Fertility

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been treating infertility in men and women for thousands of years through acupuncture, Chinese herbs, dietary therapy, and lifestyle modifications. Whether you are trying to conceive on your own or with the assistance of modern technology, we can help.

Natalie Zajac, L.Ac. has had extensive training and many years of experience as an acupuncture fertility specialist. She has had great success in improving ovarian reserve, and in treating various disorders, like endometriosis and PCOS, that can make it difficult to get pregnant. Natalie has found that in restoring overall health, the reproductive system is also revitalized with acupuncture. This results in not only a better quality of life, but is conducive to a happy healthy pregnancy as well.

In addition to helping many women conceive naturally with acupuncture, Natalie has worked with hundreds of patients going through IUI, IVF, and other ART treatments, so she is very familiar with these medical protocols and how to optimize your chances of success. She works with several reproductive endocrinologists in the Denver area and has attended hundreds of embryo transfers.

Female Infertility

The American Pregnancy Association has reported the most effective fertility treatments comprise a combination acupuncture, herbal medicine, and effective medical interventions.[2] The British Medical Journal published in a study on fertility that compiled all of the current research data on the effects of acupuncture and IVF. Of the clinical trials investigated, the team of researchers reported that almost all trials reported positive findings. And altogether, they showed a 65% increase in pregnancies, an 87% increase in continuing pregnancy, and a 91% increase in live births.[3]Acupuncture can also work to stimulate egg production in women who are not undergoing IVF. When used in conjunction with western fertility treatments, acupuncture increases conception rates by 26%. A recent fertility study from Tel Aviv University reports, “When combining IUI with TCM treatments, 65.5 percent of the test group were able to conceive, compared with 39.4 percent of the control group, who received no herbal or acupuncture therapy.”[4]Additionally, acupuncture can help when the lining of the uterus is too weak to sustain a pregnancy, causing recurrent miscarriages. By increasing blood flow to this area, the lining may be better able to absorb the nutrients and hormones necessary to help it grow strong enough to hold onto an implanted embryo.[1]

Recent studies were analyzed by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical Center[1], and reported that acupuncture has the following potential fertility-boosting benefits:

  • Increases blood flow to the uterus and therefore uterine wall thickness, which helps in ovum to implantation
  • Boosted endorphin production, which, has been shown to effect the release of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), involved in regulating reproduction
  • Lowers stress hormones responsible for infertility
  • Normalizes fertility hormones: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), lutienizing hormone (LH), estradiol (E2), and Progesterone (P)
  • Positively effects the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, a key process in fertility
  • Helps women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal imbalance present in three percent of adolescents and adults.

Male Factor Infertility

There are numerous studies citing the benefits of acupuncture for male factor infertility. Regular acupuncture treatments significantly improve sperm counts and motility (the strength with which the sperm swim). In a study published in Fertility and Sterility, researchers analyzed sperm samples from men with infertility of unknown cause before and after acupuncture treatments. They found that acupuncture was associated with fewer structural defects and an increase in the number of normal sperm.[5]

Acupuncture is also proven to increase the number and ratio of normal-form sperm; significantly decrease the number of anti-sperm antibodies (AsAb) in male immune infertility, and increase the quick sperm motility. (Zhang 2002, Gurfinkel 2003, Fu 2005, Dong 2006)

References:
1.^Acupuncture has numerous potential fertility-boosting benefits according to New York Weill Cornell physician-scientists. news.cornell.edu. 2003.
2.^Dr. Mike Berkley. Infertility And Acupuncture. americanpregnancy.org. 2015.
3.^Manheimer E, et al. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: systematic review and meta-analysis. British Medical Journal.February 2008;336:545-549.
4.^Keren Sela, et al. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment for women undergoing intrauterine insemination. sciencedirect.com. 2011. 5.^Jian Pei, Ph.D., et al. Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. fertstert.org. 2004.