Women’s Health: Menstruation, Fertility, Pregnancy, Menopause, and Stress Relief.
A woman’s body goes through many different hormonal cycles in the course of a lifetime. These changes start at puberty with menstruation, then again with pregnancy, and eventually through menopause. A woman’s body is in a constant state of change. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine work to restore hormonal and emotional balance and overall vitality to women during any stage of their journey.
For menstruation, acupuncture and Chinese Herbs can help with symptoms such as: irritability, emotional instability, cramps, breast tenderness, digestive issues, clotting, and headaches. Acupuncture can help regulate the menstrual flow without the aid of birth control pills by helping to achieve the correct rhythm and flow of the period while working on the endocrine system to restore better hormone function to decrease headaches, cramps, digestive upset, clotted or heavy flow and breast tenderness.
Not only can acupuncture help with regulating the menstrual cycle but it can help with fertility and those trying to conceive. The inability to get pregnant can be due to unforeseen reasons, fibroids, lack of ovulation [anovulation], luteal phase deficiency, endometriosis, PCOS, and low sperm count or motility issues [in men]. For women trying to get pregnant, acupuncture and herbal medicine promote conception by boosting blood flow to the pelvic organs, providing them with better nourishment, normalizing FSH levels, balancing estrogen and progesterone levels, increasing follicle size and improving and strengthening the lining of the uterus; therefore, promoting conception and a healthy, full-term pregnancy. Acupuncture not only helps the body get ready to be pregnant but helps women relax and de-stress so their bodies are able to become pregnant more easily. Stress causes the sympathetic nervous system to be over stimulated causing blood flow to be diverted away from the ovaries and uterus to the adrenals instead. This contributes to a potential inability to become pregnant.
Acupuncture helps many women get pregnant with or without the additional use of conventional methods such as IUI or IVF. Our acupuncturists have years of experience treating women who are using IUI, IVF and embryo transfer in conjunction of acupuncture with great success. Many women use Clomid to help promote ovulation during IUI. However, Clomid often causes the uterine lining to become thin, which is detrimental to becoming pregnant. Acupuncture can help the uterine lining to thicken and become more uniform. This is a result of increased blood flow to the uterine arteries which then aids in the ability to get pregnant.
In a recent study Influence of Acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo ART. Fertility & Sterility Vol77 April 2002 it showed that: “Acupuncture May Improve Success Rate of IVF Pregnancies: Patients in the acupuncture group received two acupuncture sessions – the first treatment 25 minutes before embryo transfer, the second treatment 25 minutes after. In the acupuncture group, the pregnancy rate was considerably higher – 34 women (42.5%) were carrying a fetal sac at the time of examination. While In the control group, the presence of a fetal sac, the scientists’ criteria for a clinical pregnancy, was found in 21 women (26.3%)”*
The acupuncturists at Modern Point not only treat women for infertility but treats men as well. “According to statistics from the National Infertility Association (an organization also known as RESOLVE), between 35 percent and 40 percent of infertility problems among couples are actually from male conditions. Several factors may be responsible for male infertility, including low sperm count, abnormal sperm shape and size, and reduced motility. Lifestyle, genetics, and physiological changes can also raise or lower male fertility levels, and can significantly affect a man’s ability to produce offspring. Compared to the control group, motility levels increased significantly in semen samples in the men receiving acupuncture. While median motility levels increased from 32% to 37% in the control group, they increased from 44.5% to 50% in the acupuncture group.”**
During menopause, acupuncture and herbal medicine can eliminate hot flashes, night sweats and sugar cravings while promoting weight loss and better sleep patterns. It can also relieve pain, emotional stress, and stabilize mood swings. Acupuncture treatments can also minimize osteoporosis and poor mental function by increasing clarity and focus while also treating anxiety and depression often associated with menopause.***
We recommend patients come in for acupuncture treatments once or twice a week to help with any of these conditions. To help regulate period cycle and work on fertility, we recommend one treatment a week for three complete period cycles.
* “Relaxing the uterus with Acupuncture treatment allows for more successful IVF.” www.acupuncturetoday.com/archives2002/jul/07ivf.html
**Thus, acupuncture improves sperm count, motility, and morphology. www.acupuncturetoday.com/archives2005/oct/10infertility.html
*** Acupuncture As Hormone Regulation Therapy http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=32427