What do you do when you’ve been trying to conceive for a few months (or years) and it hasn’t happened yet? The standard operating procedure is to tell your gynecologist who might recommend trying a couple of months of Clomid to hyper-stimulate your ovaries, or they will refer you to a Fertility Specialist, known as a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist (REI).

The unfortunate reality is that only about 40% of couples who have difficulty conceiving will seek treatment. There is little research into why this is, but the three most obvious reasons are 1. a fear of finding out something is really wrong 2. the high cost of treatment and 3. a lack of education on additional options for fertility treatment.

As Integrative Doctors, we have a unique perspective on the treatment of infertility. (I’m really sorry to be using the “I” word, we just call it “fertility” in our clinic because it’s not a disease, just a current state of being)

Here are 3 options for your fertility treatment from an Integrative Medicine perspective:

1. Chinese Medicine:

Chinese Medicine is a complete healthcare system that aims to treat the root cause of a condition using a  combination of herbs, acupuncture, nutrition, lifestyle medicine and meditation, breathing exercises, positive psychology, and mindset coaching. This is a perfect option for you if you have a health condition that contributes to infertility like PCOS, endometriosis, or digestive or emotional health problems. The treatment philosophy of Chinese Medicine is to nourish the soil before you plant the seed. As we say in our clinic, “a healthy body is a fertile body”.

2. Assisted Reproductive Technologies

These are the high tech diagnostic tests and solutions that conventional biomedicine provides for infertility. They primarily consist of IUI and IVF and range in price, but can easily reach upwards for $15,000. The average price in Arkansas for 1 round of IVF is $11,000 without medications. ART might be an essential competent if you have a same sex partner, a tubal factor, azoospermia, are using a gestational carrier, etc. It is common for patients in our clinic to use the diagnostic capabilities of ART such as lab work and imaging and then make a decision on what treatment approach is best for them.

3. ART+ CM

This approach combines the best of western medicine with the best of eastern medicine. This can look different for everyone, some patients choose to use only the diagnostic capabilities of ART and other will use the entire spectrum of treatments like robotic surgeries, IVF and ICSI. There is no right or wrong way.

We do see both clinically and in research that patients who use Chinese Medicine during their fertility treatment are more likely to report a positive experience, have better outcomes and are more likely to go into a second cycle if the first one fails.

If you have questions about which approach is best for you, just ask us!

There may be things we can improve naturally to optimize fertility or we can connect you with a fertility doctor who is a good fit for you and will work with us to get you the best care!

Have more questions on this subject?

Dr. Emily Rea is here to answer your fertility questions and walk with you on your fertility journey. Send us a message any time!