Why is Acupuncture now being recommended for Infertility?
Why will you want it? How can it help?
Dr. Kathleen Albertson, L. Ac., PhD, Holistic Nutrition
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) includes acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. It has successfully treated infertility, gynecological, male factor, and many other illnesses and health problems facing couples for 5,000 years. Western medicine as we know it is just over 200 years old. TCM protocols differ from the procedures used in Western medicine-but their use offers hope for many for whom Western medicine is trying to or who has not yet helped. Several studies prove that your chances of conception, pregnancy and take home baby rates are increased when using acupuncture whether you are trying naturally or in conjunction with IUI or IVF. Some reports indicate a 40-60% improvement rate when used concurrently increasing the success of take home babies!
So how does it work?
TCM treats holistically, balancing, nourishing and supporting your blood and organ systems. A balanced body system is necessary for a male to have an adequate sperm count, motility and morphology and for a woman to make good follicles, good eggs, sufficient uterine lining and to help prevent miscarriage. Our body becomes "out of sync" with chronic stress, overwork, poor nutrition, long-term use of medications, exposure to toxins and chemicals, smoking, alcohol use, etc. Your body is like a "circuit board connecting with your brain". Life is busy and stressful for most of us ...so it is easy for our bodies to "shut down" and be unbalanced. It is as if some of the switches on our "circuit board" have been turned off creating blockages causing physical or emotional imbalances. TCM restores balance and blood flow and opens up our "circuit boards" so that the body functions better without stress or duress. The body and endocrine system feel safe, in better working order to conceive, carry, and deliver!
TCM allows your body to function more efficiently and optimally and can:
- Improve and supports your immune system
- Reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and worry
- Create calmness and a more "grounded" feeling
- Reduce toxic effects of medications
- Regulate the menstrual cycle
- Help normalize reproductive hormones
- Promote blood blow to the uterus and ovaries
- Improve ovarian function which includes follicle and egg quantity and quality
- Reduce uterine contractions after IVF assisting implantation
- Reduce miscarriage and recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL)
- Assist in thickening the uterine lining
- Improve sperm count, motility and morphology
Does it hurt?
No, acupuncture is a very gentle and relaxing protocol! The needles are very thin -hairline.
You may feel a tiny pinch or nothing. It is safe with little or no side effects. In fact, I treat children. Women can be treated all the way through pregnancy in high risk cases, or to counter the effects of morning sickness, fatigue, headaches, edema, back pain, etc.
What can I expect at my first visit?
The acupuncturist will go through your medical history and discuss your signs and symptoms. They look at your tongue and check your pulse and explain how they can best help you based on your symptoms and your fertility goals. Nutrition, diet and lifestyle are also important part of becoming pregnant and are discussed. I will explain an appropriate treatment plan for you. TCM practitioners work closely with fertility specialists and are an important part of an IUI or IVF cycle. If you are trying naturally, yes, we also have great success.
So, if you have unexplained infertility, male factor issues, are trying naturally or have had a poor response to IVF do not be discouraged--conception, pregnancy and delivery are a journey and I am here to help each and everyone of you succeed. Many insurances now cover acupuncture!