Infertility
345 Case Studies
151 Member Stories
44 Research

Acupuncture can increase fertility by decreasing stress, increasing blood circulation to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system, according to many studies and clinical research. The objective of an infertility treatment from a Chinese medicine perspective isn't merely to get pregnant, but to remain pregnant and to have a healthy baby. 

What causes Infertility?

Infertility can be due to a number of reasons in men and women. In women trouble with ovulation or the release of an egg by one of the ovaries is the primary cause of infertility. It may be related to problems like PCOS, blocked fallopian tubes, primary ovarian insufficiency, or other uterus related problems

Age is an important factor as the number and quality of a woman's eggs start to go down when a woman is in her 30s and 40s.

In men, a variety of conditions may lead to fertility problems, including Varicocele (swelling of veins in the testicles), Infections that affect the making of sperm, Problems with the amount, size, shape, or movement of sperm, and Hormone disorders

The overwhelming distress and sense of loss experienced by couples struggling with infertility problems is an undesirable motivator, forcing them to seek other treatment options to overcoming infertility. From home remedies, fertility drugs, and even surgery, to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and donor eggs and embryos, contemporary health care has significantly enlarged the array of options available for couples struggling to conceive.

But not all can manage the financial costs of infertility that could range from tens of thousands of dollars spent on medication into tens of thousands spent on complex procedures like Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and IVF. From the search for affordable and efficient health care, holistic and alternative therapies are gaining wider appeal among the general public.

Many clinics in major U.S. cities today integrate acupuncture into therapy. Patients frequently have difficulty interpreting how acupuncture works, and if it is effective. I can share my experiences from my practice.

Acupuncture and Fertility Treatments

Acupuncture can increase fertility by decreasing stress, increasing blood circulation to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system, according to many studies and clinical research. The objective of an infertility treatment from a Chinese medicine perspective isn't merely to get pregnant, but to remain pregnant and to have a healthy baby. Among a number of other advantages, acupuncture may provide better blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, making a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term.

Acupuncture fits into a wider treatment approach called traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM. Whereas 10 or 15 years back, TCM approaches were considered fringe within the fertility area, today 24 percent of patients attend clinics offering acupuncture services.

Theoretically, there are numerous ways acupuncture helps fertility. The first is by increasing blood flow to the ovaries, which will help to stimulate as many follicles as possible. Post-retrieval, improved blood flow to the endometrium helps maintain the uterine lining healthy. Additionally, acupuncture is thought to help keep inflammatory reactions in check, particularly critical for women with PCOS, while generally alleviating levels of anxiety within the body.

Acupuncture is the insertion of ultra-thin, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points on the body that live on channels or meridians; those are pathways in both the exterior and interior of the human body. These points, when needled, can modulate the manner in which the body works. Acupuncture helps by fixing problems that affect fertility like an under-functioning thyroid (Hypothyroidism) or over-functioning thyroid (Hyperthyroidism).

How does Acupuncture view fertility?

Fertility is a normal physiological function of our body. However, according to the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the normal physiological function of our body can happen only under one condition. That occurs when  the energy in all meridians of the body is in excellent balance and harmony. When equilibrium and harmony exist in a marriage, the marriage will continue until the couple's hair turns grey. When normal physiological equilibrium and equilibrium exists in either side of the bunch, then pregnancy can result and continue to full term.

What causes infertility according to TCM? With the improvements in vitro fertilization (IVF), many causes of infertility may be solved like anovulation, tubule obstruction, or absence of sperm penetration. However, a successful pregnancy requires a successful creation of numerous adult top quality eggs, quality semen and implantation of the fertilized egg. A successful implantation takes a receptive, friendly and encouraging the uterine environment. Both of these require the body to keep a constant maximum blood flow to the ovaries and uterus to provide the vital nutrients and (natural and injected) hormones and to eliminate toxins and decrease over-active immune cells. That's where acupuncture and herbs come in.

 

An unfinished balance or disharmony of bodily function can cause a poor follicular response to the stimulating hormones and in non-receptive and non-supportive endometrium, and result in infertility problems such as fewer eggs, poor egg quality, lean linings, bad implantation, excessive macrophages, higher concentration of NK cells attacking the embryos as in endometriosis and habitual miscarriages. With his expertise and expertise in treating infertility with acupuncture and Chinese herbs, experienced Acupuncture practitioners can help detect and rectify these imbalance, optimize the flow of blood that carries the stimulating hormones into the ovaries and uterus, and removes the toxins from the uterus thus providing a more embryo-friendly atmosphere for fertility success either by yourself, or with IUI (intrauterine insemination also called artificial insemination), or with IVF. 

How many Infertility treatments are needed?

There are two types of acupuncture treatments in addressing Infertility: The corrective acupuncture therapy and supportive acupuncture treatments for infertility.

 

The corrective acupuncture treatment for infertility:

Unsuccessful pregnancies have many causes. Frequently, an imbalance isn't only from the woman, but also from the man.

