How To Improve Your Chances of Conceiving After 40 With Chinese Herbs

Couples who are trying to get pregnant after the age of 40 may find some benefit from the deep history of Chinese medicine. There is a long tradition of imperial doctors using Chinese herbal medicine to enhance the fertility potential of the emperor and his wife to ensure there was an heir to his throne. There are numerous formulations for the treatment of fertility concerns in both men and women.

Observing the Natural World in Order to Know the Body

Yes, you can treat PCOS naturally.

PCOS - this is an acronym that gets thrown around a lot at Yinstill and generally in my day to day life when interacting with patients. PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This is one of the most common causes of female infertility around the world, and especially in North America. Just from hearing the name, many people assume that this condition involves the presence of cysts on the ovaries. However, this is not the case and cystic ovaries are no longer a requirement for diagnosing this condition.

CBD2 Cannabinoid receptors regulate & control the production of sperm, in a (perhaps) unexpected way

Sperm & Marijuana - Science Magazine found results contrary to the commonly held belief that marijuana is universally bad for sperm production; rather, isolating compounds has somewhat surprising effects - "both hyper- and hypo-stimulation of CB2 disrupted the temporal dynamics of the spermatogenic cycle". In other words, your cannabinoid receptors need to be adequately stimulated to produce optimal sperm numbers.

Advanced Maternal Age and Fertility

A big piece here is to understand how to guide intention. As the body ages it gives less and less resources to the function of reproduction. This happens as a result of the body’s decrease in overall resources and the growing need of other more life sustaining systems. Thus, a decline in the health of the reproductive organs (eggs included) when a woman is over the age of 35.

These simple facts direct our goals for treatment in traditional Chinese medicine;

Natural Solutions for Endometriosis

Endometriosis - non-malignant cancer of the uterus, is one way of describing this condition affecting 15% of women of reproductive age. Endometriosis cells act like cancer cells - growing and attracting their own blood supply. For most women, this condition can be extremely painful at every period and can prevent them from getting pregnant. There are several important factors to consider when treating endometriosis. These are inflammation, autoimmunity, blood vessel formation, estrogen dominance and progesterone resistance.

How to properly do a post-holiday cleanse (and why your body desperately needs it)

The month of December is such an incredible time during which most of us get to catch up with family, friends, loved ones, and of course some of our favourite foods. When advising patients during the holidays, I normally tell them not to worry about this. It’s true that the diet is an important fundamental factor of overall health, however December is not the best time to initiate dietary changes if you want to set yourself up for success. Normally I encourage my patients to eat as they normally would over the holidays, and get back on track with healthy eating habits in January.

Does Stress Affect Fertility?

The short answer is ‘Yes’.

However, a more accurate answer is that stress affects some women’s capability to build a happy healthy family, and seems not to affect others.

Naturopathic Medicine and IVF: How a holistic approach can help improve your chances of success

IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is now responsible for 1% of all births in North America. This assisted reproductive technology is definitely on the rise and is something I come across everyday in practice. Patients seek support at Yinstill Reproductive Wellness because there is something missing from their treatment regimen at the fertility clinic. Often times women come into Yinstill wanting to know how they can complement their upcoming IVF, FET (frozen embryo transfer) or IUI (intrauterine insemination) cycle with natural treatments.

Art Therapy, Mental Health & Fertility

Your mental health has a great impact on the rest of your world and how you function. It is tied to your physical health, your relationships and your general happiness and well being! But why do so many of us ignore it, suffer, or try to 'tough' it out? Everyone is deserving of emotional care and support and finding what works best for you is a great first step. I recently came across this study about fertility, art therapy and mental health, for the full version don't hesitate to get in touch!

Bowen & Fertility: A gentle approach to improve your chances of conception

Bowen Therapy is a holistic and multidimensional approach to pain relief and healing that has achieved remarkable results over the past 50 years. It is based on the recognition by Tom Bowen, its originator, who lived and practiced in Australia, that the underlying cause or source of many musculoskeletal, neurological, neuromuscular and other health or pain problems could be found in the soft tissue or fascia. Fascia is a specific type of connective tissue that forms a three dimensional web surrounding every tissue in the body.

You Are Not Broken

Please take a moment to read these 2 paragraphs written by 2 famous female doctors who have dedcicated their lives to the treatment of women's health and fertility...

Self-Monitoring for Fertility

For most women I see there is a short period of awkwardness that arises when I first ask them about the size and color of their menstrual blood clots, or the consistency and characteristics of their bowel movements, but it never seems to take long for women to understand the importance of observing their body in all its capacities. Careful monitoring of ones own health has been a hallmark of traditional Chinese culture for thousands of years.

