It’s been a long road to even getting to this place for you and your partner, and now the stakes feel higher than ever. Everywhere you look there are pregnant people and it’s emotionally exhausting. Looking online for what to do to increase your chances just adds to your overwhelm… all you want is a baby! A family! How is that too much to ask?! Sometimes it feels like it might never happen.
Fertility challenges are really common and really frustrating. I’ll save you the long explanation on the myriad of reasons of why that is the case (for now anyway!) and just cut to the chase: You’re right. It shouldn’t be this hard to build a family…but for some people it is hard. It doesn’t just happen for some people, and if you are reading this then you should know that even though it might be harder for you, it’s still possible. There ARE things you can do to increase your chances of successful IVF or IUI, and it’s important to cut through the BS and get down to what actually has evidence to back it up. That’s where your friendly experienced fertility naturopath in Toronto comes in *cue game show music* to help!
The Texas Centre for Reproduction recently did a literature review of articles about acupuncture and fertility. You can read the article here if you’re into the nitty gritty details! The overall premise about acupuncture and IVF success from a Western medicine standpoint is that acupuncture has been shown in clinical trials to reduce the stress response, and stress hormones like cortisol, in the body. When we have excess stress hormones our bodies think we are back in the forest and fleeing a predator. Our bodies respond by shutting down all non-essential activities and focus instead on what you might know as “fight or flight”. It doesn’t make a nice hormonal cocktail for baby-making the same way low lighting and a glass (or 3) of wine does. Acupuncture can help reduce that stress response – it’s like 5 glasses of wine but without the headache the next day… Seriously! You already know that stress plays a big role in fertility, and it’s one of the hardest parts about managing fertility challenges because knowing that only adds to that stress!! Acupuncture leading up to and on the day of your transfer can really help. I’ll write a future blog later that you will hate me for on why you aren’t going to be able to have the 3 glasses of wine while you’re trying to get pregnant anyway (but for now, I’d like us to be friends!)
The other thing you should know is that you are SPECIAL. No, you really are! Every body is unique and in fertility medicine this is often overlooked. So what is contributing to your unique challenge with fertility? How can we optimize for YOUR body? This is the core of naturopathic medicine and why it’s my passion. I am a clue-seeker, a pattern hunter, a master riddle-unwinder. I can take the best evidence out there about fertility support and translate it into what will best help YOU: which acupuncture points to use for the best chance of getting pregnant, and which supplements and lifestyle ideas are best suited for your unique situation.
I love the photo above. And one of my favourite quotes comes from a grumpy old dead guy: “Never, never, never give up” (Winston Churchill). I’m here, waiting to help you become one of those obliviously happy pregnant people walking around.
*Photo Credit: birthwithoutfearblog.com