As a member of British Acupuncture Council, I make sure I'm constantly updated on latest research - Eastern and Western - in the field of fertility and reproduction, and I am keen to support those who have problems conceiving.
Fertility could be a very sencitive issue. Often, in order to solve the gynaecological problem, the Heart (mental-emotional aspect) has to be treated as well. Since ancient times Oriental doctors new that there is a direct connection between the Heart and the Uterus: if the Heart is closed, the Urerus cannot open, and vice versa.
There could be many reasons for poor test results, and even more so when two people are trying to conceive. Physical and emotional health of both partners have to be considered, and male partner should receive acupuncture or herbal treatment if need be.
It is always helpful to have all the basic test results (thyroid, blood sugar, FSH, progesterone, semen analysis, etc.), also Basal Body Temperature (BBT) charts, if available.
I usually ask my fertility patients to commit to at least three month (three full menstrual cycles, and six cycles for more complicated cases) of weekly acupuncture in order for my treatments to work. Herbal formulas are also prescribed weekly, according to menstrual cycle and BBT changes.
With patients going through IVF, IUI or other assisted reproduction procedures, acupuncture is build around their IVF/ART protocol, and carries more of a complementary rather than alternative character.
Preparing for IVF
Obviously, a person who has reached the point of considering IVF, or doing further IVF, would very rarely be in a position to spend the ideal 6-9 months on ovary “make-over”. Couples with male factor infertility sometimes have this luxury. It is advisable to allow time for lifestyle and dietary changes to take an effect and for environmental and internal toxins to leave the body. If you have 3 months or 3 weeks, it is still better then nothing.
Acupuncture and herbal treatment are focused on:
Research papers and clinical studies in the field of Fertility and IVF:
- clearing pathological internal heat, which from Chinese medicine point of view is responsible for inflammation, drying out of body fluids, endocrine and hormonal irregularities, anxiety, and hyperactive immune system leading to allergies or antibodies.
- removing any signs of stagnation from ovaries and uterus, which manifest with painful periods, bloating, premenstrual tension, breast tenderness
- improving the physiological functioning of the whole body. The treatment might not increase the number of eggs, but the improved nourishment and hormonal environment can improve the responsiveness of the eggs to stimulation by fertility drugs.
- harmonising the emotions - dealing with worry, insomnia, stress and fears.
improving fertility in both partners
- semen quality and quantity: genetic abnormalities
- anti-sperm antibodies
- thickening endometrium walls
- de-obstructing fallopian tubes
- improving egg quality and quantity