Acupuncture and Eastern medicine have a lot to offer couples who are trying to enhance their fertility or overcome reproductive obstacles. Men and women of all ages can benefit from acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, greatly increasing their fertility and improving their overall health.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine help fertility
Acupuncture regulates hormones in the body and increases blood flow to the reproductive organs. Acupuncture also helps the body to shift from the stressful sympathetic mode (fight or flight) to the relaxed parasympathetic mode (feed and breed), which is essential to female receptivity. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine has been shown to improve sperm counts, motility and morphology (form).
Conditions that may block fertility include irregular menstruation and ovulation, endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovaries, thin uterine lining, elevated FSH and other hormone imbalances. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be helpful in all of these conditions, as well as in cases of “unexplained infertility” and “advanced maternal age.”
Assessment and Treatment
With each client, Kelly does a thorough assessment and creates a treatment plan specific to your presentation and needs. She makes suggestions about what you can do to help yourself – including dietary changes, nutritional supplements and exercise recommendations.
Please see Recommendations for Promoting Female Fertility (pdf) and Male Fertility (pdf) for more information.
How does acupuncture help with fertility?
If I assess that your system needs to be strengthened – I choose acupuncture points and/or herbs to build your body’s energy, specifically the Qi, Blood, Yin or Yang energies. A thin uterine lining is an example of depleted Yin energies.
If I assess that your Qi or Blood is not moving well, causing congestion – I choose acupuncture points and/or an herbal formula to help move the Qi smoothly and circulate Blood. Fibroids and PMS are examples of this category.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is usually due to damp-phlegm obstructing the reproductive organs. It is essential to reduce damp-forming foods such as sugar, dairy and refined foods (white flour products specifically). Acupuncture and herbal medicine can greatly enhance the process of clearing the dampness and improving the functioning of the ovaries.
Stress is a major factor in infertility for both men and women and it can be addressed with acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and lifestyle changes. Thai bodywork may also be helpful – it relaxes the mind and body, balances the energy and circulates the Qi and Blood. It also feels great!
I truly believe that we would not have our beautiful little boy without Kelly’s help. After nine years of trying to conceive (including three miscarriages), it seemed miraculous when we got pregnant and carried full term. Kelly was with me every step of the way by helping me prepare for IVF and maintain my pregnancy. She provided physical and emotional support, often making room for me in her schedule, and there is no doubt in my mind that we would not have Thatcher without her. Best of all, Kelly is a wonderful woman and I consider her a friend to this day.
Charting the Basal Body Temperatures
Charting the Basal Body Temperatures (pdf) is very important. The BBT charts demonstrate energy and hormone levels and are helpful in clarifying diagnosis and treatment in Chinese medicine. They also serve as a clear guide to your progress. Take your temperature every morning and bring your charts when you come for treatment. See the BBT link for a downloadable chart and directions.
Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Acupuncture
Western and Eastern medicines complement each other very well. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can support assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), intra-uterine insemination (IUI), donor egg transfer and other treatments. Studies have been done on the use of acupuncture in conjunction with IVF procedures and the results demonstrate that acupuncture improve pregnancy rate by 40-60%.
Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler
The Infertility Cure by Randine Lewis
Fertility Wisdom by Angela Wu