Fertility 2016-11-23T11:54:29+00:00
Acupuncture for Fertility

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has a tremendous reputation for increasing fertility and your chances of a healthy pregnancy. We offer comprehensive programs for male and female infertility and IVF support.

Fertility & Chinese Medicine

Infertility is defined as the failure to conceive after a year or more of regular intercourse during the time of ovulation. Couples may want to seek medical treatment sooner than 1 year, if the woman is over 35, or if there is a history of irregular cycles, history of pelvic disease, prior surgery or diseases of the reproductive system.

For Men acupuncture can increase sperm count, improve the health of sperm (morphology), and encourage greater motility (movement) of sperm.

For Women, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can improve fertility and pregnancy rates in several ways:

  • Improve ovarian function to produce better quality eggs
  • Regulate hormones to produce a greater number of follicles
  • Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining
  • Relax the patient and decrease stress levels
  • Prevent the uterus from contracting
  • Strengthen the immune system (very important as Western Medicine treatments usually decrease immunity)
  • Decrease and prevent the chances of miscarriage
  • Lessen the side effects of drugs used in IVF

Working on any organ imbalances, improving egg quality and nourishing the endometrial lining often prevents the need for couples to undergo IVF, while improving the state of your overall health at the same time. Many women are encouraged to undergo these assisted technologies when there is no adequate reason for such procedures. There are some situations in which TCM cannot substitute for conventional fertility treatment, conditions including; male vasectomy, tubal obstruction, uterine anomalies, egg/sperm incompatibility and genetic causes of infertility in males or females.

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.