How does acupuncture for fertility work? Increase chance of conception without side effects

 

How Does Acupuncture for Fertility Work? Increase Chance of Conception Without Side Effects

fertility and acupuncture

The overwhelming anguish and sense of loss experienced by women struggling with infertility issues is an unwelcome motivator, driving them to seek other treatment options to overcoming infertility. From home remedies, fertility drugs, and even surgery, to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and donor eggs and embryos, modern healthcare has vastly expanded the array of options available for couples struggling to conceive.

But not all can afford the financial costs of infertility which can range from hundreds of dollars spent on drugs to tens of thousands spent on advanced procedures such as Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and IVF. In the search for affordable and effective health care, alternative and holistic treatments are gaining wider appeal among the general public.

Traditional Chinese medicine, for example, has been practised for thousands of years and includes techniques and practices such as tai chi, moxibustion, tui na, Chinese cupping, and acupuncture. Acupuncture, in particular, has rapidly grown in acceptance by the general public and practice among therapists today. Not only is acupuncture valued for stress-relieving and relaxing benefits, but also as a component of fertility treatments.

When used in conjunction with Western fertility treatments, acupuncture increases conception rates by 26%. A recent study from Tel Aviv University reports, “When combining IUI with TCM treatments, 65.5%of the test group were able to conceive, compared with 39.4%of the control group, who received no herbal or acupuncture therapy.” For the 4.5 million couples experiencing infertility each year, acupuncture may be just what the doctor ordered.

The Evolution and History of Acupuncture
With a recorded history of about 3,000 years, the foundations of acupuncture are believed to date back to the Stone Age when sharp-edged tools were used to puncture the skin and drain blood and abscesses.

The Chinese document titled Lingshu (translated as “Miraculous Pivot”) listed nine classical acupuncture needles: Filiform, Shear, Round-Pointed, Spoon, Lance, Round-Sharp, Stiletto, Long, and Big. These classical needles were originally made from bronze, gold, or silver, but modern acupuncture uses only stainless steel filiform needles.

In the U.S., physicians have been practising acupuncture since the early 1800s. When the New York Times published the documentation of James Reston’s visit to China in 1971, acupuncture piqued public interest. In 1997, the National Institutes of Health Consensus Statement advocated for acupuncture’s potential to manage postoperative pain, vomiting, and nausea. Ten years later, according to a report published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a “. . . survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, almost 40% of adults used complementary and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, in the prior year.”

The rise in popularity of acupuncture has compelled researchers to take a closer, scientific look at the full potential of acupuncture. From aiding in weight loss efforts to reducing stress and relieving pain, the benefits of acupuncture have raised interest in its potential to increase the chances of conception.

The Science Behind Infertility
Because of the delicate balance between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and reproductive glands, stress is capable of preventing a woman from ovulating entirely. This can contribute to the cause of female infertility. Stress can also create spasms in both the fallopian tubes and the uterus, which can interfere with movement and implantation of a fertilized egg. In men, stress can alter sperm counts, motility, and cause impotence. Acupuncture infertility treatment counters the effects of stress and cortisol by releasing endorphins in the brain. A herbal impotence cure is also an option for men and can reduce stress.

Hormonal balance does not have to be disrupted by cortisol to cause infertility. The most common cause of female infertility is an ovulation disorder, in which the release of a mature egg from the ovary is prevented, usually because of a hormonal imbalance. Without enough progesterone, for example, the fetus is unable to attach to the uterus. High levels of prolactin, the hormone that stimulates the production of breast milk, can also prevent ovulation.

Acupuncture for Fertility and treatment
An imbalance in reproductive hormones can also negatively affect male reproductive function, such as sperm motility and production. However, the fertility drugs that stimulate ovulation in women by regulating the hypothalamus and pituitary, the glands that control reproductive hormones, don’t perform nearly as well for men (success rates are about a third of those for women), nor have they been approved for men by the FDA. Male infertility treatment must take another track. A herbal impotence cure — if impotence is a factor in a couple’s infertility — causes no side effects and has a reported success rate when taken in conjunction with male infertility treatment.

While the fertility drugs commonly prescribed for women can produce a 20% to 60% pregnancy rate, they also commonly include such side effects as abdominal tenderness, bloating, fluid retention, weight gain, and nausea. Some studies show that they may also cause breast cancer.

The Potential of Acupuncture to Increase Chance of Conception
Acupuncture can increase fertility by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system, according to several studies and medical research. “The goal of an infertility treatment from a Chinese medicine perspective is not just to get pregnant, but to stay pregnant and to have a healthy baby,” says Deb Davies, LAc, a Pacific College alumnus. Among many other benefits, acupuncture can provide better blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, creating a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term.

