Posts Categorized: Fertility

Part 1 of 3: Optimizing Egg Quality and Ovarian Reserve

If you are unable to conceive either due to age, low ovarian reserve or premature ovarian failure, egg quality and the embryo’s ability to implant are the major problems. In many cases scientists have found that eggs seem to fertilize and develop into embryos normally, but fail to implant. Higher rates of aneuploidy (chromosomal abnormalities of the embryo) are one contributing factor, but apart from this scientists have not been able to draw many sound conclusions on why failure to implant happens. When a woman is over age 35, has low ovarian reserve or premature ovarian failure, and IVF has not been successful, egg donation is usually seen as the last available option. However recent research has found that several supplements can help with implantation and pregnancy rates. This will be the first in a three-part series where I examine supplements and techniques used for improving egg quality and pregnancy rates. The supplements I will examine in subsequent posts are DHEA and CoQ-10. I will let you know how these work, who should take them, and who should avoid them. As I am a firm believer that an integrative approach is best, first I will explain how egg quality is viewed from the standpoint of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and how I as an acupuncturist would address it. Read more

How Acupuncture Helps with Fertility & IVF Success Rates

Pregnant womanYou may have heard that acupuncture can increase overall fertility and the success rate of IUI and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). How exactly does it help? Research has shown that there are several factors.

1) Increased blood flow to the uterus- this can result in thicker endometrial (uterine) lining as well as a higher quality lining. Although there is some debate about exact numbers, usually if the lining is less than 6mm it is considered “too thin”. Lining just before ovulation should be about 8-13 mm thick- and will continue to get thicker up until your period begins. Quantity isn’t the only important factor- the quality is also vital. Research has shown that healthy endometrial linings have three distinct layers; without these three layers there can be problems with implantation. If conception does not take place, the “trilaminar” (three layered) appearance” usually disappears 48 hours after ovulation. Read more

OPK’s vs. BBT Charting

When am I Ovulating? A Discussion on OPK’s vs BBT Charting

Many women become confused when their OPK’s (Ovulation Predictor Kits) and BBT’s (Basal Body Temperatures) don’t agree on the day of ovulation- understandably so. This is one of the more confusing topics I’ve researched! We’ll file this under “advanced topics”. Here’s why.

Background: What are OPK’s and BBT’s anyway?

OPK: Ovulation Predictor Kits are tests that you can get at most any drugstore which have the purpose of predicting ovulation. The idea is that they detect a hormone called LH, or Leuteinizing Hormone in the urine. Once they read positive, usually it’s safe to say that you’ll ovulate within 12-36 hours. Read more