Whether you are just starting off on your fertility journey or have been going through menopause symptoms for years, we specialize in any ailments that have to do with hormones and the reproductive system. Our specialists not only have a deep knowledge of Eastern Medicine but of Western medicine as well which can help to guide you through anything from IVF to hormonal panels. Our treatments are powerful blends of acupuncture, diet and supplement recommendations, and Chinese herbal medicine which can be a perfect natural route to healing or a wonderful addition to Western medicine.
It seems that the incidence of infertility is getting more and more prevalent in our society. Infertility is diagnosed when a couple is trying to conceive for 1 year without success. Whether you have been through multiple IVF cycles or you are just starting out on your journey, Chinese Medicine can help you to improve your reproductive health which makes it easier for conception to take place.
Treatment length is generally 3-12 months using a combination of acupuncture, herbs, diet and lifestyle changes. We work with patients in conjunction with their gynecologists or reproductive endocrinologists as needed.
There are many different reasons that you may be having trouble conceiving. Most commonly, the following are implicated:
High FSH/Poor Ovarian Reserve/Advanced Maternal Age
When women reach a certain age (usually over 35), or their blood test shows “elevated FSH” levels, or even a lack of response to FSH stimulating medications that are used by reproductive endocrinologists, most women are told that their chances of conception are very low and/or they need to think about donor eggs. Chinese Medicine can help the eggs to develop in a healthier environment, thereby increasing the health of the egg. It takes a follicle in the ovary 120 days to go from its antral state to a mature egg upon ovulation. That is why acupuncture and Chinese Medicine will work best when used for at least 3-6 months and sometimes up to 12 months. In this time frame, we often see a lowering of the FSH, better outcomes for IVF, IUI cycles and natural pregnancies.
PCOS is a complex syndrome that can affect up to 10% of women of child-bearing age. Chinese Medicine can be very effective in helping women that do not ovulate to ovulate. It can help regulate the hormones and the menstrual cycle. A study at Goteborg University in Sweden showed that acupuncture may help some PCOS women to ovulate. We have successfully treated many women at our clinic that had amenorrhea and irregular cycles. Sometimes this can take quite a few months for any results to show for more severe cases, but typically, women find that they do have shorter, more timely cycles. We also recommend specific diet and lifestyle changes and supplements/herbs to balance insulin resistance as well.
Sometimes, every test that is run on a couple shows absolutely nothing wrong. Western Medicine cannot give any answer as to why there is no conception. Often, Chinese Medicine can find an imbalance through our diagnostic techniques, which are treated via acupuncture and herbs, thereby making conception more likely.
Women who have recurrent miscarriage can often be helped by Chinese Medicine. There are specific acupuncture points and herbal formulas that “calm the fetus” or help to prevent miscarriage. For best results, we try to treat 3 months prior to conception and continue with treatment throughout the first trimester of the pregnancy. Your practitioner can advise you on the best course of action during the initial consult.
Endometriosis, auto-immune disorders, luteal phase defect, thin endometrial lining, fibroids and many other disorders can be successfully treated with Chinese Medicine.
Male fertility makes up 40-50% of couples that are having difficulty conceiving. Chinese Medicine can help to improve all facets of sperm parameters: morphology, count, motility, and semen liquefaction. Men should seek treatment for at least 3 months because the process called “spermatogenesis” (how stem cells develop into mature sperm) requires about 70-100 days. Lifestyle, diet and supplements will also be incorporated into the treatment for the best success. Our couples room makes it easy for you and your spouse to have treatments at the same time.
To insure the best possible chance for pregnancy and reduce complications during an IVF/IUI/Clomid cycle, imbalances in the body must be addressed prior to conception. For the best possible outcome, patients should begin treatment sessions 1-2 times per week for at least 3 months prior to any ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) procedure. Nutritional and lifestyle changes should also be incorporated into their daily routine for optimal results. Herbal medicine is often prescribed on an individual basis. If undergoing IVF, 4 weeks of biweekly acupuncture treatments before egg retrieval are strongly recommended. Even just a pre- and post- treatment on the day of an embryo transfer can improve your outcome, however, the earlier you start treatment, the better your outcome.
