Acupuncture May Erase Agony of Infertility
Almost as old as Aprhodite, the Greek Goddess of Fertility (and associated behaviors), Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the form of acupuncture has emerged into western medicine with respect to the reproductive and endocrine systems. It is used both as a sole treatment for conception (and throughout pregnancy) as well as complementary to scientific advances such as Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) and Embryo Transfer.
Utilizing TCM, which is a combination of acupuncture, herbal tinctures, and nutritional/lifestyle modifications, the skilled practitioners at Healthy Body & Soul have been highly successful in assisting hundreds of couples conceive both naturally, and through IVF. We understand that this is a crucial time for you and your growing family and are here to suit your needs the best we can.
Guide for Applying Acupuncture
Women and couples often wonder whether they should use acupuncture before, after, or during fertility treatments. Below is a simple guide to help navigate which group best suits your individual needs:
Group # 1 – Wanting Acupuncture BEFORE Western Fertility Treatments (IVF, ART, Embryo Transfer)
- A younger woman, typically under 35 years old
- Only one minor impediment, such as mild endometriosis, menstrual irregularity, mild PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome
) ,or a hormonal imbalance
- A couple in good health with unexplained infertility and/or no
Group # 2– Considering Assistive Acupuncture COMBINED with Fertility Treatments
- A woman over 35 years old
- A woman who has several of the minor impediments listed above that can interfere with pregnancy
- A male partner who has mild abnormalities in sperm count or quality
Group #3 – Acupuncture HIGHLY RECOMMENDED with Fertility Treatment
- A woman over 40 years old
- A woman with major impediments, such as blocked tubes
- A male partner who has seriously low sperm count or poor quality
Specific Fertility Boosts
Some of the major benefits of TCM for fertility
- Increase blood flow to your uterus and improve thickness of uterine lining
- Hormonal regulation of the body’s natural cycles (sleep, menstrual, energy, etc)
- Reduction of stress levels
- Improve function of your ovaries to produce higher quality eggs
- Enhance chances of successful implantation
- ncrease live birth rate
- Lower rates of ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages
And for men…
- Improve semen quality, quantity, and motility
- Reduce stress and improve well being
Fertility-Friendly Lifestyle Changes
There are many lifestyle changes that can also help your body’s readiness to conceive. Some suggestions include:
- Caffeine: Reduce or cut out coffee from your diet. A joint US/Swedish study of 562 women found that 1-3 cups of coffee increased miscarriage rate by 30% and more than 5 cups increased it by 40%. Also, in another study conducted during the first trimester of pregnancy, women who had a high caffeine intake showed an increased risk of repeated miscarriage.
- Stress: Stress has been linked to irregularities in ovulation and abnormal sperm development. When you can lower your levels of physiological stress, you have increased your chances of conception.
- Sleep: Treatment in Chinese medicine always aims to improve your sleeping pattern. Lack of sleep has long been recognized as influencing fertility. It leads to physiological disruptions including the inhibition of growth hormones.
- Alcohol: Women who drink alcohol may delay conception because it is poorly metabolized and can lead to a disturbance of the estrogen/ progesterone balance. During IVF, men and women are both advised to avoid alcohol because, in women, it can lead to reduced egg production and, in men, it may reduce the number of healthy sperm.
- Weight: Being too thin or too heavy can have an impact on how quickly you conceive. Excessive thinness is known to interfere with menstrual periods. Now, it is also believed that if both partners are overweight or obese, conception will take longer.
- Smoking: Smokers have an increased rate of repeated miscarriage. Women smokers have been shown to have lower levels of estrogen which may delay conception. Smoking is also thought to influence tubal factor
infertility,and can cause early menopause. In men, smoking may damage sperm. When men stop smoking, their sperm count increases quickly.