Jeanie Bussell and her work with fertility are featured in this month's Today's Chicago Woman. Pick up the July copy and turn to page 30 to see the article, or click here to see a copy of it. It highlights her work at the Tiffani Kim Institute in Chicago, but you can also see her at A Center for Oriental Medicine in Wilmette
In case you were not aware, my wife Jeanie is the top fertility acupuncturist in the Midwest. She has studied with all the masters in this field, has written articles for Eastern and Western journals about it, and teaches other acupuncturists how to treat infertility.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicinal herbs can do a great many things to increase the chances of achieving pregnancy. It can:
· Regulate the Menses. Controlling irregular menstruation can enable couples to better predict the time of ovulation. It is important for a woman to ovulate at the optimal time so that the body is prepared to transport the egg and receive the embryo.
· Increase the Uterine Lining. Acupuncture can increase the blood flow to the uterus, resulting in a thicker uterine lining, creating a more hospitable environment for an embryo to implant.
· Improve Sperm. Separate studies have shown that acupuncture can increase sperm count, sperm motility, and the percentage of sperm that are normal within a given sample.
· Prevent Miscarriage. Certain herbal formulae and acupuncture are known to help secure a fetus and prevent a miscarriage.
In conjunction with In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), acupuncture may help:
· Regulate the hormones. This is important because a woman’s hormone levels must fall within a desired range in order to continue with treatment.
· Increase the number of follicles and improve the quality of eggs produced. Obtaining enough good-quality eggs is the most important factor in determining whether or not IVF will be successful.
· Increase the likelihood of implantation. A study conducted in
· Moderate the side effects of hormone therapy. The medications given during ART are very powerful and can cause unwanted side effects such as hot flashes, irritability, labile mood, and insomnia. Patients who have undergone ART without, and then with, acupuncture report that the side effects were either minimized or eliminated with the use of acupuncture.
· Relieve stress. IVF can be a very stressful course of events. Acupuncture has been shown to increase the level of Beta-Endorphins (the body’s natural feel-good chemical) in the blood.
Once a woman is pregnant, acupuncture can help:
· Prevent miscarriage
· Relieve morning sickness. Anti-emetic (anti-nausea) medication can be sedating and can impair a woman’s ability to function and enjoy the highest quality of life possible. Many women are reluctant to use harsh drugs when they are carrying a child. Acupuncture and herbal teas can relieve morning sickness in the first trimester. If the sickness continues past the 13th week, women should consult their physician.
· Correct malposition of the fetus (Breech presentation).
· Induce labor. There are points that are forbidden to needle during pregnancy because of their known ability to induce labor. Once a baby is full term, these points can be used to stimulate uterine contractions and induce labor without subjecting the mother and baby to drugs.
· Provide anesthesia during labor. Studies have shown that women who had acupuncture for anesthesia during delivery required significantly less pain medication and fewer epidurals.
· Relieve post-partum pain and depression.
· Promote lactation. For instances where there is insufficient lactation.
Women who have pre-birth acupuncture once a week starting at week 35 have: less incidence of complications, less incidence of breech presentation, fewer cesarean births, less pre-term and post-term deliveries, less pain, ask for less medication and fewer epidurals, greater lactation, and less post-partum pain and depression. In trained hands it is more than safe, it can increase the safety for mother and child.
When one is in balance, the reproductive capacity will be restored.