There is now a significant amount of research suggesting that complementary therapies can play an important role in increasing the success of fertility treatment. This research has examined both specific complementary therapies as well as the interplay between fertility and environmental and lifestyle factors.
Repromed works in partnership with Well2 – Adelaide’s Premier Natural Medicine Team. We recommend that as part of your fertility treatment at Repromed you book a Fertility Support Assessment with Well2 to ensure you receive the best possible advice on the most appropriate complementary support for you.
The use of acupuncture in conjunction with IVF has been well researched, and it is now well accepted that acupuncture increases success rates with IVF treatment. Ideally patients will have a weekly visit with the acupuncturist on a weekly basis for a month prior to the embryo transfer taking place. This lead up to treatment assists with stress levels, provides the opportunity to familiarize with both the acupuncture treatment and the practitioner and allows the practitioner to correct any imbalances present. On the day of the embryo transfer two acupuncture treatments are conducted, one immediately prior to and one immediately after the transfer. In cases where there is a history of miscarriage one or two treatments in the weeks following may also be recommended. If you are about to begin your IVF cycle and haven’t left time for the lead up treatment, using acupuncture on the day of transfer only will still improve your chances of a positive pregnancy outcome.
There are a number of herbal medicines and supplements which can increase fertility, however it is important to be assessed and prescribed these as an individual as the same supplements can interfere with fertility if used incorrectly or if they are not appropriate to you as an individual. It is important to seek good advice if considering the use of herbal medicines or supplements in conjunction with IVF treatment as many herbal medicines and other supplements can interact with the drugs you will be prescribed as part of your IVF treatment. For this reason it is important to consult with a naturopath experienced in this area. Herbal medicines should only be used in between IVF cycles and must always be discontinued at the beginning of an IVF cycle unless your Fertility Clinician has specifically advised you otherwise.
The use of hypnotherapy in conjunction with IVF treatment has also received some attention from researchers, and using hypnotherapy has been found to increase IVF success rates. Hypnotherapy is also very useful in reducing stress levels. The number and timing of hypnotherapy appointments for IVF support and stress control vary from person to person depending on the individual stress levels being experienced. People using Hypnotherapy purely to enhance IVF success may only need one visit, usually conducted around 2-3 days prior to embryo transfer. People experiencing very high stress levels may be recommended several sessions. The psychologist at Well2 is experienced in using hypnotherapy for IVF support.
An integral part of the team at Repromed is the counsellors. Infertility is a medical condition that affects every part of a person's or couple's life. It may challenge the way in which you feel about yourself, your relationship with others, your work, and your outlook on life. Few situations in life are as demanding and overwhelming. However, despite the growing number of people needing medical intervention to conceive, it can be a time of extreme isolation. Patients often express a sense of loss of control over their lives, and feel like they are on an emotional rollercoaster. The idea of intervention in itself can cause feelings of anxiety, grief, frustration and anger.
At Repromed we recognise that you may be experiencing intense feelings and stress during any time of treatment, from initial contact to becoming a parent. We are committed to providing you with a team approach to help you cope as effectively as possible.
Counselling for individuals and couples can offer help in coping with medical treatments, the uncertainty of the outcomes, as well as help in dealing with family, friends, work and the fertile world. Our goal is to help patients sort out their feelings, identify coping strategies and to feel better about themselves during their fertility treatment.
The Repromed Patient Support Group meets monthly on the second Wednesday of each month. The group is not intended as a therapeutic group but an opportunity for people to share their experiences. When people with similar problems are brought together and are able to share their thoughts and feelings with each other, it can result in a very powerful and positive experience.
Repromed will be running another series of seminars on preparing for pregnancy and infertility treatment throughout the year. The seminars cover a variety of topics and are delivered by experts in the field.