The Role of Reproflexology
Consultation gives the opportunity to discuss matters in greater detail, it is at this stage that I would request sight of all tests results (these are obtainable from your surgery upon request); a female blood hormone picture and sperm analysis are normally carried out as a course of action if a couple have been trying to conceive for some time without success. Lifestyle factors and supplements will be discussed. Supplements play a great part in fertility, I have lost count of the number of times I have heard the female mention she is on Folic Acid or a pre-natal supplement of poor quality and that is all, the male often taking no supplements whatsoever. I have often come across several females that have actually had extremely low levels of Vitamin D, as you are able to read for yourself low Vitamin D levels have been linked scientifically to infertility, it certainly appears to have an impact on IVF outcomes, endometriosis, PCOS, as well as boosting levels of progesterone and oestrogen, which regulate menstrual cycles and improve the likelihood of successful conception. I would therefore suggest the female having her levels checked, this can be done at the Zita West Clinic at a small cost.
I would ask that the female charts her cycle for a period of 3 months, (details of how to do this can be obtained by logging onto Fertility Friend).
Charting is a useful source of information, not just for myself as a practitioner, as it gives an indication of any irregularities in the cycle, but it can also be used as a means of determining the few days when ovulation is likely to take place and therefore when lovemaking is essential. Achieving this can make an amazing difference not only in order to maximise the chances of conception taking place, but also in removing the stress and pressure that some couples find themselves under. However, whilst charting is important I often suggest using the ‘Billings Method’; information on this will be passed on at consultation. The Billings Method is very effective in helping couples to recognise when they are most fertile, giving them the best chance of achieving pregnancy.
I may also discuss at time of consultation or at some stage during your course of treatment that further tests be carried out such as an AMH blood test (ovarian reserve) or a male fertility check (detailed analysis of the sperm).
Initially treatment for the female would entail weekly sessions working through one entire menstrual phase however, if there are irregularities in the cycle, such as clotting or an irregular cycle then weekly treatments would need to continue until the cycle is balanced (a normal cycle can be anything between 21 and 35 days in length and should be without intermittent spotting or bleeding, it is only a problem if the cycle is irregular, which could indicate fluctuating levels, particularly progesterone, making it difficult to pinpoint ovulation. A bleed that is dark in colour shows a level of stagnation. Clotting indicates an overly thick endometrium that may not be clearing sufficiently at each bleed. Conversely, a scanty bleed can also be a sign of hormonal imbalance, and the possibility that the endometrium is not sufficiently developed enough to allow implantation to take place).
Once balanced, the female partner would then go on to an ‘actively trying to conceive’ program which would entail treating the female partner as close to ovulation as possible (week 2 of her cycle) and again 5-7 days post ovulation in order to enhance implantation (week 3 of her cycle). However it may be necessary to change this treatment plan if for example the female is suffering from a condition such as endometriosis or PCOS.
If a male partner has been involved in trying to conceive for more than a year without success I would suggest if not already done so, that he has a basic semen analysis carried out in order to rule out, or rule in, any issues that may need to be addressed.
Approximately 30% of fertility difficulties lie with the male and this can be devastating news even more so as generally there are no symptoms to forewarn of any problems. Whilst it may be distressing for a male to hear that he is responsible in some way so much can be done to improve male fertility, be it dietary and lifestyle changes or orthodox medicine and diagnostic techniques.
Reproflexology can also be highly beneficial in helping a male to regain control of his own fertility journey. Initial treatment during pre-conceptual care for the male would involve treating on a weekly basis and this would continue for 6 weeks; any general conditions in order to maintain good levels of health would also be taken into account. I would then ask for the sperm to be retested.
If a couple have decided to go down the assisted conception route they could well feel like they are on an emotional rollercoaster which they may find difficult to stop, treatment can take its toll emotionally, physiologically and even financially. Each cycle of treatment involves waiting, and emotions tend to fluctuate from one extreme to another, from elation at the slightest positive symptom through to despair with the merest abdominal twinge. In working alongside Assisted Conception Reproflexology plays a very specific role in the fact that it is supportive and complementary to orthodox medicine.