By Paul J.O'Brien B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Adv. Dip. OBB, Cert Clin. Med, Cert.CHM, M.AFPA, M.ETCMA, M.C.Th.A.
Endometriosis and IVF is one of the primary reasons IVF was developed, it was to get around the issue of Endometriosis. However, studies, including a 2013 meta-analysis of 27 studies of 8,984 women going through IVF found that poor implantation and pregnancy rates was significantly associated with those women suffering from severe endometriosis. (1)
In Vitro Fertilization is a fertility procedure that was first successfully conducted by Dr. Robert Edwards, an embryologist; and Dr. Patrick Steptoe, a gynaecologist. The first-ever “test tube” baby named Louise Brown was born in England on July 25th, 1978. Since then, the technology has been further advanced and developed by physicians and embryologists.
Endometriosis and IVF is an alternative used for women who otherwise may not be able to have children. In Vitro is actually a Latin phrase that means “in a glass.” As such, this procedure involves the fertilization of an egg cell with a sperm cell outside the female human body. Endometriosis and IVF bypassses the problem that endometriosis can cause for fertilisation.
Medications are given to a woman to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. After extracting the woman's eggs cells, the fertilization is manually done using a “culture dish” like a test tube, beaker, or petri dish. The dish is then placed in an incubator. Two to three days later, three to five embryos are transferred to the woman's uterus. Pregnancy can be confirmed using blood tests about 13 days after egg aspiration. It can also be confirmed by ultrasound 30 to 40 days after aspiration. The entire procedure is done approximately for three weeks.
And while a large part of my practice is supporting Endometriosis and IVF procedures I spend a great deal of time focused on minimising the terrible side effects and long term damage the procedure can induce such as bleeding, infection, and damage to the bowel or other organs from the process. In addition there are other concerns, for instance ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This condition affects up to 10%-20% of women who undergo IVF.
The symptoms of OHSS can be mild to severe. In mild cases, a woman may suffer from bloating, mild pain or cramping, and weight gain. The severe cases cause significant weight gain (for instance, gaining 10+ pounds in a few days), shortness of breath, and severe pain or swelling in the abdomen even death (2, 3, 4, 5). And why risk that in this case? What success does the IVF promise?
The live birth rate for one cycle varies by maternal age. According to the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART), the live birth rate per IVF cycle is:
That's not great.
In addition to the above methods there are additional procedures in Western Medicine for treating endometriosis. For instance the Mirena IUD, a coil inserted for 5 years, that has side effects including increased risk of pain, ovarian cysts, weight gain, low libido etc; or Aromatase inhibitors, an experimental treatment used for the last 10 years to treat breast cancer. Finally there is hysterectomy .
A total hysterectomy is one in which the uterus and cervix are removed. Subtotal hysterectomy is one in which the uterus only is removed; a total hysterectomy plus removal of the fallopian tubes and one or both ovaries. Many women choose to remove only the uterus since the removal of the ovaries can lead to surgical menopause), which of course prevents conception and ends fertility, so I don't include them here.
Ultimately, the western medical approach asks a woman to:
And what is more troubling - none of this - none of it, including Endometriosis and IVF, fixes the underlying cause of Endometriosis. It does not deal with the reasons behind the imbalances. It does not deal with WHY the hormones have gone crazy or WHY the endometrial tissue is acting in the manner it does. As a result, endometriosis treated in the above manner simply, often comes back.
Further, as Traditional Chinese Medical physician, acupuncturist, and herbalist I see nothing but additional issues and complications with the Western Clinical treatment method. For example:
There is a better way to deal with Endometriosis then this.
You deserve better.
There is a way to treat endometriosis and resolve the infertility issues it creates with far less trauma, pain and practically no side effects. And again, I point out, one that has a 91.9% success rate. So let's look at that alternative...
If you want to go to the next level of detail and look at in-depth self-treatment, you should check out Before IVF: Everything You Need to Know ABout IVF. How it works, why it doesn't and what you can do to ensure your IVF Success. Written from a holistic viewpoint I go into greater detail about what causes Endometriosis, how to prevent, diagnose the different types and understand your body and your health. More than that I'll walk you through, step by step on how to diagnose the exact type of endometriosis you have, how it will affect your fertility - but, most importantly, what to about it! Packed with pressure point exercises, self massage techniques, foods, recipe guides and more, this is the best way to avoid IVF and get pregnant with Endometriosis, naturally.
If you’re trying for a family or dealing with Endometriosis and want to eliminate those symptoms and give each cycle your best the best possible shot of success and dramatically improve your fertility and reproductive health, to have a happy healthy baby, then …
(1) Harb H, Gallos I, Chu J et al. The effect of endometriosis on in vitro fertilization outcome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BJOG 013;120:1308-20.
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