Infertility is the inability to conceive a child. it also refers to the state of a woman who is unable to carry a pregnancy to full term.
Over the past twenty years, fertility problems have increased dramatically. At least 25 percent of couples in the UK planning a baby will have trouble conceiving, and more and more couples are turning to fertility treatments to help them start a family.
Most problems of couples trying to conceive are due to an increase in their age. About 40 percent of the issues involved with infertility are due to the man, another 40 percent due to the woman, and 20 percent result from complications with both partners.
Experiencing infertility can place great stress and demands on couples. The pressure of social interactions from friends, family members or even social events are often set aside due to the complicated feelings evoked while trying to get pregnant. Stress is likely to build up as shifts and changes occur in one’s support network due to the burdens of infertility.
Other things that may contribute to the increased stress load include the demands of infertility treatment, feelings about self-image, managing the relationship and successful communication with a partner, and the roller coaster of hope and hopelessness. Consequently, it is important to continually check in with yourself and your partner, making sure you take the best care of yourselves as you try to conceive?
The assistance of complementary and alternative fertility treatments are being widely used for couples seeking fertility care and have been well documented with a good success rate in many cases.
Acupuncture is a treatment where several miniscule needles are inserted into specific points on meridians or energy channels. Traditional Chinese medicine follows the principles that some illnesses are derived from an imbalance in the body’s natural energies or ‘chi’ (life force energy).
How does fertility treatment work?
Traditional Chinese acupuncture targeting fertility works by encouraging fresh blood to specific points that influence our reproductive organs such as our fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus. The belief is that these organs are found on one of twelve meridian lines called the ‘conception’ meridian. The theory is that depleted blood stores in a woman – such as irregular periods – can hinder ovulation so encouraging more blood to these areas will help to bring the body back into balance and stimulate ovulation.
Is it effective?
There is some evidence to suggest that acupuncture can enhance fertility. Studies show that it raises progesterone levels – one of the hormones needed for conception – in ovulating women, by triggering the endocrine system. A German study found that male patients receiving ten treatments of acupuncture all showed a significant improvement in sperm quality. It is also beneficial in helping to reduce stress during IVF treatment.
How many sessions do I need?
This works on an individual basis but sessions can often be weekly to start with. Subsequent treatments may be fortnightly or monthly. They may also be timed on a specific part of your cycle such as around ovulation, the follicular or literal phase.
Treatments in conjunction with IVF
The use of acupuncture in conjunction with IVF has been well researched, and it is now widely accepted that acupuncture increases success rates with IVF treatment.
Ideally treatments will begin before the IVF cycle starts to make sure the body is well prepared and in a balanced state in order to respond to the medication. Treatments can also be given along side the IVF cycle and around egg collection and transfer to aid implantation.
Additionally pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal recovery are viewed in traditional Chinese medicine as a window of opportunity to enhance the woman’s wellbeing. During this special time, many women seek out alternatives to western medication or interventions and acupuncture is a gentle and effective alternative.
Treatments with Victoria Busk . 60 minutes £55, further five sessions £250 package price.
The Association of Reflexologists believe that reflexology may be of considerable benefit to couples who are having problems with infertility. Research suggests that up to 50% of women find themselves pregnant within 6 months of commencing treatment.
How pre-conception reflexology work?
By stimulating the reflex points of the feet relating to the reproductive organs, it can help to restore imbalances in the area. Most people will start to respond positively to Reflexology within 3 to 6 weeks, during which time your therapist can work through the general imbalances and start to address the more severe imbalances.
What are the benefits?
Women’s complaints include pre menstrual syndrome, heavy and irregular periods, painful periods and some fertility problems. For men it can be beneficial for treating, low sperm count, decreased sperm mobility, fluid retention around the testicular area, prostate gland problems, low levels of testosterone (hypogonadism) and after effects of testicular cancer/ surgery.
Couples have reported feeling 100% more positive and relaxed, that they sleep better, have improved sex drive. Women may have more regular cycles, better flow, less pain and a percentage of women are likely to successfully conceive within a course of treatments. Some of these women may have suffered from conditions such as polycystic ovaries, recurrent miscarriage, unexplained infertility and hostile cervical mucous.
For many couples, the stress and anxiety associated with failing to conceive can be overwhelming and the reflexology treatment can give them a more positive outlook towards their wellbeing, allowing them to deal with their fertility issues in a more constructive way.
Reflexology treatments help to create a healthier environment for a possible pregnancy to occur by encouraging the body to work more efficiently. The treatment qualities are excellent for creating a balanced mind, body and spirit.
How many sessions are needed?
Normally a course of treatments are recommended once a week over a period of five/six weeks, determined through the first consultation and health history.
“Don’t be discouraged – it’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock”.