::Articles - How To Improve Your Fertility Naturally

Infertility can be a very frustrating and devastating experience for couples that are affected by it. The emotional roller coaster of hope and disappointment can be a significant strain on everyday life. Infertility is more common than you may think. Every year 4.5 million couples experience infertility and the statistics show that it is on the rise. You might ask yourself why? Well, there are many factors that contribute to fertility problems this day and age – some of the factors include: high amounts of stress, improper nutrition, fast paced lifestyle, environmental toxins and age at which women choose to bear children.

For conception and implantation to happen, your body needs to provide just the right environment for embryo/fetal development. For all different causes of impaired fertility (luteal phase deficiency, annovulation, irregular periods, PCOS, cervical factors, immunological factors, endometriosis, uterine factors, fallopian tube factors and semen factors) acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) may be your answer.

In the past few years, acupuncture and TCM have received a lot of attention from general public and medical community, when German researchers reported that they have increased success rates by almost 50% in women having in vitro fertilization (IVF)! (Fertility and Sterility, April 2002). Other fertility specialists observed that acupuncture worked in many cases were IVF failed. One of the most important findings was a Swedish study, which proved that uterine blood flow could be positively changed in 100% of the study participants, who received just 8 acupuncture treatments (Human Reproduction, Vol.11, No.6, 1996).

In addition to improving female fertility, acupuncture and TCM has a lot to offer in male fertility. There are numerous case study reports on acupuncture for male infertility from China showing improvement in total count, motility and morphology of sperm.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, conditions such as infertility are fundamentally seen as blockages or imbalances in the body’s “qi” (pronounced as ‘chi’), a vital force or energy that flows throughout the body along channels called meridians. Acupuncture has been shown to decrease stress, anxiety, irritability, emotional/mood swings, changes in FSH, hormone imbalances, improves sleep, increases energy, blood flow to the uterus and improves overall well-being.

One of the methods why acupuncture increases fertility is by reducing stress, which in our society is so prevalent. Stress affects the fertility of both men and women. When your body is under stress, it produces a hormone called cortisol. This hormone disrupts the delicate balance of reproductive hormones. Stress alone can cause a woman not to ovulate; it can also cause spasms in both the fallopian tubes and the uterus, which in turn can interfere with movement and implantation of a fertilized egg.

Thousands of people today choose acupuncture and TCM as sole or adjunctive therapy to their medical treatments for infertility (including assisted reproduction therapy). Women who undergo or plan to undergo IVF treatment will significantly increase their chances of conceiving with acupuncture. The average cost of IVF treatment is $12,000, whereas the average cost per individual for one acupuncture treatment is $60 to $80 (and often acupuncture is covered by extended heath plans). Acupuncture is a gentle, painless therapy in which hair thin, sterile needles are inserted in specific points in the body. It positively affects blood flow, hormone regulation, and other physical imbalances and most of all it positively affects the emotional difficulties so often present on the hard and frustrating journey for pregnancy.

Margaret Balajewicz B.Sc, Naturopathic Doctor