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Can Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Assist Your Fertility?

The Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture In Relation to Fertility

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture for fertility can be used alongside cutting edge Western reproductive medicine to increase the chances of conception.

The strengths of Western medicine are just those areas in which Chinese medicine is weak, while the weaknesses of Western medicine are also precisely those areas where Chinese medicine has the most to offer. In other words, the two disciplines complement each other exceedingly well.

How Does Chinese Medicine Apply To Fertility

Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on restoring health and balance to the body and can assist Western medicine to work more effectively. TCM regards the body as an ecosystem and as such addresses the often complex relationships between its different systems. Maintaining and restoring the “balance” within the body, is at the heart of diagnosis and treatment in acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine.

In TCM, fertilityand conception problems result from imbalances within the network of organs, hormones and energy systems of a woman’s body. This network responds to stress, chemicals, lack of exercise, poor diet, and excess emotions – all of which can put the body off balance.

These imbalances prevent the body from doing what it was designed to do. A TCM practitioner looks at every aspect of a woman’s health (by taking a comprehensive case history), to assess which organs are imbalanced. Then they will utilize a program of acupuncture, herbs, exercises, diet, and lifestyle changes, to restore equilibrium to your body.

The most important distinction TCM practitioners can make is to identify the underlying pattern of dysfunction. Once this is established and treated, the outward manifestation of symptoms usually disappears. In Eastern medicine, there is no separation of mind, body, emotions, and spirit. TCM therapy is based upon administering to them all.

Acupunture and Traditional Chinese Medicine For Fertility

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine have been used for fertility issues for thousands of years. Now, with new research performed in the West showing acupuncture’s effectiveness, its use is becoming an important aspect in fertility both alone and alongside IVF treatments. In fact, 4 recent studies have shown a significant increase in pregnancies and birth rates when acupuncture has been used as an adjunct treatment before and after IVF embryo transfers.

Acupuncture can increase blood flow to the uterus and has a regulating effect on the hormonal systems via its ability to regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian-axis, an essential aspect in the development of conception and healthy pregnancy.

What Can Acupuncture and TCM Treat?

As seen, acupuncture and TCM can assist in the treatment of many gynecological and obstetric problems including the following:

  • Menstrual cycle difficulties/irregularities
  • Pain
  • PMT
  • PCOS
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovulation problems
  • Low sperm counts
  • Infertility

As you may well know, from a traditional Chinese point of view, acupuncture aims at regulating the two interdependent forces of Yin and Yang. Here, you can see how this applies to the menstrual cycle. Each must be in balance for the next process to occur effectively. You will notice that as these processes return to balance, your overall well-being will be greatly enhanced.

How long do I need to be treated for?

Most infertility issues can be resolved within 3-4 menstrual cycles or around 3 months for males. More complex and long standing conditions may take up to 6 months of treatment. Lifestyle changes will usually lessen the treatment period.

Treatments will usually be more frequent for 1-2 months and then both the amount of acupuncture and herbs required can be consistently reduced as the patient’s condition improves. Acupuncture may be required once per week for the first 1-2 months of treatment and can then normally be reduced in frequency. We are able to treat some conditions with herbs alone, depending on the diagnosis and patient condition.

Reference Texts:

The Infertility Cure by R Lewis PHD

Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine by J Lyttleton

At Fertility Solutions, we offer a full range of complementary therapies to assist you in becoming pregnant. If you would like to learn more, please contact clinic manager Denise Donati with specific questions or schedule a private consultation.