Should you take a herbal formula to optimize your chances at a viable pregnancy and should you tell your doctor?

One of the areas which may cause significant frustration for you and can create doubt about yourself and what you are doing to improve your fertility comes up frequently in our discussions with patients that come into the clinic.  I wanted to discuss one particular scenario this week so hopefully you will feel prepared to respond comfortably if this situation should come up for you.

Have you ever gone into a doctor’s office and told them you were doing something considered alternative or complimentary, i.e. eating healthy, taking fertility herbs, doing acupuncture, taking supplements, or starting meditation, etc only to have them tell you that won’t work and it’s just a waste of money?

Our patients tell us this happens more often than you would think and not only with general practitioners and primary care doctors but also with IVF clinics. 

These comments really knocked my patients for a loop. Here they thought they were doing something good for themselves and they were feeling better for it.  And with one comment and maybe a roll of the eyes, they felt shattered and in some cases foolish. And many times when the partner is there it can cause a major argument between the couple when they leave the office if the partner wasn’t on board about doing these things in the first place.

I am not here to say  all complimentary therapies are going to help you now. And I am not going to tell you that you should listen to every person that says they can do something to improve your fertility.  But what I can tell you is that by addressing every aspect of a person, not just the ovaries and uterus, or just the sperm for the male, couples coming to our clinic and following all of our recommendations have been able to create over 6000 babies (from many couples who were told they would never have children) and for the vast majority, estimated over 90% of women that we see report they feel better overall by following our program even if they haven’t become pregnant yet.

I share these last statements with you because this is what (in so many words) 3 of the 4 couples said to their doctors about what they were doing and it at least 2 of the cases it really made the doctors think.

These two patients basically said to their physicians that they have spent thousands of dollars utilizing IVF to create a baby and they still didn’t have a baby. So why doesn’t he/she consider that a waste of money?  They also pointed out that IVF medications made them feel less than healthy and in one case the medications “really messed up my cycle and contributed to significant weight gain”.

On the other hand, the complimentary modalities they were using helped them feel more balanced and healthy overall.  So how could the physician say that these modalities which cost significantly less and help them feel better are a waste of money?  Thousands of dollars had been spent with that physician and there was not only no viable pregnancy yet, but there was almost certainly emotional and physiological upset.

Many IVF physicians will admit it is a numbers game and encourage their patients to keep trying (depending on their age) or look at donors if they are older.  And in the numbers game, how much money are couples spending?

I am not saying that a couple shouldn’t do IVF. And I am not saying that IVF is a waste of money.  As a matter of fact, we refer people to IVF doctors in our area (that are supportive of their patients utilizing complimentary modalities) when either they express interest in this or when we really feel this is their only option. We have great relationships with IVF doctors.  And we have IVF physicians and GP’s and primary care doctors referring patients to us.

What I am saying though is there can be quite a double standard in the medical profession.  It’s as if some of these doctors are saying, “Its okay to spend thousands of dollars with me because I am a doctor and know what is best, even though you haven’t gotten the result and you might be feeling worse. But don’t waste your money on something that makes you feel better”

Instead, wouldn’t it be great if the conversation went something like this,

Patient:  HI Doctor, I just wanted to let you know that I have been taking herbs, supplements, doing meditation classes, and doing acupuncture since I saw you last.

Doctor:  How have you been feeling since taking these things?  Have you noticed an improvement?  And if so what areas do you notice an improvement in?

Or if you haven’t noted an improvement then it would be a good idea to discuss this with that practitioner to see what they are working on and hopefully together we can help you make this happen.

There are actually doctors out there who are like this…Sometimes it just takes a bit of effort to find them.

There are some doctors that tell patients, “Do what you feel is best for you and what you feel most comfortable with. Or if you think it’s helping then keep taking it. Just let us know what you are taking to make sure there are no conflicts with anything else I may give you.”  So there are definitely some out there and you can check our list of “Doctors that patients have recommended” in our Fertility tips section.

And just to let you know, there are some complimentary medicine providers that say similar things about cost, etc to get you to use only their modalities. In my opinion it’s important to find a team of people from both conventional and complimentary areas to help you create the best health and overall well being that you can create in order to create the life you long for.

So can fertility herbs help you?  Or are they dangerous?  Well the fact is when you go to a knowledgeable experience provider who understands herbs, how they impact your system, where to source reputable brands AND are well versed in any conflicts that can arise when you are taking other medications, you will often be pleasantly surprised in how they do help.  

Hopefully you can feel comfortable having a discussion like the above with your doctor if they bring up the comment about you wasting your money.  Keep in mind this conversation isn’t only for you but for the sake of others in your same position as well.  It could be you that helps them open open their eyes and see the other side of their comments.

Feel free to share this Fertility Tip and reference Stacey The Baby Maker Roberts as the articles author.