Health & Medical Traditional Chinese medicine

Acupuncture and Fertility: Natural Support for Fertility Enhancement with Acupuncture

Recently a number of our clients have ask us about the relationship between acupuncture and fertility.
While, certainly, planning a pregnancy is an exciting time in a person's life - filled with new expectations, experiences and discoveries, it is also a time of reflection as well as one of looking towards the future, and an ideal time to explore optimal health.
For over 2,500 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners have been examining the most effective ways to help naturally boost fertility as well as to ameliorate imbalances that contribute to reproductive difficulties.
The practice of TCM includes acupuncture, nutrition, herbal medicine and gentle energy building exercises.
We know that many different factors play a role in determining the chances of conception and carrying to term.
Some of these factors require aggressive treatment or are irreversible (such as menopause), and should be ruled out.
However, much of the time, natural medicine and moderate lifestyle changes have powerful results without any adverse side effects.
Additionally, acupuncture is regularly utilized in conjunction with Assisted Reproductive Therapies [including: Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)], to increase their effectiveness.
(1).
It is important for the prospective mother to become intimately familiar with the body's rhythms and cycles.
This can be done by charting early morning temperatures, examining cyclical changes throughout the menstrual cycle, and using non-invasive home test kits to determine hormonal shifts.
This serves several purposes: one is to know the time during the menstrual cycle when conception is most likely to occur (ovulation), another is to bring to light the underlying blockages or deficiencies that need to be addressed.
Lastly, it helps women to be in touch with their bodies.
I always encourage my patients to become curious observers of the interconnected nature of all life.
This is elegantly demonstrated as body temperature, fluids, and emotions all ebb and flow together.
A balanced diet is of utmost importance where reproductive health is concerned.
I often recommend holistic nutritional counseling - which is offered at our center.
Reducing caffeine, alcohol, sugar and foods high in saturated fat, while eating plenty of color rich vegetables and essential fatty acids is key.
Only buy organic foods to avoid pesticides and additives.
If one eats meat and dairy, choose those that have not been hormone fed.
More specifically, there are foods and herbs that facilitate balance, based on each individual's needs.
Chinese medicinal herbs - with over 25 centuries of continual use - can be safe, effective and nourishing when prescribed by a Nationally Board Certified Herbalist.
Additionally, incorporating gentle energy building exercises - such as Tai qi, Qi gong, or Yoga - nourish the spirit, calm the mind and strengthen the body.
Through acute observation and analysis the TCM practitioner is able to assess disharmony.
One of the strengths of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that it takes into consideration every aspect of one's life, including factors such as sleep patterns, stress level and digestion.
Imbalances that seem unrelated reveal underlying patterns of disharmony that can contribute to infertility.
Acupuncture works by treating the "root" of the problem as well as the "branch" to enhance overall functioning.
In essence, acupuncture gives the body an opportunity to properly attune itself rather than only suppressing symptoms.
Today scientists are attempting to translate the effects of this ancient medicine into modern biophysical terms as more research comes out in support of acupuncture's effect on fertility.
Western medical theory holds that acupuncture initiates electromagnetic signals via the nervous and endocrine systems, to the hypothalamus.
The hypothalamus is responsible for the hormonal activity that is directly connected to ovulation, menstruation and conception.
Furthermore, by mediating the sympathetic nervous system (which is easily and often over-taxed due to stress), acupuncture stimulates vasodilation and effects blood flow to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus.
This, in turn, increases the viability of the ovum, thickens the uterine lining, and assists implantation of the fertilized egg - while decreasing the likelihood of miscarriage.
(2).
It is important to note that statistics show at least 30% of infertility cases are caused by male factors and another 30% involve a combination of both male and female.
A recent study indicates that acupuncture improves sperm count, motility and quality.
(3).
The goal of Traditional Chinese Medicine is to harmonize the entire being, tilling the soil for the creation of an overall environment that nurtures growth and well-being.
I work in partnership with my patients to address their specific needs and objectives.
They are often delighted to discover what far reaching effects it has on their health.
____________________________________________________________________________ You can find information about Sadie Minkoff's practice at: www.
Acupuncture-DC.
com
  1. Paulus et.
    al Fertility and Sterility, 2002 Apr;77(4):721-4.
    Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy.
    (42.
    5% of patients who received acupuncture resulted in clinical pregnancies verses 26.
    3% in the control group who did not).
  2. East Meets West in Reproductive Medicine.
    Mike Berkley.
    c.
    2006.
  3. Pei, J.
    Fertility and Sterility, July 2005; vol 84: pp 141-147.
    (The researchers write that acupuncture treatment is a simple, noninvasive method that can improve sperm quality).


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