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Complementary Therapies And Fertility Treatments


At Fertility Solutions, we take a holistic approach to individuals and couples care. This includes considering not just the physical side of the person, but also the emotional and spiritual sides. We embrace traditional medicine as a complement to western medical approaches to preconceptual care and fertility treatment. There is a strong body of evidence which supports the use of complementary therapies in conjunction with fertility treatments to induce relaxation and reduce emotional and physical stresses.

Our team has researched local complementary therapists who have a special interest in fertility and want to work with us to help you optimize your health, your response to treatment, your chances of a successful pregnancy, and the health of your baby. Please call us for a list of names.

Complementary Therapies

The following complementary therapies are helpful for many couples experiencing infertility:


Chiropractics
 

With our increasingly busy and stressful modern lives, it is becoming more and more common for couples to have problems conceiving. Physical, chemical, and emotional stress combined can have an accumulative and perhaps detrimental effect on your body, and how it functions as a whole.

The Chiropractic Profession bases its philosophy on the fact that your brain controls or governs nearly all functions in the human body. The brain is designed to communicate effectively with the body via the spinal cord and nerves. Your spine is designed to protect your nervous system, and allows this communication to be as optimal as possible by adapting to internal and external stress. If stress continues to build up, your body can become limited in its capacity to adapt. When your body’s ability to adapt to these stresses is compromised, an unhealthy spine may result, which in turn may lead to an unhealthy nervous system, contributing to an unhealthy body.

Chiropractic Care is a holistic therapy designed to improve the movement of your spine and body through specific, gentle adjustments to your spine and other joints. Chiropractic care helps to decrease the effects of internal stress on your nervous system, and allows your body to communicate and function at a more optimal level.

How can Chiropractic help us?

For couples having troubles with fertility, chiropractic care may be one of many beneficial therapies to help get your body and health back on track. Chiropractic care aims to decrease your body’s internal stress levels to help your body to communicate and function more optimally. For preconception care, chiropractic care may help to improve your menstrual cycle and ovulation regularity, as well as help improve brain-body communication (including reproductive organs).

When your body is under less stress and adapting in a more efficient manner, enhanced communication throughout your body may help to improve the probability for successful conception.

When conception is achieved, it is recommended to continue chiropractic care throughout your pregnancy. Chiropractic care during pregnancy has been shown to help reduce discomfort that may be experienced, reduce the need for intervention through the birth, as well as shorten labour times from 24-39%¹.

Is Chiropractic care safe?

In Australia, Chiropractors undergo five years of full time university studies, and are trained and educated to be primary health care practitioners. Chiropractic care has been found to be a safe and beneficial form of health care.

A ‘Commission of Inquiry into Chiropractic’ done by the New Zealand government conclude that ‘Spinal adjusting is a vital, very safe and clinically effective form of healthcare. Chiropractors have more thorough training in spinal mechanics and spinal care than any other health profession. Furthermore, chiropractic is scientifically-based.²’

To compliment a holistic approach to increasing your fertility, try Chiropractic Care.

1 Clapp F, Kim H, Burciu B, et all. Beginning regular exercise in early pregnancy: effect on fetoplacental growth. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2000;183:1484-8.

2 New Zealand Government Commission of Inquiry into Chiropractic. New Zealand Government Printer. 1979; 1-377; 25.

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Life Coaching

Are there days when you feel like sharing your IVF story with someone? Maybe you’re looking for more emotional support? Are you experiencing fear and, at times, lack of self-belief? Perhaps you have dreams and goals and you’’re not sure how to make them a reality?

The good news is –YOU ARE NORMAL!

The other good news is there is a way to feel more supported, develop more self-belief, and move forward with your life and achieve your dreams through life coaching.

What is Life Coaching?

Imagine you’’re in a boat floating along a beautiful stream. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and life around you feels pretty good. As you’’re going along you notice there are other interesting streams that flow from your stream and you think to yourself, ““Wouldn’’t it be great to explore some of those other areas?”

However, you find that something is missing. You can’’t find the oars to row yourself there or you may have oars, but you’’re unsure how to navigate your way to the other streams.

