Trying to Conceive:Preconception, Fertility & IVF

Conscious Conception – Conceive with awareness and intent.

“Optimal health of parents, prior to conception, is a major factor that will positively influence reproductive outcomes” – Dr Miranda Myles

At The Fertile Project, we believe that your fertility is a reflection of your overall health. Our team of professional acupuncturists, naturopaths and osteopaths are dedicated to working with you to create optimal physical, mental and emotional health prior to conception

At The Fertile Project, we take an evidence based approach and provide a supportive, nurturing environment to help you achieve a successful natural or medicated / IVF / DEIVF conception.

We want you to be the most fertile version of yourself, to conceive consciously and achieve the healthiest pregnancy possible.

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Trying to Conceive:

Preconception, Fertility & IVF

Conscious Conception – Conceive with awareness and intent.

“Optimal health of parents, prior to conception, is a major factor that will positively influence reproductive outcomes” – Dr Miranda Myles

At The Fertile Project, we believe that your fertility is a reflection of your overall health. Our team of professional acupuncturists, naturopaths and osteopaths are dedicated to working with you to create optimal physical, mental and emotional health prior to conception

At The Fertile Project, we take an evidence based approach and provide a supportive, nurturing environment to help you achieve a successful natural or medicated / IVF / DEIVF conception.

We want you to be the most fertile version of yourself, to conceive consciously and achieve the healthiest pregnancy possible.

LEARN MORE
BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

Preparing You For Your Pregnancy:

Preconception health care is so much more than just getting you pregnant. It is about consciously preparing your mind and body and making you “baby ready” for a successful and optimal pregnancy. Preconception health care is also about the ultimate health of your baby, improving your baby’s constitutional health and vitality. How you live your life, your life-style, your dietary choices and everything you do now impacts your overall health, your fertility and the health of your children.

Preconception care improves short and long term health outcomes for both mama and baby.

Fertile You: how do we do it?

Firstly, by addressing the three pillars of preconception care-

  1. Conscious Conception
  2. Optimal pregnancy
  3. Healthy baby

Secondly, we take the time to hear you, to see you, to get to know you and work with you to create a perfect preconception plan that makes sense to you. And one that you are more likely to follow.

Preconception Care Is Essential if:

  • You and / or your conception partner are 35 years and above
  • You have been trying to conceive for 6 months without success
  • There is a history of recurrent miscarriages
  • There are underlying hormonal imbalances such as endometriosis, PCOS, ovulation issues or menstrual irregularities
  • You have a stressful and / or unhealthy life

We love the uniqueness of modern families. Whether your fertility journey is as a couple, same sex, single, natural conception, medicated cycles, IVF, donor egg IVF, donor sperm, surrogacy our team at The Fertile Project can support you with the best treatment plan for you.

We want to help you foster a healthy lifestyle that is manageable. We love working with all our parents-to-be, (mama’s, dada’s, donors, surrogates, everyone) for 3-6 months prior to conception attempts (ideally 6-12 months). This is because it takes at least 90 days to make an egg and allows us time to help improve egg and sperm quality and create the most perfect fertile environment to house and grow your little embryo.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is recommended to help balance out hormones, regulate ovulation & menstrual cycle, enhance egg quality and uterine lining. Acupuncture is also used to regulate our stress hormones to modulate mood and provide amazing relief and emotional support through what can otherwise be an emotionally challenging (and draining) process.

Acupuncture used during IVF/DEIVF at the time of embryo transfer is associated with increased chances of successful implantation, conception and pregnancy outcomes. As we know, IVF / DEIVF is a very stressful time.

Acupuncture & IVF / DEIVF

Many clinical trials have been conducted on the benefit of acupuncture in conjunction with IVF.

Acupuncture used during IVF/DEIVF at the time of embryo transfer is associated with increased chances of successful implantation, conception and pregnancy outcomes.

Acupuncture may regulate our stress hormones to modulate mood and provide amazing stress relief & emotional support through what can otherwise be an emotionally challenging (and draining) process.

Acupuncture can be used at any time during your IVF process. We especially recommend it during the following key times:

  • Prior to IVF to increase general health, blood circulation & fertility (Ideally once or twice per week for 4-6 weeks)
  • To help with side effects such as nausea, bloating, hot flushes, fatigue, insomnia
  • Following egg collection to aid recovery
  • Increases blood flow to the ovaries and uterus for implantation
  • Supports stress hormones & reduces stress, anxiety and overwhelm
  • Helps manage symptoms and side effects of IVF drugs
  • Performed pre and post embryo transfer may improve implantation and successful outcome
  • Like any medicine, acupuncture is dose dependent. Research suggests 9-12 treatments (1 per week for 9-12 weeks) prior to an IVF cycle, improves successful pregnancy outcomes
  • May improve conception chances in those with a history of unsuccessful IVF/DEIFV attempts
  • May modulate our endocrine system, effectively balancing our reproductive hormones
  • May improve sperm quality & motility in male factor fertility
  • From week 34 of pregnancy to help prepare you for birth, and relax both body and mind.

What does IVF / DEIVF & Acupuncture look like?

