Natural Fertility - Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine

reeds pollinating the air

Can Acupuncture &/or Herbal Medicine Assist With Natural Fertility?

Eggs ripening inside follicles need good blood supply so that nutrients can reach them. These factors enable them to uptake hormonal signals and provide robust energy to the growing embryo. It has been discovered that eggs produced by follicles with abundant blood supply, thus oxygen, are more likely to fertilize. We also know that acupuncture/electro-acupuncture can increase blood flow to the ovaries .

Although of course we are unable to magically transform older eggs into younger ones and we must work within the confines of your DNA. But we aim to do what we can to improve the environment surrounding your ovaries and eggs and also their internal environment by helping to enhance mitochondrial activity and ATP production at a cellular level. We may prescribe herbal formulas to this end. Some of these herbs have also been shown to strengthen antioxidant defenses at the cellular level.

Herbal medicine works on a different level to acupuncture which is why traditionally they are often used together, they work synergistically like hand in glove. Over the centuries, Chinese Gynecologists wrote herbal prescriptions according to the individual patients diagnosis and we were taught this approach too. This approach can make it difficult to prove efficacy using quantitative research methods. The practitioners at House of Fertility and Healing are registered Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioners in Australia.

Following is some more ‘coffee time reading’ on Chinese herbal medicine in relation to fertility:

Effect of Zishen Yutai Pill on Embryo Implantation Rate in Patients Undergoing Embryo Transfer
ZHU Wen-jie et al, C JIM (Chin)

Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Zishen Yutai Pill, Ameliorates Precocious Endometrial Maturation Induced by Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation and Improves Uterine Receptivity via Upregulation of HOXA10
Qi Gao, Lu Han, Xiumei Li, and Xia Cai

Effects of traditional Korean medicine on anti-Mullerian hormone inpatients with diminished ovarian reserve: A retrospective study
Junyoung Jo, Myung Ja Kang, Jin Moo Lee, Hyunho Kim, Ui Min Jerng

Oocyte quality improvement using a herbal medicine comprising 7 crude drugs
Inoue T et al.

Acupuncture is sometimes combined alongside individually prescribed Chinese herbal formulas, and together they may assist balancing your menstrual cycle and benefit the preparation of your body for natural conception. On occasion depending upon circumstances, we might only use acupuncture without the herbs or visa versa.

Regulating the menstrual cycle to promote fertility. Chinese medicine gynecologists have taught us throughout history (and still do today) that a regular non-problematic 28 day menstrual cycle with a regular mid-cycle ovulation indicates hormonal balance and a greater chance of healthy ovarian function.

Depending upon your individual circumstances, routinely we might address issues such as period pain, issues such as pain associated with Endometriosis and irregular ovulation. We might assist tweaking your diet and supporting your digestive system, fundamental to overall energy and health. Acupuncture has a well deserved reputation for reducing stress & symptoms of anxiety, stress considered to be a potential factor among couples who have failed to conceive.

Fertility Acupuncture For Men

Most people automatically assume that we here at House of Fertility & Healing work with women who are trying to improve their fertility but we do also work with men.

It is very important that both parents are healthy when trying to conceive. After all, each partner donates DNA during the creation of an embryo, however for whatever reason, often treatment for below par male fertility can be overlooked and it does take two of you to conceive.

If you have been trying to fall pregnant for a while without success we might suggest that your partner have their sperm analyzed so that we can offer effective advice or treatment.

Following are links to pertinent research regarding acupuncture and male fertility. You might like to grab a cup of ‘herbal tea’ and settle in for some light reading!

Randomised clinical trial of comparing effects of acupuncture and varicocelectomy on sperm parameters in infertile varicocele patients
Kucuk, E. V., Bindayi, A., Boylu, U., Onol, F. F. and Gumus, E.

Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility
Pei J et al.

Effect of acupuncture-moxibustion therapy on sperm quality in infertility patients with sperm abnormality
Chen, A., Shen, A., Li, R. et al. 

A prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia
Dieterle et al.

When is a good time for treatment?

The amount of treatment required of course depends on your individual situation & should be discussed with your practitioner. However in terms of timing your treatments, you can have acupuncture at any point in your cycle but ‘general rule of thumb’ is to coordinate acupuncture sessions with your menstrual cycle. For example, many of our patients schedule appointments for just as menstruation is tailing off or right on (or a day or two prior to) ovulation. These timings are not hard and fast ‘rules’ but offered as suggestions should you be wondering.

You might consider using acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine if you have a functional, rather than a structural issue behind your fertility challenge. For example, structural ‘infertility’ would be damaged fallopian tubes, a blockage in the sperm ducts or issues that may require surgical intervention. However if the challenge to your fertility is functional, for example like irregular ovulation, then you might choose to explore this medicine further.