Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Clinic

Fertility Support with Oriental Medicine

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Oriental medicine offers gentle and effective techniques for fertility support in both unexplained infertility and specifically diagnosed problems. There are many situations where regulating a woman's menstrual cycle and reducing stress is the strategy that helps her to conceive. In other cases, acupuncture and Chinese herbs assist fertility by improving ovarian reserve and function, and increasing uterine blood flow. Every woman is different and Oriental medicine approaches treatment by taking into account multiple factors in each individual:

There are times when assisted reproductive technology (ART) is the right path for a woman to achieve pregnancy, and in these cases, acupuncture and herbal medicine has been shown to increase positive outcomes and enhance reproductive potential when used in conjunction with IUI and IVF. There is an abundance of medical research that supports the effectiveness of Oriental medicine when used alone, or combining treatment modalities from both Eastern and Western traditions.

microscope enlargement of cell division

Male factor is an increasing cause of infertility in the modern world. There are many ways that Oriental medicine and natural therapies can effectively support male infertility, by improving sperm counts, motility, and morphology. About 25% of all infertility is caused by a sperm defect and 40-50% of infertility cases indicate that issues with the sperm is the main or contributing cause.

For women, it is optimal, though not crucial, to begin Oriental medicine treatment 3 or 4 months in advance of trying to conceive. Because it takes 4-5 months for a follicle to mature from the antral follicle stage, it is most effective to support this growth throughout as much of the process as possible. It is helpful for a woman to keep basal body temperature (BBT) charts, whenever possible. You can download BBT charts and charting directions here. For an Oriental medicine practitioner, these charts show more than just the day of ovulation, as the dips, spikes, and details of monthly temperature fluctuations often help clarify energetic and hormonal imbalances that can benefit from specific treatment.

Women are encouraged to use both acupuncture and Chinese herbs for fertility enhancement, though treatment programs can be designed around either of these single modalities alone. Acupuncture is particularly effective for helping to remove blockages and reducing stress, while herbs will tonify and nourish deficiencies that occur due to depletion and reproductive aging. Both therapies offer the advantage of improving the health and well being in general, as well as specifically supporting fertility.

We often recommend that women use moxabustion (moxa) treatment at home to support the health and blood circulation in the pelvic region. This technique is applied in the follicular phase by using moxa stick, made of rolled mugwort, to gently warm the acupuncture point Sp-6. This is a traditional technique used throughout China for helping women preparing to conceive.

By combining modern clinical knowledge with ancient Oriental medical experience, acupuncture and Chinese herbs provide natural, effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions associated with infertility: