Acupuncture For Fertility

At Chaudhry Clinic, we employ acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation as well as diet and lifestyle counseling. All these natural healing methods help your body and hormone function more efficiently which is essential for conceiving. By addressing the pattern of imbalance according to the Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis, numerous feminine issues such as irregular and painful periods, PMS, PCOS, ovulation disorders, and endometriosis often improved dramatically.

acupuncture-for-fertility

Reductions in symptoms are often accompanied by noticeable changes in the quality of the period itself, quantifiable changes in hormonal levels, and improvements in the quantity and quality of viable eggs harvested during IVF. Significantly reduced levels of anxiety and stress and enhanced feelings of overall well being are often reported as other benefits.

Scientific studies have shown that acupuncture and Chinese medicine affect fertility in the following ways:

Scientific studies have shown that acupuncture and Chinese medicine affect fertility in the following ways:

  • Strengthen ovarian function to yield higher quality of eggs
  • Regulate hormones for increased production of follicles
  • Increase blood supply to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining
  • Prevent uterine contraction post IVF embryo transfer for better implantation
  • Reduce the side effects of IVF medication
  • Improve sperm count, motility, morphology and reduce sperm DNA fragmentation
  • Prevent recurring miscarriages
  • Reduce anxiety and stress that degrade reproductive functions

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Customized Programs for Different Fertility Needs:

1. Those seeking to boost success rate of ARTs such as IVF, and IUI procedures
Several studies published in western medical journals within the last few years have demonstrated that acupuncture can increase the success rate of IVF procedures significantly. Given the high financial and emotional costs associated with this procedure, many patients come to us seeking to maximize their chances. We operate independently without affiliating to any fertility clinic, yet, we are here to work with the patient procedure schedules.

2. Those wishing get pregnant naturally
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine have been effectively used in this way for more than 2000 years. Modern scientific research have revealed the detailed inner-workings of the reproductive cycle and the pivotal role of the endocrine system. A new understanding for the specific effects that TCM treatments have on these systems have greatly increased the modern TCM practitioner’s ability to enhance their patients’ fertility using only these natural interventions.

3. Those who have been told that there are no other options
Many patients are drawn to Chinese medical treatments for fertility after hearing stories of pregnancy success that seem almost miraculous. Certainly not everyone who undergoes treatment will share the same outcome. Yet by using a truly holistic approach of treating the whole person and employing strategies to gradually change the delicate environment where conception and gestation occur, Chinese medicine is often able to yield successful results for couples who have failed with other methods. At our clinic, we use a special treatment protocol for couples who have otherwise failed with IUI and IVF.

Treatable Infertility Conditions:

Both partners should be checked when a couple reports an inability to conceive. About 70% of cases are due to female infertility, and 30% to male sterility. The causes of infertility are very numerous, but the majority of cases are due to a disturbance of the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis.

Hormonal factors of ovulation, 41%
Fallopian tube abnormalities, 32%
Uterine factors, 16%
Cervical factors, 4.7%
No apparent cause, 5%

Of the hormonal factors, failure to ovulate constitutes about 25% of the total and the most common cause of this failure is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). In 80% of cases of hormonal abnormality, menstruation is irregular or absent.

Hormonal factors:
Ovulatory failure can involve total or occasional failure to ovulate and may be caused by abnormalities in FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) levels of the cycle of ovulation and menstruation. FSH is released from the hypothalamus and LH is produced and released from the anterior pituitary gland. Alteration in the hypothalamic function may derive from stress, emotional strain, drug use such as reserpine, ganglion blockers and phenothiazines, weight loss or excessive weight gain. The pituitary may function abnormally because of tumors which may cause elevated levels of prolactin which is related during breast feeding and anovulation ensues as a result. Changes in thyroid function (hyper- or hypo- thyroididsm, or adrenal function (Cushing’s syndrome) may also result in failure to ovulate. Finally the ovary itself may fail to function. Absence of FSH receptors in the follicle lead to failure of the ovary to respond to gonadotrophins, or there may be a disturbance in the interaction between the FSH and the follicle. This usually leads to anovulation and polycystic ovarian syndrome. In this condition there is an excess of LH production and a diminished level of FSH secretion. The result is lack of estrogen and an excess of androgenic substances.

