Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine have provided natural treatment for infertility related to hormonal and physiological imbalances for thousands of years. Acupuncture stimulates the hypothalamus in the brain to release endorphins, epinephrine, corticoids and substance P to promote body endurance and blood circulation. Acupuncture has also been shown to enhance hormone production, regulate menstrual cycles, promote follicle maturation, protect the embryo, reduce stress, and strengthen the immune system.
In addition, acupuncture works in tandem with traditional (Western) treatment. Studies, for example, show that acupuncture treatment before and after In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) procedures improves the pregnancy success rate. The rate moves even higher if the patient combines Chinese Herbal Medicine treatment with the IVF procedures. Recently, Western science has accepted acupuncture as a valid treatment. Significantly, Cornell University’s Weill Medical College found “there is sufficient evidence of acupuncture’s value to expand its uses into conventional medicine and treatment of female infertility.”
Chinese Herbal Medicine is based on each patient’s condition. For women, it is individually designed to regulate hormones, enhance ovarian functions, nourish the uterus and increase needed mucus secretion. Classic herbal formulas geared toward male patients improve sperm maturation and increase sperm mortality and morphology.
Whether patients opt for conventional medical treatment or not, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine provide a natural and safe option for any fertility enhancement program.
The first baby Dr. Hu helped create
Here she is 18 years later
Dr. Cathryn Hu believes an integrative approach which merges the best of eastern with western medical techniques obtains the best results. She periodically lectures on how acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine aid in fertility at both her Arcadia and Santa Monica offices.
Two phases of treatment in Chinese Medicine
The Preparation Phase
Treating the causation of infertility, nourishing the reproductive organs.
- Hormone Balancing
- Sperm quality & quantity improvement
- Increasing mucus secretion
- Stress relief
- PMS treatment
- Causation of infertility
Integrative Trial Phase
Promote the ovarian functions, follicle maturation and increase the lining of the uterus.
- Promote follicles maturation
- Promote the ovulation
- Balance FSH, Estrogen, LH and progesterone
- Acupuncture & IVF procedure
- Acupuncture & IUI procedures
Causations of Infertility in Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Kidney Yin deficiency
- Kidney Yang deficiency
- Liver Qi stagnation
- Spleen deficiency
- Blood stagnation
- Kidney deficiency
- Cold uterus
- Blood deficiency
- Liver depression
- Heat Stagnation
- Phlegm dampness
Acupuncture Treatment Plan
Initial evaluation we consult with couples to analyze the causes of the infertility, review your medical records, and recommend individual treatment plans aimed at improving both male and female factors. Here are some of the things we look at:
Hormonal Balance High FSH levels and irregular hormone levels tend to prevent pregnancy. The treatment protocols are specifically designed to regulate the functions of our hormone system, therefore influencing some gene expression in the brain. This enhances ovarian function and egg maturation.
Integrative IVF Procedures We work with your Western medicine physician and the treatment you are receiving. We know that Acupuncture before and after IVF procedures reduces the uterine contractions that typically occur with embryo transfer and that may inhibit implantation.
Protection of the EmbryoAcupuncture increases the blood flow that nourishes the reproductive organs and improves the lining of the uterus. This, in turn, improves implantation and reduces some of the risk of miscarriage.
Male Factors Acupuncture can affect sperm production and quality without causing any changes in behavior and sexual desire, unlike most other treatments. Studies shown acupuncture can significantly increase the quantity of normal sperm and reduce the number of structural defects.
Stress ReliefAcupuncture helps manage the stress that promotes infertility. Acupuncture stimulates the release of serotonin that works to resolve depression and relieve stress during the ART treatment.
Acupuncture for Fertility Enhancement
Desperate would-be parents have a safe, natural way to combat infertility – acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbs. These treatments have been used in China – the world’s most populated country – for thousands of years, but are only just now receiving attention from Western medicine. Cornell University’s Weill Medical College, for example, recently found that “there is sufficient evidence of acupuncture’s value to expand its uses into conventional medicine and treatment of female infertility.” More important, these ancient methods of treatment are gentler on the body and do not require costly surgery or drugs with often debilitating side effects.
