Fertility “Cures”


I have a difficult time with claims of different nutritional supplements, diet plans, and procedures claiming to “cure” a couples fertility issues. My first problem with this is that being fertile does not necessarily mean you are a healthy individual the same way that being “infertile” is not necessarily an indication that you are sick.

Most of the couples I see have been given percentages of fertility based on AMH levels, FSH levels, shape of their uterus, and past medical history. Their OB’s never rate their stress or nutrition levels and blow off their BBT and Ovulation Charts.

The truth is, making a baby isn’t solely up to science. If it was, we would have 100% success with IVF. As it is, IVF success is on average 20-35% successful for women aged 30-45. A recent study at Tel Aviv University cited that Acupuncture increased conception outcome by 26%! That’s like doubling your chances by just being poked by a few needles.

But how?
One theory is that Acupuncture works with the Neuroendocrine system to control how the brain signals your ovaries to release hormones. Another theory is that Acupuncture helps manage the stress of trying to conceive which in turn returns hormones to an optimal level. Fertility drugs are supposed to be so precise and controlled, so why would they need any help with performance?

I’d like to suggest that we take a step back from science for the moment and start looking at the person instead of the bloodwork. Twenty percent of infertility is due to what the medical community “scientifically” refers to as “unexplained”. I’d like to think that’s where Acupuncture’s success rate comes into play – by evaluating the whole person, we are able to bring balance back to an unbalanced body. By addressing our patient’s and stressors, and teaching them how to correctly determine ovulation despite what a pee stick might say, we are empowering them to take a look at their fertility as something that changes month to month, rather than a statistic that is out of their control.


Scary Effects of Stress


No one is immune to stress – not you, not me, not your yoga instructor.  Here are some scary facts about Stress you may not have known:

  1.  Feeds Cancer: Wake Forest University published a study that found when stressed, anti-cancer drugs were less effective at killing cancer cells.  More over, the adrenaline produced also prevented cancer cells from dying.
  2. Increases your chance of Diabetes: We have known for some time that stress causes extreme cardiovascular effects like high blood pressure, palpitations, and heart attacks.  Last year, the Journal of Occupational Medicine found that diet and energy expenditure changes when stressed produced hormone fluctuations consistent enough o classify patients as diabetic when there was no prior history of diabetes.
  3. Thinking about stress can be worse than stress itself.  Several studies published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that thinking about stressful events raised levels of C-reactive proteins.  Similarly those that believed they were stressed had a higher risk of heart disease.
  4. Stress is contagious.  A 2011 University of Hawaii study found that stress is as contagious as the common cold.  Secondhand stress, or empathetic stress can be picked up just by observing someone who is highly expressive and anxious – verbally or nonverbally – and can negatively effect the nervous system by causing upset stomachs, insomnia, or anxiety itself.

Build your best defense against stress by managing your stressors with exercise, a healthy diet, and positive uplifting people.  If you’re already stressed, give us a call!  Acupuncture can help!