Reflexology and IVF
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Karen Botha MAR reflexologist at Essential Feeling Gidea Park, Romford who specialises in fertility

Reflexology and IVF

Here’s some IVF info that will also tell you everything you need to know about reflexology and IVF. This will help if you’re just starting out.

Firstly, let’s start off with what IVF stands for, it’s in vitro fertilisation. It’s one method to help if you’re having issues with natural fertility.

During the IVF process, the female will have an egg removed from her ovaries. They will fertilise it with sperm from her partner or donor in a lab. This fertilised egg is called an embryo. They will plant the embryo back into your womb hoping it will grow and develop in to a baby.

Karen Botha MAR

Your Association of Reflexologist’s Therapist


The Role of Reflexology in Enhancing Fertility and Supporting IVF

Reflexology, an ancient practice rooted in the belief that specific points on the feet, hands, and ears correspond to different body organs and systems, has been increasingly recognized for its potential benefits in the realm of fertility and IVF support. This non-invasive therapy aims to restore the body’s equilibrium, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals and couples navigating the complexities of fertility treatments.

The historical roots of reflexology trace back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt, India, and China, highlighting its long-standing significance in holistic healing practices. Modern-day reflexology not only offers relaxation but also targets specific reflex points believed to influence reproductive health. For instance, points related to the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and endocrine system are given special attention in sessions tailored for fertility enhancement.

Scientific exploration into reflexology’s efficacy in improving fertility outcomes remains ongoing, with some studies suggesting positive impacts on ovulation rates and overall pregnancy success, particularly when combined with conventional fertility treatments like IVF. Anecdotal evidence and personal testimonials further underscore reflexology’s role in many individuals’ fertility journeys, with some crediting the therapy for helping them achieve successful pregnancies.

Incorporating reflexology into your fertility or IVF plan involves working with a skilled practitioner who understands the nuances of reproductive health. Sessions typically focus on creating a supportive environment for conception, whether by optimizing menstrual cycle regularity, enhancing sperm quality, or preparing the body for embryo transfer. Reflexology’s holistic approach means that treatments are often customized to each individual’s unique needs and stage in their fertility journey.

For those considering or currently undergoing IVF, reflexology offers a complementary therapy that aligns with the treatment phases, from ovarian stimulation to post-transfer care. By potentially improving blood flow to the reproductive organs and reducing treatment-related stress, reflexology may enhance the body’s receptivity to IVF procedures.

While reflexology should not replace medical fertility treatments, it serves as a valuable adjunct therapy that supports the body and mind. Whether you’re just beginning to explore fertility options or are in the midst of IVF cycles, reflexology presents a nurturing and holistic avenue to support your reproductive health goals.


Questions & Answers


How does fertility reflexology help the IVF process?

1. Stay relaxed
In many ways.  Firstly, anyone that has had fertility reflexology and IVF will tell you how relaxed and calm they become whilst undergoing the therapy.  There really is no substitute for this.

2. Lots of quality eggs.

Secondly, the specific fertility reflexology routines we use will help to stimulate your ovaries pre-egg collection.  We have experience of our clients having a much higher quantity of better developed eggs following regular fertility reflexology for IVF.

3. Give your baby the best possible home for 9 months

We’ll perform fertility reflexology to help your body grow a thick linking to your womb. This helps your egg implant securely after it has been reintroduced to your womb.

4. Not just reflexology

Fourthly, as we are also qualified in nutrition and counselling, we will also help with diet and lifestyle tips to help your body be in the best possible shape for your IVF procedure.

Reflexology for fertility: Incorporating reflexology for fertility into your routine may offer a holistic way to support your body’s natural balance and enhance your chances of conception.


What are the risks of IVF?

IVF doesn’t always result in pregnancy, and it can be both physically and emotionally demanding.  We can help you through this process with counselling and fertility reflexology to help re-balance your hormones post IVF cycles.

It’s also good to be aware that there are some potential health risks and to make sure you speak to your doctor about these properly.


Some examples of this are below.

You’re given a lot of medication and these can cause side effects such as hot flushes and headaches.

