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Case Histories

Kailani, “Advanced Age” Infertility

Kailani, at 42 years of age, had been trying to conceive for 3 years.  She had consulted with a reproductive specialist, where an anterior follicle count showed only two follicles in her right ovary and none on the left side.  The specialist had given her the discouraging news that perhaps her ovaries were failing due to age.  Her husband was 41 years old, and his sperm parameters appeared normal. 

Kailani and her husband decided to pool their resources for one round of IVF only, and Kailani came to acupuncture to help prepare for their “one shot.”  At the initial consultation, we discovered that Kailani had a history of ovarian cysts; her menses had dark blood with large clots, and she suffered from PMS that included breast tenderness and irritability.  Other symptoms included low energy, bouts of hypoglycemia, abnormal weight gain in the last few months, feelings of heat and sweating at night, and borderline high blood pressure, all made worse by a very high-stress job and lifestyle. 

We discussed the importance of a whole-foods, nutrient-dense diet and regular exercise, and began a course of treatment to address Kailani’s deficient Kidney energy coupled with blood stagnation.  After one month of weekly acupuncture treatments and daily Chinese herbal medicine, Kailani had a consultation with the IVF clinic.  Her new doctor saw two very plump follicles in one ovary, and three in the other, plus excellent hormone levels—Kailani’s ovaries were not “failing” at all!  Based on the new information, they decided to proceed with IVF the next month. 

Kailani continued with weekly acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbs.  She responded well to the IVF medications, with few side effects, and produced 8 great-looking follicles.  Of those, 7 fertilized and all were of extremely good quality.  4 embryos were frozen, and 3 were implanted.  Two weeks later, Kailani tested positive for pregnancy.  Three weeks after that, the ultrasound showed two different hearts beating.

At the time of writing, Kailani is nearing the end of her first trimester.  She still follows a nutrient-dense diet and takes Chinese herbs.  She will continue with acupuncture treatments every 2-3 weeks throughout her pregnancy in order to support the extraordinary demands that arise from carrying twins. 

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