Acupuncture treatment has been found to stimulate the brain to release various substances that promote endurance and improve blood circulation. In addition, it enhances hormone regulation, regulates menstrual cycles, promotes follicle maturation, protects the embryo, reduces tress, and strengthens the immune system – all of which, in turn, improve the chances of conceiving a child.
Acupuncture and Chinese herb treatments are based on each individual patient’s condition – in other words, not everyone’s infertility has the same causes. Thus, the treatment can get to causes faster than cookie cutter approaches. Even better, these traditional methods can work alongside Western medicine as well as on their own merits.
Patients who have tried lots of other ways to conceive and failed have found success with acupuncture. For example, the Birmingham (Eng.) Post documented the story of Ian and Vicky Walsh, a young British couple who wanted to have a child. Vicky got traditional western treatment while her husband used acupuncture and changes in diet to raise his sperm count from 0.4 million to 65 million. The western treatment failed, but the acupuncture – and, the couple believe, praying at a famous shrine in Cuba – led to the natural birth of their first son George Ian Walsh.
The treatments include eating food that improves the areas found to be deficient in the body’s condition, which is as natural a treatment as one can find. Acupuncture and Chinese traditional herbs, in other words, are part of a holistic approach to the treatment of disease. Dis-ease, in other words, is an out of whack bodily condition caused by certain behaviors or conditions that exist in the patient’s lifestyle. Sometimes subtle changes result in large changes. One of the simplest and most obvious is reducing stress. Ironically, trying to conceive and being unable to can lead to increased levels of stress.
Audrey Douglas of Albany, New York believes acupuncture in part for her being able to bear children after three miscarriages in a recent story in the Albany Times Union.
“All I know is that my body felt so much healthier,” said Douglas, who gave birth in April to twin boys, Owen and Ryan, told the Times Union. “All of my systems seemed to be working better. Acupuncture at the very least helps you to relax, and that was something I needed.”
Brady, Emma. “Miracle of a little red monster.” Birmingham Post. June 29, 2006. P.5.
Davis, Robert J. “Acupuncture and Fertility.” Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition), New York: Sept 7, 2004. P. D.5.
Earls, Stephanie. “Hopes pinned on alternative path to fertility.” Albany Times Union.
Albany, NY. Aug. 1, 2006. P. D1.
"I Came to Dr. Hu after my previous OB/GYN told me that she could not determine why I was miscarrying. On the first visit, Dr. Hu was able to identify the cause of my miscarriage. Dr. Hu's integrative care, which consists of acupuncture and herbal treatment, helped me conceive and prevent miscarriage. I am currently 12 weeks pregnant and this is the farthest I've gone. My husband and I are very grateful to Dr. Hu for helping us."
-Aracely and Julio
Dear Dr. Hu, Thank you for the pre-pregnancy care and guidance. I truly think the teas and acupuncture are what allowed us to have our 2nd baby. All the tests have come out well and we have found out we’re having another girl. We are very pleased and feel much gratitude towards you and your staff.
- Thank you, Jen, Curtis, & Tasmin
Wanted to extend a warm thanks to Dr. Hu’s healing hands. I have appreciated all the time and care you have given me on the journey to my recovery. I could never thank you enough for helping me to fulfill my dream of bringing another life into this world.
- Therese W.
I am so thankful for everything you did to help me have my beautiful baby boy! I will be referring all of my girl friends to you!"
- Kacey R.
Dear Dr. Hu and Staff, Thank you very much for the little yellow set, I’m sure our baby girl is going to love it. (We just found out!). Most of all, Thank you for your help when we were trying to get pregnant. Your support is greatly appreciated.
- Sincerely, Brita + Wayne + Baby girl
Dear Dr. Hu, Thank you so much for the baby gift! It’s so thoughtful and generous of you. It’s our 1st girl and we were so excited when we opened it and looked through all that was in there…There’s a bunch of stuff! We are very grateful for the gift and for all of your help.
- Jean, Itto & Enrico.