Acupuncture Treatment For Fertility
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are natural treatments for infertility as well as enhancing fertility for over 2000 years. Acupuncture has many benefits for enhancing fertility including helping to develop a thicker uterine lining, improving hormone levels, and reducing stress. Research has shown acupuncture helps increase conception.
Throughout my years of clinical experience, I have helped many couples in their pursuit of having a family. Chinese medicine therapies target the underlying imbalance in the body to bring it back to a balanced state. ing improvement and relief for patients with atopic dermatitis.
In this article, I will tell you about acupuncture and Chinese medicine works to enhance fertility, share clinical research, as well as answer questions about Chinese medicine treatments.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture stimulates the body to be healthy by balancing hormones, enhancing circulation, reducing inflammation, and reducing stress. Studies have shown that acupuncture can help women with unexplained infertility, low ovarian reserve, PCOS, and endometriosis as well as improve the likelihood of IVF.
Acupuncture has also been shown to improve male factors in enhancing fertility. Acupuncture does this by increasing blood flow to the testes, enhancing sperm production and improving the health of the sperm-producing tubules, balancing the hormones that influence sperm production, reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, thereby improving sperm health. Acupuncture is well-known for its ability to reduce stress and induce relaxation, which could indirectly benefit sperm health.
Yin and Yang of Fertility
Each person is different and we take the time to create an individualized treatment for each patient. On your first visit, we will discuss your history. I will consider factors such as menstrual cycle, time of ovulation, and hormone panels, in addition to digestion, sleep, and stress.
One of the key concepts in Chinese medicine fertility is the interplay of Yin and Yang energies, the complementary forces that create balance in the body. In the context of the menstrual cycle and fertility, these principles provide a unique framework for understanding and addressing infertility.
The Yin (Follicular) Phase
The follicular phase, when an egg is maturing and the uterine lining thickens, corresponds to the Yin phase in TCM. Estrogen, which is dominant during this phase, aligns with Yin energy because of its nourishing and growing properties. Similarly, FSH, which stimulates the maturation of the egg, can also be associated with Yin energy.
A healthy endometrium and mature egg are crucial for fertility, which are the primary focuses of the Yin phase. Therefore, nourishing Yin energy is key for improving fertility. If Yin is deficient, it may result in issues such as scanty menstrual flow, absent or irregular periods, and inadequate development of the uterine lining or the egg.
Treatments during this phase often focus on enhancing blood flow to nourish the endometrium, improving follicle quality and supporting the egg’s maturation. This aspect is Yin in nature because it is a time of building. The acupuncture will focus on points that increase blood and yin to nourish the body.
As ovulation approaches, a peak in Yin energy is reached, triggering a surge in Yang energy that initiates ovulation, or the release of the mature egg from the follicle. This Yang energy, which characterizes the luteal phase, warms the uterus and supports implantation should fertilization occur.
During ovulation, we focus on moving the body’s qi. Stress is a factor in the circulation of the body’s energy. This is one reason that stress can affect ovulation. It causes the qi to slow or stagnate inhibiting a healthy function including ovulation. After ovulation, is the yang part of the cycle.
The Yang (Luteal) Phase
The luteal phase, when the body is prepared for the potential implantation of a fertilized egg, corresponds to the Yang phase in TCM. Progesterone, the dominant hormone during this phase, aligns with Yang energy due to its active role in maintaining the uterine lining. We call this the lifting up of the uterus. LH, which triggers ovulation and initiates the transformation into the luteal phase, can also be seen as an aspect of Yang energy.
Progesterone works to get the body ready for implantation and pregnancy. If you’re taking your BBT, you can see your body gets a little warmer during the follicular phase. Acupuncture points will boost the body’s qi and yang energy to help hormone levels.
In the Yang phase, the body should be sufficiently warm to allow for the implantation of the fertilized egg and support the early stages of pregnancy. A deficiency of Yang energy may manifest as slow or low basal body temperature rise after ovulation, slow pulse, tendency to be physically cold, and recurrent miscarriage.
Treatments during this phase typically aim at supporting the Yang energy to ensure that the uterine environment is conducive to implantation and early pregnancy. Specific acupuncture points, which are different from those used in the Yin phase, may be targeted, and Yang-supporting herbs might be prescribed.
Acupuncture is very relaxing and has a positive holistic effect on the body. People will usually feel very relaxed after the treatment. Most everyone tells me they sleep better and have improved digestion after the treatment course.
Usually, patients will come in for weekly acupuncture sessions for 3-6 months.
Depending on where you are on your journey, some people will also take herbal medicine for enhancing fertility or treatment of infertility.
Every person is unique and the treatment course is customized to you. Call us at 212-319-5757 or you can make your appointment online.