Fertility and Preconception
Have you been trying for a baby for a while? Do you feel disappointed when it doesn’t happen? Feel as if you’ve done everything you can?
You might have been diagnosed with PCOS or endometriosis. And maybe your partner has been told he has low sperm count. Or has a normal sperm count but it’s just not happening.
Perhaps you know all about your cycle, fertile times, mucus, BBT, ovulation sticks... you eat well, exercise, don't smoke, drink or do drugs.
It’s normal to wonder what’s wrong with you. Especially when you feel so alone and everyone seems to have an opinion.
It can seem like everyone around you who doesn't look after their bodies are getting pregnant by accident or very easily.
And for some very sad reason your family doesn't seem to understand. It's heartbreaking when people just tell you to "stop stressing about it" - you’re understandably stressed at times and perhaps your period brings so much sadness. But most of the time you feel positive, excited, and reasonably chilled about the whole experience.
“Why is this happening to me?” or “How can I get pregnant?”
We understand you may feel frustrated, hopeless, or confused by now. It’s a daunting time - starting a family is a big deal! Life changing! We understand that.
Well you’re not alone: one in six Aussie couples have trouble conceiving (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2009).
It’s great that you’ve tried a few things. You now know what doesn’t work. So you’re a step closer to finding out what does work.
Ways we can help you with fertility and preconception
Many factors directly or indirectly affect fertility
- Immunity & inflammation - infections
- Cardiovascular health - cholesterol levels
- Menstrual health - fertile window, heavy or painful periods, irregular pattern, PMS
- Reproductive health - PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, low sperm count, sperm motility, egg quality
- Metabolic Health - diabetes, blood sugar levels, thyroid
- Digestive health - Coeliac disease
- Musculoskeletal Health - chronic pain
- Weight - BMI, hunger levels
- Diet - nutrient deficiencies
- Lifestyle - smoking, alcohol, drugs, caffeine, diet, exercise
- Toxicity - home care products, foods, radiation
- Previous pregnancies
(Dardmeh et al. 2017) (Di Natale et al. 2019) (Younglai et al. 2005) (Vander Borght & Wyns 2018)
Some of these factors we may be able to find easy solutions for. Others are more complicated.
There is more and more evidence that links parents’ health preconception to adult offspring health (Soubry 2018). The choices you make now can affect your yet unconceived child’s health decades down the track (Moyer et al. 2016). That’s why it’s so important to focus on your health during this time - and we’re here to help.
Our team will look at your overall health. What are you already doing really well? What can be tweaked to optimise your chances of a healthy conception, pregnancy & beyond?
Sometimes these are simple and small changes. Other times, it can be more involved for long-standing imbalances and concerns. Your practitioner will discuss this with you so you know what to expect each step of the way.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Holistic Counselling
- Clinical Hypnotherapy
You don’t need to worry about which service suits - we’ll point you in the right direction. However, you may like to understand how a few of these services may help:
Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine for preconception and fertility
Acupuncture is believed to improve blood flow to the organs and normalise hormone levels. This stimulates healthy reproductive function. You may find yourself with a regular and less painful cycle, with a better chance of ovulation and conception (Yang et al. 2017) (Abaraogu 2015).
Many health practitioners may recommend acupuncture to complement IVF treatment - there is continuing research about how acupuncture can help with the effectiveness of IVF treatment. Have a chat to your practitioner about how acupuncture may help you.
If you are already pregnant - congrats! Acupuncture may help with back pain and other aches, nausea and vomiting. Acupuncture and acupressure may have promising benefits of labour pain too (Levett 2014)!
Acupuncture, herbs, cupping, moxa or specialised massage may also be used as part of treatment.
Naturopathy & Herbalism for preconception and fertility
The body has the incredible ability to heal itself. Naturopathy taps into this ability.
Learn when your fertile window is. What should you be eating and doing throughout your menstrual cycle? We’ll help you understand how you can nourish your body with diet and exercise.
Enhance your efforts with uniquely blended herbs. Naturopaths may also recommend prescription-grade supplements to treat nutritional deficiencies as well as lifestyle advice.
All this may help to stabilise hormones. Reduce inflammation. Boost immunity. Detox. Encourage a healthy lifestyle that gives you the best chance of getting pregnant.
- Naturopathy at Body and Brain Centre
Counselling & Clinical Hypnotherapy for preconception and fertility
Maybe you smoke or drink a little too much. Your doctor has told you to quit. Or at the very least cut back. But where do you begin? Your counsellor can help you quit smoking which may lead to a healthier fertility journey (Lancaster & Stead 2017) (Ino 2010).
Maybe you are getting stressed about the entire process. Did you remember to take those supplements today or was that yesterday? There’s a lot on your plate.
Maybe you’ve already experienced the heartache of failed IVF or are looking to conceive a rainbow baby.
Holistic Counselling and Clinical Hypnotherapy will guide you through a calm fertility journey. We’ll help you deal with the highs, lows and everything in between.
- Counselling at Body and Brain Centre
Chiropractic for Fertility and Preconception
Chiropractors look at the physical, chemical and emotional stresses in your life. You may be in pain or not as fit as you'd like to be. Maybe you carry around stress and worry through the shoulders and hips.
Chiropractors provide holistic care to address the physical, chemical and emotional burdens on your health.
Creating a calm, fit and healthy environment can be beneficial for conception, pregnancy and bubs.
- Chiropractic at Body & Brain Centre
Let us help you
Not sure which service to start with?
No worries. Book your free phone consultation and we’ll point you in the right direction. Medical rebates may be available. From here we can start an open, and honest conversation about fertility and preconception just to make sure we’re the right fit for you.
- Abaraogu UO & Tabansi-Ochuogu CS (2015). As Acupressure Decreases Pain, Acupuncture May Improve Some Aspects of Quality of Life for Women with Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2015 Oct;8(5):220-8. This study looked at previous research. It compared acupuncture and acupressure with placebo, waitlist (no treatment) or medication and found reduced pain intensity and improved quality of life.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009) Births Australia 2008. ABS, Canberra. Accessed via https://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/subscriber.nsf/0/10BEDC49AFCACC1FCA2577CF000DF7AB/$File/33010_2009.pdf. 1 in 6 couples experience fertility troubles.
- Bjerregaard AA, Halldorsson TI, Tetens I, Olsen SF (2019)
Mother’s dietary quality during pregnancy and offspring’s dietary quality in
adolescence: Follow-up from a national birth cohort study of 19,582
mother–offspring pairs. PLoS Med 16(9): e1002911. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002911. This study followed 19
582 mother-offspring pairs for 14 years and found a correlation between the
mother’s diet during pregnancy with her offspring’s diet at 14 years of age..
- Dardmeh F, Alipour H, Nielsen HI, Rasmussen S and Gazerani P
(2017). Effects of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain on Fertility Potential in Lean
and Overweight Male Patients. Pain Res Manag. 2017; 2017: 4628627. Published
online 2017 Dec 24. doi: 10.1155/2017/4628627 A small study comparing
20 individuals in chronic musculoskeletal pain and 20 pain-free were researched
and fertility measurements taken. In those with chronic pain, sperm
concentration, mobility and hyperactivity of sperm was decreased compared to
those without pain. Further research is required to confirm these results.
- Di Natale MR, Soch A, Ziko I, De Luca SN, Spencer SJ, Sominsky L (2019). Chronic predator stress in female mice reduces primordial follicle numbers: implications for the role of ghrelin. Journal of Endocrinology, 2019; 241 (3): 201 DOI: 10.1530/JOE-19-0109 This is a mice study so the results may not be applicable to humans. In this study, chronic stress in mice elevated the hormone ghrelin, which is thought to be detrimental to ovarian follicular maturation. Again, this is a mice study so may not be applicable to humans.
- Ino T (2010), Maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring obesity: Meta‐analysis. Pediatrics International, 52: 94-99. doi:10.1111/j.1442-200X.2009.02883.x. Maternal smoking during pregnancy may place offspring at a greater risk for future obesity and metabolic syndrome (diabetes). To a lesser extent, maternal obesity, low social status, low birthweight and not being breastfeed also may contribute to offspring obesity.
- Kind K (2006). Diet around conception and during pregnancy - effect on fetal and neonatal outcomes (2006) Reprod Biomed Online 12:532-41.
- Lancaster T & Stead LF (2017). Individual behavioural counselling for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017. Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001292. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001292.pub3. There’s high quality evidence that individual smoking-cessation counselling is beneficial for quitting smoking.
- Levett KM, Smith CA, Dahlen HG & Bensoussan A (2014). Acupuncture and acupressure for pain management in labour and birth: a critical narrative review of current systematic review evidence. Complement Ther Med. 2014 Jun;22(3):523-40. A review of the scientific literature in 2014 showed that acupuncture or acupressure may be helpful for labour pain management however that the research quality is highly variable and limited. These results cannot definitively say there’s a positive association.
- Moyer C, Reoyo OR, May L (2016). The Influence of Prenatal Exercise on Offspring Health: A Review. Clin Med Insights Womens Health. 2016;9:37-42. Published 2016 Oct 17. doi:10.4137/CMWH.S34670. A brief review of the the scientific research looking at how exercise during pregnancy helps both the mother and her offspring. For example, one study looked at academic and sports performance of kids up to 20 years of age being better in those mums who exercised during pregnancy.
- Soubry A (2018). POHaD: why we should study future fathers. Environ Epigenet. 2018;4(2):dvy
- World Health Organisation - Regional Office for Europe (2016). Good Maternal Nutrition The best start in life [PDF file]. Accessed on 22 May 2020 from http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/313667/Good-maternal-nutrition-The-best-start-in-life.pdf?ua=1. “ The evidence suggests that interventions that improve maternal nutritional status are among the most effective and sustainable means of achieving positive impacts on health and reducing inequalities in health across the next generations.”
- Yang M, Chen X, Liang F et al. (2017). Moxibustion for pain relief in patients with primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized controlled trial. PLoS One. 2017; 12(2): e0170952. Published online 2017 Feb 7. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170952 Moxibustion (a form of chinese medicine) and medication appear to be effective in managing menstrual pain. This study was not blinded (test subjects knew they were getting treatment) so it’s unknown if these results are placebo effects or not so this warrants more research. It was only performed on 152 subjects who underwent 3 months of acupuncture treatment.
- Younglai EV, Holloway AC & Foster WG (2005). Environmental and occupational factors affecting fertility and IVF success. Human reproduction update. 2005 Jan 1;11(1):43-57.