Modern acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of thin, disposable sterile needles at strategic points near the surface of the body. Over 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body connect with 14 major pathways, called meridians. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that these meridians conduct qi, or energy, between the surface of the body and internal organs. It is qi that regulates spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. When the flow of qi is disrupted through poor health habits or other circumstances, pain and/or disease can result. Acupuncture helps to keep the normal flow of this energy unblocked, thereby increasing a couple’s chances of conceiving.

Acupuncture infertility treatment can improve almost every cause of this obstacle. While 40% of infertility is caused by problems in the female, another 40% is caused by problems in the male, such as low sperm count or motility. The cause of female infertility stems from problems such as anovulation and endometriosis. The remaining 20% is caused by unknown factors.

One of the ways acupuncture treatment increases fertility is by reducing stress, which is often a key factor in the fertility of both men and women. When people are under stress, the hormone cortisol is released in the brain. This alters the brain’s neurochemical balance, thus changing hormone levels and disrupting the pituitary balance that is key to the reproductive cycle.

If the thyroid is over or under-functioning, acupuncture can help address the effects on fertility. Acupuncture can also “. . . be used to treat any type of fertility disorder including spasmed tubes. Spasmed tubes are often de-spasmed with acupuncture, though blocked tubes will not respond to acupuncture,” according to the American Pregnancy Association.

However, acupuncture cannot address issues with tubal adhesions. Acupuncture is also contraindicated for the abdominopelvic area, which includes the following points: Gallbladder 21, Large Intestine 4, Bladder 60, Stomach 12, Spleen 6, and Bladder 67, as well as any other points on the lower abdomen.

“Chinese medicine can help support a woman through this important time in her life—whether that is emotionally or physically, acupuncture can help with much more than just conception. It can help with morning sickness, nausea, aches and pains (low back pain, for example), anxiety preparation for birth, and insomnia, among many others,” explains Davies.

Acupuncture’s Side Effects
Acupuncture for infertility treatment, by contrast, produces few or no side effects while performing the same function as the drugs do: stimulating the hypothalamus to effectively balance the endocrine system and its hormones and to get to the root cause of female infertility as well as male infertility.

The natural, time-tested alternative treatment used by eastern cultures just might be worth a try.

Click here to learn more about Pacific College of Oriental Medicine’s Chicago acupuncture school, New York acupuncture school, and San Diego Acupuncture School Programs.

Acupuncture & Infertility

Acupuncture & Infertility

15th May 2020 By Virginia Jin

There are many reports of acupuncture treatment of infertility in Chinese medicine, and its efficacy is generally recognized by people:

Case 1: Female, 35 years old, unable to become pregnant after 5 years of marriage. She was under big pressure. The first time she came with her mother was very sincere and requested treatment for her infertility. She originally planned to go to the Western Medicine Infertility Specialty for IVF surgery, but after a doctor’s examination, she found that although her menstruation came on time, she did not ovulate at all. FSH was very high 15.8 mlU / ML (normal 1.5-10 mlU / ML), accompanied by anemia, hemoglobin (Hb) is only 9.2 g / dl (normal 12.5-16g / dl). Not qualified for IVF, this specialist refused to perform IVF surgery for her and recommended the treatment by acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. After 4 months of treatment and conditioning, her basal body temperature(BBT) and ovulation tests showed normal ovulation, FSH decreased to 8.7 mlU / ML, and hemoglobin (Hb) also reached 12.7g / dl, everything returned to normal. She went to the specialist doctor to perform IVF surgery, which was a success.

According to the causes and types of patients’ infertility, and the different stages they are in, there are three general treatments for infertility:
The first group: natural pregnancy group. Natural pregnancy after traditional Chinese medicine & acupuncture treatment does not require any Western medicine. Some cases do not need to consider IUI or IVF at all. For example, they are 25-35 years old, have no organic lesions, but are dysfunctional, or have high FSH. We just monitor such as measuring basal body temperature(BBT) every morning, measuring ovulation during two mid-menstrual periods, and having a sexual life at an appropriate time, can be naturally pregnant.

The second group: prepare for IUI or IVF group. A period of treatment before starting artificial insemination or IVF. After conditioning by Chinese medicine acupuncture treatment, then do IUI or IVF. Some people do IVF several times, they all failed, and the specialist still advocated to try again, and the result may not be successful. It wasting money and time, and damaging the body. If you undergo IVF after 1-3 months of Chinese medicine treatment, the situation is very different. The success rate will increase by more than 50%. Interestingly, some cases are pregnant during the early preparation of IVF, the patient saves the IVF surgical steps, and naturally becomes pregnant.

