Chinese medicine, acupuncture and infertility

Many people dream of the day when they meet the person that they want to spend the rest of their life with, and one day to raise a family with. Unfortunately, one in six couples will have trouble getting pregnant. The diagnosis of infertility can be devastating, as I would know. At age 17, I was told I would probably never be able to conceive. I might be able to carry, but even that wasn’t a sure thing. Then, it didn’t bother me, but now as a married woman in my late 20s, I am ready to have kids, and it can be heart breaking when I remember that doctor’s visit. But for many women and men out there, there is good news. Whether the cause is due to an underlying medical condition, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis or hormonal imbalances, or even ‘unexplained’ infertility, Chinese Medicine can help. Chinese Medicine may be used as a stand-alone treatment or may be used in conjunction with allopathic medicine and interventions such as IVF. Research published in the British Medical Journal has found acupuncture alone can increase pregnancy rates of people using IVF by up to 65%.

So how can Chinese medicine help you?

There are several ways that Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can help you towards your dreams of having a family.

Get your hormones into balance – If your hormones aren’t in balance, it can make it difficult to get pregnant. Addressing conditions like PCOS and hypothyroidism, encouraging a healthy menstrual cycle can increase the number of follicles produced. Other than medical conditions causing imbalance, stress can be a huge culprit, as stress produces more of the hormone prolactin, which may impede ovulation.

Encouraging and improving blood flow to the reproductive organs – healthy endometrial lining is crucial. In Chinese Medicine, a stressful lifestyle pulls blood away from the reproductive organs to other areas such as the arms and legs to prepare it for “fight or flight.” Relaxing the body and nervous system can help the body to redirect the much need blood and nutrients to where it is needed.

Improve ovarian function for more viable eggs

Increase sperm count and motility

Discouraging uterine contraction and supporting a pregnancy to ‘hold,’ reducing likelihood of miscarriage – Many women are low in Qi, meaning they are overworked, stressed and generally tired. This lack of Qi and energy can mean the body is unable to hold the foetus. Improving and building up Qi can decrease the likelihood of miscarriages.

Reducing stress, improving sleep and increasing energy levels – Stress can play a major factor into why you may not be getting pregnant. Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can help to reduce the stress hormones, calm the sympathetic nervous system and switch on the parasympathetic nervous system. It can also improve sleep to allow your body the time it needs to heal and repair.
Acupuncture works to restore the flow of Qi -- your essence, your body energy -- so with regards to infertility, treatment has a calming, restorative effect that increases a sense of well- being and ultimately helps the body to accept the creation of life
– Rachel

Start caring for yourself now!

The sooner you begin preparing, and the healthier you are, the more chance you have of falling pregnant naturally. Becoming pregnant is only the first part. You will carry this child for nine months, nurturing and caring for them, before bringing them into the world. Remember, your child is made up of DNA from both you and your partner, and the healthier you are, the healthier your child will most likely be.

If you are looking to become pregnant, start as soon as you can, and allow 12 months of pre-conception care if you can. It is always best to consult a practitioner to find what herbal medicine and vitamins are suited to you, but you can start now. Eat a good healthy diet, incorporating as many whole foods as you can. Eat an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit, and always include good oils in your diet such as olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. Eat good-quality protein, organic if you can, especially fish. B-vitamins and magnesium can be good if you have a stressful lifestyle, or a history of anxiety and depression. Always ensure your vitamins are an excellent quality; you are what you eat.

It's never too late

Even if you are looking at starting a family in the next 6-12 months, or are currently going through IVF, you can start improving your chances now. In Chinese Medicine, health is all about addressing the imbalance within our bodies, and by doing so we improve our well-being, and increase the chances of becoming pregnant. By improving our health we also lay the best possible foundation for raising a healthy child. Start improving your lifestyle now to increase your chances of becoming pregnant naturally using herbal medicine and acupuncture, or use with Western interventions, such as IVF.

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