Fertility

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Frequently Asked Questions

Tracey has helped many couples to conceive naturally, even when they have been told only assisted conception can help them. 

Many people have been trying not to get pregnant for a long time and then when they start trying and don’t fall pregnant within a few months, this can be frustrating and worrying. Expectations are high. Yet on average it takes 8 months for a couple to fall pregnant, this is even longer for older couples. There can be numerous reasons why it doesn’t work out. But for many couples, even after extensive investigations, the reason is unknown. Tracey Goulding offers a thorough consultation to help discover areas of health that can be improved and help highlight possible barriers to conception. The consultation will cover you and your partner’s reproductive health and history, physical and emotional health. You will be sent the consultation form before your appointment, so you are ready to answer the questions during your session and if you have any test results you are encouraged to email these or bring them to your session. Both partners are seen separately and if you don’t want an acupuncture treatment, it is possible to have a consultation only.

Tracey works with the NEST London team of practitioners who are specialists in fertility and pregnancy. Besides her own expertise in fertility, she can bring to you advice on diet, nutrition supplements and stress management through Chinese Medicine, together with expertise from the NEST team. For many couples this initial consultation can be enough and no further intervention is necessary. For others a course of acupuncture treatment will be recommended, perhaps with additional help from other practitioners to address nutrition and anxiety or stress levels.

Preparation is key. Healthy parents do make healthy babies. Also you are more likely to have a comfortable and healthy pregnancy.

Preparing to conceive is very important. It helps you have the best possible pregnancy, birth and healthy baby. The egg and sperm take about three months to develop, so see this as your minimum preparation time where you can influence egg and sperm quality. Nutrition changes can take longer to affect the body fully, so thinking 4 to 6 months ahead is much better. Often making lifestyle changes is a gradual transistion too, so give yourself this time.

Tracey Goulding offers a thorough consultation to help discover areas of health that can be improved and help highlight possible hurdles to overcome (if there are any). The consultation will cover you and your partner’s reproductive health and history, physical and emotional health. You will be sent the consultation form before your appointment, so you are ready to answer the questions during your session. Both partners are seen separately and if you don’t want an acupuncture treatment, it is possible to have a consultation only.

Tracey works with the NEST London team of practitioners who are specialists in fertility and pregnancy. Besides her own expertise in fertility, she can bring to you advice on diet, nutrition supplements and stress management through Chinese Medicine, together with expertise from the NEST team. For many couples this initial consultation can be enough and no further intervention is necessary. For others a course of acupuncture treatment will be recommended, perhaps with additional help from other practitioners to enhance your nutrition status, fitness and mental wellbeing.

Research has established possible ways to explain how acupuncture may benefit fertility:

  • Regulating fertility hormones – stress can disrupt the function of hormones in the body. It is thought to influence female menstrual cycles (so ovulation and egg quality) and sperm quality (count, shape and motility). Repeated failures every month brings much stress. Acupuncture counteracts these effects for both men and women.
  • Increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs – one of the consequences of stress is decreased blood flow to the reproductive organs, so restricting nutrients and oxygen to growing eggs and sperm. This could impair the quality and so conception success. Research has seen increases in blood flow to the ovaries and womb, enhancing the womb lining to increase the chances of implantation.

The British Acupuncture Council presents the latest research on acupuncture and fertility: Female Fertility and Male Fertility. Jane Lyttleton is a prominent acupuncturist and her clinic is involved in the latest fertility research. Her clinic site has compiled research which looks at different aspects of fertility and acupuncture, such as how acupuncture impacts on sperm quality, endometriosis, PCOS and the role of stress. Read the research reviews.

Tracey Goulding offers a thorough consultation to help discover areas of health that can be improved and help highlight possible barriers to conception. The consultation will cover you and your partner’s reproductive health and history, physical and emotional health. You will be sent the consultation form before your appointment, so you are ready to answer the questions during your session and if you have any test results you are encouraged to email these before your session. Both partners are seen separately and if you don’t want an acupuncture treatment, it is possible to have a consultation only (please mention this when you are arranging your appointment).

Tracey works with the NEST London team of practitioners who are specialists in fertility and pregnancy. Besides her own expertise in fertility, she can bring to you advice on diet, nutrition supplements and stress management through Chinese Medicine, together with expertise from the NEST team. For many couples this initial consultation can be enough and no further intervention is necessary. For others a course of acupuncture treatment will be recommended, perhaps with additional help from other practitioners to address nutrition and anxiety or stress levels.