The third group: cooperate with IUI or IVF group. Use acupuncture to cooperate with IVF surgery. Cooperate with acupuncture during the whole IVF surgery, and give different acupuncture and moxibustion treatment at different stages, which can greatly improve the success rate. This group usually does not use Chinese medicine.

Of course, each case requires a specific analysis. Each treatment requires a specific treatment plan. By acupuncture treatment or use Chinese medicine, or both together, how long it takes is different. After years of clinical practice, a complete set of treatment methods have been summarized, such as the selection of acupuncture points and the preparation of traditional Chinese medicine formulas. According to the menstrual cycle, different stages use a different treatment plan. For example, some acupuncture points can better regulate the female endocrine system, improve blood circulation around the uterus, and enhance the function and activity of eggs. The prescription of traditional Chinese medicine is mainly based on the etiology, for anovulatory menstruation, or high FSH caused by advanced age, low estradiol (E2), or thin uterine wall, or suffering from different gynecological diseases, such as ovarian cysts, uterus Fibroids and endometriosis need to be treated with different prescriptions of traditional Chinese medicine.

In addition, there is another point to note is the cooperation of the patient and his family. Health food, less stress, good sleep…There are many successful cases of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for infertility treatment. In our clinic, the success rate of acupuncture treatment with traditional Chinese medicine is 70-80%.

If you need professional treatment, please call 09 3601229 or make an appointment online here

Treating Fertility Through Acupuncture and TCM

Treating Fertility Through Acupuncture and TCM

When people think of fertility treatments, they think of science and stirrups and injections. But Dr Jill Blakeway, a leading acupuncturist and renowned Chinese medicine practitioner is changing the way we approach reproductive health in western medicine by introducing eastern medicine into the mix. The author of Sex Again: Recharging Your Libido and Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program For Maximum Fertility opened the Yinova Center 20 years ago to offer women fertility support through acupuncture and Chinese herbs. “One of the secrets of our success is that we provide Chinese medical care in a modern way to meet the needs of our patients,” she explains. Her goal is to optimize women’s ability to conceive naturally or in conjunction with medical treatment. Read on for why The New York Times rightfully described her as ‘The Fertility Goddess.’

Acupuncture for Menstruation

Acupuncture has been used for centuries to help men and women improve fertility. However, Blakeway’s use of traditional Chinese methods spans beyond fertility. Through treatment, she regulates women’s menstrual cycles over the course of three months to rid of spotting and PMS. Women who specifically experience amenorrhea (the absence of menstruation) are provided with customized treatments and herbal formulas to boost their ovulation and regulate their cycle. Additionally, studies show that acupuncture has many fertility benefits, including increasing low ovarian reserves, elevating the follicle-stimulating hormone that tells the ovaries to start preparing an egg to ovulate each cycle and decreasing ovarian cysts.

Acupuncture for Conceiving

Many of Blakeway’s patients try to conceive during those aforementioned three months of regulation, so she simultaneously monitors their BBT (basal body temperature, which determines when a woman’s fertile), and gives advice on how and when to have intercourse. “The Yinova team uses acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal medicine, dietary advice, massage, cupping, and lifestyle adjustments to support fertility by increasing blood flow to the uterus and ovaries to promote a healthy uterine lining and ovarian follicles. We also decrease inflammation to aid embryo implantation and balance hormones,” Blakeway explains. The Middle East Society Journal breaks down the science: Acupuncture mediates the release of neurotransmitters, which in turn, stimulate secretion of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone that ultimately influences the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and fertility.

Acupuncture During IVF

Clinical research shows a 50 per cent increase in fertility success rate with patients who underwent acupuncture than those who didn’t in a controlled group study. Blakeway’s patients come twice a week during the stimulation phase of their IVF cycles—one treatment before retrieval, one between retrieval and transfer, one just after the transfer, and one a week after transfer. Senior acupuncturist, Amanda Silver, recommends women come in a month before starting IVF to start taking Chinese herbs and receiving acupuncture which can make them stronger upon taking medication. During the downregulation cycle month, where birth control or lupron is taken for a week or two to suppress current hormones so the IVF takes effect, there’s a lot of stagnant energy (qui). Silver and her team break up the qui to reduce stress before starting the most critical process.

As the stimulation procedure begins, their team focuses more on ovary blood flow and essentially calming the uterus for the incoming embryo during retrieval. After the transfer treatment, women have a couple of days to receive acupuncture which can relieve uterus spasms and improve the efficacy of IVF. During IVF, Chinese herbs are usually not recommended because it may complicate matters. Patients undergoing IUI (intrauterine insemination) typically come in for treatment once a week throughout.
A 2002 study published in the Fertility and Sterility journal showed that acupuncture given at the time of embryo transfer during an IVF cycle improved pregnancy rates compared to a control group that was not given acupuncture. In the British American Journal, researchers found that using WS-TCM (Whole Systems Traditional Chinese Medicine) for three months prior to an IVF cycle (approximately 12 treatments) may increase the odds of achieving a live birth over usual IVF care alone or the more limited two acupuncture treatments administered around embryo transfer.

