Fertility 2018-02-07T16:26:11+00:00
Acupuncture for Fertility

 We offer comprehensive programs for male and female infertility and IVF support.

Fertility & Chinese Medicine

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. When an evaluation of responses from women in Demographic and Health Surveys from 1990 was completed in collaboration with the world Health Organization (WHO) in 2004, results indicated that one in every four couples in developing countries had been affected by infertility. So according to these statistics up to 25% percent of the population may seek the help of a professional to achieve their goal of having a child. The human reproductive process is a very complex affair. From ovulation, timing of intercourse, fertilization to the journey of the ovum through fallopian tube and implantation into the uterus, many factors become involved for pregnancy and healthy gestation to occur. The causes of infertility from couple to couple vary and pinpointing the causes can be difficult as they can involve male, female or combination of factors. Some of the major factors causing infertility include hormonal imbalances, low sperm count or poor egg/sperm quality, toxin/heavy metal exposure and problems in the reproductive system such as amenorrhea, endometriosis, fibroids and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Both western and Chinese medicine systems have their insights and understandings on the causes of infertility and both of these practices combined together, uniting strengths can give people the highest chance of successful outcome.

Western medicine takes a structural view of the human system, whereas TCM emphasizes a functional approach. The traditional Oriental view of human physiology is based on a concept of energy fields, a view comparable to the modern concept of an energy field that has arisen in contemporary physics. According to this idea, matter and energy are inseparable, dependent on each other and defined by each other. The functional approach of TCM views life as a dynamic process involving the interaction of forces and energies both within and outside the individual. These external forces are the climate, pathogenic factors, and the total environment outside our body. Internal factors include our genetic background, constitution, and our emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects.

Our Support Program

Firstly, an assessment and treatment plan is established around whether you are seeking treatment for either pre-conception care, Infertility or for support alongside assisted reproductive procedures e.g., IVF and IUI. A thorough initial consultation will be carried out (includes pulse and tongue assessment, signs & symptom analysis) to diagnose any organ imbalances that may be contributing to conception failure and then a treatment plan will be designed especially for you and your body.

The fertility program involves acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, dietary and lifestyle advice, vitamin/mineral supplementation and for women may include Natural Fertility Management.  Natural fertility management involves Basal body temperature charting (BBT), cervical mucus and cervical position analysis.  This charting aids the practitioner in confirming the Chinese Medicine diagnosis and it can track hormonal changes in the menstrual cycle.  It is also a good way for you to detect or confirm ovulation and ensure you are attempting to conceive at the right time. It is a myth to assume every woman ovulates on day 14. In fact a woman’s menstrual pattern may result in an ovulation as early as day 9 or as late as day 22.

Our Acupuncturist, Eeka, is also knowledgeable about the lunation phase and how a woman can actually ovulate twice within a menstrual cycle. Eeka has been trained on how to calculate your individual lunar fertility time- a second chance each month to try for conception! Research has shown that intercourse on the lunation phase results in a much higher chance of conception and 85% of pregnancies occur here rather than 15% at your regular hormonal ovulation.

Pre-Conception

In Chinese Medicine it is understood that the quality of the egg and the quality of sperm at the moment of conception sets up your child’s constitution for their life. So it is vitally important to be in the best possible health you can be before you do conceive. Considering it takes around 3 months for the production and development of new sperm and eggs, a pre-conception care program will usually cover this duration and also aim at cleansing, detoxing and revitalising your overall health. Heavy metal testing and detoxing may also be recommended if there is a suggestion this could be present.

Having a Chinese medicine assessment at this pre-conception stage can be very beneficial as the practitioner may pick up any imbalances that could result in potential infertility and treatment can also be aimed at addressing this. Early detection can save you much time and money in the long run as most people do not seek treatment and discover an imbalance until after they have been trying unsuccessfully for 12-24 months or more.

Infertility according to Traditional Chinese Medicine

There are a number of causes of infertility for females according to TCM and some Chinese Medical texts quote, ‘the treatment of women is 10 times more complicated than that of men’.

Some Chinese medicine diagnoses relating to fertility may include:

  • Low kidney energy or Jing, resulting in poor quality sperm and eggs
  • Blood deficiency (not enough volume) or blood stagnation (circulation) issues resulting in thin, scarred endometrial lining and poor environment for implantation
  • Dampness; resulting in cysts, blockages or an endometrial lining that is too wet/soggy for implantation of the embryo to occur or motility issues in men.

As with male infertility the ‘kidney function’ in Chinese medical view, plays a major role in reproduction. It is said in TCM that the kidneys ‘dominate reproduction’ and are the store of reproductive essence or Jing (which in Western terminology relates to our life force battery). The kidney Jing plays a role in female physiology in all its stages-puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Aspects of kidney also influence libido, sexual function and contributes to longevity. Acupuncture and herbs can be used to tonify or increase the kidneys energy and strengthen the vital essence or Jing.

Balancing the kidney Yin and Yang is also essential for healthy fertility. Yin is the term used in TCM to describe the cooling, nourishing and moistening function and relates to ‘estrogen’. Deficient ‘yin’ can manifest as scanty production of vaginal and cervical mucus, scanty periods or in men scanty ejaculate. These women may also have thinner uterine linings that are not secreting adequate nourishment to maintain a pregnancy. TCM calls this a ‘hot, dry uterus’. If the yin energy is inadequate, the follicle in the ovary grows poorly and ovulation and the quality of the egg may not be optimal or viable.

Kidney ‘yang’ (relates to progesterone) performs a very important function after ovulation, when a fertilized egg reaches the uterus and implants and develops. The Chinese have for thousands of years ascribed the inability of some women to fall pregnant as a ‘cold womb’. Increasing the yang energy of the body through acupuncture, herbs and moxa also known as ‘maternal warming’ can incorrect this imbalance. In western terms a cold womb is one that is not supplied with insufficient ‘progesterone’.

Together with the kidneys and uterus the liver and the heart are also major organs associated with successful fertility. The heart encompasses the mind or ‘shen’ and governs the activity of the hypothalamus and the menstrual cycle. Balanced heart energy is essential for a relaxed spirit and the ability to have a rest-full sleep. The liver ensures your energy and blood flows freely throughout your body to nourish all your organs especially those involved with conception. The liver is also important in regulating the hormones required to fall pregnant and reduce the chance of miscarriage.

By treating the root cause of the imbalance and stresses associated with fertility, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can provide a low-cost, noninvasive option to improve a person’s overall health so that a natural conception is possible.

Chinese Medicine and IVF Support

Recent research shows that acupuncture on its own can increase the pregnancy rates of people using IVF by up to 50%. (It can deliver the same rates for those not using IVF procedures too.) The studies used showed that these success rates could be achieved by using acupuncture for just one day shortly before and after the transfer of embryos.

Clinical experience suggests this rate can be increased to around 80% by combining both Chinese herbs and acupuncture for the 3 months prior to the IVF procedure. These figures hold out for non-IVF patients too. We must point out, however, that approximately 5% of couples will never be able to conceive despite all combinations of both Chinese and Western treatment methods.

Co-owner of the clinic Eeka King has done extensive continuing education in this field and has been specializing in Women’s health, fertility and obstetric acupuncture at the clinic for the last 8 years.

“I am passionate about practicing Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine to assist women towards vital health, fertility and conception, radiant pregnancy and a natural, harmonious birth”

If you would like to request an appointment for to discuss Acupuncture & Pregnacy, or make a further enquiry about how Chinese medicine can help your condition. Please call us on 02 6685 1088.