After 6 rounds of Clomid and a failed IVF cycle…
After 6 rounds of Clomid and a failed IVF cycle…
After 6 rounds of Clomid and a failed IVF cycle…

After 6 rounds of Clomid and a failed IVF cycle, I explored the option of IVF acupuncture for my second IVF cycle. Having acupuncture on my embryo transfer day gave me the confidence that my body and mind were at their epitome of relaxation. Also, having it done on site gave me the calming, positive and warm thoughts I was seeking for the moments leading up to my embryo transfer – and the relaxation right after. I am currently 22 weeks pregnant with twins. I truly believe Dr. Pentland’s help has contributed to my success!

~Anonymous

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Very important to be comfortable on embryo transfer day
Very important to be comfortable on embryo transfer day
Very important to be comfortable on embryo transfer day

When I first heard about a new acupuncture service on site at PCRM, I was so glad because of a convenience. I had a really great relaxing experience on the day of embryo transfer. In my opinion, it is very important to be comfortable on this day of treatment. I was surprised of the calm environment: warm bed and blanket, pleasant scent of essential oils and relaxing meditation.

Many thanks to Dr. Spence Pentland.

~Anonymous

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A crucial part in the success of my very first IVF
A crucial part in the success of my very first IVF
A crucial part in the success of my very first IVF

It was so convenient to have the procedure done on site and i couldn’t get over how relaxed i was coming out of my appointment. I was more nervous about the accupuncture then the IVF transfer but once i got in and talked to Dr. Pentland all my fears were resolved and i could have just fallen asleep right there in the office! I would highly recommend the IVF day of transfer procedure, and found it to be a crucial part in the success of my very first IVF attempt! Thanks Dr Pentland for being a part of our journey!

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I’m sure it helped in our success!
I’m sure it helped in our success!
I’m sure it helped in our success!

The entire experience was incredible. I highly recommend it. I really enjoyed talking with Dr Fisher about the process and learning from him. I found the treatments both before and after the transfer extremely relaxing and it was very convenient having it right next door to the OR. I’m sure it helped in our success!

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There’s a saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. In our case, it took a village to create a child
There’s a saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. In our case, it took a village to create a child
There’s a saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. In our case, it took a village to create a child

There’s a saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. In our case, it took a village to create a child. Well, maybe not a village, but a team of dedicated medical professionals who’s one goal was to help us create our child.

I’ve wanted a child of my own for most of my life. After my first love died too young, I thought through the pros and cons of having a child on my own but decided against it, thinking at the time that I was giving up on my dream. I embraced other people’s children, my nephews, god children and honorary nieces and nephews to fill the void. When I was in my early 40’s I met the man who is now my husband and it was important to both of us to create a family of our own. Following a miscarriage at almost 10 weeks in early July 2003, I got a lot of advice and referrals and ended up with my “village” – my wonderful OB/GYN, a fertility specialist and my acupuncturist. For a year, I followed a regimen that included western and Chinese treatments to improve fertility. In the end I had to face the fact that if I wanted a child I needed to consider donor egg ivf or adoption. Donor egg ivf would give me the opportunity to carry a child and my husband a genetic child of his own so we decided on that route. I set a time limit for myself to get pregnant on my own before proceeding down the donor egg ivf path and in Dec 2004 we started down that path.

One of my big concerns with donor egg ivf was getting around the idea that the child I would carry would not be genetically mine and whether that would make me feel as if the child wasn’t mine. My other concern was for the health and safety of the donor, who was doing this to fulfill my dream so I was desperately worried about the process for her. I was somewhat calmed during our initial meeting with our ivf doctor and his team. They had good success rates for both pregnancy and low rates of complications arising from the process. I also learned that the gestational mother has some bearing on some genetic traits as the “turning on” of the genes are somewhat dictated by the conditions in the womb which is why cloned sheep don’t look alike. A small detail maybe but it was huge for me.

We proceeded with the ivf process and at the beginning of May 2005 I was implanted with 3 embryos. And two weeks later a blood test revealed I was pregnant. An ultrasound at 5 weeks showed 1 beating heart and one unsuccessful implantation which I miscarried at 7 weeks. The rest of my pregnancy was routine and I was induced at 39.5 weeks (pre-eclampsia) and our boy was born 2 days later via c-section.

That was 5 years ago and our boy is our pride and joy and we cannot imagine our lives without him. He looks like a mini version of his father although he wrinkles his nose the same way I do. When he was a baby I used to be taken aback when people told me “oh he looks like you” because I thought it wouldn’t be possible. But as time goes by, the only time I think about our genetic differences is at medical appointments. I may be deluded in thinking that because I carried him, and my mum carried me, that part of her lives on in him. But for the most part, I don’t think about those things. I just think that we are so blessed to have our funny, smart, independent, truck mad, friendly child. And I give thanks to my “village” for playing such a huge role in his birth and to the donor who made it all possible.

