Women's Health Specialties
Fertility & IVF (in vitro fertilization)
A Holistic Approach To Your Fertility
My Fertility enhancement process employs a gentle, holistic approach. Our goal is to optimize your health to increase your fertility quotient and provide Functional Medicine™ support throughout assisted reproductive therapies.
According to the guidelines of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, it is recommended that you seek an evaluation if:
- You are over 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for over 6 months, or
- You are under age 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for over a year.
Infertility has become much more common over the past two to three decades, currently affecting one out of every six women trying to conceive. It comes as no surprise, then, that during this same interval we have seen an increase in environmental degradation: an alarming increase in environmental toxins, additives and hormones in our food supply, hormone disruptors, often hidden, in many of our everyday products, increased stressors, exhaustion, anxiety and depression.
Often a woman has delayed starting her family until her late thirties and would like to optimize her health and fertility status prior to attempting to conceive, whether on her own or by use of assisted reproductive technology. Also, some couples find they are having difficulty conceiving after their first child and have the need for fertility optimization. Lastly, couples who are undergoing IVF due to genetic needs, utilize our services for our IVF Support Protocol.
Complementary healthcare has proven extremely successful when applied conjunctly with Western medicine. Together we assess the needs of each individual woman or couple. Through diligent application of our time-tested methods, we have demonstrated over and again that our method can and does significantly increase the odds of IVF success while simultaneously maintaining a high level of health throughout the pregnancy, delivery and post-partum period.
Fertility Optimization Program
Undergoing a fertility workup and treatment can be challenging and stressful. We strive to provide a calm environment of individual attention, care and expert treatment. A holistic approach involves treating you and your partner as whole beings and not just as the sum of your reproductive parts. Our patients usually arrive to the practice having already undergone a physical examination and extensive testing and blood work-up by their Reproductive Endocrinologist.
Our comprehensive workup includes:
- Assessment of Thyroid Function - The thyroid plays an integral part in energy management and hormone regulation. Women with infertility often have subclinical thyroid disease, which may not have been previously diagnosed.
- Assessment of Vitamin D Levels - Vitamin D is an important aspect of your immune health. Most of us spend too much time inside, minimizing our body’s ability to manufacture adequate Vitamin D from sunlight, especially during the winter months.
- Assessment of Inflammatory Markers - If you’ve had several failed IUIs, IVFs, miscarriages, or been diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” it is critical that a Reproductive Endocrinologist review these findings and address the underlying type and cause of inflammation in order to assure a viable full term pregnancy. They will likely employ a variety of sophisticated medical interventions, which we routinely re-inforce and support through use of specifically targeted protocols. It is our combined efforts that have demonstrably increased the likelihood of conception and a healthy pregnancy. Working to support and reinforce these treatments is one of the ways our protocols can give you an increased advantage.
Fertility Vitamin Supplementation
We provide a vitamin supplement regime unique to each patient. Our vitamins are made in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Procedure) facility up to and beyond FDA Quality standards and inspected every six months to maintain strict compliance with the same standards employed in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products.
Diet and nutrition occupy a very important role in optimizing your fertility. The tailored application of clinical nutrition has become one of our most indispensable tools in providing anti-inflammatory relief. This is an art form at which we are highly proficient and with your input we will devise an individualized program of nutrition to help you achieve and maintain your dietary goals.
We also recommend that all women experiencing fertility difficulty eliminate gluten and dairy from their diet. We utilize Functional Medicine™ testing to provide a Gastro-intestinal survey of your digestive system, to rule out inflammatory bowel disease and evaluate potential food allergies, which can contribute to overall inflammation.
Acupuncture has been used to optimize women's fertility for over 2000 years. Several scientific studies have demonstrated improvements in pregnancy rates with in vitro fertilization (IVF) through the addition of acupuncture. Click the links below to read more about each study.
- Those who received acupuncture increased their chances of conceiving by 65 percent - Vittorio Hernandez, AHN News Writer.
- Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy - Wolfgang E. Paulus, M.D.
- Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study - Stefan Dieterle, M.D.
- Acupuncture Normalizes Dysfunction of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian Axis - Bo-Ying Chen M.D., Professor of Neurobiology
Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture is beneficial in areas of:
- Preconception health
- IVF support protocol
- Minimizing symptoms associated with ART treatment
- Pre-implantation treatment on day of embryo transfer and at the time of embryo transfer
- Reduction of stress to help you maintain a center of calm throughout ART treatments
Lifestyle and Stress Review
Exercise, sleep habits, and daily stress quotients can all affect your fertility. Our specialized Functional Medicine™ process will assess your Adrenal Status and, if necessary, your brain biochemistry.
Life style changes are often required when addressing infertility and undergoing reproductive treatments. This can be overwhelming and stressful.
It helps to keep the following things in mind:
- You don’t have to make every change at once; prioritize your goals and focus on one goal per week. Sometimes a small change can have a big impact.
- You are not alone. We have professional relationships with several therapists and psychologists who specialize in fertility and offer individual therapy as well as support groups.
We have developed relationships with some of the Bay Area’s most accomplished Reproductive Endocrinologists. If you need a referral, we feel confident in recommending you to any of these expert practitioners. For our out-of-state patients we have compiled a rigorously vetted directory of National practitioners.
We will work in partnership with your Reproductive Endocrinologist. Our treatments are tailored to meet the unique needs of each patient. Our focus is to help you achieve your goal of both a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Post Partum Care
Taking care of the new mom and family is also an important part of your fertility journey. Several major changes occur at once:
- hormonal changes occur after birth
- sleep disruption is common while caring for your new baby
- adjusting to the needs of the baby coming before your own needs
All can affect your emotional state. Research has shown that women and families who have adequate post-partum support have less incidence of depression and enjoy a smoother transition into their new role as parents.
Acupuncture can replace the energy used in the birth process and keep your energy abundant to take care of your new baby. We also provide the guidance necessary for the increased nutritional requirements of the nursing mom. We often work in partnership with post-partum doulas to provide the new mom and family the support needed to be happy and healthy throughout this joyous time.
We believe that families can have many definitions. As long as an individual or couple is committed to expanding their family and are capable of the abundant love necessary to provide a permanent and caring environment, we are committed to their fertility needs and reproductive rights. We have become well known for providing expert guidance and warm, caring support for would-be families in the LGBT community.