Acupuncture, Herbs, and Functional Medicine for Fertility
What can acupuncture do for fertility?
You may think acupuncture is just for pain or stress relief. However, acupuncture can treat many conditions, including ones you bring to your conventional doctor. In fact, acupuncture is often a better choice for issues that fall through the cracks in conventional medicine. A perfect example is treating menstrual cycle issues and optimizing fertility, for conceiving naturally or with the assistance of medications, IUI and IVF.
Oh, the things acupuncture can do for you!
Acupuncture regulates your hormones, temperature, circulation, and nervous system. The Kiiko style of Japanese acupuncture is particularly effective for hormone treatments. Also, a benefit to this style is the use of teeny tiny “needles,” and painless insertion. The effect is immediate, and you can fall into a deep state of relaxation while your hormones and cycles get fixed.
We can target acupuncture to:
- Regulate all your hormones. This includes thyroid, sugar-insulin, adrenal, and sex hormones.
- Normalize your cycle so that it’s closer to an optimal 28 days, with your ovulation on day 14.
- Promote ovulation to happen at the right time, not too early or late.
- Lengthen a follicular phase if needed, to give your follicles and lining more time to develop.
- Increase circulation to your uterus to build an optimal lining for implantation.
- Reduce stress hormones and relax your nervous system. This results in more “feed and breed” time instead of “fight or flight.”
- Lower FSH that is too high – which happens with “mature” maternal age.
- Improve AMH levels (a marker of “egg quality”).
- Release “blockages” in your pelvis, which houses your reproductive organs.
Chinese herbal medicine and fertility
Chinese herbs nourish fertility in a different way than acupuncture and are a wonderful adjunct. Herbs help regulate cycles and nourish hormones. At our Monterey clinic, we also use supplements and small doses of bio-identical hormones as “herbs” when needed. With precise clinical skills, we can typically get you 80% towards a healthy and fertile menstrual cycle in three months.
Oh, the things herbal medicine can do for you!
- Nourish your uterine lining.
- Improve follicle growth.
- Push stubborn ovulation.
- Delay early ovulation.
- Support any hormones that need a boost.
- Replenish any nutrient deficiencies necessary for fertility.
- Nourish your fertile “yin” substances such as cervical fluid, follicles, uterine lining, and estrogen.
- Strengthen your fertile “yang” activity which warms your uterus, activates egg movement, secures a conception, and raises progesterone.
- Get rid of period clotting, spotting, and cramping.
- Regulate temperatures so they are optimal during your follicular and luteal phases.
- Adjust period volume so it’s not too heavy or light.
Chinese medicine blended with functional medicine
Chinese medicine with functional medicine can be the perfect blend to diagnose and treat unexplained infertility factors. Both approaches diagnose according to individual imbalances. Furthermore, both diagnostic styles can blend well together. For example:
|Short luteal phase and coldness due to hypothyroidism||Kidney and Spleen yang deficiency|
|Anemia from low B vitamins||Spleen qi deficiency with heart blood deficiency|
|PCOS with dysbiosis as the main driver||Spleen and Kidney yang deficiency with dampness|
|Early ovulation due to adrenal stress||Kidney yin deficiency in addition to empty heat|
|Estrogen dominance due to poor detox function||Liver qi stasis attacks the Spleen’s ability to transform|
The next post is on what we know about acupuncture and IVF.
I welcome your questions and comments below,