Preparing for Fertility, IVF & Pregnancy Program
The Preparing for Pregnancy program at The Crane Clinic is led by Aine Delaney, registered nurse and midwife.
Our 3 month program consists of
acupuncture, herbal medicine
and nutrition & lifestyle consultations
The program is thoughtfully tailored around your own particular circumstances and delivered by therapists who are highly trained and experienced in the area of promoting a healthy pregnancy.
Acupuncture, Nutritional Therapy & Lifestyle Factors for Fertility
Gynaecological health is long recognised as being responsive to acupuncture. The medical community now regularly embrace this method of treatment, given the greater understanding of biomedical considerations of what can be achieved with Acupuncture in relation to women’s health and fertility.
Optimum nutrition is absolutely vital for both maternal and foetal health. The fertility data from the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study (that followed over 18,000 women in a long-term research project) makes firm connections between diet and conception. Researchers found a six-fold increase in fertility in people who ate a certain diet and maintained a certain lifestyle.
Acupuncture combined with optimising nutrition can regulate menstruation, improve ovarian function, balance hormones, facilitate thick and rich lining, improve quality of eggs, boost IVF success and prevent miscarriage.
Chinese medicine helps return the body to a state of balance and creates the optimal conditions for fertilisation, maternal endometrial receptivity and a harmonious mother-foetus relationship.
Although egg quantity is fixed at birth, it can be positively influenced through specific nutrition and lifestyle management and proper treatment using Chinese medicine and acupuncture.
"A harmonious relationship exists between Acupuncture and optimum Nutrition in preparing for pregnancy. Acupuncture addresses any underlying blood stasis issues thereby helping to release blockages. Parallel to this, corrective nutrient interventions are also proven to help enhance blood flow. Blood clots during the period, dark menstrual blood and Endometriosis are considered to be blood
stasis in Chinese Medicine terms." - Aine Delaney
How can Acupuncture & Nutrition impact Fertility?
Achieve Optimum weight
Women may be advised by their trusted medical practitioner to lose or gain weight to give themselves the best chance to conceive. While it may be obvious that a Nutritionist will have the tools necessary to educate you on reaching a weight that is right for you, it might be interesting to learn that Acupuncture appears to have an effect on reducing the levels of hormones which impact your appetite and metabolism.
A shift in your metabolism in the direction of burning off excess fat stores can improve both egg and sperm quality and stimulate ovarian activity. On the other hand, being underweight can also affect ovarian function. In this case our Nutritionist can help to regulate your dietary intake in order to achieve a proper BMI for pregnancy to occur.
Obtain a healthy Digestive System
A properly functioning digestive system and healthy gut microbiome cannot be underestimated in Preparing for Pregnancy. It is essential that the right nutrients are absorbed and utilised by the body. Digestive issues such as bloating, reflux, cravings or bowel disorders and inflammation will be addressed as part of your comprehensive treatment plan with your Nutritionist. Many reproductive disorders are associated with Inflammation such as Endometriosis and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Inflammation may also impact on implantation and Immune System issues.
Nurture Healthy Eggs
The health of your eggs before they meet the sperm is impacted by the environment they occupy during their maturation process within the ovary. We look to ensure this environment provides them with; a good blood supply, the right nutrients, correct hormonal signalling and the capacity to supply adequate energy to the embryo. This is an important consideration for eggs coming from those of us with somewhat older ovaries and possibly impactful for eggs coming from anyone diagnosed with PCOS. We look to utilise our thorough Acupuncture and Nutrition program to enhance delivery of the right nutrients to the developing egg and enhance its capacity to create energy. Eggs respond negatively to a toxic environment and poor diet and equally they respond positively to a healthy environment and good diet.
Modulate your Immune System
It is now widely accepted that auto-immune issues are on the increase. The immune system has long been implicated in failure to conceive and with recurring miscarriages. Research also shows that a compromised immune system can result in a reduced rate of embryo implantation during IVF treatment. Your Preparing for Pregnancy program will consider any diagnosed or underlying acute or chronic immune system issues and tailor both your Nutrition recommendations and your Acupuncture treatments as appropriate to support your system in the time leading up to conception.
Support Blood Flow
In Chinese medicine, Blood deficiency is one of the many causes of infertility. If a deficiency condition in your body is recognised/observed during your initial consultations eg. Anovulation, scanty periods, thin endometrium lining, lack of energy or low iron, Acupuncture treatments, herbal formulas and a good Nutrition Plan will be very helpful to build up the endometrium.
