Success Story: Naturally Pregnant at 39+
3 Failed IVF’s + 1 fallopian tube removed
Trying to get pregnant: 2.5 years
Western Medicine + General Diagnosis Before Treatment:
3 failed IVF cycles
One fallopian tube removed due to a Sactosalpinx.
Low luteal phase Progesterone level.
Erratic BBT chart temperatures.
Irregular cycles of 22-33 days (this is called: “sometimes early, sometimes late” in Chinese medicine and shows a particular type of imbalance).
Some food sensitivities.
No previous pregnancies with multiple years of unprotected intercourse.
Past IVF cycles produced up to 13 eggs each time, with 5 blastocysts – but no implantation.
Western Medicine Diagnosis of Partner:
No known health issues and no concerns with sperm health.
Western Medicine Suggested Treatment:
IVF as many times as they can afford to do.
If not successful then egg donation in the future.
What They Tried Before My Help:
Over the 3 years before coming to me Sarah worked on diet, supplements, lifestyle changes, mindset and emotional support. She felt that her physical health was good but that she maybe had some kind of emotional block, as she couldn’t find anything else that might be wrong.
The result of all these changes?
She felt well in herself, but was stressed about not getting pregnant and her husband was starting to think they may have to accept not having children.
This is when she decided to come to see me as her “plan B” option, but her husband wasn’t supportive of this at the time.
Our First Meeting:
Sarah had been following me online for some time, and had been applying some of the health changes I recommended in my Facebook Group (Creating Your Fertile Life).
Her plan was that if she didn’t conceive by the third IVF cycle, she would seek my help as her plan B.
After her third failed IVF she was ready to have my help with Classical Chinese Medicine.
We started with a 30-minute free online chat to discuss their journey so far, and to ensure that I could help them.
During the chat it became clear that I could help, so we progressed to the next step:
my 3-hour online health assessment to find their unique Chinese Medicine Fertility Health Diagnosis.
What We Found Through Their Diagnosis:
Sarah and her partner’s health diagnosis provided the foundation that showed us what needed to be worked on – to enhance her fertility health.
Only having one fallopian tube, irregular cycles, irregular ovulation, erratic BBT temps and low progesterone levels – we needed to find the root of her health balance – for a natural or future IVF pregnancy to become possible.
In the 3-hour online health assessment we:
- 1. Reviewed their medical test results to see what was presenting itself physically and medically.
We found some issues with Sarah’s blood quality and circulation, and a lack of Progesterone too. The blood quality issue was reflected in the irregular ovulation and cycle length, and also in the Progesterone deficiency. The blood circulation issue was also reflected in her hormone balance, as the Progesterone deficiency created a type of relative estrogen excess. This was seen as an accumulation of fluids in the left fallopian tube – that needed to be surgically removed.
This lack of blood quality and circulation could also cause a potential lack of support and nourishment of her eggs, which would likely decrease her egg quality.
- 2. Assessed their health with a Classical Chinese Medicine (not TCM) health review, to find the underlying health balance for each of them.
A Classical Chinese Medicine diagnosis is about assessing your body from a natural perspective that is different to the westen medical approach.
When I do this with my clients, I’m looking for the underlying patterns of imbalance in your body – to find the root cause of why pregnancy isn’t happening.
Sarah’s partner had some Qi (energy) deficiency issues that were affecting his immune system and creating food allergies. However, this was not having an affect on his fertility health and so we decided he didn’t need treatment – but that he would adjust his diet as guided by me.
For Sarah we confirmed the root cause of her health issues that presented in the following patterns of Chinese Medicine imbalance:
- Qi deficiency – a lack of strong energy and metabolism
- Dampness – retention of fluids in the body
- Yang deficiency – a lack of warmth
- Blood deficiency – poor quality of blood
- Blood stagnation – poor circulation of blood
These patterns presented as a combined complex presentation, which is common with fertility issues.
Let’s look at each one in a little more depth.
Qi Deficiency and Dampness:
Sarah’s Qi (energy) deficiency presented itself with too little energy for her body to function at the level at which it should. Interestingly she never felt tired, but was instead very active every day..
A lack of energy meant that her body was unable to properly break down food, absorb nutrients and create new energy in an ongoing cycle. The lack of energy was also causing a build-up of fluids in her body (Dampness), as Qi is needed to properly detoxify and keep the circulation of fluids regulated.
Low energy = poor circulation.
Poor circulation = accumulation of fluids.
Accumulation of fluids = obstruction of normal processes and pathways of the body, including the fallopian tubes where the eggs travel to the uterus.
A lack of Qi is known as a ‘hypo’ situation in western medicine – a situation of underactivity of the body where your body becomes less able to fulfil its normal functions. When this happens, getting pregnant takes second place over your general health and well-being, as there is not enough energy for everything to work at its optimum level.
When fluid builds up in the fallopian tubes they can obstruct the movement of eggs, alter hormone levels, and also affect the other areas of the reproductive system such as the uterus and ovaries – obstructing ovulation and implantation.
