Complementary Medicine & Alternative Medicine
Last year more than 6 million people in the USA turned to Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to treat a variety of medical conditions. Research has shown that CAM can enhance the fertility of patients when used in conjunction with traditional fertility therapies.
CAM is often used for patients undergoing fertility testing, ovulation induction, pelvic surgery, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Assisted Reproductive Therapies. Acupuncture, massage therapy, herbal therapy, hypnosis, nutritional counseling and stress reduction have all been evaluated for their impact on fertility.
At RMFC we have a team of complementary Medicine providers to provide ancillary care to our traditional therapies. We can work directly with both men and women who are experiencing fertility problems using CAM.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy used to treat thousand of ailments. Traditional acupuncture therapy is believed to regulate spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. Acupuncture can be given for several weeks before a treatment cycle or immediately before and after an Embryo Transfer procedure.
The use of acupuncture has been shown in some studies to improve pregnancy rates. In the 2001 study in Fertility & Sterility, 42.5% of the group treated with acupuncture became pregnant, whereas only 26.3% of the non-treated group became pregnant. It is thought that the increase in pregnancy rate is due to stress reduction, decreasing the contractility of the uterus, and improving blood flow to the pelvic organs.
The impact of the Pre and Post Embryo Transfer Protocol can enhance the success of In Vitro Fertilization. Acupuncture consults and treatments are provided at our facility for RMFC patients.
Herbal therapies are considered natural remedies. Herbal therapy have been shown to decrease and increase fertility. Working with someone knowledgeable in the field will help you explore which herbs may be beneficial and which may be harmful to your fertility. Herbalist consults are available at RMFC.
Diet, exercise and lifestyle can affect how long you’ll live, the health of your heart, the odds you’ll develop cancer and a host of other health-related issues. But is there a special diet for fertility? The answer to that question has long been a “well maybe,” based on conventional wisdom—and almost no science. Farmers, ranchers and animal scientists know that nutrition affects fertility in cows, and pigs.
So why wouldn’t diet be important for women who want to conceive. There are small hints scattered across medical journals, but few studies of the role of diet in women and men who want to conceive.
In a very large observational study, in which more than 18,000 women were evaluated for the role of diet on fertility, connections with diet and fertility were made. About one in six women, in this study, had some trouble getting pregnant, including hundreds who experienced problems with ovulation. When their diets were compared with those women who readily got pregnant, several key differences were found. These differences are now known as “The Fertility Diet”.
The diet plan described with The Fertility Diet doesn’t guarantee a pregnancy any more than traditional fertility treatments but it’s available to everyone, and has no side effects. It helps you start eating right for a healthy pregnancy, and forms the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Please talk to our staff if you are interested in learning more about the FERTILITY DIET.
Stress reduction programs
Stress Reduction programs are an integral part of fertility treatment since Alice Domar, PhD pioneered the development of “Mind/Body” programs to improve fertility success.
Trying to unsuccessfully start a family may be one of the most stressful times in a couple’s life. When the reality means seeking outside help, the pressure increases. Along with daily life and responsibilities, a whole new set of worries and fears begin. Sex, children and money can create negativity in any relationship and the infertility journey shines a spotlight on all three!
During this time, it’s important to seek the council of a mental health professional who can help you navigate the emotional side of your fertility journey. 20% of couples who do not see a therapist will drop out of infertility treatments. Just simply talking to someone who ‘gets it’ can be a stress reducer. It’s imperative to have an integrative approach to baby and that includes mind, body and soul.
Please ask our staff if you are interested in the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program as part of your fertility care.