Sometimes, however, there is more behind a person’s infertility than just an imbalance of the body’s systems. There are conditions that can create actual physical barriers to conception, but even when this is the case, natural therapies still have their place. An integrative treatment approach utilizes the best of both Western medicine and holistic healing methods, creating a plan targeted at a patients unique situation, utilizing the benefits of both types of medicine to reach the end goal in as healthy a way as possible.
Integrative Medicine is defined as: “medicine that integrates the therapies of alternative medicine with those practiced by mainstream medical practitioners”.
You can, and should, access the best of both worlds in treatment options when medical intervention is necessary. An integrative approach can only improve your chances of conception.
Find a Doctor Who Supports Your Vision
Spend time interviewing potential reproductive endocrinologists (REs), discussing treatment options and choosing a specialist who will respect and support your desire to approach infertility with integrative methods. There are some RE’s who actually employ natural care practitioners in their office because they know how effective an integrative approach can be in helping improve the outcome. Seek out a practitioner who is of a similar mind as you, and build a team around you who is ready and willing to work together.
Natural Therapies That Work Well in Conjunction with Fertility Treatments
There are certain natural treatment options which have proven to be especially beneficial when combined with a medical approach for an integrative treatment plan to treating infertility. These include:
Studies have actually found increased success rates for IVF patients who utilize acupuncture directly before and after an embryo transfer. The benefits have now been so embraced, that many fertility clinics employ full-time acupuncturists on staff and offer treatments to their patients already pursuing IVF. If your clinic does not have an on-staff acupuncturist, or if you simply feel more comfortable utilizing the services of your own, arrange to make two appointments with your acupuncturist the day of your IVF transfer – the first a few hours before, and the second immediately after.
Uterine Calming Herbs
A leading concern for women going through IVF? Implantation. Is there anything that can be done to help this along? We find there are specific herbs that when combined, can help encourage healthy implantation of an embryo by preparing the uterus and nervous system for pregnancy. UteriCalm is a liquid herbal blend that utilizes four key herbs to calm the uterus in preparation for implantation:
- Crampbark (Viburnum opulus)
- Black Haw (Viburnum prunifolium)
- Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)
- Oat flower also known as Milky oats (Avena sativa)
A calm uterus is going to be more receptive. Not only do these herbs support uterine health, they are relaxing to the nervous system; aiding in stress relief, something greatly important to any woman going through medical fertility treatments.
The benefits of chiropractic care in conjunction with fertility treatments are just now being observed. The prevailing theory is that regular chiropractic care helps the body to align and meet an ideal functioning capacity.
Combining chiropractic care with your fertility treatments carries no negative effects, and may help you to enter treatments in a much healthier physical state and frame of mind.
Mind & Body Therapies
There are a variety of mind and body therapies designed to help reduce stress, promote relaxation and improve overall health and vitality. It is a well-known fact that stressful situations increase the release of hormones that are detrimental to fertility. We understand that infertility can be extremely stressful and that stress is not always adequately address by Western medicine. Some examples are:
- fertility yoga
- guided visualization
- essential oil therapy
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Having a mind-body practice is one of the most beneficial integrative medicine approaches one can employ to help support health throughout infertility treatments.
Learn about the variety of mind and body therapies that can help improve fertility and choose a couple to implement in your weekly routine!
Mini-IVF – A More “Natural” Approach to IVF
One medical option, borne from an increased recognition of the benefits of a more natural approach, is Mini-IVF. Conducted by only a handful of clinics in the United States, Mini-IVF is a more natural approach to IVF in that it has focused on reducing the amount of hormones used when working to harvest eggs. This treatment path typically produces between 3 and 5 quality eggs per cycle, as opposed to anywhere from 10 to 20. For some patients, mini-IVF has actually proven to be more successful than traditional IVF, because the body is not producing the same inflammatory response it may after the influx of hormones used for a full cycle.
Regardless of how you choose to help yourself overcome infertility and go on to have a child, know that utilizing natural healing options in combination with medical options can increase your chance of a successful outcome.
– What to Expect. Natural Fertility Treatment. Looking for ways to boost your fertility naturally? There are a host of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) techniques that may help you conceive. Retrieved online from: http://www.whattoexpect.com/preconception/natural-fertility-treatments.aspx
– Alliance Integrative Medicine. Our Treatments. Retrieved online from: http://www.myhealingpartner.com/infertiliity_approaches_to_infertility.html
– New Hope Fertility Center. Retrieved online from: http://www.newhopefertility.com/?topic=minimal-stimulation-mini-ivf
– Barton-Schuster, D., C.H. (n.d.) Implantation Support for Early Pregnancy. Retrieved online from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/implantation-support-uterine-calming-herbs.html
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