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Enhancing your chances for natural conception

Updated: Jun 4, 2023

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has over 2,000 years of history for use as a natural, supplemental treatment to improve the chances of conception. As someone who likes to garden, I'll use the analogy of prepping garden soil to describe how TCM can assist. The more nourished and irrigated soil is, the higher the chance you have for a seed to grow. Now think of your body the same way. The more nourished and harmonised your body, is the higher the chance you have for conception.

Our bodies are composed of primary meridians, each connected to an organ and lined with acupuncture points that each have their own specific function. Points on your meridians are used to improve the body's function depending on your needs bringing much needed energy flow and nourishment to your systems, including the reproductive system.

If there is an imbalance in the meridians that flow through your reproductive organs, there will be disruption in circulation and blood flow. Imbalances like these destabilise the hormone function necessary for normal menstruation, ovulation and conception.

Let's take a look at a few ways that TCM can help:

The Improvement of Circulation

Ovarian follicles and their eggs grow in response to hormones and nutrients that are delivered via the blood. Efficient blood flow is associated with higher egg quality and we now understand that if the blood flow is compromised, follicles and the eggs within them will be starved of the necessary nutrients, leading to fewer good quality eggs.

Implantation of the embryo is also dependent good blood circulation. By increasing blood flow to the area, we can improve the thickness of the endometrial lining which in turn creates a good environment for the embryo to implant.

The Balancing of Hormones

Research has shown that acupuncture can assist with the balancing of all, including reproductive, hormones. It enhances the communication between your brain and your ovaries and positively alters how reproductive hormones are secreted. This is likely to help with regulating menstrual cycles, ovulation, better follicular development and a better uterine lining.

The Reduction of Stress and Anxiety

A good mind-body connection is essential for everyday health and well-being and it's also essential for reproduction. Stress can affect reproductive hormones, reduce sperm quality and quantity, impair ovulation, cause menstrual cycles to shorten and even increase the risk for a miscarriage. Meta-analysis has concluded that acupuncture significantly reduces the symptoms of anxiety and stress, in particular reducing cortisol levels, one of the body's major stress hormones.

For Men

Research being done on the effects of acupuncture for male fertility has found that it can positively influence the sperm parameters of concentration, motility, morphology and count. Acupuncture may also assist in regulating testosterone levels, which is extremely important that the male has the optimal level of testosterone in order to have adequate sperm production.

A few more things to consider when trying to conceive naturally

Clean up your diet. Digestion is the root of both and energy and blood production for conception, so eating whole and healthy is crucial. Focus on vegetables, fruits, nuts legumes, whole grains and high quality proteins. Minimise process foods, caffeine, alcohol and sugar.

Warm your belly. The lower abdomen stores our "Ming Men" fire or source energy for us. A cold belly can mean a cold uterus and to use the garden analogy once more, things do not grow in the cold. Seeds need a warm, fertile environment to thrive. So, rug up and consider a hot water bottle for your belly if what's below the belly button is cooler to the touch than what's above.

Exercise, but not too hard. More than 4 hours of intense exercise per week can actually decrease fertility, so you need to prioritise movement over intensity. Reduce your work out time/intensity to about 75% of what you've been doing, or consider cutting one of the more intense workouts for a yoga class or long walk.

Prioritise good rest. Period.

If you are thinking it's time to try to conceive a(another) babe, connect with me to book an appointment. The aim of preconception care is support, so we will walk through a comprehensive health history to gain an understanding of your individual needs and set up a recommended schedule for treatment. Ideally, the time to start is three menstrual cycles in advance of trying to fall pregnant. Remember, the more you tend to yourself, the better chance you have.

Be well. See you in the clinic!

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