Life Coaching is about exploring the other streams in your life. You could think of a Life Coach as your own personal tour guide. They are there to listen and ask questions that will evoke answers within you that you never thought possible. In addition to that, they provide you with the support, tools, and methods to help you on your journey of self-discovery.

Another way to look at it is a Life Coach explores where you are currently in your life and where you feel you want to be. Then, together, you and your Life Coach look at what choices are available to you to close this gap and achieve your dreams and goals.

How does a Life Coach assist you on your IVF journey?

A Life Coach is there to:

  • Walk beside you on your IVF journey
  • •Pprovide you with support within a judgment free zone
  • Give you space so you can share your experiences, unleash your feelings, and be heard
  • •Help you discover the answers, which are all within you (even though you may not know it yet)
  • Support you in each step in the coaching process as your self-awareness and courage grow even more
  • •Suggest methods to move you through personal barriers and assist you in achieving your dreams
  • •Give you tools to embrace your IVF journey

Some of the tools a life coach will give you include discovering you are perfect and whole just as you are and that there is nothing external to you which has any power over you. There is no failure – only the feedback and gifts that your experiences bring.

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Mayan Massage

The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage address position and health of the pelvic and abdominal organs. The work is best known for the correction of the prolapsed, fallen, or tilted uterus and for the prevention and treatment of benign prostate enlargement in men, and for relief of many common digestive disorders.

The founder of this healing art believed that a woman’s center is her uterus. “If a woman’s uterus is out of balance, so is she,” he would say. Midwives and healers of Central America agree that most female troubles are caused by the wandering womb.

The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage are offered as a supportive modality to enhance health and wellness, and are not meant as an entire approach to health care. If you have any serious medical conditions, please consult your health care provider first.

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Natural Fertility

Many couples who have been unsuccessful in conceiving may only need natural fertility treatment. At Fertility Solutions Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg, we are only too happy if we can help you conceive naturally; we suggest you contact us to discuss the various options that are available for your specific circumstances.

Here are a few natural fertility methods you can implement immediately to assist you with conception:

Diet: Nutrition, Vitamins, and Mineral Supplements

A healthy, balanced diet is vitally important to maximizing a couple’s fertility, and improving their chances of a healthy pregnancy with a healthy baby. Take a good look at your diet. If you don’t know what to do to improve it, we can recommend a dietician with an interest in fertility issues who can work with you.

It has been proven that using folate (folic acid) prior to and during the first 3 months of pregnancy can reduce the risk of a particular fetal abnormality called a Neural Tube Defect. We encourage all women to take Elevit (a mineral and vitamin supplement specifically designed for conception, pregnancy and breast-feeding) during their treatment, and if successful, continue it during their pregnancy. Menevit is encouraged for the men, it assists in maximising sperm function and fertility. As part of your registration with Fertility Solutions, we provide your first month’s supply of Menevit and Elevit for free.

There is less scientific proof about the role of vitamins and minerals for men, but what little there is hints at a possible benefit in semen quality. There are certainly no great disadvantages to using a good quality general multivitamin and mineral supplement for men.

Read more specific fertility diet tips or check out the nutrition section of this page.

Weight

There is very strong evidence that being either underweight or overweight impacts the chances of IVF treatment being successful (and on the chance of pregnancy without treatment). In addition, once pregnant there are extra risks to the baby if a woman is underweight or overweight. We strongly advise all women (and the men also need to set a good example here!) to get to a healthy weight and stay fit before, during and after successful treatment.

Exercise

Daily exercise, at least 20 minutes at a time, assists in weight control, fitness and general health. It doesn’t really matter what form of exercise you do, so long as it works for you. It is possible to overdo it though. More than an hour of hard exercise each day is probably excessive. Read more in the Personal Training section.

General Health

The healthier you both are, the better the chances of success, whether by natural fertility / conception or IVF treatment.

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Naturopathic Therapies and Preconception Health Care

Having a baby is one of the most important events in an adult’s life, though often an unconscious one. We spend more time planning our wedding, or our birthdays than we do planning our pregnancies. We do very little to prepare our bodies for conception in order to allow the fetus the best possible chance in life. Veterinarians, stock breeders and farmers all practice preconception health care as did our ancestors.

