Fertility Treatment: One Size Does Not Fit All

Fertility TreatmentPatients, who have been successfully treated, regularly refer others who are experiencing the same problem. This on this surface seems straightforward. Common sense suggests that if a condition can be treated easily for one patient, then it can also be easily treated for another. This however is not necessarily the case.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are by nature highly idiosyncratic. This means there are a multitude of variables involved in its application. Effective treatment requires specific custom designed acupuncture and/or herbal medicine prescriptions which exactly match each patient’s individual situation.

To add further difficulty, Chinese Medicine is an effective energetic medicine. The system of diagnosis is designed to identify the underlying energetic imbalance which is causing the illness/symptoms.

All this leads to a somewhat unusual situation. A condition, as we understand it in western medical science, can be caused by more than one energetic imbalance. So, two patients who presented with, for example an absence of a menstruation could be successfully treated using very different approaches. To add to the complexity, one of these patients may have received a treatment very similar to someone else who was experiencing a totally different condition (such anxiety and depression). There is a saying in Chinese Medicine which translates to say, there are multiple approaches to treat a single condition, and there are multiple conditions which can be treated with the one approach.

Given this, it is easy to see how treatment outcomes can be very different between two friends who seek treatment for what appears to be the same fertility problem. If you are interested in finding out how acupuncture and/or Chinese Herbal Medicine can help you conceive, phone Dr Kirk Wilson (PhD) on 9231 3377.

Trying To Conceive: The Need For Closure

Depositphotos_37593465_xsTrying to conceive can be a difficult journey. There is no more difficult time compared to when you have run out of treatment options. Each IVF clinic has their cut off age where they no longer recommend treatment. If age is not your concern, then there are only so many IVF cycles you can undergo until your doctor will recommend alternatives such as a donor. The donor option is one that does not rest well with everyone. So, what is the answer? Are there other options? Is there any hope? Can someone feel comfortable with giving up knowing other treatment options were not attempted?

The Fertility & IVF Acupuncture Clinic sees many patients who are confronted with these difficult questions. These patients are recommended to undertake a treatment program which is designed to test if any improvement is possible. A commitment of about five to six months is ideal, though there is no pressure to see it through. If a patient feels they have resigned themselves to not conceiving, they do not need to offer any explanation to cease treatment. In the absence of a positive outcome, the next best goal is to assist the patient in realising they have done all they could. This no doubt will reduce future regrets and second-guessing.

If you are having difficulty conceiving and/or you are running out of treatment options, consider acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Dr Kirk Wilson (PhD) from the Fertility & IVF Acupuncture offers no obligation consolations for those who are considering treatment. To make an appointment phone 9231 3377.

Trying To Conceive: Patience Is A Virtue

patienceOne of the most difficult parts of trying to conceive is having the patience to see it through until a positive outcome is achieved. Health professionals who treat infertility address this problem with their patients on a daily basis. Feelings of frustration are no doubt exacerbated by the fact that by the time most couples have sought treatment, they are already fed up with trying. Patients at the Fertility & IVF Acupuncture Clinic are encouraged to hold strong and press on with their treatment, for two main reasons. These include:

Time Needed To Correct An Imbalance
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are treatments which are designed to rectify energetic imbalances. This can take time. It is thought that the longer the energetic imbalance has been present, the more treatment will be required. Given these energetic imbalances often manifest as subclinical symptoms, most patients are unaware of how long the imbalance has been present. This can lead to an uncertain time horizon for treatment.

Probability Of Conception
Once the acupuncture and/or herbal medicine has reinstated an energetic balance, time is still required to conceive. A healthy woman has a one in five (20%) chance of falling pregnant in any given menstrual cycle. Despite being balanced and healthy, a run of unlucky probability may mean a positive pregnancy test may take time.

If you are having trouble conceiving and you would like to find out if acupuncture and/or Chinese Medicine could help, please phone Dr Kirk Wilson (PhD) on 9231 3377.

Endometriosis: Part 6 – Why Is Treatment Important?

endometriosisIn an earlier blog post it was pointed out that endometriosis is the growth of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) outside of the uterus. For a more detailed explanation, refer to the previous blog titled “Endometriosis: Part 1 – What Is It?”. Given endometriosis is outside of the uterus, and not causing a problem within the uterus, then it may be assumed there is no risk of a problem. There are however two possible ways endometriosis can still affect fertility.

Obstructions

The female reproductive system is made up of more than just the uterus. Blockages in these other areas can be detrimental to fertility. The most obvious one being, the potential blockage of the fallopian tubes.

