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Dr. Karina Smith

How can acupuncture support your fertility?


pregnant belly only middle of body visible

Chinese Medicine and acupuncture can seem quite mysterious to the uninitiated.


Often times a person’s curiosity is peaked by great word of mouth of a good friend who had an amazing experience, and this is very common when it comes to seeking help with fertility.


Fertility is not just about getting pregnant, (although that is the major landmark event).


There are many stages and aspects of the journey that collectively create the right conditions for a healthy pregnancy and birth experience.


Fertility is a natural healthy state of being for a human body, however, in this modern day of high stress, long working hours, demanding careers, having a social life and wanting it all, conditions are not always right in the body for getting pregnant.


At my clinic in Newport 3015 Melbourne, I support lots of women throughout their fertility journey, from menstrual cycle regulation and ovulation health, pre-conception care, conceiving, all the way through their pregnancy (and supporting the improvement of their partners sperm health as well).


This article takes a look at the different stages of pregnancy, and how Chinese medicine and acupuncture can be extraordinarily helpful in bringing the body towards a state of harmony and balance for the fertility journey.



The following are the different stages of pre and post conception, where Acupuncture can support your fertility.


Pre-conception care.


In an ideal world, planning to have a baby might include a period of time preparing and nourishing the body and mind in the lead up to trying to get pregnant.


Some people just get pregnant, and that’s where the journey begins!


In Chinese Medicine we have wonderful diagnostic tools to help investigate where in a person’s body there are deficiencies, and how to bring them back into balance.


This is extremely relevant for both men and women, especially if they have been trying for some time.


There is often a lot of pressure put on women to do all the medical investigations, with some kind of preconceived notion that it is her body that needs support.


art depiction of sperm meeting egg

Astoundingly, we have seen a 50% decrease in sperm quality over the past 10-15 years across the world!


A good example might be that a couple has undergone further investigations which have revealed low sperm motility for example (the sperm are not swimming well), or low morphology (the sperm are malformed).


The great news is that acupuncture has been shown to help improve both the quality and the movement of sperm over a period of 3 months or more of consistent treatments.


A great reminder that is takes two people (and maybe some specialists in the mix), to make a baby, so all parties need to be on board with taking care of their health and getting the relevant testing done.


Another example could be that a woman has had some further blood tests and been found to be very low in iron. Chinese Medicine has a whole array of herbs and acupuncture protocols to nourish and tonify her blood.


Sometimes along the way there can be some unexplained reasons why a couple might not be conceiving.


A good practitioner will be able to respect the role of western medicine in your journey, and help you to take the right steps for further investigations if they are needed, for example ultrasounds, blood tests or physical exams.





Conceiving.


Whilst it would be highly inappropriate for your acupuncturist to be present for this part, there are lots of ways that Chinese Medicine can help couples get ready for conception.


If it is a natural conception, a couple may have been working with their acupuncturist to get a better understanding of when the woman is ovulating, and therefore how to plan the timing of conception. As well as making sure that the women’s menstrual cycle is really healthy leading up to this stage.


Acupuncture has also been shown to help support embryo transfers in IVF procedures for couples undergoing assisted conception.


IVF supported conception



Pregnancy


The support on offer from Chinese Medicine does not need to stop once a woman gets pregnant.


Often times patients will continue seeing their acupuncturist right through their pregnancy to support their minds, hearts and physical bodies. Especially as the body moves and grows with rapid speed.


Everything from morning sickness, heartburn, lower back pain, sleeping issues, can all be handled with care using acupuncture and herbal medicine.





Post-natal care.


A woman literally uses the minerals and blood of her body to make a baby.


What an extraordinary feat of nature!


Once that baby has come into the world, and especially if mum is breast feeding, those precious reserves need to be replenished.


Chinese Medicine is amazing at using herbs and acupuncture to nourish a woman’s blood. As well as giving her some quiet time on the treatment table to feel into her own needs and receive care.


At a time when getting a full night sleep feels miles away, and adapting to a small and wonderful new baby with a lot of needs, the postpartum time period can be exhausting and overwhelming.


new mum with baby

Being able to receive care and nourishment during this time, through meals, herbal support and hands on touch can be a really important part of recovery. Especially if there has been difficulty during the labour, unexpected surgery or procedures, or difficulty with lactation.




 



These are just some of the ways that Chinese Medicine and acupuncture can support the fertility journey.


If you have been curious to see how Acupuncture might help you on your fertility journey, have a search for a local Acupuncturist, or feel free to get in touch.



love Karina x







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