By May 1, 2023
Spring has officially sprung, and we’re surrounded by signs of new life everywhere we look! Unfortunately, if you are struggling to become pregnant, all of that wonderful springtime growth can feel very frustrating. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 women between the ages of 15-49 with no prior births, struggle to get pregnant after a year of trying.
Western medicine tends to focus on underlying diseases and conditions that can cause infertility, but typically not until after you’ve been trying to conceive for at least a year. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, infertility is seen as a symptom of an imbalance in the body, like disrupted vital balance and blockages in your Qi or Blood flow. The good news is that Traditional Chinese Medicine is all about restoring balance to the body, so let’s take a look at some of the ways we can restore your balance and improve your fertility!
Common Causes of Infertility According to Traditional Chinese Medicine
There are several areas of imbalance that infertility can be attributed to, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine:
Kidney Deficiency – in women, an early sign of kidney deficiency would be the late onset of menses (which usually starts between ages 12-14). Additionally, if there is a deficiency in Kidney Yin, women may experience hot flashes and night sweats. Some more general symptoms of imbalanced kidneys can include:
- Low energy
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Poor sleep
- Cold hands and feet
- Low libido
Blood Deficiency/Stasis – According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Blood is one of your vital essences. It’s responsible for circulating nutrients, moisture, and even emotions and memories throughout the body. Blockages or imbalances with the Blood can cause:
- Poor memory
- Anxiety or fear
- Dry skin and hair
- Light or absent menstruation
- Pale face, lips, and tongue
- Thin pulseFor more information about Blood, check out this blog post
Liver Qi Stagnation – The liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi throughout your body, and helps to regulate and smooth our emotions. The movement of Qi is essential for both ovulation and menstruation to occur, so it plays a pretty big role in fertility. Some symptoms of Liver Qi Stagnation include:
- Hay fever
- PMS symptoms
- Irregular periods
- Anger, irritability, or frustration
Dampness – This condition can stem from digestive issues, or from the body being overwhelmed by external damp from your environment. This can cause water retention, and can lead to issues like pelvic inflammation, polycystic ovarian syndrome, painful periods, and blockages of qi, as well as:
- Feelings of heaviness
- Distended abdomen
- Loose bowels
- Feeling sluggish
- Gaining weight
Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Fertility
There are definitely areas where Western and Eastern medicine agree when it comes to improving your fertility.
Stress is an increasingly big factor, and Western medicine will tell you that it can definitely inhibit your ability to get pregnant. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, stress is closely related to Liver Qi Stagnation (which we discussed above). Excessive worrying, over-exercising, and lack of sleep can all contribute to Liver Qi Stagnation, and cause problems.
Diet is another important factor in your fertility. The foods you eat impacts your Qi and Blood flow, as well as how well you are digesting what you eat, so it’s important to be mindful of what you’re putting in your body. Foods rich in iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12 (think leafy greens, red meat, liver, eggs, and beans) can help to nourish your Blood. You’ll also want to avoid foods that cause dampness, such as cold and raw foods (such as salads and raw vegetables). It’s a better idea for you to focus more on cooked foods like soups and stews.
** At Altitude Acupuncture, we work closely with Abigail, a Holistic Chef and Coach that specializes in all things women. The knowledge Abigail has around hormones and how foods inhibit and/or enhance hormones for regulating menstrual cycles, fertility, and menopause is extremely beneficial. We are happy to make the introduction for you, if you’d like to learn more about her services.
Acupuncture is another fantastic tool when it comes to restoring balance to improve fertility. The goal of acupuncture is to improve the flow of Qi and Blood. It can be used to address any issues you have with stagnation or blockages. It can also help to ease stress, and bonus! It comes without the side effects that many fertility medications can cause. Through evaluating your symptoms, we can determine which areas of your body may be experiencing imbalance, and correct those issues to improve your fertility.
Schedule your fertility appointment today!
Acupuncture is a fantastic way to rebalance your body and increase your fertility! Even if you’re already receiving fertility treatments through your doctor, Traditional Chinese Medicine can safely be used to improve your results. Schedule an consultation today!
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.