As many of you know, I was at the Fertility Show last weekend at London Olympia. I met an amazing woman there, IVF consultant Professor Geeta Nargund. Geeta formed Create – the pioneers of ‘natural’ or ‘mild’ IVF.
Geeta’s argument is that standard IVF, using high doses of drugs, has a detrimental effect on the quality of the eggs and the uterine lining. Natural IVF uses the one egg that a woman will have naturally produced in that menstrual cycle. Mild IVF, where the amount of drugs used is greatly reduced may produce a maximum 5 eggs. Her argument is that mild IVF produces the same results as conventional IVF but with better longer term consequences. For instance, mild IVF results in a lower risk of having a low weight, pre-term baby, as well as reducing incidence of OHSS. Women going through mild IVF, have a better experience, with less injections and side effects and a better psychological experience. They create better quality embryos and uterine environments and have healthier babies.
In mild IVF, women take injections daily for 5-10 days and may also take tablets (including clomid or tamoxifen, Hcg, FSH and an antagonist).
Geeta suggests that any woman who has been told that she has low AMH or ovarian reserve, and any older woman, should consider mild IVF.
Create have clinics in London and Bristol. Geeta can do consultations for £200 which also include a blood flow scan and 3D scan of the uterus. Women having mild IVF should expect to make about 3 visits to clinic prior to egg collection.
I believe that CARE also offer mild IVF. They have clinics nationwide but including Sheffield, Manchester and Nottingham. They would scan on day 2 and 8 of stimulation then daily until egg collection. Check their website here.
I think any woman who has been told that her chances of success with standard IVF or that their only chance of conceiving may be to use donor eggs due to their low ovarian reserve should consider finding out more about Mild IVF.
A new Online Fertility Support Group where you can get support, advice and virtual hugs has been launched. This is a closed facebook group and aims to bring people together who are trying to conceive, whether naturally or with interventions such as IVF. Find out more here. Or log into the facebook page direct here.
There is an exciting nutritional workshop being held by Elizabeth Cooper, nutritional therapist, on 21st November between 9.30am- 2.30pm. Elizabeth works with couples trying to conceive naturally or having IVF. The workshop will be held in Cookridge, Leeds.
This one day workshop is for anyone who has been trying to conceive without success or is planning to conceive and wants to know how nutrition can help. By the end of this workshop Elizabeth says that you will:
- understand all of the factors that could be reducing your chances of conceiving, such as hormone imbalance, nutrient deficiencies and immune dysregulation.
- have an action plan of the steps you can take to optimise your chances of a successful conception, a sustained pregnancy and a healthy baby.
For more details click here.
Samhain, pronounced sah-win is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. The Celtic roots of Halloween, it is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, which is nearly halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. To most modern Pagans, while death is still the central theme of the festival this does not mean it is a morbid event. For Pagans, death is not a thing to be feared. Old age is valued for its wisdom and dying is accepted as a part of life as necessary and welcome as birth. While Pagans, like people of other faiths, always honour and show respect for their dead, this is particularly marked at Samhain. Loved ones who have recently died are remembered and their spirits often invited to join the living in the celebratory feast. It is also a time at which those born during the past year are formally welcomed into the community. As well as feasting, Pagans often celebrate Samhain with traditional games such as apple-dooking. Death also symbolises endings and Samhain is therefore not only a time for reflecting on mortality, but also on the passing of relationships, jobs and other significant changes in life. A time for taking stock of the past and coming to terms with it, in order to move on and look forward to the future.
The sentiment behind this Celtic festival shares much with the Chinese Medicine understanding that this is a period of letting go. What can you let go of before we move into Winter? What is weighing you down? What have you no further need for in life?
“Sometimes you can’t have what is in front of you if you are not willing to let go what is behind you”
- James Van Praagh
To celebrate Samhain in Leeds this friday check out the celebration
that will be held in Farsley with the lovely Tanya and Bridget.
Sometimes we are asked whether acupuncture can be used to induce labour. There are treatments that we can do for this that encourage the uterus to start to contract and the cervix to ripen and open. We also include relaxation points as often women under the threat of induction are managing high anxiety levels and may be feeling frightened. However, our preference is to offer women ‘pre-birth’ labour from 37-38 weeks. This is usually 3 acupuncture sessions that occur weekly until due date. This style of treatment is designed to encourage your body to work naturally and the research carried out by the midwife and acupuncturist who developed the protocol suggests that women who have this treatment are much less likely to face medical induction, use far fewer interventions during labour and spend a slightly shorter amount of time in the first stage of labour. It is designed to work with your body and your baby and is a far gentler approach than acupuncture or medical induction.
Many of the women we see have been told that they may be induced as they are ‘higher risk’. This is usually due to the fact that they are over 40 or that the conception was through IVF. There is no reason why an IVF baby is any more at risk than a naturally conceived baby. For first time mothers, facing fear and anxiety about labour and motherhood, it is difficult to question some of the advice they may be receiving from their midwife or consultant. There is an informative article here, written by Sara Wickham, an experienced midwife, exploring the issues of induction.
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