Why is Acupuncture for Fertility is One of Infertility Treatment Options?
Fertility problems can be associated with various health issues, and they are equally present in men and women. Some people are even unaware of the problem until they try to have a baby, and that’s because infertility doesn’t show any symptoms.
Various factors can cause infertility, and the main trigger is often difficult to diagnose. Still, many available treatments can improve the chances of getting pregnant, and they often depend on the factor that triggers the onset of the problem.
Acupuncture for fertility is considered one of the best symptoms treatments for this kind of problem, and it has delivered a lot of remarkable outcomes so far. A holistic approach based on the combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs helps bring balance to the entire organism, which is why both men and women feel improvements in different aspects of their health.
This article will provide more useful information about the benefits of acupuncture for fertility and the potential causes of the problem faced by about 6 million women in America.
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What Causes Infertility?
Infertility is caused by a variety of factors that cannot always be diagnosed easily. Namely, getting pregnant is quite complex, and many things can go wrong during the process. Most infertility issues are connected with a woman’s reproductive system, but men can also be the cause of these difficulties. The most common causes are:
Failure to Ovulate
When it comes to pregnancy, ovulation is one of the most critical processes during which your ovaries produce and release an egg. A failure to ovulate is among the leading infertility causes, and the following factors can provoke it:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): PCOS can cause a severe hormone imbalance, among which is a failure to ovulate. It’s commonly associated with insulin resistance and obesity, and it’s the most common cause of female infertility.
- Hypothalamic dysfunction: Abnormal physical and emotional stress, weight problems, or sudden weight gain or loss can affect the production of the hormones essential for stimulating ovulation. The typical sign of this issue includes irregular or absent periods.
- Premature ovarian failure: Such a disorder is often caused by an autoimmune response or by the early loss of eggs from the ovary.
- An increased amount of prolactin: The excess production of prolactin typically reduces estrogen production, which provokes infertility. This is commonly caused by medications you’re taking to treat another disease.
Problems with Fallopian Tubes
Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes prevent the sperm from getting to the egg or block the fertilized egg’s path into the uterus. The most common cause of this problem is pelvic inflammatory disease provoked by chlamydia, gonorrhea, or other sexually transmitted infections
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Endometriosis often occurs when tissue that normally grows in the uterus implants grows in other locations. The extra growth and its removal often lead to scarring, which blocks fallopian tubes and prevent the uniting of sperm and egg.
Cervical or Uterine Problems
Certain uterine or cervical issues can affect the process of getting pregnant and increase the chances of miscarriages. Such problems include:
- Benign tumors: Tumors and myomas are common in the uterus and lower your chances of getting pregnant.
- Uterine abnormalities present from birth: An abnormally shaped uterus, for example, can be the cause of infertility.
- Cervical stenosis: Any damage to the cervix can be a potential cause of fertility issues.
In some cases, the main cause of infertility cannot be determined. Very often, a combination of factors in both partners can lead to unexplained fertility problems that can be successfully treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
Although the majority of the causes can be described as “inexplicable,” they may come from certain imbalances in the body, which, apart from causing particular conditions, may lead to severe health problems.
Such imbalances may trigger many hormonal disorders and vitamin deficiencies that lead to infertility. Regular acupuncture treatments, herbal therapies, a balanced diet, and a healthier lifestyle can bring a lot of improvements and significantly increase the chances of getting pregnant.
The following section is dedicated to the core concepts of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in general, their benefits for a person’s overall health, and tremendous success in treating issues such as infertility.
How Does Acupuncture Work for Fertility?
Acupuncture has been used for years. Apart from its therapeutic effect and efficiency in relieving pain, acupuncture is widely used for treating different health conditions that are considered irreversible, according to Western medicine.
Acupuncture originates from Traditional Chinese Medicine, and it has been actively used for 2,000 years. The treatment involves using small, thin, and stainless steel needles and their placement into the specific acupoints on the patient’s body. The entire process is painless and safe and wholly monitored by a certified practitioner who’ll recommend the exact number of sessions and complementary treatments if needed.
Benefits of Acupuncture for Fertility
Acupuncture can bring essential improvements to a person’s overall health by bringing back the balance that has been lost. Stimulating the particular points on the body leads to the release of the vital energy, which has been stuck and which has been causing issues such as pain, fatigue, obesity, depression, and other potential factors that could be associated with infertility.
As mentioned earlier, the process of getting pregnant is more complicated than it might seem. That said, any imbalance (or stress) between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and reproductive glands can prevent a woman from ovulating entirely. Acupuncture can reduce stress and imbalances that lead to any health issue and create a healthy environment for a successful reproduction process.
Since men can also have fertility issues, they should try acupuncture for male fertility. Stress is also one of the most common causes of male infertility, and it can affect sperm counts, motility, and even provoke impotence. Acupuncture therapies will solve this issue by releasing endorphins in the brain, but your practitioner may suggest the herbal cure to achieve better outcomes in treating the underlying causes of male infertility.
