Sunday, September 27

IVF Florida - a great bunch of IVF Docs!

I recently returned from a wonderful trip with my associate, Robert Macdonald from Margate Florida where we visited with Drs. Ory, Maxson, Barrionuevo, Hoffman and their fantastic office manager, Clayton Lawrence. What a team!

First of all, these guys have an amazing facility, state-of-the-art is an understatement.

We know that more and more couples faced with the challenge of infertility are seeking complementary medicine to support their journey through IVF; IVF Florida recognizes their patients needs and supports their use of acupuncture. This in and of itself makes them ahead of state-of-the-art. Their 'integrative' approach to fertility enhancement represents the direction that many in-the-know IVF clinics are pursuing.

Kudos to all of you for your recognition of the fact that an East Meets West approach to fertility enhancement makes sense.

Dr. Mike Berkley

The Berkley Method - Acupuncture

The Berkley Method of Reproductive Wellness(TM) merges Western and complementary medical data enabling the creation of a complete and well rounded treatment protocol. All Berkley Method Certified Practitioners engage in on-going specialized training in Western reproductive science and complementary medicine for the treatment of those faced with fertility challenges.

The Berkley Method, in addition to its philosophy, includes a clinical aspect too. For example, I have started to compile specific acupuncture point protocols for specific pathologies. These point-prescriptions are effective. I have used them to achieve pregnancies for many years.

So far, I have written down my protocols for high fsh, vericoceles, low sperm count, pcos and endometriosis. More will follow.

These acupuncture point combinations must be used as guidelines, changed when necessary to fit the needs of the specific patient in treatment.

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Mike Berkley

Saturday, September 5

Acupuncture may help relieve PCOS

Exercise also improves symptoms and related risk factors, study finds
-- Kevin McKeever
FRIDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture and exercise may help women better handle the symptoms and risks that come with hormone imbalances caused by certain ovarian cysts, Swedish researchers report.
About one in 10 women of reproductive age have polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition that can start in the teen years and cause irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. Small immature cysts on the ovaries disrupt hormone production, causing excessive secretion of testosterone, the male sex hormone. In addition to infertility, it can increase a woman's odds of becoming obese and developing type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease, the study authors explained.
While the syndrome's cause remains mysterious, researchers believe it is linked to a highly active sympathetic nervous system, part of the body's internal controls that regulate several functions one cannot willingly manage, such as how wide one's pupils dilate.
In the study, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome were separated into three groups: one group received regular electro-acupuncture, in which weak electric current is sent through the needles; another group was given heart-rate monitors and told to exercise three or more times per week; the last group was given no additional treatment or instructions. After a four-month period, women in the acupuncture and exercise groups ended up with lower sympathetic nervous system activity, though the acupuncture group received additional benefits, the researchers found.
"Those who received acupuncture found that their menstruation became more normal. We could also see that their levels of testosterone became significantly lower, and this is an important observation, since elevated testosterone levels are closely connected with the increased activity in the sympathetic nervous system of women," study author Elisabet Stener-Victorin, an associate professor who has led the research at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said in a news release issued by the institution.
More information
The Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association has more about polycystic ovarian syndrome.
SOURCE: University of Gothenburg, news release, Aug. 27, 2009

Friday, September 4

Case Report - Ovulation after acupuncture in PCOS patient

EXETER, ENGLAND — A course of acupuncture was followed by ovulation in a 32-year-old woman with oligomenorrhea and primary infertility of 6 years' duration, Dr. Jin Xu said at a health care symposium sponsored by the University of Exeter.
Before undergoing acupuncture, the patient had “very infrequent” menstrual periods, and transvaginal ultrasound revealed polycystic ovaries. The patient's luteinizing hormone to follicle-stimulating hormone ratio exceeded 3:1, as is typical in polycystic ovary syndrome, and her testosterone level was elevated at 3.7 nmol/L.
Five daily sessions of electroacupuncture were performed on acupoints Guanyuan (Ren 4), Zhongji (Ren 3), Zigong (Extra 16), and Sanyinjiao (Sp 6), said Dr. Xu of the University of Oxford (England). Each acupuncture session lasted 25 minutes.
After the course of acupuncture, endometrial thickness increased from 4.5 mm to 8 mm by day 16, and a menstrual bleed was induced, Dr. Xu said.
Treatment was repeated in the next menstrual cycle, and the patient subsequently began to have regular periods. Three months later, she conceived and delivered a healthy baby girl at term, Dr. Xu said.
“It is likely that the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovary axis is involved in acupuncture-driven ovulation induction, but the mechanisms involved remain unclear,” he said.
Limited research has been conducted in this area, and it is unclear whether an actual effect on ovulation exists, Dr. Xu cautioned, adding that a clear need exists for randomized, controlled trials.
For more information on infertility, acupuncture and herbal medicine, visit

Thursday, September 3

Pre & Post Embryo Transfer with Acupuncture

A practitioner from our office can be available to provide onsite acupuncture services at your home, hotel or the reproductive endocrinologist’s office on the day of embryo transfer. Contact our office on the day of your egg retrieval or when you have a tentative transfer date and time so we can schedule this. Be sure that your reproductive endocrinologist and his or her staff are aware that you will be receiving acupuncture so that a room and an adequate amount of time are made available for you. The treatments last approximately twenty-five minutes each and are performed immediately before and after the transfer.