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I Now Have 2 Beautiful Sons…
I Now Have 2 Beautiful Sons…
I Now Have 2 Beautiful Sons…

In 2005 after a failed IVF treatment and emotionally drained from struggling with infertility, I decided to try acupuncture along with my fertility treatments. I did not know anything about acupuncture but simply wanted to make sure I was covering all the bases. The thing I feared most was failure and I needed to know I had done all I could possibly do. What I did not expect was the profound impact acupuncture would have on me.

Meeting Spence for the first time I immediately felt the caring and compassion he had. In getting to know him I saw he also possessed an internal peace and stillness. I realized that this was something I had lost somewhere along the way, in part due to the emotional struggle of infertility but also due to life and a high stress job. It is not an overstatement to say that the treatment I received from Spence was life changing. I was not an anxious person externally, but internally I was starting to feel frantic – exactly what you do not want when you are trying to conceive. Spence’s treatments enabled me to internally quiet and calm myself in a way I had not felt in years, if ever. I was able to reach a point where I would be at peace even if I was unsuccessful in my attempt to become pregnant; I was able to face failure and not be terrified. I had thought acupuncture might bring me some level of relaxation and perhaps help with my fertility in some way. I had no idea it would impact me so substantially, beyond my infertility struggle and in a lasting way.

I now have two beautiful sons and saw Spence for both of their pre-conception and pregnancy treatments. I still feel the benefit of the treatments I received and remain very grateful to have met Spence. I cannot recommend Spence highly enough. He is kind, compassionate, non-judgmental and a skilled listener and healer.

Megan

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Without Spence’s support, advice, encouragement and advocacy we would not be 30 weeks pregnant
Without Spence’s support, advice, encouragement and advocacy we would not be 30 weeks pregnant
Without Spence’s support, advice, encouragement and advocacy we would not be 30 weeks pregnant

My husband and I married when I was 33. We both knew we wanted to have a family, so we started trying right way. Having been on birth control pills for years, I found in the first year of trying that I had an irregular cycle. After a year of trying I went to my obstetrician for a fertility workup.

Everything seemed normal, other than the irregular cycle, so we were referred to a fertility specialist and tried a round of IUI with Clomid. We were thrilled when we got pregnant, but devastated when we lost the pregnancy at six weeks. We had hope that IUI was the answer and tried four more times, unsuccessfully.

It was then that I took a colleague’s advice and went to see Spence. Within a few months of doing a cleanse, following the fertility diet, taking chinese herbs and acupuncture Spence successfully regulated my cycle, but after eight months I still wasn’t pregnant.

My husband and I decided to go ahead with IVF. Spence treated us with acupuncture and provided us with information and support throughout. He also acted as an advocate for us. For instance, when I told him the date on which I was instructed to begin the stimulation drugs, Spence mentioned that the timing was unusual. He immediately called and emailed my physician and was able to sort out the issue and get me on track with the stimulation drugs.

Although our first attempt at IVF was unsuccessful, Spence helped my husband and I to face the next challenge ahead. He looked over our chart and provided insight and a suggestion as to a potential issue that had not been raised by our doctor. We took great comfort in knowing that Spence was on our side, taking the time to carefully consider our situation and provide thoughtful suggestions and advice.

While we still don’t know the cause of our difficulty to conceive, without Spence’s support, advice, encouragement and advocacy we would not be 30 weeks pregnant and expecting a baby boy. We tried IVF a second time, with a different drug protocol and with Spence treating us on the IVF transfer day and success! We are so grateful to Spence for the tremendous care he has provided to both of us and will definitely seek his support and treatment when we try for baby number two.

M

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I truly felt like Spence understood what I was going through
I truly felt like Spence understood what I was going through
I truly felt like Spence understood what I was going through

In the summer of 2012, my husband and I embarked on the IVF journey; a potentially stressful experience, which is both expensive and emotional, with no guarantee of success. I had read positive research that supported acupuncture in combination with IVF. Because we were spending so much money on IVF, we wanted to do everything we could in our power to help make this work! Having tried acupuncture in the past, I wanted someone who was familiar with fertility issues. Since I was going to PCRM for my IVF treatment, I decided to meet with Dr. Spence Pentland, who is located on the same floor as my fertility clinic.

As soon as I met Spence, I instantly felt calmer. He has this soothing energy around him, and you can’t help but relax by simply being in his presence. This first treatment was a combination of fabulous acupuncture, plus a mini counselling session. I truly felt like Spence understood what I was going through. He was so familiar with the entire IVF process, from the emotions, to the various medications I had to take, and I found this very reassuring. The environment in which Spence has created, helped me relax even more. I listened to some calming music, enjoyed the essential oils of lavender, and was given a heated blanket. I almost fell asleep! I rested for some time, and I honestly felt more relaxed, and even felt more positive.

