Dr Priscilla Kerr ‘s Efficacy numbers of treating Infertility with acupuncture

Patients and Colleagues asked me to share my latest successful rates dealing with Infertility. As an accredited TCM Fertility Specialist I have been working hard to gather data and information to give a better idea to all my readers. It s not very simple to find time to do that when you re not just a simple Business owner but you have a family and others needs to take care. So I apologize that took me few years but I ‘m ready to share some fresh news with you.

Did you know that roughly 16% (or 1 in 6) couples in Canada experience infertility ?  This number has doubled since the 1980s.

The WELLNESS NEWS-WINNIPEG ( https://www.wellnessnews.ca/community/down/?community-slug=down&search-type=news) August-2019 did an article on my numbers and I want to give more details about it. Updating my numbers  I helped 589 patients who were  struggled to get pregnant to be successful by November 05, 2019. From these numbers my oldest patient being 46 and youngest 25 years old. These number are viable pregnancies , the miscarriages,  ectopic pregnancies or still birth I will be discussing later.

It s not easy to keep track of every single patient I see but I try my best.  In the past 12 years over 60% of my cases I was able to follow the patient to the end of her pregnancy but sometimes patients don’t come back for more treatments and I lose control if everything went well to the very end.  The average numbers of sessions of diagnosed infertile patients before they get pregnancy are between  7- 15  sessions. I had patients that had 2 treatments and got pregnant and I had patients that took 6 months or more. It depends of the amount of complications we are dealing with.

In my clinic by Nov 05, 2019  we had 15,815 acupuncture treatments what included consultation and sessions what does not mean 15,815 different patients. A patient comes in average 12 sessions , some of them comes after the pregnancy to prevent postpartum depression or to help milk production, to treat mastitis or to help for baby number 2 or 3. These numbers of patients are also related to many other problems that I treat other than infertility. Before I specialized in infertility I was a pain specialist and I saw a lot of patients related to this field.

I was not tracking my infertility patients when I started my business. Most of my cases were pain related. Than you only need to treat one ” impossible ” infertility  case to get NON stop referrals. The word spread very fast when I noticed 50% of my Clinic cases became infertility and I decided it was time to start tracking. Couple years ago our data system at Manitoba Clinic changed from being paper to computerized.  That was a game changer to track Patient’s data and it became easier to find a file on ” search” instead of pulling hundreds on paper files to find cases of ” infertility “.

Since they changed to be 100%  digital they hired many individuals to scan thousand of charts into the system and I could find cases from when I started working here more than 12 years ago.

The criteria I used was to separate the patients that were diagnosed by a physician with infertility and the ones that came by their own desire without an infertility diagnosis.

What is considered infertility these days?

  • the inability to conceive after having regular unprotected sex, after one year for women who are under 35 years old and after 6 months for women over 35 years old.
  • the inability to contribute biologically to a conception or
  • the inability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth

Because I have been communicating with Fertility Clinics in Canada and abroad , Gynecologists and Family Doctors on regular basis 70 % of my patients came by referral or could be they are couples who received an infertility diagnosis and decided to take the matter on their own hands and do acupuncture.

What means these patients could be already scheduled for IVF/IUI or they were on the waiting list to see a Fertility Doctor.  If we count everything: –  all the unsuccessful cases, failure of IVF, miscarriage, still birth we need to consider the total of 811 patients, male infertility or female infertility, diagnosed or not .  I saw much more than 811 patients who struggled to get pregnant in the past 12 years and 1/2 of my practice at PRAIRIE MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE CLINIC at Manitoba Clinic but when you decide to share your successful rates you must be certain of their outcomes from start to the end. I can’t include on my rates the cases that I  stop following up because they stop coming in the first trimester and I don’t know if they end up having their babies or not.

Sometimes patients tell they got pregnant by email or phone call and sometimes they disappear and I only find up meeting them at a supermarket with their baby or toddler. It is a bit embarrassing.  It happens more often than you can think. I don’t fully understand why some couples don’t like to give feedback to their Doctor and say a simple ” by the way ” the treatment worked, I’m pregnant . That would help me to give a more accurate successful rates but you can’t force people to give scientific collaboration. You can only ask for their help  and if they feel like sharing, you take note.

Before we discuss each group if you are planning to enroll in a Fertility Treatment that involves IVF you might want to know the Success Rates that The Canadian Assisted Reproductive Technologies Registry (CARTR) published lately once the IVF clinics in Canada send their yearly results for compilation into a national average.

