Trying to Conceive? We Can Help
Improve your fertility health with a safe, natural and tailored treatment plan from our experienced team
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Chinese Medicine for Fertility and Reproductive Issues
We find that Chinese Medicine works well for fertility and reproductive issues.
Combined with acupuncture you have two very powerful tools… both natural, safe and non-invasive treatment options. An effective way to also help restore balance to mind-body health.
In fact, improving overall health is an essential step when addressing infertility.
To increase your chances of pregnancy you should:
- reduce your stress
- improve your wellbeing
- and increase your overall happiness
3 huge steps to increasing your chances of pregnancy.
As we say to our patients, “improve your wellbeing and fertility will follow”.
Acupuncture has become a popular choice to increase the IVF success rate.
However, we have found that a lot of patients only use acupuncture during the IVF protocols. This last minute fix is only a small part of Chinese Medicine. The real strength and potential has not been fully unleashed.
We appreciate and respect assisted reproductive technology… IVF can create miracles and overcome a lot of human reproductive limitations.
However, getting pregnant is only the first part of the journey.
We still need sound physical and mental health to:
- promote successful implantation
- prevent miscarriage
- maintain quality pregnancy
- and have a health baby
We believe in cultivating and fertilizing the soil before the plantation of the seed. This improves success rate of pregnancy and helps avoid miscarriage.
This holistic approach can help to address the real underlying causes of infertility… it can give patients a sense of improved well being and health.
The journey to overcome fertility problems doesn’t need to be all about:
- indulging fertility drugs
- invasive surgeries
- and riding the emotional rollercoaster
We can prevail over infertility in a “green” and natural way.
Why Jing Is So Important to Overcoming Infertility
We all assume we have the capacity to bear children. Within our western culture, fertility is welcomed as a developmental milestone.
Fertility is greatly valued by a women and has importance in humanity… the mothering instinct is clearly inherent and learnt.
Observe young girls playing family, feeding their babies, carrying them in a sling. They cuddle them and pat them to sleep as they murmur ‘shush, shush’.
Like this maternal nature, our basic constitution is also something we are born with. In Chinese medicine we label this Jing… our essence, the essential air of life
The Two Types of Jing
We are born with Jing, precious prenatal Jing. Inherited from our parents, prenatal Jing allows us to grow and mature.
Jing is also acquired throughout life…this type of Essence is called postnatal Jing.
It is influenced by:
- the food and fluids we consume
- exercise undertaken
- and the lifestyle we lead
It is worth noting that Jing is a concept rather than a material sense. It is an essential energy in Chinese medicine theory. This energy forms the basis for all kinds of functional activities.
This essence of every human being is stored and supported in the Kidneys. We consider this an ancient philosophical tenet rather than the anatomical organ.
You expend Jing physically, spiritually and mentally by:
- overworking your body
- partying hard
- having less sleep than adequate
- eating nutritionally poor food
- forgetting to drink enough water
- and living a life of stress
You begin to draw on your constitutional reserves by rushing to provide for your family… you become exhausted… continually drawing from this reservoir.
A female will impart a significant amount of her Jing in childbirth.
For a male, their Jing is lost during ejaculation.
Consider also, the constitution of your parents… and the lives they led before your conception. This is where your energetics are established. If it was a life least desired, then perhaps your Jing isn’t as abundant as the next person.
Strong Jing is important!
The current lifestyle of the average woman leads them to postponing baby making to later in life… approximately 30-35 years of age. Twenty years previous, the age bracket was 25-29.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicates fertility rates are steadily increasing… as is the age of child bearing females. Interestingly, fertility rates for women in the 40-44 years bracket have ‘tripled’.
The median age at child-bearing increased from 28.3 years in 1990 to 29.8 years in 2000, then to 30.7 years in 2010.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics
And the 5 Most Common Signs to Conception!
Chinese medicine has an amazing view on reproductive health… you see it represented as an analogy of a garden.
