as well as a free 30 minute phone consultation to discuss your individual case.
How To Register:
Email Sharon at Sharon@dikurnashi.co.il or call 054-916-0156
TOP TEN FERTILITY MYTHS
1. Just relax and you’ll get pregnant.
Advice like this is usually given by well-meaning family members and friends but it can be insensitive and more importantly, not true. If you have an identifiable fertility problem such as blocked tubes, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome or sperm issues, relaxing isn’t going to help. If you have been trying to conceive for about a year (if you are over 35: six months), the first step is to see a fertility doctor for comprehensive testing. Testing does not mean that you have to immediately proceed with fertility treatments such as IVF, but they will help to identify the problem so you can choose the best course of treatment for you or your partner.
DikurNashi says: If there is an identifiable cause of infertility, depending on what it is, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine will definitely help, whether used alone or in conjunction with Western fertility treatments such as IUI or IVF. If you get a diagnosis of “unexplained infertility”, I highly recommend trying Chinese medicine before trying IVF. “Unexplained infertility” means that doctors are unable to identify any medical reason for a couple’s inability to get pregnant. However, if a couple fails to conceive, there is obviously something causing the problem. This is where acupuncture and Chinese medicine excels. Unlike Western fertility doctors who only focus their attention on the male and female reproductive system, as a Chinese medical practitioner, I look at the WHOLE person and observe and ask questions about all of their body’s systems, their lifestyle, diet and emotions. For conception to occur, there are many, many different hormones and systems that all need to be in balance with each other. If some of these systems are off just slightly, getting pregnant can be difficult. But on the flip side, that means that taking simple steps to optimize health and balance all of the body’s systems might be all that’s needed to get pregnant.
2. Infertility is a woman’s problem.
In about 35 to 40% of couples facing infertility, the problem lies with the female. However, in 30 to 35% of couples, the problem lies with the male alone. The rest of the time there is a problem on both sides. If you are having difficulties getting pregnant, it is very important for both partners to get tested.
DikurNashi says: Having spoken with the many women in my clinic, I know that it can be very difficult to encourage a man to get checked. Without generalizing too much, it seems to take men more time to come to terms with the idea that they may have a problem with their fertility. I have women contacting me for help with fertility, assuming the problem is theirs, not their husband’s. I always tell them that both need to get tested otherwise we are trying to treat the issue with only half of the information. Wherever the problem lies and depending on what the problem is, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine offers a gentle, natural treatment approach for both men and women. I recommend trying the most gentle and least invasive treatment options before moving on to other Western fertility treatments that come with more side effects.
3. With modern technology such as insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF), it’s OK to put off trying to conceive until later in life. There is no technology right now that can improve the quality of a woman’s eggs. A woman is born with all the eggs she is ever going to have and the quality of these eggs declines with age. Poor egg quality is one of the main reasons women in their late 30s face difficulties getting pregnant. Poor egg quality is also one of the reasons why IVF cycles are not successful. Men are also not immune. Sperm levels and quality can also decline with age and poor sperm quality is also a reason for unsuccessful IVF cycles.
DikurNashi says: These days, women face difficult decisions when it comes to starting a family. Of course women want to have a successful career and want to wait to have children with the right partner. Why shouldn’t they? It’s taken a long time for women to reach this kind of freedom. Mother Nature is not on a woman’s side, unfortunately, when it comes to fertility, however. If you want to focus on a career or have not yet found the right partner but know you want to have children, be mindful that you may have more difficulty getting pregnant and take steps to optimize and maintain good health.
4. If you have a regular period, you should have no problems getting pregnant.
If you have blocked fallopian tubes, you will still have a regular period. If there is scarring of the tubes due to endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), there will be no symptoms and your period will be regular. However, in both cases the sperm will not be able to reach the egg so conception cannot occur. Or there may be male factor issues such as low sperm count. If you have been trying to conceive for a year with timed intercourse, seek help. If you are over 35, seek help after 6 months.
DikurNashi says: This is why I always insist that men and women who come to me seeking help with fertility go to a fertility doctor to get the basic tests done. As I said above, going to get tests done does not mean you have to do Western fertility treatments. It just gives us information that we can use. This is why combining the best of Eastern and Western medicine leads to better outcomes.
5. If you are trying to conceive, you should have intercourse 24 to 72 hours AFTER you ovulate.
The best time to have intercourse is on the days right BEFORE ovulation. Male sperm survive for about 5 days inside a woman’s uterus. An egg survives about 24 hours after it is released during ovulation so if you wait until after ovulation, the sperm might not make it to the egg in time.
DikurNashi says: To quote my friend and former colleague, you want to make sure the seats are full before the diva (the egg) makes her appearance on stage. Ideally, you want to have intercourse 2 to 3 days before ovulation, the night before as well as the night after.
6. Ovulation occurs on day 14 of your menstrual cycle.
The textbook menstrual cycle lasts 28 days and ovulation occurs on day 14. However, every woman is different. The best way to work out when you ovulate is by charting your cycle or using an ovulation predictor kit (OPK). Charting your cycle using your basal body temperature will show not only that you are ovulating but also around which day you usually ovulate. However, the downside of charting is that it only shows ovulation AFTER is has occurred. OPKs, on the other hand, let you know that ovulation IS taking place. However, OPKs are expensive and you will need to use several each month to pinpoint when you are ovulating.
DikurNashi says: My advice to patients is to first chart your cycle using your basal body temperature for three months. That way you will know IF you are ovulating and on which day it usually occurs. Then if you want to, you can use OPKs to pinpoint the exact time. I always encourage my patients to chart their cycle because, besides showing ovulation, this chart provides lots of other very useful information about a woman’s cycle. For example, during the luteal phase (time between ovulation and when your period begins), temperatures need to rise and stay elevated for successful implantation to occur. If I see that temperatures after ovulation rise very slowly or dip several times, I will focus the acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment on optimizing ovulation and keeping the temperature elevated sufficiently.
