As a fellow for the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine, I have focused much of my practice to the treatment of infertility. I look at each patient individually and holistically to try and correct any imbalances that may be hindering a couple’s fertility. One of my first goals is to educate patients. For many women, the menstrual cycle itself can provide many clues about the nature of their imbalances. Furthermore, I work with patients to help them interpret their BBT charts and understand the hormonal relationships that create an optimal fertile environment within the body. I recommend a treatment plan including acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and/or Mayan abdominal massage depending on the individual goals and needs of each patient.
While you may be able to cure your low back pain in just a couple of treatments, fertility is more complex and requires a longer course of treatment. I tell most patients to expect at least three months of weekly acupuncture sessions. At this point, we should be noticing changes in the menstrual cycle, the BBT charts, or improvements in other non-gynecological symptoms. Longer treatment plans are determined based on what is appropriate for each individual patient. For women undergoing assisted reproductive therapies like IUI or IVF, the general protocol includes 8 to 10 treatments prior to the procedure. For patients who conceive, treatment may continue throughout the first twelve weeks of pregnancy to help prevent miscarriage.
- PCOS and Ovulatory Irregularities
- High FSH and “Poor Responders” to ovarian stimulation
- Endometriosis and Cysts
- Male Infertility – low count, morphology, and motility
- Luteal Phase Defect
- Acupuncture helps balance hormone levels. Acupuncture increases the production of endorphins or “feel good” hormones that play a role in regulating the menstrual cycle. Regular acupuncture treatments also decrease the body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can have a negative effect on the hormonal interplay between the hypothalamus, pituitary and reproductive organ.
- Acupuncture increases blood flow. Acupuncture dilates the blood vessels, allowing greater blood circulation to the uterus and ovaries. By increasing blood flow to these areas, they are better able to respond to hormonal stimulation. In addition, it also makes the environment more hospitable to embryo implantation.
- Acupuncture regulates the immune system and decreases inflammation. The endorphins that acupuncture helps release from the brain can raise the body’s white blood cells, T cells, and antibodies. This effect becomes important when there are immunological issues related to failed implantation. Acupuncture can also help reduce any inflammation present in the pelvic organs. Inflammation can be the result of an overactive immune system and is often found in women with endometriosis.
- Acupuncture improves IVF success rates and helps with medication side effects. When couples begin with good quality eggs, sperm and endometrial lining – the chances of an assisted reproductive therapy working are increased dramatically. Aside from how age affects egg quality, there is a lot to be said for how diet, lifestyle factors and overall health play an important role in the body’s ability to conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy. When a couple prepares ahead of time by maximizing on their inherent fertility, they can proceed with assisted reproductive therapies with the assurance that they have the best chances to succeed. IVF medications can do much more with eggs that are already being nourished with nutrient-rich blood in a hormonally balanced environment and lead you toward healthy embryos. Acupuncture can also help reduce the side effects some women experience from the medications and the stress of the IVF experience. By promoting balance, women tend not to feel such dramatic emotional swings if they are receiving acupuncture. Furthermore, acupuncture can also help address the feelings of abdominal discomfort, constipation, hot flashes and headaches women can get during the IVF cycle.
Certain herbs contain natural energetic substances whose essence gently corrects underlying deficiencies or remove obstructions. By way of a thorough diagnosis, I will analyze your body’s individual disharmonies and imbalances and recommend a formula or combination of formulas specifically for you. These herbal formulas will be created based upon your past medical history – from an Eastern and Western perspective, your present symptoms, and your basal body temperature chart results. They will seek to strengthen your entire system, improve general health, correct imbalances and improve reproductive function.
Mayan Abdominal Massage offers a non-invasive external method for helping the uterus reposition. Toxins are flushed and nutrients that help to tone tissue and balance hormones are restored to normal order. It complements acupuncture and herbal medicine by helping to improve blood flow and lymph circulation in the pelvis.
Old adhesions from invasive treatments to the pelvic and abdominal area, including fibroid tumors, endometriosis, and cesarean delivery can be greatly diminished. In addition, digestion, urinary and bladder problems can also show improvement. These massage techniques prove helpful to many women trying to conceive.