Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) Support Program
Unfortunately, for some couples the challenge of achieving a natural conception can be a stressful and heartbreaking experience and the use of assisted reproductive technologies may be the only way they can achieve their dream family.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is a general term that refers to the range of methods used to circumvent infertility and achieve pregnancy by artificial or partially artificial means. It is primarily used in infertility treatments but may also be used for genetic or other reasons. Click here for more information on ARTs.
Working in the field of infertility and IVF/ART support, I have assisted countless couples successfully through this process. A naturopathic approach works particularly well in both improving the outcome and reducing any negative side effects for those couples using IVF and / or other ART treatments. In fact, research in the UK and in Australia has demonstrated that solid preconception health care can increase ART/IVF success rates by around 50%. Egg, sperm and embryo quality improves and implantation and overall success is improved when 3 to 4 months of preparation precedes the IVF procedures.
The aim of my ART/IVF Support Program is to integrate with and complement your medical treatments in a holistic manner and in co-operation and consultation with your other health professionals. Always, for all concerned, the aim will be to ensure a genetically healthy conception, a healthy pregnancy, trouble free birth process and general wellbeing for yourselves and your child.
In most cases, as a starting point, I would recommend a thorough Preconception Health Care and Fertility Enhancement Program before launching into the world of ART. If it is at all possible to have a natural conception, I would recommend this as the better option for both you and your baby.
It is important to keep in mind that the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (IUI, IVF, ICSI and such) deal mostly with a ‘transport problem’. The focus is on getting the sperm and ova together (in the case of ICSI actually injecting the sperm into the ova) so that a conception can take place (in a Petri dish) and then the small embryo is implanted in to an area where it is hoped it will implant and grow (the uterus).
The most important issue is that ART procedures do not address the QUALITY of the sperm or ova or the QUALITY of the environment in which the embryo is to implant, grow and thrive.
Naturopathic ART and IVF support specifically focuses on improving the health of your whole system including ova and sperm so that when conception does occur, the healthiest of cells are coming together and then implant into a lusciously healthy uterine lining.
A recent study in the UK, conducted by Foresight the Association for Preconceptual Health Care, found that 3-4 months of preconception health care preceding IVF treatment more than doubled the success rates for IVF.
I find that a significant number of couples undertaking the Preconception Health Care and Fertility Enhancement Program prior to a planned IVF cycle for ‘unexplained infertility’ conceive by themselves, naturally. This is because many of the underlying nutritional, lifestyle and sub-clinical health issues preventing them from conceiving in the first place had been overcome.
However, for those who do require ART treatments, taking the time to do the Preconception Health Care Program can end up being time and money saved in the long run as the chances of success at the first attempt are significantly increased. As well, this work will increase the likelihood of a healthy, trouble free pregnancy and delivery and a robustly healthy baby.
This applies even for older couples.
How can naturopathic treatment help the outcome for us?
- Improves sperm count, motility, morphology (shape) and DNA integrity
- Improves egg quality – cell membrane, receptors, ability to accept sperm and energy to begin division
- Modulates FSH production which may be elevated in those having difficulty conceiving
- Improves response to IVF drugs and reducing negative side effects via improving cell membrane integrity and receptor response and improving the liver’s processing of the drugs
- Supports your nervous system and adrenal function before during and after procedures
- Supports and modulates your immune systems to reduce antibody production or immune rejection of the embryo as well as reducing inflammation or potential for infection due to the procedures
Will the naturopathic treatment interfere with our ART procedures and drugs or vice versa?
No. Not at all.
Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and a naturopathic preconception program are not incompatible. In fact, a naturopathic approach will significantly improve your chances of becoming pregnant and will support pregnancy health as well as reducing any negative side effects from the drug regime as well as the inherent risks associated with ART.
Hormonally active herbs are not used during ART cycles. However, due to the stressful nature of ART cycles, it is possible that herbs that support the nervous system and adrenal function may be prescribed but only with the consent of your medical practitioner.
ART and IVF Not Working?
Here is your check list.
- Have you both completed at least 120 days of thorough preconception health care?
- Have you both followed a fertility friendly diet for the last 120 days?
- Have you both addressed any lifestyle habits that may be detrimental to your fertility?
- Have any pre-existing health problems been addressed and resolved satisfactorily?
- Has your general health and wellbeing improved over the past 120 days?
- Have you taken steps to improve sperm quality?
- Have your taken steps to improve egg quality?
- Have you eliminated everything possible from your lifestyle or environment that could be detrimental in any way to the process of conception, a healthy pregnancy and the healthiest baby possible?
Meet with Christine and discuss how your IVF journey can be assisted.
Call 07 3857 8515 now to book your 20 minute free introductory consultation.
Telephone or Skype consultations are available for those unable to attend the Brisbane clinic.