Infertility rates have increased dramatically in the last decade with one in six North American couples experiencing troubles conceiving. This is an extremely difficult time for most couples, a roller coaster of emotions, frustration, anger, sadness and regret. Traditional Chinese Medicine has been treating infertility for over 3000 years and has recently been gaining acceptance in the West as a valuable method of restoring reproductive health. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that all aspects of your life; emotional, physical, and spiritual have an impact on fertility. It provides gentle yet effective, natural, safe, and cost effective treatment for infertility.
"Fall seven times and stand up eight." -Japanese Proverb
Traditional Chinese Medicine can improve your reproductive health in several ways:
- Acupuncture has been proven to reduce stress – this is very important when trying to conceive as stress reduces blood flow to the reproductive organs and negatively effects hormonal balance. A 2001 study from the University of California, San Diego found that women with high stress were 93% less likely to become pregnant.
- Acupuncture increases blood flow to the uterus which thickens the endometrial lining for implantation.
- Acupuncture strengthens the immune system for overall health and well-being.
- Acupuncture improves ovarian function and the release of follicles by stimulating blood flow to the ovaries to produce a larger number of follicles and better quality eggs.
- Acupuncture has a proven effect on the hypothalamus and the release of hormones throughout the body. Acupuncture can balance hormonal levels to regulate menstruation and ovulation.
- Acupuncture improves sperm count, motility and morphology. Researchers found that acupuncture treatment reduced the number of structural abnormalities in sperm and increased the overall number of sperm. The Medical Journal Fertility and Sterility, July 2005 reported that: Acupuncture therapy led to a significant increase in the motility levels of sperm and the percentage of healthy sperm increasing more than 4 times after 10 visits.
- Acupuncture lessens the side effects from hormonal treatments and increases in-vitro fertilization success rates. A study from Germany found that acupuncture immediately before and after IVF embryo transfer increases the success rates from 26% to 43%. A study produced by the Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Center in Colorado Springs has found that acupuncture can increase the success rates of IVF treatment 51% of women in the acupuncture treatment group became pregnant compared to 36% of those not receiving acupuncture.
- Acupuncture reduces the chances of miscarriage. A study by the Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Center in Colorado Springs found that acupuncture significantly reduces the miscarriage rate from 20% not receiving acupuncture with their IVF treatment to 8% of women combining acupuncture with their IVF protocol. Acupuncture also significantly lessens the chances of ectopic pregnancy.
Traditional Chinese Medicine seeks to naturally prepare the body for conception and a healthy full term baby. This includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, and diet & lifestyle suggestions which seek to balance the body and restore reproductive health naturally in both males and females. Traditional Chinese Medicine can be used alone or combined with Western fertility treatments.
We focus not only on reproductive health, but also the general health of the individual. This includes energy levels, sleep patterns, digestion, elimination, stress levels, and emotions. By improving the whole system (body) a healthy environment is created which optimizes the egg and sperm quality as well creating a good environment for implantation and maintaining a full term pregnancy.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Helps With:
- hormonal imbalance
- unexplained infertility, amenorrhea, luteal phase defect, anovulation
- endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, uterine fibroids & cysts, tubal obstruction, irregular menstrual cycles
- recurrent miscarriage
- advanced maternal age
- male factor infertility
An initial visit is approximately 90 minutes with a complete intake performed, medical records and tests evaluated. If you have been keeping bbt charts please bring these to your appointment. A Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis will be made and a treatment plan implemented. A personalized herbal formula will often be prescribed and lifestyle & dietary suggestions given to enhance the acupuncture treatments.
Course of Treatment
Every treatment plan will be customized depending on the individual diagnosis and patient needs.
Preconception: Acupuncture treatments once per week. It is recommended that treatments begin at least three months prior to conception in order to prepare the body for pregnancy and optimize the health of the eggs and sperm. The health of the parents at the time of conception has an effect on the health of the baby. It is important to allow time to regulate the menstrual cycle and optimize egg and sperm quality (70-100 days).
During Assisted Reproductive Techniques: It is advisable to begin treatment 2-3 months before IVF or medicated cycle so that the positive effects of acupuncture, herbal medicine, lifestyle and dietary changes are able to create a healthier environment for conception to occur and a healthy pregnancy and birth.
During Drug Suppression: 1-2 treatments a week are recommended to help relieve stress and prepare the body.
During Drug Stimulation: 2 treatments a week are recommended to improve endometrial lining, assist with ovarian response to drugs and relieve stress.
Transfer Day: A treatment before and after embryo transfer is recommended to reduce uterine contractions and relieve stress.
Implantation to Pregnancy Test: At least one treatment is recommended to secure the fetus and help with implantation.
Positive Pregnancy Test: Acupuncture treatments once weekly for 12 weeks to secure the health of the baby and decrease chances of miscarriage.