Acupuncture After Embryo Transfer Women who continue treatment after embryo transfer throughout the first trimester have higher ongoing pregnancy rates. Why is this? It is the implanted blastocyst (your tiny growing baby) that sends a hormone called human-chorionic-gonadotropin to the corpus-luteum. It is the corpus-luteum that is responsible for the secretion of progesterone, an important chemical for keeping you pregnant.

By continuing to stimulate blood flow to the blastocyst, acupuncture helps to maintain the health and strength of the blastocyst-corpus-luteum relationship, thereby maintaining the proper level of progesterone. Then, after six weeks, your placenta takes over the role of secreting progesterone. Acupuncture stimulates blood flow to the placenta helping it to do its job of protecting and nourishing your growing baby. One major reason for miscarriage is inappropriated blood flow to the placenta.

READ THIS STUDY! ‘Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial’ by Lars G. Westergaard, M.D., Ph.D., Qunhui Mao, M.D., Marianne Krogslund, Steen Sandrini, Suzan Lenz, M.D., and Jergen Grinsted, M.D., Ph.D

See, e.g., Harefuah. 2003 Apr;142(4):297-300, 316; Obstet Gynecol. 1992 Nov;80(5):852-42. See, e.g., Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2001 Dec 17;113(23-24):942-6; Minerva Ginecol. 2003 Dec;55(6):503-
10; Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Feb;73(2):286-90.

Tuesday, September 1

High FSH

Elevated FSH Women are born with all the eggs that they will ever have, and they lose them constantly throughout life until menopause when few remain.

The term "ovarian reserve" is useful in the field of reproductive medicine. It is an estimate of the reserve of the woman's ovaries, her remaining egg supply. A woman's ovarian reserve is her remaining fertility potential.

There are several ways to attempt to predict egg quantity and quality as well as trying to estimate chances for conception with various forms of fertility treatment. Female age and day 3 FSH levels are two very important variables. The response of the ovaries to ovarian stimulation with injectable gonadotropins (FSH) is another very important variable that affects the overall chance for conception when in vitro fertilization is attempted.

Blood transports hormones from the endocrine system to target cells or organs within the body, including the hypothalamus, anterior pituitary and ovaries, the three essential organs necessary to achieve pregnancy. At The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and fertility massage are used specifically to increase blood flow to the ovaries and the uterine lining thereby improving reproductive rates.

If FSH is elevated, the first order of business should be to increase and enhance blood flow to the reproductive organs so that proper hormonal distribution the pelvic bowl is accomplished. At The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness, by employing acupuncture and our proprietary herbal formulas, we have successfully increased blood circulation to the ovaries and lowered FSH levels while simultaneously keeping estradiol (E2) between 25 and 65pg/ml. In other words, our treatments don’t falsely suppress FSH levels, but rather, regulate them.

Further, we have repeatedly seen a reduction in the uterine artery pulsatility index after treatment with acupuncture and herbs. The pulsatility index is a method of determining the amount of blood flow to the uterus via the uterine arteries. The pulsatility index should be <>3 rarely achieve conception.

Via the release of beta-endorphins from the brain, the sympathetic nervous system is affected and vascular modulation occurs with dilation of the uterine arteries, thereby reducing uterine artery impedance and increasing blood flow to the reproductive environment.

Why Natural Fertility Medicine Works

Natural fertility medicine focuses on an holistic approach to treatment which means treating the whole person not just their ‘illness.’ We treat the underlying cause of a medical issue, not just the symptoms. We treat to affect cure, not to suppress symptoms.

Acupuncture, herbs, nutritional counseling and fertility massage all to help minimize undesired side effects of pharmacological substances.
Acupuncture, herbs, nutritional counseling and fertility massage all strengthen and balance your general health helping to make A.R.T. procedures more effective. Pregnancy is often achievable even in the absence of IUI or IVF. "We work at getting your reproductive environment as healthy as possible and really ready for a successful implantation. At The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness, your reproductive function will be significantly improved helping your dream of having a baby become a reality.