About one in 10 couples in the United States struggle with infertility. Infertility is defined as an inability to get pregnant after 12 months of actively trying to conceive. There are numerous known causes of infertility, but often the cause is unknown. Biomedical treatments for infertility include hormonal injections and assisted reproductive technologies such as IUI (intrauterine insemination) and IVF (in vitro fertilization.)
If you are struggling to get pregnant, either on your own or with treatments like IUI or IVF, it can be very taxing both physically and emotionally. But no worry, there are many natural routs to take as well. Acupuncture for infertility has been shown to improve rates up to 60%. Here are some other suggestions of things to do at home to increase your chances of conception and to make the whole process more bearable.
Learn Your Cycles:
If your infertility is undiagnosed, or unexplained it is very important you start paying attention to your menstrual cycles. A healthy menstrual cycle should be 28 to 32 days, and you should bleed for four to seven days. Ideally, you won’t have any cramps or discomfort with the period, and bleeding will not be overly heavy or too light. Blood will be fresh red and will not have any clots. If your periods differ from this in any way, it can be a sign of subtle changes the body needs to make in order to conceive and carry a child. You should learn how to tell when ovulation occurs. Many women can tell when they ovulate based on a change in vaginal discharge, or by their basal body temperature. You can also use over the counter ovulation kits to test when ovulation is occurring. If there are any issues with your period, acupuncture is a great tool to use to regulate your menstrual flow. Through acupuncture treatments for your period, you will have less clotting, cramping and an overall healthier flow.
Our acupuncture in Encino Sherman Oaks adjacent, specializes in acupuncture treatments for fertility. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our encino acupuncture office and speak to one of our fertility acupuncture specialists.
Acupunture points for Infertility:
SP6: Located on the medial side of the lower leg, four finger widths up from the medial malleolus (ankle bone), on the border of the tibia. Spleen 6 strengthens the body’s Qi and blood, which are necessary resources for conception. It also nourishes the body’s yin energy, which is the receptive, feminine energy and essential to a healthy pregnancy.
KD3: Kidney 3 is located on the medial (inner) ankle, at the deepest point of the depression between the achilles tendon and the high point of the medial malleolus (ankle bone). This point strongly nourishes the energy of the kidneys, which govern hormone levels, growth and reproduction. It strengthens both the yin and yang of the kidneys – yin is receptive and water, whereas yang is the hot fiery aspects of our being – an imbalance between the two forces is frequently a contributor to infertility.
KD16: Located just to the sides of the belly button, Kidney 16 nourishes both the kidneys and the heart. This point is particularly helpful at treating an imbalance known as the “heart and kidney not communicating.” It therefore can work on regulating hormones and strengthening our reproductive abilities, but it also calms the mind and helps to root the mind back into the body. It is important when there is stress surrounding the infertility.
SP8: Spleen 8 is located on the medial lower leg. It is four finger-breadths towards the toes from the very bottom of the knee. To locate the point, just roll off the shinbone and palpate until you find a tender spot in the area. It is an essential point for moving energy and blood in the uterus, so is especially indicated if there is a history of fibroids, endometriosis or lots of previous medical procedures that may have left scar tissue. At our Encino Sherman Oaks adjacent acupuncture office we formulate acupuncture treatments for each individual to make sure they get the highest results. For further questions please visit our website or call our office and speak to one of our acupuncture fertility specialists.
When trying to conceive, pay extra attention to eating a healthy and balanced diet. Limit sugar, processed meat and dairy. Including foods that are nourishing to the kidneys is a good idea. These foods include kidney beans, black beans, barley, millet, tofu, fish, seaweed and eggs. It is also important to include blood-nourishing foods, particularly in the first half of your cycle, following the period and through ovulation. Lean red meat, dark leafy greens, dates, chicken, molasses, eggs, legumes, beets and mushrooms.
Give yourself a break:
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we talk about yin and yang. Yin is the cool, watery, passive, receptive energy of the body, while Yang is the hot, fiery, active, expansive energy.
Conceiving a child is the most yin thing our bodies can do. Unfortunately, infertility often necessitates a very yang approach to conception – actively tracking ovulation, going for blood work incessantly, constantly thinking about whether or not you are pregnant – these are all yang manifestations of who you are.
This contradiction is so hard for many women, but often a necessity. Be sure you take some time to nourish yin. That can sometimes, in and of itself, be the magic fix.