Acupuncture for fertility is a hot topic – and has been for the past few years after research studies on acupuncture during IVF showed great results (more women got pregnant and stayed pregnant if they combined the two, essentially). I’ve worked with women hoping to fall pregnant for my entire career as an acupuncturist and it is very satisfying work. I also love teaching women about what happens each month during the menstrual cycle. And the good news is if you have any issues with your cycle – too short, too long, heavy or light flow, pain or PMS, acupuncture and herbal medicine are amazingly effective treatments.
So how do you enhance your fertility, naturally?
- Reduce inflammation in your body – by reducing inflammatory foods in your diet. This could be a whole blog topic, but the best place to start is to remove or vastly decrease sugar, gluten, fried foods (especially trans fats), and dairy from your diet. Reduction in caffeine and alcohol is also important. By changing your food habits, you can make a positive difference in the amount of pain/PMS symptoms you have which leads to a healthier reproductive system and an easier time getting pregnant.
- Take a high quality multi-vitamin, especially one with a wide spectrum of B vitamins. I like to recommend vitamins that are made from whole foods – brands like Rainbow Light if you are shopping at a natural grocery store, or Flouradix, which is a liquid, if you hate taking pills. Synthetic ingredients are just that, synthetic, and some vitamins are made from dubious materials (coal tar, yuck!). B vitamins are important because they reduce stress and stress is a big factor in fertility.
- Get enough sleep – or address your sleep issues before starting to attempt pregnancy. Sleep is really important for fertility as the endocrine system (your body’s hormonal system) functions best when you get adequate sleep. One of the best ways I learned this in practice was after treating a nurse who worked on the 3rd or overnight shift a few days a week. Her body started demonstrating an irregular ovulation pattern once she started working on this shift due to the irregular sleep patterns, both in duration and time of the day.
- Address other stressful aspects in your life – seek talk therapy, or a regular exercise routine, mediation practice or a happiness bringing hobby to help your body relax every day. Television is not intrinsically bad, but sometimes the television we watch produces anxiety (ummm Game of Thrones?), and so may not help our body to relax after a stressful day at work. Stress affects many aspects of health – not just fertility – and some stress is just part of life. It is important, though, to take time every day for the body to relax. And again, research shows that stress can affect fertility.
- Get your guy on board too – even though a lot of women are the focus of fertility treatment, men make a contribution too. If your husband or partner has an unhealthy lifestyle, it pays to get them on board with relaxation and healthy eating. It is especially important to eat foods high in zinc and vitamin E, and he should also take a high quality multivitamin. Some medications can also negatively affect men’s reproductive health. Remember, you both want the healthiest baby possible. And it definitely takes two.
- Come and get some acupuncture!!! I can’t tell you how much I enjoy helping women to achieve this dream. Acupuncture and herbal medicinals are very effective at getting the body ready for conception and pregnancy. You get customized care for your specific reproductive health, a time to relax, and support through the process as well as a higher likelihood of conceiving and staying pregnant.
If you would like to learn more about our fertility experience or services, or want a free 15 minute consultation, we are always here to help and would be glad to talk to you. Call us at 312-320-1968 to connect today.