How Dr. Lee’s Acupuncture Treatment Help in Treating Infertility:
Fertility is a normal physiological function of our body. But, according to the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the normal physiological function of our body can occur only under one condition. That condition is that the energy in all meridians of the body is in perfect balance and harmony. When balance and harmony exist in a marriage, the marriage will last until the couple’s hair turns gray. When normal physiological balance and harmony exists in each side of the couple, then pregnancy can result and last to full term.
With the advances in vitro fertilization (IVF), many causes of infertility can be solved such as anovulation, tubule obstruction, or lack of sperm penetration. But, a successful pregnancy requires a successful production of multiple mature high quality eggs, quality sperm and implantation of the fertilized egg. A successful implantation requires a receptive, supportive and friendly the uterine environment. Both of these require the body to maintain a continuous maximum blood flow to the ovaries and uterus to deliver the necessary nutrients and (natural and injected) hormones and to remove toxins and reduce over-active immune cells. That is where acupuncture and herbs come in.
An imperfect balance or disharmony of physiological function can result in a poor follicular response to the stimulating hormones and in non-receptive and non-supportive endometrium, and lead to infertility difficulties such as fewer eggs, poor egg quality, thin linings, poor implantation, excessive macrophages, high concentration of NK cells attacking the embryos as in endometriosis and habitual miscarriages. With his knowledge and experience in treating infertility using acupuncture and Chinese herbs, Dr. Lee can help to detect and rectify such imbalance, maximize the flow of blood which carries the stimulating hormones to the ovaries and uterus, and removing the toxins in the uterus thus providing a more embryo-friendly environment for fertility success either on your own, or with IUI (intrauterine insemination also known as artificial insemination), or with IVF. You will also find out from Dr. Lee the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” on optimizing and preserving the right balance for fertility.
How Many Acupuncture for Infertility Treatments Does One Need?
There are two types of acupuncture treatments in addressing infertility: The corrective acupuncture treatment and supportive acupuncture treatments for infertility.
The corrective acupuncture treatment for infertility:
Unsuccessful pregnancies have many causes. Very often, an imbalance exists not just in the woman, but also in the man.
The acupuncture for infertility treatments for woman usually start one to three months before the start of anticipated trying cycle for all 3 category of patients (trying on their own, with IUI, with IVF). During the initial exam, Dr. Lee will determine, through patient’s past history, pulse and tongue diagnosis, hand/feet exam, how close the patient is to the optimal fertility balance. For patients whose internal conditions are within 10% the optimal balance, 4 to 8 acupuncture treatments for infertility may be sufficient. For those with only 20 to 40% of the normal energy, 9 to 16 infertility acupuncture treatments may be necessary prior to the start of anticipated trying cycle. Those with egg quality issues and low follicle counts should start 5 to 6 months ahead, due to the fact that it often takes 1 to 2 months to balance the body and 3 more months (85 days) for the egg to mature. Those with multiple IUI or IVF failures and multiple miscarriages should start acupuncture 2 to 4 months prior to next IUI or IVF cycle. During this period, customized safe and effective Chinese herbs and teas are recommended to accelerate the fertility optimization process. In general, treatment is given once a week unless patient needs to start IUI or IVF in less than 30 days; in that case, more frequent treatments (2/wk) may be necessary. For men, it is also important to get balanced, for ICSI (injecting sperm into the egg) will only result in the union of the chromosome of the sperm and that of the egg. It does not improve the quality of the sperm. Though the egg will be fertilized, what about its quality? Will the resulting embryo turn into full term pregnancy? For men, one treatment is required each week with herbs for 3 to 4 months. The improvement can be seen through semen analysis. In some cases, Dr. Lee has helped couples achieve their dreams by mostly treating the men.
The supportive acupuncture and Post Retrieval Acupuncture Treatment for infertility:
IUI cycles: Acupuncture for Infertility Treatments for IUI patients: once a week,
IVF cycles: 3 to 4 acupuncture for infertility treatments during IVF stimulation. On the day of transfer, one on 4-5 days AND one on 8 -10 days after transfer.
Patients will usually take pregnancy test 3 to 4 days after the 2nd follow-up acupuncture treatment.
If the pregnancy test shows positive, then part B starts, If not, patients, depending on their condition, need to restart from corrective acupuncture treatments again.
Part B: You’ve received the good news – you’re pregnant. You are halfway to reaching your final goal. The next important thing is to stay pregnant. With his MPP (miscarriage prevention program), Dr. Lee is able to significantly reduce your miscarriage rate.
Reaching this goal involves weekly acupuncture treatments for the next 8 weeks to maximize your fetus’s chance of survival in your uterus. These follow-up acupuncture treatments (done once a week for the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy) are just as important as the previous acupuncture treatments for infertility. Statistics show that on an average, there is a 20% chance of the pregnancy ending with a miscarriage within the first 12 weeks. This miscarriage rate increases to 50% if the patient is in their late 30s and early 40s. For those who are over 40 and those who are having twins, acupuncture will continue at a rate of once every two weeks from week 12 to week 24. The ultimate goal of treating infertility is to have a child – getting pregnant is only the first step in an acupuncture for infertility program.
I have seen it time and time again that patients who continue acupuncture after they become pregnant have a much better chance at staying pregnant than those who do not. Having acupuncture once a week for the first 12 to 24 weeks of your pregnancy can help ensure the continuous and the maximum blood flow to the uterus for your child(ren), minimizing the chance of miscarrying, and maximizing your chance of a successful pregnancy.