Fertility, how can acupuncture and herbs help?

For anyone struggling with infertility, it is quite an emotional rollercoaster. Every month, with another negative reading on the “stick”, can lead to depression and heartbreak. After months, or a year of trying, one might see a doctor to find out why “things” aren’t happening. Sometimes there are answers. There could be blood/hormone labs showing some irregularities, or a pelvic/laparoscopy/ultrasound will reveal that there are obstructions or growths, that you had no idea about, let alone that they could affect your ability to conceive. So now that you know there might be some issues getting in the way, what can you and your partner do?

Western medicine may suggest hormones, or medications to stimulate hormones, or possibly surgical intervention. Sometimes these things may work. Lack of ovulation or poor ovulation is at least 30% of many women’s obstacle, so Clomid or Follistem, may be the right step. However, sometimes it’s not enough or even the right next step. With so many couples waiting later to start a family, there are also natural aging processes that can get in the way of their goal.

Chinese medicine, which has been around for over 2000+ years,  looks at areas of your overall health, and where changes are most needed, to be able to put you, and your partner, in the best conceptive health. Even when aging is a factor, often making the right changes can have an amazing effect on your body’s ability to conceive.

It’s not always the women who may have the issue, 40-50% of infertility can be male factor.

For the best results, the couple will be individually assessed and treated with herbs and acupuncture, to: balance the hormones, blood levels, and to move any blockages that could be getting in the way of conception. No two people are the same, in what imbalances are taking place, so everyone is treated very individually. Having a practitioner who knows and specializes in Fertility is important in order to get the best care.

Diet and lifestyle are so important for the best outcome. Modifications to these areas could be made, so that each person will be functioning at their best level of reproductive health and overall wellbeing.

Some will ask, “How long will this take?” This is a valid question and I understand that the clock is ticking. The answer though is different for each person. Sometimes a patient needs surprisingly little balancing, considering they may have been trying for over a year, before seeking treatment, and within 3 months, they’re pregnant and all is wonderful!

For others, with more complicated patterns, such as: endometriosis, Fibroid tumors, and PCOS (to name a few), it can take longer. Regulation of the menstrual cycle must take place first, as well as making sure that no obstruction(s) are blocking the sperms ability to meet, and fertilize the egg. In some of the above situations, ovulation may not be occurring at all. If that’s the case, it still falls under menstrual regulation, but treatment may be more involved if hormones are very imbalanced. I’ll be going into some details, on the blog, about each of these areas and how Chinese medicine can help the balance and possibly help in conception.

If you are considering alternative treatment, either in conjunction with your doctor/Reproductive endocrinologist, or want to try things more naturally first before using medication/IUI/IFV, feel free to contact me, and make an appointment for a consultation. If I think that I can help you, I will. If not, I can make some suggestions, or referrals for you.

About Shelly Tompkins

Shelly Tompkins, L.Ac, is a renowned women’s health & wellness expert and licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and functional medicine practitioner in private practice in San Diego, CA. She has extensive training and experience and has been in practice and taught at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine for 24 years and has had the opportunity to work with many well-known fertility specialists in Southern California to provide stress-reduction to patients, as well as enhance their IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF (in-vitro fertilization) results.

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