Acupuncture for miscarriages
Reoccurring miscarriage is the repeated loss of a foetus during pregnancy. Sometimes its difficult to tell if you are having a miscarriage or if its an early signs of pregnancy.
In the UK, any pregnancy loss before 24 weeks is termed a miscarriage, whilst after 24 weeks it's known as a stillbirth. Recurrent miscarriage seems to be on the increase. Reasons for this are unknown and unfortunately the NHS will not investigate the causes until a woman has had three miscarriages.
Miscarriage can be devastating, and can take time to recover emotionally. Counselling, as well as acupuncture, is important during this time as it gives support and helps the body find its hormonal balance again.
Roughly 20% of pregnancies fail in the first trimester. This rate increases by 10 in women 40 years of age compared to those of 35. In about half of all first trimester miscarriages (12 weeks), chromosomal abnormalities are present; 50% are autosomal trisomy, 20% 45XO monosomy, 20% polyploidy and 10% other various abnormalities.
In such cases, it is best that these abnormalities miscarry early on rather than go on and develop any further. In the second trimester, the chance of chromosomal abnormalities drops to 20% overall.
In traditional Chinese medicine, chromosome abnormalities are related to a jing deficiency, where the amount of jing contained in the embryo was too low. This can be due to a deficiency from either parent's gamete. The incidence of this occurring is often greater in IVF cycles where the woman’s ovaries have been forced to produce multiple eggs and the egg quality is then reduced.
In such cases, it is advisable to prepare the body before undergoing another IVF cycle.
Treatment for reoccurring miscarriage
As acupuncture helps to regulate blood flow to the uterus it helps to nourish and feed the embryo, as well as regulate immune factors that could be preventing implantation, thereby reducing the risk of a threatened miscarriage. The stimulation of acupuncture points by a healthcare professional such as myself, can help to prevent miscarriage and offer emotional support to the woman.
Stener-Victori et al. (2003) Ovarian blood flow responses to electro-acupuncture stimulation at different frequencies and intensities in anaesthetized rats. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical 108, 50– 56.
Kim, et al. (2010) Acupuncture and immune modulation. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical 157, 38–41. doi:10.1016/j.autneu.2010.03.010.
Song et al. (2008) [Clinical observation on acupuncture for treatment of infertility of ovulatory disturbance]. [Chinese] Zhongguo Zhenjiu. 28(1): 21-3