ACUPUNCTURE & HERBS FOR FERTILITY
WHAT IS INFERTILITY?
• The inability of a couple to conceive after 12 consecutive months of unprotected sex during ovulation.
• For women under age 35: time is reduced to 6 consecutive months of unprotected sex during ovulation.
• The inability to carry a pregnancy to term.
Primary infertility refers to a couple that has never achieved pregnancy. Secondary infertility is where the couple has conceived in the past and now experiences difficulty.
Although often considered a “female problem”, studies show that 50% of infertility issues are female and 40% of infertility issues are male. The remaining infertility roadblocks are related to both partners (DNA problems, for example) or of unexplained etiology.
Some REASONS for infertility include:
• Premature Ovarian Failure – a decline in egg quality and quantity.
• Male Factor – Low sperm count, poor motility, poor morphology, sterility.
• Difficulty getting the sperm to the egg - low sperm count, hostile cervical mucus, blocked fallopian tubes.
• Sperm not penetrating the egg – thickened corpus luteum, poor sperm morphology.
• Menstrual disorders, cervical pathologies, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, tubal blockages.
• Sperm DNA Fragmentation – DNA damage from toxic exposure, environmental toxins.
• Hormonal disorders, endocrine (thyroid and pituitary) dysfunctions.
• Smoking cigarettes – causes vasoconstriction, reducing blood flow to the circulatory system and negatively impacting the function of the reproductive organs.
• Alcohol and drugs – affects sperm motility and can alter sperm DNA.
• Trauma, surgical scarring.
• Sexually transmitted diseases.
80% of couples will become pregnant within 12 months of having unprotected sex during ovulation.
One in six couples in the United States are affected by fertility issues.
By age 35, the chance of becoming pregnant is 50%.
After the age of 40, the chance of becoming pregnant is 20%.
ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE THERAPY (ART):
IVF success rates -
Overall average success rate is 29% (live birth).
Under the age of 35 success rate is 38% (live birth).
Over the age of 40 success rate drops to 8 – 20% (live birth).
IVF attempt cost – at least $10,000 per attempt, plus an average of $5,000 in pharmaceutical drugs.
ART success rates increase with acupuncture and herbal medicine!
HOW CAN ACUPUNCTURE AND HERBS HELP?
Oriental Medicine (Acupuncture and Herbs) works with nature to allow conception to happen naturally and not force it. The goal of acupuncture and herbs is to restore balance to the entire body to allow for the birth of a healthy baby.
The goal is to:
• Improve egg quantity and quality.
• Lower FSH.
• Thicken uterine lining.
• Increase estrogen and/or progesterone levels (if needed).
• Improve sperm count, motility and morphology.
• Reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia and irritability.
• Increase pregnancy and live birth rates.
The elements of balance are:
• Yin – Estrogen, uterine lining, follicular phase.
• Yang – Progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormone, luteal phase.
• Qi – Bioelectrical life force which affects all cells and tissue.
• Blood – The ovaries and uterus need healthy blood supply for pregnancy.
The methods of obtaining balance are:
• Acupuncture – Micro-thin needles are inserted into the skin at bio-electrically active points. These points affect the hypothalamus, which helps balance hormonal activity.
Acupuncture is the only documented therapy known to increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries.
Acupuncture has been found to increase the number, quality and motility of sperm.
• Meridians/Channels – Reproductive activity is related to the Liver, Kidney, Heart and Spleen channels.
The Extraordinary Meridians control the reproductive organs and the HPO Axis, restoring hormonal balance.
• Herbs – Customized herbal prescriptions intended to balance the hormones without side effects.
Relieve stress and anxiety.
Improve the menstrual cycle for healthy pregnancy.
• Nutrition, mild-exercise, relaxation.
A HEALTHY PREGNANCY
The basis for overcoming most infertility issues and achieving a healthy pregnancy are: Experiencing a regular and pain-free monthly menstrual cycle. Maintaining a relaxed and positive state of mind. Eating nutritionally balanced meals. And keeping a healthy lifestyle.
Acupuncture and herbal therapy can address the underlying reasons of infertility in a natural way.
In many cases, treating these reasons can eliminate the need for IUI and/or IVF treatments.
In other cases, it can help to maximize the success of IUI and/or IVF treatments – an important consideration when spending tens of thousands of dollars on ART procedures!
Although patients with sub-clinical – or unexplained infertility can benefit almost immediately from acupuncture and herbal treatment, most patients will need treatment for a minimum of 3 months. This gives time to improve the quality of developing follicles and/or sperm. It also gives time for fix imbalances that affect pregnancy and prepare mom-bodies for a healthy pregnancy.
Remember – the goal is not only to get pregnant but to carry a healthy baby to term!
Treatments are weekly or bi-weekly, with customized herbal formulas given to continue treatment in between visits. Nutrition and supplementation plans are given to promote healthy lifestyles and to support fertility.
The treatment time may seem long, maybe longer than you may think you have to wait. The positive thing to remember is that by getting your body healthier and balanced you can actually increase your fertility age beyond the national statistics.
Whether you decide to ‘go natural’ for your infertility issues or ART (IUI and/or IVF procedures), acupuncture and herbal therapy can help improve your success rate for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby!
Copyright © 2007 by Valerie L Lopez, AP - All rights reserved