Acupuncture for Endometriosis

The leading cause of pelvic pain seen at Blakway’s centre comes from endometriosis. “It can seriously affect a woman’s ability to conceive and can also cause uncomfortable, heavy or irregular periods,” she explains. Using a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs, the acupuncturists aim to improve blood circulation, clear inflammation, relieve pain, and treat the patient’s underlying condition associated with their endometriosis. This may involve specific dietary changes suggested by a practitioner.

How to Choose an Acupuncturist

First things first, ensure that your acupuncturist is certified! (Ponsonby Wellness is certified). You can choose any practitioner but when dealing with matters of reproductive health it’s important they have an understanding of gynecology, fertility, and reproductive medicine. It also helps to find someone who can work around your schedule and IVF treatments.

Does it Really Work?

Ponsonby Wellness has had many successful cases on fertility treatment through acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

Check out our services here

Treating Fertility Through Acupuncture and TCM

If you need professional treatment, please call 09 3601229 or make an appointment online here

Infertility Clinic | TCM and Infertility Treatment

Infertility Clinic – TCM and Infertility Treatment

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) suggests that there are three main causes of infertility: deficiency syndrome, stagnancy syndrome and heat syndrome.

Infertility Clinic | TCM and Infertility Treatment

According to Dr Subhuti Dharmananda from the Institute for Traditional Medicine, the deficiency syndrome prevents the hormonal system from properly influencing the sexual and reproductive functions.

The stagnancy syndrome prevents the sexual and reproductive organs from functioning despite normal hormone levels and a normal ability to respond to hormones. This has the impact of restricting circulation to tissues.
The heat syndrome may be associated with an infection or inflammatory process. It can produce abnormal semen quality leading to male infertility, while gynecologic infections can maintain female infertility by blocking the passages, altering the mucous membrane conditions or influencing the local temperature.

All three syndromes can be treated with Chinese herbs, acupuncture or a combination of both. These traditional Chinese approaches can also, and are often, combined with Western medicine in treating infertility. Evidence of using herbs to treat infertility dates back to around 2,000 years ago. With the cultural importance of family, it is no wonder that TCM has been used to treat infertility for thousands of years.

TCM practitioners treat infertility by getting to the deeper, underlying root of the problem, instead of treating the most apparent problem. Like and architect, TCM practitioners believe that the foundation is most important in a “home” or body. Therefore, they strive to balance the “foundation” of the body. Once the foundation of the body is healthy and qi (life energy) flows freely throughout the body, the body should be able to correct the problem of infertility on its own.

In China, the use of herbs has generally taken three to six months to restore fertility, according to Chinese clinical studies. Japan’s treatment times tend to be longer on average, six to 15 months, due to doctors giving lower dosages of herbs and because they are restricted to using a smaller variety of herbs. The U.S. is generally in between at about six to 12 months; it has nearly the full range of Chinese materials, but it generally gives smaller doses.

Acupuncture is another effective way of restoring fertility. It can be used as a complementary treatment with Chinese herbs, Western medicine or both.

Acupuncture helps qi flow through the body along pathways, also known as meridians. It aims to balance this flow by stimulating points along the meridians with thin needles. Acupuncture aids in blood flow to the reproductive organs and stabilizes hormone levels. This will increase ovarian function in women and sperm production in men.

A German study published in 2002 showed that acupuncture may be helpful to couples undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Of 80 women in the study who underwent IVF and received acupuncture, 34 women got pregnant. Of another 80 women who only received IVF without acupuncture treatment, only 21 women became pregnant. A later American study revealed similar results, showing that 51 per cent of the women who had both acupuncture and IVF treatments became pregnant, while only 36 per cent of the women who only received IVF treatment without acupuncture became pregnant.

Acupuncture also helps with men’s sperm count and sperm quality. In a study published in Fertility and Sterility in 2005, men who received acupuncture had fewer structural defects in sperm and an increase in the number of normal sperm than men who received no acupuncture.

If the herbal and acupuncture treatments succeed, not only will there be restored fertility in the patient, but he or she should feel better as a whole, because the TCM practitioner would have created balance throughout the entire body.

Our clinic has very high success rates (83.3%)for fertility treatment. 3 months to 6 months herbal and acupuncture treatment plan is the best way.

Read more on Fertility in our Blogs here

If you need professional treatment, please call 09 3601229 or make an appointment online here

Period Pain Relief by Acupuncture

Period Pain Relief by Acupuncture

Published Friday 21 July 2017
By Maria Cohut

The findings of a new study have shown that the intensity and duration of period pain can be reduced by up to 50 per cent by administering manual acupuncture.