Whilst multiple births (such as twins or triplets) sounds great, be aware it may be dangerous for both the mother and the child. This is why most clinics are scrupulous about the amount of eggs that they will implant back in as detailed above.

It is possible to get an ectopic pregnancy – where your embryo implants in your fallopian tubes, rather than in the womb.


What happens during IVF?

There are 6 main stages to IVF.
1. Suppressing your natural cycle – you are given medication to suppress your menstrual cycle. You either inject this in to yourself or use a nasal spray. This is to give you the maximum effect from the medicine you take at the next stage and lasts about 2 weeks.

2. Boosting your egg supply – your next batch of medication (FSH or follicle stimulating hormone) encourages your ovaries to produce more eggs than usual. This is so the doctors can collect the maximum possible number of eggs, this giving you a better chance of fertilisation success. Kind of like more throws of the dice.

You give yourself this via an injection for roughly between 10 to 12 days.

3. Monitoring your progress and maturing your eggs – an ultrasound scan and or blood tests will make sure that everything is developing well. Doctors may adjust your dose of medication to help keep your eggs maturing.  

You should be in close contact with your clinic during this period and approx. 34 to 38 hours. You’ll give yourself a final hormone injection to help your eggs mature as much as possible.  The more mature eggs are, the better quality they are seen to be.

4. Collecting the eggs – during this process a needle is inserted via your vagina and into your ovaries. Doctors will remove your eggs with ultra sound guidance.  This should take about 15 to 20 minutes or so to complete.

5. Egg fertilisation – your eggs are mixed with the sperm for a few days in a lab. They are then checked to see if any have fertilised.  Your. eggs can grow for up to 6 days in the lab, the exact time depends on their strength. The best 1 or 2 depending on your treatment plan will be inserted in to your womb.

Women under 37 and taking IVF for the 1st or 2nd time, will generally be advised only to have a single embryo transfer.  Doctors tend only to consider using 2 embryos if no top-quality embryos are available. In the 3rd IVF cycle, no more than two embryos should be transferred.

If you’re between 37-39 years and in your 1st or 2nd IVF cycle, you’ll also usually only have a single embryo transfer.  Doctors may consider a double embryo transfer if you don’t have any top-quality embryos. In your 3rd cycle, no more than 2 embryos will be transferred.

If you’re aged 40-42 years you may have a double embryo transfer straight off. After this it is widely recognised in the fertility community that the quality of your eggs can rapidly decline.

If you’re lucky enough to have any suitable embryos left over then you can get these frozen for future IVF attempts.

6. Transferring the embryo(s) – one or two fertilised eggs (embryos) are placed in your womb. Then it’s the waiting game.  You have to wait for 2 weeks before you can take a pregnancy test. Ladies often say this is the hardest time. 

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What’s the IVF process for men?

At around the same time as your partner’s eggs are being collected you’ll be asked to produce a fresh sperm sample. These are then washed and spun at a high speed. This allows lab technicians to select the healthiest and most active sperm.


How does this affect men?

That’s not job done for men.

This is a stressful time for you and your hormones often create a unusually unstable home environment.  Men often aren’t sure how to react. Their masculinity is on the line already because their natural provider instinct is crushed by you going through this process. They feel like they’re not needed and this can be difficult as it goes against every one of their instincts. As a consequence men often become a little ‘at sea’.

Men know they need to be supportive of their partners’ emotional needs. They’re not silly, they understand they should be mindful of the invasive processes that IVF puts on a female. That doesn’t mean that they feel the same as you. We can help you understand their perspective and explain reasons for their behaviour. Because it can often be baffling!

It’s also great if they can eat well.  If you’re struggling with natural fertility, anything that a man can do to make his sperm as strong as possible will help the situation. We can help you with all of this.

Foot map showing some of the main reflexology points in different colours
reflexology romford

Can I only have fertility reflexology with IVF?

No you can have fertility reflexology and IVF or with any fertility treatment, or with just trying naturally. Whatever way you are trying to get pregnant with we’ll work around this to help your body be as balanced and ready to accept pregnancy as possible.