The soil of the garden requires preparation, mulching and fertilisation for propagation. The land requires the essential ingredients; the nutrients and the minerals. This is how we nourish and sustain growth… the journey from germination to maturation.
Like the soil, the uterus requires the correct ingredients. A thick endometrial lining is important to establish a fertilised cell.
The foundation must be strong enough to support life. This means a healthy gut with a positive microbiome. We need free flowing Qi, a surplus of Blood and an plenty of Kidney Jing.
How do we determine your fertility health?
Chinese medicine has the amazing ability to show you the clues.. what to look out for.
Here are the 5 most common signs if you are wishing to conceive:
Sign #1: Menstrual Cycle
Your menstrual cycle is your transcript for how your reproductive organs operate.
A normal period from a Chinese medicine perspective is characterised by:
- flow lasting for 3-6 days
- a cycle averaging 26-32 days
- the absence of pain
- and neither clotting in the blood.
Deviations from this normality are identified as abnormal requiring balance
Sign #2: Lack of Ovulation Mucous
Cervical mucous is released around the time of ovulation as oestrogen hormones rise. Mucous has a fundamental role in fertility. Mucous protects sperm and provides a nourishing environment.
Lack of fertile cervical mucous is related to a deficiency of the Kidneys… the foundation of any females reproductive system.
Look for these clues for fertile cervical mucous:
DRY = probably not fertile
STICKY = probably not fertile
CREAMY = possibly fertile
WATERY = fertile
EGG WHITE = most fertile
Sign #3: Circulation
Do you hang your feet out from under the bedclothes at night?
Warm or hot feet at night time indicate a pathology relating to heat accumulating in the body.
In contrast, cold hands and feet are just as common, with cold congregating in the body.
Either scenario, the body requires balancing and nourishment. Necessary elements in order to maintain a successful pregnancy
Sign #4: Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding is typically a result of:
- even anger impacting on the body’s energetic flow.
It is also common during sleep and can be the cause of a restless or even an agitated night of shut eye.
Teeth grinding impacts on the quality of your teeth. The surrounding muscles in the jaw can even effect digestive function.
Sign #5: Period Begins With A Brown Colour
A period should be bright red in colour.
It should begin with a decent flow, often increasing in volume from day 1 to day 2… then steadily decreasing.
It should also simply just stop, have no spotting, no brown thickish soy bean type discharge.
Reproduction can be challenging though it should really be noted that age isn’t the real barrier.
- the environment you work and live in
- the food and fluids you consume
- the exercise you undertake
- the sleep cycle you go through each night
- and how the five signs above relate to you.
Even if you check only one of five of the markers, there is an imbalance. An imbalance means you need to harmonise… afford the time for preparing your body before pregnancy.
Ensure your body is ready to harvest a sperm and an egg. You will see and feel the advantages of real pre-conception care.
Strauss B, Appelt H, Ulrich D. Relationship between psychological characteristics and treatment outcome in female patients from an infertility clinic. J Psychosom Obstet Gynecol 1992;13:121-132
Maciocia, G. Obstetrics & Gynecology in Chinese Medicine. 1998; 8-9
Does Seasonality Affect Our Fertility?
Learn the 5 Steps to Enhancing Your Fertility
Naturally in Spring
According to TCM, season has a significant impact on human reproduction and fertility. … this is true for both female and male.
Chinese medicine looks at our body as an energetic system that goes along with the universe.
It is a universal rule and phenomenon that all the seeds and plants start to sprout and blossom in spring. Spring is the mating season for mammal species too
Fertility in Spring
Spring in Chinese medicine is the season of wood. According to the Chinese medicine five elements theory, wood represents our liver.
A healthy liver is responsible for:
- our distribution of good blood flow
- robust hormones circulation
- and vibrant emotions.
These will all contribute to a more sound and healthy reproductive system.