Acupuncture can significantly reduce period pain, according to a new study.

Period pain, or dysmenorrhea, is a condition affecting up to 95 per cent of menstruating women, according to a report published in the journal Human Reproduction Update.

Dysmenorrhea is classified into two types: primary, wherein no known health conditions can account for the painful cramps, and secondary, during which the pain occurs as a result of a diagnosed disorder, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids.

A new study led by Australian researchers tests the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments in relieving period pain.

The study was conducted by Dr Mike Armour, of the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) at Western Sydney University in Australia, and his colleagues from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Auckland, also in Australia. Their findings were published in the journal PLOS One.

Frequent sessions are the most effective

Seventy-four adult women aged between 18 and 45 were involved in the study. They all had confirmed or suspected primary dysmenorrhea, and no diagnosis leading to the detection of secondary dysmenorrhea.

The women were randomly split into four groups: two high-frequency groups and two low-frequency groups. One high frequency and one low-frequency group were assigned manual acupuncture treatments, with the remaining two undergoing electroacupuncture, wherein the needles are connected to a device that transmits electric impulses to the body.

The participants in the high-frequency groups received three acupuncture treatments 1 week prior to the start of their menstrual period. Meanwhile, the women in the low-frequency groups received three treatments every 7 to 10 days, between their menstrual periods.

Study shows why acupuncture might work for period pain relief
Why is acupuncture an effective alternative treatment?

All participants were administered 12 acupuncture treatments over three menstrual cycles. They also underwent treatment in the first 48 hours of their menstrual period.

It was found that the women undergoing acupuncture more frequently experienced more significant improvements in period pain intensity and related symptoms, as well as in the overall quality of life.

The researchers do acknowledge, however, that larger trials are needed if specialists are to develop detailed, accurate guidelines for the use of acupuncture in the treatment of this complaint.

“Pragmatic trials of acupuncture have shown a reduction in pain intensity and an improvement in the quality of life in women with period pain, however evidence has been limited for how changing the ‘dosage’ of acupuncture might affect the outcome,” says Dr Armour.

Manual or electroacupuncture?

All the participants involved in the study were asked to keep a diary providing details about the development of their menstrual period symptoms throughout the trial.

The researchers were surprised to find that more than half the women undergoing manual acupuncture experienced a decrease in period pain and related symptoms of up to 50 per cent.

This made manual acupuncture significantly more effective in treating period pain than electroacupuncture, overall.
Our pilot study found that using manual stimulation of the needles, rather than an electrical pulse, resulted in a reduced need for pain-relieving medication and improvement in secondary symptoms such as headaches and nausea.”

All the treatments administered over the course of the study conformed to a manualized protocol relying on data collected from a survey of specialized acupuncturists from Australia and New Zealand, alongside focus groups.

The treatment was grounded in traditional Chinese medicine practices as well as the Zang Fu system, which identifies the unique attributes of each organ and the ways in which they relate to each other.

Dr Armour and colleagues’ findings are intriguing, and they may point to a new treatment for women seeking to minimize the impact of dysmenorrhea on their lives.

If you need professional treatment, please call 09 3601229 or make an appointment online here

Acupuncture Treatments for IVF cycle

Acupuncture Treatments for IVF cycle

Here’s a disclaimer. Everyone is unique and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based upon the tenet of uniqueness. That said, the most common question we get at Pulling Down the Moon is about a “typical” treatment plan. So, with the caveat that your situation is unique and your practitioner will tailor treatment to suit your needs, here’s a good solid overview of what a typical fertility acupuncture treatment plan looks like.

In your acupuncturist’s ideal world, starting acupuncture treatments at least three months prior to an IVF cycle would provide an optimal preparatory period. During this prep period, we will focus generally on your overall health (adjusting lifestyle and dietary practices that lead to imbalance) and specifically on the maturation of the egg.

In the prep period, we recommend acupuncture treatments once or twice a week, depending on the amount of time you have before you start your ART cycle. E.g. If you allow yourself about three months before starting IVF, acupuncture treatments once a week will be sufficient until IVF stimulation begins. If you are starting during the birth control phase, about 3-4 weeks prior to IVF stimulation, twice a week until the stimulation is optimal.

Once IVF stimulation begins, you should have at least three to four acupuncture treatments between the first you start you FSH (Gonal-F, Follistim, etc) injections and egg retrieval, based upon your progress. If your response to the stimulation is too fast or too slow, or if you are developing too many or too few follicles, you may benefit from more frequent acupuncture treatments. In rare cases, people may benefit most from daily treatment.

