6 tips for choosing a fertility acupuncturist

If you’re looking for an acupuncturist in Australia, there are many options.  There are almost 5000 registered Chinese Medicine Practitioners across the country, with 800 registered practitioners in Queensland (1).  

But how do you choose the practitioner and clinic that is right for you?  And more specifically to support your fertility and pregnancy journey.

Here are the top 6 considerations we want you to think about:

1. Is your Acupuncturist AHPRA registered?

Since July 2012, Acupuncturists in Australia are required to be registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Registration Agency (AHPRA).  This registration process ensures that practitioners are adequately trained (to degree level), are registered with a governing association (AACMA,  ANTA etc) and continue with quality professional development (CPD).

Just like other AHPRA registered professions, acupuncturists are now held to these standards.  As a clinic holding to these standards as minimum, we get a lot of comfort in knowing that if acupuncturists are not complying, AHPRA can be investigated and disciplined to the point of canceling registration and prohibiting practice.

You can search for a registered acupuncturist near you here – https://www.ahpra.gov.au/chinese-medicine.aspx

2. Is your Acupuncturist passionate about fertility support?

The beauty of Chinese medicine is that most conditions can be treated without a Western medicine diagnosis – eg infertility whether unexplained or for more specific reasons such endometriosis, PCOS or low ovarian reserve.  A good acupuncturist will look at each individual holistically to include not just the more obvious fertility related questions (eg re menstrual cycle) but also looking at a broader picture to include emotions, your sleep, digestion, areas of recurring pain, energy levels etc.

In saying this, fertility (in particular IVF) is a world that is constantly changing, and we believe that it’s helpful for your practitioner to understand the various processes and specialists in your area.  All of our practitioners are focused in the areas of both Western and Chinese medicine specific to fertility (and IVF support) and we meet regularly to share what we have learned and continue to upskill as a team.  Fertility and pregnancy support is our passion!

3. Did you get a referral or recommendation?

Although a referral is not required to see an acupuncturist for fertility support in Australia, we strongly encourage you to ask around for recommendations.  Ask your friends, your fertility specialist and/or contacts on forums.  You might also be able to get a feel for your practitioners and the clinic by reviewing their website:  do they align with your values?  do they provide information (eg blogs and social media platforms) that indicate their passion and client base is fertility focused?

At Yin Wellness Brisbane, many/most of our clients come from referrals of existing clients or other fertility practitioners.  It’s the ultimate compliment, however, you won’t see these recommendations on our socials or website.  Under the AHPRA advertising guidelines we are not permitted to advertise with testimonials and we are proud to comply with these standards.

4. How available is your acupuncturist?

Life is busy!  And we recognise that many of our fertility clients are prime examples of this.  Often working full time and trying to also fit in a busy life (including medical appointments).

Try to find a fertility acupuncturist that can fit around your availability.  And, if your availability changes (due to work or IVF scheduling for example), can your acupuncturist accommodate this?

Our focus for Yin is to ensure this availability – we are open 6 days a week, including evenings and weekends.  With multiple practitioners, we are able to take holidays and ensure your care is still covered (52 weeks of the year).   We also allow for up to 60 minutes consultation with initial treatments at 30 mins discussion for follow up bookings.

5. Does your acupuncturist create a treatment plan for you?

Your acupuncturist should tell you how often they want you to have treatment and let you know the improvements they’d like to see in the process of you preparing for pregnancy.  Your treatment plan should include diet and lifestyle advice and recommendations for herbs and supplements where appropriate.  At Yin, we always recommend our best case treatment plan, however, we are happy to work around budget and time constraints ensuring you never feel pressured.

6. Do you look forward to your treatment?

You should feel comfortable and safe with your acupuncturist (and any health care provider) and we want you to feel relaxed and nurtured.

We love to see the acu-blissed faces of our clients at the end of treatment (almost as much as getting an update of that first faint line of a pregnancy test!).