Chinese Medicine can help prepare both men and women for ART procedures. Acupuncture has been shown to enhance Western–based reproductive procedures in the following ways:
- Produce higher quality eggs
- Produce a larger number of follicles
- Increase thickness of the uterine lining
- Regulate hormone levels
- Reduce the side-effects of IVF medications
- Prevent uterine contraction
- Improve sperm count, motility, morphology
- Relax and mitigate stress
- Decrease miscarriage rates
Clinical studies have also demonstrated higher success rates when using acupuncture and herbs in conjunction with IVF and other assisted reproductive techniques. According to a German study (Paulus and Zhang, et al1), the group that received acupuncture before and after embryo transfer showed a 42.5% pregnancy rate, while the in-vitro group without treatment had a 26.3% pregnancy rate. A second study that used the same protocol also found that miscarriage and tubal pregnancy rates were lower in the group that received acupuncture treatments (American Society for Reproductive Medicine, October 2004).
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been used for over 2000 years during pregnancy to help ease many of the uncomfortable symptoms that women often experience. It is safe, effective and time-tested. It has been shown to treat:
- Threatened/habitual miscarriage
- Morning sickness/nausea/heartburn/constipation/diarrhea/hemorrhoids
- Insomnia and fatigue
- Pain—Back ache/sciatica /pelvic girdle pain/leg cramps
- Depression/anxiety (A Stanford study showed that acupuncture holds promise for the treatment of depression during pregnancy).
- Hypertension/ Preeclampsia
- Breech presentation
Acupuncture can help to reduce anxiety during these first few weeks of pregnancy. Many women that have gone through infertility and are now pregnant or those that have had prior miscarriages are very nervous and tentative in the beginning. Clinical trials have shown that regular monitoring and reassurance can reduce miscarriage rates.
There is much recovery that your body needs to do after having a baby- and with so little sleep! Sometimes, things don’t go quite as we expect them to go. Thankfully, acupuncture can help to ease many of these ailments. We also give dietary recommendations and sometimes Chinese herbs in order to restore your body back to health. Here are some common ailments that we can help you with:
- Breast Feeding Problems – Insufficient lactation, blocked ducts, mastitis
- Postpartum Pains – Back pain, body pain, abdominal / pelvic soreness, perineal pain and others
- Postpartum Depression/Anxiety
- Persistent Lochiorrhea (bleeding that continues for more that 2-3 weeks)
- Urinary incontinence & retention
In addition to reproduction and infertility, the Acupuncture Center also focuses on addressing many other indications specific to women. Some of the most common issues occur in conjunction with the menstrual cycle. If there is disharmony in the body, it can manifest as PMS, long/short cycles, heavy or little bleeding and cramps. Through acupuncture and herbs, we gently balance the body so the cycles become more regular, cramps decrease, PMS lessens and blood flow normalizes. If you are having any issues related to your menstrual cycle, we may be able to help!
Other concerns that can be treated include recurrent yeast infections, vaginitis, abnormal vaginal discharge, urinary difficulties including interstitial cystitis.
TCM can also help to ease the typical symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, depression, anxiety, insomnia, vaginal dryness, and night sweats to make this transition easier. This transition should not be fraught with difficulty. Let us ease you into menopause so you can live your best life.
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Stories of success
Dear Candace, After 2.5 years and unsuccessful fertility treatments, my husband and I got our 1st positive pregnancy test this a.m.! According to my last period, we are 5 weeks today. We are very excited, nervous and cautious of course. I just wanted to fill you in. Thank you for your help. I don’t know what actually made this finally work for us but I’m confident you helped in all this, and for that, my husband and I are forever grateful. I will be in touch in the near future for any other assistance I may need during my pregnancy.
– KK –
I have been meaning to send you an email a while back with a special note of thanks for all your help getting me pregnant with my baby girl. Your patience with me and belief that it would happen also made a world of difference. I always looked forward to our weekly acupuncture sessions and felt so much better afterwards. I gave birth to a tiny little girl on May 30th. Thanks again and hope to talk to you soon!
Hi Candace, Here is my miracle baby. Thanks to you and all of your help, she was able to come into the world. When she is older, I will explain to her what a special person you are and all that you helped me with. I will be forever grateful to you. Thank you for everything!