After the egg retrieval, is recommended that you have an acupuncture treatment within a day or two to minimize the bloating, distention, and cramps that can come with egg retrieval. The retrieval is an invasive procedure and acupuncture is very helpful to speed recovery and prepare the uterus for implantation.

On or around the day of embryo transfer, research suggests that two treatments, one before and one after the embryo transfer significantly increase pregnancy rates. We also suggest treatment at least once during the two week wait period to help calm anxiety and promote implantation.

Hopefully, at this point, you will have a positive pregnancy test. In this case, we recommend acupuncture once a week until the end of the first trimester. If there are any symptoms associated with pregnancy such as morning sickness, bleeding, or pain, you may need to be seen more frequently.

If your IVF cycle is using a donor egg we recommend one acupuncture treatment per week until embryo transfer with the goal of preparing the uterus for implantation. Acupuncture before/after transfer and follow-up treatment are the same as that described above.

Acupuncture Treatments during IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) Cycle
The treatment plan for IUI is similar to that of the IVF cycle, including the preparation period and treatment during stimulation (whether it’s natural, Clomid or FSH)

You should have one acupuncture treatment before or after IUI and follow-up treatment as described above.
What’s Good for the Gander: Male preparation

Regardless of the cause of infertility, the science of TCM would recommend that the male partner be treated as well.
It takes about ninety days for sperm to reach maturity. Males with no known pathology should be treated on a weekly basis until sperm is collected for use, preferably beginning at least three months prior to the planned cycle.

For males with known issues, we suggest they start acupuncture treatment as early as possible. Research has shown improvements in all sperm parameters (count, motility, and morphology).

If possible, the male partner should try to have an acupuncture treatment a day before sperm donation.

http://www.pullingdownthemoon.com/blog/2014/october/fertility-acupuncture-101-treatment-plans.aspx

If you need professional treatment, please call 09 3601229 or make an appointment online here

Acupuncture IVF shows Double Success Rates

Acupuncture Double Success Rates than IVF

As we approach adulthood, we face a number of financial hurdles: the first car, the first mortgage, student debt, the big OE. And then it’s time to start a family, worry about school fees and think about retirement savings.

Well, that’s for the lucky ones. For the others – one in five of New Zealand couples, according to support group FertilityNZ – the expected family does not magically appear, due to infertility.

Infertility is defined as not falling pregnant in the first year of trying to conceive naturally.

Thanks to the increasing success of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) – it offers a success rate of 65 per cent – many are opting for it in a bid to start a family.

The Government will fund two IVF treatments to women under 40, as long as they meet certain health criteria. According to FertilityNZ, around 2000 IVF treatment cycles are done in New Zealand each year and around 650 babies are born from this.

On average, women will go through three cycles of IVF, says Dr Richard Fisher, director of Fertility Associates, the private practice that has the IVF market cornered in New Zealand.

His Auckland clinic at Ascot Hospital sees 60 couples a month. Fertility Associates has clinics throughout the country, including Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

The IVF procedure, if done privately, can be financially crippling. Each cycle of up to two months will cost between $7500 and $10,000. If a woman is older and is advised to use frozen donor eggs, the couple will need $10,000 to $15,000 a cycle.

Of course, the results are not guaranteed. People can end up spending a lot of money on counselling, which can cost around $95 a session. FertilityNZ says depression caused by infertility can leave a person as debilitated as someone with a serious illness.

Fertility Associates does not like to get involved with how people finance their treatment although, in the US, medical practices are not above this, according to Dr Fisher.

“Our view is that you are much better to finance it out of cash. If you haven’t succeeded and there is an extended period of paying for the cycle, it is not much fun. Everyone does what is appropriate for them.”

Kate Cooper, a former patient of Fertility Associates in Auckland, who attended the clinic for more than a decade and had a baby last year, jokes she and her husband must have paid for a wing at Ascot Hospital by now. “I’d be living in a mansion in Remuera if it weren’t for IVF,” she says.

Andrea and Guy Smalley are expecting their third IVF baby and have spent $40,000 at Fertility Associates, with just one cycle funded by the Government. They were lucky because they found out Guy was infertile in their 20s so immediately started having treatment. Andrea is now 33. Fortunately for them, they could afford it.

Andrea says: “We’ve had family help, otherwise it’s been just making sacrifices, holding off on renovations. We have a rotten deck. But we don’t ever think about what we’ve been through, once [the children] are here. The money doesn’t mean anything, it’s all forgotten. We are in a higher earning bracket – that’s come to us recently – it’s a matter of budgeting.”

Andrea feels for the couples who struggle to find the money.

“Fertility treatment should be totally government-funded. We have now produced almost three taxpayers. They can dish out the money for the dole but they can’t find the money for fertility.” She also believes insurance should cover fertility treatment because infertility is becoming more common.

