Couples with fertility problems will be able to access complementary healthcare therapies from Australia’s leading fertility provider with the launch of Genea Holistic.
The venture marks a new era of fertility management by offering patients a full range of complementary treatments in a medically managed, supervised complete service.
In an Australian first, Genea will bring together complementary treatments proven to be beneficial in achieving a healthy baby - including weight loss and nutrition advice, acupuncture, yoga and stress management - alongside world-leading IVF technology where required.
Couples having difficulty conceiving, as well as patients undergoing IVF, will be able to access the complementary healthcare treatments at the new purpose-designed Kent Street clinic in Sydney.
More than half of Genea patients already use complementary healthcare treatments, such as acupuncture and yoga, either prior to IVF treatment or alongside it, according to internal research.
And some patients delay assessment by a medical fertility specialist by up to two years as a result of undertaking these treatments.
Now patients will be able to enjoy high-quality, evidence-based therapies provided by fertility experts. With an emphasis on early assessment and diagnosis, it is anticipated that some couples will avoid the need for medical intervention, but those who need IVF may avoid delaying treatment.
“As world leaders in fertility, we recognise that our patients have very individual, personal and significant journeys as they deal with fertility issues," Genea CEO Dr Kylie deBoer said.
“Our patients tell us that they value a holistic approach. We have listened to them and we are proud to be able to offer a truly integrated service that will address their needs. Genea Holistic is also a continuation of our commitment to provide couples with the best care and the greatest chance of success in achieving their dream of becoming parents.”
Genea Holistic will comprise of two treatment programs – one for patients who are trying to conceive and another for those undergoing IVF. Patients will be able to access acupuncture, nutrition advice, massage, yoga and relaxation techniques as well as established Genea programs Mind Your Own Body and Fertility Fit.
Genea fertility specialist Dr Antony Lighten said many fertility patients liked to use complementary therapies.
"They say that it makes them feel more in control and more relaxed. However, they get conflicting advice on how these treatments fit in with conventional medical treatments. Genea Holistic will allow our patients to integrate complementary therapies alongside their more conventional medical fertility treatment,” Dr Lighten said.
“There is good evidence that lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and use of dietary supplements, can improve the chance of a successful pregnancy. There is also good evidence that stress reduction is beneficial. The Genea Holistic treatments will focus on these evidence-based treatments.”
Being overweight or obese can have a significant impact on fertility for both men and women. Fertility Fit, a unique program introduced by Dr Lighten in 2010, provides nutrition advice and access to a personal trainer to help couples achieve their goal BMI (Body Mass Index). More than 50 per cent of patients who took part in a trial of the program were pregnant 12 months later – either naturally or after IVF.
Use of acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer has been shown in some studies to increase the success of IVF and many women also report that it helps them to cope with pain and stress that can be experienced during IVF.
How will Genea Holistic work?
Patients will have a pre-conception medical assessment with a GP at Genea Holistic and will receive information and education to improve their understanding of conception and fertility. Following the pre-conception assessment, the GP may encourage the couple to continue trying to conceive naturally. The couple may wish to access the Genea Holistic Trying to Conceive program to prepare them for pregnancy.
If evidence of an underlying medical cause for infertility is found at the preconception assessment - or after consideration of other factors such as the age of the woman and how long the couple have been trying to conceive - the GP may refer the patients directly to a fertility specialist.
Genea patients who are having IVF treatment will be able to access the Genea Holistic IVF Support program.