Cytokines

In the most recent research there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that within the peritoneal fluid of women who have endometriosis, there are increased levels of cells called cytokines. These cells are suspected of playing a role in endometriosis related to infertility. Though further research is needed for clarification. Researchers are uncertain of the critical point where the severity of the endometriosis will indicate a fertility related issue with the cytokines.

This blog was the final instalment on this series focusing on endometriosis. If you have any questions or you would like to have your endometriosis treated, please phone Dr Kirk Wilson (PhD) from the Fertility & IVF Acupuncture Clinic on 9231 3377.

Endometriosis: Part 5 – Treatment (Chinese Medicine Approach)

Chinese MedicineChinese Medicine (acupuncture and herbal medicine) is an effect modality of treatment for endometriosis. It is most suitably used to reduce the symptoms associated with endometriosis and as a preventative treatment to lessen the chances of it reoccurring.

Treating The Symptoms Of Endometriosis

Chinese Medicine is frequently used to treat all the common symptoms associated with endometriosis. It is very effective in managing the pain. This includes pain in the abdomen, back and pelvic regions. It also is used to regulate the menstrual cycle; reduce heavy bleeding; reduce prolonged spotting; and restore a regular 28-day cycle. The gastrointestinal symptoms such a loose stools and bloating are also treatable with Chinese Medicine.

The Limitation Of Chinese Medicine

Despite it’s effectiveness in treating the symptoms of endometriosis, Chinese Medicine is not the best method of treatment to have it removed. The most efficient and effective way to do this is via surgery. Chinese medicine is well suited to limiting the growth of endometriosis, however in my clinical experience, I am yet to witness a case where it has caused it to be removed.

Prevention Of Reoccurrence

Once endometriosis has been surgically removed, Chinese Medicine should then be used to prevent the endometriosis from returning. This is done by rectifying the underlying energetic imbalance which caused the endometriosis.

The next blog will be the final instalment in this series on endometriosis. It will cover the reasoning as to why it is important to treat endometriosis. If you suffer from endometriosis, and you would like to seek treatment, please phone Dr Kirk Wilson (PhD) from the Fertility & IVF Acupuncture clinic on 9231 3377.

Endometriosis: Part 4 – Treatment (Medical Approach)

Endometriosis acupunctureEndometriosis does not always require treatment. Mild case may not need any treatment at all, and if left untreated, can improve. Though most cases will remain unchanged without treatment and may even get worse. Western medical science has two approaches in treating endometriosis, drug therapy and surgery.

Drug Therapy

Drug therapy can be used to treat the symptoms associated with endometriosis. This approach is mostly employed for the purposes of pain relief. It involves prescribing over-the-counter pain relief medication (such as panadol) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Alternatively, drug therapy can involve hormonal treatment. This approach is designed to suppress the menstrual cycle. In turn, this will have the affect of slowing the growth of the endometriosis. The most common drug prescribed for this purpose is the contraceptive pill.

Surgery

Keyhole surgery (otherwise known as laparoscopy) can be used as either a method of diagnosis (to locate the endometriosis) or as a form of treatment. When used as a form of treatment it involves surgically cutting out the endometriosis or the use of a laser to burn the endometriosis. The surgical approach is needed when there are cysts on the ovaries. Without surgery, it is unlikely these will resolve on their own (and they cannot be treated using drug therapy).

In the next blog (Part 5), the treatment of endometriosis will be discussed from the perspective of Chinese Medicine. In the meantime, if you have any questions, or if you are think about seeking treatment for your endometriosis, contact Dr Kirk Wilson (PhD) on 9231 3377.

Endometriosis: Part 3 – The Causes

EndometriosisLittle is understood in regards to the causes of endometriosis. Each case has its own unique characteristics and in turn probable causes will vary on a case-by-case basis. Despite this, there are two key risk factors which are more commonly associated with endometriosis. These are family history and retrograde menstruation.

A woman is seven to ten times more likely to get endometriosis if they have a relative who has the condition. The closer the family relationship with an endometriosis sufferer, the greater the chance a female will also get endometriosis.

Retrograde menstruation is also a common risk factor for endometriosis. This involves the flow of menstrual blood heading back into the vagina through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvis area. This blood contains endometrial tissue. For the majority of women, this tissue will break down and be reabsorbed and no symptoms will be experienced. For those with endometriosis, this tissue may start to grow.

