National Infertility Awareness Week will take place this year from April 21-27, 2013. Infertility is a disease that results in the malfunction of the female or male reproductive system. It is diagnosed after 12 months of trying to conceive or after 6 months if you are over the age of 35. Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples in the US, or around 12% of women of childbearing age. Maryland is 1 of 15 states that have a law requiring the health insurance cover infertility treatment.
There are numerous causes of infertility including endometriosis, luteal phase defect, polycystic ovarian syndrome and uterine factors. Chinese medicine can be helpful in treating these causative factors to enhance the possibility of pregnancy, to support a healthy pregnancy, and in supporting the health of new parents. Chinese medicine can be used before beginning prolonged medical treatment, or can be used along with western medical treatment for infertility. Many women find they can become pregnant without the use of drugs and procedures simply by balancing and nourishing their bodies through acupuncture and Chinese herbs. This approach can encourage a biological and emotional environment compatible with pregnancy. For others, the combination of western and Asian medical care is the answer.
Acupuncture & IVF
Acupuncture has long been used to enhance fertility but only in recent years has it been studied alongside IVF (in vitro fertilization). IVF is a highly successful treatment for fertility whereby the egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body and then transferred to the uterus. Yet, IVF only has a 33% success rate per cycle and women usually need to undergo multiple cycles to achieve pregnancy. As a result, many people have used acupuncture during IVF to increase the success of the IVF. A study published in 2012 in the journal of Fertility and Sterility provided a review and meta-analysis of the published research. Twenty-four studies were evaluated in the review (of 5,807 women) which concluded that acupuncture improved clinical pregnancy rate and live birth rate in women undergoing IVF. To read the full publication: Zheng.IVF.2012
Timing of Treatments
While women undergoing western medical fertility treatments may have a strict clinical schedule to adhere to, acupuncture can be helpful at any time during the cycle. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative, as your body finds its own balance and regulation, and weekly treatment through at least 3 to 6 full cycles is important. Of course, you may become pregnant during this time. Acupuncture can be helpful in supporting your pregnancy, and in reducing symptoms such as morning sickness and fatigue.
Complex changes take place in a woman’s body every day of her monthly cycle.
Weekly acupuncture can support healthy menstruation, ovulation, and embryo implantation. If pregnancy is not attained in a cycle, the process begins again.
If you are undergoing western IVF treatment, we recommend you have an acupuncture treatment within a day before a retrieval procedure, and within a day before and after a transplant, if possible. Your body and mind can then be in their most balanced and relaxed state.
No medical system can guarantee that you will become pregnant, but Chinese medicine has been helping people for centuries, and has recently been recognized by fertility specialists in the west for its benefits.
At Wildwood Acupuncture Center–we are a family owned medically based clinic who will work in collaboration with other treatments you are receiving to enhance your treatment results.
Call us today to schedule a consultation: 301-530-5308