In recent years acupuncture has been increasingly used as an alternative and complementary treatment to Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), especially acupuncture Bellingham. Although there are only a few clinical studies published outside China to support this ancient therapy in the treatment of female infertility, reports from patients who have tried it are very favorable.
According to recently published clinical studies, acupuncture can:
- increase the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF) by 42%, with pre & post transfer acupuncture
- relieve stress related to infertility and its treatment
- improve the production and quality of ova
- normalize the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and menstrual cycle
- reduce the risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy
- provide an alternative treatment for patients who are intolerant, ineligible, contraindicated or simply cannot afford conventional infertility treatment
Pathology of female infertility in traditional Chinese medicine
As you can imagine, the pathology of female infertility in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be very complex. The terms used in TCM, such as Kidney, Liver and Blood, have different meanings from those of Western medicine, and are capitalized here to show that the meaning isn’t the same. They are widely used for lack of better translations. If you’d like to learn more about TCM and infertility, refer to the three books recommended at the end of this article.
According to a study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, liver Qi (vital energy) Stagnation and Kidney Deficiencies account for 51.7% and 22.4% of female infertility patients. This conclusion is hardly surprising when you consider current lifestyles and the demography of many female infertility patients. Kidney (whether Yin, Yang or Essence) Deficiency on the other hand is often the result of a very demanding lifestyle and the natural process of aging.
These percentages confirm my own clinical observation which is that younger infertility patients tend to have Liver Qi Stagnation and older (over 40) patients tend to have Kidney Deficiency. However, it’s important to understand that this finding is just one piece of the puzzle as almost all fertility patients show more than one pattern.
According to TCM theory, the liver plays a vital role in the reproductive system. In time, Blood Stasis may cause endometriosis, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts, dysmenorrhoea, irregular menstruation and scanty menstruation, which are all known contributors to female infertility.
The kidney is the most important organ in the reproductive system, and any aspect of kidney deficiency, whether Yin, Yang or Essence Deficiency often leads to amenorrhea, anovulation, a small uterus, thin endometrium, low ova quality and premature ovarian failure.