Archive for tag: fertility

Fertility and TCM

If you, a friend, a family member, or a patient is trying to become pregnant, you may want to consider acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The enhancement of fertility has been at the heart of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 5,000 years, and there has been great success with acupuncture and herbal medicine treating infertility. Below are real patient's questions that I have been asked in the clinic regarding fertility support. 

How does acupuncture improve fertility?

Acupuncture causes a reduction of stress hormones and a release of endorphins that produce a profound state of relaxation. Research has shown that women with elevated stress levels have significantly lower pregnancy rates. Regular acupuncture treatments result in the correction of the body's neuro-endocrinological activity resulting in hormonal regulation and balance. The insertion of needles in specific acupoints in the body increases ovarian and uterine blood flow. This increased flow stimulates ovulation and enhances growth of the uterine lining. Acupuncture supports implantation and growth of the embryo during the very crucial initial stages of fetal development. 

Photo of Fuke acupuncture points
Fuke 11.24 (Tung's Point)

How does herbal therapy improve fertility?

Herbs work to nourish and strengthen the body; assimilation of critical nutrients supports a healthy pregnancy. The quality of ovarian eggs and the thickness of the uterine lining are dependent on adequate nutrition. When present in the reproductive area, inflammation creates yet another obstacle to fertility, so acupuncturists prescribe specific herbs to reduce inflammation. Lastly, other select herbs are effectively used to regulate and balance hormone levels. 

Can TCM also help with infertility in men?

Yes, Traditional Chinese Medicine is commonly used to increase and improve the quality, motility and quantity of sperm. Since male infertility accounts for over 40% of infertility issues in couples, male partners are encouraged to partake in regular treatments to address potential sperm issues. Strengthening the male partner increases the odds of pregnancy. I often encourage couples to come in together for fertility support. 

Photo of Huanchao acupuncture point
Huanchao 11.06 (Tung's acupuncture)

Word to the Wise: Please be careful when treating women patients who are trying to get pregnant or have history of miscarriage; avoid acupuncture points ST12, GB21, LI4, SP6, UB60, UB67. These are very strong points that move the qi and blood. I often use these points: DU20, Zigong, Fuke 11.24 (Tung's point), Huanchao 11.06 (Tung's acupuncture) and sometimes auricular points in the ear uterus, endocrine, ovary, LV, KD, depending on the patient. I also remind fertility patient's that consistency is the key to successful fertility support along with a healthy balanced diet and exercises, such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi. In addition, I ask patient's to create a menses calendar to track their menstruation cycle and ovulation cycle.

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