Preparing to conceive is very important. It helps you have the best possible pregnancy, birth and healthy baby. The egg and sperm take about three months to develop, so see this as your minimum preparation time where you can influence egg and sperm quality. Nutrition changes can take longer to affect the body fully, so thinking 4 to 6 months ahead is much better. Often making lifestyle changes is a gradual transistion too, so allow yourself this time.

For the woman and man, ideally you should be considering three to four sessions each month. This will vary though depending if there are any underlying issues identified, such as polycystic ovaries or poor quality sperm. The timing of treatments for a woman will be linked to her menstrual cycle. This will be discussed with you at your first session and adjusted as your treatment progresses. Many women are who nearing 40 years old or just past this age are worried about their fertility, they feel “time is running out”. But 40 is not a cliff edge from which your fertility suddenly drastically falls; fertility declines at different rates depending on your genetic inheritance and lifestyle, so each 40 year old is not biologically equal. Making small changes and having a few sessions of acupuncture may be all that’s required.

Zandra, 27 Miscarriages/ectopic pregnancies

Zandra had been trying to conceive for 6 years. Her first child had been born 8 years ago. Zandra had developed pre-eclampsia during the pregnancy and went through a traumatic birth; she haemorrhaged and the placenta was retained. This lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and adhesions. She then sadly endured two ectopic pregnancies, which resulted in one fallopian tube being removed. After this she managed to get pregnant, but a scan at 7 weeks revealed no heartbeat, using pessaries, she miscarried at 9 weeks.

Five months after this miscarriage she came to see me for acupuncture. Her other medical history revealed severe IBS and kidney infections every 3 months, due to an anatomical defect. We initially commenced 3 sessions per month. After the 4th session she had a kidney infection, which was cleared with antibiotics. After 2 months, due to work commitments Zandra was unable to continue trying for a baby. We continued twice monthly treatments to optimise her fertility and improve her overall health. After 6 months, she began trying for a baby again, so treatments were timed to coincide with her menstrual cycle. Fours months later she was pregnant, but at 4 weeks, sadly the foetus was lost. After this, she followed a nutritionist’s strict dietary advice, which stopped her IBS attacks, but she then contracted a kidney infection. However this was now a year later from the last one. We focussed her treatments just before and after ovulation. Three months later, after releasing an unusual 3 eggs at ovulation, she fell pregnant. She is now 22 weeks pregnant and her gynaecologist comments that the baby is a “miracle baby”.

Rosie 30, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Rosie had been trying unsuccessfully for a baby for a year. She had a complicated menstrual history: her hymen was removed at 17 years of age to allow menstrual bleeding. Due to severe pain and heavy bleeding she was prescribed the contraceptive pill for 1 year, after which her periods stopped for 8 years. They returned on long irregular cycles, so she took the pill again. But on stopping the pill she began bleeding every two weeks. After 8 months of this, she came to see me to help regulate her periods so she could get pregnant. We commenced weekly treatments. After 2 treatments her bleeding stopped and she returned to long irregular cycles starting at 66 days. However over a period of a year she was treated twice every month and she followed Chinese Medical dietary advice. Her cycle shortened to 31 days, after which she became pregnant.

Kelly 38 and Raju 44, miscarriage, prolactinoma, borderline low sperm motility

Kelly and Raju had been trying for 2 years to have a baby. One year ago, Kate had a miscarriage at 5 weeks. Raju had borderline low sperm motility and prolactinoma (a condition where the hormone prolactin is over produced which lowers testosterone levels). Raju had a low libido and suffered impotence. Kate had 4 acupuncture sessions timed with her menstrual cycle and Raju received two treatments just prior to Kate’s ovulation. After these treatments, Kate became pregnant and went onto have a healthy baby.

Marianne 37, Low ovarian reserve, uterine polyp

Marianne had been trying for a baby for 2 years. She then consulted a fertility clinic, who had given her clomid for three months which had no effect. Marianne came to see me at this point. Due to her work commitments we scheduled two treatments per month at particular times in her menstrual cycle, including dietary and lifestyle advice. She also had decided to use a different fertility clinic. Tests revealed a polyp in the lining of her uterus and low ovarian reserve. She also had a relatively short cycle varying between 23 to 25 days. After six acupuncture sessions over three months, her fertility consultant said IVF was her only option and that “there was no chance she would get pregnant naturally”. However contrary to this gloomy prediction, she fell pregnant after her 6th session without the need to go through IVF.

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