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A word on Jill – not only is Jill a skilled acupuncturist, but also she is incredibly knowledgeable about fertility and IVF. For someone like me who really wanted to understand the Western, as well as Eastern, aspects of fertility treatments, she is a perfect combination as she is extremely well-versed in IVF medicine. She also has a very balanced respectful approach to Western medicine.
Good clinical research has demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture used in conjunction with IVF — a 50 percent increase in success rate with acupuncture vs. without — but we didn’t need to read the medical journals to know it works: we see it in our patients every day.
Our patients undergoing IVF typically come to see us twice a week during the stim phase of their IVF cycles. They come in for one treatment before retrieval, one between retrieval and transfer, one just after transfer, and one a week after transfer. We have a large team of acupuncturists in order to make it easy for you to get the appointments you need, when you need them, to fit into your IVF schedule.
We usually see patients doing IUI once a week throughout, though we increase the frequency if necessary.
Acupuncture works to improve success rates of these interventions by increasing blood flow to the ovaries during the stimulation phase of IVF or a medicated IUI cycle, improving the effectiveness of the drugs given. It also relaxes the uterus and addresses uterine spasm after embryo transfer or IUI. Acupuncture also reduces stress and offsets side effects from the fertility drugs.
You’ll find plenty of articles about fertility over on our YinOva Blog.
At YinOva we are committed to the idea that healthy bodies are more likely to have healthy babies. Just as a gardener enriches the soil before planting a seed, we believe in investing in your health and your body before you conceive. As you begin to think about starting a family, we encourage you to take three months to get in great shape. Come and see us to get advice on diet, help with dropping your unhealthy habits and an overall reproductive tune-up to get you in the best condition possible to conceive and grow a new life.
If you have been trying to conceive for a while without success, you may be feeling dispirited and discouraged. Here at the YinOva Center all of our practitioners are experienced when it comes to treating infertility. For some of our patients, Chinese medicine is all they need to conceive, while for others it makes more sense to combine Eastern medicine with the best Western medicine has to offer. Either way we’re here to support you.
Our three-month plan based on the YinOva Method outlined in Jill’s book Making Babies begins with a full health history, which we use to create a personalized plan to increase your chances of conceiving. Depending on your personal needs, your regimen could include:
* Acupuncture * Chinese herbs * An exercise plan * Adjustments to your diet * Lifestyle changes such as cutting down on caffeine * Learning to pinpoint when you ovulate * Eliminating or changing certain prescription or over-the-counter medications * Getting familiar with the quality of your cervical mucus * Identifying obstacles to conception
In our experience, many women find that a few months of monitoring, careful timing, regular acupuncture, personalized Chinese herbal formulas, and pro-fertility lifestyle choices are enough to do the trick, even if they’ve already had trouble conceiving.
At The YinOva Center we encourage you to eat a diet that includes fresh, seasonal foods that are organic if possible. Make sure that you get enough protein and eat a broad range of vegetables especially leafy greens, orange vegetables and cruciferous vegetables. Make sure that you are adequately hydrated and don’t forget to eat some fat, preferably unsaturated fat. Make your carbohydrates complex, slow-releasing ones rather than sugary processed ones. Go easy on the alcohol and caffeine.
We’ll help you modify your diet so that you’re in the best possible shape to conceive. Based on Jill‘s book Making Babies, we’ll help you find your fertility type and follow the specific diet she designed for your diagnosis.
Our YinOva nutritionist, Carlin Greenstein is skilled at helping couple who are trying to conceive follow a fertility friendly diet. You can read some of her blog articles here.
You can watch Jill talking about fertility foods on the CBS Early show here.
Check out this article from our blog about fats and fertility.
Or this one about weight and fertility.
Or this one about cutting out coffee if you’re trying to conceive.
