You are not alone! At least one in six couples in the United States struggles with issues of infertility. This statistic means that every month more than 7 million US couples experience the pain and disappointment of failing to conceive.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used for thousands of years to treat infertility and to optimize fertility function. This is achieved by the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbs to manipulate the flow of Qi and to nourish, support, and strengthen the Qi, the Blood, and the internal organs. By correcting imbalance and restoring health to the body, mind, and spirit, TCM can help enhance or restore both men’s and women’s fertility.
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine Increases Fertility By:
- Reducing anxiety and stress
- Strengthening the immune system and improving overall health & well-being
- Regulating menstrual cycle and treating endometriosis, fibroids and cysts
- Improving the ovarian function and blood flow
- Normalizing hormone and endocrine systems (such as FSH levels)
- Increasing blood flow to the uterus and increasing the thickness of the uterine lining
- Improving sperm counts, motility and morphology
- Significantly improving the success rate of IVF, IUI, and other assisted technologies
- Lessening side effects from hormonal treatments
- Increasing live birth and decreasing chances of miscarriage
Dr. Eileen Zhuo, founder of the ACM Center, was an OB/GYN doctor in China. She has performed nutritional consulting for the Federal Women, Infant, and Children Program (WIC). She has also worked as a laboratory assistant at the Reproductive Laboratory of the University of Washington. With knowledge, experience, and passion, Dr. Zhuo started her TCM private practice in the states in 1996. One of her specialties is women’s health care, with cases related to fertility comprising up to 70% of her total patient care.
Although all acupuncture clinics have treatments for infertility, they are not all the same. The care you receive at ACM Center feels comfortable, safe, and trusted. At ACM Center, we provide comprehensive and supportive programs for our patients. Whether you are interested in enhancing your fertility naturally or alongside Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) such as IUI or IVF, we will work with you as a team through the difficult journey of getting pregnant and having healthy babies.
Our Fertility Health Care Includes:
A. Preconception Care and Education – Planning for a health baby
The health of the parents before and at the time of conception, in addition to the mother’s health during the early times of her pregnancy have an important influence on the health of the baby. We recommend that patients undergo regular acupuncture treatments 3-4 months prior to conception (especially for an IVF cycle). Women’s follicles are recruited over a 3-5 month time period before being chosen for ovulation. This is why it is critical to allow adequate time during the preconception phase to balance Yin & Yang (hormonal activity). In addition, it takes at least 3 months for any treatments and healthy lifestyle habits to take effect. A woman can expect to have an improvement in egg quality four to six months after beginning initial treatment.
B. Consultation and Treatments
Over 60% of infertile couples are medically diagnosed as having an “unknown cause” for their infertility. Using TCM theories and diagnosis methods in conjunction with the medical diagnosis and test results, we provide acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, dietary supplements, and lifestyle recommendations. Not only do we focus on regulating the menstrual cycle to alleviate any pain or discomfort before and during one’s cycle, we also want to improve all systems of your body and mind.
- For natural cycles (and non-medicated IUI):
Specific treatments are used based on where you are in your cycle as well as on any imbalances during parts of your cycle (i.e. PMS). Treatments will always be aimed at regulating the menstrual cycle through acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Depending on your individual needs, you may be seen once per week during preconception, or only at certain times of your cycle (i.e. if you ovulate on a timely basis then you may be asked to come for treatment several times just before ovulation would normally occur). We have had many success stories with cases in which the patient had been told she could not conceive naturally, required a donor’s egg, or failed ART. It is amazing what the body is capable of once it is balanced and functioning optimally.
- For Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART)-IVF, ICSI, IUI & Superovulation: Each of the above technologies has its specific protocols. Studies have shown that acupuncture can improve IVF results.Rushing into ART without balancing and restoring one’s body and hormones is like going to the Olympic Games without pre-game training. This is why preconception care is recommended to bring one’s body to the best condition, both mentally and physically.You can still receive and benefit from acupuncture support during IVF without having any preconception care. When you are taking fertility medications (suppressing and/or stimulation), we provide 1-2 acupuncture treatments per week to assist with the ovarian response to the medications and to increase the thickness of the uterine lining. These treatments are performed until egg retrieval or IUI. After egg retrieval, additional treatments will be performed both before and after transfer of the embryo. Furthermore, weekly treatments will be continued until the pregnancy test.
C. Support during pregnancy
Treatment will be given to decrease the chance of miscarriage, morning sickness, depression, back pain/sciatica, and baby in breach position. Treatment will also be performed in preparation for labor (or labor induction) and breast feeding.
D. Postnatal support
Treatment will be performed for poor lactation, depression, and healing after C-section.