As we promised, here is part 2, to last week’s “Is Your Fertility Suffering?” Learn How Acupuncture can help Boost your Fertility!
Last week we told you all about what to expect with an acupuncture treatment and we told you that AMAZINGLY acupuncture:
- Induces ovulation
- Balances hormones
- Reduces stress and improves emotional well-being
- Tonifies the uterus
- Prevents miscarriages
- Decreases inflammation
- Improves IUI and IVF success
But we didn’t explain how this happens! So let’s start with some basic Asian Med principles 🙂
- Acupuncture influences Blood, Yin, Qi, and Yang
- Each of these substances gives life to the body and corresponds to a specific organ.
- Infertility is directly correlated to the health of the kidneys because they store our Essence. Over time our essence becomes depleted (aka we age and become less vital!).
- When we introduce stress, being overworked, having anxious tendencies, and/or having metabolic dysregulations we start to see Blood, Yin, Qi, and Yang become depleted or out of balance.
This causes us to lose our essence (or become less vital) more quickly.
Without the right amount of essence, we can’t sustain a growing baby because our essence is so depleted and working overtime to help us survive day to day life.
What does that all mean in Western lingo?? When we’re run down and our hormones are out of balance we don’t have enough resources to conceive. We know Estrogen (starts building the uterine lining and promotes ovulation) and Progesterone (maintains the uterine lining and creates a rich and healthy environment for implantation) are super important when we are trying to conceive but did you know Acupuncture can directly influence Estrogen (Yin), Progesterone (Yang) and rejuvenates our Essence!
Not only do we work on hormones, but we’re able to use acupuncture to help get rid of all the things contributing to a hormone imbalance (stress, an inability to lose weight, thyroid issues, blood sugar dys-regulation, anxiety and depression, a low sex-drive, etc.).
How this can apply to you:
- Hormonal Imbalances – We focus a treatment on balancing yin and yang (estrogen and progesterone) to make sure you are a) ovulating and b) the uterus is ready for implantation. PCOS women, in particular, undergoing regular acupuncture treatments will have serum androgen levels decreased and ovulation being induced (1).
- Improving IVF Outcomes – During IVF treatments, timing is everything. We set up acupuncture appointments for the day before IVF, or even the same day as IVF, to increase the success. Not only has acupuncture been shown to be efficacy for improving the number of successful pregnancies but it also improves egg quality if treatments are done leading up to the procedure (2).
- Preventing Miscarriages – These treatments focus heavily on increasing progesterone and making sure the baby is receiving proper blood flow. Although we still need more research in this area, there have been studies supporting intervention for threatened miscarriage (which normally has a “watch and wait approach”). One study found decreased early miscarriage symptoms in a high-risk population (bleeding, back pain, and cramping) which not only prevented the miscarriage but left women feeling significantly more cared for (3).
- Reduces inflammation and tonifies the Uterus – Acupuncture has the unique ability to specifically target inflammation. Through various points in the body, it has the ability to decrease the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These cytokines directly cause pain and inflammation in the body – which could impact conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS. By reducing inflammation through acupuncture it also gives the uterus the ability to do its job of preparing for implantation. (4,5)
- Reduces stress and improves emotional well-being – Like we mentioned, in Chinese Medicine, the Kidneys are responsible for our essence (or genetic makeup) and has a role in growth and development as well as the start of menstruation and menopause. Interestingly, the emotion of fright or stress is damaging to our kidneys as well as our adrenal glands. Being in a state of fright, is known to “scatter the qi,” and when qi is scattered it cannot hold the embryo in the uterus. Through acupuncture we can tonify the kidneys in times of stress so that the qi in the body can flow smoothly allowing for a positive pregnancy outcome! (6)
Your fertility friends,
Jodie and Samina
References Taken from PubMed:
- Acupuncture for ovulation induction in polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. https://ezproxy.ccnm.edu:2153/pubmed/23482444
- [Effect of electro-acupuncture on the spindle and oocytes quality in patients with PCOS]. https://ezproxy.ccnm.edu:2153/pubmed/25951635
- Does acupuncture have a role in the treatment of threatened miscarriage? Findings from a feasibility randomised trial and semi-structured participant interviews. https://ezproxy.ccnm.edu:2153/pubmed/27717319
4.Qi, Ya-Chao et al. “Effect Of Acupuncture On Inflammatory Cytokines Expression Of Spastic Cerebral Palsy Rats”. N.p., 2016. Print.
- Jue Zhou, Fan Qu. “Treating Gynaecological Disorders With Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Review”. PubMed Central (PMC). N.p., 2016. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.
- Lewis, Randine A. The Infertility Cure. Boston: Little, Brown, 2004. Print.