  • Holistic therapy: As a holistic therapy, reflexology addresses not just physical symptoms but also emotional and psychological well-being, making it a comprehensive support system for IVF patients.
  • Ancient healing practices: Reflexology, rooted in ancient healing practices, offers a time-tested approach to improving well-being and fertility.
  • Reproductive health: Targeting specific reflex points related to reproductive health, reflexology sessions are tailored to support fertility and IVF outcomes.
  • Stress reduction: Given the significant role of stress reduction in fertility, reflexology serves as a beneficial tool in creating a more conducive environment for conception.
  • Customized treatment: Working with a skilled reflexologist ensures a customized treatment plan that aligns with your unique fertility journey and IVF schedule.
  • Complementary therapy: Reflexology stands out as a complementary therapy that can be seamlessly integrated with conventional fertility treatments to support overall reproductive health.



Is fertility reflexology safe with IVF?

Yes, totally safe.  In the same way that we treat you differently at different stages of your monthly cycle, we do the same with IVF. This is so you’re getting exactly what works best for your body at the different times during your IVF cycle.


IVF treatment

Many of our clients are either going through or considering IVF at the same time as their fertility reflexology and fertility massage sessions with us.  

This isn’t necessary, you can have just the fertility sessions on their own, but most people are curious about IVF treatment anyway.


How can I find out more information?

Below are some more links to information on our site.  We’re more than happy to have a chat with you if you’d like to text us on 07757 946023 and we’ll come back to you when we’re free. Please note we do not actually offer IVF treatments, just the supporting advice and care to ensure you get the best shot at it. If you’d like to book a fertility reflexology treatment, then please use the online booking form below.

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Here is a broad outline to some of the questions we are often asked by our clients in relation to IVF treatment.

I’ve heard ‘blastocyst’ banded around, what is that?

When an embryo is developed in the lab for 5 days after the sperm was injected in to the egg then it is called a blastocyst.  

It has 2 cell types within it which will later develop in to the actual foetus and the placenta.  

If you have a cell that has reached blastocyst stage then you generally have a higher chance of a successful implantation (15 to 20% versus 60% blastocyst) than a cell that has been implanted back in to you earlier as this cell won’t be as far developed.  

Not all cells will grow to this stage though, and the trick with IVF treatment is for the lab to spot the perfect time for your cell to be implanted back in to your body.

I’ve heard a lot about multiple births with IVF treatment?

A multiple birth usually happens when you’re having IVF treatment because more than one embryo successfully attaches within your womb.  

This sounds great if you’re looking for a family, but there are a lot of potential risks with multiple births such as late miscarriage, stillbirth or cerebral palsy amongst others.  

For this reason, a reputable fertility clinic will adjust your IVF treatment according to your chance of successful pregnancy and risk of carrying more than one child at a time.  

My eggs aren’t great, tell me about donor eggs

Some ladies if they have good eggs may get free IVF treatment at some clinics if they donate their eggs to be frozen for someone else to use.  This means there can be quite a bank available.  

You will never know who has donated the egg that you are given for your IVF treatment. Rest assured that the UK has strict criteria that these donor ladies have to meet. If you’re interested in this type of scheme, you should speak to your consultant.

I’ve used up my free IVF treatment sessions on the NHS or I’m not allowed any, how much does it cost to go private?

There are so many options out there depending on what tests, which clinic, or country even and so on.  

However, if you’re looking for a ball park figure then the starting blocks in the UK is around £3.5k plus any add ons such as consultations at between approx. £150 to £300, whether your eggs reach the blastocyst stage approx. £300 and so on.  

You can expect to pay up to around £7k per IVF treatment in the UK privately. Speak to Karen, your fertility specialist in London & Essex to get the low down on everything you need.

What are the success rates of IVF treatment?

This varies wildly from person to person depending on your age, lifestyle and medical history but also by fertility clinic and the type of IVF treatment you have had so it’s impossible to say definitively.

Generally, the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) says at 40 – 42 your success rate could be around 27% where the same IVF treatment given to someone aged between 20 – 34 increases to just over 50%.  That increases again if you have the blastocyst transfer to 58% for 40 – 42 year age category and 61% for 20 – 34 years.

Once you book

We’ll send over everything you need including consultation form and directions.

We have free off street parking directly outside our treatment rooms.