There are many different protocols and drugs used in IVF cycles. It is important to feel comfortable with your chosen clinic and before you decide to go for anyone inform yourself with the help of the Human Fertility and Embryology Agency: http://www.hfea.gov.uk/ and get opinions and options from at least two clinics.
Embryo Quality: Lower Embryo quality seems to be associated with reduced implantation rate , but so far the evidence says that lower Embryo quality is NOT associated with pregnancy problems NOR with any birth defects.
Hum Reprod. 2014 Jul;29(7):1444-51. Epub 2014 May 8.The association between embryo quality and perinatal outcome of singletons born after single embryo transfers: a pilot study. Oron G, Son WY, Buckett W, Tulandi T, Holzer H.
Jet lag Prevention
Tap on your meridians
Why odd looks you may be wondering? The key to sorting the jet lag is to gradually reset your body clock over the period of your flight, aligning it to the time of your destination, so that when you arrive you are already in sync with your new time zone. You do this by adjusting your meridians, tapping on them with a steady but firm pressure at regular two hourly intervals. It sounds strange, and looks odd, but it’s very simple, and it absolutely works.
How to do it
As you are sitting on the plane, in your seat ready for take-off, work out the current time at your destination. Set your watch to that time. Then simply refer to the chart below and tap as described for the time it is there now. So, if you are on the 7pm flight from LA to Tokyo, it is actually 12 noon in Tokyo the next day. So, start by tapping the Heart point (which dominates 12 noon ) because that is the current time in Japan.
Every two hours tap on the next meridian in sequence – i.e after heart, 2 hrs later tap on small intestine, and then 2 hrs after that on bladder, kidney etc. until you reach your destination. Tap firmly and evenly, at least 20 times on both sides of the body at the points described. If you miss a meridian or two because you are sleeping, that’s no problem. Just keep tapping whenever you briefly wake.
The Meridian Sequence – where and when to tap
1-3am Liver Liv-1 Big toe, on inside nail bed of toenail
3-5am Lung. Lu-8 Inside wrist (thumb side) where watchband would be
5-7am Large Int. LI-1 Nail bed of index finger closest to thumb
7-9am Stomach ST-36 Under kneecap, slightly towards outside
9-11am Spleen SP-3 Inside edge of foot, just behind ball of foot
11am-1pm Heart. HT-8 Palm – where bent little finger touches palm
1-3pm Small Int SI-5 Little finger side of wrist, in fold where wrist moves
3-5pm Bladder BL-66 Outside of foot, second joint on baby toe
5-7pm Kidney KI-10 Behind the knee
7-9pm Pericardium CX-8 Centre of palm of hand
9-11pm San Jiao TH-6 Top of forearm, 1/3 of way between wrist and elbow
11pm-1am Gall Bladder GB-41 Outer side of foot, 1/3 way between baby toe and heel
Statins – should we all take them?Statins were in the news recently as experts are divided on the issue whether all or most of us should take this drug to lower our cholesterol levels. Any medication has side effects and those associated with Statins have prompted some experts to be cautious about prescribing statins to a majority of the population. Nevertheless, it seems that many doctors are keen to promote these drugs heavily. However, we do have alternatives. A diet, low on saturated fats and high in fibres keeps cholesterol low. In addition regular exercise has been found beneficial for cholesterol levels. It can be very helpful to talk your diet (and lifestyle) through with a nutritionist or a naturopath. In addition acupuncture can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and thus promotes optimal balance to assist the body’s own regulators. (June 2014 )
Acupuncture can help headaches and other pain conditions:Pain in Chinese Medicine has been described as blocks in the body’s energy flow. This can be tested very easily. When we are stressed we tense up and this blocks the natural flow of energy and very commonly results in headaches or backaches, shoulder and neck pain. Acupuncture promotes free and smooth flow of energy and relaxes the body which reduces or removes pain. See more here on headaches:
- http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/public-content/public-pr-acupuncture-in-the-news/how-acupuncture-can-help-headache-relief.html# (June 2014)
- http://blog.naturaltherapyforall.com/2015/09/09/how-chinese-acupuncture-helps-solve-tension-headaches/ (September 2015)
How to choose an acupuncturistAcupuncture is not regulated in the UK. This effectively means that anyone can buy a box of needles on eBay and call themselves an acupuncturist! Following these five steps will ensure that you find a qualified, safe practitioner who is right for you.