Preparing for IVF: 3 months: Ideally we love to work with you for 3-4 months prior to your first IVF / DEIVF cycle to iron out underlying health, hormonal or fertility issues. This is important whether you are using your own eggs or donor eggs.

But don’t worry, if you are about to start a cycle, and have missed the preconception stage, all good. We work with anyone at any stage of their IVF journey.

You’ve started a cycle

The medication phase of IVF starts on day 2 of your cycle and this is a perfect time to start having weekly acupuncture. Acupuncture now can help balance your hormones, increase blood flow & nutrients to the uterus and the ovaries (which is great for the health of your eggs and uterine lining thickness).

IVF / DEIVFis a very stressful time. Juggling soooo many appointments, scans, blood tests, drugs to inject, supplements to take, things to think about and so little time, mixed with the overwhelm and uncertainty of “is this even going to work”…if nothing else, acupuncture can help you destress.

Egg collection

You’ve had an anaesthetic and your eggs have been collected (if you are using your own eggs. If using donor eggs, skip this step!) Imagine what’s going on down there- you’ve been prodded and poked, and your poor little ovaries are sore, swollen and down right tired. Let’s give them some love. Acupuncture within 24-48 hours of collection can help reduce inflammation and that swollen / bloated / NQR feeling

Embryo transfer

Having acupuncture within 24 hours pre and post transfer may increase chances of implantation. Acupuncture aims to increase blood flow and relax both you and your uterus to improve outcomes.

TWW

And now the wait. What can be the most arduous, painstaking “two week wait”. Urgh. It can feel awfully overwhelming, and you need to take care of you. This can be a particularly stressful, anxious, and sleep depriving time of waiting and overthinking. Acupuncture may regulate our stress hormones to modulate mood and provide amazing stress relief & emotional support through what can otherwise be an emotionally challenging (and draining) process. Ideally, we recommend 1-2 treatments weekly to help calm your nervous system.

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Naturopathy, Fertility & IVF/DEIVF

Naturopathic principles are at the core of preconception or prenatal health care. Preconception health care involves striving for optimal health prior to conception attempts to achieve as optimal pregnancy as possible and, in the end, a healthy baby.

  • Preconception health care has been shown to double IVF success rates. A Naturopath with expertise in this field best delivers preconception health care.
  • IVF can be a highly stressful time. Our naturopaths are able to provide support for stress management, which enables IVF recipients to cope more effectively with ongoing treatment regimes.

Test, Don’t Guess

An essential element of creating a successful and individual preconception plan is to test, not guess. We will recommend full blood and happy hormone testing through your GP (or we can refer you to our favourite GP’s and/or specialists). We may also recommend more advanced functional medicine testing such as DUTCH Plus, Extensive Thyroid, MTHFR & homocysteine or Microbiome Mapping.

Factors we may address to increase conception chances and subsequent health of your baby include:

  • Endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts & PCOS
  • Amenorrhea (no periods), dysmenorrhea (painful periods), menorrhagia (heavy periods)
  • Ovulation issues
  • PMT, PMDD
  • The effects of the contraceptive pill
  • Thyroid issues
  • Mental & emotional factors such as stress, anxiety and adrenal exhaustion
  • Diet & lifestyle
  • Environmental toxins & endocrine disrupting chemicals

By working with your diet, creating nourishing, easy food & lifestyle we aim to prepare you mind, body and soul for your most perfect pregnancy. For our lovely ladies, a key focus is to ensure beautifully timed ovulation, gorgeous healthy eggs and regular menstrual cycles. For the blokes, the only job of the sperm is to fertilise & deliver DNA to the egg; so we want the best swimmers possible.

Our expert team will prescribe specific professional Practitioner Only medicines to ensure you reach your nutritional requirements, to improve egg and sperm quality, to increase uterine blood and to help manage stress. These are individually prescribed, it is not a one size fits all approach, and may include:

  • Prenatal Multivitamin with iodine & active folate (MTHF or folinic acid)
  • CoQ10 / Vitamin E / Resveratrol /Lipoic acid
  • Pre / Probiotics
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium, zinc, iron
  • Vitamin D

Male Factor Fertility

Men are 50% of the embryo, thus 50% of the solution towards a healthy pregnancy and baby. Sperm quality has significantly declined over the last 40 years contributing to difficulties in conception success. Poor quality sperm has been linked with

  • Reduced egg fertilisation
  • Poor embryo development
  • Increased miscarriage rates
  • Increased birth defects
  • Childhood illness – allergies, asthma autism

Whether a dad-to-be or a sperm donor, we love working with all our gorgeous men to ensure crappy sperm is not being mixed with gorgeous eggs, no matter the conception style.

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Osteopathy

Pregnancy places much stress and strain on the body, where a body free of structural imbalances prior to pregnancy is able to grow, adapt and change as the body requires during this time. When this doesn’t happen pain and restriction can result. The preconception period is the perfect time to address those little (or not so little) aches and pains in preparation of the pregnancy journey. During this period our osteopaths will also work on the fascial network that supports the uterus and other pelvic organs; it’s this network that acts as a conduit to bring all the blood and nervous information to and from the uterus along with removing any congestion and waste product. Our osteopaths have over 30 years combined clinical experience and look forward to assisting you through this period.

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