We specialize in reproductive medicine from a Chinese Medicine viewpoint. As Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners, we look at your body as a whole. Modalities we use in the treatment of male and female fertility: acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary supplements and nutrition and lifestyle recommendations.
We understand that struggling with fertility problems can be stressful and overwhelming. From the moment you arrive at Retreat Acupuncture you will feel cared for. One of our highly qualified practitioners will listen to your concerns and carefully assess all the physical and emotional factors that might be affecting your reproductive health or that of your partner. After a thorough evaluation your practitioner will develop an individual treatment plan designed to heal the underlying cause of your reproductive disorder and to naturally optimize your fertility.
We will provide you with up to date information about treatment options and support you in making choices for your own wellness. If required we also work closely with other reproductive specialists and can provide an evidence based acupuncture protocol to support Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intrauterine Injections (IUI’s).
Using acupuncture & herbs alone or coupled with conventional medicine’s advanced fertility treatments, our methods have helped many women and couples achieve pregnancy. We have extensive post-graduate training the field of reproductive health, combing ancient wisdom and modern medicine to maximize results. At Retreat Acupuncture we are committed to providing quality care and personalized treatment to help you achieve and maintain a healthy pregnancy. Each patient, their bodies, and their ultimate situations differ greatly. We look forward to working with you to develop a customized plan of treatment, which will be of greatest benefit to you.
Acupuncture has proven effective in assisting women and men with their fertility. In women, research has shown acupuncture can be used to increase blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, regulate hormones, increase blood flow throughout the body and reduce stress. This allows the body to decrease cortisol (stress hormone) levels and improve the endometrial lining and egg quality. There are also several studies published in the Journal Fertility and Sterility that validate how acupuncture can improve pregnancy rates and live births when combined with IVF. In men, scientific studies have shown acupuncture can increase sperm count and motility.
We believe for you to optimize your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and delivering a healthy baby, you should prepare your body for 3-6 months. Your body begins to recruit your eggs about 120 days before they are released, and it takes about 90 days for sperm to renew. This is a window of opportunity for you to nourish your body to improve egg quality, and strengthen your uterus by increasing blood flow to your uterus and ovaries, as well as enhancing sperm count, motility, and morphology.
As you age, blood flow decreases, and science has verified that the circulation to the reproductive organs diminishes. Given that blood provides oxygen and nutrients, it is easy to realize why a lack of blood flow to these organs can result in poor egg and sperm quality. Therefore, as circulation increases, the environment in which both the eggs and sperm develop and mature is restored.
TCM Can Optimize Your Reproductive Health
- Regulate the menstrual cycle
- Stress reduction, relaxation
- Regulate hormones
- Improves ovarian blood flow – increases ovarian response
- Improve ovarian function – more follicles, better egg quality
- Strengthens the immune system – overall health & well-being
- Increases blood flow to the uterus – improving endometrial lining
- Enhance the chances of successful implantation
- Improves sperm counts, motility and morphology
- Lessens side effects from hormonal treatments
- Increase endorphins
- Prevent miscarriage –thus increasing your chance of a live birth and healthy baby
It is important to remember that healing and strengthening our bodies takes time. Acupuncture treatments and lifestyle changes during the preconception time are very important, whether you are trying to become pregnant naturally or through IUI/IVF procedures.
Studies have shown that women and men receiving acupuncture along with Chinese herbal medicine, appropriate nutrients, adequate exercise, and stress reduction techniques, improve their chances for developing healthier eggs and sperm.
We recommend that our female fertility patients track their fertility by taking their basal body temperature (BBT) and charting it on a BBT chart.
Preparing for IVF
We believe for you to optimize your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and delivering a healthy baby you should prepare your body with acupuncture treatments, Chinese medicinal herbs, proper nutrition, and stress reduction for at least 3-6 months.
The next best plan is to have acupuncture treatments 4-8 weeks before egg retrieval. We recommend acupuncture once or twice a week until you begin your stimulation medications, then twice a week during stimulation before egg retrieval. We also like to see you on the day of embryo transfer.
Lastly, there is the option to have acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer only. You would have acupuncture treatment before embryo transfer, and again right after the embryo’s are returned to their home. A good deal of research shows the benefits of having acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer. It can be quite beneficial to relax the uterus, increase blood flow, reduce stress and enhance your total experience. Sometimes due to timing or finances, this becomes the best option for you. Although not optimum, this process is highly recommended for those who have serious budget or time restraints.
We like to see male patients for a treatment right before the women is scheduled for the egg retrieval.
Please see our research article section to learn more about the research that supports our treatment protocols
Men’s Reproductive Health
We treat a range of reproductive disorders including male factor infertility, erectile dysfunction and prostate conditions. In all cases we focus on treating the whole patient, and the root cause of your disorder. As a result you will not only experience an improvement in your specific condition but better overall health and sense of wellbeing. The “side effects” of your treatment can include healthy weight loss, more restful sleep, stress reduction, increased energy and even enhanced libido.
According to Chinese medicine your reproductive health is the result of your body being in proper balance. Stress, poor lifestyle, inadequate diet and other factors can disturb your natural balance. This results in poor health including impaired semen quality and quantity.
It takes 100 days for your body to create and mature sperm. Our treatment protocol treats you for this crucial period to balance your health and to improve your semen quality.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine has been shown to:
- Significantly increase sperm production
- Increase the percentage of healthy sperm
- Improve sperm movement (motility)
- Improve the levels of hormones responsible for fertility
- Increase the rate of pregnancy