1. Choose a type of acupunctureThere are different types of acupuncture available in the UK:
Traditional Acupuncture is practiced by members of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC). BAcC members have completed over 3,600 hours of study that meets World Health Organisation standards, usually in the form of a full time BA or BSc (Hons) university degree in acupuncture. Their training includes Western medical theory, Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and they are qualified to use acupuncture to treat the widest range of conditions. Each treatment they provide is uniquely formulated for you as an individual – like having a pharmacist design a new drug specifically for you.
Medical Acupuncture is practiced by people with Western medical training (like GPs and midwives) and Dry Needling is practiced by people with training in manual therapies (like physiotherapists and chiropractors). Their acupuncture training ranges from 2 days to 6 months in duration. Some medical acupuncturists are members of the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS), and some Dry Needling courses are accredited by the British Acupuncture Society (BAS). Medical Acupuncturists treat a smaller number of conditions than Traditional Acupuncturists, and Dry Needling courses cover where to insert needles for certain musculoskeletal problems. Medical Acupuncture and Dry Needling uses set treatment protocols based on your symptoms – like being given a standard over-the-counter pill.
2. Ask about their qualificationsIn the absence of statutory regulation, it is essential to check what acupuncture qualifications a practitioner has before starting treatment.
You can ask what type of acupuncture they practice, how long their acupuncture training was, what qualification they gained, who awarded the qualification, and whether they belong to a professional body. British Acupuncture Council members will have the letters ‘MBAcC’ after their name.
It is never rude to ask to see a practitioner’s certificates and fully qualified practitioners will be happy to oblige. You can often check their professional registration online. For example, you can search for an acupuncturist by name on the British Acupuncture Council website at www.acupuncture.org.uk to check their membership status.
3. Check their Environmental Health registrationLike all skin-piercing techniques, acupuncture carries a risk of cross-infection. This is minimised by following guidelines set out by each district council. By law, everyone practicing acupuncture and dry needling must be inspected by and registered with their local council’s Environmental Health department, and must display their registration certificate in their treatment room.
There are two exceptions: medical practitioners (e.g. GPs and nurses) practicing on NHS premises, and British Acupuncture Council members practicing in Greater London (this is because British Acupuncture Council Members adhere to very strict Safe Practice Guidelines that meet or surpass those set out by the Care Quality Commission and district councils). If you can’t see an Environmental Health certificate in your practitioner’s treatment room, ask them about it.
4. Ask about their experienceAsk what experience your prospective acupuncturist has in treating your symptoms or condition. Some acupuncturists complete additional Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training or conduct research into specific areas, so ask about this too. Members of the British Acupuncture Council have an obligation to complete 30 hours of CPD training per year as a minimum.
You can ask what their success rate is like, but be aware that this can be a difficult question to answer because every case is unique. For example, there are many factors that contribute to low back pain, meaning that some people will feel better after just one treatment, while others will need to use acupuncture alongside lifestyle changes to help manage their pain.
5. Decide if you like themOnce you have determined what type of acupuncture they practice, checked out their qualifications, professional accreditation and Environmental Health registration, and asked about their experience, decide if you feel comfortable with them. Feeling that you trust your practitioner will make your experience much more enjoyable.
Have a look at their website and ask around to see if any of your friends have had treatment with them. Many acupuncturists offer free 15-minute sessions where you can meet them, discuss your symptoms, and ask any questions you might have. Of course, you can always give them a call and have a chat before deciding whether or not to start treatment.
from Sarah Attwell-Griffiths (reproduced and adapted with permission); 19 April 2015