Infertility & Acupuncture

Fertility issues have been a growing concern in American society for the last 20 years or so and it seems to be getting worse. There are many theories to why this is happening and now with a few major studies on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) we may have a better understanding of why the high rate of infertility. The study came to the conclusion that after the third generation of rats eating strictly GMO foods the rats became sterile. We are now into the third generation of people eating GMO food so most likely we are going to see infertility get much worse. The other condition that is affecting men and women with infertility problems is the lack of exercise and over worked and stressed from life.

Infertility is not only affecting women but men as well. GMO foods are affecting peoples immune system make them more likely to be sick more regularly, age faster, and making it more difficult to get pregnant and stay pregnant. My first recommendation to get pregnant would be to look at your diet and see what you can change to abstain from GMO foods. The biggest culprits are soy, corn, potatoes, and high fructose corn syrup. The other foods to avoid are salmon (farm raised), canola oil, most dairy that is not organic due to the GMO feed that is fed to the cows, and most processed foods. After looking at your foods, start replacing with organic whole foods, meats that are grass fed and avoiding fast food and processed foods all together.

While changing the diet, the next step is to start acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas. What the practitioner will do is find out what pattern is causing the infertility. Many times irregular periods will be a major concern. What needs to be done is getting the cycle to be in the range of 28-30 days, pain free ovulation at mid cycle, no PMS signs, and a pain free period with moderate flow of fresh red blood.

The main patterns with infertility in women with Chinese medicine are blood deficiency, cold in the uterus and liver qi and blood stagnation.

Blood deficiency can look like very minimal period, pale blood, delayed cycle, tiredness, depression, dizziness, pale complexion and possible blurred vision. With this pattern typically the digestion is very weak or possibly the patient is a vegetarian or vegan.

Red meat and beets are very good to help build blood. Chinese formulas also help tremendously with building up the blood in the body as well.

Cold in the uterus looks like a delayed cycle, minimal period, small clots, painful period, feels better with heat, the body feels colder during the period, pale face, the whole body always feels cold and possibly a sore lower back. Adding some foods that have warming qualities such as ginger, cinnamon, and garlic may help some this pattern really needs herbal formulas and warming herb that you burn called moxa to really help the basal body temperature raise.

Liver qi and blood stagnation looks like irregular periods, premenstrual tension, painful periods with stabbing sensation, breast distention, irritability, larger clots and darker menstrual blood. This is a very common pattern with women with high levels of stress. Acupuncture is very helpful to relieve stress. Exercise and meditation along with turmeric will help move some qi and blood. Lastly, Chinese herbal formulas are also very important with all of these patterns and need to be taken to get the desired goal of getting pregnant.

There have been several studies that show acupuncture and In-vitro fertilization have a symbiotic relationship. One study by “fertility and sterility” found that 20% of women undergoing IVF became pregnant following the procedure compared to 43% who received acupuncture before and after IVF. This is nearly a 50% increase in effectiveness with IVF and acupuncture. Another study by “Medical acupuncture”, said that acupuncture may stimulate egg follicle development in women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

What needs to be done to get results to promote fertility is get the digestion working optimally, balance the hormones, eating healthy and eradicating GMO foods out of the diet and adding organic foods to the diet. Manage stress and get more exercise. Lastly, chart and understand the 4 phases of the cycle and get acupuncture and Chinese formulas to help the body balance itself out.

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after 2 years of trying, so you must be patient and willing to give Chinese medicine time to work.