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Acupuncture and Chinese herbs

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#1 Positive and hopeful

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 12:00 AM

Hello! I just joined this group and I have been reading lots of helpful information! One thing that I am quite confused about are Chinese herbs. I did my first FET in November which was not successful so I decided to start acupuncture in order to prep for my next FET. For the last month I have been taking Chinese herbs because the acupuncturist said that I have a low chi and it will help with blood circulation and to conceive. When I told my fertility doctor about the herbs, he told me that I should not be taking them. But when I spoke to the acupuncturist, she said that it's good to continue them. I am so confused!! Does someone have any insight on this? Please help:)

#2 Lola1973

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 09:28 AM

Hi Positive,

I understand your dilemma: you want to do what will give you the best chances and two "experts" give you opposite advice. All I can tell you is that at this point you have to choose who you want to trust on this... My personal choice when I was faced with a similar issue was to follow the doctor's advice because I was concerned about interactions with the medications he was prescribing... But I did continue acupuncture treatments (no herbs).

Good luck!

Ttc first child for both of us since February 2012

Surgery and diagnosis of severe endometriosis Nov. 2012

IVF#1 April 2013: BFP8388.gif 9 weeks

IVF#2 Sept 2013: BFP8388.gif 9,5 weeks

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IVF#3 May 2014: Embryo banking: 4 blasts

IVF#4 July 2014: Embryo banking: 3 blasts

PGS Result August 2014: All 7 blasts are abnormal... Moving on to DE.

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Transfer #1 Feb. 2015: BFN

Transfer #2 June 2015: BFN

Transfer #3 Sept 2015: th_abfp.gifon hpt Sept 24!!!!

1st beta 12dp3dt: 421 2nd beta 14dp3dt:1025 Viability US (6w6d): One perfect baby measuring 7.0 weeks with HB of 130!!yahoo.gif

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#3 Dr. Brown FABORM

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 10:23 AM

Hi Positive and Helpful


Some IVF clinics permit Chinese herbs and some do not when you are taking medications for an IVF or FET.


Personally, we have an integrated relationship with Olive in Vancouver so if I think it is warranted to take herbs then I discuss it with their doctor.  Depending on the case sometimes we do and most times we do not.


Doctors just do not know about herbs and they like to error on the side of caution and just say no.   


I usually do not use herbs if it is your first fresh IVF.  I do recommend herbs in the months leading up to your IVF but stop before you would start your IVF


There are cases where I have prescribed herbs during an IVF with their IVF doctors agreement.  


It is a case of them not trained in herbs and looking after your best interest and just saying no.   This does not mean this this the best approach  in all circumstances but it is what it is.


It is always better of the patient when both your IVF doc and your acupuncturists agree and do not put you in the middle.   I usually have the talk with your IVF doc so you do not have the stress of choosing.  I am your advocate so if I think it is very important in your case I strongly advocate for you to take herbs.  If I am doing it to help with the odds but if it is not a key ingredient then I will agree and not use the herbs.




What I often recommend for FET that I think need herbs to help with uterine receptivity (repeated IVF failures of good blastocyst, clots and painful menses, very light menses or feeling cold especially in abdomen) is to delay the FET so you  can take herbs for 2-3 cycles then stop herbs when you start estrogen to build your lining  for your FET.  And if you have a history of Asherman's I may be inclined you take herbs until your transfer.  And if you come to me and you are just starting your FET I would normally not start you on herbs but  recommend acupuncture 2-3 per week until transfer.


To read more about why FET are becoming more popular than fresh transfers and what acupuncture can do to help please read my blog on this topic.


Good luck.



Lorne Brown B.Sc.,CA, Dr.TCM, FABORM, CHt
Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Clinical Hypnotherapist
Founder and Clinical Director Acubalance Wellness Centre (British Columbia)

#4 Positive and hopeful

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 07:10 PM

Thank you both for your responses!

If I lived in Vancouver I would definitely come by for a consult! I have an appointment with my fertility doc tomorrow and I will try to speak to him about it again.
I think what I will do is continue the herbs and stop them when I begin taking estrogen before my next FET. I will definitely continue with acupuncture.

Thank again!!
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