Chinese Medicine has a long history of assisting women with reproductive health problems and offers couples wishing to conceive a child holistic and individualised treatment.
Fertility acupuncture has become widely recognised on its own or in conjunction with western reproductive medicine, such as IVF.
Acupuncture may improve blood flow to reproductive organs and aid healthy hormonal function, as well as assisting women undergoing IVF with stress reduction and supportive care during what can be an incredibly anxious time. When a woman is pregnant, acupuncture may assist her in a myriad of ways including relief from morning sickness and pelvic and back pain. Chinese medicine also has techniques for babies presenting as breach and in the lead up to birth.
Treatment with traditional Chinese medicine has been shown to have a beneficial effect on couples who have difficulty conceiving, either on its own or in combination with IVF or other forms of assisted reproduction. Extensive studies show that:
- Chinese herbal medicine restores ovarian function effectively and promptly. It offers a valuable option for treating infertility in patients with premature ovarian failure and/or raised FSH and LH levels, as well as treating patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Many studies demonstrate that the correct application of herbs can restore a regular cycle with a good biphasic basal body temperature and an efficient luteal phase.
- Acupuncture can be equally effective as clomiphene citrate in the treatment of ovulatory dysfunction without causing any side effects. Studies suggest that acupuncture adjusts FSH and LH and normalize oestrogen and progesterone levels, thus regulating ovulation.
How does it work and how much does it cost?
We will need an initial consultation where I take your full history and get a sense of the state of your general health. The consultation lasts 30 mins (£50). The cost of the follow-up treatment then depends on whether you just want to take herbs or have acupuncture or massage or all of this.
If you’re not sure whether you want to explore this route for fertility, you can always ring me and we can discuss over the phone.
As part of a fertility treatment, I will usually ask female patients to monitor their ovulation by recording their basal body temperature (BBT). The BBT chart helps me to understand the activity of the hormones and guide the selection of acupuncture points and herbs. Monitoring the BBT chart can also be helpful to patients as they can see progress for themselves.
You do need to be a little patient. Normally a minimum of three months’ treatment can be expected in the case of unexplained infertility, but it can sometimes last a year. Acupuncture may need to be given every 2 weeks or once per month, depending on the severity of the disharmony of Qi and Blood. However, many women get pregnant quite quickly when having acupuncture as the relaxation produced by the treatment enhances fertility.
I would normally recommend taking a course of Chinese herbs too. The herbs I prescribe are in powder form and are very easy to take. Obviously, it is entirely up to the patient whether they want to commit to this as well, but from my experience, Chinese herbs are hugely effective.