Naturopathic Support for Male Factor Infertility: how natural medicine can improve the quality of your swimmers

Fact: male factor infertility is responsible for 40% of all cases of infertility. In my opinion, the most common misconception when a couple has trouble conceiving is to immediately assume that there is something wrong with the woman. This notion is exhibited both by the woman who naturally takes on guilt and the man who is often reluctant to seek a health assessment (case in point, our patient base consists of at least 80% women).

Here’s what you need to know about male factor infertility:

Rising Rates of Infertility Reversible

Infertility rates in Canada have been on a steady upward climb for the last many decades. I just wanted to share some statistics for the last 30 years, and some correlations that should not be overlooked. These correlations quite likely display some of the causes of the infertility trend, and they are either reversible or treatable.

One Woman's PCOS Journey

The following is a great example of typical PCOS case seen at Yinstill. If you think you may have PCOS or have been diagnosed with excess androgens, insulin resistance, irregular menstrual cycles, or cystic ovaries, I encourage you to read this story below, and to venture to youtube to listen to how other women have managed theri PCOS.

Am I running out of time to have a baby? Natural Solutions for Advanced Maternal Age

It’s no secret that women these days are making the decision to conceive much later in their lives than they were, say, 30-40 years ago. In my opinion, this is a wise decision in many ways as we are giving ourselves the opportunity to build up both financially and emotionally in preparation for nurturing a new life. The downfall here is that nature created us so that we as women have this “biological clock” that everyone talks about. So what does that really mean?

PCOS could be getting a name change

This past December there was a panel of experts put together by the National Institutes of Health to review the current diagnostic criteria and treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome. The findings of this project were recently published. The panel has recommended that the current name PCOS does not accurately capture all of the endocrine and metabolic dysfunction that is common with this syndrome and therefore a new name should be created. Further recommendations were to allow for more descriptive subdivisions of this syndrome.

Fertility Case Study: Yang Deficiency Cold

general info - Barb was 40 years old and had been trying to conceive for over 4 years without success. They got married when she was 35 and began the journey of making babies almost immediately after they were married.
history - Medical testing showed that her ovarian reserve was diminished and she was told that her egg quality was most likely poor. Semen analysis also showed low motility, morphology, and borderline low concentration.

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.

Eggs don't have an expiration date

Before we are born, our developing ovaries contain all of the eggs we will have during our lifetime. When we are still only a 20-week old fetus in our mother’s womb, our number of eggs peaks at approximately four to six million. After this time, a natural process known as ooctye attrition begins where the number of eggs decreases. By the time we are born, we have about one million eggs left. At the time of our first period, we still have a few hundred thousand eggs. And when we reach menopause, approximately one thousand eggs remain.

Goal Setting for Fertility

“Change is never a matter of ability, it is only a matter of motivation and a compelling why.” ~ Tony Robbins

The goal of anyone experiencing infertility is to have a child. When times are trying, and you are adapting your life style in what might be challenging ways, that is the goal that needs to be kept in mind. Sometimes when you’ve been trying for a while, this ultimate goal can seem frustratingly unreachable so breaking it down into more manageable steps is key. That’s what we’re going to talk about in this chapter.

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.

Fertility drugs need better monitoring

An article posted yesterday in the Vancouver Sun spoke about the drugs fertility doctors are giving their patients. The cause for concern may stem from younger and relatively healthy women moving to these drugs as a means of attaining a pregnancy faster.

Fertility Case Study: Heat

general info - Melanie was a 31 year old lawyer trying to conceive for 1 year. Husband is 43 and travels a lot. Since coming off her IUD one year ago her cycles have been irregular in length.

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.

Pregnancy loss. Unburden your Heart.

Trying to get pregnant after a miscarriage is an emotional journey. If a woman has suffered several miscarriages, the journey has taken a toll on both her body and her spirit. Often, questions of why and how are being asked – is it because of my egg quality? is there a genetic incompatibility? is there something wrong with my uterus? what about immunological or blood clotting factors? endocrine or thyroid reasons? am I really “unexplainable”?

Acupuncture for IVF in Vancouver

Women and couples come to me at various stages of their journey to conception. Sometimes they have been trying for years and others they are just starting out. While conceiving naturally is everyone’s first choice, alternatives that garner the same results; a baby, should not be overlooked. It is for this reason that I have written this blog.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is a term used to describe the current western medical treatments available for women and couples having difficulty conceiving and desiring or requiring medical aid such as In Vitro Fertilization.

