TCM & Acupuncture – A Natural Solution
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been treating infertility for over 2 thousand years. The treatment involves acupuncture, herbal supplements, dietary guidance, Tai Chi, and Chi Gong and approaches the whole body to correct the underlying problems, and to achieve pregnancy while optimizing general health.
Acupuncture and herbs can be used as a highly effective approach for fertility issues, whether used alone, or as an adjunct to other treatments.
The process of working with a TCM fertility specialist allows you to become actively involved in your own health and to develop a deeper understanding of the intricacies of your unique cycle.
Acupuncture & Herbs in Conjunction with ART Cycles
Studies have shown that Acupuncture, when used as a complementary therapy along with Assisted Reproductive Technologies, can enhance and boost the efficacy of fertility treatments and minimize the side effects of drugs.
Optimally, we advise consulting with your TCM practitioner 2-3 months prior to the first cycle using ART. However, even if you are already in the process of an ART cycle, you can begin acupuncture at any time to get the benefits of deep relaxation and improved blood flow to the uterus and ovaries.
During your initial consultation a thorough discussion of your health history and lifestyle will lead to a TCM diagnosis and the development of a personalized treatment plan.
According to TCM, there are 5 major causes of women’s infertility. We will base our diagnosis on each individual’s condition and set up a treatment plan. We will focus on regulating any hormone issues, and managing other conditions, such as ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and at the same time address the whole body’s condition..
Treatment for men can boost low count, low mobility or poor morphology of sperm and enhance sexual performance. A typical course will involve weekly or bi-weekly treatments over a span of 3-6 months, which allows a new group of sperm to grow healthy.
Because eggs begin to mature 90 days before they are chosen for ovulation, there is a 3 month window during which we can have a positive effect on egg quality and other factors prior to a medicated or IVF cycle. Starting treatment early gives you the best chance to make appropriate lifestyle and dietary changes and to lay a healthy foundation. This also gives us time to stabilize any hormonal imbalances and regulate any menstrual disorders, such as heavy, light, or painful periods, scanty cervical fluid, delayed ovulation, short luteal phase, etc.
Whenever you begin, each individual treatment will provide immediate benefit, while each treatment builds upon the last, so that multiple treatments have a cumulative effect.
Acupuncture with Clomid Cycle
- 2 acupuncture treatments per week during the Clomid and follicular development phase of the cycle to enhance follicle growth, egg health and endometrial lining.
- 1 acupuncture treatment per week after ovulation to relax the uterus during implantation time.
- Acupuncture and herbs can help correct hormonal imbalances and side effects of Clomid, such as hot flashes, headaches, lack of cervical fluid and thinning of the endometrial lining. It is advisable to work on re-establishing your natural estrogen and FSH before continuing on with repeated or more advanced ART cycles.
Acupuncture with Gonadotropin/Injectable Cycle with or without IUI
- 2 acupuncture treatments per week during the injectable medications phase to enhance follicle growth, egg health and endometrial lining. In addition to boosting the efficacy of the medications, treatments will help offset side effects and promote relaxation..
- 1 treatment the day before or the day of IUI.
- 1 treatment 5-7 days after ovulation to relax the uterus during implantation time.
- Continue with 1 acupuncture treatment per week.
Acupuncture with IVF Cycle
- 1 treatment per week during the Birth Control Pill and/or the Lupron stage of the cycle.
- 2 treatments per week during the stimulation medications to enhance follicle growth, egg health and endometrial lining as well as reduce stress and promote relaxation.
- 1 treatment the day before or day of the embryo transfer to eliminate contractions of the uterus and fallopian tubes. Acupuncture treatment before and after transfer has been shown to improve success rates by 15-20%.
- 1 treatment 3-4 days after the transfer to relax the uterus during implantation time.
- Continue with 1 acupuncture treatment per week.
Acupuncture with Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycle
- 1 treatment per week during the estrogen phase to enhance hormone balance and promote relaxation.
- 1 treatment the day before or day of the embryo transfer to eliminate contractions of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
- 1 treatment 3-4 days after the transfer to relax the uterus during the implantation time.
- Continue with 1 treatment per week or as advised by your doctor to increase endorphins and neutralize the effects of cortisol and other stress hormones.
Acupuncture During and After Pregnancy
Women can and should continue with acupuncture treatment during pregnancy to encourage healthy development of the baby and ensure a comfortable pregnancy. Acupuncture can help with many issues, including morning sickness, back and sciatic pain, heartburn, gestational diabetes, breech presentation, constipation and hemorrhoids, edema, fatigue and emotional swings. After delivery, acupuncture can help with recovering from pregnancy and labor, lactation, postpartum depression, and overall healing.