Pathways Clinic

Pathways Clinic: East Meets West Fertility Plans

Pathways Clinic: East Meets West Fertility Plans

Dr Agnes Ryu on merging Western and Eastern practices and tailoring individual treatment plans for couples in their determination for a child

Tell me about your background.
I am originally from South Korea where both conventional Western medicine and traditional Eastern medicine are delivered by the national health system. I gained experience as a clinician and research biochemist before I came to the UK in 2001 to teach an undergraduate course at Middlesex University in traditional Chinese medicine. There I saw a lot of patients who had intractable immune disorders and hormonal problems. Many suffered fertility problems and pregnancy complications which were often tragic and this experience led me to focus on reproductive medicine.

Tell us about your clinic.
I set up my own natural medicine practice in New Malden in 2004. Initially my main clientele were Korean corporate employees and their families who had private health insurance and for many I have been their main healthcare provider for the last 15 years. Now my patients are those who are seeking an alternative approach for their health restoration and they come from diverse areas. I am an advocate of natural medicine compatible with human cell biology.

What brought you to specialise in offering natural fertility services?
Infertility is now an ‘epidemic’ in both men and women, with 1 in 6 couples struggling with fertility issues and many suffering in silence. Often, IVF is suggested as an ultimate solution. My work serves as a bridge enhancing natural fertility potential which can, in turn, increase the chances of spontaneous conception and improve the odds of IVF success. Over the years I have helped clients suffering from various issues that hindered a successful pregnancy. I also help patients embarking on IVF procedures. Some of my clients, after multiple IVF failures, conceived successfully and this has strengthened my conviction in enhancing natural fertility potential.

How does Eastern medicine help with fertility issues?
In Korea, traditional Eastern medicine is the first line treatment for fertility issues in both men and women. It is used before resorting to more invasive and expensive treatments. It has been time-tested over thousands of years and led to sophisticated diagnostic and treatment options for modern men and women. I follow the current research and practices developed in integrative fertility clinics and teaching hospitals in Korea.

I prioritise improving metabolic health as supplying the necessary fuel and energy is crucial in supporting reproduction and optimal body composition and weight can improve fertility in a multitude of ways. The condition of pre-diabetes and consequent insulin resistance is the main driver of fertility problems nowadays. Promoting implantation and improving the uterine lining so it becomes more receptive and reduces miscarriage rates is where my work distinguishes itself from others. Improving the capacity of blood vessel formation, called ‘angiogenesis’ is paramount for reproduction. Without this, no amount of hormone will work. Reproductive ageing is a real concern as most of my female clients are in their late 30s and early 40s. Mitigating the effects of menopausal transition is also an important part of my work.

What do your clients value most about your services?
I think my clients appreciate that I offer a realistic way forward after carefully reviewing and interpreting their cases with them. No two cases are the same and each couple has unique needs and often faces complex challenges. Fertility care must therefore be highly personal and customised while being effective and safe.

My clients also appreciate the fact that my treatments not only restore natural fertility but exert an anti-ageing effect, lead to long-term health and wellness.

How does your work make you feel?
Finally holding the longed-for baby is the ultimate reward. In this regard, I have the best job in the world. I feel so fulfi lled and honoured.
Challenges still exist. Whilst females always receive fertility treatment, I feel that more could be done by and for the male partner, even if his rudimentary sperm test is within normal range. I encourage both partners to commit to self-care and the optimisation of their general health.

Pathways Clinic
Dr Agnes Ryu
020 8949 7577
Unit 4, St.Georges Court, St.Georges Square, New Malden, KT3 4HG