There are many clinical studies and scientific evidence showing the benefits of preconception care and nutrient supplementation prior to and during pregnancy.

Here are some excellent reasons to consider undertaking preconception health care:

  • One in six couples are now clinically diagnosed with infertility
  • One woman in five will suffer miscarriage
  • One baby in ten will be born prematurely
  • One baby in thirty is born with congenital defects
  • Childhood allergies and asthma are at epidemic rates
  • Learning and or behavioral problems have become common place

Lack of education about fertility and how our menstrual cycle works, along with poor diet, environmental pollutants and stressful lives are mainly to blame.

Why is preconception health care so important?

The health of a baby is largely due to the health of both the mother and father prior to conception. This is because the mother’s egg takes approximately 100 days to mature before ovulation and father’s sperm needs about 116 days to form.

Naturopathic treatments are designed for couples to embark on a four to six month conscious lifestyle program. It is the wish of every prospective parent when planning a family to have a healthy baby and a positive, rewarding pregnancy and labour.

Who could benefit?

Whether you have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, Endometriosis, Male Infertility, or unknown causes for not falling pregnant, naturopathic therapies may be able to help.

Ways of increasing your chances of conceiving your baby

  1. Giving your body the correct foods and nutrients: Nutrient supplementation necessary for the best reproductive health will be assessed. Screening will be done for essential trace elements such as zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium, which are equally as important for female reproduction as they are for male fertility. Dietary modification will be suggested where needed, depending upon outcome of allergy, food sensitivities and Candida screening.
  2. Timing: Did you know that there are only certain days of your cycle that you can conceive. You will be shown how to recognize signs of fertility that recur with every menstrual cycle.
  3. Environmental Factors: Getting the pollutants out of your house and workplace. Tests to determine heavy metal toxicity; lead, mercury, cadmium and copper will be performed and treated if required.
  4. Detoxification – happy liver, happy baby: Herbal medicines are individually prescribed depending upon your needs to assist with detoxification and improve reproductive health.
  5. Effective strategies to combat what may be holding you back….STRESS: Emotional support, stress and relaxation techniques are taught throughout the program. Most men and women are leading busy lives and spend little time for themselves. Learn how to incorporate simple quick relaxation exercises to assist with stress and other emotional issues. Treatment for nervous system exhaustion and depression will be prescribed where necessary.

How will you benefit from preconception Health?

  • Preconception health care can improve fertility in both men and women
  • Can increase male fertility with improved sperm health, sperm count and sperm motility
  • May prevent miscarriage, stillborn and premature births
  • May help to avoid postnatal depression and helps with bonding and breastfeeding
  • Helps to avoid birth defects
  • Helps to enjoy a rewarding full term pregnancy, a natural birth and a healthy baby
  • Preconception care may help to prevent prevalent childhood ailments like asthma, allergies and behavioral issues.

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Nutrition

A healthy balanced diet is vitally impor-tant to maximizing a couples fertility, and improving their chances of a healthy pregnancy with a healthy baby. Take a good look at your diet. If you don’t know what to do to improve it we can recommend a dietician with an interest in fertility issues who can work with you.

Nutritional status can play a vital role in conception and pregnancy. Indeed there is now strong evidence that achievement of an ideal body weight and optimal nutritional status can directly affect the chances of conception, and the health of mother and baby during pregnancy and through to those early infant months

It has been proven that using folate (folic acid) prior to and during the first 3 months of pregnancy can reduce the risk of a particular fetal abnormality called a Neural Tube Defect. Other supplements have also been shown to reduce the risk of a number of other fetal abnormalities. We encourage all women to take Elevit (a mineral and vitamin supplement spe-cifically designed for conception, preg-nancy and breast feeding) during their treatment, and if successful continue it during their pregnancy. FSSC will provide your first 3 months supply free upon registering for treatment.

Menevit has been scientifically proven to be beneficial for sperm function. As with the woman, the males are given a bottle of Menevit upon registering with Fertility Soltuions. There are certainly no great disadvantages to using a good quality general multivitamin and mineral supplement for men.

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Personal Training

Personal Training incorporates all aspects of wellbeing and can greatly assist in over coming depression and low self worth by developing a healthy mind through a healthy body, increasing confidence, developing goal setting skills, health discipline and maintaining a positive attitude.