Endometriosis:
Endometriosis may cause infertility as a result of peritubal or periovarian adhesions. It can cause painful menstruations and does not usually cause an abdominal mass, but it can do so when there is a build- up of scar tissue and displacement of the uterus. Ectopic endometrium is implanted in adjacent pelvic organs such as ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic ligaments, vagina, sigmoid colon, rectum, ureters or bladder. The most common symptom associated with endometriosis is pelvic pain which usually starts 1-2 days before menstruation and lasts throughout it. 30-70% of women investigated for infertility are found to have endometriosis in varying degrees of severity.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS):
PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries develop several small egg-follicles (cysts) which do not develop to be big enough, thereby preventing a normal ovulation. This is caused by a hormonal imbalance with an excess production of luteinizing hormone (LH), estrogen and androgens (male hormones), a low production of progesterone and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). It is also not uncommon to see an insulin resistance, contributing to a high blood-sugar level. These hormonal imbalances make it more difficult for an egg to develop and be expelled.

Psychological factors
Emotional and mental strain can affect a couple’s ability to conceive.

Habitual miscarriage
The cause can be a low progesterone level, low metabolism, blood that has a tendency to clot, endometriosis, Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), infections, the fetus is not genetically able to survive, the uterine muscles are too flaccid , cigarette smoking (in males and females) and alcohol consumption.

Basal body temperature
When an abnormality of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis is the cause of infertility, it is important for the patient to take the basal body temperature (BBT) and plot a graph in order to detect any changes in BBT. The BBT chart in normal conditions typically show a biphasic curve with two distinct phases, with falls in temperature preceding ovulation and a sharp rise in temperature immediately after ovulation which should stay high for about 11 days. Typical biphasic temperature curves are indicative of regular ovulation. Irregular monophasic curves (without clear distinction between two phases), indicate an anovulatory cycle with inadequate progesterone production in about 95% of the cases. However ovulation has been shown to occur in about 2-5% of cycles with monophasic temperature charts. The temprature rise following ovulation should be at least 0.5°F (0.2°C) or more and remain at that level.

Hypothyroidism
This is often associated with obesity and is often suspected in overweight women with other symptoms such as lethargy, swelling of the ankles, feeling cold and amenorrhea. This may also be associated with infertility

The contraceptive pills
In women who have used the contraceptive pill for a long time, menstruation becomes irregular (with longer cycles), menstruation does not come back after they discontinue the contraceptive pill. This means that she no longer ovulates.

Narrow fallopian tubes and spermatic ducts
Spalingitis (inflammation of the fallopian tubes) may result from a variety of causes among which are infections after abortion or delivery, gonorrhea, clamydia, tuberculosis, use of intrauterine devices (IUD’s), and pelvic peritonitis from acute appendicitis. In some cases the inflammation may result in tubal blockage. When the tubes are only partially blocked , fertilization of the ovum may occur but damage to the ciliated epithelium may prevent the fertilized egg from being carried down to the uterus and ectopic pregnancy may result.

Cervical factors
This is a condition in which the cervical mucus is unreceptive to the spermatozoa, either preventing their advance or killing them. It may be due to infection or the presence of antibodies.

Male sterility
Male sterility may be cause by a deficient sperm count, insufficient motility of the sperm or poor morphology of the sperm with abnormal sperm cells with head, neck and tail defects. Some cells can contain antibodies which makes the sperm cells clump together making them unable to find their way to the egg. It is often a good idea to treat the woman’s partner as well even if he is not sterile.

Chronic prostatitis
A chronic infection in the prostatic gland can lead to low sperm quality.

Environmental factors
A stressful lifestyle together with cigarette smoking and alcohol can be a risk for reduced fertility. Overload and toxicity from heavy metals and estrogen like substances can have similar effects.

 

Mudasser Chaudhry is a registered acupuncturist and registered traditional chinese medicine practitioner. At Chaudhry Clinic located in Toronto & Mississauga, Chaudhry provides holistic services to treat chronic pain, infertility, depression and other chronic diseases.  Call Chaudhry Clinic today at 416-778-1390 or book an appointment online.

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