There are a range of other symptoms which may be associated with endometrioses. These include: the arrival of a menstrual cycle before the age of 11 years; recurring menstrual cycles of less than 27 days; delay in childbirth; falling pregnant at a young age; the use of alcohol; and low body weight.

If you have any questions in regards to treating your endometriosis, contact Dr Kirk Wilson (PhD) from the Fertility & IVF Acupuncture Clinic on 9231 3377. The treatment of endometriosis will be addressed in next week’s blog.

Endometriosis: Part 2 – The Symptoms

Endometriosis PainIn last week’s blog a simple explanation of endometriosis was offered. If you are unsure of what endometriosis is, please refer to the blog titled “Endometriosis: Part 1 – What Is It?”. This week’s blog will address the symptoms associated with endometriosis. These include:

Pain – This is the most common symptom of endometriosis and it occurs in the abdominal region, back and pelvis. It is mostly experienced before or during a period as well as at ovulation. Sexual intercourse may also cause pain, so too can passing stool and wind.

Period – Most women with endometriosis experience abnormalities with their period. This can involve heaving bleeding; irregular cycles or long periods. Bleeding or spotting may also occur before the period.

Vagina – A searing or tearing pain may be felt during sex or when inserting a tampon. This occurs in response the natural reflex tightening of the muscles in the wall of the vagina.

Bowel and Bladder – Stool patterns may change leading to constipation or diarrhoea. There may me an increase the frequency of urination. Bleeding can also come from both the bowel and the bladder.

Bloating – This is experienced in the abdominal area around the time of menstruation.

If you have any questions in regards to treating your endometriosis, contact Dr Kirk Wilson (PhD) on 9231 3377. Next week’s blog will cover the causes of endometriosis.

Endometriosis: Part 1 – What Is It?

EndometriosisEndometriosis is a condition which is frequently encountered at the fertility & IVF Acupuncture Clinic. I therefore think it is important to share some of the things I have learnt during my time in clinical practice. I also think it is important to offer an account of the condition from the perspective of Chinese Medicine. Before we get to this, the first step is to explain exactly what is endometriosis.

Endometriosis: What is it?
Endometriosis is a chronic condition which affects the female reproductive system. In the uterus (womb), there is an internal lining called the endometrium. This is shed during menstruation and it is seen as clots in the menstrual blood. The endometrium regrows during each menstrual cycle. The condition of endometriosis involves over active growth of endometrial lining so that it is found on areas which are outside of the womb. Endometriosis is most commonly found around the pelvic area, the abdominal organs and the ovaries. Rarely is it found anywhere else.

The symptoms of endometriosis will be discussed in next week’s blog. In the meantime, if you have any questions in regards to endometriosis, please phone Dr Kirk Wilson (PhD) from the Fertility & IVF Acupuncture Clinic on 9231 3377.

Age & Fertility: A Solution (Jing: Part 2)

Age & Fertility - A SolutionIn last week’s blog titled “Age & Fertility: A Chinese Medicine Perspective (Jing: Part 1)”, I introduced the concept of “jing”. I explained how it accounts for the relationship between age and the natural decline in fertility. It is advisable you read this blog first as a precursor to better contextualise this blog. In clinical practice, jing directly relates to egg quality and ovarian reserve (AMH). The greater the volume of jing, the better the state of each. These are both key necessities in the path to conception.

There are two approaches in treating jing. The first approach is to simply preplace the jing which has been already consumed. For this approach in treatment, herbal medicine is the preferred method. There are herbs which have varying capacities to replace jing. Time is however needed for them to take affect. Though from my clinical experience, the extent of the improvement will have limitations. If jing has been severely depleted, it is difficult to make significant improvements. Though it is however very probable that jing can be replaced with a mild increase. This method of treatment has enabled me to treat numerous treat where ovarian reserve and/or egg quality improved.

Acupuncture is not effective at replacing jing because it has a regulatory function. This means is only able to reinstate balance. Herbal medicine in contrast has the ability to make adjustments outside of a state of balance. There is no point using acupuncture to make a fertility patent a “balanced” 42 year old. Even is a state of balance she will only have the jing of someone her age. The aim is replenish the jing so that she presents similar to a much younger women.

The second approach to jing is more of a supportive method. This involves balancing the body so as to prevent any further depletion into the reserves of jing. In other words, this involves making the body run efficiently. This role is perfectly suitable for acupuncture. It has the capacity to regulate the physiology of the body as everything runs smoothly and effectively. Treatment of this nature would involve helping each organ function efficiently. It will also involve helping the body fend off external threats, which can cause illness, as well as help the body deal with stress.