Complementary Health Services
Our complementary health services draw on all forms of health care to treat the patient, from conventional medications and treatments, to alternative therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, reiki, nutrition and weight loss, meditation, aromatherapy, Ayurveda, naturopathy and chiropractic movements.
Acupuncture is based on the concept of qi, an energy that flows along certain bodily paths. Acupuncturists work to balance qi by stimulating specific points along those paths by the insertion of ultra-thin needles. These points are key to the channels—called meridians—that are pathways of qi, both internal and external to the body.
Acupuncturists believe that these points regulate bodily functions, and to a great extent may relieve the emotional attack on a person by a diagnosis of infertility and the extreme stress of subsequent fertility treatments. Acupuncturists also believe that acupuncture may address some fundamental causes of infertility itself.
Infertility and its treatments can affect your mind, body and finances; each causing tremendous stress. Yoga is a holistic approach to infertility that reduces stress and addresses the mental and emotional side of infertility and fertility treatments. Yoga as a stress reliever for infertility and subsequent fertility treatments has grown and has been accepted as a beneficial activity by many reproductive professionals.
Nutrition & obesity
Obesity affects fertility in both men and women. In men, obesity can reduce the number and quality of a man’s sperm because obesity affects testosterone levels; and in women, obesity can lower IVF success rates, higher rates of miscarriage, and higher rates of complications for the mother and baby.
In addition, PCOS , a leading cause of infertility, is more common in obese women. Obesity can also influence estrogen production in both men and women, reducing sperm production in men and making it more difficult for an embryo to implant in a woman’s uterus.
Risks of complementary health services (alternative medicine)
Acupuncture is generally safe, but it does carry risk of miscarriage when incorrect acupuncture points are stimulated during pregnancy. Acupuncturists should not insert needles into the six contraindicated abdominal-pelvis points after insemination or embryo transfer.
Infections after acupuncture can occur in rare cases, especially if the needles are not sterile. Licensed providers discard needles after one use. Thus, it is critical for infertile couples who use acupuncture in their fertility therapy to select a highly trained, licensed and certified provider, in coordination with their fertility doctor.
Yoga, reiki, and weight loss are generally risk-free. Caution should be taken with some alternative therapies like herbal remedies, dietary supplements, or aromatherapies because they may interact with fertility medications used during the assisted reproduction cycles. Consult with a reproductive specialist for advice on any substance that enters the body, either via ingestion, injection or inhalation.
Several published scientific studies call into question the effectiveness—beyond what’s called the Placebo Effect—of alternative medicine in treating any known disease. However, some reproductive specialists believe that if it works to achieve pregnancy, whether through the placebo effect or actual cause/effect, then alternative medicine is useful as a tool of assisted reproductive technology.