Eastern Medicine for Infertility

When couples decide they’re finally ready to start a family, emotions are high as they begin to plan for their future as parents. There may be feelings such as anticipation, a little fear of the unknown, and definitely excitement. But when months pass and pregnancy fails to happen, those feelings quickly turn to disappointment, frustration, hopelessness, and sometimes even desperation.

Posted on | Jamie Starkey, LAc | Comments ()

When couples decide they’re finally ready to start a family, emotions are high as they begin to plan for their future as parents. There may be feelings such as anticipation, a little fear of the unknown, and definitely excitement. But when months pass and pregnancy fails to happen, those feelings quickly turn to disappointment, frustration, hopelessness, and sometimes even desperation. 

There are many options available to assist couples with getting pregnant. In addition to seeking out fertility specialists in conventional medicine, expert clinicians in the field of Eastern medicine can help as well.

In the recent edition of Fertility and Sterility, results were published of an analysis researchers performed, looking at 24 clinical trials involving acupuncture’s effectiveness on pregnancy and birth rates for women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).  Close to 6000 women were assessed and it was found that woman undergoing IVF had higher clinical birth rates and higher live birth rates when acupuncture was used as an adjunct treatment to their conventional IVF treatment plan. 

In addition to the recent data supporting improved pregnancy and birth rates, past acupuncture studies have also shown the treatment modality to increase ovarian and uterine blood flow, nourishing the organs for optimal performance, and a decrease in pain during the egg retrieval process. Acupuncture is both safe and inexpensive, and can easily be incorporated into a conventional reproductive treatment plan without interfering with standard IVF treatment protocols. 

When you seek out an acupuncturist for fertility-related disorders, he/she will address not only your physical problems, such as regulating your menstrual cycle, but also the emotional and psychological toll this struggle has put on you. I have held many women’s hands in clinic, consoling and offering positive reinforcement as they works toward getting pregnant. In my acupuncture treatments, I always aim to improve the emotional and mental well-being, which is just as important as the physical realm of her condition. 

Modern medicine has made outstanding strides in the field of reproductive medicine, and women who were once unable to conceive now have beautiful children of their own!  Combining the worlds of conventional medicine with Eastern medicine will go a long way to ensure you have the best shot at fulfilling your dreams of parenthood.

Source:

Zheng et al. Fertil Steril, 2012 Jan 11

Acupuncture in Medicine 24.4 (Oct 2006):p157(7)

Blog written by Jamie Starkey, LAc
Jamie Starkey is Lead Acupuncturist at the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine and offers acupuncture with a focus...