I have found in the ups and downs of fertility, the only people who truly understand this journey are the ones who have gone through it themselves. Friends around me were getting pregnant so easily, and were quick to say, “Take your mind off it, and it will happen.” To have someone who truly understood the emotions I was going through was a blessing. I looked forward to our chats, and Spence often offered suggestions, such as taking omegas, and going for walks, as ways to help me feel better.

I continued to have acupuncture treatments up to my IVF transfer day. On the day of the transfer, I had a treatment before and after the transfer was done. I feel this really helped because it calmed me down before the transfer, and I also felt relaxed and calm after the transfer. After every acupuncture treatment, I had the best night sleeps! I was often prone to waking up at 3:00 a.m., and my mind would begin to wander, worrying that this might not work. Acupuncture not only relieved my stress during this process, but improved my sleep as well!

Spence would even check in, with the occasional email, just wanting to know how I was doing. I felt like I had a friend who knew the process so well during this journey. The worst part of the IVF I felt was what they call the “two week wait”, wondering if it has worked or not. I had an acupuncture treatment during this time. I remember walking into Spence’s office, and started to cry. I was surprised by my sudden onset of emotions, but Spence logically explained to me, saying that this wait is the worst, because you have no control, and simply have to wait. He understood, and was a good shoulder to cry on. I felt so much better, once again.

We got through the two week wait, and were thrilled to find out that I am indeed pregnant! The IVF worked, and baby is due in the Spring. I know in my heart that a big part of this has to do with the acupuncture, counselling, and friendship that Spence Pentland provided to me. I am forever grateful, and will recommend him to anyone who is going through fertility issues.

Tanis Anderson

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Invaluable part of both my IVF and first trimester journey
Invaluable part of both my IVF and first trimester journey
Invaluable part of both my IVF and first trimester journey

“Dr Pentland quickly became “Spence” such is his easy-to-be-around manner. He clearly has a passion for helping couple’s achieve their goals, and that is, the successful birth of a wee monkey. Or in my case, a not so wee monkey. His optimism and expertise made him an invaluable part of both my IVF and first trimester journeys.”

– Mary-Jo Dionne

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After being a long time Endometriosis sufferer…
After being a long time Endometriosis sufferer…
After being a long time Endometriosis sufferer…

After being a long time Endometriosis sufferer since my late teens I came to grips about my infertility issues after two major abdominal surgeries within one year. My husband and I had been trying to concieve for over 2 years. After my second surgery I was referred to Dr. Pentland for treatment before and while we were undergoing IVF treatments at PCRM. If only I had met him years ago!! Not only did he help with pain, bloating, fatigue, anxiety, his patient and kind ear was a wonderful bonus. I always felt better after my weekly then bi-weekly treatments…never did I think sticking needles in my body would help or make a difference but man was i wrong! Never a patient of ‘alternative’ medicine I felt an immediate difference in my physical well being and will be a true believer and supporter of Dr Pentland for as long as i live and will recommend him to anyone! Today I write this being the most thankful and lucky patient ever…we’re 17 and a half weeks along with TWINS!

Sincerely, Carrie Elmes

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The Roller Coaster
The Roller Coaster
The Roller Coaster

For me, the infertility roller coaster started on Day 1 of every cycle….the anticipation of timing things perfectly, the agonizing two week wait and the knife in my heart when I knew I wasn’t pregnant…again and again and again and again. Through all of this, Spence and Raeghan and Lorne brought a healing touch to my treatments. Even while they were prescribing vile Chinese herbs to drink, it felt wonderful to be in their care. They treated me as a whole person and not just my reproductive system. They talked to me and listened to me – something that I felt was missing from my experiences at the fertility clinic. Each of them has a unique style and each, in their own way, is an outstanding healer.

I am now a mum to a beautiful 6 month old son…after rounds of Clomid, IUI, superovulation, an IVF and a high-risk pregnancy. Lorne, Spence and Raeghan supported me through all of this. Each time I left Acubalance, I felt relaxed, more hopeful and better able to cope with the on-going stress of infertility. I attribute the successful IVF to the acupuncture treatments I received throughout the process. I feel lucky that I found Acubalance as early on in the process as I did.
Being unable to conceive naturally is an experience that only those who have been through it can really understand. Lorne and his team at Acubalance have experienced infertility with their patients. Their understanding of the pain of infertility, their knowledge of Chinese medicine and their compassion were invaluable as they helped me to conceive.