Nourish your Nervous System
The impact of stress on your fertility is an important issue to be addressed. Stress produces a “fight or flight” response where the body perceives that there is danger. This causes a release of stress hormones called Cortisol and Adrenaline which negatively affects fertility. The right foods are proven to impact significantly on emotional and mental health; mood, focus and clarity of mind. Stress can delay or prevent ovulation and may affect implantation of the embryo. Acupuncture is considered to influence the hormonal regulation centre in the brain and autonomic nervous system (the hypothalamic pituitary axis) to help balance hormones over time. Acupuncture is renowned for its tremendous ability to relax the nervous system, quieten the mind, raise endorphin levels and reduce stress hormones.
Alongside your regular treatments we will help you to identify your unique fertile window by getting to understand your menstrual cycle and your body secretions as this important time of your cycle may be misidentified.
The Male factor
Men respond well to correct nutrition, improving blood flow and sperm quality as well as reducing inflammation. It is well documented that acupuncture is one of the safest and most effective ways of improving overall sperm profile, together with good nutrition. Acupuncture will help balance the nervous system, alleviate anxiety and stress and improve blood flow to the pelvic area.
Ideally the program should begin at least three months before pregnancy to allow time to nourish the egg and sperm before conception or before IVF to improve the success rate and have a quality embryo.
Acupuncture Treatments - how often?
We recommend that you have regular Acupuncture treatments during this time, ideally coming on a weekly basis. If this is not achievable, twice a month, before and after ovulation is preferable. Acupuncture treatment lasts one hour and you will feel very relaxed and refreshed afterwards. At each session we keep up to date with your progress and you will have a chance to discuss any concerns that you may have. We use electro-acupuncture to stimulate blood flow around the uterus and ovaries. You will also be advised on the importance of rest, relaxation and balance techniques to introduce into your everyday life. We will teach you a technique to relax and bring down stress levels that you can do for yourself at home.
When should I begin my Preparation for Pregnancy Nutrition regime?
The sooner the better! Roughly three months preparation pre-conception is recommended in an ideal world. This is the length of time it takes for eggs to mature. The sooner you begin nourishing your body with Nutrient dense whole fresh foods, as advised for your specific needs by our Nutritionist, the sooner you begin replenishing your system with correct nutrients to support a healthy conception. Nutrition status prior to conceiving will have a lasting effect on both your health and that of your baby. You have the ability to positively, directly influence your child’s lifelong susceptibility to disease & give them the best chance of optimising their brain function and their overall health throughout your pregnancy, at birth and over the course of their lives.
Dependent on your individual requirements, your initial Nutrition consultation will look to identify and manage any underlying factors that may contribute to delays in becoming pregnant. If it’s a case you have been medically diagnosed with certain conditions prior to your consultation, we seek to further delve into your nutritional and lifestyle factors that may be contributing to your diagnosis.
During your personalised ‘Preparing for Pregnancy’ programme at The Crane Clinic, our Registered Nutritionist will provide you with a Nutrition and lifestyle plan, diligently tailored to not only ensure you are receiving the best nutrition to prepare for conception, but also ensuring the plan is a fit for your current life circumstances.
You will have two further Nutrition consultations to ensure you are on the right track, with the addition of further health & wellness strategies as applicable.
Our Nutritionist will educate and empower you to take (back) control of your health and move towards a more balanced lifestyle. This allows you to be pro-active in caring for yourself, your body and your reproductive system in between your therapeutic Acupuncture treatments.
It Takes Two!
It takes two for the magic of conception to happen and this oftentimes stressful journey is made easier when both partners make those lifestyle changes together, supporting each other. If it is unexplained infertility, male factor or ovarian issues, focusing on improving general health & the health of the gametes on both sides often provides the solution when nothing else is working. Many of the couples we have treated have voiced an appreciation of the emotional and psychological benefits they experienced while doing this program. Among the feedback we are most grateful for and humbled by at The Crane Clinic is that all our practitioners show an immense amount of compassion and care for everyone who has done this program.
We promise to do our utmost to support you on this journey in every way we can, so feel free to pick up the phone and have a chat to see if we can help you or to answer any questions you may have.
Please call 091 525870 or 087 7965070 for further information or to book an appointment.