Nick Cannon and Wife Mariah Carey announced that the couple are finally pregnant after many nights of crying themselves to sleep because of infertility issues. Cannon told US Magazine that after trying IVF and progesterone, Mariah decided to try acupuncture – and it worked!
Stories like this are very common. Mariah Carey, at age 40, had already had a miscarriage in April 2008, and like many women, tried IVF and hormones. They say that at that age, there is only a 5% chance of getting pregnant during ovulation, whereas the numbers are around 20% for a thirty year old, and much higher chances for 20 year olds.
How can Chinese Medicine help with fertility?
Acupuncture promotes the circulation of blood in the pelvic cavity, and improves ovarian function.Acupuncture treatment is beneficial in promoting follicle production, enhancing uterine blood flow, and improving uterine lining thickness. Here are some references for these statements:1. Chang R, Chung PH, Rosenwaks Z. Role of acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility. Fertil Steril. Dec 2002;78(6):1149-1153.
2. Emmons S, Patton P. Acupuncture treatment for infertile women undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Medical Acupuncture: A Journal for Physicians by Physicians. 2000;12(2).
3. Stener-Victorin E, Waldenstrom U, Andersson SA, Wikland M. Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture. Hum Reprod. Jun 1996;11(6):1314-1317.
Infertility can stem from either the man or the woman. Most people tend to only focus on female infertility issues. In fact, about 40% of all infertility cases actually stem from the male. Reasons could be issues such as low sperm count, motility, morphology, or DNA fragmentation. Many of these cases have responded to acupuncture and there are studies indicating significant improvement in sperm concentration and motility following administration of herbs.
Not all infertility is a result of purely physical problems. A paper published in Social Science and Medicine mentions psychosocial factors, like stress & anxiety, ineffective coping strategies, and depression are associated with a lower pregnancy rate following IVF. They found that stress reduction through relaxation training or behavioral treatment improves conception rates. (reference: Eugster A, Vingerhoets AJ. Psychological aspects of in vitro fertilization: a review. Soc Sci Med. Mar 1999;48(5):575-589.)
The beautify of Chinese Medicine is that it is so great for not only stress, but for those internal issues as well. Although you need to find a skilled practitioner! Keep in mind that not every case is responsive to acupuncture & herbs, I recommend treatment on a trial basis with acupuncture and herbs for a period of 3 to 6 months for increasing fertility.