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“In an attempt to get pregnant, I underwent traditional fertility treatments for two years without any success. After one month of treatment with Dr. Chung, my pregnancy test came out positive (on my birthday)! I’m now 7 months pregnant. I couldn’t believe it have would happen so soon!” --Yoshiko B.
Natural fertility treatments are non-invasive procedures that are proven to help support fertility problems in both men and women. These holistic methods are effective in solving underlying physical problems that other factors such as metabolic, environmental, emotional and dietary, which are not typically addresses by medical treatments.
Acupuncture is one of the most recommended natural treatments that may help in infertility issues. It works by restoring the energy flow in the body, releasing hormones in women and helping in low sperm count and erectile dysfunctions in men.
Massage therapy is often recommended to help our patients deal with the stress and anxiety that often go hand and hand with fertility treatments.
As each individual’s condition is unique, our experts work very closely with you to develop a customized treatment protocol to generate the best outcomes. As such, each treatment plan will involve the use of varying types of modalities; the frequency and the duration of each treatment plan will vary accordingly.
What is Infertility?
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse (6 months for a woman over age 35) or the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth. The diagnosis is usually given to couples who have had unsuccessful attempts in conceiving for at least one year. Conception and pregnancy are complicated processes that depend on many factors:
- Production of healthy sperm by the man
- Production of healthy eggs by the woman
- Healthy, unblocked Fallopian tubes that allow the sperm to reach the egg
- The sperms ability to fertilize the egg when they meet
- The ability of the fertilized egg to become implanted in the woman’s uterus
- Sufficient embryo quality
When just one of these factors is impaired, issues arise with fertility. For the pregnancy to continue to full term, the embryo must be healthy, and the woman’s hormonal environment must be adequate for its development.
What is acupuncture for fertility?
Acupuncture is a form of medicine that began in China over 4,000 years ago. Very thin, sterile needles are inserted into specific points on the body. The insertion of the needle stimulates and manipulates the flow of energy to bring our bodies to a much needed balance. When our bodies are in balance, we function optimally: our sleep is restful, we are resistant to sickness, recovery to injury are quicker, and in the case of fertility, reproductive capacity is most functional. The balance can be disturbed for any amount of reasons, and the imbalance gives rise to symptoms.
Acupuncture is a treatment that intends to correct the imbalances thus eliminating any or all symptoms that the imbalanced may have caused. Acupuncture for fertility can improve your fertility and increase your chances of success when you are trying to conceive.
The Modern Science Approach to acupuncture states that the body has a biochemical defense mechanism. The microscopic prick of the acupuncture needle creates a site of injury at the cellular level. The body responds by releasing chemicals vital to cellular repair. The acupuncture needle fools the body into thinking that it has been invaded by a foreign object, and both tissue and cellular biochemical mechanisms are initiated. This helps to reduce pain and local inflammation.
Acupuncture also releases endorphins which are also known as, “anti-stress hormones.” Another theory is the Gate Control theory. This states that pain is transmitted from the periphery to the brain via the spinal cord. The insertion of the thin needle can close this gate, thus lessening the sensation of pain.
Acupuncture can help with all stages of fertility, from conception to delivery. Some benefits of acupuncture incorporate:
- Regulate the menses and increase the blood flow to the uterus
- Relieving Stress
- Balancing hormones to increase ovarian response function
- Reduce the side effects of IVF hormone treatments
- Improve the success rate of IVF
- Increase and strengthen the immune system
- Decrease the chances of miscarriage and increase the rate of live birth
Can acupuncture help if I’m over 40?
Acupuncture therapy assists in regulating the menstrual cycle and enhances the function of the whole body. This “whole body” approach may unlock the unlimited potential in healing that our bodies are capable of. This is especially appropriate for couples over the age of 40 as it stimulates overall health to effect reproductive health.
When during my cycle should I get acupuncture done? Should I come just before ovulation?
Treatments should be done on a regular basis throughout your cycle. Receiving treatments only around ovulation time may only have limited effects. The immediate effects of acupuncture are very subtle in general. However, the cumulative effect from regular acupuncture treatments can produce considerably longer lasting benefits.
How long will it take for me to get pregnant with acupuncture?
Most patients (men and women) usually will need a minimum of 3 months of treatment. For women, consistent treatment is important. Missing a week of treatment may lose an important opportunity to heal particular segments of the menstrual cycle. A minimum of three consecutive cycles begins to regulate a woman’s system back into balance.
How does acupuncture support IVF?
Acupuncture is used to balance and strengthen one’s general health. It affects the autonomic nervous system, which controls the muscles and glands. Treatment could lead to relaxation of the uterus, increasing the uterine blood flow, thus making the lining of the uterus more receptive to receiving an embryo.
How does prenatal massage benefit pregnancy?
Prenatal massage can help with many pregnancy related issues - swelling, carpal tunnel, back or sciatic pain and morning sickness to name a few. During pregnancy there are specific points on the body that should be avoided for the safety of mom and baby. Prenatal massage is conducted either on a special massage table with a cut-out for the belly or by having a woman lay on her side, supported by bolsters and pillows.
How does nutrition help improve fertility?
While there are no specific foods or drinks that will 100% make someone more fertile, one's overall nutrition has a subtle but powerful effect on the whole body, including the reproductive system. Our doctors can help you to form a new eating plan that is balanced, but also provides adequate calorie and nutrient intake. With a balanced diet, you will be able to utilize the best forms of vitamins and minerals that are imperative to ready your body for conception.
You can read Dr. Chung's personal perspective in her article: