Sometimes the path to parenthood is very different than we imagined it would be. Whether you are proactively preparing for conception or have been trying for years, there are many ways to improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy. A comprehensive, evidence based approach is the best way to optimize uterine, ovarian and sperm health. Based on the concept that you must nourish the soil before planting the seed, Dr. Emilie uses diet, lifestyle, supplements, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, to ensure that all angles are addressed on the road to conception in order to increase your chances of success.
Over the past 12 years Dr. Emilie has supported over 800 patients trying to conceive naturally and through IVF/IUI. She works closely with Olive, PCRM, Grace and Genesis patients, and has worked onsite for IVF transfers at both Genesis and Olive fertility. IVF is a rapidly changing field. Staying up to date and understanding medications, side effects, procedures and the latest protocols for assisted reproductive therapies like IVF, super ovulations and medicated IUIs, is key to effectively optimizing and supporting success, as well as for understanding the emotional toll that comes along with the process.
Though we are born with all of the eggs we will ever have, there is a 100 day lead up to ovulation, in which the follicle (containing the egg) is maturing and is most sensitive to it's environment. It is during this key time that we can improve egg quality utilizing diet, supplements, lifestyle, acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
As with sperm, egg quality benefits from increased circulation and blood flow to the ovaries which can occur with acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture also helps regulate the HPO axis (Hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis) which may be disrupted for countless reasons throughout ones life. Like with sperm health, the body is able to focus more of it's resources to the reproductive-centric hormonal and physical functions, when it is not overwhelmed with other hormonal and physical demands (like dis-regulated stress responses, digestive concerns, sleep problems, immune issues etc.) We are more than our reproductive organs and so treatments for improving fertility need to focus on more than just the organ itself and look into how our body, mind and life are impacting our dreams and goals for creating a family.
Sperm has a 70-90 day lifecycle from the time it is first created to the moment it is ejaculated. That means that the environment the sperm is bathed in for the 3 months leading up to ejaculation can greatly affect the quantity, quality and motility (forward movement) of the sperm. Exposure to heat, smoke, drugs and toxins in the 70-90 days prior to ejaculation can negatively impact the DNA and health of the sperm, as well as its capacity to produce a healthy pregnancy when fertilizing an egg. Conversely, a healthy diet, lifestyle, supplements, acupuncture and Chinese medicine have the potential to improve semen parameters in 3 months.
How acupuncture works to improve sperm quality: Acupuncture improves sperm quality through several avenues.
1. By increasing microcirculation to the testicles and penis. This allows more nutrients and oxygen to the developing sperm, leading to improved quality and motility. As we have learned from very popular pharmaceutical drugs like Viagra, increased blood flow can also improve erectile issues and the strength of an ejaculation.
2. Acupuncture also helps fertility indirectly by looking beyond the reproductive organs and instead, at the body and person as a whole. Things like stress, digestive issues and other health concerns can indirectly affect sperm parameters by directing attention, blood flow and our finite resources to other seemingly 'more important' parts of our body. By addressing other health aspects going on, not only does the person feel better as a whole, the result can include better sperm parameters, the ability to create a healthy embryo, reduced chances of miscarriage, improved IVF outcomes and most importantly healthier babies.
Increased microcirculation to the ovaries, uterus and testes leading to: