Here is an overview of the most common fertility problems that i am helping people with:
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help address many types of amenorrhea (lack of a menstrual period). This includes exercise-
induced amenorrhea, PCOS , hormonal insufficiencies, and some types of imbalances with the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis.
I do provide customised treatments and herbal formulas based for each specific case to help the ovaries function normally and menstrual cycles to become regular.
I may also suggest some dietary and lifestyle changes to help support your treatments.
Endometriosis is probably the leading causes of pelvic pain.
It often seriously affect a woman’s ability to conceive and frequently cause uncomfortable, heavy or irregular periods.
Sometimes there are no symptoms associated with endometriosis and it is only discovered when a woman seeks treatment for infertility.
I use a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas aimed at improving blood circulation, clearing inflammation, relieving pain and treating the patient’s underlying condition associated with their endometriosis.
Many women experience periods that come irregularly each month, this can make trying to conceive difficult.
Irregular menses can be due to an imbalance in hormone fluctuations throughout the month. Acupuncture and Chinese or western herbs are effective in balancing hormones and stimulating regular ovulation, which helps regulate the menstrual cycle.
Ovarian cysts can cause pelvic pain and interfere with a women’s ability to conceive. They can be naturally occurring or as a side effect of some fertility treatments. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help resolve both.
POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME (PCOS)
PCOS is becoming an increasingly prevalent cause of infertility. Women with PCOS are not ovulating and many do not have periods or have irregular cycles. I now see an increasing number of patients with PCOS in my practice and have found acupuncture and Chinese herbs to be very effective at stimulating ovulation and regulating menstrual cycles.
DECREASED OVARIAN RESERVE
As women age, the ovarian reserve (or the capacity of the ovary to produce viable eggs) naturally decreases; for some women this decrease happens prematurely.
For other women, the right time to have children has come later in life and so a decrease in reserve can pose a problem with fertility. New recent studies show that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help women have been diagnosed with a decreased ovarian reserve to achieve a pregnancy.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a hormone released from the pituitary gland that tells the ovaries to start preparing an egg to ovulate each cycle. When women approach a premenopausal stage, the hormones regulating the menstrual cycle begin to fluctuate.
With time, it may become elevated, and higher levels are associated with decreased fertility. FSH levels fluctuate each cycle and can respond very well to treatments with acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine.
Most fertility clinics require FSH to be within a certain range in order to proceed with reproductive treatments, so regulating this hormone can be very important for fertility and the success of IVF
So many clinical trials has demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture used in conjunction with IVF sometimes a 100% increase in success rate with acupuncture vs. without.
Acupuncture increase success rates of these interventions byboosting blood flow to the ovaries during the stimulation phase of IVF and by improving the effectiveness of the drugs given.
It also relaxes the uterus and reduces uterine spasm after embryo transfer. Acupuncture also reduces stress, calms anxiety, and help with side effects of the fertility drugs.
During an IUI cycle, acupuncture can help increase conception rates by increasing the blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, improving the effectiveness of any medications used, and by assisting in the development of follicles and the uterine lining.
Acupuncture also helps to address uterine spasm around the time of potential implantation and can treat any side effects that arise from the fertility drugs.
LUTEAL PHASE FAILURE
When the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (the phase after ovulation until the menses or a pregnancy is achieved) is shorter than ten days, it is diagnosed as luteal phase failure.
Women with this condition often experience difficulty conceiving or recurrent miscarriage and often have low levels of progesterone.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help support the ovarian function, improve progesterone levels, and lengthen the luteal phase.
There are many causes of recurrent miscarriage, some of which can be addressed with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
As an experienced acupuncturist I can help determine potential imbalances leading to early pregnancy loss, and will refer to specialists for testing and conventional medical treatment when appropriate.
Studies have shown acupuncture prevent some types of miscarriage, so I recommend to continue acupuncture treatments into the first 12 weeks of pregnancies.
STRESS RELATED HORMONE IMBALANCE
Diet, lack of sleep, and stressful lifestyles can easily disturb hormones. Excessive and prolonged stress can lead to chemical changes in our bodies. Since many hormones are dependent upon one another to remain balanced, over time, excess levels of stress can lead to imbalances in the reproductive hormones, potentially affecting fertility.
Acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress and increase blood flow to the reproductive organs; used in conjunction with Chinese herbs it can work to regain hormonal balance of the entire body.
A diagnosis of unexplained infertility can be one of the most difficult to receive. Even though medical test might hold no explanation, there will commonly be subclinical signs which can be detected by the system of TCM that explains the reason behind infertility.
One of the many strengths of Chinese medicine is the emphasis on the menstrual cycle health and its ability to make subtle changes to the cycle that can improve fertility, even when no issues can be found with medical testing. With more than 40 years experience in natural medicine,
I know for most of these couples, a little natural help can go a very long way; in most cases, it is not a question of if they going to have a baby, but when they will have their baby
Chinese medicine has been shown in studies to help regulate the immune system.
In cases of autoimmune disorders and immunological fertility factors such as increased number of NK cells, acupuncture and specific Chinese herbs and mushrooms, can help calm an overactive immune system, to support a healthy pregnancy.
studies to help improve sperm count, motility, and morphology, as well as correcting some immune factors such as anti-sperm antibodies that can interfere with conception. Treatments that affect sperm quality in both Chinese medicine and Western medicine can take a minimum of 3 months, so it is best to start as soon as possible.
Sexual abstinence for over 7 days does not improve sperm quality or concentration. However, engaging in sexual activity every day or every other day maintain a stable semen quality.
Sperm sample for testing or for IVF:
Before providing a semen sample for testing or that will be used during the IVF, the man should be abstinent from 2 to 5 days.
The best sperm concentration is achieved after 2 to 5 abstinence days. The concentration is not too excessive, which can increase the appearance of free radicals and making spermatozoids slower, nor is it too little, contributing to a low fertilization rate.
Lifestyle and sperm quality
When men are trying to become fathers, they worry about how their lifestyles can affect fertility and how they can improve it.
Sport is one of the most questioned aspects. Many men wonder whether playing sports can negatively affect their sperm quality: regular exercise is generally good; However, excessive or extreme sports can cause some deterioration in both the quality and quantity since it requires strenuous training sessions and often some restricted diets.
Vitamin deficiency: vitamin A stimulates the production of male sexual hormones, vitamin B12 and folic acid improve morphology, vitamin C reduces chromosomal errors and, according to some studies, a vitamin E deficiency favours sterility.
Several studies demonstrate that an increased intake of antioxidant nutrients can improve infertility in males.
Antioxidants reduce the concentrations of reactive oxygen species in the semen. This is why they are so beneficial to improve sperm quality.
A well balanced diet is essential for high quality sperm production. Eating foods that are rich in fibre, low in fats and sugars, fruit and vegetables is of major importance for male fertility. The following minerals and vitamins are the most important ones:
Selenium and zinc
They are essential for testosterone production. They can be found in ginger, celery, eggplants, oysters, and chocolate.
It has a high antioxidant capacity, protects the whole reproductive system, and is needed for the production of progesterone. It can be found in eggs, milk, carrots, and melon.
It contributes to the improvement of sperm motility. It can be found in oranges, peppers, garlic, and almonds.
It has a great antioxidant capacity. It boosts sperm quality and can be found in sunflower seeds, peanuts, walnuts, asparagus, and boiled spinach.
Too tight clothes can affect spermatozoid production because they press the testicles against the body, increasing their temperature, which should be inferior to that of the organism. Placing a laptop on your lap also increases the temperature and can affect sperm quality.
While not drinking and smoking will not improve spermatozoid production, sperm will also not be damaged by those habits. When a man stops drinking and smoking, his spermatozoids regain their normal quality.
Antibiotics and anabolics contribute to the decrease of male fertility. It is also recommended to follow a Mediterranean diet and to increase the consumption of citrus fruit, in order to get more antioxidants
Women undergoing fertility treatment could have their chances of success boosted by acupuncture treatment> German researchers said they have increased success rates by almost 50% in women having in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
During pregnancy, many women are reluctant to take drugs in pregnancy and are looking for safe alternatives. Many common ailments associated with pregnancy are hard to alleviate conventionally but can be treated effectively with a combination of natural therapies. Acupuncture therapy, in particular, and homeopathy can help with:
FIRST TRIMESTER - 0-12 WEEKS
Nausea (morning sickness can be severe and often goes on until week 16) fatigue, stress, anxiety, constipation, miscarriage
SECOND TRIMESTER - 13-28 WEEKS .
There are still many common complaints that you may experience, which can make life more uncomfortable than it needs to be. Regular sessions of acupuncture can help to minimise many of these, particularly:
backache and sciatica, constipation and haemorrhoids, headaches, depression, heartburn
THIRD TRIMESTER - 28-40 WEEKS
Acupuncture has a valuable role to play in the final stage of pregnancy as well. In particular, it can help with: backache and sciatica pubic pain, haemorrhoids, breech babies, exhaustion, induction of labour.
Acupuncture therapy, Herbal medicine, Homeopathy.
I work with a number of well established, very experienced practitioners, so I can refer, when necessary for Osteopathy, Cranio-sacral osteopathy, Nutritional advice, Pregnancy Pilates classes, Pregnancy massage.
Pregnancy Pilates is probably the safest and most useful exercise for a pregnant woman, and I recommend pregnancy Pilates in a nearby studio, as well as postnatal exercise to help getting back into shape.
For both mother and baby, cranio-sacral osteopathy is a gentle yet powerful treatment very useful for alleviating birth trauma in babies, and fro the mother, before and after birth; two very experienced and qualified osteopath work in my practice and I often refer to them new born babies and their mums
I also offer homeopathy for labour and recovery form childbirth, homeopathy is also wonderfully effective for baby colic, and for teething.
Our friends from the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) run regular antenatal courses that are fully booked at least six month ahead.
I am happy to offer you a free twenty-minute initial consultation to introduce you to the wide range of resources available to keep you and your baby happy and healthy
Pierre jean cousin is the owner and manager of Cure By nature, a well established London acupuncture and complementary practice in Replingham road, Southfields he also works as an acupuncturist and herbalist at the London Kensington Therapy Centre.
London Acupuncture at Cure By Nature: clinics of acupuncture and complementary medicine at 95 Repligham Road London SW18 5LU and 211-213 Kensington High Street London W8 6BD