Financial pressure

Middle-income earners such as Samantha and Alastair Fairweather say $40,000 for future fertility treatment would put them under enormous financial pressure.

They are going through their second IVF cycle, which has been government-funded. If unsuccessful, they haven’t decided if they would continue paying for it themselves.

Samantha, a high school teacher, and Alastair, who works for the Department of Conservation, have been trying to have a baby for about four years. Samantha receives her Fertility Associates treatment in Waikato Hospital’s maternity wing. It is a painful location, watching happy parents carrying out their new babies.

The treatment affects all area of their lives. “You put all your other activities on hold. If you go through the treatment, what comes after this? At the moment I would say no to paying for IVF,” she says.

But: “I’m not ready to say that I have given up.”

They have thought about how they would raise the cash.

“We would have to look at the finances, at extending the mortgage. It’s possible we may be able to borrow money from the family.”

The couple with the treatment was covered by the Government or insurance. “It’s shocking. Infertility is viewed with such a stigma – it’s a medical condition. But it’s not something you can see, like a broken leg.”

Unlike the US, there is no support in New Zealand from insurance companies to cover infertility treatment. This is despite the fact infertility is classified as a disease by the World Health Organisation, says Sian Harcourt, executive director of FertilityNZ.

By contrast, in Australia, there is unlimited fertility treatment on Medicare. Harcourt says she has talked to couples who have thought of moving to Australia so they could have greater access to fertility help.

Sandra Dill, chief executive of Access, the Australian equivalent of FertilityNZ, says once a patient is out of pocket more than A$1000, they are reimbursed. Each cycle costs around A$4500. The society advises people to take out private health insurance which covers patients for specific in-hospital procedures.

Dill says infertility treatment used to be categorised by Australian insurers in the same class as plastic surgery but this is no longer the case.

Grant Hill, head of products and marketing at Tower Health & Life Insurance, confirmed that neither Tower nor any of their competitors offered insurance policies for fertility treatment. Fertility treatment is seen as “highly elective”, says Hill. “Given its highly selective nature, it can be too expensive, particularly if people were going for repeat treatments.”

FertilityNZ finds this attitude hard to understand when 20 per cent of couples have trouble conceiving.

“With the average income, there is no spare money to pay for fertility treatment,” says Harcourt. “Holidays are gone, all the money goes on trying to get pregnant, none of the financial buffers is there.

“It’s devastating for people who know that treatment is there but they can’t access it.

“It is so heartbreaking.”

Our clinic has a package for fertility treatment :

Fertility Consultation fee: $180

If you need professional treatment, please call 09 3601229 or make an appointment online here

Check out our fertility service 

Increase Conception Without Side Effects

How Does Acupuncture for Fertility Work? Increase Chance of Conception Without Side Effects

The overwhelming anguish and sense of loss experienced by women struggling with infertility issues is an unwelcome motivator, driving them to seek other treatment options to overcoming infertility. From home remedies, fertility meds, and even surgery, to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and donor eggs and embryos, modern healthcare has vastly expanded the array of options available for couples struggling to conceive.

But not all can afford the financial costs of infertility which can range from hundreds of dollars spent on meds to tens of thousands spent on advanced procedures such as Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and IVF. In the search for affordable and effective health care, alternative and holistic treatments are gaining wider appeal among the general public.

Traditional Chinese medicine, for example, has been practised for thousands of years and includes techniques and practices such as tai chi, moxibustion, tui na, Chinese cupping, and acupuncture. Acupuncture, in particular, has rapidly grown in acceptance by the general public and practice among therapists today. Not only is acupuncture valued for stress-relieving and relaxing benefits, but also as a component of fertility treatments.

When used in conjunction with Western fertility treatments, acupuncture increases conception rates by 26%. A recent study from Tel Aviv University reports, “When combining IUI with TCM treatments, 65.5 per cent of the test group were able to conceive, compared with 39.4 per cent of the control group, who received no herbal or acupuncture therapy.” For the 4.5 million couples experiencing infertility each year, acupuncture may be just what the doctor ordered.

The Evolution and History of Acupuncture

With a recorded history of about 3,000 years, the foundations of acupuncture are believed to date back to the Stone Age when sharp-edged tools were used to puncture the skin and drain blood and abscesses.

The Chinese document titled Lingshu (translated as “Miraculous Pivot”) listed nine classical acupuncture needles: Filiform, Shear, Round-Pointed, Spoon, Lance, Round-Sharp, Stiletto, Long, and Big. These classical needles were originally made from bronze, gold, or silver, but modern acupuncture uses only stainless steel filiform needles.