How to relieve stress on the spot using just your breath

Ever found yourself in a difficult or stressful situation that just gets your blood boiling or causes you to feel all frantic inside? Yes. We all have these moments. Whether it’s hearing bad news, dealing with traffic, being in a confrontation, or experiencing a full blown panic attack, the stress of life is inevitable - something I am always reminding myself and my patients. So if stress is inevitable, the only thing that can really determine whether or not you allow that stress to have a detrimental effect on your body and physiology is how you respond to it.

Getting Pregnant...Again

Are you struggling to conceive this time around? Time and time again our Fit 4 Two alumni tell us how although they got pregnant quickly the first time, it just doesn’t seem to happen as easily the second time around.

Jani White at the Integrated Fertility Symposium

This past weekend a collection of experts, practitioners, students, and observers from around the world descended on SFU downtown for the inaugural Integrative Fertility Symposium. There were many excellent talks from Chinese doctors and acupuncturists, MDs and naturopathic doctors covering a range of topics including “Key Concepts in Embryo Implantation”, “ Chinese Medicine’s View of ImmunoIogical infertility” and much in between. The practitioners from Yinstill were there attending lectures to learn and share their newfound knowledge with each other.

Are your swimmers up for the challenge? - The Semen Analysis (part 1)

Every day throughout the month of November (MOvember) the team at Yinstill has committed to publishing one blog or article each day. Since I will have the opportunity to make four contributions, I decided to offer my submissions in the form of a series. The first two will be about the semen analysis, what to expect and how to interpret the findings. The third and fourth will focus on the physical impediments that reduce sperm quality and quantity, and ideas for treatment approaches to improve sperm parameters.

Improve Your Sperm Quality with a Handful of Walnuts

A group of researchers in California conducted a randomized control trial to determine if walnuts provided the some of the necessary components for improved sperm production. It was discovered that as little as 75 g of walnuts per day added to a Western style diet improved sperm vitality, motility, and morphology (normal forms). The improved semen quality was associated
with increases in blood serum omega-6 fatty acids and in the plant source of omega-3 (ALA).

"I am 1 in 6" Infertility Awareness Week 2015: May 19th - 28th

Next week kicks off infertility awareness week. It will be the third year that Yinstill has been a part of this great cause. This year’s national campaign is entitled: “I am 1 in 6” The Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC) has launched this campaign for this year to really highlight just how many couples struggle with fertility challenges. The goal of the campaign is to empower more people to speak out about their fertility challenges and the experiences they have endured during their journey.

Medication and Male Fertility

There are numerous situations, habits, or conditions that can affect different factors of male fertility - including sperm count, sperm shape, sperm movement, libido, or erectile function. Some of the more common things to avoid are heat around the groin area, excess alcohol or recreational drug use, stress or anxiety, too much or too little exercise, and poor sleep quality.

Armpits for August: PCOS gets its own awareness month

This month marks the second annual event named Armpits 4 August, an event that raises awareness for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Although not as well known as Movember, the month in which men grow their moustaches for prostate cancer awareness, Armpits 4 August will likely see an increase in the number of supporters for this years event. So if you see women with fuzzy underarms you now know why they are doing it and you may even want to ask them if you can donate to their cause.

Smoking and Pregnancy

The dangers of smoking before, during and after pregnancy are well known to all, but a new study out of England using 4D ultrasound imaging techniques sheds new light on the risks involved. If you had any doubts, please read this short article and then quit smoking!

Improve male fertility by doing this twice a week for 5 minutes

Ever heard of glutathione? Some refer to it as the “mother antioxidant” as it is arguably the most powerful antioxidant in the human body. The job of antioxidants is to protect the cells of your body from oxidative damage caused by aging, stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, excessive exercise, medication, environmental toxins, and so much more. Your body produces glutathione (as long as you take in the correct nutrients and building blocks), but it is also used up and depleted very quickly.

LH Ovulation Strips for Tracking Fertility – the What Why and How

What are LH Ovulation Strips, and why should I be using them?
The LH Ovulation Strip is a fast and easy home-use test to predict when you are having your LH (Luteinizing Hormone) surge. This test is a preferred method of tracking when the most fertile days of your cycle occur, and is one of the most reliable predictors of ovulation.

Advancements in IVF Technology

Advancements in infertility treatments have been evolving furiously over the past thirty years. Here at Yinstill we regularly support couples who are taking advantage of scientific developments including IVF (in vitro fertilization), IUI (intrauterine insemination), ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) and other pharmaceutical options including Clomiphene and Letrozole.

Cell Phones Can Affect Men's Fertility

Keep your cell phone out of your pants to minimize pocket exposure to sperm damaging EMF.

Massage for Fertility

Tops three things to consider in how massage can benefit fertility.

