Fertility Acupuncture Wellington
Acupuncture is a popular, safe treatment option for both male and female fertility support. Research shows acupuncture has positive effects that help support fertility including on reproductive hormones, ovarian and uterine blood flow, ovulation rate, stress, anxiety and healthy sperm count.
Acupuncture for Infertility
Acupuncture is used widely for both male and female fertility support. It is a safe treatment option that reduces stress and anxiety. In women it regulates hormones related to follicular development and implantation and improves blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. Studies show acupuncture can improve ovulation rate and endometrial thickness. In men it can improve the count of normal, healthy sperm. Acupuncture treatment often provides individualized insight into diet and lifestyle factors that may affect your fertility and underlying reason for difficulty conceiving. Treatment aims to improve women’s understanding of their body’s natural cycles and to know when they’re ovulating. It is also a treatment option for threatened miscarriage.
What is Infertility?
Infertility is defined as inability to get pregnant despite frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse (usually for over a year for most couples). Infertility can occur due to a number of reasons related to the male, female or a combination of both partners in a couple. At least 50% of problems related to fertility are related to male factor issues. Some women facing issues conceiving may have other symptoms such as irregular or absent menstruation or certain medical conditions such as hormonal imbalances, poly cystic ovarian syndrome or poor ovarian reserve. Some men may have hormonal imbalance signs such as changes in hair growth or sexual function, medical conditions such as testicular, prostate or sexual problems or low sperm count or other sperm problems.
Infertility according to Chinese Medicine
Chinese Medicine recognizes a number of different reasons why a couple may have trouble conceiving. I prefer to refer to treatments as fertility support than to treating 'infertility'. Chinese Medicine is holistic and refers to interrelationships, patterns and the concepts of Yin and Yang. Yin is cooling, moistening, still and calm while Yang is warming, active and moving. When Yin and Yang are in balance there is harmony. In simple terms, difficulty conceiving may be due to what is referred to as an imbalance of ‘Kidney-Yin’ (cold) and ‘Kidney-Yang’ (hot). ‘Kidney-Yin’ has some correlations to estrogen and sperm count while ‘Kidney-Yang’ shares some similarities to progesterone and sperm motility.
However, difficulty conceiving is not always as simple as this and patients often report a number of symptoms that are related to other patterns in Chinese Medicine. On examination the tongue may show other factors that need to be taken into account. Some women may feel cold below their belly button indicating what's considered 'cold in the uterus', in these instances moxabustion (moxa) treatment would be used. This type of treatment would most likely be utilised in treating low sperm motility also in men. Moxibustion involves burning a special herb over certain points on the body. Due to this, your acupuncturist will always take a detailed health history and ask about symptoms specific to you in order to identify the individual disharmony occurring for you, and treat you accordingly.
Lifestyle and diet factors prior to trying to conceive may have resulted in a deficiency in the ‘Kidney’ system (different to your physical Kidneys) that can be addressed in treatments. Examples include overwork with inadequate rest, poor diet and lifestyle habits, stress, constitutional deficiency, long term illness, stimulant intake and excessive sex (1). Some patients may have a history of frequent miscarriages. This is sometimes due to what's termed a 'slippery uterus' in Chinese Medicine, in which case diet changes may be important, or this may be associated with a bearing down sensation, urination urgency or leakage and a pattern of 'Spleen Qi Sinking' or 'Kidney Qi not firm' in Chinese Medicine which would involve a very different treatment approach.
Chinese Medicine has a lot to offer men and women in terms of diet and lifestyle advise to help self-manage some of their symptoms and help improve their chances of conceiving in combination with acupuncture treatment.
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Standard Treatment for Infertility
It’s important to remember infertility may be due to a number of underlying medical conditions or imbalances so treatment differs accordingly. Below are some of the main treatment options commonly offered by Fertility Associates New Zealand.
Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI)
Ovulation Induction (OI)
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Detailed information is available about these treatment options on the Fertility Associates Website at https://www.fertilityassociates.co.nz
What Happens in an Acupuncture Treatment?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine that is becoming increasingly more researched. It has a holistic approach, meaning it sees the individual person as a whole, and therefore sees the mind and body as being closely interconnected. Different acupuncturists will have different styles and approaches to treatment. Often, the treatment will involve taking your health history and discussing what you’re concerned about. You might discuss how long you’ve been trying to conceive, what symptoms you may experience, any related medical conditions or findings, if you have support and ways to cope with the emotional components related to trouble conceiving and what other treatment you may be receiving. Acupuncturists should be sensitive to your needs so if discussing this is difficult, it’s ideal they don’t push you and take a gentle approach. The acupuncturist will then examine your tongue’s shape, color, and coating, feel your pulse, and possibly perform some additional physical examinations depending on your individual health needs. Using these unique assessment tools, the acupuncturist will be able to recommend a proper treatment plan to address your particular condition.
To begin the acupuncture treatment, you lay comfortably on a treatment table while precise acu-points are stimulated on various areas of your body. Most people feel no or minimal discomfort as the fine, pre-sterilised needles are gently placed. The needles are usually retained between five and 30 minutes and the entire session will take up to 1 hour. Your acupuncturist may recommend and include other treatment techniques such as cupping, moxibustion and auriculotherapy (using ear seeds or tiny needles on points on the ear) with your permission if they are appropriate for your condition.
M: 027 439 6287
How Do I Choose the Right Acupuncturist?
At Tao Clinic, we hand pick the best and highly trained acupuncturists in the region. Our acupuncturists are recognized ACC treatment providers and hold a minimum four year Bachelor of Health Science that consists of a combination of both traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Biomedical training. To guarantee the standard of training and competency, we advise that you always verify that your acupuncturist is registered with one of the two regulation body for acupuncturist in New Zealand:
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