Fertility Treatment & Counseling

Nourish the soil before planting the seed.

This describes the best approach to boosting fertility and increasing your chances for conception.  A woman with a healthy body will naturally provide a healthy, nourishing environment for a baby.  Acupuncture, herbal treatment and healthy lifestyle adjustments help put the body back into a state of balance to create a more receptive space for conception to happen.

Benefits of acupuncture on fertility:

  • Improves blood flow to the reproductive organs
  • Regulates menstrual cycles
  • Helps promote ovulation
  • Enhances follicle/egg quality and production.
  • Thickens the uterine lining to assist embryo implantation.
  • Reduces stress, anxiety & depression
  • Increases chance of successful outcome with IVF and other fertility procedures 
  • Improves sperm count, quality, motility, and morphology for male factor infertility.
  • Regulates hormone levels
  • Reduces chance of miscarriage
  • Improves overall health and well being to help naturally facilitate conception and a healthy pregnancy.

Specific gynecological conditions related to infertility that acupuncture can successfully treat:

  • Hormonal imbalance, (elevated FSH levels, high prolactin levels, etc.)
  • Low ovarian reserve
  • Poor egg quality
  • Ovulation problems
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Fallopian tube blockage
  • Ovarian cysts and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Endometriosis and Fibroids
  • Thin endometrium lining
  • Short luteal phase
  • Recurrent miscarriage
  • Poor sperm count, quality, morphology & motility

A typical course of treatment for fertility with acupuncture and herbs:

Expect a minimum of 3 consecutive months of treatment to help regulate the menstrual cycle and improve the quality of eggs, or for any kind of menstrual difficulty or to improve sperm quality.  Results are usually seen sooner for reducing stress and improved overall health and well being.  

Ideally treatment is given weekly but an individualized treatment plan can be done to fit your needs.  In these cases, I will advise you regarding the most critical times to come in during the month.  

If you are undergoing IVF, acupuncture can be given throughout the whole process. Ideally, coming in a few months prior to the procedure will increase your chances of success.  Treatment is given on the day of retrieval and on the day of the transfer.  

Continuing with acupuncture after you test positive for pregnancy:

When you become pregnant, I recommend coming in throughout the first trimester to minimize chances of miscarriage and to facilitate a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy.  Acupuncture can help alleviate morning sickness, fatigue, insomnia, and other first trimester concerns.

In the 2nd and 3rd trimesters acupuncture can help with the following conditions:

  • Uterine ligament pain
  • Low back pain
  • Heartburn
  • Insomnia
  • Edema
  • High blood pressure
  • Breech position of fetus
  • Labor preparation and induction

Overall, regular acupuncture throughout pregnancy can help produce a healthy mom and healthy baby!  Stressed mom = stressed baby.  Stress hormones, i.e. cortisol circulate through the placenta to the baby.  By addressing this, you are more likely to have a healthy, calm baby. 


Related Resources

Research on Fertility: 

Acupuncture improves in vitro fertilization live birth outcomes:  a retrospective chart reviewL Hullender Rubin,1 M Opsahl,2 and  D Ackerman1

Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study. Stefan Dieterle, M.D., Gao Ying, M.D., Wolfgang Hatzmann, M.D., Andreas Neuer, M.D.

Effect of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy among women undergoing in vitro fertilization. U. Omodei, G. Piccioni, S. Tombesi, D. Dordoni, L. Fallo, F. Ghilardi

Effect of Acupuncture on Sperm Parameters of Males Suffering from Subfertility Related to Low Sperm Quality.  S. Sherman1, F. Eltes2, V. Wolfson1, N. Zabludovsky2 and B. Bartoov2

Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy.  Paulus WE1Zhang MStrehler EEl-Danasouri ISterzik K.

Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture.  Stener-Victorin E1Waldenström UAndersson SAWikland M.

Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial. Westergaard LG1Mao QKrogslund MSandrini SLenz SGrinsted J.

Changes in serum cortisol and prolactin associated with acupuncture during controlled ovarian hyper stimulation in women undergoing in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer treatment.  Magarelli PC1Cridennda DKCohen M.

Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization:  systematic review and meta-analysis. E1Zhang GUdoff LHaramati ALangenberg PBerman BMBouter LM.

Impact of whole systems traditional Chinese medicine on in vitro fertilization outcomes.  Lee E. Hullender Rubin, Michael S. Opsahl, Klaus Wiemer, Scott D. Mist, Aaron B. Caughey

Local News Media:

Seattle Times Article on Acupuncture as Infertility Therapy

Organizations and associations related to infertility and women’s reproductive health:

American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)

International Council of Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID)

RESOLVE

American Fertility Association

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association

The Endometriosis Association

Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology

Reproductive Medicine & Fertility Clinics in Washington - Board-Certified Reproductive Endocrinologists:

Seattle Reproductive Medicine  

Pacific Northwest Fertility  

POMA  

Overlake Reproductive Health  

Washington Center for Reproductive Medicine

Books & CDs:

Taking Charge of Your Fertility, The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health.  by Toni Weschler

The Infertility Cure by Randine Lewis, PhD, L.Ac.

Fertility Wisdom:  How Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Help Overcome Infertility.  by Angela C. Wu, Katherine Anttila, and Betsy Brown 

Feed Your Fertility by Laura Erlich & Emily Bartlett

Cooking for Fertility by Kathryn Simmons Flynn

Circle + Bloom  Guided meditations (downloads or cds) for fertility and other reproductive health issues.

Fertility Friend - Free online ovulation and menstrual cycle tracking and charting program