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Help for Secondary Infertility with Acupuncture

Help for Secondary Infertility with Acupuncture

by Christine Davis, L.Ac., MSOM

You have your perfect baby or toddler or big kid! You are so happy! It was pretty easy getting pregnant the first time. You took great care of yourself during pregnancy and had an uncomplicated birth. The first year was pretty difficult (sleep is soooo over-rated!), but you made it through ok. You decide it’s time to try for another baby! You start your prenatals, pull out the pregnancy clothes and get busy. One month goes by … and your period comes. Oh well, you must have missed the window. You were traveling, he was traveling, you had that event and were too tired the day you probably were supposed to try…. Three months go by… still nothing. Oh well, you were just unlucky. This time you’ll get an ovulation predictor kit and make sure you hit the window. Another couple of months with negative pregnancy tests….

Or maybe while trying for your second (or third, or fourth…), you become pregnant, only to suffer loss early on. You know your body is capable of this! You’ve done it once, so easily, and so perfectly before….

You decide it’s time to see the gynecologist. She runs all the basic tests – well, your AMH is a little off, but not worrisome. Your FSH is a little high, but that’s normal for your age. According to your Gyne, that shouldn’t be a problem. Or maybe everything is “perfect!” What gives?? Why is this happening and what can you do about it? Your Gyne just says “keep trying” and “come back if nothing happens in 6 months.”

What can you do to just get pregnant?!?

Secondary Infertility, the inability to become pregnant or maintain pregnancy in women who have previously carried to full term one or more pregnancies without using IVF or other assisted therapies, is much more common than is often thought. While there may be measurable issues (thyroid problems, endometriosis / painful periods, etc) that could contribute, many women find themselves in the “unexplained” category. But guess what? According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM, including acupuncture, herbs and associated modalities), there is no such thing as unexplained!

In TCM, there are many ways to evaluate and explain what is going on to cause difficulty conceiving. We go through your whole history – your pregnancy/pregnancies, periods before/after pregnancy, all other physical, mental or emotional symptoms you may be experiencing. We also look at your tongue and feel your pulse as primary diagnostic tools. All of this information together determines your TCM diagnosis. We categorize imbalances in terms of excess (inflammation, pain, swelling, etc) or deficiency (slow/low function, anemia, fatigue, etc). Treatment with acupuncture can help to balance the body and create health by strengthening areas that may be weak or clearing areas that may be stuck.

Acupuncture is also has a kind of “adaptogenic” effect, meaning that it can help to reduce the effects of stress on the body. Regular treatment can help you to cope with anxiety, worry, and most other emotional challenges, especially while struggling to become pregnant.

Things in your body can change (A LOT!) during and after pregnancy. Sometimes so much that it could be affecting your ability to conceive. You may have shorter or longer periods and cycles, you may have gained weight or struggle with a sluggish metabolism, and many other changes. Acupuncture therapy can help to get you back on track and find your healthiest self to not just become pregnant, but to sustain a healthy pregnancy and you!

And don’t forget about your partner/husband! Of those couples who struggle with fertility, there is almost a 50/50 split between male and female areas of concern. If he is resistant to trying acupuncture, remind him that it’s also great for that knee pain / back pain / allergies / heartburn / headaches / etc he has! We will do a full assessment and treatment for him, too.

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