IVF & IUI Support IVF injection
IVF & IUI Support

IVF & IUI Support

how a naturopath provides IUI & IVF support

IVF & IUI Support: If you have to resort to procedures like Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization(IVF), you want the most successful outcome. Naturopathic medicine can help prepare your body for these procedures and ensure the best results.

How to Support IUI & IVF

Here are 3 tips your fertility clinic may not know to increase the chances that your IVF procedure will succeed:

Acupuncture

There is plentiful evidence that acupuncture enhances the outcome of IVF treatments. The research suggests that it reduces the risk of miscarriage, may improve implantation and reduces the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Acupuncture is relatively painless, and 100% safe if done by a qualified naturopathic doctor.  It is also often covered by extended health benefits/insurance. From a Chinese Medicine standpoint, acupuncture helps move the qi (pronounced chee) or energy. Moving qi to the various organs improves their function. In this case, we are helping the reproductive organs by stimulating them directly with the needles.  Also, we can stimulate your immune system to optimize the health of those organs.

Fertility clinics often offer this as part of their IVF protocol. I recommend treatment once per week for 6 weeks leading up to an IVF cycle and once within 24 hours before and after the transfer.  Acupuncture the day of the retrieval has not shown any additional benefit.  I make myself available for acupuncture before and after the embryo transfer since those treatments are time-sensitive.

Diet

Proper diet can either enhance or hinder fertility efforts. Diet can influence the overall function of the ovaries and their response to the IVF drugs. Antioxidants like vitamin A, C, E, zinc, selenium, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid work together to prevent free radical damage and to protect DNA. Antioxidants work in a sort of domino effect. That is, vitamin C may work on a free radical and then vitamin E will work on the product of that and so on down the line of antioxidants. Missing even one part of the chain can result in incomplete neutralization of a free radical, leaving harmful free radicals in circulation.

CoQ10 helps the mitochondria which are the energy powerhouse of the cell to function properly and create energy for the cell.

High glycemic index and high glycemic load foods will create a hormonal environment that is not conducive to healthy egg development. Folic acid is important to protect DNA from genetic mutations that can lead to problems like neural tube defects and cleft palate. Food sources of folic acid include dark green leafy vegetables.  However, up to 60% of the population can’t convert folic acid from supplements or food sources into the active form of folic acid (5MTHF).  So these people may fail to get the benefit of taking it.  High amounts of circulating inactive folic acid have been found to have the opposite effect and can promote genetic mutations.

Stress reduction

In the patients I work with for fertility this is huge! The whole infertility process is inherently stressful as is IUI & IVF. Stress is one of the biggest fertility killers there is because of the whole cascade of blood sugar, stress hormone and reproductive hormone imbalance events that ensue. Stress reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, breathing exercise, tai chi, massage therapy, psychotherapy, adrenal gland support and acupuncture can help relieve stress and improve fertility outcomes.

What Else Can I Provide for IUI & IVF Support?

Lots!  Making a body ready for pregnancy means optimal hormone levels, reducing oxidative stress, supporting the entire endocrine system and helping you feel confident that you can do this.  I have had several patients who decided to forego invasive treatment and then went on to have a healthy pregnancy naturally too!

I have been providing IUI & IVF support for women undergoing these procedures since 1999, increasing the odds of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

For help with this or any other health problem, book an appointment here or call the office for more information at 416-481-0222.

by Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND

Natural Treatment in IUI & IVF: A Sample of the Research

Vitamin D level is associated with IVF outcomes possibly derived by T-cell immunity, particularly Th/Tc ratios.  Source:  Am J Reprod Immunol. 2018 Dec;80(6):e13050. doi: 10.1111/aji.13050. Epub 2018 Oct 6. Vitamin D level affects IVF outcome partially mediated via Th/Tc cell ratio.
Wu L1, Kwak-Kim J2,3, Zhang R1, Li Q1, Lu FT1, Zhang Y1, Wang HY1, Zhong LW1, Liu YS1.

Our observation leads to the hypothesis that the oral supplementation of CoQ10 may improve follicular fluid oxidative metabolism and oocyte quality, especially in over 35-year-old women.  Source: Antioxidants (Basel). 2018 Oct 13;7(10). pii: E141. doi: 10.3390/antiox7100141.
CoQ10 Supplementation in Patients Undergoing IVF-ET: The Relationship with Follicular Fluid Content and Oocyte Maturity.
Giannubilo SR1, Orlando P2, Silvestri S3, Cirilli I4, Marcheggiani F5, Ciavattini A6, Tiano L7.

We found that serum AMH and DHEAS levels were positively correlated with the number of mature oocytes, fertilized oocytes and developed embryos, both in pregnant and in non-pregnant patients. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2015 Feb;31(2):125-30. doi: 10.3109/09513590.2014.964639. Epub 2014 Sep 26.
Ovarian and adrenal androgens may be useful markers to predict oocyte competence and embryo development in older women.
Ferrario M1, Secomandi R, Cappato M, Galbignani E, Frigerio L, Arnoldi M, Fusi FM.

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