Reproductive Reflexology for preconceptual care & assisted conception

Reproductive Reflexology is a natural, non intrusive therapy that can be used as a stand-alone treatment for natural fertility or with conventional treatment such as, Clomid, fully medicated cycles of IUI, IVF, ICSI, Frozen Embryo Transfer or donor cycles. This relaxing therapy aims to reduce stress levels whilst helping with anxiety and tension.

As a Member of the Association of Reproductive Reflexologists (ARR) I am specially trained to work alongside medicated cycles using a treatment protocol that we believe works to enhance the medications efficacy.

At Cardiff Reflexology my aim is to provide a safe, caring and supportive environment where couples can discuss their fertility journey to date in confidential setting. The more information we have the clearer the picture can become.

The first consultation takes approximately 2 hours and is ideally attended by both partners. Before your appointment I will send you a Pre-Conception Questionnaire which I ask to be sent back to me prior to the consultation. This gives me time to assess where you are on your conception journey.

It takes 3 months for the reproductive cells to mature in the male and female so this is an opportunity to optimise your health over this period. We will look at lifestyle and nutrition and formulate a Pre-Conception treatment plan for both of you.

Following the first consultation I will do a brief examination/treatment of both partner’s feet and a full treatment if only one is attending.

My treatments combine specific reflexology techniques, assessing your cycle to identify fertile windows, identifying hormonal changes/anomalies, reviewing hormone/sperm test results, guidance for diet & lifestyle and emotional support. Additionally I may also suggest self help techniques.

Male Infertility and Sperm Testing

Male infertility is increasingly becoming more of an issue – sperm count has reduced by 50% in the last 20 years and men are showing increasing numbers of sperm abnormalities. So we need to tackle the man’s health as well as the woman’s. There is so much we can do over the course of 3 months to improve the chances of natural conception.

Many couples trying for a baby may be missing out on information that could improve their chances. You are probably familiar with the term “sperm count” which deals with the quantity of sperm produced. However, most of us know less about sperm quality. Sperm DNA is one of the most important factors when it comes to conceiving.

Around one in six couples in the UK experience the emotional heartache of infertility. Unfortunately, the response to such issues is still focussed around the woman, while the man is often given very few checks. In many cases, men are only offered a traditional semen analysis which will only reveal basic problems. 30% of men and women are given the ‘all clear’ – leading to a diagnosis of ‘unexplained infertility’. This is unsatisfactory for couples and clinics alike. It has now been shown that up to 80% of couples with unexplained infertility have problems in their sperm DNA.

While a conventional semen analysis test will reveal basic problems – like not enough sperm – the quality of the sperm can only be assessed by looking at its DNA. Such information could help reduce the loss of valuable time and financial costs on treatments. For example, if the DNA damage level is high, then the best chance of success might be going straight to ICSI treatment.

Around a quarter of all couples will experience the emotional heartache of miscarriage at some time. While many of these will be a single sporadic event, some couples will suffer repeated or recurrent miscarriages. Sperm DNA Tests have shown that nearly all couples experiencing recurrent miscarriage had sperm DNA damage.

Sperm quality can be affected by things like stress, smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs, obesity and other avoidable lifestyle factors. Even healthy sperm will have some DNA damage, but it is the amount of damage that matters. Men can make simple lifestyle changes to improve their Sperm DNA quality if given the right information in turn improving the chances of a healthy baby.

I am now working with Lewis Fertility Testing, the UK leader in this field, to offer Sperm Comet DNA Testing

Stress in relation to fertility

Stress is a complex condition which affects almost all parts of the body in some way. There is also some evidence to suggest that it may affect fertility. Cortisol (a hormone released in the stress response) can cause the release of an inhibiting hormone that reduces the production of follicle stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone. Both of these hormones are integral to the release of the egg and the implantation of embryo after fertilisation. In other words, feeling stressed may be detrimental to the chances of achieving a successful pregnancy.

Stress is an issue for both sexes, so it is equally important that both partners find ways to reduce stress levels, one such way is through Reflexology.