But, energetic disorders with our liver, will be even more compromised in the spring. We may see an effect on our health, mood and fertility.
Let’s consider a study published in the July 2012 issue of Gynecological Endocrinology. The study was titled “seasonal variability in the fertilization rate of women undergoing assisted reproduction treatments”
This study determined that fertilization rates are at their highest in spring.
Yet, the research did not show the improvement of the pregnancy rate and/or implantation rate.
5 Steps to Enhancing Your Fertility Naturally in Spring
- Get more natural gentle sunlight
Increasing your Vitamin D promotes better liver qi flow. It reduces the damaging effects of stress and depression.
- Walk barefoot on the earth
Helps us to rejuvenate and replenish your liver and spleen energy.
- Getting an adequate 7-8 hours sleep at night
Important for your body, especially important for your liver. According to the Chinese medicine clock system the liver gets replenished around 1 – 3 am.
- Keep your stress levels low
As mentioned your liver will be immediately impacted by stress.
- Ingest more green leafy vegetables
Green is the colour that promotes the liver.
Of course, spring is only one of the four seasons. Our reproductive system responds to the changes of all the seasons and the universe.
Fertility Assistance For Men
Boosting your fertility is not something that is restricted just to women….
Boosting your fertility is not something that is restricted just to women….
…but something that can go on to help men also.
TCM can help maintain a healthy high sperm count. It can also help balance out any inconsistencies in the body.
Infertility also rates highly in men.. male infertility in Australia is a widespread problem.
Research shows that in up to 40% of infertility cases, the male partner is the primary cause… as well as a combination of both partners.
Although this is a common occurrence, there are often no obvious signs that point to the male as the cause. Intercourse, erections and ejaculation will usually happen without any difficulties.
Known causes of male infertility include:
- sperm production problems
- blockage of sperm transport
- sperm antibodies
- sexual problems
- hormonal problems
The definition of infertility varies from country to country.
In Australia, this includes couples trying to conceive for more than 12 months.
As age can affect fertility, the diagnosis of infertility is given after 6 months to women over 35.
Age affects men as well. If the male is over 35, there is a 15% chance that conception will take more than a year… compared with an 8% chance for males under 25 years.
Hormone levels affect the effectiveness of a male’s sperm. Changes in hormone levels can affect the shape of the sperm. Ill formed sperm can lead to a decline in quality.
Shape is important because it gives an indication of the sperm’s genetic content. A high number of misshapen sperm will increase the chances of abnormalities. This renders them also less likely to fertilise an egg.
Acupuncture has been shown to help improve the quality and effectiveness of sperm.
Results from a recent study showed that there was a general improvement of sperm quality. This improvement is in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, after undergoing acupuncture treatment.
Here’s what men can do to improve their chances of fatherhood:
- avoid caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs
- eat a well balanced diet and avoid junk food – getting into shape
- clean up your living environment — avoid the use of garden pesticides and herbicides
- replace your household cleaning products with safe eco friendly, fertility friendly alternatives. Use bicarbonate soda, vinegar and lemon juice
- regular Chinese medicine treatments
Below are a few links to studies on acupuncture in relation to male infertility:
- Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16009169
- Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from sub fertility related to low sperm quality. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9272232
- Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10702864
- Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalities. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14695986
- Influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12658811
- A prospective randomised placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19394002
Acupuncture and IVF
How Chinese medicine can help you prepare for IVF
Acupuncture administered at different stages of the IVF procedure helps in different ways.
Pre-IVF acupuncture will:
- reduces stress
- helps regulate menstrual cycles
- restores hormonal balance
- improves egg cell health
- and ensures a fertile ground for implantation.
Acupuncture before and after taking fertility medications increases blood supply. This blood supply to the ovary and uterus significantly increases pregnancy rates.
Acupuncture during the egg harvesting stage has a calming effect. It prepares you physically and emotionally for the embryo transfer.
