Dean and Aeri, a Vancouver couple in their mid-30s, tried to conceive naturally for two years. After getting medical check-ups and being told they had only a 2%-5% chance on their own, they opted for a mainstreammedical approach for revving up fertility. Basically, it would entail injecting Dean’s sperm into one of Aeri’s eggs. It’s highly invasive, involves powerful drugs, and costs about $10,000 a try. They made an appointment but had to wait several months.
That wait added a fateful twist to their adventure in babymaking. Several weeks later, following a lecture they attended on natural fertility methods, the couple found themselves drastically changing their lifestyle; they cut out coffee, chose organic foods, had acupuncture treatments, and used Chinese herbs and nutritional supplements.
"Before, I wasn’t healthy at all—250 pounds, about 40 more than what I weigh now," says Dean, a consultant who spends a lot of time on the road, and was inactive and eating junk food. Was it tough to convert? "Not at all. We wanted a baby. I had to give the program every chance to succeed."
And it worked. The couple saw remarkable results with the help of an innovative protocol based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles. The program was created by acupuncturist and herbalist Randine Lewis, Master of Science in Oriental Medicine with a PhD inalternative medicine, and documented in her book, The Infertility Cure: the Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies.
"In Chinese medicine, we want to get the body back into balance. We don’t force a pregnancy into a body that says no. We get the body into a condition where it says yes," says Lewis, founder of the Eastern Harmony Acupuncture Clinic in Texas, where the success rate in patient pregnancies is 75%. "Stress has an enormous impact on fertility. All mammals will not conceive understress. The body can stop ovaries from producing eggs. Stop menstruation. Change the makeup of hormones. Shift blood flow away from reproductive organs. There are a multitude of shut-off mechanisms."