From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) viewpoint, infertility is described as the inability to conceive after two years of having regular intercourse without contraception. This may allow some of you to breath a sigh of relief! In the US, we are normally only given one year or less to get pregnant.
TCM and acupuncture encourage your body to relax during this stressful time of hope and the unknown. As an acupuncturist and herbalist, my clinical experience leads me to know that treating couples or individuals trying to conceive works best when the goal is to bring each person to optimal health. Some people come for acupuncture as a first step in their exploration of fertility options, while others arrive as they begin their first or second round of IVF. Acupuncture has the unique ability to work with other interventions without causing harm or negating other treatments. In fact, acupuncture does a wonderful job at supporting the body and mind through western fertility approaches and reducing unwanted side effects.
If acupuncture is your first step in learning about options to increase fertility, know that it will benefit both male and female fertility factors. Not only does acupuncture help regulate erratic and painful menstrual cycles, it also helps regulate the quality of sperm and can increase sperm counts. A study published in 2005 in the well respected journal, Fertility and Sterility found that 10 acupuncture treatments over a 5 week period reduced sperm abnormalities and increased the overall number of healthy sperm in men with infertility.
If you are considering using acupuncture in conjunction with western fertility approaches, know that most fertility specialists encourage complementary acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture will help reduce stress, regulate emotions, encourage blood flow to the uterus and increase your chances of pregnancy.
As acupuncture helps your body reach optimal health, we will also encourage you to eat well, sleep well, and find time for relaxation and moderate exercise. While this can be a challenging time, it is an opportunity to stay connected to family and loved ones. It is a time to get in touch with your deepest self and that of your partner. Reach out to professionals to care not only for your physical body, but also mental and emotional bodies. Find activities that give you hope, freedom to explore and express, and nurturing. A few ideas? Journal, dance, yell, cry, smile, hug, create.
Please contact me with your thoughts and experiences. Fertility issues need more space to be voiced and better understood. Your experience may help another woman or couple as they navigate through fertility options. Give us a call at Jersey Community Acupuncture to see how we can help at (908)237-1076 or book your appointment online at JerseyAcu.com.