Infertility is defined as the inability to produce offspring in a healthy woman with a normal sexual life, who has been trying for a year. Western medicine shows medical causes for infertility, including ovulation or tubal problems, endometriosis and cervical factors. Infertility treatments may include prescription drugs or shots and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Instead of looking at the root cause of the problem, the symptom of infertility is addressed and treated, often with unwelcome side effects. While western medicine may be effective at times, it tends to work against the natural process of the body and cause severe hormonal imbalances and discomfort.
To be clear, we are not against western medicine. There are instances where western medicine is absolutely necessary and extremely effective. Western medicine is also fantastic for immediate, life-threatening issues. Infertility does not have to be a time to turn to western medicine, however. There are other, safer alternatives out there that will work with your body instead of against it.
Chinese medicine tells us that infertility is caused by blocked energy, or qi, somewhere in the body. This blocked energy creates an imbalance, thereby causing infertility. Several factors can contribute to these imbalances, such as poor health at the time of conception, overwork, lack of rest, excessive sexual activity at a young age, invasion of cold and overconsumption of greasy foods or dairy products. Infertility treatments in Chinese medicine include acupuncture and herbal supplements. These remedies will work with your body to correct imbalances and create a safe, healthy environment for a baby to be created. Acupuncture will also help the mind and body relax, so the stress of trying to conceive will not affect your ability to conceive.
An important thing to remember is every woman is unique and has a different combination of imbalances in the body. Acupuncture and herbs work to correct those imbalances so she can function normally and become pregnant. Patience is required, however, with this method of treatments. Conception could take anywhere from three months to a year, depending on the number and severity of the imbalances found in the body.
I have had quite a few patients come in for infertility problems. There was one in particular who had been trying to become pregnant with Western methods for two years and had become tired of the drugs and hormonal imbalances that she was experiencing. So she stopped all other treatments and decided to try acupuncture and herbs. After 3 months of regular treatments and dedicated herb-taking, she came in with a huge smile on her face. She was pregnant! She continued with treatment during her pregnancy and had a healthy, vibrant baby boy. She continues to be a patient to this day.
Lifestyle changes that could assist in the treatment for infertility include stress reduction and getting enough sleep. Stress reduction can be achieved by meditating, participating in yoga, taking a walk or a more drastic change, like leaving a high-stress job. Getting enough rest is very important. Short naps during the day or sleeping longer at night would be most beneficial. Even taking a 10 minute rest would help when there’s no time for an actual nap. Maintaining a well-balanced healthy diet can also help make you as strong and healthy as possible and prime you for the road ahead.
Infertility does not mean pregnancy has to be impossible. It may take longer than anticipated, but with the help of acupuncture, herbs and plenty of dedication, a healthy mom and baby is not so far out of reach.