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Pregnant Woman Wrapped in Veil
Mon, December 1, 2014
Five Ways That Acupuncture Helps Female Infertility
When women are trying to have a baby and can’t, it’s a difficult, stressful time that leaves many feeling drained, powerless and socially isolated, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Nearly 1 in 6 couples have difficulty conceiving and more and more are turning to acupuncture for help in starting their family. Studies have shown that acupuncture increases conception rates by up to 66% and it works well both for couples trying to conceive naturally and in conjunction with assisted reproductive techniques such as IUI and IVF.

Just as Olympic athletes regularly rely on acupuncture to ensure their minds and bodies work expertly under stressful and difficult conditions, women are discovering that acupuncture can give them control over their bodies again as it balances the flow of energy in the body and leads to optimized reproductive functioning. The result is that women feel more empowered, better able to cope and adapt, are less stressed and have a better chance of conceiving and carrying their babies to term (Smith, C et al, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol 17, No. 10, pp 923-930)

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is not simply the absence of disease. This is never more true than for women who want to become pregnant. It’s not enough to simply not have polycystic ovary syndrome or premature ovarian failure. You want a body that is full of healthy life-giving energy that makes you feel and look your best. The WHO recommends acupuncture for over 100 different disease conditions because it is effective at unlocking healing potential throughout the body. Acupuncture has been used to enhance fertility for thousands of years. Because it treats the root causes of infertility rather than just the symptoms of disease, women find that not only is their fertility enhanced, they also experience improved overall well-being.

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, infertility can have a number of causes, the most common of which are stagnation of Liver Qi, deficiency of Kidney Yin, obstruction due to phlegm-dampness, and stasis or cold in the uterus. Women can take a multi-part holistic approach to resolving infertility by working with oriental medicine specialists who are trained in these ancient methods of healing and wellness.

Acupuncture directly stimulates the central nervous system to re-balance hormones and correctly regulate menstruation, ovulation, and pregnancy. Dietary modifications based on Chinese medicine principles and herbal medicines provide targeted nutrition that further supports correct physiological functioning. Lifestyle modifications based on traditional principles are followed to optimize health and fertility. All of these work together to ensure that you have the best possible chance of conceiving and enjoying a healthy pregnancy.

Here are five ways that acupuncture can help in your quest for a child.
  1. Improved Uterine and Ovarian Blood Flow: It makes sense that if you want to have a baby, the organs responsible for pregnancy need to have a good supply of blood. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body - at least it’s supposed to. Studies have shown that acupuncture improves blood flow in the ovaries and uterus resulting in improved endometrial receptivity, so that the fertilized egg can attach to the wall of the uterus. (Cacciatore B, et al, Fertility and Sterility, l996;66(l):130-4)
  2. Improved Egg Production: Studies have shown that repeated acupuncture treatments exert long lasting, positive effects on anovulation and may improve or restore normal ovulation in women with PCOS. Acupuncture can also increase oocyte production during clinical hyperstimulation used in assisted reproductive techniques. (Chun-lan, J. et al., Journal of Reproduction & Contraception, 2009 Mar.; 20(1):35-44)
  3. Improved Pregnancy and Birth Rates when Acupuncture is Used in Conjunction with Intrauterine Insemination: Studies have shown that the combination of acupuncture and IUI results in pregnancy and birth rates that are nearly double the success rate of IUI alone. (Sela, K. et al, European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 3 (2011) p77-81)
  4. Improved Rates of Pregnancy and Birth when Acupuncture is Used in Conjunction with Embryo Transfer. Acupuncture, when given on the same day as embryo transfer procedures, resulted in a 50% greater pregnancy and birth rate, compared to embryo transfer procedures alone. (Westergaard, L,et al. Fertility and Sterility, Vol 85 (5), 2006, p 1341-1346)
  5. Reduced Stress and Better Sleep: Unfortunately, stress plays a significant role in infertility. In order for your body to perform at its best, you need to be well rested and have a clear, calm, focused mind unimpeded by stress. So how are you supposed to achieve that? Acupuncture reduces both insomnia and anxiety - no drugs, no side effects, and women love it. (The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 2004;16:19-28)
Whether you are looking to optimize your fertility and overall health before you try to conceive or are interested in maximizing the effectiveness of assisted reproductive procedures, acupuncture and Oriental Medicine can help. Licensed acupuncturists and those specifically schooled in Oriental Medicine, like the staff at Three Mountains Wellness, can help you in your journey toward greater wellness and increased fertility.

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