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Acupuncture Better Than Fertility Drugs

September 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Fertility & Pregnancy

A new controlled trial from China has found that women receiving acupuncture had a 43.3% of pregnancy rather than the 20% resulting from taking fertility medication including clomiphene (clomid). The study measured prolactin levels which are a key indicator of hormonal function in women trying to conceive. Read more here.

We love supporting women and couples trying to conceive, whether that be naturally or those receiving medical interventions. Initially we are trying to find out if there are any underlying issues that may be affecting fertility. Stress, which disrupts hormonal function, can often be a key factor. We then devise a treatment plan for you as an individual. Commonly this may involve weekly sessions of acupuncture over a couple of months and then if you are not pregnant within that time, we may reduce to less frequent sessions if we see improvements have taken place. We use changes such as those seen in the menstrual cycle, PMT levels, energy levels etc as an indicator of whether the acupuncture is helping.

For those on Clomid or having IVF we use different treatment plans and sessions may be arranged around key parts of your cycle and Western medical treatment. For instance with Clomid and ovulation inducing drugs we may treat pre and post ovulation. In IVF we may treat more frequently in the stimulation part of the cycle and then pre and post transfer. Although we have some general treatment plans, your treatment, is individualised for you.

If you want support in your bid to become and sustain a healthy pregnancy, get in touch and talk to us about whether we can help.

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Change Is Afoot!

September 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Acupuncture

We are delighted to tell you that some positive changes are happening in our Clinic from today!

We are becoming a team of 3 with the talented and passionate Rach joining Rachael and I. Rach will be working on tuesdays between 3-8pm. This means that we can offer our clients more variety and more late evening appointments.

I’ve watched Rach developing into a top class acupuncturist over the past few years and I’m so thrilled that she will be part of our team. I’ve been secretly hoping she would join us for ages!

We will have more on introductions to Rach coming soon. Watch this space!

Clinic hours will now be:

mondays 1-6

tuesdays 3-8

wednesdays 3-8

thurs 1.30-6

friday 8-1


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IVF: Frozen Or Fresh?

August 31, 2016 by  
Filed under Fertility & Pregnancy

I’ve been following the recent research undertaken into comparing outcomes of frozen versus fresh embryo transfers with interest over the past year or so. There seems to be increasing evidence emerging that frozen cycles may result in higher implantation and live birth rates. It would suggest that transferring an embryo back into a woman whom has been highly stimulated by synthetic hormones may not be as restful an environment as it could be. Allowing the uterus and hormones levels to recover from IVF drugs and arranging a later transfer using frozen embryos may be the way forward in the future. Read more here.

If it proves to be the case that frozen is better, the challenge is in clinics improving freezing protocols and reaching better thawing rates.

Whether it is fresh or frozen there are pros and cons of each, and that is one of the discussions that we have with women we treat undergoing IVF.

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Waking Up To A New Day

June 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Eastern culture, Food & drink

Many of us pay little attention to how we wake up. The alarm goes off. Some of us turn it to snooze and prefer another 10 minutes of slumber. Others throw back the covers and immediately get up and into action mode. This jolt taxes the system and creates strain on weak artery walls. Additionally, the body experiences a sudden and dramatic increase in blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate compared to its sleep state. When this is taken into account, it is no wonder that strokes and heart attacks commonly occur between six a.m. and noon.

There are various ideas about the best ways of waking up and preparing for your day.

I always have a full glass of water on waking that I keep next to the bed. This rehydrates you and some evidence suggests that this helps to reduce risk of stroke. If you have lemon in it, all the better. The lemon will stimulate your liver and wake it up so it’s raring to go for all the jobs you ask it to do for the rest of the day.

My yoga teacher suggests having a gentle stretch before you even get out of bed. You have been lying down for a long period with limited movements. Stretch out your arms, your legs. Move your fingers then wrists and ankles. Do a few rotations of the joints in the ankle and wrist. This will get the qi or energy awakening before you ask it to do anything more strenuous.

Taoists suggest an alternative massage. Begin massaging your sensory organs—your eyes, nose, lips, and ears—as soon as you wake up. Gently tap and brush your scalp with your fingertips. Then massage the rest of your body with a stroking action from your neck down to your shoulders, elbows, hands, chest and abdomen, hips, knees, and all the way down to your feet. Stroke your lower back with your palms. Inhale deeply into your nose and exhale through your mouth three times; this pushes out toxins. Then take three deep inhalations, filling your cells with vital oxygen.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it gives you the energy you need to function during your daily activities. Instead of your usual cold cereal or toast or breakfast bar, try substituting a warm bowl of whole oats. Your body will thank you for years to come.

Whole oats balance the body’s blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates, and they also prevent colon cancer by binding toxic minerals and acids. Rich in antioxidants, whole oats keep cholesterol from sticking to artery walls. The outer coating of oats contains a high concentration of soluble fibers, which help trap cholesterol and move it quickly through the intestines. The saponins in oats increase production of natural “killer cells,” which play a critical role in the body’s supervision of the immune system.

These benefits are reserved for whole oats only; the oats that many people eat in refined form will not share the same lifelong health rewards because they contain very little of the precious bran that contains beta-glucan and saponins. So stick with unrefined whole oats.

Add to whole oats a good mixture of berries in season—especially blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. As another option, try apples or mandarin orange. For a sweetened taste, add raisins, honey, or date pieces. Simply add soymilk or almond milk, and you have a blockbuster breakfast!

There you go- ready to start your day!

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Using The Right Lubricant

May 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Fertility & Pregnancy

The Daily Mail recently highlighted the question of whether couples trying to conceive would benefit from using a sperm friendly lubricant.

We always advise couples we see who are trying for a baby not to use general lubricants during their love-making and not to use saliva. Both can harm sperm. However, if vaginal dryness is an issue, a sperm-friendly lubricant such as Pre Seed or Conceive Plus may help. The PH balance of the lubricant may balance the acid- alkaline balance of the more acid vagina which traditionally repels the more alkaline sperm. Increased moisture may also help the sperm to swim up the cervix.

A 2014 study measured the effect on sperm function of 11 lubricants, including some that claimed to boost fertility. It found that two – Pre-Seed and Conceive Plus – improved ‘motility’, a measure of how much sperm moves. All the others had a detrimental effect.

The jury is out on whether in general couples trying to conceive should use a lubricant at all. Some consultants are wary and warn that they won’t make a difference to the more common issues that make conceiving difficult such as low sperm count, endometriosis, PCOS or blocked fallopian tubes. However, if you’re trying to conceive naturally and do find vaginal dryness an issue, ensure you use a lubricant which will help the sperm do their job of fertilising the egg.
This is just one of the issues that we discuss with couples trying to get pregnant who come to see us to talk through how to maximise their chances of conceiving. A fertility consultation is £49 and you should leave with a clear idea of the way forward and advice on what you can do to improve your chance of conception.
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