May 04, 2007
Most people tend to think of infertility as something that needs to be treated, not considering infertility as the result of other underlying problems. For example, a woman could fail to conceive because of poor microcirculation in the uterus, which can be often related to general cardiovascular issues. High-tech reproductive techniques such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) may help temporarily overcome these circulatory problems by improving uterine blood flow and ultimately pregnancy rates.
However, these underlying circulatory problems require continual treatment since they don’t usually correct themselves spontaneously after IVF. Uterine blood flow can diminish after IVF leading to an increased risk of miscarriage and/or negative fetal development. Further down the line if these problems persist, pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia can develop which can be dangerous to both the mother and fetus.
There are also many factors that are not part of a conventional fertility workup that can block a pregnancy or predispose a pregnancy to complications. Some of these include: environmental, metabolic, energetic, dietary and emotional. These can all be primary endocrine disruptors leading to DNA damage and a uterine environment that is not conducive to healthy fetal development.
Because of this, many reproductive physicians are recommending acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutrition as an adjunct to standard fertility protocols. In fact, acupuncture is being used so much that numerous studies have appeared to examine the effects of acupuncture and how it might work. These studies have consistently shown that incorporating acupuncture into infertility regimens such as IVF results in greatly increased pregnancy rates (in some studies even doubling the number of IVF pregnancies). Acupuncture was also shown to improve ovarian response, increase uterine lining thickness and reduce the number of miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.
However, despite everything acupuncture can do directly to help one get pregnant, oriental medicine puts just as much emphasis on identifying and correcting underlying imbalances before pregnancy. This strategy results in much healthier pregnancies and much healthier babies. Therefore, it is a good idea to get a comprehensive physical examination from an oriental medicine practitioner if you are contemplating having children and having a nutritionist review your nutrient status. By combining this holistic strategy with Western Medicine, you improve your chances of having a baby while improving your overall health.