A combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine and dietary and lifestyle advice can be used very successfully in many cases to address both male and female infertility. The most common conditions that I see affecting fertility are:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome;
- High FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels; and
- Poor sperm morphology, sperm motility or low sperm count.
At your first appointment I take a very thorough case history, including a detailed account of your efforts to conceive and the results of any biomedical tests that you have undergone, such as hormone levels or the results of a recent sperm test. If you have not had your hormone levels tested or had a sperm test in the preceding three months, then I will usually refer you for these tests at the beginning of treatment so that we have a clear baseline from which to work.
Chinese medicine is based on the sound principle that each individual is different and, consequently, each individual’s treatment program will necessarily be different as well. I generally work with a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine and dietary and lifestyle advice, simply because I find that this multi-level approach achieves the best results, particularly in the most difficult cases.
I usually advise patients that they should be willing to commit to a three month course of fertility acupuncture treatment, which involves four initial weekly acupuncture treatments and I then reassess how frequently you need to come for acupuncture, based on how you are responding to treatment. In cases of male infertility three months is an appropriate period of time as sperm regenerate over the course of a 90 day period. For women, a three month period allows us to evaluate changes during three menstrual cycles and adjust treatment accordingly. However, in some cases three months may simply not be long enough, for example, where a woman suffers from PCOS and only has three periods a year.
In all cases, I am extremely mindful of how much my patients invest, in every sense of the word, in their treatment and I always take this into account to help you achieve the best outcome from your treatment.