It’s become increasingly more common these days for women to be proactive and seek support before even actively starting on their conception plans. Many have the desire to feel as healthy and balanced as can be and know they are doing everything when taking that next step. The beauty of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that the entire system, physical and emotional, benefits from treatment no matter where focus lies. The advantages of acupuncture are far reaching through all of the body’s networks including hormonal, metabolic, immune, digestive, and adrenal.
Often stress is such an enormous factor when initially thinking about trying to conceive that it creates a negative impact on what are the best intentions. Working with women in the preparatory stages is a wonderful opportunity to negate that stress and direct focus on a healthy lifestyle habits to enhance fertility. We work together to formulate a personalized fertility plan that involves acupuncture, nutrition, and appropriate exercise.
Multiple causes of infertility exist but it is frequently not until the journey to parenthood becomes a struggle and one filled with many disappointments that certain health conditions come to light. Common factors are:
· Thyroid issues
· Irregular menstrual cycles
· Autoimmune conditions
· Clotting issues
· Hormone imbalance (including progesterone deficiency)
There are many ways that these various conditions can be treated and managed with acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and each unique case is assessed to create a strong plan of action to address these concerns. A schedule of regular acupuncture treatment, dietary changes, supplements, and in most cases custom Chinese herbal formulas will be prescribed.
The journey to pregnancy can take a great toll on emotions and often women feel lost and in need of advice and education to understand whet the next steps are. Having the right support can be vey key to enduring this often painful road. Stress relief, emotional balancing and addressing anxiety and depression, as well as sleep issues, is an important component of the treatment you receive with acupuncture.
While the goal is always to try our very best to help achieve pregnancy naturally, there are times that more information and further support is needed. I work to connect my patients with skilled reproductive doctors in order to create a more dynamic and thorough system of care.
In the absence of a known medical cause many women are diagnosed with unexplained infertility. It is estimated that one in five couples will identified as such. After going through extensive medical testing and evaluation, it can be difficult and down right maddening to hear that there is no good reason you are not getting pregnant. As an alternative and often second opinion, women and couples will seek acupuncture to help find some other answers and support.
It is important to know that the diagnosis doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant, it just means a cause has not been found yet as to why. I understand how this uncertainty is deeply difficult to deal with, and I work closely with my patients to look at the specific and wide range of factors that might be affecting fertility across every aspect of life. Because the body is viewed differently on a physiological level in TCM than western medicine, there are aspects we look at that can reveal clues as to what may be at play. Based on the important details of your body and health state we formulate a course of treatment with acupuncture that will aim to resolve and restore the imbalances found in order to enhance fertility and improve your chances of conceiving.
It is quickly assumed when a couple is having difficulty getting pregnant that the problem always lies with the woman, when in truth a large number of cases have to do with male fertility issues. The known factors include:
· Poor sperm quality (including count, motility, and morphology)
· Low testosterone
· Erectile dysfunction
Sperm quality issues are not restricted to age, as we see younger and younger men seek treatment for issues with their morphology, motility, and count. Nutritional and environmental factors are largely influential as sperm is very susceptible to oxidative stress from toxins and pollutants. Diet, lifestyle, stress levels, and medications all play a part.
The positive is that low sperm health can be corrected. The spermatogenesis cycle, during which new sperm is made, is approximately 3 months. With the support of dietary changes, supplementation, and regular acupuncture treatment, the body can give rise to healthy new sperm and improve male fertility.
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
For many women facing fertility issues, the conceiving part happens without a problem but they experience one painful loss after another. Recurrent miscarriage takes an enormous emotional toll and creates very high levels of anxiety with every pregnancy. There are many factors that point to what may be at the root cause of repeat loss, including genetics, clotting disorders, autoimmune factors, hidden infections, and chromosomal abnormalities.
My approach with this particular issue is a highly integrative one, as I recognize the importance of helping connect my patients with skilled doctors that will help investigate and find the hidden cause of repeat loss. With the combined efforts of Western and Eastern medicine we create a plan to support the next pregnancy with all the tools we have, and build a solid foundation of support to not only ease the journey emotionally but ensure that support is always within reach. Read more on how acupuncture is beneficial to pregnancy HERE.