When I first began my Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine, I went into the medicine thinking I would treat more pain management but in my clinical studies I found the amazing benefits of Chinese Medicine and women’s health. That is where the passion grew and now, 10.5 years practicing, I still find the amazing effects of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in helping women get pregnant.
Chinese Medicine offers much to those who are trying to get pregnant. Let’ first look at the role acupuncture has in fertility. Chinese Medicine views that body with a different “lens”. Understanding the health of the menstrual cycle, the health of the individual patient and her partner (he she has one) enables me to get an understanding of any imbalances in the reproductive system that need to be addressed in order to help boost fertility. The entire body is looked at when trying to understand why a person is not conceiving. I also ask for any types of hormone tests and sperm analysts tests that were performed. Using an integrative approach helps women naturally conceive or boosts their chances of getting pregnant with IVF or IUI’s. Here is a simple breakdown of Chinese Medicine “archetypes” when looking at fertility:
I). Dry Types: These individuals are often dry vaginally and have scanty fertility mucus during ovulation. Sometimes they have to use a lubricant during intercourse. They can experience long menstrual cycles, night sweats, warm hands and feet and can also experience insomnia and anxiety. They can even experience hot flashes even if they are young. There period tend to be light and dark. They can be diagnosed with amennorrhea (no menstruation), high FSH and low estradiole.
Treatment: The treatment aim is to help help nourish fluids. A seed can not grow in dry soil. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary recommendations, sleep and rest are important to help fluids.
II). Damp Types: These individuals are the opposite of dry. The have may experience vaginal mucus through out the month. The are normally heavier, and can experience sinus congestion, post nasal drip and bloating particularly around ovulation to the period. These individuals can also be diagnosed with PCOS or ovarian cysts.
Treatment: Acupuncture aimed at moving pathological fluids that may block ovulation or make the uterine lining less optimal for implantation. Chinese herbs help to
III). Cold Types: These individuals can have cold hands and feet, experience pain around the period. They can have low basal body temperatures and can also be diagnosed hypothyroid. They can experience watery long menstrual flows.
Treatment: To warm the body using moxa, chinese herbs, acupuncture and dietary recommendations.
IV). Stagnation Types: These individuals can be diagnosed with “unexplained infertility”. They have pain during ovulation and before the period. They may experience headaches prior to the period, have cysts, breast tenderness, bloating and experience definite PMS signs. They are generally depressed or they may feel stuck in their life.
Treatment: Acupuncture to help balance hormones and improve ovulation. Herbs to help improve blood circulation and implantation in the uterus.
V). Blocked: These individuals experience painful menstruation with fixed pain in the lower abdomen, clotting during menstruation, headaches on the onset of menstruation. They can have fibroids or myomas. They also can be diagnosed with endometriosis.
Treatment: I normally have patients “not try” for a couple months while improving blood flow and removing masses or “stuck” menstrual tissue that may be impeding implantation.
VI). Blood Deficiency Types: These types are also dry types but they tend to feel dry but do not feel warm but instead cold. They tend to have light periods, can experience dizziness, heart palpitations, and may be anemic.
Treatment: Nourish blood through acupuncture, chinese herbal medicine, diet and vitamins.
This is a more simple idea of the types of “patterns’ seen in fertility. Often times, there are many patterns they are presented so it is the art and clinical skills of the practitioner that help to understand how to treat patients in order to get pregnant. Chinese Medicine helps to optimize fertility and helps boost the natural process of the body so pregnancy takes place from conception to birth.
If you have further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call #917.763.8560.