Begin Your Journey with Clarity & Ease
- Acupuncture: Regular acupuncture can optimize your results and create a great foundation to encourage a healthy pregnancy as you move forward. Our goal is to improve hormonal balance by using acupuncture to improve blood flow to the ovaries, uterus, and (for male patients) the testicles, which can improve egg health, improve hormonal balance, and prepare your body for optimal conception. We recommend a minimum of 9-12 treatments prior to IVF retrieval for best results. We work with most couples for 3-9 months on average, regardless of their intended method of conception. We also suggest patients continue with weekly acupuncture through their first trimester to encourage a healthy start to pregnancy and to prevent miscarriage. While acupuncture treatments are generally recommended on a weekly basis, during several important points of the IVF cycle itself, this recommendation shifts slightly. Please provide us with a copy of your proposed IVF schedule when available (provided by most IVF clinics), and we can gladly help you to plan accordingly.
- A good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement will help your body cope with the demands of IVF. These are namely Vitamin C and E, which enriches the fluid surrounding and nourishing your eggs. Zinc is essential for hormone production. Magnesium and Vitamin A are known to aid egg production. Selenium and magnesium to improve fertilization rates. Iron and Co-enzyme Q10 (ubiquinol form) help to enrich the womb lining. Vitamins C, E and zinc also help you to repair quickly after the egg retrieval, ready to receive the incoming embryos and B-complex will help your body cope with the additional stress of an IVF cycle.
(The whole food prenatal vitamin that we often recommend is Thorne Basic Prenatal (containing folate vs. folic acid) or a prenatal from the Garden of Life brand. They are whole food vitamins, meaning that they are much easier to digest and contain probiotics and digestive supplements to help further. Price-wise, they are relatively comparable, and we sell both the Thorne Prenatal and additional methylated folate at the office for your convenience.)
- CoQ10 (ubiquinol form): 100 mg daily for you, and 60 mg daily for your partner
- Chinese herbs:
- Should a pregnancy not occur with this most recent IUI, we can prescribe an herbal formula to be taken during this pre-IVF prep phase at your next appointment.
- Feeling as relaxed and unstressed as possible favors conception! A study of women undergoing IVF showed that those who exhibited lower levels of measurable physiological stress had a higher chance of success. Include daily stress relief and moderate exercise to reduce cortisol levels and improve blood flow - the Circle + Bloom meditations at bedtime could be a wonderful way to accomplish this and end the day on a positive note. We will also be addressing stress in each of your treatments, and can always add more acupuncture points for this as needed! Guided meditations at bedtime may help with both sleep and stress relief. Circle + Bloom (here is a link to a 15% discount on their items) has some programs that are very popular with our patients, and there are many others available online, too...
- Systems Cleanse:
- In advance of the IVF cycle ahead, you may wish to give your body a bit of a reset and complete a short fertility cleanse during your prep phase to clear any residual hormones, medications, etc. Please let us know if you'd like additional recommendations in this regard and we will be happy to send some recommendations your way.
- Nutritional Preparation
- IVF experts are now finding just how important it is that embryos are not exposed to toxic chemicals at any level of development. Therefore, avoiding pesticides, chemicals and fumes appears to have a sound basis. Opt for fresh, whole foods that are pesticide and hormone-free including: vegetables, fruits, dairy and meat. Limit sugar, white flour, and all processed foods, if you are not already. We advise eating mostly organic whenever possible. These recommendations are provided in the spirit of things to emphasize or add to your diet, as opposed to creating additional restrictions or stress during the process of trying to conceive. :)
- Too little protein in your diet can also result in a reduced number of eggs. Make sure you have an adequate daily supply of protein (around 60 mg). The best quality protein foods in terms of amino acid balance are pastured eggs, meat, fish, beans, lentils, and quinoa. Avoid consuming too many dairy products and always eat organic meat. Good (healthy) fats such as avocado, nuts and coconut oil are also easy to add in daily.