Hope is Good Medicine

Bronwyn's picture

Believe it or not, sometimes a story of an unsuccessful IVF can be the most inspiring story of all. 


The first time I met Katrina, she and her husband had been trying to conceive their first child for two years. They were getting prepared for their first IVF cycle. Before starting on her journey with the fertility clinic, Katrina had also suffered a pregnancy loss. She came to me looking for support, hope, and a plan.  


We spent that first visit reviewing her health history in detail: sleep, diet, appetite, energy, bladder health, skin, sweat, exercise, and stress levels. I got to know Katrina quite well, and together we created a treatment plan that was both manageable and comprehensive. The plan was simple: improve egg quality through supplementation, laser and acupuncture. 




The supplements that I recommended for Katrina were CoQ10 for egg quality, Vitamin D, Fish-oils, prenatal vitamins, and N-acetyl Cysteine. For her husband I also suggested our male fertility supplement package.




The main mechanism of action for acupuncture is parasympathetic stimulation. When you are in a state of sympathetic nervous response (fight or flight), all the resources of your body are recruited in the effort to survive, thus redirecting blood flow to your muscles. This is an ancient survival mechanism which irrigates your muscles and gives you the ability to run or fight. Unfortunately, it isn’t fertility friendly, as it drives blood flow away from your reproductive organs. You don’t need those when you’re running from a predator, after all. However, Acupuncture has the effect of stimulating the parasympathetics, thus dis-engaging this mechanism. As a result, oxygen rich arterial blood is redirected into your pelvic basin to your ovaries and uterus to help nourish your eggs and lining. The happy side-benefit is that you will feel a deep sense of relaxation and calm both during and after the session. Since the maturation and development of your eggs is a 100-120 day process, I usually suggest 3 months of treatment for optimization.



Low Level Laser therapy (LLLT) uses both red and infrared light to penetrate the cell and stimulate the mitochondria to produce more ATP. This is the energy source the cell uses to fuel all cellular processes. The light interrupts the inflammatory cascade to reduce oxidative stress on the cell thus improving function, and slowing cellular aging. Since your eggs have been in your body since long before you were born, they don’t replace themselves like all the other cells of your body and are thus subject to oxidative stress in ways that other cells are not. That’s where the laser light comes in. It reduces inflammation, improves cellular function and slows the aging of your cells.

After 2 months of treatment, Katrina went ahead with her IVF cycle which, as I mentioned, was not successful. There were much fewer eggs retrieved than expected, and the embryos didn’t make it. They took a month off before starting a second IVF cycle, but her period didn’t come. In her frustration she called the clinic to see what she should do. The nurse said “before you do anything else, take a home pregnancy test”. And the rest is history! 


Even when things seem the most bleak, like after two years of trying to conceive, a pregnancy loss, and a failed IVF cycle, there is always hope. Katrina is now healthy and happy in her second trimester. 


If you have any questions about your own health picture, book a 15 minute Discovery Call. I’m always available for a chat!


Functional medicine Vancouver fertility - Acupuncture, Laser, Supplements, Hope