The body’s ability to conceive rests on a myriad of organs and complicated processes. Because Chinese medicine is holistic (it focuses on the body as a unit and not just its individual parts), our goal is to get you as healthy as possible to increases your chances of conception. We want to make sure that all of your organ systems are functioning properly so that your body can create new life.
Studies have demonstrated the ability of acupuncture and Chinese herbs to regulate hormonal balance, resolve menstrual irregularities and enhance endocrine function (See the Research Pages). Also, Chinese medical theory believes that there is a connection between the emotional and the physical. Therefore, by connecting the Uterus with the Kidneys, Heart and Brain, we can impact how emotions affect endocrine function, as well as create a sense of peace and well being while trying to conceive.
If you have been diagnosed with any of the following by your physician, our experience shows that we may be able to help:
- Hormonal Imbalances – FSH, LH, TSH, progesterone, estrogen
- Thin endometrium (uterine lining)
- Ovarian Cysts
- Poor egg quality
- Poor quantity of follicles
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Uterine Myomas (fibroids)
- Tubal Blockage
- Unexplained Infertility
Did you know that it’s just as important for men to get treated with Chinese Medicine as it is for women while trying to conceive? Working with male factor is an often over-looked step in the pregnancy process, but one that we strongly suggest. Several studies have shown that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are often helpful for most sperm parameters.
Traditional Chinese Medicine can specifically work with:
- low sperm count
- decreased sperm morphology
- poor liqifaction
- decreased sperm motility
- prostate swelling
- pre-mature ejaculation
See the Research Pages page for research done with Chinese medicine and male factor.
Even if you are “bypassing” the male factor with IVF/ICSI, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are helpful for getting the sperm/male partner as healthy as possible for passing on his genes to the next generation. Everyone can agree that they only want the very best for their children.
TCM and IVF
As IVF statistics continue to increase, do we need acupuncture and Chinese medicine? Let’s go back. When I started Acupuncture Northwest in 2000, IVF success rates were being reported at 21.8% (1.). As of 2012, some IVF clinics are boasting up to 82.4% success rate (with women under 35) and 47.1% (with women 41-42 years of age) (2.). With all of this progress in the field of reproductive medicine, does acupuncture still have a place?
Absolutely! Chinese medicine has at least 3 major roles to play in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).
- Further increase IVF success rates, including an increase in blood flow to the ovaries and uterus (see the Research Pages).
- Decrease the side effects of the medications.
- Getting the parent(s) in the best health possible so you can optimize your health and the health of your unborn child through pre-conception care.
1. Data on IVF clinics show wide variation in success rate, BMJ. 2002 August 31; 325(7362): 460. PMCID: PMC1169457
Although we are credentialed with all of the major insurance plans in the State of Washington, at this time most insurance plans will not cover acupuncture for fertility enhancement. If you have acupuncture benefits with your insurance plan, we recommend that you check with your insurance plan before you come in to see if they will cover acupuncture for fertility enhancement or infertility. Here is a July 23, 2015 letter from an insurance company denying a patient for fertility acupuncture:
“Your condition does not meet medical necessity criteria or guideline at the time because:
Treatment to increase fertility is not considered medically necessary. Treatment to increase fertility is not treatment for a specific illness or injury; it is considered treatment primarily for your convenience. Treatment primarily for your convenience is not considered medically necessary. Fertility treatment is excluded from your acupuncture benefit and cannot be approved.”
Although we are more than willing to bill your insurance for issues outside of fertility, at this time, unless your insurance specifically allows for fertility acupuncture, we are unfortunately unable to bill your insurance. Feel free to call your insurance and tell them how you feel about this.