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IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and Intra-cytoplasmic sperm insertion (ICSI) are common treatment of fertility


According the National Survey of Family Growth, 6.7 million (10.9%) of women ages 15-44 have problems conceiving. 1.5 million (6%) of married women in this age bracket are infertile. The physiological process is extremely complex as there are a myriad of determining factors such as mechanical function and hormone balancing. While infertility is often viewed as a female problem, the causes of infertility are equally distributed among men and women – each sex comprising 30-40% of fertility problems. For many couples the cause of their infertility is not able to be identified using conventional medical diagnostics because it may be due to factors such as toxins, nutritional deficiencies, lifestyle, and problems with energy flow and stress.

Treatment Options

The most common treatment options for infertility involve medically assisted procedures such as IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and Intra-cytoplasmic sperm insertion (ICSI). Conventional medicine’s strengths lie in its ability to diagnose and treat structural problems that lead to infertility.

However, many contributing factors are not addressed in conventional fertility treatments such as environmental, metabolic, energetic, dietary and emotional. These can all be primary endocrine disruptors causing DNA damage and mutation and create a negative uterine environment unsuitable for healthy fetal development. Due to this, many reproductive physicians are now recommending natural approaches such as acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutrition to complement standard fertility protocols.

Integrated Medicine Approach to Fertility

Most people assume that infertility needs to be treated with conventional intervention and do not consider that it can stem from underlying issues such as diet, imbalances in the endocrine system, subclinical infections, digestive disorders, exposure to environmental toxins and use of prescription drugs.

An integrated approach offers advanced hormone, toxin and nutrition testing along with comprehensive solutions including hormone therapy, detoxification, personalized diets, and herbal support. In addition to balancing the physical body, the mind plays a significant role in healthy conception. Stress is directly linked to infertility. Stress creates a fight-or-flight response and the body releases stress hormones such as cortisol, which in turn upsets the hormonal balance needed for ovulation, fertilization, and implantation of an egg. Acupuncture, herbs and stress management techniques can soothe the nervous system and help the body and mind to relax.

Often, couples who believe that IVF or IUI is their best path to pregnancy spend several months working with us beforehand in order to address the issues listed above and prepare for a healthy conception.

Preconception Care – Prevention is Better than Cure

Having optimal preconception health translates to fewer problems during pregnancy and a healthier, more vital baby. Preconception care is usually recommended for a minimal period of 4 months and focuses on the health of both parents.

Women’s Reproductive Health & Fertility

Many women’s infertility issues can be improved naturally, including:

Digestive Disorders Ovarian Cysts/ PCOS
Early Menopause Subclinical Infections
Endometriosis Thyroid Problems
Hormonal Imbalances Toxin Overload
Irregular Menstruation Weight
Nutritional Deficiencies Yeast Overgrowth

Men’s Reproductive Health & Fertility

Men’s infertility issues which can be treated naturally, include:

Fatigue, Stress and Anxiety Prostate Conditions
Genito-urinary infections Sperm Count, motility, morphology
Hormone imbalance STDs
Low libido Toxin Overload
Poor Digestion Yeast Overgrowth

How We Can Help

At Merge Medical Center, our goal is not only to help a woman become pregnant but also to prepare her for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. We treat the whole person and seek to remove the sources of imbalance. Being healthy, having balanced hormones and maintaining strong digestion are key factors in creating a healthy pregnancy and vital baby. We focus on improving your overall health as well as treating any conditions that may negatively impact your pregnancy.

We have an acupuncturist, Dana Pappas MHA, Lic.Ac., and Dr. Lovegrove, Board Certified in Family Medicine on staff. Dr. Lovegrove has given prenatal care to hundreds of expecting mothers and delivered hundreds of babies. Dana has worked in a woman’s health clinic focusing on fertility and prenatal care. Dana is also trained as a Doula and assisted women to prepare for a natural birth and catered to their postpartum needs with the use of herbs, nutrition and lifestyle coaching. We take a multi-pronged, holistic approach to fertility in the Charleston area, utilizing the following approaches: