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FERTILITY - THE SHARED JOURNEY
Many women today are struggling with fertility issues. It can be devastating to learn that the life you pictured, with an amazing baby in your family, may be harder to achieve than you imagined. Fortunately, there is hope. Chinese Medicine has been the answer for many women in their fertility quest, and may be the answer you’ve been looking for. Kelly Mullen Desierto, licensed acupuncturist, board certified herbalist, and Mercier Therapist, offers many tools to assist you in achieving your goals: a successful, healthy pregnancy and birth!
Enlighten Holistic Medicine offers a complete, thorough fertility system for those looking to conceive naturally or using therapies such as IUI or IVF. Kelly Mullen Desierto is able to do acupuncture, herbal or supplement recommendations, diet and lifestyle recommendations, and Mercier Therapy (described further below). During your initial consultation, Kelly will assess what your own personal challenges regarding fertility are, and how they might be improved with her various treatments. She will help you track your menstrual cycle, learn more about what to do and what not to do during ovulation time, and answer any questions you may have about the process. Kelly is available at any time, even outside of appointments, to answer questions or be there for emotional support.
Chinese Medicine has helped thousands of women become pregnant naturally, without the need for artificial hormones or interventions. It has also helped increase the success rates of those using IUI or IVF or other assisted fertility routes. Chinese Medicine increases fertility via many pathways. One of the most studied and documented results of acupuncture is increased blood flow to the uterus. The better the blood flow, the better the uterus is prepared to conceive and carry a healthy baby to term. A second documented finding is that acupuncture reduces stress. Acupuncture works on the nervous system to switch us out of the sympathetic ‘fight or flight’ adrenaline mode that many of us are in on a daily basis, and moves us into the parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ mode that leaves us feeling blissful and calm. Stress may be a huge barrier to fertility, with some studies suggesting that up to 30% of fertility issues are stress related. Chinese Medicine can also help hormonal balancing and restore regular, healthy menstrual cycles. Herbal, vitamin and supplement recommendations can make huge impacts on your menstrual cycle and overall health. They help regulate your hormones and help purge old, stagnant blood out of your uterus so that it is a healthier environment to conceive a child. The side benefit to all this work is that during the process, you get to become a much healthier and less stressed person!
Mercier Therapy is a physical manipulation of the uterus, ovaries, and pelvis that further increases blood flow to the area, loosens scar tissue, and helps reset pelvic ligaments into proper positions. Sometimes, the uterus itself may become tilted anteriorly or posteriorly which affects blood flow and conception rates. This therapy is especially useful for women who have had cesarean surgeries, have endometriosis, or a history of pelvic traumas (falls, sports injuries, car accidents). It is also very good for women who have successfully conceived and delivered one or more healthy babies, and then for unknown reasons are having trouble conceiving with subsequent pregnancies. The uterus and ligaments may have shifted so much during the first pregnancy that work needs to be done before the uterus can be healthy again for a second or third pregnancy.
The fertility process can be an emotional rollercoaster for many women. Kelly Mullen Desierto respects what you are going through, and is always there to be a sympathetic listening ear during this process. She can also help you sort through all the information out there regarding fertility. There is so much information out there regarding what to do or what not to do, how can you know what's best for you? Kelly can guide you through what has worked well for others, and what might work best for you, given your healthy history and personal body constitution. She can offer information about foods, supplements, herbs, exercises, stress relieving activities, menstrual cycle patterns, and many other things you may have questions about. Schedule an initial consultation today and learn how much there is you can do for yourself and for the baby you are trying to have!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: When is the best time to start coming in for fertility treatments? Should I wait to see a fertility specialist first?
Answer: As soon as you realize that the pregnancy is not happening as easily as you thought it would, that’s the best time to come in! There is much that can be done right away to improve circulation, blood flow, and hormonal balancing. Sometimes, women find that they conceive before they need to take that next step of seeing a fertility specialist. However, some women that have lower chances of conceiving due to advancing age/low ovarian reserve, single blocked fallopian tube, or other health concerns, Kelly will recommend seeing a fertility specialist to discuss conception using assisted methods along with Chinese Medicine.
