Acupuncture for Fertility
Whether you are trying to conceive naturally, using IVF or IUI, have a history of miscarriage, or are simply trying to regulate your menstrual cycle, Sarah Johnson is a specialist in reproductive health and will design a plan for you. She is dedicated in providing you with compassionate and effective care as you start on an exciting new journey.
Decreased Ovarian Reserve
As women age, the capacity of the ovaries to produce viable eggs for pregnancy naturally decreases. Many of these women are those seeking to conceive later in life, and for others it may happen prematurely. Acupuncture is the only known way to increase circulation to the reproductive organs. Once the ovaries are receiving better blood flow, they require less FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) to ovulate. It is true that there are changes in the DNA with age, which cannot be remedied through acupuncture and herbal medicine. However, eggs that are maturing in a well-oxygenated, nutrient-rich environment are going to be healthier than eggs developing in a state of stress due to poor blood supply and fluctuating hormone levels.
Chinese Medicine is useful in treating various causes of amenorrhea, or lack of a menstrual cycle, in helping to promote ovulation and stabilize the menses. Whether amenorrhea is caused by a hormonal imbalance, is exercise or stress induced, or due to PCOS, acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary and lifestyle changes can be used to correct the imbalance and regulate the menstrual cycle.
Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is a hormone released from the pituitary gland that signals the ovaries when it is time to start preparing an egg for ovulation. As women approach menopause, changes in reproductive hormones take place and elevated FSH is often associated with decreased fertility. Most fertility clinics require FSH levels to be within a certain range before proceeding with IVF. Acupuncture treatment can help regulate these levels, increasing the success of IVF.
Endometriosis is a condition where endometrial tissue is located outside the uterus, usually elsewhere within the pelvic cavity. It often leads to painful, heavy, or irregular periods and can be a major cause for a woman's inability to conceive. Acupuncture, herbs, and dietary changes can help improve blood circulation, decrease inflammation, alleviate pain, and promote fertility.
Luteal Phase Defect
When the phase of the menstrual cycle between ovulation and menses or pregnancy (the luteal phase) is significantly shortened, it may be diagnosed as Luteal Phase Defect. Women with this condition may have difficulty conceiving and often have low levels of the hormone, progesterone. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can help increase levels of progesterone, lengthen the luteal phase, thereby enhancing fertility.
Male Factor Infertility
Male factor infertility accounts for up to 40% of cases of couples trying to conceive. Studies show that sperm count, motility, and morphology are helped with Acupuncture and herbal medicine. Other factors such as anti-sperm antibodies, which can interfere with conception, or elevated stress level hormones such as cortisol can be greatly reduced by Chinese medicine.
A study by German researchers was published in a fertility journal in 2002 showing that within a group of 160 women, those who received acupuncture in conjunction with IVF treatment had a significantly higher rate of pregnancy than those who received IVF alone. Acupuncture works to improve success rates of interventions such as IVF by increasing blood flow to the ovaries during the stimulation phase of IVF, and improving the effectiveness of the drugs given. It also relaxes the uterus and addresses uterine spasm after embryo transfer. Acupuncture also reduces stress, calms anxiety, and offsets side effects of fertility drugs.
During an IUI cycle, acupuncture can help increase conception rates by improving blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, improving the effectiveness of any medications used, and assisting in the development of follicles and the uterine lining. Acupuncture also helps to address uterine spasm around the time of potential implantation and can treat any side effects that arise from fertility drugs.
There are many causes of recurrent miscarriage, some of which can be addressed with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Sarah Johnson L. Ac. can help to determine a potential cause as to why this may be happening and come to a solution to prevent it. It is recommended that women who fit into this category come for regular treatments after achieving pregnancy.
Ovarian cysts can cause pelvic pain and interfere with a women’s ability to conceive. Cysts can be naturally occurring or as a side effect of some fertility treatments. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help resolve both.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS has become an increasingly prevalent cause of infertility. Women with PCOS may not be ovulating and experience amenorrhea or irregular menstrual cycles. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are effective at stimulating ovulation and regulating menstrual cycles. Recent reputable studies have shown these treatments to be as effective as the fertility drug, clomid, in stimulating ovulation.
Uterine fibroids are benign growths in the uterus and are often are associated with heavy periods, cramping, bleeding or spotting between periods, abdominal swelling, or pain during intercourse. They can also interfere with the ability to conceive. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be effective as treatment for fibroids or used as an adjunctive treatment with Western medical interventions when fibroids are advanced in size.
Often there is no explanation as to why a couple hasn't been able to conceive after a period of time. This can be incredibly frustrating, particularly after medical testing has been done and yields no answers. Chinese medicine is the ideal form of treatment in these cases. It makes subtle adjustments to the body which allows it to become more healthy and fertile. Often dietary and lifestyle changes may be required. Sarah Johnson is able to help you reach this balance.