Dampness is fluid and waste accumulation that collects in the body over time, and it is always problematic to good health.
Blood Deficiency and Blood Stagnation:
As Sarah’s Qi was weak it interfered with her ability to make healthy red blood cells, and her blood quality decreased. Once her blood quality reduced it was unable to circulate properly, which also contributed to the accumulation of fluids (Dampness) in the fallopian tube.
Circulation of the blood is directly linked to blood quality in Chinese medicine. Sarah’s poor blood quality created poor blood circulation that presented with a clotted menstrual flow that was dark in colour.
These 2 simple symptoms showed us that circulation in the reproductive area was poor, and that this would impact the circulation of all fluids including those around the fallopian tubes.
Poor blood flow is a common presentation in fallopian tube issues, particularly with accumulation of fluids.
When treating this it’s important to know that you can’t only increase blood flow, as the blood flow issue is mostly due to poor blood quality. Blood quality has to therefore be improved at the same time as increasing circulation. If you only increase blood circulation, you will further weaken the blood and the situation gets worse.
Another aspect of poor blood quality, and circulation, is the negative impact on egg health. If the blood is weak it can’t carry the right level of nutrients, and so the eggs are not properly or fully nourished. Over time this weakens the eggs, and reduces their quality. The same is true for sperm health.
Yang Deficiency and Low Progesterone:
Sarah’s body also showed signs of coldness, which indicated a Yang deficiency (lack of warmth). The strength of our Yang is directly related to our ability to produce the warming hormone, Progesterone.
Low Progesterone levels usually present from a deep and long term lack of Qi and Blood, which weakens the Kidney adrenal glands and ovaries – causing a reduction of progesterone after you ovulate.
Once we had the western medicine diagnosis, and the Chinese medicine root cause understood, we had our complete diagnosis.
We were then able to use this as a basis for deciding on how to effectively treat her and restore her fertility health.
- The 2-Part Action Plan:
Part 1: was to continue trying to get pregnant naturally, whilst working on Sarah’s health with Classical Chinese Medicine – to prepare for a natural pregnancy within 6-9 months.
We chose the following 3 of my 5 Fertility Foundations to work with:
- Treatment: Herbal Medicine prescriptions were personally created for each stage of Sarah’s menstrual cycle. This was to strengthen her Qi and Blood quality and increase blood circulation, whilst also working to strengthen her Yang and reduce her Dampness.
- Diet: was altered to support the herbal medicine treatment with a particular focus on foods for strengthening her Qi and clearing Dampness. We cleaned up her diet and removed all processed and flour based foods along with alcohol, sugar, caffeine and dairy. We increased her green vegetable and root vegetable intake too – making sure to get the balance of these right so that we didn’t aggravate the Dampness. Gradually we rebuilt her Qi reserves and blood quality, and worked to increase circulation whilst removing the dampness and waste.
- Lifestyle: We worked through key areas of activity versus rest and rejuvenation, that could support her Qi and strengthen it. This was interesting as she didn’t feel tired, and so some extra focus was put on getting to bed earlier and not overworking. This stopped her using her energy quicker than she was able to create and restore it.
Part 2: was our back-up plan that would be activated if a natural pregnancy didn’t happen within 9-months.
It was decided that if they reached this stage they would immediately progress to an IVF cycle with Sarah’s eggs.
The idea was that after having spent 9-months optimising her health and preparing for pregnancy, she would have a much better foundation for a possible IVF cycle.
Creating this 2 part action plan allowed us to balance Sarah’s fertility health naturally, whilst preparing her for a possible IVF cycle if it was needed.
Having an IVF preparation time would help with egg quality, future embryo development, and optimising implantation of a healthy IVF embryo.
By the end of September, after 9 months on the program, Sarah wasn’t pregnant but also wasn’t ready for IVF.
We agreed she would continue with another 3-months on my program and if she wasn’t pregnant she would start an IVF cycle in January.
On the 7th January, on my first day back in the clinic after Christmas, I got an email telling me she was pregnant naturally!
We continued to support her with Herbal Medicine, Diet and Lifestyle support through the first 20 weeks of pregnancy – to give her the best foundation for the pregnancy.
After that she continued to follow my pregnancy advice, and we stopped the herbal medicine.
She gave birth to a healthy baby at 39 years old.
Some personal words from Sarah:
“One week later my period still hadn’t arrived – I was pregnant naturally!!
What a shock and surprise we had. Just weeks before starting IVF we had finally done it!
I continued Andrew’s support through the pregnancy until week 20.
Andrew was always in the background to answer questions, offer guidance, and help if I needed anything throughout the whole pregnancy – even though I had stopped treatment at week 20.
He even kept me in the program secret Facebook group that is only for his private program clients.
39 weeks later my beautiful baby S. was born!
Now she is 6.5 months and is playing here beside me as I write my story for you to read 🙂
Needless to say, my husband has changed his mind about natural treatment!
We are forever grateful to Andrew for all the support and love during and after the program. Thank you.”
Sarah, 39, UK.
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The Natural Fertility Expert
Fertility at 40+