Acupuncture and Herbs for Fertility: What to Expect from These Treatments?
The most significant advantage of herbal therapies and acupuncture is that they don’t focus only on the particular condition but on the potential underlying cause that may not be visible first.
A powerful combination of acupuncture and herbs relieves stress and increases blood flow to the reproductive organs, balancing the endocrine system at the same time. The principal goal of Eastern medicine is not only to help you get pregnant but to stay pregnant and have a healthy baby – therefore, all of its approaches address the overall organism, provide better blood flow, and help you stay healthy in both physical and emotional aspects.
And what to expect from acupuncture fertility treatments?
Modern acupuncture for infertility consists of gentle insertion and stimulation of thin acupuncture needles into the strategic points near the body’s surface. The reason for addressing the specific locations is that the human body connects with 14 meridians, which are believed to conduct energy (called qi) between the body surface and the internal organs.
Qi regulates spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance. Unhealthy lifestyle habits often lead to its disruption, which is one of the main causes of a wide range of diseases and hormonal imbalances that decrease the couple’s chances of conceiving. Once the normal blood flow is established, and the energy is unblocked, the chances of getting pregnant are significantly increased.
- Zigongxue (Uterus point): This point is also known as “palace of the child,” and it’s placed on the lower abdomen, one thumb’s width above the pubic bone. Its stimulation promotes circulation to the uterus, regulates uterine bleeding, and prepares the uterus for conception.
- Sanjiaojiu (Triangle moxibustion): This point is placed at the two bottom angles of the triangle, and it can only be stimulated with moxibustion.
- Sanyinjiao (Three Yin Intersection): You’ll find this point above the tip of the medial malleolus on the posterior border of the tibia. Its stimulation is beneficial for gynecological issues, digestive problems, uterine bleeding, menstrual issues, and other issues associated with a woman’s health.
- Qihai (Sea of Qi): This is one of the most important acupoints in the body since it can harness the energy and enhance the body’s overall health.
- Guanyuan (Conception Vessel 4): This point can be stimulated either with needles or moxibustion, which can help many yin deficiency symptoms.
- Zhongji (Conception Vessel 3): By stimulating this acupoint, a patient will feel improvements in the bladder functions, regulations in the uterus and periods, increase in the kidney strength, and more.
Some secondary points are also used during the treatment, but their selection will depend on the practitioner and your general health.
Chinese Herbs for Fertility Success
Chinese herbs for fertility are commonly used together with acupuncture in order to provide a more enhanced experience and help couples increase their chances of conceiving. Herbal therapies have been used for thousands of years to promote healing a wide range of conditions associated with women’s health, and they are entirely safe and free of side effects.
A certified Chinese herbalist will recommend the specific herbal treatment based on your overall health. Herbal therapy’s primary goal is strengthening the foundation of one’s health without the use of drugs and medications that could worsen any function in one’s body. The adequate use of herbs can retrieve the balance and encourage the blood flow, helping the patient to get rid of any disharmony in their organism.
The most commonly used herbs for fertility include the following examples:
- Vitex: This herb is incredibly convenient for balancing the menstrual cycle and resolving PMS. Besides, it helps strengthen ovulation and encourages progesterone production, increasing the chances of conceiving.
- Maca: Both men and women can benefit from using maca, which helps the body cope with an increased amount of stress. However, women with PCOS shouldn’t use this supplement.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is widely used in Chinese medicine due to its efficiency in treating fertility problems. It nourishes yang energy and encourages sperm production and quality in men. Cinnamon is also excellent for regulating blood sugar balance and insulin response.
- Tribulus Terrestris: Tribulus is helpful for both male and female fertility, and Chinese herbalists tend to recommend it as an integral part of the therapy.
Although Chinese herbs are completely safe and free of side effects, you shouldn’t use them without your practitioner’s prior consultation. Not all the herbs are convenient for every individual, and the use of an inadequate supplement may not give the expected results.
Is It Enough to Use Herbs and Acupuncture to Get Pregnant?
Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and herbs have shown excellent results in treating infertility problems primarily because they have a substantial effect on a person’s behavior. Namely, it encourages patients to start changing their habits, especially the bad ones, and start living a healthier life filled with whole foods, exercise, and stress-free everyday life.
Both men and women should implement better habits by doing the following:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Overweight and underweight couples are less likely to get pregnant and are more at risk of ovulation disorders.
- Quit or reduce smoking: Tobacco has a negative impact on your overall health, and it can affect your chances of getting pregnant. Try reducing and quitting smoking as soon as possible if you plan on having kids in the future.
- Avoid alcohol: Alcohol abuse can affect the development of the fetus, and it’s recommended to avoid it if you want to boost your conceiving chances.
- Reduce stress: Stress is one of the main triggers of infertility, and it should be reduced to the maximum during your infertility treatment.