Acupuncture and Fertility by Geina Horton L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.
Anyone who walks through the doors at any fertility clinic lately is quick to hear from the Doctors and Nurses that they recommend the use of Acupuncture for their patients. The reason why, is because they have witnessed and documented the change in a patient’s ability to achieve and maintain a successful pregnancy when Acupuncture is used in conjunction with the procedures that they are executing. Fertility clinics across the United States have for many years now, understood that Acupuncture has a long and rich history of relating a woman’s cycle to the overall impact of how a menses affects the body both physically and emotionally.
As a woman begins to delve into ART (Assisted Reproductive Therapies), emotional stress can occur. Not only is Acupuncture one of the most natural ways to calm the sympathetic nervous system (that’s the fight or flight response that causes stress which cause adrenaline to rise which in turn can cause blood vessels to constrict and other hormones to shift). It’s also an easy way for a patient to participate in calming their minds. Some of my patients have described the feeling of acupuncture as “instant meditation.” I find that in our busy lives, taking time to stop for 30 minutes and be in a dark room, secluded and safe, can quiet our negative thoughts and worries and make for a lighter heart and a more emotionally grounded life, especially in regards to treating infertility issues.
Acupuncture provides numerous physical benefits to the reproductive organs as well, many of which have been tested under controlled clinical research programs and proven beneficial when IUI and IVF procedures are taking place. These hard facts have shown that fertility can increase ART success rates when Acupuncture is added to the protocol. This is partially due to the fact that some medications used to stimulate a strong ovulation response can at times thin the uterine lining. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs have been scientifically proven to provide a stronger blood flow to the uterus therefore counteracting the side effects of certain medications on the endometrial lining. Customized treatment protocols using Acupuncture can help achieve a healthier quality and quantity of blood flow and boost the immune system to maintain healthy PH balances and increase the endocrine systems ability to function at its optimal levels.
You can think of Traditional Chinese Medicine as a way to prepare a garden (uterus) for the seed (egg or embryo) planting (IUI or IVF). You must prepare the soil (endometrial lining) before you plant (the egg or embryo) to maintain the best overall conditions for growth (pregnancy). You need proper levels of moisture and temperatures (blood and fluids) as well as good lighting (emotional well being). I like to say that if the sun is shining, the flowers can bloom.
At Insight Acupuncture I have been treating women who have been on drug protocols for IUI and IVF for twenty years. I’ve been trained in and observed the changes and progresses of Assisted Reproductive Therapies in the laboratory and clinical setting and there have been so many and constant advances that are made in the field. I steadfastly maintain that when women are using Acupuncture throughout the process, they maintain a higher level of both emotional and physical health and in turn deliver, to term, healthy babies. And those little flowers (babies) are bringing so much light into our world and into our hearts.
Listen to Geina’s podcast episode to learn more about how Acupuncture can help with fertility and pregnancy!