Exercise is vital for fertility as it promotes good health, helps control weight and improves blood flow to all the vital reproductive organs required by men and women to help create a healthy pregnancy.

Increased fitness also reduces risk of miscarriage, diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy.

The psychological benefits of exercise include stress relief, reduced levels of anxiety and depression and regular exercise also promotes restful and regular sleep patterns.

Maintaining a positive state of mind and body increases your chance of achieving a successful pregnancy.

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Quitline

Quit Smoking

There has never been a better time to quit smoking. What better motivation could you have than to be able to make a difference with your and your babies’ health?

There is no doubt that smoking is bad for you, OK! Planning for a baby is the perfect excuse for you to finally kick the habit. Why?

  • Smoking reduces the chances that you will get pregnant with or without fertility treatment.
  • It increases the chances that you will miscarry, or experience serious pregnancy complications such as placenta praevia, bleeding, cerebral palsy and still birth.
  • Not to mention increasing the chance that you won’t be around to see this child reach adulthood.

There is no safe level of smoking other than none. Even passive smoking is a risk. This goes for the men, just as much as the women. Talk to your GP. Ring the Quitline. Do whatever it takes!

Marijuana is also a bad idea for the same reasons. In addition, there is an increased risk of abnormalities in children born to parents (either women OR men) who smoked marijuana around the time of conception.

Don’t delay do it now. Phone the Quitline on 137848 (13QUIT) or go on line www.quitcoach.org.au.

Alcohol

There’s a debate at present about whether there is a safe level of alcohol intake during pregnancy. Obviously, we know that not drinking any alcohol is safe. Binge drinking at any stage in your treatment or pregnancy is a complete no no, and this includes men too! Regular heavy alcohol consumption (more than 2 standard drinks a day for women, or 4 a day for men) can also interfere with drug treatments during your cycle.

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Yoga

Modern yoga, with its emphasis on breathing, mindful movement and deep relaxation is certainly the perfect antidote for the western life including the reproductive challenges that face many couples world wide.

The East meets West approach to creating a more holistic lifestyle will encourage your body back to a state of health for all aspects of your being. A regular yoga practice, as part of this complete package, can assist in the following ways:

Physical Benefits

  • •Releasing stress and tension from the body particularly the key areas of the lower back, the shoulders and neck. Certain postures also open and prepare the pelvis, physically.
  • •Switching off the fight or flight nervous response. Instead the relaxation response is activated – endorphins are released giving a feeling of wellbeing, blood flow to the organs is stimulated allowing greater digestion and assimilation and finally the immune system has an opportunity to restore. This is a healing state for the whole body.
  • Certain postures and styles of yoga may purify the body of toxins (particularly the heating practices), though the more meditative, gentler styles have been shown to be of most benefit
  • Many people find that they sleep better with a regular yoga practice
  • A yoga practice helps to balance the hormones and subtle energies of the body
  • Develop trust of the body’s innate wisdom

Mental/Emotional Benefits

  • By using the yogic deep breathing whenever stress (physical, mental or emotional) arises we can find instant calm
  • Yoga & meditation can enhance your mental stamina especially for developing patience towards the fertility process or should you need to give up cigarettes etc
  • Rather than being swept along with emotion (depression, anger or worry) and replaying the same thoughts we can stop, get some perspective and change our response, rather than react habitually
  • Promotes a more loving connection with and sense of awe of your body (as opposed to anger at its failings)
  • Many practitioners find a naturally arising desire for a healthier lifestyle
  • Visualization practices may also assist the process

Spiritual Benefits

  • •Enjoying a connectedness to all of life including cultivating compassion towards our self and all beings. In this way can embrace life more fully no matter how it looks.

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Which Complementary Therapy Should We Choose?

I know that this is often a question that many of you ask. Well we have done some of the hard yards for you. If you and your partner are interested in any of the complementary therapies listed above, please contact Fertility Solutions on 1300 337 845 (1300 FERTILITY). We would be happy to send you out our Complementary Therapies Booklet that lists a number of therapists who have been personally accredited by Fertility Solutions.