Why Fertility Acupuncture?
The simple response is “because it works”. I have been working with this patient population for a long time. I never knew the struggle that so many couples were facing prior to seeing my first fertility patient some 17 years ago. Seeing the joy in a couples face when they get a positive pregnancy test and then receiving the birth announcement 9 mos later; well, I can tell you there is no better feeling. I was fortunate to be blessed with 3 children; and when I realized what my medicine could offer those couples struggling to achieve the same thing, I started researching everything I could on the topic. We learned in school that Chinese medicine was an effective natural way to ease PMS and menopausal symptoms but the topic of infertility was never really discussed. I sumized that if acupuncture could balance out and ease menstural symptoms, then it had to be able to affect infertility. Both were symptoms of an imbalance in the healthy functioning of the endocrine system. Acupuncture, herbs, and nutrition are able to restore that balance thus returning normal function.
I took this theory and ran with it. With each couple I helped, word spread. Pretty soon, 70% of my practice was fertility related. I also made some connections with the reproductive endocrinologists in the area and started working with patients going through some form of assisted reproductive therapy. We discovered that the acupuncture treatments were helping the outcomes of those therapies as well. Around this same time, 2 studies were conducted regarding acupuncture and IVF treatment. Paulus et al, 2002 and Stener-Victorin, 1996 both showed positive effects on IVF outcomes.
Over the years there have been some scholars in the field of fertility acupuncture that have published books and put on conferences that have helped me to refine my own practice and thus allow me to help more couples achieve their dream of conception.
Through studies, we now know that acupuncture, herbs, and nutrition can influence fertility in many ways.
- Helps regulate the hypothalamus, pituatary, ovarian axis thus helping regulate ovulation and mensturation.
- Can help to balance stress hormones which can reduce inflammation thus improving celular functioning. Also balancing the sex hormone pathways.
- Improves blood flow to the ovaries and uterus thus helping egg quality and implantation.
- Chinese herbal medicine has been used for over 2000 years. Multiple herbs are typically combined into synergistic formulas to address specific patterns of imbalance. Studies have shown that these herbs can have an antioxident and antiinflammatory effect thus helping with egg quality.
DIET and NUTRITION
We now understand, more than ever, the influence of diet, nutrition, and the environment on our systems. This outside influence is referred to as epigenetics, or substances that influence the genetic expression of our cells. High stress lifestyle, processed foods, hormone laiden animal protein and dairy, pesticide covered produce and environmental toxins all negetively affect our body’s cells. Some of these cells will eventually develop into the eggs that will be picked for ovulation. By consuming high quality organic foods, supplements, lowering your stress levels and reducing your toxic load, you can reverse those negative affects and produce higher quality eggs. Some of the supplements I recommend in my practice are as follows:
- coQ 10
- Acai Berry
- Fish Oil
- Vitamin D
- Prenatal Pro
- The combination of supplements are based on your specific needs.