Frequently Asked Questions about Naturopathic Treatment for Infertility
What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
Naturopathic doctors are licensed medical professionals under the RHPA (the same regulations as medical doctors). We are natural health solution specialists that use a complementary system of treatments that includes acupuncture, nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, manual therapies, hydrotherapy, and lifestyle counseling.
Dr. Frank thoroughly assesses and investigates the root cause of your fertility problems. She chooses the safest, most effective, non-toxic, and reliable therapy.
How long will it take me to get pregnant?
With the hundreds of patients that I have worked with, it typically takes 3 months to correct hormone imbalances, conception generally occurs within 3-9 months of initiating my fertility program.
What is your success rate?
Because of my in-depth analysis and treatment of all of the mental, emotional and physical aspects of your fertility, my success rate is higher than the success rate of conventional medicine, IVF, or IUI alone. At least 70-80% of my fertility patients conceive and have healthy children including patients who were told they would never be able to conceive on their own, patients in their 40’s and patients who were told they would have to use donor eggs. I cannot make guarantees as to your success, but the vast majority of patients who implement my recommendations do conceive and have healthy babies.
Is this covered by OHIP?
No, naturopathic doctors are not covered by OHIP. Naturopathic treatment is often covered by private insurance/health benefits. Health plans vary so check with your employer or your Human Resources department.
Can I take conventional medication with naturopathic treatment?
Yes, I have worked with a multitude of patients undergoing conventional treatment. I will adjust my treatment plan to complement and enhance your conventional treatment, not conflict with it.
If this worked, wouldn’t my fertility specialist know about and/or use it?
Many fertility clinics have integrated acupuncture into their IVF protocols because of the wealth of research supporting it. Medical doctors are not specialists in natural, preventative, or integrative care, naturopathic doctors are. Conventional doctors have enough on their plate to keep up-to-date with research on conventional medical treatment methods, they cannot also be specialists in naturopathic treatment.
How many treatments do I need? How does the program work?
The full first program visit is an extensive 75-minute assessment including a screening physical exam. Any necessary and appropriate lab tests and the associated costs will be discussed at that time. If you have any lab work or diagnostic reports that have been previously done, please bring them to your first visit. If acupuncture is appropriate (as it is in most cases), we perform weekly fertility acupuncture for at least 6 weeks. If necessary to continue beyond that, we do acupuncture once per month timed between about day 6 and day 12 of your menstrual cycle. On our weekly acupuncture sessions, we provide continued coaching and support on diet, lifestyle, and stress reduction and adjust your individualized treatment protocol as indicated.
If I have one or more unsuccessful IVF cycles, am I still a candidate for this program?
Absolutely. I have helped patients who had previously unsuccessful IVF cycles conceive completely naturally. If you are planning another IVF cycle, we highly recommend taking a break for at least 3 months first to get yourself and your partner in optimal shape prior to the next IVF attempt to optimize your chances of success.
If my doctor has said I cannot conceive on my own or that I will need to use donor eggs am I still a candidate?
Yes, depending on what the problem is. I have even worked with patients who were using donor eggs and donor sperm to achieve a healthy pregnancy.
FAQ: Are there any side effects to your program?
No, not like there can be with conventional treatment. There is no increased risk of multiple births as there is with conventional treatments and at the very least you will enhance your overall health. There is the possibility of minor bruising with acupuncture. The potential side effects of conventional fertility treatments are numerous and potentially very serious: bloating, abdominal pain, mood swings, headaches, possible life-threatening Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS), multiple births, infection, internal scarring, and bleeding.
FAQ: How much does it cost?
Far less than an IVF cycle and insurance will cover at least part of the costs if you are covered for acupuncture and/or naturopathic treatment. You can find my fee schedule on the Hours and Fees page.
Is there any research to support this kind of treatment?
Yes! There is abundant research on the kind of recommendations that I make. If your healthcare professional has said otherwise, he/she has not read their own medical journal lately. Two of the most prestigious medical journals, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) frequently publish studies related to naturopathic treatment modalities such as vitamins, nutrition, herbs, probiotics, fish oil, and acupuncture. We only recommend these types of science-based treatments.
The Basic Principles of Naturopathic Medicine:
At least do no harm.
Treat the root cause of disease.
Treat the whole person.
Act as a teacher to your patients.
Trust in the healing power of nature.
Dr. Pamela Frank: My Training
- Undergraduate university degree on a full scholarship – I did a double major in Biology and Kinesiology
- Four years full time Naturopathic Doctor program at an accredited naturopathic college. Our program parallels medical school and includes basic medical sciences like Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pathology and Histology as well as natural treatments mentioned above. For a comparison of Yale Medical School and Naturopathic College, click here.
- Naturopathic training is followed by stringent licensing exams to be licensed to practice Naturopathic medicine and ongoing continuing education and professional requirements overseen by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.
- Prior to becoming a naturopathic doctor Dr. Frank worked for 13 years as medical laboratory technologist in a hospital laboratory, so she comes from a strong science and medical background that she has carried into her role as a naturopathic doctor.