RESULTS:  http://fertilitymatters.ca/success-rates/

Going back to discuss the groups from the 589 patients who became pregnant with the help of Acupuncture I separated  into ” diagnosed group ”  and ”  not diagnosed” with  infertile .

408 of the diagnosed group became pregnant. And the remaining 181 viable pregnancies haven’t receive a diagnosis by their physician yet.

Sometimes patients have never been to a specialist to diagnose them with Infertility or could be they are on the 1-2 years period trying naturally to receive a diagnosis. So these ones I separate in the group of Natural pregnancies because they did not receive any treatment other than Acupuncture.

Conclusion : Overall  my successful rates are 72.62% considering that 408 pregnancies received an ” Infertility diagnosis ” by their Physicians And 181 pregnancies  were ” Not Yet diagnosed ” with  Infertility and had a natural pregnancy with no drugs or procedures. 

If you ask me how many IVF/IUI related pregnancies I helped ?  They were 307 from 408 diagnosed Infertile cases who became pregnant with the help of acupuncture and others fertility treatments.

From the total of 811 of patients ( between 25-46 years old ) my results showed that 145 patients did not get pregnant by the time I’m publishing this review. But 77 got pregnant ( patients between 37-46 years old ) but most of them suffered miscarriage between 6- 21 weeks and 5 cases had ectopic pregnancies . I had only one case of still birth on a lady who was in her 30’s who went overdue with healthy issues involved. I had 2 couples who had twins, one couple had both boys and the most recent one had a boy and a girl. The first one was IUI related the other IVF who was my most difficult case in 18 years of Practice. You can check my Facebook Business page to read my updates. @PrairieMedicalAcupunctureClinic

I just want to add a comment for the miscarriage Group :  50% of these patients who suffered miscarriages were not doing acupuncture as recommended. They got pregnant and abandoned the treatment but communicated with me afterwards telling me the outcome. And 27% of this group came back for treatments to try to get pregnant again and once they succeeded  I followed  them up  to Term ( 37 -40 weeks )  and they were successful. So once you get pregnant DON’T stop your treatment to decrease the rates of miscarriage.

Causes of infertility

Infertility is both a male and a female concern. It can be the result of a female factor, a male factor, or a combination of both.

  • 30% of the time, the cause is in men
  • 40% of the time, the cause is in women
  • 20% of the time, the cause is a mix of both male and female factors
  • 10% of the time, no explanation can be determined for the cause

Source: Government of Canada

What is my overall advise ?

If you re under 35 years old who is trying to get pregnant for the past one-two years with no success than PLEASE, Go see your Doctor/ MD first. See if you dealing with a medical condition that you end up needing to get a surgery or procedure that will improve your fertility. Also is very important to see what is going on with the sexual hormones and analyse the male’s sperm very carefully , sometimes a Sperm Swim-Up test is needed on top of the basic sperm analysis .Tell your partner  that  The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends a semen sample should be taken no less than two to three days after sexual intercourse, and no more than seven days. ASRM also recommends that at least two samples are collected, taken about a month apart. Due to my Medical background I receive most of patients files to see their chances to get pregnant naturally or I would advise them to pursue IVF/IUI or use sperm donor or egg donor. Every case has to be analysed with the maximum Medical information as possible. So GO see your MD.

Another example to seek help  is that  if you have Endometriosis , fibroid or anatomical problems that affects the shape of the uterus , abnormality in sperm count, morphology or motility , thyroid issues, lupus, anemia, diabetes, heart problems, hypertension , kidney diseases and gastrointestinal conditions like crohn’s disease you can get better results when you listen both Western and Eastern Medicine. I rather treat a patient that got proper diagnosis and I know what I’m dealing with instead  to treat the patient in the complete darkness . Patients that come to me by themselves I normally send them back to their MD for investigations when I can see that there are others things involved .Now I don’t have issues to explain myself to the Doctors because in Winnipeg at least, they know my job. But that is my choice of approach, probably due to my Medical background, I want to work with my colleagues because I totally believe TCM and Western Medicine complete each other.

If you re over 35 years old it s different story, if you passed the 6 months mark trying come as fast as you can for Acupuncture and I will do my best to communicate with your physician and get all the investigation done while we have the treatment done, because the eggs reserve can be compromised and we can’t wait any longer. Timing  and aging has a BIG factor in the patients successful rates. The reason why my successful rates declined from when I started my Statistics was the fact that the majority of my patients were between 25-37 years old. Once the word spread that I was being successful in treating difficult cases of Infertility It changed my predominant clientele to early 30’s to late 30’s  and several at 40’s. Another main factor was that I was receiving cases not for their first IVF try, but they had at  least 2 failed IVF before they seek my help. Its new reality for Canadians when they decided to have kids later in life.

