Your first appointment with Dr. Chernish includes a medical assessment and initial acupuncture assessment and treatment. Dr. Chernish will develop a treatment plan to maximize fertility based on your assessment and medical history and his clinical findings. He will order any medical tests that are required; all covered by Manitoba Health.
Your individualized program includes:
- Acupuncture to optimize hormonal balance, regulate ovulation and normalize the menstrual cycle
- Exercise prescription
- Specific dietary advice
- Prescription medication if required
- Review & recommend supplements & herbs
- Education on timing intercourse to maximize fertility
- Stress management techniques
- Other strategies to develop a healthy pregnancy and baby
Supplements, herbs and referral to other practitioners or medical specialists may be recommended.
The goal of treatment is to:
- Diagnose & treat general medical conditions that may interfere with fertility
- Establish a favourable physiological & hormonal milieu for pregnancy
- Optimise dietary, exercise & supplement use to favour pregnancy
- Once pregnant, and during the first trimester, minimise fatigue, nausea and other troublesome symptoms, and to reduce stress hormones In the 2nd and 3rd trimester to treat symptoms such as back & pelvic pain, hypertension, etc.
- At 36 weeks, treatment in preparation for a smooth & harmonious labour
- During the postpartum period, to treat pain, breastfeeding difficulties & general symptoms
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, more regular cycles, improved mid-cycle fluid, and decreased clotting, cramping & spotting indicate improved fertility.
If there is a component of male factor infertility. Dr. Chernish will assess and treat your male partner with acupuncture and supplements and further medical investigations if necessary.
"Unexplained" infertility is a common diagnosis. It does not mean that there is no treatment. Rather, it means that there is no structural or serious hormonal or serious male factor issue. Western medicine tends to group all cases of unexplained infertility into one category and treat them all the same. From a Chinese medicine perspective, each case of unexplained infertility is unique and the treatment is individualized. This usually involves treatment of the female and sometimes the male partner.
Low AMH & High FSH Levels
Many women trying to conceive have low AMH or high FSH levels. In Dr. Chernish's experience, both AMH and FSH levels can normalize with acupuncture and specific supplements and herbs, and many women can fall pregnant with treatment.
Even with AMH levels as low as .26, and FHS levels as high as 18, Dr. Chernish has helped couples become pregnant quickly using only this natural approach.
Advanced Maternal Age
From a regular western medical perspective, advanced maternal age is diagnosed when a woman is over the age of 35. A Chinese medical perspective is somewhat more forgiving, and Dr. Chernish has found that pregnancy is relatively easily attained in ages 35 to 42, while it is a little trickier after 42.
In addition to acupuncture, herbs and supplements may be an important part of your individualized prescription.
Tubal Factor Infertility and Endometriosis
Acupuncture can have a surprising effect on improving tubal function and attaining a successful pregnancy.
For tubal factor infertility and endometriosis, acupuncture alone often results in pregnancy. Dr. Chernish will order an early ultrasound to ensure that the pregnancy is intrauterine.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a collection of symptoms that occur when a woman’s body produces excess insulin and androgens, disrupting ovulation and resulting in the formation of cysts on the ovaries. Symptoms include:
- Irregular or absent menstrual cycle
- Weight gain and obesity, particularly around the abdomen
- Abnormal hair growth
- Pelvic pain
Weight gain, especially around the abdomen is often an important factor in the development of PCOS.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is the one category of sub-fertility where, in addition to acupuncture, lifestyle management is very important.
Dr. Chernish will focus on diet and exercise prescription as well as the need for any herbal or other supplements to encourage regular ovulation and 28-day menstrual cycles. The secondary goal of treatment is to reduce the chance of miscarriage once pregnancy is achieved, since miscarriage rates are higher in PCOS.
If required, he may also prescribe medications such as Metformin or Letrozole.
From a western medical perspective, Asherman’s syndrome is very difficult to treat. Dr. Chernish has found acupuncture and moxibustion effective in restarting menstrual cycles and achieving pregnancy.
Recurrent miscarriage can have many causes, the most common of which is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. In cases of recurrent miscarriage, Dr. Chernish will treat with acupuncture, and may also prescribe medication, supplements or herbs.
Irregular Cycles and Infertility after Miscarriage
This is a common problem in which Dr. Chernish specializes and his experience is that many women can achieve normal cycles and fall pregnant relatively quickly.
Acupuncture to Improve IVF Success
Dr. Chernish recommends acupuncture in order to:
- Reduce side-effects of IVF medications including bloating, irritability and other symptoms during IVF suppression and stimulation protocol and decrease anxiety and pain associated with IVF procedures
- Reduce stress hormones during IVF
- Improve chances of successful implantation
- During the first trimester to address symptoms of early pregnancy
Acupuncture is recommended by most in vitro fertilization clinics to increase chances of a successful pregnancy.
Male fertility can be affected by a variety of factors including many lifestyle factors.
In cases of low motility, poor sperm morphology and low counts, Dr. Chernish uses a combination of acupuncture and dietary and lifestyle advice and supplement recommendations to improve hormonal status, reduce stress hormones and improve blood flow.
Dr. Chernish has delivered hundreds of babies and has helped more than a hundred couples achieve pregnancy using acupuncture. Dr. Chernish will work as a full member of your medical team to achieve pregnancy and manage your care throughout your pregnancy.
Dr. Chernish recommends treatment with acupuncture during the first trimester to reduce nausea, fatigue and any other troubling symptoms. Traditionally, treatments are also administered to reduce the risk of miscarriage.
In the second trimester, Dr. Chernish recommends treatment if there is a history of second trimester miscarriage.
For the following conditions common during the second trimester of pregnancy, acupuncture can be very effective:
- back pain
- pubic pain
- pelvic pain
- sciatic pain
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- fluid retention and leg swelling
Third Trimester & Birth
At 36 weeks, Dr. Chernish recommends weekly acupuncture treatments with the goal of producing a smooth and harmonious labor.
Dr. Chernish uses acupuncture and moxibustion when the baby is in breech presentation to encourage movement to a vertex position.
To induce labour, Dr. Chernish uses acupuncture once or twice per week between weeks 36 to 40.
Bell's Palsy is a complete one-sided facial paralysis that occurs following viral infections, and is common during pregnancy. Prednisone and antiviral medications are usually prescribed, but residual paralysis may still occur. Prednisone use is associated with fluid retention, hypertension and elevated blood sugar.
A complete recovery of facial nerve function is expected and without drug-related side-effects to mothers and babies!
In the postnatal period, Dr. Chernish uses acupuncture to:
- decrease pelvic pain
- promote lactation
- prevent and treat mastitis
- improve energy
- reduce anxiety
Individualized exercise programs and personal training sessions are available for Mom and baby at HealthPoint.
The goal of acupuncture treatment is to prevent menstrual pain, clotting and spotting. Dr. Chernish usually treats twice per month for two to three months, with the expectation that periods will regularize and become pain-free. Follow-up treatments may be required once or twice every several months.
Dr. Chernish favours a non-drug approach including acupuncture to treat symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. Although many women are troubled by hot flushes during perimenopause and menopause, other symptoms may also include:
- Anxiety and palpitations
- Chronic pain
- Bladder symptoms
- Persistent cramping or bleeding