If you are struggling to get pregnant, either on your own or with treatments like IUI or IVF, it can be very taxing both physically and emotionally. Read more below on how acupuncture can improve your chances of conceiving.
Can you enhance fertility with acupuncture?
Let’s dive in.
About one in 10 couples in the United States struggle with infertility. Infertility is defined as an inability to get pregnant after 12 months of actively trying to conceive. There are numerous known causes of infertility, but often the cause is unknown. Biomedical treatments for infertility include hormonal injections and assisted reproductive technologies such as IUI (intrauterine insemination) and IVF (in vitro fertilization.)
If you are struggling to get pregnant, either on your own or with treatments like IUI or IVF, it can be very taxing both physically and emotionally.
Here are some suggestions of things to do at home to enhance your fertility with acupuncture and nutrition.
Enhance fertility with acupuncture: Learn Your Cycles
If your infertility is undiagnosed, or unexplained it is very important you start paying attention to your menstrual cycles. A healthy menstrual cycle should be 28 to 32 days, and you should bleed for four to seven days. Ideally, you won’t have any cramps or discomfort with the period, and bleeding will not be overly heavy or too light. Blood will be fresh red and will not have any clots.
If your periods differ from this in any way, it can be a sign of subtle changes the body needs to make in order to conceive and carry a child. You should learn how to tell when ovulation occurs. Many women can tell when they ovulate based on a change in vaginal discharge, or by their basal body temperature. You can also use over the counter ovulation kits to test when ovulation is occurring.
What acupressure points can help to enhance fertility?
Using these points is just one of the ways to help boost fertility with acupuncture principles.
SP6: Located on the medial side of the lower leg, four finger widths up from the medial malleolus (ankle bone), on the border of the tibia. Spleen 6 strengthens the body’s Qi and blood, which are necessary resources for conception. It also nourishes the body’s yin energy, which is the receptive, feminine energy and essential to a healthy pregnancy.
KD3: Kidney 3 is located on the medial (inner) ankle, at the deepest point of the depression between the achilles tendon and the high point of the medial malleolus (ankle bone). This point strongly nourishes the energy of the kidneys, which govern hormone levels, growth and reproduction. It strengthens both the yin and yang of the kidneys – yin is receptive and water, whereas yang is the hot fiery aspects of our being – an imbalance between the two forces is frequently a contributor to infertility.
KD16: Located just to the sides of the belly button, Kidney 16 nourishes both the kidneys and the heart. This point is particularly helpful at treating an imbalance known as the “heart and kidney not communicating.” It therefore can work on regulating hormones and strengthening our reproductive abilities, but it also calms the mind and helps to root the mind back into the body. It is important when there is stress surrounding the infertility.
SP8: Spleen 8 is located on the medial lower leg. It is four finger-breadths towards the toes from the very bottom of the knee. To locate the point, just roll off the shinbone and palpate until you find a tender spot in the area. It is an essential point for moving energy and blood in the uterus, so is especially indicated if there is a history of fibroids, endometriosis or lots of previous medical procedures that may have left scar tissue.
What foods to eat for infertility?
When trying to conceive, pay extra attention to eating a healthy and balanced diet. This is where using food as medicine is key. There are certain foods to avoid and certain foods to add-in.
Limit sugar and avoid processed meat and dairy. Add-in foods that are building and nourishing. These include kidney beans, black beans, barley, millet, tofu, fish, seaweed and eggs. It is also important to include blood-nourishing foods, particularly in the first half of your cycle, following the period and through ovulation. Lean red meat, dark leafy greens, dates, chicken, molasses, eggs, legumes, beets and mushrooms.
Give our office a call, (425) 686-4498 to schedule your consult today to see how we can help enhance your fertility and help the success of IVF!
Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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