The acupuncture for infertility treatments for woman usually start one to three months prior to the beginning of expected trying cycle for all three group of patients (trying in their own, with IUI, with IVF). During the first exam, I will determine, through patient's history, pulse and tongue diagnosis, hand/feet exam, how close the individual is to the best fertility equilibrium. For patients whose inner conditions are within 10 percent the best equilibrium, 4 to 8 acupuncture treatments for infertility may be adequate. For those with just 20 to 40 percent of the standard energy, 9 to 16 infertility acupuncture treatments may be necessary before the start of expected trying cycle. Those with egg quality problems and reduced follicle counts should start 5 to 6 weeks beforehand, because of the fact that it frequently takes 1 to 2 months to balance the body and 3 months (85 days) for the egg to grow. People who have multiple IUI or IVF failures and numerous miscarriages should begin acupuncture 2 to 4 weeks before following IUI or IVF cycle. In this time, customized secure and effective Chinese teas and herbs are suggested to accelerate the fertility optimization procedure.

Generally speaking, treatment is provided once a week unless individual should start IUI or IVF in under 30 days; in that situation, more frequent treatments (2/wk) may be necessary. For men, it's also important to find balanced, for ICSI (injecting sperm into the egg) will only lead to the marriage of the chromosome of the sperm and that of the egg. It doesn't enhance the quality of the sperm.

Although the egg will be fertilized, what about its quality? Will the resulting embryo become full term pregnancy? For men, one treatment is needed each week with herbs for 3 to 4 weeks. The improvement can be found through sperm analysis. In some instances, Dr. Lee has helped couples achieve their dreams by largely treating the men.

Supportive acupuncture for fertility

The supportive acupuncture and Post Retrieval Acupuncture Treatment for infertility:

Part A:

IUI cycles: Acupuncture for Infertility Treatments for IUI patients: after a week,

IVF cycles: 3 to 4 acupuncture for infertility treatments during IVF stimulation. IVF cycles: 3 to 4 acupuncture for infertility treatments during IVF stimulation.  On the day of transfer, one on 4-5 days and one on 8 -10 days after transfer.

Patients will usually take pregnancy test 3 to 4 times after the 2nd follow-up acupuncture therapy.

If the pregnancy test shows positive, then part B begins; otherwise, patients, based on their condition, need to resume from corrective acupuncture treatments again.

 

Part B: You have received the good news - you are pregnant. You're halfway to reaching your ultimate aim. The next important thing is to keep pregnant. Together with his MPP (miscarriage prevention program), an expert Acupuncturist can significantly reduce your miscarriage rate.

 

Reaching this goal entails weekly acupuncture treatments for another 8 weeks to make the most of your fetus's likelihood of survival in your uterus. These follow up acupuncture treatments (done once a week for the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy) are equally as essential as the preceding acupuncture treatments for infertility. Statistics show that in an average, there's a 20% chance of the pregnancy end with a miscarriage within the first 12 weeks. This miscarriage rate rises to 50% when the individual is in their late 30s and early 40s. For people who are over 40 and people who are having twins, acupuncture will continue at a rate of once every 2 weeks from week 12 to week 24. The ultimate objective of treating infertility would be to have a child -- becoming pregnant is just the first step in an acupuncture for infertility program.

 

Individuals who continue acupuncture as soon as they get pregnant have a far better chance at staying pregnant than people who don't. Having acupuncture once a week for your first 12 to 24 months of your pregnancy can help to ensure the constant and the most blood flow to the uterus to your child(ren), minimizing the possibility of miscarrying, and maximizing your chance of a successful pregnancy.

Scienctific view of Infertility

Because of the delicate balance between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and reproductive organs, stress is effective at preventing a woman from ovulating entirely. This can lead to the cause of female infertility. Stress may also make spasms in both the fallopian tubes and the uterus, which may interfere with movement and implantation of a fertilized egg. In men, stress can change sperm counts, motility, and lead to impotence. Acupuncture infertility therapy counters the effects of stress and cortisol by releasing endorphins in the brain. An herbal impotence treatment is also an option for men and can decrease stress.

Hormonal balance doesn't need to be disrupted by cortisol to induce infertility. The most common cause of female infertility is an ovulation disorder, where the discharge of a mature egg from the ovary is prevented, usually due to a hormonal imbalance. Without enough progesterone, by way of instance, the fetus is not able to attach to the uterus. Elevated levels of prolactin, the hormone that stimulates the production of breast milk, can also prevent ovulation.

Acupuncture benefits & side effects

Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture will help support a woman through this important time in her life--if that's physically or emotionally, acupuncture can help with much more than simply conception. It can help with morning sickness, nausea, aches and pains (low back pain), anxiety preparation for arrival, and insomnia, among several others.


Acupuncture for infertility treatment, by contrast, produces no or few side effects while performing the identical function as drugs do: stimulating the hypothalamus to efficiently balance the endocrine system and its hormones and also to reach the root cause of female infertility in addition to male infertility.

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