LLG

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Immediate trust in his ability as a healer
Immediate trust in his ability as a healer
Immediate trust in his ability as a healer

“His confident yet gentle healing technique caused me to immediately trust his ability as a healer.”

I have been a patient of Spence Pentland for approximately 3 months. I have been receiving treatment for pain and numbness in my arms. I am familiar with the practice of acupuncture and have seen various acupuncturists over the past 10 years.

I was immediately impressed with the fact that Spence uses a traditional technique of needling. Most acupuncturists nowadays insert needles using modern techniques. Traditional needling is an old practice and is a difficult skill to master. It says a lot about an acupuncturist when they are skilled in this manner. In addition, Spence’s insertions are executed with extreme dexterity, calmness and inner strength. His confident yet gentle healing technique caused me to immediately trust his ability as a healer.

In addition to his excellent needle technique, Spence listens to my situation and is also receptive and appreciative of my knowledge of my body and what it needs. He is perceptive about knowing when the energy channels have been activated or tapped. He knows how much or how little to apply electro-stimulation. His knowledge of the countless meridians is also well versed.

He creates a safe, calm and relaxing ambiance in his office so that going to see your doctor becomes an enjoyable treatment.

TW

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Thank you for helping us become pregnant
Thank you for helping us become pregnant
Thank you for helping us become pregnant

Darryl and I just wanted to write to you and say “thank you” for helping us become pregnant with our little miracle. From the time I wrote you, Lorne, and spoke to you on the phone I felt that we were in good hands. During our first consult with the IVF clinic, we were told that due to my ovarian cysts and my husband’s male factor issues, our chances weren’t good. I needed to get those cysts removed before we would be allowed into the program. This was step one. Lorne, you helped prepare my body for surgery, and my recovery was remarkable. When the ultrasound tech looked at my ovaries post-op, she couldn’t believe how healthy they looked. The advice you and your staff provided to Darryl and I was invaluable. As was advice that you provided to an acupuncturist in Regina, as we lived so far away. This enabled me to get treatments even though I was not in Vancouver. I know the acupuncturist here really appreciated the advice.

During the IVF protocol, you reassured us that all was going well, and it was. A woman my age (especially with my surgery) wasn’t supposed to be able to have all those eggs!! I felt next to no side effects from all the IVF drugs and responded so well. Before ER I was given acupuncture and a wonderful massage by Raeghan. I felt nothing during the procedure.

When it was time for ET I was relaxed with the treatments, both before and after. Advice was again provided to reassure us that what I was feeling was normal, and not to worry. Obviously, it worked as we will be meeting our little one soon! Thanks again to all of you, Lorne, Raeghan, Spence, and Melissa!! We will be sending you a picture of her as soon as she is born. To anyone else considering IVF or just having fertility problems, please take the time to sit down and talk to Acubalance. They have so much to offer couples struggling with infertility. We believe that this is the difference between a positive pregnancy test and a negative one!

Sheri

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He’ll Be Known In Our Family As Uncle Spence
He’ll Be Known In Our Family As Uncle Spence
He’ll Be Known In Our Family As Uncle Spence

Dr Spence, as I called him, made me feel really cared for. My husband and I went to see him because we wanted to find out why we were having early losses. He helped us develop a new approach that included thinking about our diet and relaxing so that the natural process of conceiving could take place.

We started treatment with him April 2011 and we are now very happy to expect our first child for May 2012 🙂

Dr Spence often by his caring ways made me feel like I was his only patient, even though I knew I wasn’t, it just made me feel like I was getting all of his attention and efforts. He is an honest, caring, and wise Doctor.

Thank you Dr Spence, as someone else said he’ll be known in our family as uncle Spence 😉

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The best health care experience I have ever had…
The best health care experience I have ever had…
The best health care experience I have ever had…

Before I saw Dr. Pentland I was always a bit wary of chinese medicine mostly due to a lack of understanding. However, now I can honestly say that it was the best health care experience I have ever had. Dr. Pentland is a warm and intuitive person, but what I was most impressed by was his sound knowledge base which includes but is not limited to; nutrition, physiology, reproductive health, mental health and chinese interventions. I came to see him because I had decided to get pregnant and wanted to start the adventure on it’s healthiest course. I had been off of an i.u.d. for only one month and was having irregular periods. I was also feeling generally unhealthy due to a particularly indulgent month long honeymoon. Within two months of treatments consisting of acupuncture and cleansing, I was pregnant! Dr. Pentland then treated me through my first trimester to promote prenatal heath. During this time, acupuncture made a noticeable difference in the alleviation of symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and lethargy. I recommend him (and his treatment philosophy) wholeheartedly to my friends and family and will certainly use him again in the future.

~Anonymous and Happily Pregnant~

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