Fertility and Pregnancy
Fertility, from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is viewed as an extension of a well functioning organism. Inability to conceive is a sign that one or several body systems are not performing optimally, resulting in infertility. When imbalances are corrected with acupuncture and herbal treatment, health and fertility naturally improves.
Erin’s focus is on gently re-establishing body functions in order to facilitate conception, a healthy pregnancy, and successful delivery. The treatment is centered around correcting the underlying problems and achieving the best conceivable health, including sleeping well, eating well, eliminating well, and menstruating well. The preferred approach is to strengthen the patient’s underlying deficiencies and improve her overall well-being before she attempts pregnancy. This is to ensure the best environment for the growing fetus, as well as to keep the woman strong and healthy during and after the pregnancy.
Traditional Chinese Medicine can play an important role in preparing a well functioning body with sufficient resources to carry another life to term. When following an individually tailored treatment plan consisting of acupuncture, herbs, exercise and diet, many patients become pregnant naturally. However, in some cases, Assisted Reproductive Therapies (ART) like Intrauterine Insemination – Artificial Insemination (IUI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) should be considered and in these instances, a complementary treatment plan will be discussed with the patient.
Studies have shown that acupuncture significantly increases the success rate of ART treatments. In addition, while infertility techniques such as IVF can yield great quantities of eggs per cycle and thereby increase the chances of conception, the focus of Traditional Chinese Medicine is always on quality – both of the eggs and the health of the woman undergoing treatment. Not only does acupuncture increase the likelihood of conceptual success, but it also reduces the side effects and discomfort often associated with artificial hormone manipulation.
Current research and time-tested experience shows that Traditional Chinese Medicine is able to:
* Regulate the menstrual cycle and hormonal functions
* Decrease elevated levels of FSH and normalize ovulation
* Stimulate blood circulation and increase the endometrial lining
* Control vaginal PH levels, eliminate yeast, and improve cervical fluid
* Reduce stress and increase libido
* Strenghten the immune system and restore reproductive health
* Treat endometriosis and blocked fallopian tubes
* Improve sperm quality, motility, and volume
How many treatments will I need?
Typically 3-6 months, 1-2 weekly visits. However, treatment terms inevitably vary patient to patient.
Is it OK to do IVF at the same time?
Yes it is. If you haven’t started IVF yet, however, it is recommended you begin your TCM treatment first.
Ready to Conceive
Your acupuncture and herbal medicine treatments will start working right away to get your body back to its optimum balance and ready for conception. Typical changes you may sense quickly include: reduction in the stresses that interfere with ovulation, regulation of menses, and a general feeling of good health. More subtle changes may eventually include a normalization of the hormones that regulate ovulation and allow an egg to be released, an increase in uterine blood flow improving chances of a fertilized egg implanting, or an improvement in ovulation cycles in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, to name a few. All together, TCM will work to get your body in a healthier and more balanced state, which will better lend itself to conception.
Male Factor Infertility. It takes two . . .
Can acupuncture help male factor infertility?
Chinese medicine theory applies equally for male factor infertility. A man’s low sperm count, poor motility, morphology, or sexual dysfunction can all be linked to the body’s imbalances and treated with great success.
Even if your male partner has not had a Western diagnosis of fertility-related problems, TCM treatments which contribute to his good health will produce a more complete system of readiness for conception.
Modern Western Diagnoses Treated with TCM:
Advanced Maternal Age
Elevated FSH Levels
Luteal Phase Defect
Male Factor Infertility
Ovarian cysts, Polycystic Ovaries
Advantages to Fertility treatment by TCM:
Non-surgical / Non-invasive
Once you are ready to Deliver your Baby:
Acupuncture to Induce Labor
Acupuncture to Manage Labor Pain