Friday, August 31, 2012

Fertility and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medicine has been treating Gynaecology and Fertility problems for over two and a half thousand years.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are very effective at treating what is sometimes called “unexplained infertility” as well as treating diagnosed conditions. The following is a brief list of conditions treated by acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine:
·         Endometriosis, polycystic ovaries(PCOS), uterine fibroids
·         Hormonal imbalances, elevated prolactin etc.
·         Anovulation (lack of ovulation), Luteal phase defect
·         Amenorrhea (no  period), unexplained infertility
·         Advanced maternal age, recurrent miscarriage
·         Stress, insomnia, depression, fatigue
·         Premenstrual syndrome
·         Male infertility
·         Improve the outcome of assisted reproduction procedures (IVF,IUI etc)
There are many reasons why a woman may have difficulty conceiving, age is just one of them. Other reasons may include irregular menstruation, hormone imbalance, cold uterus and blood deficiency to name a few. 
Assisted Reproductive Technology on the other hand is in its infancy stage.  Currently, Chinese Medicine both in China and America are used in conjunction with Western Assisted Reproductive techniques to enhance fertility.
How can Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine enhance fertility?  
·          Assists in normalizing hormones to increase the number of follicles.
·          Improves ovarian function to produce better quality eggs.
·         Increases blood flow to the uterus and increases uterine thickness.
·         Reduces side effects of assisted reproductive hormonal treatments.
·         Lessens stress and enhances relaxation.
·         Strengthens the body's immune system.
·         Improves sperm count, motility and morphology.
·         Diminishes the chance of miscarriage.
·         Decreases uterine contractibility for implantation

How can Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine help IVF and ICSI?

·         Research shows that acupuncture and herbal medicine improves the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs
·         TCM helps to regulate the hormone levels to help produce a larger number of follicles.
·         Increased blood flow to the uterus in turn creates a thicker uterine lining. The result is better likelihood of implantation of the embryo to the uterus.
·         During implantation of the embryos, acupuncture and herbs can help prevent the uterus from contracting, thereby also preventing the patient from experiencing painful cramps.
·         Lessen the side effects of the drugs used in IVF, such as emotional instability, insomnia, palpitations, etc.
·         Acupuncture and herbal medicine can strongly strengthen the immune system.
·         For males, TCM can improve the quality and quantity of the semen to create better quality embryos.
Preparing for IVF with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
It is best for the preparation to begin three months before IVF treatments begin. In this time, the goal of the acupuncturist is to improve the function of the ovaries to produce good quality eggs. The treatment method is varied, depending on the patient's individual diagnosis and factor of infertility. Some methods used include tonifying the kidneys, spleen, qi, and blood, smoothing the liver qi, and circulating the blood. At our clinic, many patients have seen results of decreased FSH levels, resumed regular menstrual cycles, and some even became pregnant naturally!

General Treatment Services Available To Help Fertility

·         Boosting Fertility
·         Pre-conception Planning and Care
·         Preparation and Support for IVF
·         Fertility Fitness Assessments
·         Male Reproductive Health
·         Pregnancy Planning and Care
·         Ante-natal Training and Support
·         Post-natal Care and Support
Lastly, once the patient does become pregnant, acupuncture and herbs can help to decrease the chances of miscarriage. For women over 40 years old, pregnancies with IVF have an approximate 46% rate of miscarriage after six weeks. This percentage can be greatly reduced with the help of Chinese medicine.

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