Clinics aren't the only option for women looking to boost their fertility. Here are three other choices for women who want to increase their chances of a healthy pregnancy.
There are many ways a naturopath can help prepare a woman's body for pregnancy but it can take time, according to Perth Natural Medical Clinic naturopath Natalie Pickering.
"My experience in working with couples with fertility problems for the past 13 years demonstrates conclusively that taking the time, at least 120 days, to prepare your body for your conception attempt almost always increases the likelihood of full-term pregnancy and a healthy baby," she said.
While there was no silver bullet for improving fertility, Ms Pickering said there were ways to increase the odds. "Blood tests, hair, sperm and saliva analyses and symptothermal charting can be used to give a thorough understanding of a couple's fertility picture," she said.
"Then careful prescription of herbal, homeopathic and nutritional remedies can be used to resolve imbalances and return the body to optimal health before starting to attempt conception."
Ms Pickering said natural therapies often were used to complement IVF or other fertility treatments.
"Studies by the British fertility clinic, Foresight, show those couples who require IVF have double the chance of success - from 22 per cent before to 47 per cent after - if they spend four months on a preconception program before starting the IVF cycle," she said.
Ms Pickering said one of her clients had been trying to conceive for three years, had been diagnosed with endometriosis and had only one ovary and a fallopian tube removed.
"She had already done four IVF cycles so far without success, her egg quality was poor and implantation seemed to be an issue. I gave her a detox program and she started on a preconception diet and nutrient protocol.
"She was happy to allow time for the changes we had implemented to make an impact on her fertility before starting her next IVF cycle. Six months later, after her fifth cycle, she conceived, enjoyed a healthy full-term pregnancy and had a gorgeous baby girl."
Pivet Medical Centre clinic co-ordinator Sara Mayes said many of its patients used acupuncture to complement their fertility treatments.
"There are beliefs that acupuncture prior to embryo transfer can increase the chance of implantation," Ms Mayes said.
"We believe that acupuncture can help relax patients, reduce blood pressure and increase circulation to the rest of the body (including the uterus) and therefore improve implantation."
Acupuncturist and naturopath Adele Plumridge, from Adele Plumridge Natural Medicine, said choosing acupuncture points was unique to each individual. Ms Plumridge said one of her more memorable cases was a woman in her mid-30s, with whom she had worked for a year and a half using herbal tinctures and teas to regulate her cycle.
"After being told by her doctor that she had an inhospitable uterus to nurture an infant, she didn't give up," Ms Plumridge said.
"With the continued help of acupuncture, nutrients, herbs and diet and lifestyle support, she astonished her doctor by conceiving and, best of all, delivered a healthy and happy baby boy into the world."
Fertility North medical director Vince Chapple said while IVF could improve some couples' chances of conceiving, adopting a healthy lifestyle could also have a profound effect on their fertility.
"The best way patients can 'naturally boost' their fertility is to enjoy a good healthy lifestyle, maintain a normal body mass and exercise regularly. Smoking is particularly bad and tends to prematurely age women (in particular) from a reproductive perspective," Dr Chapple said.
Concept Fertility scientific director Peter Burton said lifestyle factors were very important in fertility. He recommended ensuring both partners were a healthy weight and avoided toxins.
"Smoking for females has an impact on every aspect on the reproductive system and for males it can reduce the sperm count and DNA count," he said. "There's also exposure to toxins in the workplace or in the home. It can be anything from solvents in cleaning products or paints to hairspray and make-up."
Ms Mayes said the medical team at Pivet believed natural therapies could help patients stay relaxed and in a positive frame of mind; vitally important when trying to conceive. It was also important that both partners tried to reduce stress.
In this day and age, when COVID is upon us, our much longed-for exotic and exciting holidays are a thing of the past (or very distant future), we all still need to find ways to relax, renew & rejuvenate to deal with the stresses of our everyday life. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one of our best loved ways!
Acupuncture is one of the oldest traditional forms of natural medicine in the world today. The ancient practice of acupuncture started in China approximately 3000 years ago.
In women’s reproductive health, the age of 35 seems to be rather significant. A ‘ripe old age’, if you will. It’s the number after which women are medically referred to as geriatric mothers and it’s long been considered as the age for a woman to be faced with a fertility cliff.
Research estimates about 60% of couples between 35 and 39 will conceive without assisted reproductive technology, but generally becoming pregnant will take longer than couples who are younger.