The treatment of infertility with acupuncture and Chinese medicine dates back 2,000 years. These ancient, time-tested techniques improve fertility rates and support a women’s whole body, unlocking unlimited potential for health, healing and childbearing. Recent studies have shown significant data that acupuncture can increase conception rates successfully.
Infertility has many causes. Traditional Chinese medicine can help balance the body’s function so that pregnancy is possible. While treatment for fertility may take a long time, the strategy of traditional Chinese medicine is always to strengthen the body and correct imbalances in its functioning, therefore creating overall health in the body.
Treatments for infertility are highly individualized and patients are scheduled once or twice a week for a duration of at least 3 weeks up to an average of 30 thirty weeks, depending on the individual case. In some cases where conventional treatments such as in-vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination are being incorporated, the treatment plan is synchronized to the other treatments involved.
Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine provide a safe, effective, drug-free and natural approach to treating infertility and enjoying a healthy pregnancy, helping with:
- Physical and emotional stress
- In-vitro fertilization
- Embryo transfer
- Male factor deficiency
- Intrauterine insemination
Physical and Emotional Stress
Stress is a well known and documented component of infertility. There is data showing that cortisol, a stress hormone, can interfere with the hormonal balance in the reproductive system and prevent conception. A recent Harvard study (2000) had infertile patients attend a stress management course and found a 70% success rate of conception within a 12-month period, with these otherwise “infertile patients.”
Acupuncture addresses stress by changing the chemical components in the body. Studies have shown acupuncture to release endorphins in the body, allowing the body and nervous system to relax and release the fight or flight defense stance that most of us operate from. Whether it is stress from emotional issues, environmental circumstances, fertility disorders or prompted by medications, acupuncture and wholistic medicine are effective treatment choices.
In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
TCM is used with patients undergoing IVF for various reasons. The treatment sessions can help to increase the success rate of your IVF cycle due to the fact that it helps increase the blood flow to the uterus, helps balance the hormone levels, helps increase Qi (vital energy) to the organ systems and enhance the overall physiological functioning of the body. Equally important, TCM and acupuncture can also be effective in diminishing the side effects of medications taken during your IVF cycle by:
- Helping prevent emotional mood swings
- Helping decrease headaches and muscle aches
- Increasing energy and combating fatigue
- Aiding in digestion
- Increasing blood flow and circulation to the uterus.
Acupuncture treatment in conjunction with IVF is received once or twice a week, depending on the particular treatment strategy.
Studies completed in Germany, April 2002, Paulus M.D., et.al., showed patients that received acupuncture before and after their embryo transfer had higher conception rates than patients who did not. Clinical pregnancies were documented in 34 of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group, whereas pregnancy rate was only 26.3% (21 out of 80 patients) in the control group. This is significant data for those undergoing in-vitro fertilization.
We are able to schedule acupuncture treatments before and after IVF treatments at our center or off site, in order to enhance IVF conception rates.
Male Factor Deficiency
Many times, infertility is due to male factor issues such as low sperm count, poor motility and mobility or poor morphology. Frequently, patients feel desperate when faced with this problem.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and acupuncture can help in all three areas of male factor issues. Many times, it is suggested for male patients to also take supplements such as amino acids to increase the count, motility and morphology. Certain amino acids have been known to specifically aid in this process. While studies show that it takes 70 days for these changes to take place, we have had much success with patients before this 70 day period. In TCM, sperm is a product of the male’s essence, which a is kidney organ-system function. The condition of a man’s sperm can then be improved by treating it according to the organ-system diagnosis in TCM.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Recently, acupuncture has been shown to increase the blood circulation in the uterus, balance the hormones and further aid in the process for conception. Therefore, we have created a specific treatment of auricular acupuncture, just in the ear, to help with this process during intrauterine inseminations. This treatment is intended to also stimulate reproductive function and soothe the nervous system, controlling the release of cortisol and other harmful stress hormones into the body. Just call us to make arrangements before your intrauterine insemination to increase the chances of conception.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine provide a safe, effective, drug-free, and natural approach to treating infertility and enjoying a healthy pregnancy!