Infertility can be described as the inability for a couple to conceive after a year of trying, as well as the inability to carry a pregnancy to full term. There are many reasons why women and couples may experience infertility, including stress, age, genetics, reproductive structural abnormalities, sperm quality issues, hormonal imbalances and autoimmune diseases. Some of these reasons are difficult to treat, while others are simpler; most can be successfully addressed with Chinese medicine and acupuncture.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are helpful in treating infertility for many reasons. The meridians, or channels, in the body are treated with acupuncture needles in weekly sessions to boost substances such as qi (energy), blood, yin and yang. Taking a Chinese herbal formula in conjunction with the acupuncture treatments helps make the overall treatment of infertility a daily activity and helps to gain the best and often quicker, results. Custom herbal formulas can be prepared to directly address each patient’s specific diagnoses and symptoms.
Acupuncturists also offer dietary suggestions to help support the patient’s fertility, such as specific foods to support egg quality, uterine lining growth, relaxation, health digestion and more. When treating fertility, acupuncturists like to see their patients on at least a weekly basis to help regulate their menstrual cycle, adjust the herbal formulas as necessary and support potential pregnancy.
While acupuncture is typically given once a week, the Chinese herbal formulas are taken daily, often multiple times per day. Patients are also encouraged to relax the body by taking up meditation, yoga, tai chi or some other form of mindfulness practice.
Meagan Bretz, RAc, and Melea Alexander, RAc, are acupuncturists and Chinese medicine practitioners at Asian Healing Traditions clinic, located at 3200 W. Liberty, Ste. C6, in Ann Arbor. For more information, call 734-707-8890 or visit AsianHealingTraditions.com.