Whether you’re just getting prepared to start a family or it’s taking a little longer than you expected to conceive, there are steps you can take to give yourself the best possible chance of making your own babies! Acupuncture for fertility is something to seriously consider.
There are a number of factors involved. Many of us are leaving it later in life before starting a family. Environmental factors have a negative impact on our fertility. Compared to 50yrs ago, the fertility of both men and women has dropped.
For a woman, fertility is the ability to conceive and give birth to a baby. For a male, fertility is the ability to produce a certain volume of semen and number of viable sperm (motility/movement and morphology/shape). For both men and women, there are a number of factors which can affect fertility. Age is a factor for both sexes. Surgical procedures and medical intervention can help if you have a major issue but what about everyone else? Modern medicine doesn’t do much to regulate or improve reproductive systems that are generally ok but just not getting pregnant. This is where Chinese Medicine performs well. Herbs and acupuncture can help regulate the reproductive system to increase chances of pregnancy.
Treatment with Chinese Medicine for male infertility is much simpler than treatment for female infertility. Treatment for males often consists of a single protocol which can be left in place for say 6 months. Whereas treatment for females revolve around their individual menstruation.
Menstruation refers to regular and periodic bleeding. It generally occurs once a month from menarche at around 14yrs until menopause at around 49yrs.
The study of womens physiology in Chinese Medicine is covered in five categories.
- Menstruation – regular cyclic bleeding.
- Leucorrhoea – a liquid secretion in the vagina, which changes during the cycle.
- Pregnancy – the events occurring from fertilisation until birth.
- Parturition – Preceding childbirth and puerperium (the 6 weeks following delivery).
- Miscellaneous diseases
Internal treatment places emphasis on regulation.
Physiology of Menstruation
- Menarche: the first menstruation in a women’s life is called menarche. Menarche usually occurs between the ages of 13-15yrs, though it may range from 11-18. The exact age is influence by various internal and external factors.
- Menstrual Cycle: The first day of bleeding marks the beginning of the menstruation. It usually last from 28-30days. Although this length can vary it is important that the cycle be regular and that the period is not early or late by more than one week.
- Menstrual Period: The period refers to the length of menstruation. This normally lasts 3-7 days on average. The volume of blood flow is often scant on the first day, ample on the second and third, and gradually begins to decrease on the fourth day, persisting for not more than 7 days in total.
- Volume, Colour and Nature of Menses: The volume can be difficult to calculate. Generally 50-80mls is considered a normal amount. Ideally, the colour is described as dark red. It is not particularly thick or thin, does not contain blood clots and has no particular odour.
- Premenstrual Symptoms: Before menstruation there might be a slight distention of the breasts, soreness about the waist and mood fluctuations. These mild symptoms can disappear following the discharge of menstruation and are not regarded as diseases.
- Menopause: Menopause refers to the last time menstruation occurs. This is often recognised at least one year after it has ceased. It usually occurs between 45-55years.
These describe the idealistic reproductive stages and menstrual cycle. But many women have a very different experience. Is it a problem to be different? Not necessarily. But if it’s interfering with the desire to become pregnant then, yes it is. When using medical interventions like IVF, things get VERY specific. Timing is everything. Chinese Medicine theory is also very much about the timing.
Why regulating the period is important.
The menstrual cycle is a specific length of time to allow for the proper development of the egg (ovum), the building of the endometrium and then its release. Throughout the cycle, hormones like oestrogen and progesterone rise and fall. There are many factors but let me cover just a couple simple ones.
The length of the menstrual cycle is mainly dependent on the follicular stage. This is the time following the period when follicle develops to release a mature egg.
If the cycle is too short, generally the egg hasn’t had enough time to develop. Even if it becomes fertilised, it would be unlikely to grow into a viable foetus. Also the hormone changes that occur after ovulation don’t focus on developing a healthy endometrium which is required for successful implantation.
If the cycle is too long, the egg may be too old which also gives it less of a chance to be a viable foetus.
You may have heard of the ‘fertile window’, which is that time around ovulation when the chances of pregnancy are highest. At that time, fertile mucous from the cervix aids the sperm to get to the egg.
So if the egg is just ripe enough and the environment is helpful to the sperm, the opportunity for conception is high. We can use herbs and acupuncture to regulate the period to give a higher chance of pregnancy.
Chinese medicine is safe to use along side medical intervention or following surgical procedures for certain gynaecological disorders.
How does acupuncture and herbs help?
Acupuncture influences your nervous system. Your nervous system influences the production of hormones. Hormones are fundamental to the menstrual cycle. Using acupuncture at specific stages of the menstrual cycle can help to regulate the hormones to achieve a regular and more fertile cycle.
Herbs are also used to nourish and regulate blood and reproductive organs. Aligning their use with specific phases of the cycle can help influence the development of eggs, endometrium and the actual period itself.
If you are interested in knowing more please contact me on 0406 713 723 or use the online booking system.