Natural Fertility Cycles
“Acupuncture & Chinese herbal medicine combined may assist in supporting your fertility cycles the natural way.”
Natural Fertility Cycles
NATURAL FERTILITY / FAMILY PLANNING
Some women who hope to have a baby prefer not to go down the IVF route and to just try naturally. This is commonly referred to as ‘natural fertility’.
Others have made a choice to not have children (or more children), many prefering not to take oral contraceptive pills or use implants, injections or IUD’s. This is often referred to as ‘natural family planning’ – a combination of the rhythm method, basal body temping and cervical mucous observation.
In both instances you need to know when you are ovulating and if your menstrual cycle is irregular this can make tracking ovulation problematic – there is the potential risk of either missing ovulation or perhaps even finding yourself accidentally pregnant.
We notice that many women who come to us for assistance are often seeking guidance & assistance developing strategies regarding issues such as:
- how to identify ovulation
- timing intercourse when trying for a baby/trying not to conceive
- type and intensity of exercise when trying to conceive
- how to record the menstrual cycle
- what tests might be helpful
- unbiased recommendations
- dietary suggestions
In this way Ngaio works as Fertility Coach.
Herbal medicine works on a different level to acupuncture which is why traditionally they are often used together, they work synergistically like hand in glove. Over the centuries, Chinese Gynecologists wrote herbal prescriptions according to the individual patients diagnosis and we were taught this approach too. Because of this individualised prescription approach it can be difficult to prove efficacy using quantitative research methods.
Menopause is absolutely part of the natural fertility cycle – it’s just the other end of it that’s all.
Through the eyes of Chinese medicine, all our symptoms are inter-connected. So we might ask you questions about your stress levels, your menstrual cycle and your sleep, for example. It may seem that some of the questions we are asking are a little unusual however this information can really assist us in pinpointing (pun intended) the reasons your symptoms have manifested.
Acupuncture has been shown to be effective (‘References’ under ‘General Acupuncture’) in improving:
- sleep quality and quality of life in primary insomnia, also in secondary insomnia including menopausal, peri-menopausal, post-menopausal and depression-related.
- quality of life and symptoms such as hot flushes in menopausal women.
How Can Acupuncture Help You?
Most people automatically assume that we here at Breathe Acupuncture work with women who are trying to improve their fertility but we do also work with men.
It is very important that both parents are healthy when trying to conceive. After all, each partner donates DNA during the creation of an embryo, however for whatever reason, often treatment for below par male fertility can be overlooked and it does take two of you to conceive.
If you have been trying to fall pregnant for a while without success we might suggest that your partner have their sperm analyzed so that we can offer effective advice or treatment.
Following are links to pertinent research regarding acupuncture and male fertility. You might like to grab a cup of ‘herbal tea’ and settle in for some light reading!
Randomised clinical trial of comparing effects of acupuncture and varicocelectomy on sperm parameters in infertile varicocele patients . Kucuk, E. V., Bindayi, A., Boylu, U., Onol, F. F. and Gumus, E.
Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Pei J et al.
Effect of acupuncture-moxibustion therapy on sperm quality in infertility patients with sperm abnormality . Chen, A., Shen, A., Li, R. et al.
A prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia. Dieterle et al.
When is a Good Time For Treatment?
The amount of treatment for any condition & regardless of your gender of course depends on your individual situation & should be discussed with your practitioner.
However in terms of timing your treatments, you can have acupuncture at any point in your cycle but ‘general rule of thumb’ when working with the menstrual cycle is to coordinate acupuncture sessions with your menstrual cycle. For example, many of our patients schedule appointments for just as menstruation is tailing off or right on (or a day or two prior to) ovulation. These timings are not hard and fast ‘rules’ but offered as suggestions should you be wondering.
You might consider using acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine if you have a functional, rather than a structural issue behind your fertility challenge. For example, structural ‘infertility’ would be damaged fallopian tubes, a blockage in the sperm ducts or issues that may require surgical intervention. However if the challenge to your fertility is functional, then you might choose to explore this medicine further.
See also IVF Acupuncture
Chinese Herbal Medicine Research in Relation to Fertility
Following is some more ‘coffee time reading’ on Chinese herbal medicine in relation to fertility:
Effect of Zishen Yutai Pill on Embryo Implantation Rate in Patients Undergoing Embryo Transfer . ZHU Wen-jie et al, C JIM (Chin)
Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Zishen Yutai Pill, Ameliorates Precocious Endometrial Maturation Induced by Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation and Improves Uterine Receptivity via Upregulation of HOXA10 . Qi Gao, Lu Han, Xiumei Li, and Xia Cai
Effects of traditional Korean medicine on anti-Mullerian hormone inpatients with diminished ovarian reserve: A retrospective study. Junyoung Jo, Myung Ja Kang, Jin Moo Lee, Hyunho Kim, Ui Min Jerng
Oocyte quality improvement using a herbal medicine comprising 7 crude drugs . Inoue T et al.
“Pioneer” Introductory Package
Curious to try out some acupuncture and cost-effectively? Our “Pioneer” Introductory Package is currently available. You get an initial consultation & two follow ups treatments for $207 (a saving of $38). And if you’re in a health fund with ‘Extras’ cover you can claim back more of this cost on top of the savings as well.
Healing Room, 199 Deep Creek Rd,
By appointment only
Ngaio Richards on +61 0414 692 901