Chicago IVF Blog

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs

Posted on March 10th, 2014

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), including acupuncture and herbs, have been used to treat infertility in both men and women. Traditional Chinese Medicine offers an ancient and balanced approach to total wellness, and it tries to find the underlying cause of disease, rather than just treat the symptoms. TCM can help with a variety of fertility problems, and can regulate the menstrual cycle, treat PMS, treat endometriosis, treat pelvic inflammatory disease, treat blocked fallopian tubes, enhance fertility, treat certain causes of miscarriage, increase libido, and raise sperm numbers, quality and motility.

Acupuncture is the gentle insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body which stimulates movement of energy within the body, allowing natural healing to take place. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the body has over 2000 acupuncture points connected via pathways, or meridians. Each of those 14 meridians is related to a different organ or organ system. Qi must then flow through the body in these meridians without interruption or blockage.
Acupuncture first originated in China about 3,500 years ago and it is still one of the oldest, most commonly used systems of healing in the world, and the primary medical system for a quarter of the world's population. Proven benefits of acupuncture include:

  • Acupuncture mediates the release of neurotransmitters and stimulate the release of gonadatropin releasing hormone, thereby influencing menstrual cycles, ovulation and fertility.
  • Acupuncture stimulates blood flow to the uterus, which inhibits uterine central sympathetic nerve activity.
  • Acupuncture stimulates the production of endogenous opiods, which can inhibit the central nervous system outflow and the biological stress response.
  • Acupuncture may increase seratonin levels.

What You Most Want to Know
Does it hurt? Sometimes there is a very mild sensation that only lasts a brief moment. Many patients are surprised to find treatments to be very pleasurable, often inducing sleep or a deep state of relaxation, unique to the experience of acupuncture. Others report feeling energized by the treatment.

Chinese Herbs
There are over 150 different herbs used in fertility treatment. Chinese herbs are usually used in combination of 8 to 20 herbs and are customarily formulated for an individual patient's specific condition. Since the formula is based on the individual's particular imbalance, the herbs directly target the areas of the body that need assistance. It is common to have variations in herbal formulas from patient to patient in the clinical setting. The herbs can be dispensed to a patient in many forms, including teas, granules and capsules.

Chinese herbs can be taken with other forms of infertility medication, but you must work with TCM practitioners who have experience in working with reproductive endocrinologists.

The Best of Both Words
You do not have to choose between Traditional Chinese Medicine and other forms of fertility care. In fact, research shows TCM can aid in conception in ART cycles for IVF, IUI and other ART protocols. For example, combining IVF treatment with acupuncture has shown to dramatically increase the chances for conception.

The Choice is Yours
It is now possible to combine traditional Chinese medicine with state of the art technology to bring about a profound state of healing. Now you too can improve your fertility safely, naturally, and effectivel

If you’re in need of fertility care or think you might be, find out how the fertility specialists of Chicago IVF can help build the family you've always wanted.
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