The treatment of fertility with acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has been the main focus of the Helix Clinic since we opened in 2005. We have a huge amount of experience working with fertility issues and would be happy to help you work towards your goal, whether that is through a completely natural approach to fertility or complementary treatment alongside conventional assisted treatments (e.g. IUI, IVF, ICSI).
Common causes of infertility in women include endometriosis, PCOS, uterine polyps and fibroids, and the situation can be made worse if there are problems with the sperm too, but the fact is that many cases of infertility are diagnosed as unexplained.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine provide a framework for understanding and treating both diagnosed and unexplained cases of infertility. In a very general sense, in Chinese Medicine fertility problems can be due to unwanted stagnation in the uterus, or an overall deficiency in the core energy that is important for fertility, or a combination of the two. Endometriosis and fibroids, for example, are most often due to stagnation of blood in the uterus, while PCOS often involves stagnation of damp. If the stagnation is milder it may not have evolved to an extreme condition that can be diagnosed clearly in a Western sense, but the stagnation can still act as a block to getting pregnant and cause symptoms such as painful, heavy or clotted periods.
The first job in treatment with acupuncture is to determine if any stagnation is present and then work to clear it. Once the stagnation has cleared sufficiently, women often experience this as a brighter, fresher flow of blood with less pain and clotting. At this point the focus of the treatment would shift more to supporting the core energy important for fertility, which in Chinese Medicine we call the kidney energy.
The kidney energy has two aspects - the yin and the yang aspect. If you think in terms of the monthly cycle, the yin aspect corresponds to the first (follicular) phase of the cycle before ovulation. This part of the cycle is all about the slow build-up of a well nourished endometrium and the development of a dominant follicle in the ovary. The yin energy needs to be strong in order for this to proceed smoothly. By contrast, the second portion of the cycle is the more yang (luteal) phase, where the balance of hormones leads to a higher basal body temperature and everything is more dynamic, in that the fertilised egg has to travel down the fallopian tube and embed successfully in the endometrium. Good yang energy means the fertilised egg should embed strongly and minimise the chances of miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy.
Because there are two main phases to the cycle, the acupuncture treatment will focus more on the yin or the yang aspect of your core energy depending on where you are at in the cycle. At ovulation and period time, the treatment is more focused on moving the energy overall to help a good progression through the cycle. If treatment is successful, an abundance of yin and yang will gradually build in the body, which translates directly into improved fertility. You may feel more energetic and relaxed overall. This will simply be a reflection of the internal changes brought about by the acupuncture, and you will feel good knowing that the better you feel, the better your fertility will be.
We take this approach to treatment whether you are going through assisted treatment or not. If you are having assisted treatment, we will also work to help minimise any side effects from the medication you will be taking. You can find more information about our approach to acupuncture and IVF here.
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