Acupuncture for unexplained infertility
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Around 20% of fertility cases are categorised as unexplained infertility. This is frustrating for many couples, as it doesn't help them understand and solve the problem. Instead, it leaves them lost and stressed.
In my experience treating infertility, most patients tends to be a deficiency of some kind. The deficiency is often blood, yin, qi or yang (in that order of prevalence). Both blood and qi (energy) can be measured and therefore should be part of preliminary testing in fertility treatment. It's surprising that blood and qi are never picked up as being deficient in patients with unexplained infertility and is greatly overlooked by western medicine.
Blood and energy are pretty much the same in both Chinese and western medicines. Blood levels are routinely checked in western medicine, but their gauge as to what is a lack of blood or anaemia is narrow and more related to life threatening diseases. It does therefore not include infertility, which is more life optimising.
Qi is essentially energy and although it cannot be measured via a blood test, it can be measured through a questionnaire, similar in respect to how western medicine measures pain and depression levels. Yin and yang cannot be measured via a blood test but can be measured through a series of questions that highlight certain symptoms.
Most of the women that I see in my clinic who have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility are deficient of blood. This can be easily rectified through changes in diet, lifestyle, having regular acupuncture treatment and taking iron supplements,/
3. Acupuncture for unexplained infertility
Generally, the typical treatment for unexplained infertility is in-vitro fertilization, which often isn't necessary.
In minor blood deficient women who don't have too much energy expenditure, this is enough. However, in more chronic blood deficient women, i.e. those who work long hours or have a history of overwork, have exercised too much, or already have a child, Chinese herbs may need to be added to this treatment plan in order for them to replenish their blood levels to a point at which their fertility is improved.
This level at which fertility is improved varies from woman to woman and is important, as it lies at the crux of treatment. The body will absorb blood tonics given through an improved diet, supplements, acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
Unexplained infertility doesn't really exist. It's given this name because doctors can't find what's wrong. Often it's something simple which western medicine doesn't think of.
In Chinese medicine theory, unexplained infertility is often stress, or a deficiency of energy or blood flow to the uterus. There is evidence that acupuncture reduces stress and Chinese herbs and supplements boost energy and blood levels and can resolve other fertility problems.
Research studies have shown the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating stress, regulating the stress hormone cortisol and improving irregular menstrual cycles, which are often the causes of unexplained infertility. I can increase your chance of success in natural conception or with assisted reproduction at my private fertility clinic.
4. My Fertility Guide
Read more on how to improve your fertility in my self-help fertility book My Fertility Guide. Available as a paperback, Kindle and audiobook.
Park JJ, Kang M, Shin S, Choi E, Kwon S, Wee H, Nam B, Kaptchuk TJ. Unexplained infertility treated with acupuncture and herbal medicine in Korea. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Feb;16(2):193-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0600. Erratum in: J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jul;16(7):817. PMID: 20180693; PMCID: PMC2918430.