By Kathleen Kenneally L.Ac.
If you have been trying to conceive a child for more than a year, there is a good chance that something may be interfering with your reproductive function.
Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after having regular unprotected sexual intercourse for a year or more. A normally fertile couple’s average chance of conceiving is approximately 25% per menstrual cycle. Many things play a part in achieving a successful pregnancy. Simply put, for women the ability to produce healthy eggs and to regularly ovulate (the release of the egg into the Fallopian tube) and men need to produce healthy sperm to fertilize the egg. A woman’s ability to produce healthy eggs dramatically decreases after the age of 35. However, it is not just a woman’s concern- a problem with the male as sole cause or contributing cause of infertility is seen in approximately 40% of infertile couples. Another 10-15% of couples have no identifiable cause for their infertility. If infertility is suspected, it is important for the couple to get thorough medical exams to rule out the possibility of any internal blockages, hormonal imbalances and low sperm count.
Recent medical studies have shown that traditional acupuncture points used for female infertility not only increased the blood supply to the uterus but as a result increased the lining of the uterus which is responsible for nourishing the fertilized egg. In addition, the stimulation of acupuncture points was shown to almost double the success rates for in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Chinese medicine considers many things when diagnosing infertility-a person’s constitution, level of stress, sexual activity, diet and exercise. To achieve pregnancy the body must be in balance. Acupuncture and herbal medicine work hand in hand with traditional medical approaches by regulating periods, reducing cysts, helping with endometriosis and fibroids, increasing sperm counts, balancing hormone levels and reducing stress. There is hope. The Chinese believe it is important to eat nourishing food, maintain a healthy lifestyle, include daily exercise and keep positive thoughts. By bringing the body back into balance on all levels, couples have a better chance at becoming pregnant and maintaining that pregnancy.
For more information on how Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can address fertility issues- please contact Valencia Medical Center 661-222-9117