What is infertility?
Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system often diagnosed after a couple has had one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, or if the woman has been unable to carry a pregnancy that results in a live birth.
Is infertility a “women’s problem”?
Infertility is a medical problem. Approximately 35% of infertility is due to a female factor and 35% is due to a male factor. In the balance of cases, infertility results from problems in both partners or the cause of the infertility cannot be explained.
How long should we try before we see a doctor?
At Healthy Healing, we advise you not to be concerned unless you have been trying to conceive for at least one year or unless you do not menstruate regularly.
However, if you are over 30 years old, have a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, painful periods, miscarriage, irregular cycles, or if your partner has a known low sperm count, you may want to seek help sooner. Many couples have a hard time admitting that there may be an infertility problem. After each menstrual period, they hope that “maybe it will work this cycle”. When these hopes are dashed month after month, a woman often consults her regular OB/GYN or a fertility specialist.
How can Acupuncture & Herbs Help?
- Acupuncture and Chinese herbs increase tremendous blood flow in the ovaries
- Nourish the reproductive organs
- Balance the hormones (i.e. FSH, estrogen, progesterone)
- Reduce stress dramatically.
- Increase pregnancy rates by as much as 50%
Traditional Chinese Medicine (“TCM”) provides a natural approach to gently nourish and encourage the body towards conception. Chinese Medicine views the egg and sperm as our most vital essence that is transmitted by our parents. The first step towards treatment is for the Chinese Medicine practitioner to find out if a woman is having regular menses. The practitioner may ask the patient to take her temperature daily and chart it along with changes in vaginal mucus to get a better picture of her cycle. If a couple has been having timed intercourse for a year without a pregnancy, then they are candidates for fertility treatments.
A 10%-15% increase in conception can occur when used adjunctively with Western reproductive techniques. For example, conception rates with IVF (in-vitro fertilization) of 25-30% can jump to 35-40% depending partly on the woman’s age. If Chinese herbs are used in addition, the rate can increase to 50%.
What to Expect Your First Visit
The acupuncturist will take a complete medical history, the same as a Western physician. She will take your pulse on three places of each wrist. Time will be taken to feel your pulses to assess qualities such as depth, rate and strength. She will then ask to see your tongue. The tongue and pulse are very important to the practitioner to help make an Eastern Medicine diagnosis. Weekly acupuncture treatments will be given with various herbal formulas to coincide with the menstrual cycle. Men can also be treated weekly for fertility issues with acupuncture and supplemented with an herbal formula. Dietary and lifestyle changes will also be discussed.
In order to facilitate the most optimal conditions for conception, couples should expect at least 3-6 months of treatment. Many times couples may need as much as a year of treatment depending on the situation. Fertility treatments with Western medicine can be especially stressful. Acupuncture is a proven therapy to relieve stress and calm the nervous system.
TCM is a wonderfully natural way to increase a couple’s chance of conception with virtually no side effects. If you have been struggling to conceive, please consider acupuncture and Chinese herbs to assist in your family planning.