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7 Reasons to Ditch the Coffee During Preconception and Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, you’ve probably been told by your doctor that coffee is completely safe. Some sources specify a limit of 200mg of caffeine per day, which is equal to roughly one cup of coffee. Well, I beg to differ and want to share with you my thoughts on why it’s best to avoid caffeine altogether during preconception and pregnancy. Please note that all references can be found at the end of this article.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can Support IVF

The reasons for choosing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) are as diverse and numerous as are the patients themselves, but what people do have in common is a deep rooted desire to love and start a family. IVF/IUI can be challenging as people invest time, energy, and money into a process that is still mysterious and constantly evolving as new technologies are used and innovations in hormonal protocols are made.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with Male Factor Infertility

Approximately 40% of couples who are having trouble conceiving will experience male factor infertility, creating a significant area of interest which is often overlooked by both couples and specialists. From a conventional medicine perspective, there are a several variables at play with respect to male factor infertility, including sperm parameters (morphology, motility, quantity and concentration), antisperm antibodies, varicoceles, and erectile dysfunction.

What should I eat during my IVF cycle?

As a naturopathic doctor, I get this question A LOT. Women generally aren’t given very specific guidance around how they should be eating when undergoing fertility treatment since IVF clinics are so busy and there is lots of information like injections, labs, imaging, schedules, etc, to go over without delving into nutrition. However, this often neglected aspect of a woman’s life is of great importance. After all, you are what you eat.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a hormonal and immune system disease in which cells similar to the endometrium or uterine lining, grow outside the uterine cavity, often on the peritoneum or surrounding abdominal organs. Common symptoms include pain and infertility, with pain often worse during menstruation and often with excess clotting. It may also be present around ovulation and during sex (dysparerunia).

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

A syndrome is defined as a group of symptoms that consistently occur together, and with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) the common symptoms women experience are related to hormonal imbalances, specifically, as Dr. Pentland says “the presence of multiple cysts on the ovaries, excess androgen levels (male hormones), irregular ovulation and menstrual cycles, and insulin resistance”.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR)

While diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) is more common in women as they get older, it can be an issue for younger women as well. The reasons for DOR are numerous, including age, cysts, endometriosis, high body mass index, history of tumours or radiation, or family history. While many of these causes are a result of an identifiable situation, it is still true that at 37 years old, a woman will have about 25,000 eggs remaining, and at menopause less than 1000. This is compared with approximately 400,00 eggs at puberty.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with Advanced Maternal Age (AMA)

The term ‘advanced maternal age’ (AMA) is misleading, as women of ‘advanced age’ are in reality quite young, usually in their late 30s or 40s. Strong, confident, capable women who have already lived a full life or two and are now ready to consider expanding their family and having a child. The term ‘advanced maternal age’ is relative though, and it is known that the chances of falling pregnant decrease as we move into our late 30s, and it is accepted that maternal age plays a significant role in egg quality and ovarian reserve.

Explaining the Unexplained (Infertility)

Hearing that you have “unexplained infetility” can be one of the most frustrating things for a couple trying to conceive, yet this is one of the most common “diagnoses” for infertility in North America. There is obviously no specific criteria for this diagnosis other than being unable to conceive*, and not finding any other medical reason for infertility, which makes unexplained infertility a diagnosis of exclusion.

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help with Unexplained Infertility

From a person’s perspective, ‘unexplained infertility’ is a frustrating assessment. After testing, time and examination by specialists it has been determined that there is no physiological reason pregnancy is not taking place. According to the government of Canada infertility can be traced to either the man or woman, or a combination of both, and approximately 20% of infertility is unexplained.

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