Acupuncture & Natural Therapies/ Melanie Myers


General Q and A

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Infertility and TCM
(Traditional Chinese Medicine)

Acupuncture increases chances of success in IVF by 65%
Women undergoing IVF were 65 percent more likely to become pregnant when they combined the procedure with acupuncture, a recent study has shown.

The remarkable success rate occurred across seven acupuncture trials involving 1,366 women in a systematic review and meta-analysis published in a February, 2008 issue of the British Medical Journal.

Acupuncture was delivered either just before or just after embryo transfer – the moment when the embryo fertilized in the laboratory must attach itself to the wall of the womb to establish a pregnancy.

The research was carried out by scientists from the University of Maryland in America and the VU University Amsterdam in Holland. Researchers claim that because acupuncture costs only about $75 per session compared to $6000 to $10,000 per cycle for IVF, it would be a cost effective, safe and efficient way of boosting success rates in fertility treatment.

It is thought that acupuncture stimulates the neurotransmitters that trigger the production of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone, which controls the menstrual cycle and a woman's ovulation.

Acupuncture is also thought to stimulate blood flow to the uterus and boost the production of endogenous opioids, inducing the body to relax.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, infertility affects 6.1 million American women and their partners or about 10 percent of the reproductive age population. Approximately one-third of infertility cases can be attributed to male factors, and about one-third to factors related to the female partner. For the remaining one-third of infertile couples, infertility is caused by a combination of problems in both partners, or in about 20 percent of cases, is unexplained.

The most common reasons for male infertility include azoospermia (no sperm cells are produced) and oligospermia (few sperm cells are produced). In some instances, sperm cells are malformed or they die before they can reach the egg. Many people do not know that acupuncture has been shown to improve sperm quality, as detailed in the July 2005 issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility.

The most common female infertility factor is an ovulation disorder. Ovulation is the process which occurs 13 to14 days after the first day of bleeding. In this part of the menstrual cycle, the high level of estrogen secreted by the ovaries triggers a release of luteinizing hormone (LH). This surge in LH causes the egg to be expelled into the fallopian tube. Other causes of female infertility include blocked fallopian tubes, which can occur when a woman has had pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis (a sometimes painful condition causing adhesions and cysts). Congenital anomalies (birth defects) involving the structure of the uterus and uterine fibroids are associated with repeated miscarriages.

A normal menstrual cycle ranges from 25 to 30 days, with the average cycle lasting 28 days. During the first five days (with day 1 being the first day of bleeding), the estrogen level is low and the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) level rises, stimulating a dominant follicle that later ruptures and releases an egg during ovulation. As estrogen rises, FSH falls, and LH peaks to cause ovulation on Day 14. During the last 14 days of the cycle, called the luteal phase, the walls of the follicle collapse and form the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum secretes large amounts of progesterone, which helps prepare the uterine lining for implantation of the fertilized egg. Acupuncture before and after embryo transfer can significantly improve the pregnancy rate in women undergoing Assisted Reproduction Therapies (ART) such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), as seen in the April 2002 issue of Fertility and Sterility.

Chinese medicine, which consists primarily of acupuncture and herbal medicine, can treat infertility in women due to its effects on progesterone, FSH, LH, and estrogen levels.[5] For female patients, an acupuncturist will ask detailed questions about your menstrual cycle, such as whether it is typically early, late, or alternates between being early and late, as well as pre-menstrual symptoms. For male patients, questions may focus on genitourinary issues. For men and women, other questions relate to how your body is working in general, including digestion, breathing and temperature preference. The answers to these questions will allow your acupuncturist to make an accurate diagnosis in terms of Chinese medical theory. Once the diagnosis is made, the acupuncturist will choose specific points in which to insert the needles, and will choose specific Chinese herbs to create a customized herbal formula.

Finding a qualified acupuncturist that can also recommend herbal medicine may help you attain a healthy pregnancy. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine administers examinations to acupuncture school graduates upon completion of their masters degree. Upon passage of these exams, state licensing boards then scrutinize each applicant before awarding the acupuncture license.

By Lindsey Seigle L.Ac.
Guest Columnists Special Feature:

Dr. Rev.Melanie Myers L.Ac.
"It has been a true blessing helping women with Infertility issues,
seeing them get pregnant and
following baby and momma care through term of pregnancy.

With TCM, Women prepare thier body to not only become pregnant but to be able to carry a baby with no miscarriages.

Let me help you to do the same.

To set up an appointment so we can discuss your options,
Call 540-388-6989

Acupuncture & Natural Therapies/ Melanie Myers

Providing services in the following areas:
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Stafford, Caroline, Woodford, Thornburg,Spotsylvania, King George, Fallmouth, and more.

©2007 Melanie Myers, All rights reserved