1. A harmonious sonata happens between your nerves and hormones as you relax into your massage. A gentle shift in stimulation of the nervous system from 'fight or flight' to 'rest and digest' can change the function that nurtures the activities of hormones that play a big role in fertility success.

Sperm Health, Fertility and Food

The respected journal “Fertility and Sterility” published a significant study this month, relating to meat intake and how it is related to sperm quality and male fertility in conjunction with IVF. The study was focussed on couples undergoing infertility treatment with the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART), but I believe that these results are important for all men to consider as they move forward on their journey to grow/build their family.

Watch Less TV and Exercise More to Optimize Sperm

Semen quality has been decreasing steadily over the past few decades and the reasons for this are debated and complicated. However the steady increase in a more sedentary lifestyle including video games and TV watching may play a significant role in our reproductive health.

See more here:

Avoid these things to Optimize fertility...

There are many toxins in our environment that are known to disrupt hormonal balance and are contributing factors in conditions such as infertility, PMS, irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, premature ovarian failure, recurrent pregnancy loss, and anxiety.

The IV Solution to Stress

Stress is inevitable in our day to day lives. The sooner we accept this simple fact, the sooner we can begin to take the right steps in mitigating the effects of stress on our body and mind. The problem with treatments and activities that claim to “reduce stress” is that stress, like pain, is perceived. So it is not possible to reduce the actual stressor - only the perceived effect that it has on you.

Your body on stress.

Treat the Heart and Vessels for success with Male reproductive health

Whether it is a movie playing with a vacant couch, a mother giving her teenage boy a new pair of noise cancelling headphones, or a businessman starting his day with the happiest shower ever and bouncing his way to work while we hear the familiar lyrics: good morning, good morning… . These are the commercials for the most well known medications for treating erectile dysfunction and are used by millions of men worldwide. In 2014, the total sales for Viagra (sildenafil) was over $1.68 million and Cialis (tadalafil) almost $2.3 million.

Omega Oils For Your Stud

Just finished reading a study in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics and wanted to share how research keeps pointing out the importance of omega oils and sperm. Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to make a daily habit of either eating some wild salmon (better yet, herring, anchovies, or sardines) or popping a daily supplement of fish oil.

The study showed that sperm from bovine studs thawed much better from its frozen state when it was supplemented with omega oils and vitamin e. Triangulate these findings quite simply into; sperm stronger if take fish oil.

Do the phases of the moon have an influence on when you will have your baby?

At 8:05am (EST) Wednesday morning I became an uncle for the second time. This was a little bit of a surprise since this little guy was not due for another five weeks. This wasn’t the first time that my sister in law gave birth early and it just so happened to coincide on the new moon. Just over three years ago in May of 2009, I was still living in Victoria at the time and my wife had arrived from Vancouver to spend the weekend with me. I always keep a close eye on the lunar phases and noticed that it was to be a new moon on the Saturday night of that weekend.

Killing us softly: The detrimental effects of environmental toxins on fertility rates

This past Wednesday, the Health Day News (a publication of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health) published an article quoting a recent study by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Rockville, Maryland about the serious risk to fertility that exposure to common chemicals can cause. Specifically, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were found to be the major concern and the chemical that had the greatest effect on pregnancy rates.

10 Steps to Optimize Your Fertility

10 steps to improve both your natural fertility potential and/or chances of success with modern medical assisted reproductive treatments such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Doctor Said My Swimmers Are Bad, Now What?

The facts

Male infertility affects 10% to 15% of reproductive aged couples worldwide. Since male infertility is such a common problem, it is important to understand the true role it plays in male health and relationships. Men diagnosed with infertility suffer intense negative sexual, personal, and social strains that might be considered typical for other medical illnesses such as cancer or heart disease.

How to Improve a Thin Uterine Lining to Increase Fertility: Part 2

thin uterine lining treatment vancovuer

Every woman that has gone through or is currently involved in assisted reproductive therapy will know that the thickness of her uterine lining is almost as important as the number of eggs that are developing. To use the common metaphor of growing a garden; the soil must be sufficiently nourished for the seed to have success once it is planted. During an IVF cycle or IUI cycle, a woman will be given different medications that will either directly or indirectly increase the estrogen delivered to the uterus and more specifically, the endometrial lining.

Exploring the link between healthy weight, thyroid function and fertility

thyroid weight loss fertility vancouver yinstill

If you have been to the grocery store lately and waited in the check out line you will most likely have been bombarded by the annual obsession with weight loss and fad diets. On either side of the line the magazine rack will be taunting you with questions like Are You An Emotional Eater? (Marie Claire) , or suggesting you Shed Two Sizes (Women’s Health) or luring you with 15 ways to lose 15 pounds (Glamour).

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