There are four major categories of causes of infertility:
- Ovarian factors: poor egg quality, anovulation (no ovulation), irregular FSH levels
- Fallopian tube factors: Fallopian tube blockage
- Uterine factors: fibroids, endometriosis, poor quality endometrial lining
- Cervical factors: poor quality cervical mucus, anti-sperm antibodies
When recurrent miscarriages happen very early on in the pregnancy, we also consider immunological factors and sub-clinical blood clotting disorders as causes of infertility. This is one particular time in which an acupuncturist should be working closely with a reproductive immunologist or reproductive endocrinologist. Acupuncture and Western medicine together can help women become pregnant even after a repeated miscarriage when an integrated approach is taken.
Acupuncture theory interprets these causes of infertility in different terms based on how the symptoms appear in the person. Because acupuncture treats every person as an individual, acupuncture treats infertility as different in each woman. When you come in for your appointment, we’ll be happy to talk to you about how Western medical diagnosis aligns with Chinese medicine diagnosis.
How is infertility approached by acupuncture?
Our first step in working with infertility through acupuncture is talking. We do a thorough interview to get to know you – we talk about your health overall, your periods, your diet, your sleep, everything we can – and build a picture of who you are as a person. We may ask you to do basal body temperature (BBT) charting so we can understand more about your menstrual cycle. We then take all of this information and look at it through the lens of Chinese medicine to make a diagnosis. We let the diagnosis inform how we treat you with acupuncture. Herbal medicine, diet and lifestyle changes can also help treat the signs and symptoms associated with infertility.