Fertility

As we enter into Summer, the season of fullness and joy, we thought it would be the perfect time to share what IFM has to offer for male and female infertility.

Dr.Brian Dougherty is our Fertility Specialist and we sat down with him to ask some questions about fertility and How He can Help those Struggling with Infertility Here is our Conversation:

Good afternoon, Dr. Dougherty. What can you tell our readers about your experience in treating infertility?

Dr. Dougherty: Hello! First, if I may, in order to provide context I'd like to talk about how I view the treatment of infertility. The way I like to explain my approach to patients is that in the ancient East they viewed medicine as tending a garden, and not like going to a mechanic. And so, I look at the whole person, from past experiences, lifestyle, and all symptoms no matter how small. All of these aspects of a person fit together into a pattern that I then use to diagnose and treat. Ultimately my goal is to get the patient as healthy as possible, with their body running as efficiently as possible, and then let Nature take its course. I've seen a lot of clinical success as a result. 

As we also know, sometimes an additional kind of intervention may be needed, and modern Western science has helped us to achieve amazing things for fertility. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are two of the most well-known for their efficacy. About 80% of the fertility patients I see are in the IUI or IVF process and come to get additional support. As a result, I have extensive experience in working with modern fertility practices in an integrative way.

What exactly takes place in this "garden tending" as you describe it? What can a fertility patient expect during treatment?
 
Dr. Dougherty: Well, I like the analogy because the use of acupuncture and herbs can often seem very subtle and gentle much like pruning or training a vine. It is only by looking at the garden over time can one see the major shifts and positive changes (and of course the eventual harvest). For this reason, I encourage my patients to keep track of their basal body temperature so we can see how things are progressing over time. It provides an objective look at the healing process. 
In addition to acupuncture and herbal medicine, I also provide things to do at home, such as nutritional changes and exercises to enhance one's fertility. Just as each individual is different and the causes of their infertility will be unique to them, my approach is also individualized. 
 
Can a patient only come for fertility if they haven't tried IVF?
 
Dr. Dougherty: Anyone is welcome who is attempting to get pregnant. Whether I'm the first stop, the last stop, or simply to help the effectiveness of IUI or IVF, I can help. Men also have seen positive results in increasing their sperm motility and mobility. I have the benefit of an integrative approach that can see through the lens of both Eastern and Western Medicine which can prevent headaches or save money in the long run. 
 
Anything else that you think our readers should know?
 
Dr. Dougherty: This is the perfect time of year to begin something new, or to renew plans you've had. If you are in the process of attempting to become pregnant, please make an appointment with me today. Let's start the year on a path towards possibility. 
Author
IFM Integrative Family Medicine

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