Since the pandemic, I have seen quite an increase in the number of patients seeking out acupuncture for infertility, and often these patients are left without answers or solutions. In Chinese medicine, we start off by identifying patterns of dysfunction and treating the underlying root cause unique to each patient. In general, however, there are two very common patterns I see in couples struggling to conceive.
1) Poor blood flow. This first pattern is referred to as blood stagnation in Chinese medicine. Stagnant blood is often caused by too much sitting (i.e. desk job), lack of exercise, and/or carrying excess body weight (for every extra 10 lbs you carry, it compresses your blood vessels by 50%). Prolonged sitting causes blood to pool in the midsection, leading to poor blood circulation to the reproductive organs. This results in poor reproductive function and reduced fertility. Females with this pattern often present with painful periods, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and/or blood clots during menses. In men, there may be varicocele or testicular pain.
For patients with stagnant blood, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are used to vasodilate your blood vessels and encourage healthy blood circulation to the reproductive organs for optimal function. Specific herbs may be added to break up fibroids, cysts, etc.
2) Adrenal stress/thyroid/hormone imbalance. In Chinese medicine, we refer to this as a Kidney yin, yang or jing deficiency. This pattern is often seen in patients in their thirties and forties who have experienced chronic stress which has negatively affected their adrenals, thyroid and/or hormones. Excessive and prolonged stress causes your cortisol (stress hormone) to spike and eventually become depleted, leading to adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue often leads to thyroid and/or hormonal imbalance. Many patients with this pattern suffer with hypothyroidism and/or low cortisol, pregnenolone and/or DHEA (your precursors to hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone).
With this pattern, I start by running comprehensive lab testing to assess the function of your adrenals, thyroid and hormones. Specific supplements and/or herbs are then used to support adrenal/thyroid function to balance your hormones and boost your fertility. Additionally, acupuncture helps by stimulating the HPOA axis (helps the brain to communicate with the pituitary, adrenals and ovaries), helps to regulate cortisol, and reduces stress by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.
We treat our infertility patients using a combination of acupuncture, customized Chinese herbal medicine and natural supplements as needed for a duration of 3-12 months (some patients have become pregnant in as little as one month). Acupuncture treatments are given 1-2 times per week. To get started on your fertility journey, call our office at 321-972-2940 to schedule your free consultation!