What do patients say about us ?
Susan came to us when she was 42 with low AMH and high FSH. She had a retest of her FSH after a few months of treatment. Here is what she told us:
‘My FSH result was 25 before. When I receive the test result after a few months of treatment, I was so nervous that I was too frightened to look at first. When I did, I was so pleased. It is now 13.9!’
Subsequently, she went for a cycle of IVF with the Clinic we work with. It was not successful but she told us:
‘When the eggs were collected, the IVF Clinic was surprised to find that all my eggs are of excellent quality. They say this is very rare in a woman of my age’.
6 months later Susan e mailed us,’Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve been in touch. I hope you are keeping well. It is very very early days but I have had a positive pregnancy test (over the counter tester kit). I’m about 6 weeks in. I don’t want to get too excited but I wanted to drop you a note to see about coming back to see you’.
Elizabeth Douglas, 41, had 4 cycles of failed IVFs before she came to us.
‘We saw Professor Li at the TCM HealthCare fertility Clinic, he asked me a lot of questions, what food I liked, whether I was hot or cold, and also looked at my tongue and took my pulse in both wrists. His diagnosis was that my chi (life energy) was completely out of alignment and that I was far too cold. he gave me a concoction of herbs to boil up and drink twice a day, which tasted revolting. But I persevered and kept going back for consultations.
After about six month, he told me his treatment had finished and I simply had to be patient. Incredibly, just two months, I was ringing him with the wonderful news that I was pregnant.
It wasn’t a great pregnancy. I was very sick and suffered bad indigestion but Matthew was born healthy last June. We’ll always be grateful to the IVF consultants but without Chinese medicine, we may never have found the final piece in the puzzle which allowed us to become parents at long last’.
Elizabeth’s full story was published in Real Magazine in 2002. Call us for a copy of the article.
Treating patients with failed IVF attempts
Many patients come to us with failed IVF attempts. They generally feel rather strained by the experience, financially as well as emotionally.
What are the success rates of IVF ?
The success rate of IVFs decrease with age. Below are listed IVF success rate by age in UK in 2009 and 2010:
Figures for 2010, 2009 figures in brackets for comparison
- 32.2% for women under 35 (32.3%)
- 27.7% for women aged 35-37 (27.2%)
- 20.8% for women aged 38-39 (19.1%)
- 13.6% for women aged 40-42 (12.7%)
- 5.0% for women aged 43-44 (5.1%)
- 1.9% for women aged 45+ (1.5%)
Why do IVF fail?
We do not have a complete picture at present but the emerging picture is as follow:
- We know that many human embryos will arrest (die) before day 5
- Embryonic arrest can also occurs after day 5
- Some of the embryos that are transferred that “look good” will die after being put in the uterus
Put very simply, IVF failure is generally attributed to weakness in the embryo that leads to failed implantation. On average, only about 25% of transferred embryos continue to develop and become live births. The success rate for the implanting of embryos reduces as a women ages.
How is our approach different from IVF?
The conventional medical approach is to focus on the mechanics of getting a sperm into an egg to develop an embryo and putting it back into the uterus in the hope that the embryo will implant without doing much to improve hormones, egg quality, sperm quality etc. We have one working principle – we firmly believe that the quality of your reproductive system can be improved. We apply this principle to our clinical practice and have helped many patients to achieve live births after failed IVF attempts.
Since much of embryo weakness and the failure of implanting are largely attributed to poor egg quality and egg quality tends to decline with age, the success of our treatment can be attributed to that fact that we can improve AMH and egg quality, especially in older women, sometimes in women with failed IVFs to such an extent that they were told that their eggs are not good enough and they should seek donor eggs. Although strictly speaking AMH results on their own are not direct indicators for egg quality, together with antral follicle scan, they become good predictors for egg quality.
How do we help?
Patients come to us with their test results and medical record. The first consultation will last for an hour where detailed but non-invasive and pain-free Chinese medical diagnostic procedures will be carried out. This will ensure we understand you and your condition thoroughly. This will determine the exact herbal medication prescription, which usually consists of 18 days of herbal remedy – a combination of about 20 kinds of herbs mixed together. You will be asked to make herbal drinks out of them and consume them twice a day for 18 days in a month.
A month after the first consultation, you will have finished the herbal remedy. You come back again for a second consultation which will last for 30 minutes. Again, a diagnostic procedure will be carried out to see how well you respond to the treatment. This monthly cycle will be repeated 3 to 4 times before you are asked to have another AMH test and other relevant tests carried out. Most see significant improvements. They then pursue a number of options which may include working with us for a few more months with a view to achieve natural pregnancy or combining us with another IVF cycle.
How much are the fees?
The all inclusive fees are in the region of £350 per month.
How often do I need to come?
Once a month. Most patients come to us for 3 months to 9 months. Some combine our treatment with further IVF cycles.
Who tend to come to us?
We see patients who have failed IVFs, some as much as 4 cycles.
Some may wish to be treated for a few months prior to going back for another cycle.
Others may feel that they have exhausted the IVF option and wish to simply work with us for natural pregnancy.
Yet others may wish to come to us first to prepare themselves in order to maximise their IVF chances and minimise the number of cycles required to save time and money.
We also work closely with an IVF clinic. If you wish to combine our treatment with IVF, we can help to arrange and co-orindate everything for you to make your journey as pain free as possible.