A Matter of Conception | It Takes Two | Improving the Odds |Print This Page
Many couples are waiting until later in life to begin their families, and some find that conception is not as easy as they had expected. Whether you are using assisted reproduction therapy or attempting a more “natural” approach, we may be able to help.
For couples utilizing assisted reproduction therapy, studies have shown that outcome of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) can be significantly improved if acupuncture is used before, during and after the embryo transfer procedure. (1) Our San Diego acupuncturists are available to provide supportive care through the egg harvesting and fertilizing portion of IVF, and to attend your embryo transfer appointment in order to provide acupuncture immediately before and following the procedure.
For couples who prefer to avoid the drugs and procedures associated with assisted reproduction therapy, Oriental Medicine has been shown to aid female fertility by restoring balance to hormones, enhancing lubrication, improving ovulation and facilitating implantation. Treatment includes weekly acupuncture, Chinese herbal supplements and dietary modifications. back to top
While the female is responsible for about 60% of cases in couples experiencing infertility, approximately 40% find that it is due to poor sperm count, motility or morphology. In recent studies, acupuncture has been shown to be effective in improving sperm count and motility. (2) Chinese herbal formulas can augment the effects of the acupuncture, and some of these may even improve sperm morphology. Use of acupuncture and Chinese herbs may help you to conceive naturally, and can improve your chances of conceiving with assisted reproductive therapy. back to top
Your treatment begins with a complete intake and appropriate examinations for both potential parents. Blood or saliva tests may be ordered to determine a base-line for hormone levels. Tests may be recommended to determine that the fallopian tubes are open, and the viability of the sperm may be assessed. Based on the results of a complete medical history, examination, and any lab tests requested, a personalized treatment plan is created for each couple to maximize the chances of conception and successful implantation.
Conception and fertilization are only the first steps in having a healthy baby. Once you are pregnant, we can continue to provide supportive care in order to maintain the health of Mom, Dad, and baby. We will work in conjunction with your obstetrician to help your term be as comfortable and healthy as possible. Acupuncture can be a safe and effective way of helping Mom to manage the symptoms of pregnancy including morning sickness, back or hip pain, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, etc. Studies have shown that women receiving regular acupuncture treatment during their pregnancies often require fewer interventions during delivery. Acupuncture during the last month of pregnancy can help to efface the cervix, move baby lower into the pelvis, relieve some of the fear related to the upcoming delivery, and optimize production of delivery hormones, all helpful to facilitating a smooth and efficient birthing experience. Acupuncture can also help with Mom's recovery during the post-partum period. back to top
(1) Paulus W, Qhang M, Strehler E, et al. Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy Fertility and Sterility April 2002;77(4)721-4.
(2) Pei J, Strehler E, Noss U, et al. Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Fertility and Sterility July 2005;84(1):141-7.
(3) Smith C, Crowther C, Beilby J. (2002) Pregnancy outcome following women's participation in a randomised controlled trial of acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. Complement Ther Med. 10(2):78-83.
(4) Staff Writiers. Study: Acupuncture Improves Fertility in Men, Too. Acupuncture Today
October, 2005, Vol. 06, Issue 10. back to top