By Nina Han, L.Ac.
Infertility and the use of Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) are becoming more prevalent in our society. Despite an overall increase in access to healthcare, infertility rates for women continue to increase. Many women ultimately consider in vitro fertilization in their attempts to start a family. Until very recently, most in vitro fertilization centers utilized a western medical approach exclusively. Fortunately, Nina Han, a third generation Chinese medical specialist (Acupuncture/Herbal medicine) at Spa Gregories, has been able to demonstrate how one’s chances of having a successful and healthy pregnancy can be maximized by combining western with Chinese medicine. This holistic view to tackle the obstacle of infertility brings “the best of both worlds” strategy to a formidable problem.
Nina Han’s extensive experience with infertility patients and unique training in Chinese medicine combine to provide patients with a comprehensive and effective plan for a successful IVF cycle.
A recent German study found that using acupuncture with IVF achieved a 42% clinical pregnancy rate in the test group, compared to 26% in the control group that did not receive acupuncture. In clinical observation, the ultrasound shows that, after acupuncture treatment, the color of woman’s ovaries change from cloudy to bright and clear. The follicles usually double in number, the lining of the uterus becomes thicker, and the number of embryos increases significantly. Patients experience fewer side effects from the western drugs and feel more at ease and relaxed.
In brief, Chinese medicine can help to improve the success rate of IVF in a number of ways:
1. Improve the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs
2. Regulate the hormones to produce a larger number of follicles
3. Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining.
4. Relax the patient and decrease their stress and anxiety
5. Prevent the uterus from contracting
6. Lessen the side effects of drugs used in IVF
7. Strengthen the immune system
8. Improve semen to create better quality and quantity of embryos
9. Decrease chances of miscarriage