Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine for Fertility
The use of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine for treating infertility problems dates back many thousands of years. Both acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been used in Eastern culture as a main source of not only preventative medicine but also playing an important role in enhancing reproductive health generally.
Acupuncture and TCM can be used to help specific concerns such as endometriosis, dysmenorrhoea, polycystic ovaries, pelvic inflammatory disorder and many more.
The use of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be helpful in pre-conception care, treatment can:
- regulate the menstrual cycle
- help stimulate ovulation
- increase blood flow and circulation to the uterus
- enhance and aid reproductive health
- support and assist in all the emotional aspects of any form of infertility treatment.
- enhance male sperm and motility
Although the efficacy of using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine has still to be proved using clinical trials, it is featuring more and more in mainstream western reproduction clinics. By combining western medicine, acupuncture and herbal medicine with nutritional advice patients are giving themselves the best possible outlook for a successful pregnancy and birth. Healthy parents can certainly contribute to a healthy baby.
Couples I see at my clinic do not embark on a course of IVF or other assisted fertility courses without having gone down many roads of trying to conceive naturally. At my clinic I see many couples of all ages with various physical problems such as PCO's and many emotional problems such as stress that trying to conceive brings. Many couples have very stressful jobs and extremely busy lifestyles. Added to this general health and diet are difficult to achieve, so acupuncture and herbal medicine are important aspects to aid this.
In relation to diet many of the food we eat these days are highly processed and factory farmed. Combine these factors with busy lifestyle, eating late, ready meals or take aways for convenience can leave us under nourished. Smoking and alcohol are bad for reproductive health and along with stress can deplete the body of vital nutrients.
Older parents and the effects of ageing on Eggs and Sperm
Many couples are leaving having children until later in life. This is always a conscious decision it may well be that you do not meet each other in your earlier years. It is important, therefore to try and address many of the imbalances that may have occurred due to ageing. It is advisable to give yourselves 3 months to prepare the body with a good lifestyle and nutritional advice. All effort must be made to remedy any poor diet or lifestyle. Women’s eggs and men’s sperm start to age and for women especially it is really important that they make any necessary to changes to diet and lifestyle. Men can also contribute to enhancing their sperm quality by not drinking alcohol and smoking. It is now generally recognized that male sperm does age and that the level of good quality male sperm in the population generally seems to be decreasing.
Being overweight or underweight can have an effect on fertility. Weight problems are known to be a risk factor for fertility , IVF failure and miscarriage. Small changes in body weight can affect the menstrual cycle and therefore the ability to conceive. The quality of women's oestrogen depends on how much body fat she has.
Poly Cystic Ovaries or PCO's
At the clinic we have had increased success in helping women with PCO's to become pregnant. Acupuncture plays a key role in this and with the addition of Chinese herbal medicine good results can be achieved. Good nutrition is as we keep saying important but the use of herbal medicine can really help this condition.
Whether preparing for IVF ICSI egg donor or egg sperm each stage can be helped with the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
It is recommended that acupuncture should be done before and after the embryo has been transferred. These treatments will assist in promoting relaxation and support the procedure.
Once you're pregnant then weekly acupuncture treatments are recommended during the first trimester. There is a higher risk of miscarriage during the first 12 -13 weeks in IVF induced babies.
Acupuncture can also be used throughout pregnancy for such problems as morning sickness or help prevent miscarriage (although not in all cases). Once the mum to be has reached 37 weeks we then see her every week to prepare for birth. Mums who have had acupuncture to assist with birth often say that it was easier and quicker. If the baby is overdue then acupuncture can help with induction.