Fertility Enhancement

Acupuncture is useful for many ailments and conditions. But what about Acupuncture for infertility? Infertility is a struggle that thousands of people deal with on a daily basis. The causes are so wide ranging that it isn’t always an easy thing to solve. There are things that can make getting pregnant difficult. These include: Age, Weight, Contraceptive history, Medical history, Family history, Sexual history, Female issues and Male issues.

A person’s fertility can be influenced by things other than age. While age sometimes is a factor, you will see as you read on, there are ways you can counteract fertility related issues with Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Infertility: A Woman’s Problem?

Unfortunately the problem of infertility is often viewed as only a woman’s issue by both the public and many doctors. The reality of infertility is that it can be either partner with the difficulty or it can be both! Often both sides are not looked at as completely as needed and there’s a lot of guess work happening. This makes it difficult to actually fix a problem quickly and effectively.

How Does Acupuncture Help With Infertility?

TCM teaches that the body must be gently nourished and even encouraged at times. It doesn’t look at infertility the same way Western medicine does. Western medicine sees your body in bits and pieces and as one or more malfunctioning parts that need to be fixed. TCM sees a human body as a whole. If one part isn’t working it is because the entire body is out of balance. The key is to put your system back into balance so that your body can heal itself. When a body is restored to balance, the hormones needed for production, conception, and pregnancy are produced the way nature intended.  Overall, TCM therapy is based on ministering to the entire body, mind, and spirit.

Yin, Yang, and Infertility

According to Chinese medicine, symptoms of fertility are caused by ying/yang discrepancies such as:

  1. There is too much of something
  2. There is too little of something

An excess of one energy can cause a deficiency in the other. If one energy is taking over and draining the second energy, the body won’t be working at its peak performance. TCM uses the body’s own energy to encourage the production of hormones and endorphins.

Qi and Infertility

The question still remains however. How can this ancient method truly produce results? The first thing we must remember is that the basis for all of TCM is energy. Every living thing has energy. If our energy is flowing properly we will probably be in good health. If it is blocked or our blood is stagnant, then we will probably experience some unpleasant health effects.

Qi (chee) is a bio-electrical force that flows through the body. It is carried by a large network of channels that are called “meridians.” These invisible channels have been mapped out over thousands of years by the observation and experimentation of oriental physicians. Qi is changed in the body to several different things that make the body run, such as blood, hormones, and other bodily fluids.

Acupuncture Treatment For Infertility

Acupuncture allows TCM practitioners to tap into the Qi to bring about natural healing. This healing energy enlivens the body in more than one way. Western scientific research goes a long way into helping the modern person understand how and why acupuncture is believed to  restore health in the body. Here are a couple of these theories:

  1. Meridians are pathways of electrical energy that run throughout the body. The needles used in acupuncture are amplifiers that guide the qi to flow properly along the lines of the current.
  2. It is believed that inserting acupuncture needles  at certain points along the meridians actually stimulates the nervous system to release bodily fluids, including hormones. These can alleviate pain and affect the body’s internal regulating system, giving the body a chance to help itself heal. It is also believed that acupuncture needles stimulate specific nerve fibers that carry electrical impulses back to the brain.

How does this translate into acupuncture assisting on a person’s path to fertility? Acupuncture has the ability to stimulate the body’s hormonal system. This is beneficial to either men or women whose systems are having trouble regulating or producing the proper hormones needed in order to have a child.

This is optimum for a woman because it can help regulate her endocrine system. With it regulated the chances of her body allowing her to carry the egg to full term is greatly improved.

Age and Infertility

Many in the western medical community believe age is the only factor in determining if a couple can have a child. This is more so directed at the woman than it is the man, even though as either sexes age the chances of both male and female producing offspring become less and less. Thankfully there are many factors that can help maintain fertility even as a person becomes older. This is especially true if a person is utilizing TCM techniques.

As our bodies age, blood flow and hormone production changes. It fluctuates and isn’t at a consistent viable level as it once was.  The goal is to assist the body in returning to its natural state of fertility by bringing the hormones into balance and regulating the blood flow!

Can This Help At Any Age?

Productions of necessary hormones for pregnancy  can be inhibited even when you’re young. Many things can cause this, including Poor diet, Drugs, Toxins and Stress hormones.

TCM can assist your body in flushing out toxins, reducing your stress, and regulating hormones that have been thrown out of sync by any number of things.

Unexplained Infertility

Someone is diagnosed with “unexplained fertility” when there is no medical reason doctors can find to why conception is not occurring. The explanation for unexplained fertility is a different one where TCM is concerned. In eastern terms it the condition translates to “impaired reproductive functioning.” Reproductive functioning can be healed if the entire body is brought back into balance.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the first step is to address the manifestation of the problem  and figure out the underlying pattern. When the imbalances in the body are addressed, the reproductive system can begin to function normally. TCM is a healing module that allows pure healthy energy to flow into the body, while allowing the toxic energy to flow out. This helps the body’s systems to return to their natural state of health.

Stress and Infertility

Whether we like it or not, sometimes the body prevents pregnancy. The body’s natural response stress response is to release hormones that stop you from having a child under “dangerous circumstances.” Unfortunately the body can’t the difference between a stressful job and the kind of stress that it would be under if. . .we were being chased by a bear. Either way the body has decided that the time isn’t optimal to have a child.

Ways to Reduce Stress

Reducing stress is easier said than done, but here are some suggestions that can help you get on the road to a more relaxed you.

  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Meditate
  3. Use breathing techniques when possible
  4. Use cognitive therapy to help control your thoughts.
  5. Eat frequent small meals to keep your blood sugar level up
  6. Spend time with people you love
  7. Massage Therapy
  8. Practice mindfulness
  9. Get more sleep
  10. Read a good book

IVF and Acupuncture

Women in the process of undergoing embryo transfers are usually not in the state of optimum hormonal balance. Their systems have been burdened with stress, eggs have been surgically extracted, and the feeling of relaxation does not abound. Before and after this stressful procedure is an important time to receive acupuncture. Not only will it help bring about a state of relaxation, it can also provide a stabling balance to hormones. Click here for more information.

Chinese Herbal Medicine For Infertility

From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the main causes of infertility fall under two broad categories:

  1. Deficiency of the kidneys or spleen,
  2. Excess of stasis, stagnation, or damp heat of the pelvic organs.

Each one of the herbs used in treatment have their own unique function or group of functions. They work to keep the internal environment balanced and in harmony. The teas that a TCM practitioner prescribes can help to slowly replenish and nourish the body with restored qi and blood. Every prescription given by a practitioner of TCM is customized for the individual patient. Just because one specific herbal tea might work for one, it does not mean it will work the same for another. All the symptoms, which can vary widely, are taken into account.

Almost all aspects of fertility can benefit from TCM treatment. Issues can be resolved or reduced by the gentle care TCM provides as it helps the body to once again find the balance it has lost.

Infertility is a difficult issue on thousands of couple’s minds. There is no magical answer that can solve the problem in a blink of the eye. Instead, research and understanding are key to making the choice most suitable for you.