In the U.S., physicians have been practising acupuncture since the early 1800s. When the New York Times published the documentation of James Reston’s visit to China in 1971, acupuncture piqued public interest. In 1997, the National Institutes of Health Consensus Statement advocated for acupuncture’s potential to manage postoperative pain, vomiting, and nausea. Ten years later, according to a report published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a “. . . survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, almost 40% of adults used complementary and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, in the prior year.”

The rise in popularity of acupuncture has compelled researchers to take a closer, scientific look at the full potential of acupuncture. From aiding in weight loss efforts to reducing stress and relieving pain, the benefits of acupuncture have raised interest in its potential to increase the chances of conception.

The Science Behind Infertility

Because of the delicate balance between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and reproductive glands, stress is capable of preventing a woman from ovulating entirely. This can contribute to the cause of female infertility. Stress can also create spasms in both the fallopian tubes and the uterus, which can interfere with movement and implantation of a fertilized egg. In men, stress can alter sperm counts, motility, and cause impotence. Acupuncture infertility treatment counters the effects of stress and cortisol by releasing endorphins in the brain. A herbal impotence cure is also an option for men and can reduce stress.

Hormonal balance does not have to be disrupted by cortisol to cause infertility. The most common cause of female infertility is an ovulation disorder, in which the release of a mature egg from the ovary is prevented, usually because of a hormonal imbalance. Without enough progesterone, for example, the fetus is unable to attach to the uterus. High levels of prolactin, the hormone that stimulates the production of breast milk, can also prevent ovulation.

An imbalance in reproductive hormones can also negatively affect male reproductive function, such as sperm motility and production. However, the fertility meds that stimulate ovulation in women by regulating the hypothalamus and pituitary, the glands that control reproductive hormones, don’t perform nearly as well for men (success rates are about a third of those for women), nor have they been approved for men by the FDA. Male infertility treatment must take another track. A herbal impotence cure — if impotence is a factor in a couple’s infertility — causes no side effects and has a reported success rate when taken in conjunction with male infertility treatment.

While the fertility meds commonly prescribed for women can produce a 20 to 60 per cent pregnancy rate, they also commonly include such side effects as abdominal tenderness, bloating, fluid retention, weight gain, and nausea. Some studies show that they may also cause breast cancer.

The Potential of Acupuncture to Increase Chance of Conception

Acupuncture can increase fertility by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system, according to several studies and medical research. “The goal of an infertility treatment from a Chinese medicine perspective is not just to get pregnant, but to stay pregnant and to have a healthy baby,” says Deb Davies, LAc, a Pacific College alumnus. Among many other benefits, acupuncture can provide better blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, creating a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term.

Modern acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of thin, disposable sterile needles at strategic points near the surface of the body. Over 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body connect with 14 major pathways, called meridians. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that these meridians conduct qi, or energy, between the surface of the body and internal organs. It is qi that regulates spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. When the flow of qi is disrupted through poor health habits or other circumstances, pain and/or disease can result. Acupuncture helps to keep the normal flow of this energy unblocked, thereby increasing a couple’s chances of conceiving.

Acupuncture infertility treatment can improve almost every cause of this obstacle. While 40 per cent of infertility is caused by problems in the female, another 40 per cent is caused by problems in the male, such as low sperm count or motility. The cause of female infertility stems from problems such as anovulation and endometriosis. The remaining 20 per cent is caused by unknown factors.

One of the ways acupuncture infertility treatment increases fertility is by reducing stress, which is often a key factor in the fertility of both men and women. When people are under stress, the hormone cortisol is released in the brain. This alters the brain’s neurochemical balance, thus changing hormone levels and disrupting the pituitary balance that is key to the reproductive cycle.
If the thyroid is over-or under-functioning, acupuncture can help address the effects on fertility. Acupuncture can also “. . . be used to treat any type of fertility disorder including spasmed tubes. Spasmed tubes are often de-spasmed with acupuncture, though blocked tubes will not respond to acupuncture,” according to the American Pregnancy Association.

However, acupuncture cannot address issues with tubal adhesions. Acupuncture is also contraindicated for the abdominopelvic area, which includes the following points: Gallbladder 21, Large Intestine 4, Bladder 60, Stomach 12, Spleen 6, and Bladder 67, as well as any other points on the lower abdomen.

“Chinese medicine can help support a woman through this important time in her life—whether that is emotionally or physically, acupuncture can help with much more than just conception. It can help with morning sickness, nausea, aches and pains (low back pain, for example), anxiety preparation for birth, and insomnia, among many others,” explains Davies.

Acupuncture’s Side Effects

Acupuncture infertility treatment, by contrast, produces few or no side effects while performing the same function as the meds do: stimulating the hypothalamus to effectively balance the endocrine system and its hormones and to get to the root cause of female infertility as well as male infertility.

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