Sabine is registered as an acupuncturist with the Association of Acupuncture Clinicians, and also a member of the Acupuncture Fertility Network, and has been practicing for many years. Sabine is also trained to work as a Chinese Medicine practitioner.
Read on to learn more about how acupuncture can support your fertility journey......
Tell me a bit about yourself and what your journey was to bring you to work in fertility support.
About 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I went down the usual route of seeing a consultant, getting medications etc.. but I reacted very badly to them and quickly had to stop using them.
The shock came when the consultant then told me there was nothing she could do for me. I was still in pain. I was worried about my fertility. So, I started to look around at what else I could do.
This is when I came across acupuncture and nutrition. Changing my diet was the first thing I did (It was way less scary!), Switching to eating mackerel every morning helped control a lot of my pain symptoms. I then started to have acupuncture to regulate my periods and again, things settled down quickly. I went on to have two children without any major issues.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is about using very fine needles to rebalance the body and support the self-healing abilities of the body. Needles are inserted in specific point in order to influence tissues, organs, glands so that the body can get back in balance.
What areas of fertility do you provide support with?
Acupuncture can be used both as a stand-alone therapy and as an adjunct to treatments such as IVF, IUI etc…
Acupuncture can be used to prepare the body by rebalancing hormones, increasing the blood flow towards the uterus and ovaries and support pregnancy. It can help with egg quality or sperm quality too.
If acupuncture is used during an IVF, the treatments aim to support the IVF itself so women can get the best response possible from their IVF.
How long do you normally work with individuals for, and how frequently?
I like to see women for at least 3 months. We do some weekly treatments to start with and sometimes, depending on what’s going on, move to fortnightly treatments. This is our minimum window to work on egg quality and rebalance hormones.
What do you think is one of the biggest myths / misconceptions that people have about acupuncture?
That it will hurt!
I know it will sound strange but acupuncture is a very gentle therapy. So gentle that I have also been treating children as young as 6 years old and they are happy to come back to see me again!
More often than not, people feel very relaxed and feel themselves sink into the couch. Many doze off when they have the needles in and some people fall asleep altogether!
What is one of the biggest changes / improvements that you’ve seen when people work with you that may support them in getting pregnant?
Probably one of the biggest changes I can see is when women are suffering from endometriosis and are coming with very heavy, flooding periods. The type that makes it hard for them to go to work, both because of the bleeding and because of the pain. Seeing the pain subside and the period becoming ‘normal’ again is amazing. What is even more amazing is that, often, this is the time when those women get pregnant too.
If you could give 3 pieces of advice to support someone on their fertility journey, what would they be?
1- Remember to have fun!
Trying to get pregnant can be a long journey and it’s easy to get lost in the ‘this is our fertile window and we need to have sex’ feeling. I think remembering that you are still a couple, to still have fun in the bedroom rather than making sex a chore can make the whole process more bearable.
2- Get proper advice from a specialist rather than blogs and forums.
I’ve seen so many women coming to see me eating only certain foods, taking a huge list of supplements, thinking they have to do some intense exercise such as HIT etc… all on the back of reading other women’s experiences. The issue is, we are all individuals. What worked for someone might actually be detrimental for you. It’s better to check with the appropriate therapists.
3- Prepare ahead of the time you want to start trying.
Looking at how you are eating, getting support as you stop taking the Pill, getting good recommendations on your lifestyle (from exercise to relaxation methods to chemicals in your house) can all make the process much easier.
Sabine's clinic is currently not taking on any new clients, however, you can go to the Acupuncture Fertility Network (https://acupuncture-fertility.org/) to find your closest therapist who are all trained to postgraduate level, and members of a professional organisation.