7. Day 1 of your cycle is the first day of any kind of bleeding or spotting.
No, day 1 is the first day of full menstrual bleeding with bright red blood. Spotting does not count as the first day of your period.
DikurNashi says: Some women spot for a few days before the full flow of their menstrual period begins. I hear from many patients with spotting that their doctors see this as normal. However, from a Chinese medical perspective, there is an imbalance. There should be a clear beginning and end to a woman’s period and it should last around 5 days. If there is spotting either before or after the period making it seem like your period is going on for days, seek treatment with acupuncture and Chinese Medicine to regulate the flow and bring it back into balance.
8. If you have previously had a baby, then you are not infertile.
Having difficulties conceiving another child after the earlier birth of an earlier child is called secondary infertility. It is more common than people think. There can be many reasons for secondary infertility. Age-related infertility is the main reason for couples who were already in their late 30s around the time of the birth of their first child. Once a woman is over 35, fertility declines so if a couple or more years have passed since the first child, age could now be a factor. Male sperm can have changed over time or maybe there are new exposures to certain toxins, pesticides or other environmental factors. Although not that common, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can sometimes develop after the first pregnancy, especially if there has been considerable weight gain since the first pregnancy. If there was a C-section, maybe there is scarring causing problems with implantation. And then there are lifestyle changes that occur once a child is born. Lack of sleep, more stress juggling schedules, less time to take care of oneself can lead to the body becoming rundown that can cause hormonal imbalances. Again, it is important to seek help and get tests done quickly. Don’t wait longer than six months if you are over 35.
DikurNashi says: While acupuncture and Chinese medicine is not able to reverse the clock, it will definitely help restore health and balance to the body increasing the chances of getting pregnant.
9. If you adopt, you’ll get pregnant
This statement is similar to telling someone to just relax. It’s insensitive and not true, although someone always has story about a couple they know that it happened to. However, some women are more sensitive to the effects of stress hormones and nothing is more stressful than the struggle of infertility. When these women (and men) make the decision to stop ‘TRYING’ to conceive, their bodies return to a more relaxed, receptive state and they become pregnant.
DikurNashi says: Stress affects everyone in different ways and in some women stress hormones can create problems with fertility. That is why acupuncture is so beneficial for all those who are trying to conceive. It balances the adverse effects of the stress hormones and brings the body back into balance (homeostasis).
10. IVF is my only option
For the vast majority of women this is absolutely not true. In vitro fertilization (IVF) was originally developed to help women who had blocked tubes or structural problems that physically prevent the egg from reaching the sperm so there is no way for conception to occur. It is also indicated for men who have azoospermia (the condition of not having any sperm in the semen).
DikurNashi says: For many couples with age-related or unexplained infertility, IVF is not necessarily the best option. I recommend a three month program of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, dietary and lifestyle changes to optimize health and balance hormones. If there is still no pregnancy, then a couple can go on to do IVF treatments but now there is an increased chance of success as they are healthier. It makes sense that healthy bodies are more likely to get pregnant.
Mariah Carey, who just this week announced she was pregnant, is among the growing number of celebrities, who are opening up about their fertility problems and sharing how they finally managed to get pregnant. Both Carey and Dion credit acupuncture with finally getting pregnant.
Celine Dion tried multiple rounds of IVF before deciding to get acupuncture to boost the success of the fertility treatments. She finally became pregnant and has recently given birth to healthy twins.
Mariah Carey, who had previously suffered a miscarriage, was getting daily acupuncture treatments as well as using progesterone therapy to help her conceive.
I think we can assume that with their fame and fortune both women had access to the best fertility doctors and the latest fertility techniques available. But what was it that finally worked for them? Acupuncture: an inexpensive, time-tested method that has been helping women for centuries with fertility problems.
Last week the Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to Robert G. Edwards, an English biologist who along with his colleague, Dr. Patrick Steptoe, developed the in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure for treating infertility.
Thanks to him, four million babies have been conceived worldwide using IVF since the birth of the first test tube baby, Louise Brown, on July 25, 1978.
For many couples, IVF offers a chance to create the family they thought it was impossible to have. However, in vitro fertilization is not always as easy as the media makes it appear. The chances of getting pregnant with IVF for a woman over the age of 35 are between 15 to 35%. Success rates lower with age and/or if there are complicating factors such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
New advances in the field of fertility have shown a way to improve these success rates. Over the last few years, a number of clinical trials have effectively shown that combining acupuncture with fertility treatments increases IVF success rates by a further 10 to 15%. Recent research done by Dr. Paul Magarelli, a Reproductive Endocrinologist in the US who includes acupuncture in his IVF protocols, proposes the reason for acupuncture’s impact on IVF rates is its ability to regulate stress hormones.
"We've suspected that stress affects fertility for a long time," says Dr Magarelli. "What's new about our study is that it indicates that acupuncture may positively adjust the levels of the stress hormones Cortisol and Prolactin during the stimulation phase of IVF. In other words, acupuncture "corrects" for the negative changes and brings a woman's body into balance, optimizing the chances of conception."
As the growing number of scientific studies shows the powerful connection between acupuncture and improved pregnancy rates with IVF, why don’t all fertility doctors recommend acupuncture to their patients? Why not use all the tools available to improve their patients’ chances of getting pregnant? If you are currently doing fertility treatments ask your doctor about including acupuncture. If you have any questions about IVF, fertility treatments and acupuncture, call Sharon at 054-916-0156 or send her an email at Sharon@dikurnashi.co.il