How Chinese Medicine Can Help You Prepare for IVF
Here are some basic statistics about fertility:
One in six couples are infertile.
- Fertility problems occur in one in three women over 35.
- One in 25 males has a low sperm count and one in 35 is sterile.
- For healthy couples in their twenties, the chance of becoming pregnant each month is 25 per cent.
- The chance of conceiving in an IVF cycle is, on average around 20 per cent. Can differ according to circumstances.
Some conditions that we treat in preparation for an IVF cycle include:
- age related infertility
- luteal phase defect
- no ovulation or no regular ovulation
- low sperm count and poor sperm quality
- unexplained infertility
- emotional preparation
Taking a step back, the primary goal of Chinese Medicine is to create balance in the body.
This incorporates many of the above factors of infertility.
One of the best indicators for reproductive health is menstruation. Any abnormality or irregularity in menstruation can indicate a problem.
Using acupuncture and herbs we can successfully:
- regulate the period
- normalise the menses,
- normalise ovulation and any defect in the luteal phase.
Advanced age is an important factor in low pregnancy outcomes.
From the age of 40 and onwards there is an approximate 50% decreases in fertility rates… and a 2-3 fold increase in risk of miscarriage.
Acupuncture improves the processes, functions and the environment in which the egg is nurtured… thus affecting it’s growth.
With that in mind, some of the areas we focus on are:
- improving uterine and ovarian functions,
- improving the thickness of the endometrial lining
- improving ovarian and uterine blood flow
- regulating the endocrine hormones FSH and LH
- increasing oestrogen and progesterone… and normalising both the follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. (2)
Endometriosis is another cause of infertility.
Endometriosis is a disease that affects approximately 10% of all reproductive-aged women. The prevalence rises to 20–50% in infertile women.
Endometriosis is characterised by the presence of tissue that is similar to normal endometrium… this tissue location is outside the uterus.
Surgical and hormonal treatment of endometriosis has unpleasant side effects… and high rates of relapse.
In China, treatment of endometriosis using Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is routine.
Considerable research has been conducted into the role of CHM and endometriosis . This research includes alleviating pain, promoting fertility, and preventing relapse. Studies have shown CHM to have similar or better results post surgery to Western medicine (3)
Chinese Medicine takes a holistic approach to infertility.
We try to understand what is going on in the body. We do this by stepping back and analysing the bodies’ patterns and tendencies.
By regulating and balancing the bodies functions we find people are:
- less stressed
- more in control
Women have a high pregnancy rate that what they would without treatment… both naturally and through IVF.
Why is our fertility treatment so effective?
To ensure the greatest chance of conception occurring and the highest standard of support we insist on:
- Experience – a minimum of 5 years for all our practitioners… in particular the areas of fertility and reproductive health
- Knowledge – very high standards for ongoing education in the latest fertility developments. These include both the Chinese and Western Medical paradigms. Each practitioner must complete double the minimum industry standard for professional development education.
- Practice – extensive ongoing experience.
- Quality – all our herbal medicines and Acupuncture equipment are the finest of quality.
- Reputation – let you be the judge of that.
How Does TCM and Acupuncture Treatment Help You to Conceive Naturally?
The reproductive systems in both males and females are dependent on many factors. The systems can be quite sensitive and even unpredictable.
To achieve optimum reproductive health TCM and Acupuncture addresses:
- hormonal balance – we bring the body back to its natural rhythms. This is achieved by restoring your hormonal cycles .
- reproductive vitality – it is essential to increase the strength within the reproductive system. Strength and abundance are vital for its correct functioning.
- sub-fertility – any issues regarding diagnosed or un-diagnosed sub-fertility must be resolved. This is vital for optimal reproductive health.
- general health – you must be “on top of your game”. The reproductive system is often very sensitive to all of the changes that occur within the body.
- emotion – emotional well-being is essential… integral to your reproductive system.
- individuality – no two patients are the same. We tailor treatments to meet your specific needs.