If you are struggling with Infertility and you know someone who is all I can say from personal experience is that it hurts and hurts a LOT. It can ruin relationships and be a financial struggle where couples invested what they had and what they don’t have in FERTILITY treatments. Try a natural approach what is Acupuncture and if you re planning to do IVF/ IUI there is one more reason to do Acupuncture at the same time, to make your investment to have a bigger chance to become real. In one of the most famous studies, German researchers found that 42% of the women who had pre- and post-IVF acupuncture conceived, while only 26% of the women who did not receive acupuncture conceived. In conclusion, acupuncture as a treatment for infertility shows great results both in man and women. Acupuncture can be considered as successful treatment in restoring fertility in the patients, by improving the sperm quality and ovaries function and balancing the endocrine system and hormones. Why to choose an Acupuncturist who is trained as Fertility Specialist ? Because it can be crucial in to define the reasons of why that couple is struggling to conceive trying naturally or with assisted Fertility procedures being man and woman, woman and woman, man and man. Everyone deserves attention in their dreams to become a parent. Consulting with someone experienced and trained specifically for that field will increase your chance to receive the right answer, proper diagnosis and the proper treatment. You deserve the best. Spread the word and see a Fertility Acupuncture Specialist.

Here are some highlights of Acupuncture helping Infertile couples :

  • A report released in 2008 by a team of doctors from the University of Maryland and the University of Amsterdam reviewing seven different studies since 2002 (involving 1,366 women) concluded that women who had acupuncture while undergoing IVF were 65% more likely to have a successful embryo transfer, compared to those that had no treatment or were given “fake” acupuncture.
  • Acupuncture increases blood flow to the uterus, which is thought to relax the uterus. Uterine contractions can occur after embryo transfer and could cause expulsion of the embryo(s) from the uterus.
  • Acupuncture can regulate hormones and neurotransmitters that control quality of eggs and normalize ovulation and the menstrual cycle.
  • Acupuncture can lowers stress hormones to bring on relaxation.
  • Some medical experts believe that the effects of acupuncture on fertility are due to placebo effect. At least one study has shown that women who have fake acupuncture (needles are not put into actual acupuncture points) did not experience increased pregnancy rates.
  • Women who receive acupuncture while undergoing IVF have half the miscarriage rate (8% vs 14%) than those not receiving acupuncture, as well as a significantly lower ectopic pregnancy rate (0% vs 9%).
  • In one of the most famous studies, German researchers found that 42% of the women who had pre- and post-IVF acupuncture conceived, while only 26% of the women who did not receive acupuncture conceived
  • Article Sources:

    WHO Laboratory Manual for the Examination and Processing of Human Sperm. Fifth Edition.
    Cleveland Clinic: Drugs and Male Fertility.
    Sandro C Esteves, Ricardo Miyaoka, and Ashok Agarwal. “An update on the clinical assessment of the infertile male.” Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2011 April; 66(4): 691-700. doi: 10.1590/S1807-59322011000400026.
    http://triofertility.com/?s=acupuncture  – Fertility Clinic in Toronto.
    The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2005;90(4):E2. https://doi.org/10.1210/jcem.90.4.9997. [Google Scholar] Shi J. Boosting Fertility and Conception with Chinese Herbs. Acupuncture, and Diet. 2018. www.vitalitymagazine.com .
    Dharmananda S. Chinese herbs and fertility. 1996. www.itmonline.org .
    Zhu J, Arsovska B, Kozovska K. Case Report-Male Infertility Acupuncture Treatment. Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research. 2017;3(11) [Google Scholar] Med Sci. 2018 Sep 25; 6(9): 1685–1687. Published online 2018 Sep 19. doi: 10.3889/oamjms.2018.379  PMCID: PMC6182526 PMID: 30337989 Acupuncture Treatment for Fertility
    Jihe Zhu,1 Blagica Arsovska,1,2 and Kristina Kozovska1,
    healthycanadians.gc.ca
    Fertility Matters Canada http://fertilitymatters.ca/what-is-infertility
    https://healthcare.utah.edu/fertility/when-should-you-see-a-fertility-specialist.php
    PMCID: PMC4236334 PMID: 25038176  The effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for poor semen quality in infertile males: a systematic review and meta-analysis Ui Min Jerng,1,* Jun-Young Jo,2,3,* Seunghoon Lee,4 Jin-Moo Lee,2 and Ohmin Kwon5