Fertility, Pregnancy, Postpartum
Thinking about getting pregnant? Having a healthy foundation is essential and can greatly increase your chances, for conception either naturally or through advanced reproductive technology (ART). Allowing at least three month to prepare your body for pregnancy not only produces healthier egg and sperm quality, but it also creates an optimal environment for your growing baby.
I offer a natural and integrative approach to enhance your fertility success. I address all aspects of your health using acupuncture, whole food supplements and herbal medicine, nutrition therapy, and lifestyle counseling to prepare you for preconception and pregnancy.
I understand that conception is not easy for all couples, and fertility issues are at the forefront of reproductive health. If you are having difficulty conceiving, or maintaining a pregnancy, Traditional Chinese medicine can offer many treatment options.
TCM has been used to enhance fertility for centuries. Recently, studies have provided evidence that acupuncture and Chinese herbs can increase blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, stimulate ovulation in women and can help increase sperm concentration and motility in men.
I have experienced firsthand how strongly TCM can positively influence the reproductive and endocrine systems. I have had the pleasure of helping many couples achieve healthy pregnancies.
During your first visit, I take time to listen to your needs and goals. My goal is to identify and treat the root cause of your infertility while at the same time optimizing your health, wellness and hormone balance using acupuncture, nutritional therapy, whole food supplements, herbs, and lifestyle counseling. My approach treats you as a whole person to address your health on all levels.
Female Fertility Support
Boosting your health and fertility naturally are important steps to having a healthy pregnancy. While starting acupuncture at any point in your preconception or fertility journey is beneficial, I recommend at least three months of preparation to increase chances of a healthy pregnancy. Three months is important because takes about 90-150 days for an egg to grow from a follicle in its resting state to a mature egg ready to be released. The goal of TCM is to promote a healthier and more balanced state, to increase your chance of conception.
TCM has been clinically proven to:
- Regulate menstrual cycles
- Improve the functions of the ovaries to produce higher quality of eggs
- Regulate the hormones to produce a larger number of follicles
- Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining
- Increase chance of conceiving
- Enhance the chances of successful implantation
- Decrease chance of miscarriage
- Promote relaxation
- Strengthen the immune system
- Improve quality of sleep and increase energy
Common Fertility Disorders Treated with TCM are:
- Elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
- Luteal Phase Defect (LPD) and decreased progesterone
- Repeated miscarriages
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Irregular and non-ovulatory menstrual cycles
- Thin endometrium
- Ovarian cysts & Uterine fibroids
- Spasmed uterine tubes
- Poor egg quality
- Advanced maternal age
- Idiopathic (unexplained) infertility
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
Many couples today are utilizing assisted reproductive therapies of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and intra-uterine injections (IUI). Prior to starting ART treatments, I highly recommend at least 3 months of acupuncture to prepare you for conception and to increase your chances of achieving a healthy pregnancy.
Benefits you may experience are:
- Reduction in the stress that can interfere with ovulation
- Normalizing hormone levels
- Improving the quality and thickness of the uterine lining
- Increasing blood flow to the uterus and ovaries
- Regulation of menses
- General feeling of good health
The addition of Chinese medicine to these therapies greatly improves the success of a pregnancy by:
- Improving the lining of the uterus
- Significantly reducing stress associated with the cycle
- Decreasing the chance of miscarriage
- Preventing uterine contraction post IVF embryo transfer
- Reducing the side-effects of IVF medications
- Improving the quality and quantity of follicles (120 days)
- Improving male factor — volume, motility and morphology (120 days)
When Should Treatment Begin?
Ideally, patients are treated for at least three months before an insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), or donor-egg transfer. However, if you are in a cycle or about to start a cycle, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can still be very helpful to improve the success.
The Pre-Embryo Transfer and Post-Embryo Transfer Treatments
The chances of conception increase when acupuncture is given before and shortly after the embryo is transferred to the uterus during an IVF treatment, which is known as pre and post-transfer treatments. Scientific studies have shown that this improves uterine artery blood flow, decreases uterine contractions, supports the endometrial lining and implantation, and increases pregnancy rates.
A healthy pregnancy involves the health of both partners, so I encourage men to also participate in boosting their health, and in return their fertility. Infertility affects both men and women in equal proportion. Male fertility is commonly due to low sperm production, misshapen or immobile sperm, or blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm. Illnesses, injuries, chronic health problems, lifestyle choices and other factors can play a role in causing male infertility.
My goal is to balance your health and to improve your semen quality. This is crucial, because it takes about 100 days for a male to create and mature sperm. During preconception treatments, we focus on nutrition and lifestyle modifications and often use supplements and herbal medicine to improve sperm quality and overall wellbeing.
Pregnancy can be a very exciting time. However, with the many physical and hormonal changes occurring, it can sometimes lead to discomfort. The amazing thing about acupuncture and nutritional therapies is that they are a very safe, effective and drug-free way for pregnant women to deal with any health issues that may arise.
Some common reasons for treatment may include:
- Nausea and Morning sickness
- Musculoskeletal pain (Back pain and Sciatica)
- Fatigue and Insomnia
- Constipation and Hemorrhoids
- Gestational Diabetes (Sugar handling support)
- Premature & Overdue Labor
Labor Preparation Support
Women are treated weekly starting around week 37 to help their body naturally prepare for labor.
Acupuncture and nutritional therapies are both safe for mom and baby, and can be used to heal and strengthen the body to address any post-partum issues that arise.
Some common reasons for treatment may include:
- Postpartum depression
- Hormone regulation
- Insufficient lactation
- Pain and scar tissue repair