The Fertility Conundrum: Using Acupuncture Effectively to Achieve PregnancyInfertility has become an all too common problem for woman in today’s world. Whether a woman has waited until she felt the time was right or she has an issue that is giving her a problem with conceiving, the shear number of woman that I see for infertility acupuncture has increased dramatically in the last 10 years. Most of my practice consist of woman. Woman just happen to go to health care provider more than men. That is a well-known fact. But too many of these women who come in for treatment to help with their infertility issue are going about the process all wrong. It is important to understand that if one want to use acupuncture and Chinese Medicine to it’s full capacity, one must follow some general guidelines to obtain the most benefits. I am saying this so that women who wish to use this somewhat mysterious medical treatment more effectively will realize that there is a time factor to making the necessary changes need to achieve pregnancy.. Too many time women call to schedule an appointment when they are already well into their fertility treatment cycle with a reproductive endocrinologist. Now coming in at that time will help with some things, but to really benefit from the power of this medicine, one must come in well before starting to inject hormones into your system. When using acupuncture to help with fertility or any issue, time is a major concern. We use acupuncture to change how your body functions and these changes can not be rushed. Treatment will be different from one woman to another, so your expectations need to be kept in perspective to what is happening to your body, not someone else’s. The first thing that you need to do is to take a real inventory of where you general health is by really being honest with yourself. This may be a hard pill to swallow but the more you come to grips with how you body has been functioning the faster your goal of pregnancy will become realized. The major purpose of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine in general, is the ability to put your body into it’s natural balance. In the Chinese paradigm, disease comes when the balance is disrupted. Most of these problems with stem from lifestyle issues. A very high percentage of women have fertility issues from their past catching up with them. And most of that is from a poor diet. The Chinese believe that food is medicine, which is why Chinese medicine is so effective in helping woman achieve pregnancy. Sometimes all that is needed is a change in the diet. You must be open to change if you want to effectively use acupuncture and Chinese medicine to it’s fullest benefit. One of the major problems in the diet is the increase amount of sugar that most American are eating. It’s not just that chocolate that you craved when you get your period. It is hidden in so much of our foods today that it can be very frustrating to monitor how much sugar you are eating each day. That is why a diet of unprocessed foods is a must when you have fertility issues. So what does that mean? You should only eat protein that you cook so that you know that their are no preservative or added sugars hidden in your food. So if you can’t cook try to find meals that have no additions in them. The more natural the food is the better. I am not a big “organic food” proponent, but anything in a box or a jar or a can is just filling with some kind of preservative that is not good for your body. The more you work on yourself, the better your changes will be to reach your goal. I know that it is hard to break habits, so you must start slow and be persistent in your changes. Saying it’s hard will do you no good. Saying it’s not fair will also be fruitless. If you want that baby of your dreams you have to be committed to change and that change will start with you and also your husband. It’s important to include him in this discussion. Because infertility is 40% female and 40% male with the rest both partners, it is very important that your partner either gets on a better eating program or at the very least supports you in the changes that you are going to make to improve your chances of achieving pregnancy. Now the next issue with using acupuncture effectively is the time factor. This is going to depend on where you are in your fertility journey. The earlier that you incorporate acupuncture and Chinese medicine the better your outcome will be. I have too many patient come into my office when they have already started and IVF cycle. Some will achieve pregnancy and some will not. It depends on many different factors and much of it comes from their general health. So what is the best way to use acupuncture and Chinese medicine to achieve pregnancy.
- Take an inventory on your health
- Diet, exercise, family history
- If you are going to start working with your OB/Gyn on fertility that is the time to seek out an acupuncturist
- If you are going to start treatments with an Reproductive Endocrinologist, it best to give yourself 3 months before you start any drug therapy with these physicians.
- Give yourself 3- 6 months to optimize your health using acupuncture.