Chinese Medicine and Fertility
Treatment for infertility in women via Acupuncture and Chinese herbs (TCM) has been available since ancient times. The ancient Chinese believed that healthy women would give birth to strong and healthy children. TCM has shown to be effective in treating infertility and in supporting women undergoing IVF. Further research is needed to identify the most effective applications.
Infertility in women is caused by hormone imbalance, excessive heat/cold, irregular menstruation, and blood stagnation. A big key to its effectiveness is acupuncture's ability to reduce stress. Acupuncture is helpful in trying to conceive, because it can induce ovulation by increasing blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. It also helps with infertility caused by endometriosis and by problems with the fallopian tubes
Acupuncture has been found to be especially helpful and effective if taken before and during the IVF cycle. Acupuncture has been shown to improve pregnancy and live birth rates when given during embryo transfer. It has also been shown to help when given leading up to and during IVF cycles. It can also normalize hormone secretion in women who are not ovulating or not consistently ovulating, and it appears to work better than conventional therapies in women with obstructed fallopian tubes.
Obesity can cause any number of problems with fertility, and women who are obese are approximately three times more likely to suffer from fertility problems. Problems with fertility include poor egg quality, increased inflammation, hormone imbalance, lower fertilization rate during IVF, a decrease in the number of viable eggs available, and reduced implantation. In patients who are obese, fertility problems are caused by weakened or stagnant Qi and hormone imbalances. Acupuncture can help to manage appetite, balance hormones, increase blood flow to the uterus, and improve both egg quality and the health of the uterine lining.
Fertility issues in men account for 35-40% of problems when couples are trying to conceive. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help with fertility by improving low sperm count and low motility. Chinese herbs, in particular, are most effective in improving this particular condition. Treatment at specific points has also been shown to improve sperm quality. Acupuncture can also help to relax muscular tension in pelvic region and improve the flow of Qi. Little is known about the specifics of male infertility, because the issue is so complex.
Acupuncture has been found to be very safe for use in pregnant women and has become increasingly popular as an alternative to pharmaceuticals. Acupuncture can help to alleviate pregnancy symptoms, such as pain, nausea/vomiting, mood regulation, digestive issues, sleep issues, and swelling. Acupuncture can also help prepare the body for labor, not by inducing, but by helping the body to move through its natural process. Acupuncture is also a good option to explore for rejuvenation after the birth of your child.