IVF and Natural Fertility

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In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technique which involves collecting ova (eggs) from the ovaries and fertilizing them outside of the body. Embryos which result from this fertilization are then placed in the uterus to implant.

Success rates for IVF vary widely, with most clinics in Brisbane report between a 30 – 40% success rate, which drops to a 20 – 30% chance of success if you are over 35.

Can natural fertility care help to improve IVF success rates?

According to the foresight study (UK), following a preconception program prior and throughout IVF treatment can double your chances of a successful IVF cycle. This is great news as IVF can be a stressful and expensive exercise for couples.

How does natural fertility care help with IVF?
The outcome of IVF depends on your reproductive health. A good preconception care program can help to improve the health of your ova (egg) and also improve sperm counts and integrity. Because there is no natural selection in IVF (as normally the strongest sperm would meet the egg) it is important to have the healthiest egg and sperm possible.

Healthy egg and sperm means that they have better genetic makeup – reducing the risk of miscarry, pregnancy complications, birth defects and illnesses in children, all of which have been shown to occur in higher amounts in IVF babies.

What is involved in natural IVF support?

Couples who are undertaking IVF are encouraged to do a preconception program for at least 3 months prior to the commencement of the IVF cycle. Studies have shown that this can help improve your IVF outcome, so it is well worth the wait!

Treatment involves the use of herbal medicines which help to balance hormones, improve ovarian health, increase sperm count and improve uterine tone.

Some nutritional supplements are also required to ensure that all of the nutrients required for reproduction are present in good amounts, leading to an increased chance of a healthy conception.

Can natural fertility care help with a frozen embryo transfer (FET)?

For FETs with stored embryos natural fertility care can help to improve chances of implantation by reducing inflammation, reducing stress and supporting uterine function. In this case natural fertility care can help to improve implantation but it cannot improve the health of the embryo.

Are natural medicines safe to take while on IVF drugs?

When prescribed by a qualified naturopath herbal medicines and nutritional supplements are very safe to use in conjunction with IVF. Katherine will take great care to ensure that the medicines she prescribes do not interact with the hormonal treatments prescribed during an IVF cycle. Once your IVF cycle commences, the role of naturopathy is more of a supporting one, helping with stress and ensuring optimum nutrition.

To make an appointment for support with IVF or other assisted reproductive techniques, call us on 07 3367 0337.

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Katherine Maslen

Author

Hey, I’m Katherine Maslen, naturopath, nutritionist, host of The Shift podcast, author and renegade for health.
Since completing 2 bachelor degrees in health science over 12 years ago, I’ve been helping peeps just like you to be their best through awesome health. I’ve spent most of this time one on one in clinical practice – in the trenches with my clients to navigate them through the minefield that is imperfect health.

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