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Acupuncture For Infertility

Posted Nov 03 2010 6:59pm
One in eight women will have issues with fertility.  It is devastating to find out that you cannot conceive without assistance.  Conception may be possible with the aid of Chinese medicine.  It may also be possible to conceive with a combination of assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination along with Chinese medicine.   Mariah Carey has admitted that daily acupuncture sessions helped her to conceive.  Of course it helped.  I am not one bit surprised.  Whether or not she has included assisted reproductive techniques, I do not know.  So far, she's being coy.

When a woman approaches me in hopes of getting pregnant without assisted reproductive techniques, the following approach is necessary:
  • Enhance nutrition and start acupuncture for healthy egg production.  With a diagnosis based on Chinese medicine principles, it is possible to find deficiency and imbalance in her diet that may be causing her inability to conceive.  Changes in diet are simple and necessary upon diagnosis.  Acupuncture is started at this phase to increase blood and qi flow through the reproductive organs.  When should a woman begin this phase of treatment?  She should begin this just as soon as she has verified that there is a fertility issue.
  • Acupuncture for stress reduction.  Placing needles throughout the body is extremely important to keep the patient calm and reduce stress.  It is also possible to cause endorphin release and balance hormones.  This is the part of the treatment that allows her to relax so deeply that she falls asleep on the table.  This part of the treatment is also necessary from day one of the conception and pregnancy journey.  It is safe to continue this portion of the treatment plan into postpartum and beyond.
If she is undergoing assisted reproductive techniques, she is given the following two treatments in addition to the above two.  
  • Acupuncture for side effects from fertility medications.  Some of the medications can cause night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia and headaches.  Acupuncture will help to keep these side effects at bay.
  • Acupuncture for embryo implantation.  Needling the patient before and after embryo transfer will cause the uterus to relax and enhance the chances of implantation.  She may increase her chances of implantation by  40 - 60%  with acupuncture before and after embryo transfer.
All cases are highly individual.  No two cases are the same.  When a woman asks me how long this will take, I tell her to plan on a 100-day journey from first acupuncture session until conception.  

Thank you for reading.
Tamara ZumMallen, L.Ac.

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