CAN ACUPUNCTURE BE USED TO TREAT INFERTILITY?
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can raise the fertility potential for women by affecting the quality, quantity, balance and flow of Qi and blood. When Qi (also called Life Energy) and blood are circulating freely throughout the body, every cell, tissue and organ is properly nourished and functioning well. When this occurs, a woman’s health and fertility are increased.
Acupuncture as it pertains to the pregnancy rate of patients who used assisted reproduction therapy:
WHEN SHOULD ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT BEGIN?
Acupuncture treatment can be started at any time during the process, but ideally would be started a few months prior to trying to conceive either naturally or with medical assistance. The reason for this is that acupuncture can help correct imbalances and lower stress levels that may prevent a successful attempt at conception. This helps quicken the time frame, may help avoid the need for more expensive and invasive procedures, and can dramatically ease the stress and anxiety of months of unsuccessful pregnancy attempts.
Patients can also benefit, from receiving treatment during the first and third trimester for support around the baby’s development in the womb, during the first trimester for issues like morning sickness, nausea, back pain, etc. And again at the end of the pregnancy, many women find acupuncture helpful to turn a breech baby, help start labor, calm Braxton-Hicks contractions, and deal with swelling in the hands and feet.
Concepts of Fertility Enhancement
At our facility, fertility is thought of a garden full of abundance and growth. Before any planting and growth can take place, the debris must be cleared away and the area prepared for new life. The soil must be enriched and made as fertile as possible to support new life. These concepts also apply to couples who wish to have a child. Whether conception takes place naturally or through a medical procedure, like IUI or In-Vitro, the environment must be prepared.
Traditional Chinese Medicine works to treat many of the following areas that can hinder contraception:
- Various forms of PMS
- Relief of PID
- PCOD that involves the regulation of imbalances in blood sugar, managing a person’s weight and the regulation of ovulation
- Sperm count, motility and quality
- Bringing hormone levels into balance
- Decreases levels of the FSH hormone
- Creates more blood flow to the reproductive organs and causes the lining of the uterus to thicken
- Improves ovarian function to produce higher quality eggs
- Strengthens the immune system
- Reduces stress
- Prevents the uterus from contracting
- Prevents and reduces the risk of miscarriage
- Relaxes the body, mind, emotions and spirit
How Long Does It Take To Get Results?
Patients are encouraged to begin acupuncture treatments as soon as possible. It is also encouraged to seek regular treatment to continue making progress. The best results are received after three or more menstrual cycles. One treatment, however, can be extremely beneficial in reducing stress and eliciting a healing response.
Why and How Does Acupuncture Work?
Traditional Chinese Medicine is successful because it helps to balance hormones and create a state of harmony within the body. Incorporating herbal medicine, nutritional counseling and acupuncture restores balance and pushes the body towards optimum health. Using the techniques available through Traditional Chinese Medicine, your endocrine system, immune system and nervous system are all brought back into balance. This improves your ability to conceive and also gives your body what it needs to promote conception.
We will create a specific treatment program based on a thorough review of your gynecological diagnoses, both past and present. We will also use your Chinese Medical evaluation to choose what techniques will work best for your individual situation. We will begin to create favorable conditions for conception and improve your overall reproductive health by suggesting foods and herbal supplements. We will also include the use of whatever elements are shown to be necessary.
Dietary changes that we will recommend often includes eating organic, unprocessed foods such as hormone-free, free range, organic meats and chicken with a little bit of fat, fish (salmon and cod rich with Omega 3, 6 and 9), eggs, real butter, whole milk (not low-fat) and fresh whole foods. It is important to drink 8 to 10 glasses of fresh water every day. Swimming, walking, yoga, tai chi and other forms of moderate exercise are also extremely important. We will teach you how to recognize signs of fertility. Receiving acupuncture treatments on a weekly basis is encouraged. You will also be given an herbal supplement that is specifically created according to your personal needs.
will also be used to help achieve conception. We will look at the patterns of imbalance and create a formula that fits your particular issues. Each formula is effective, gentle and safe to use. As your condition changes and the menstrual cycles progress, the formulas will be altered whenever changes present themselves, sometimes as often as every one or two weeks.
The endocrine and reproductive systems are responsible for both hormonal imbalances and challenges that can impair fertility. The brain, ovaries, hypothalamus and pituitary glands must all work in unison. The HPO or hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis is made up of these organs and maintains a very delicate balance. The aging process, stress and a variety of other factors can throw that delicate balance off leading to a multitude of reproductive problems. Acupuncture can help to regulate the HPO axis and bring it back into balance. As the balance is regained, the chances of conceiving increase. Patients who receive acupuncture report less depression and anxiety and more energy. Their sense of well-being improves and their outlook is more positive.
IVF and Assisted Reproductive Technology
Working with a Reproductive Endocrinologist, we can increase your benefits saving you both time and money. ART is sufficiently complemented by the use of herbal medicine and acupuncture. Employing both types of medicine dramatically increases your chance of success. Studies show that IVF success rates increase from 27% to 43% when acupuncture is included as part of the treatment.
