At our Gold Coast Acupuncture Clinic, we want to help you achieve your desired health goals! When it comes to fertility, sometimes it’s easy to become focussed on conceiving and forget that the goal is having a healthy baby.
“Observational studies show strong links between health before pregnancy and maternal and child health outcomes, with consequences that can extend across generations, but awareness of these links is not widespread.” 1(pp1)
It is generally accepted that we are born with all the eggs we will ever have (although in recent years this has been called into question).2,3 What we do know, is that optimising your current health puts you in the best state to both conceive, and go on to have a healthy baby.1 “ A woman who is healthy at the time of conception is more likely to have a successful pregnancy and a healthy child.”1(pp1)
So, how does acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine help with women’s fertility?
- Acts on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis (ie how our brains and our ovaries ‘talk’ to each other)4
- Regulates reproductive hormones
- Regulates ovarian and uterine blood flow5
- Improves endometrial blood flow6
- Addresses inflammation if present 7,8 – important if you have endometriosis
- Improves oocyte (egg) quality10
- Decreases testosterone levels and improves the frequency of cycles in women with PCOS11
- Addresses stress and anxiety19 (which can impact your hormonal health)
Chinese herbal medicine:
- Positively influences “fertility indicators such as ovulation rates, cervical mucus score, biphasic basal body temperature, and appropriate thickness of the endometrial lining”.12
- A recent population-based study found that women experiencing infertility who use (prescribed) Chinese herbal medicine are more likely to have a successful pregnancy than women who do not.13
My preconception programs include a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, moxibustion (traditional infrared thermal therapy) and lifestyle advice, and are designed both for women planning to try to conceive naturally, or planning an IVF or IUI fertility journey. To experience the full benefit of preconception preparation, I recommend starting at least 3 months before you start trying to conceive. I work with women throughout their fertility journeys, from preconception, while trying to conceive/going through assisted reproduction, throughout pregnancy and postpartum.
Yana Francis is an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist working with women’s health, women’s fertility and pregnancy care. Yana has a double degree in health science and Chinese medicine (Acupuncture and Chinese herbalism) and has studied with leaders in the field of fertility and obstetric acupuncture & Chinese herbalism.
Yana Francis (Acupuncturist & Chinese herbalist)
Questions or still unsure if we can help you? Give us a call on 5531 6461 to chat to us, or you can book online with Yana.
© Haynes Acupuncture Gold Coast 2022
- Stephenson J, Heslehurst N, Hall J, Schoenaker D, Hutchinson J, Cade J et al. Before the beginning: nutrition and lifestyle in the preconception period and its importance for future health. The Lancet. 2018;391(10132):1830-1841.
- Evidence suggests women’s ovaries can grow new eggs [Internet]. the Guardian. 2022 [cited 20 June 2022]. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/oct/07/evidence-suggests-womens-ovaries-can-grow-new-eggs
- Johnson J, Canning J, Kaneko T, Pru J, Tilly J. Germline stem cells and follicular renewal in the postnatal mammalian ovary. Nature. 2004;428(6979):145-150.
- Chen B. Acupuncture normalises dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research. 1997;22(2):97-108
- Napadow V, Ahn A, Longhurst J, Lao L, Stener-Victorin E, Harris R et al. The Status and Future of Acupuncture Mechanism Research. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2008;14(7):861-869.
- Guo J. Exploring the effects of Chinese medicine in improving uterine endometrial blood flow for increasing the successful rate of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine. 2011;9(12):1301-1306.
- Bai H, Xu S, Wu Q, Xu S, Sun K, Wu J et al. Clinical Events Associated with Acupuncture Intervention for the Treatment of Chronic Inflammation Associated Disorders. Mediators of Inflammation. 2020;2020:1-10.
- Zijlstra F, van den Berg-de Lange I, Huygen F, Klein J. Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture. Mediators of Inflammation. 2003;12(2):59-69.
- Hullender Rubin L, Opsahl M, Wiemer K, Mist S, Caughey A. Impact of whole systems traditional Chinese medicine on in-vitro fertilization outcomes. Reproductive BioMedicine Online. 2015;30(6):602-612.
- Rashidi B, Tehrani E, Hamedani N, Pirzadeh L. Effects of Acupuncture on the Outcome of in Vitro Fertilisation and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection in Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Acupuncture in Medicine. 2013;31(2):151-156
- Johansson J, Redman L, Veldhuis P, Sazonova A, Labrie F, Holm G et al. Acupuncture for ovulation induction in polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2013;304(9):E934-E943
- Ried K. Chinese herbal medicine for female infertility: An updated meta-analysis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2015;23(1):116-128
- Liao Y, Lin J, Lin C, Tsai C, Lai H, Li T. Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment Associated with Female Infertility in Taiwan: A Population-Based Case-Control Study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2020;2020:1-11.