Acupuncture for Fertility, Pregnancy & Beyond
After graduating from my Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) program, I had no idea that a few years later I would spend much of my time working with clients on pregnancy-related care.
Whether it is helping women and men conceive naturally or with Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART), sustaining healthy pregnancies or helping with recovery after birth, my work with acupuncture and TCM are great natural options for many clients.
By stimulating the body’s internal processes, studies show that acupuncture helps with the regulation of hormones. In many cases, a hormone imbalance can be the underlying cause of issues with ovulation, difficulties with conception, and postpartum depression. Before, during and after pregnancy, acupuncture can be used as an alternative care method.
Getting and Staying Pregnant
In my practice, I’ve seen acupuncture treat many pregnancy-related issues. I’ve helped women who were diagnosed with premature ovarian failure restart their menstrual cycles. I’ve also helped women reduce high follicle-stimulating hormone levels in order to start their in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. Another difficult pregnancy-related diagnosis is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Given that TCM treatments focus on balancing and regulating important hormones related to PCOS, it too can be treated with acupuncture.
In addition to treating specific conditions, acupuncture can increase blood flow and nutrients to the uterus and ovaries. When undergoing acupuncture and TCM treatments, patients may notice more regular menstruation and ovulation, less pain, and increased fertility.
When it comes the “unexplained infertility” diagnosis, I always feel up for the task. In TCM, many fertility issues can be broken down into the most basic elements and treated accordingly. Although not guaranteed, a lot of women with fertility concerns can successfully conceive and maintain healthy pregnancies within six months of consistent treatment.
When it comes to conceiving, a lot of focus is placed on the woman. However, it takes two to tango; in men, TCM has been shown to increase sperm count and sperm motility.
Care During the 2nd and 3rd Trimester
Acupuncture and TCM can help alleviate many pregnancy-related symptoms including nausea, lower back pain and sciatica, heartburn, constipation, fatigue, pregnancy induced diabetes, anxiety and depression. This is just a short list of some of the common concerns that I’ve encountered in my practice.
Week 34 is considered the ideal time to start treatments geared towards correcting fetal positions for breech and posterior presentations. Later, weekly acupuncture treatments starting at week 36 help prepare the body for natural delivery by softening the ligaments of the pelvis and aiding in cervical dilation.
For women who are past their due date, acupuncture can be used to prevent medical induction that may otherwise increase the chances of other types of medical intervention.
The first three months after labour and delivery are considered crucial for ensuring full recovery from childbirth. Along with adequate rest and nutritious food, weekly acupuncture treatments are recommended. It’s best to start at two weeks postpartum for a total of three weeks of treatment in order to promote stamina and an efficient recovery. Acupuncture may also be useful in the postnatal phase to balance emotions, help perineal healing and breastfeeding problems.
For more specific issues, come visit me at Simcoe Place Health Clinic for a complimentary 15-minute consultation. I can help you discover how acupuncture and TCM can help you achieve your fertility and pregnancy goals.
To book your free consultation with Kandiss Fernando, R. TCMP, please click here.