Question: I have an IUI or IVF procedure coming in the next few weeks. Can I still benefit from treatments?
Answer: Absolutely. The benefits of increased blood flow and lower stress levels improve the success rate of those procedures, even if you can only come in a few times before they are scheduled. Even coming in once on the day of the procedure is better than not at all, and has been shown to help certain women. However, if you can try to come in a few months before they are scheduled, we are able to do even more to get your body in a great state of health before the procedures and thereby increase your chances of conceiving and carrying the baby to term. Generally, herbal and supplements are avoided at this stage so they do not interfere with prescribed hormonal injections, and acupuncture alone is done. However, you may still do dietary changes that are beneficial and do not counteract any medications.
Question: How many treatments are required? How long does the process take, and how often should I come in?
Answer: Generally, women should allow 3-6 months of weekly acupuncture treatments to really give it a fair chance. Because the women’s menstrual cycle is a month long, we need to treat at various phases of the cycle for at least 2-3 months to make significant changes. If a women has more pronounced menstrual irregularities like frequent missed periods, PCOS, or endometriosis, the process may take closer to 4-6 months. Mercier Therapy is generally done once or twice a week for 3-6 weeks, followed by acupuncture and herbal/supplement recommendations for an additional few months. However, women that are committed to following all their herbal, supplement, and lifestyle recommendations along with coming in regularly for treatments, usually experience the best and quickest results.
Because fertility work is a commitment of time and money, Enlighten Holistic Medicine, LLC does offer fertility packages. The pricing of these packages will depend on services chosen (acupuncture only, Mercier therapy only, herbal/supplements choices, or a combination of the these treatment modalities affects pricing). Cost for your particular needs will be discussed after the initial consultation, which is $100. The initial consultation lasts about 1.5-2 hours and includes a thorough health intake, discussion of treatment options, an overview of supplements and herbs, a brief demonstration of Mercier therapy, and a full acupuncture treatment (acupuncture treatment may be skipped if only interested in Mercier therapy).
Question: I’m afraid of needles! What can I do?
Answer: First, you should know that Kelly Desierto uses some of the thinnest, smoothest needles you can buy on the market to do her treatments. They are thinner than a human hair, and many do not go far into the body. Even patients who would formerly consider themselves ‘afraid of needles’ admit that the experience is not painful or difficult, in fact, is very relaxing!
However, if you really just cannot tolerate the idea of needles, then we recommend Mercier therapy along with the herbal and supplement recommendations. Kelly can also do acupressure to stimulate the acupuncture points using a tool that doesn't pierce the skin.
Question: What if I do not have specific fertility struggles, but I just want a healthy pregnancy and birth? Can I still come in?
Answer: Yes, please do! Kelly Desierto is passionate about informing people of the importance of getting our body into a healthy place before pregnancy and labor. Kelly will work with you to achieve a healthy weight, and eliminate toxins from your system in a healthy, balanced way so that your growing baby will have fewer toxins exposed to him/her during fetal development. The healthier you are prior to conceiving, the lower your risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, induced labor, and other pregnancy risks. It also means that your baby gets to develop in a healthier, nutrient rich environment for optimal development.
Question: What are the benefits of Chinese Medicine during pregnancy?
Answer: Chinese medicine can be used to support pregnancy during the first trimester to prevent miscarriage. This is especially beneficial to women with a history of miscarriage, or those undergoing IVF procedures which have a higher likelihood of miscarriage. Chinese medicine can be used to manage many of the more unpleasant side effects of pregnancy such as morning sickness, migraines, acid reflux, and pain in the hips and back. It may be used to gently encourage labor to start once you have passed your due date, so you can try to avoid a chemical induction or cesarean surgery. It can also loosen ligaments around the hips and pelvis to allow for easier labor and birth.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Kelly for a free 15 minute phone consultation before you come in!