Recent statistics show more Canadian couples are having trouble getting pregnant. About 16 percent of couples, where the woman is between the age of 18 and 44, are experiencing infertility. This has lead more women to try In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
Studies show the success rate of IVF alone is around 35 percent. However, research shows traditional medicine can improve the odds for couples using IVF. If acupuncture is done right before or after IVF, the chance of getting pregnant is increased to at least 45 percent.
Izabela Picco and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for four years. So, Picco decided to try IVF, in combination with acupuncture.
“What I found with acupuncture was, they switch your mind to trust your body and start saying you can. It’s not that you can’t, it’s that you need a little help adjusting different things.”
She said the struggle to get pregnant was a roller coaster ride, and a negative one at that.
“I was able to get on a more positive mindset and not just ‘here’s your problem, take a pill.’ It was more ‘lets just work on your mind, your sleep, your stress.'”
Picoo had her acupuncture sessions at a local holistic fertility centre that helps women find natural ways to increase their odds of conceiving.
Sabrina Silins has been practicing Chinese medicine for over ten years and started ‘Fertile Way’ as a means to educate the public on the benefits of acupuncture.
“With IVF treatment itself, they find that raising endorphin levels, as well as the serotonin levels helps the body relax and be more receptive to the actual procedure,” Silins says adding, “We’re not looking just to treat through acupuncture but also educate through food, sleep, diet and more importantly, emotional well being.”
Silins recommends her patients cut processed food, caffeine and dairy out of their diet. She also encourages taking supplements.
“The most common supplements are something called Vitex or Chasteberry that can help gently raise the progesterone levels in the body, and progesterone is a hormone that’s needed to help thicken the lining and support a pregnancy.”
Picco had IVF in April, with acupuncture before and after. Now, Picco is four months pregnant, expecting twin girls.
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