Or this one about fertility foods
Completing a BBT (basal body temperature) chart gives you two key pieces of information for trying to conceive: if you are ovulating, and how long the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle is. Taking your temperature is not a good way to predict ovulation, however – by the time your temperature goes up, ovulation has already occurred. Over time, however, understanding your body’s patterns and rhythms will help you identify when you ovulate so you can take action accordingly. Your practitioner will also use information about your temperature fluctuations to adjust your acupuncture treatments and herbal formula. To Fill Out a BBT Chart, here’s what to do:
After you ovulate, about in the middle of your menstrual cycle, your BBT will rise, typically to between 97.6 and 98.6 degrees F, because of the increase in progesterone as you head into the second half (luteal phase) of your menstrual cycle. In the first phase of your cycle (starting with your period) – the follicular phase – your temperatures will be lower, typically between 97 and 97.5 degrees F. That’s thanks to the influence of estrogen. Temperatures usually rise with in a day of ovulation and stay elevated for 12 to 16 days. If you are pregnant they will remain elevated for more than 18 days.
To pinpoint when ovulation has occurred (and begin to predict when it will occur), you need to mark a coverline on your chart. It is simple enough to do, but written instructions can seem a little confusing, so please feel free to ask your practitioner to show you how it is done on an actual chart if you are have any trouble at all figuring this out: Watch for the first day your temperature rises two tenths of a degree above your previous temperatures. Count the last six temperatures before that rise, and note the highest one. Move up the chart one tenth of a degree above that, and draw a horizontal line across your chart at that temperature – that’s your coverline. Your coverline will most likely be at the same place in your next cycle, so looking for when your temperature hits it lets you know ovulation is about to occur – and, if you are trying to conceive, it is time to get busy!
We’re talking mucus here, people. Getting to know yours helps you predict when you ovulate so you can time intercourse to optimize your chances of conceiving. So get used to it: mucus,mucus, mucus.
Your cycle begins with your period, and immediately after your period your vagina will feel dry or very slightly moist. After a few days, with estrogen levels rising, your cervical fluid becomes sticky or rubbery and springy. After that comes your more fertile mucus, which is creamy, like hand lotion. Your vagina will feel wet and lubricated – and you will know you are about to ovulate.
Then comes your most fertile mucus,which looks like raw egg white and is slippery and very stretchy. It is usually clear, but can also be opaque, pink or blood tinged. It may also be very watery. In any case, your vagina will feel very wet and lubricated. This egg-white mucus sometimes creates a round moist patch on your underwear, though other forms of mucus tend to leave a more rectangular spot.
Your peak fertile day is the last day of the egg-white mucus. If you track your mucus over a couple cycles, you will learn how many days you have of the egg whites, and so you will know which day is the last – before it is too late!
Check your mucus at least three times a day, beginning the day after your period ends. It is convenient enough to do when you are going to the bathroom anyway (though you do need to do it when you are not sexually aroused). If you do not have much mucus, try doing Kegel exercises on the way to the bathroom to encourage it to flow.
Before you get down to business in the bathroom, use a tissue to wipe from front to back. Notice how the tissue moves –the more mucus you are making, the easier the tissue will glide. Now look at the mucus on the tissue. Touch it with a finger and see if you can stretch it up a ways. Take a look at any mucus on your underwear as well.
You should also look for mucus after you’ve had a bowel movement. That process tends to make mucus flow out, and you can look for it in the toilet bowl. Egg white cervical mucus forms will form a ball in the water, and be opaque like a marble.
Take note of what you observe on your BBT chart, if you are doing one, or make a chart just to track changes in your mucus. Over at least two cycles, watch for patterns to help you predict the last day of egg white mucus/ the day of ovulation. In the mean time, take the egg white mucus as a go sign when you are trying to conceive.To find out more about how to time intercourse to have the best possible chance of conceiving, check out this YinOva Blog article
Many patients have snuck a peek at Making Babies in the YinOva waiting room and figured out their own “fertility type.” It’s been happening for years now, but we still get a kick out of someone telling us, “I was looking at your book, and I think I’m a Stuck…” You don’t have to wait to get your hands on a book to find out whether you are pale, tired, dry, stuck or waterlogged, however – you can just take this quiz. The computer will even do the math for you. (Which is why so many people who have bought a book still type themselves on line.)
Once you work out your type, you can get some specific advice tailored to your type here.