Acupuncture for infertility is probably the most popular and commonly recognized supplemental treatment for those trying to get pregnant with ART. Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine, sometimes abbreviated as TCM. Acupuncture involves placing hair-thin needles into particular points on the body. These points, according to the Chinese tradition, run along lines of energy, or meridians. From the TCM perspective, the idea is that an imbalance of these energies in the body can lead to illness, including infertility. Correcting the imbalance by stimulating particular points along the meridians is thought to improve health.
Research has shown that acupuncture can increase the success rate of ART procedures by 40-60%. Acupuncture is recommended twice a week for 1-2 months prior to the ART procedure. For the most effective results, acupuncture is recommended twice a week for 2 months prior to ART and once a week during the first trimester. The benefits of acupuncture for fertility include:
- Increased blood flow to the uterus to promote implantation
- Reduction of stress hormones and anxiety
- Improved ovarian function, which may help produce better quality eggs and a larger amount of follicles
- Decreased uterine contractions to encourage implantation post ART
- Decreased chance of miscarriage
- The ability to strengthen a patient’s immune system and support their general health, helping to prevent miscarriage
- Improved sperm count, motility, morphology, and reduce sperm DNA fragmentation
- Reduce the side effects of ART medication
Fertility & Genetics offers Acupuncture Plans for those wishing to complement their fertility treatment with a personalized acupuncture schedule tailored to their specific treatment cycle.
Eating a healthy and nutrient rich diet is one of the most important components to your overall health and well-being, as well as on your ability to conceive children. Making positive changes in your diet can have a tremendous impact on fertility, as well as better prepare your body to handle the rigors of pregnancy and assist in the creation of a healthy child.
The most important thing to know about vitamins and minerals is that they are best absorbed and utilized by your body when taken in food form rather than pill or supplement form. Also, it is possible to overuse certain vitamin supplements, creating a dietary situation that is actually more harmful than helpful. One exception to this rule is folic acid for women, which should be supplemented by pill (up to 800 mcg per day) in addition to foods because of the strong correlation between folic acid deficiency and neural birth defects.
While trying to conceive, make sure you get good amounts of the following nutrients through a healthy diet:
Vitamin E: whole grains, broccoli, alfalfa, nuts, wheat germ, seeks, leafy greens, soy
Vitamin A: cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, collards, kale, cauliflower,) alfalfa
Vitamin C (for men): cruciferous vegetables, alfalfa, orange juice
Vitamin D (for men): alfalfa, dairy products, salmon
Calcium (for men): soy, broccoli, alfalfa, dairy products, salmon
Iron: alfalfa, leafy greens
Zinc: wheat germ, seeds, soy
Folic Acid (for women): leafy greens, whole grains, wheat germ, soy, citrus fruits
Essential Fatty Acids: safflower & other vegetable oils
Just as there are foods and supplements to include in your diet when trying to conceive, there are also things in which you should avoid while trying to conceive (and later on during pregnancy):
- Artificial sweeteners
- Food coloring
- Ginger, ginger ale, ginger beer
- Quinine, key ingredient in tonic water
- Caffeine (chocolate, sodas, coffee, tea, some pain and cold remedies)
- Monosodium glutomate (MSG), BHA, and other food additives
- Partially or uncooked foods
- Contaminated food or water
- Crash, fad, or high fat diets
- Non-Food Items
- Aspirin and other NSAIDS (e.g. ibuprofen)
- Antihistamines and decongestants
- Some oral antibiotics
Fertility & Genetics is a proud supporter of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. RESOLVE is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders.
One in eight U.S. couples of childbearing age is diagnosed with infertility. RESOLVE addresses this public health issue by providing community to these women and men, connecting them with others who can help, empowering them to find resolution and giving voice to their demands for access to all family building options.