Working With You During ART/IVF:
Preparation – IUI, ICSI, IVF as well as other Traditional Chinese medical techniques and ART can regulate the systems in your body and improve your overall health. If performed weeks or months in advance of the embryo retrieval, the techniques used can help to create a healthy environment that makes conception much easier. Acupuncture will also help the process go smoothly.
During Fertility Medication Protocol
Acupuncture treatments can reduce side effects associated with many medications. Side effects often include digestive disturbances, hot flashes, mood swings and gas. Blood flow to the uterus is also increased that will thicken the lining and create a suitable environment for implantation.
An acupuncture specialist can be with you during the embryo transfer at whatever location your physician chooses. By being there, acupuncture can be performed both before and after the procedure. Studies show that this can dramatically improve your chances of conception. It is proven to relax the uterus and reduce stress and cramping.
ART/IVF and Herbal Remedies
Our staff will work hand in hand with both Reproductive Endocrinologists and their patients to guarantee that each herbal treatment is safe when combined with Assisted Reproductive treatments. Depending on the patient’s individual needs, herbal formulas can be suspended before the stimulation cycle begins. It can also be used to prepare solely for IVF treatments.
Premature Ovarian Failure, Lacking Ovarian Reserves and Mothers Who Are Advanced in Age:
As women get older, their ovaries begin to lose their reserves. Active women how are healthy and feel youthful are not immune. There are only a certain number of eggs present when a woman is born and that number continually diminishes with age. At the age of 35 a woman will have experienced a drastic decline in the number of viable eggs. Acupuncture improves circulation to the uterus. This may improve the overall quality of the eggs that are present. Ovulation is improved in much the same way. The condition of the lining of the uterus is also enhanced.
It is frustrating to hear that doctors can find no real cause for your infertility. Many women have undergone years of testing and various blood draws with no conclusive evidence as to what is causing their inability to conceive. When this occurs, doctors often recommend in-vitro fertilization or conception through the use of an egg donor. With Traditional Chinese Medicine, the underlying patterns are examined to uncover the cause of the imbalance. In Chinese Medicine, there is no “unexplained fertility” issues. Ms. Postolov will be able to evaluate your condition and determine what is needed to correct the situation. The techniques used will support every aspect of the body, mind and spirit, helping to maintain balance and bring harmony to the body. As conditions inside the body begin to improve, conception will become much easier whether it is achieved through IVF or naturally.
FSH stands for Follicle Stimulating Hormone. It is what is responsible for the growth and maturity of the follicles that produce your eggs. As ovarian reserves decrease, more FSH must be released by the pituitary gland. High levels of FSH indicate fewer eggs are available. Although higher levels are normal, they can reduce the chance of contraception. Traditional Chinese Medicine can help reduce FSH levels and increase the chances of conception for women who are undergoing ART.
When women are under excessive amounts of stress, their ability to conceive can be reduced by up to 93%. Stress inhibits blood flow to vital organs and can slow down or halt communication between the brain, ovaries and other vital organs. This creates a hormone imbalance that affects the entire reproductive system. A diagnosis of infertility can be as frustrating for a woman just as if she discovered she had cancer or HIV.
Acupuncture releases endorphins and relaxes the nervous system. It also prevents the “fight or flight” response within the sympathetic nervous system. This is can prevent conception by forcing blood away from the uterus and ovaries. It is important in a life or death situation, but detrimental when it comes to fertility. Acupuncture regulates hormones and improves circulation, reversing the negative effects of stress.
Both visible and undetected illness can have an adverse affect on your health and ability to conceive. Traditional Chinese Medicine helps to improve your general health and strengthen your immune system. It also treats illnesses that can disrupt your chances to conceive.
Acupuncture works directly with the source of hormone imbalances to regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian-axis. It helps the organs to produce the correct amount of specific hormones that work to keep the body in balance. This includes lowering FSH levels and regulating estrogen levels.
Reduced sperm counts, compromised sperm and poor motility can all be improved through the use of Traditional Chinese Medical techniques including acupuncture. Each of these symptoms can also be improved through the use of herbal remedies and other forms of supplementation.
Correcting imbalances and improving blood flow with acupuncture is beneficial in reversing male infertility. Regular acupuncture appointments over a few months time, can improve both the motility of sperm as well as any structural abnormalities that may appear.
Miscarriages can result from any number of health problems. This includes illness, chromosomal abnormalities, cervical problems, issues with the uterus, hormone imbalances and the advanced age of the mother. Traditional Chinese Medicine can prevent many of the causes of miscarriage. Acupuncture can regulate hormones and enhance the production of progesterone. Acupuncture also helps to protect against first-trimester miscarriages by thickening and strengthening the lining of the uterus.
In some cases, women do not ovulate on a monthly basis. This is the result of the ovarian follicle not releasing a viable egg. Although there are many things that can cause this, advanced age and PCOD are often the culprits. Stress can also be a determining factor. It has been proven that both herbal medicine and acupuncture can help increase ovulation in patients with this problem.
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