Fertility Support With Chinese Medicine
Fertility support is one of the main specialties we practice at Tao of Wellness. We provide support for patients who are trying to conceive in their later reproductive years, from their late 30s into their 40s.
Many women today delay having children while they pursue advanced education and career opportunities, and many are also getting married later in life. With delayed childbearing, it’s not surprising that more women are facing some challenges when it comes to fertility. It’s important for women to learn what they can about their reproductive physiology and what they can do to support their fertility potential even before they are ready to conceive.
Naturally, there is a decline in reproductive potential as women age, but there is also an increased incidence of miscarriage in later reproductive years due to a decline in egg quality. A healthy conception and pregnancy depend on healthy hormonal function as well as a healthy reproductive environment.
Chinese medicine is beneﬁcial for improving fertility for women in later reproductive years. According to research, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been shown to improve both the ovarian environment and hormonal function. Chinese herbal medicine also has been shown to reduce incidence of pregnancy loss in speciﬁc cases. When combined with Western medical fertility technologies such as IVF, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been shown to improve the success rate of IVF as well.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, the average time for older couples to conceive is one to two years. Often, this waiting period is very stressful for patients who are trying to conceive. I often tell my patients that the fertility journey is a bit like gardening. There is a waiting period during which we cultivate the soil and take care of the garden as we wait for the seeds to sprout and grow. Even though we are facing the unknown when anticipating pregnancy, there is a lot we can do to nurture the body every day.
VERONICA’S STORY (as told to Dr. Kumiko)
“After about 10 months of acupuncture treatments and no results, my husband and I were losing hope. I was now 46. I stopped running to the drug store for a home pregnancy test every time my period was late. Hope had been replaced by cynicism. We had tried an IUI treatment to no avail and couldn’t afford IVF. We were getting ready to turn to adoption and abandon my acupuncture treatments, when Dr. Kumiko informed me that for a woman my age it takes about a year to a year and a half of treatments in order to get results. So I decided to continue with treatments. One night, after about 14 months, I had a dream about a beautiful little girl. I woke up and felt blessed to have had such an amazing dream! I stepped away from my cynicism for a moment and took a home pregnancy test. The test was positive! With the help of acupuncture, my husband and I had conceived naturally!
“Although both of us were over the moon, we didn’t want to get our hopes up too much in case the worst should happen again—another miscarriage. During the entire pregnancy, I continued to receive acupuncture treatments and diligently drank my Chinese herbal tea. Finally, shortly after I turned 47, my husband and I welcomed a beautiful, healthy baby girl! We felt and still feel inﬁnitely grateful and blessed! Now, when we sit on our couch to read one of her favorite books, I’m the one beaming love at our amazing daughter, who I consider to be ‘our little (acupuncture) miracle!’”
At Tao of Wellness we have been honored to be a part of Veronica’s fertility journey and the similar journey of other patients. If you and your partner are going through your own fertility journey, I encourage you to support your body with Chinese medicine. If you are in your late 30s or in your 40s and not yet ready to get pregnant, I highly recommend that you consider preconception support through Chinese medicine now. Start cultivating your garden for the future sprouting of your seeds!