According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, infertility is defined as a disease of the reproductive system that impairs the body's ability to perform the basic function of reproduction. Primary infertility refers to difficulty in achieving a pregnancy via sexual intercourse or assisted reproductive technology. Secondary infertility refers to having conceived at least once in the past and experiencing difficulty conceiving again or sustaining pregnancy. Studies have indicated that infertility can be as distressing to women as those being treated for cancer.
For women, age does matter. We encourage you to trust your intuition about what you know about your body and when to seek care. Women and their partners are advised to seek medical care if pregnancy has not been achieved after a year of unprotected intercourse. For women over the age of 35, medical care is suggested after six months of unprotected intercourse without achieving a pregnancy. Female factor infertility occurs in about 35% of all cases. Male factor infertility occurs in about 35% of all cases. In 20% of cases, both female and male factor problems are present. Unexplained infertility occurs in 10% of all cases.
A number of new studies suggest that acupuncture and herbal remedies are very helpful in treating fertility problems. Research has also shown that treating the emotional distress of fertility challenges and their treatment can be very helpful to individuals and couples, generally, and ultimately in conceiving.
At PIH, we approach the treatment of fertility challenges from a combination of Western and Eastern methods that have been most successful in achieving and sustaining pregnancy including:
- Psychological therapies that help you make changes in how you approach the mind-body-spirit challenges of infertility and its treatment (Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT)
- Training in hypnosis and guided imagery to prepare you for infertility treatment and preparation for pregnancy (Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT)
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to heal fertility-related traumas and to prepare you for fertility treatment and pregnancy (Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT)
- Chinese medicine incorporating acupuncture and herbal strategies (Diane Tanning, RN, MS, LAc)
- Body-based therapies that utilize different massage traditions, energy medicine approaches, and training in ways to improve your connection to your own physical body. (Rebecca Rice, MA)
- Nutritional guidance to enhance your fertility. (Dr. Nita Champion, ND)
At PIH, we begin with a comprehensive evaluation to identify your particular needs and then work with you to design an individualized program of care that will support you in reestablishing health and increase your sense of vitality and well-being. We look forward to working with you.