Alternative Health Care Center
Clinical practice has proven that Acupuncture is a wonderful therapy to be used in conjunction with the advanced technologies available in reproductive medicine today. It can increase the success rates for pregnancy by a surprising and astonishing margin. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have been practiced in China for thousands of years. They have great value in treating patients with fertility disorders, including elevated Follicle Stimulating Hormone, decreased Anti-Mullerian Hormone, repeated miscarriage, unexplained infertility, tube spasm, as well as other GYN problems, such as endometriosis, pelvic pain, amenorrhea, and polycystic ovarian syndrome, etc.
From the classic texts of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to modern clinical research, the benefits of Acupuncture for fertility treatment have been recognized and include the following:
- Improving the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs.
- Regulating hormones to promote production of follicles.
- Invigorating blood flow to the uterus to increase the thickness of the uterine lining.
- Preventing the uterus from contracting to decrease the chance of miscarriage.
- Relaxing the patient to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Minimizing potential adverse reactions to the medication used in the ART process.
- Promoting general health to improve the ability to sustain a healthy pregnancy.
In view of the reality that many women face fertility issues, Dr. Xu will work hard to help their dreams come true. After all, it is such a wonderful and rewarding feeling to see parents bring a new life into the world.
Nutrition and Life Style Change Make the Difference
-Dietary and Life Style Recommendations for Infertility
1. Eat alkaline rather than acidic foods
Alkaline foods help provide the entire reproductive system with the right PH for conception and implantation. Common alkaline foods are non-citrus fruits, vegetables, sprouts, cereal grasses (wheat grass, barley grass), and herbs like black cohosh and valerian root.
It is recommended that you chew your foods thoroughly and refrain from drinking liquids with your meal since saliva can have an alkalizing effect.
It is also recommended that you should make sure the bulk of your diet comes from organic plant sources. Bioflavonoids found in many fruits and vegetables help in the formation of healthy blood vessels in the uterus to prepare for implantation and prevent miscarriage.
2. Get plenty of essential fatty acids, preferably from unprocessed plant sources and deep-sea fish
Good sources are fish, fish oil, non-hydrogenated cold-pressed oils such as flaxseed and pumpkin-seed oils, eggs, soy products, raw nuts and seeds, and dark-green and winter vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, kale, collards, cabbage, turnips, rutabaga, and brussels sprouts.
Another key fatty acid is omega-3, which is found in deep-see fish oil. Omega-3 can help clean the blood of fat deposits, reduce clotting, and encourage blood flow to the tissues, including the uterus, boost the immune system. It is also essential in fetal brain development.
1) Be sure to store oil in a cool, dry place, and once it’s open, use the oil within a couple of months. Because long-term exposure to heat and light, essential fatty acids found in vegetable oils may become trans fatty acids, which are toxic. Trans fatty acids are also found in many processed foods.
2) Be aware that elevated level of mercury can be found in many deep-sea fish. Some companies do ensure purity standards for their fish, guaranteeing low or no toxic metals.
3. Eat organic foods and hormone free meats whenever possible
Many of the pesticides, chemicals, and hormones used to treat produce and animal products contain synthetic estrogen-like substances, which occupy estrogen receptor sites in the body and have negative effects on the organ and endocrine systems.
Avoid processed, refined, frozen, and canned foods as much as possible. It is also important to stay away from the microwave and try to eat lightly cooking vegetable rather than eating them raw to make them more easily digestible.
The typical Asian diet is macrobiotic-meals consist mostly of fresh, lightly sautéed vegetables, rice, and small amounts of meat for flavoring.
4. Add more cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower to your diet
These vegetables contain di-indolylmethane (DIM), a compound that stimulates more efficient use of estrogen by increasing the metabolism of estradiol (one form of estrogen produced by the body). Excess estradiol is associated with breast pain, weight gain, breast and uterine cancer, moodiness, and low libido. Adding DIM sources to your diet allows the estradiol to break down into the beneficial 2-hydroxy estrogens, which don’t have estradiol’s negative effects.
5. Supplement your diet with a natural, high-potency multivitamin and mineral complex with iron, folic acid, and B vitamins
Vitamins A, C, E, B complex, zinc, and selenium are important for reproductive health and enhance fertility, but they are lacking in the usual western highly processed diet.
Other supplements you might wish to try include the followings:
1) Bee pollen and/or royal jelly are regenerative and tonifying.
2) Blue-green algae are the origin of life-giving nourishment on this planet.
3) Wheat grass is tonifying and curative. It enhances immunity and restore hormone functioning.
4) Vitamin B6 helps the body metabolize excess estrogen, produce adequate progesterone, and lower elevated prolactin levels.
5) Coenzyme Q-10 assists mitochondrial function, the powerhouse of each cell.
6) Folic acid is extremely important in cellular division. You should supplement your diet with folic acid for months before you conceive and throughout pregnancy. The foods with high folic acid content are dark-green leafy vegetables and natural orange foods-oranges, cantaloupe, yams, and sweet potatoes.
6. Eliminate nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine
Nicotine is ten times more concentrated in the uterine fluid than it is in plasma. It ages the ovaries and makes the eggs resistant to fertilization.
One study reported that any alcohol consumed during an IVF cycle reduced its chance of success by 50 percent.
Caffeine constricts vessels while tea opens them. Green tea has an antioxidant benefit while coffee does not share. If you require assistance “revving up” in the morning, use green tea instead of coffee.
7. If at all possible, avoid unnecessary medications and drugs, including over-the-counter preparations.
NSAIDs like ibuprofen can block the synthesis of prostaglandins and inhibit ovulation. Avoid decongestants, antihistamines, and excess supplemental vitamin C if you have scanty cervical mucus. You may use guaifenesin, an expectorant that thins all mucus secretions, including cervical fluid that is too thick. Guaifenesin can be found in over-the-counter cough medications like Robitussin. It is recommended using natural sources found at health food store such as beech wood, which contain no additives.
Avoid vaginal lubricants other than egg whites.
8. Make life style changes. Avoid junk foods, excessive stress, too little sleep, too much exercise, or anything taxing to the immune system
You should give your body every chance to be at its strongest and healthiest so that your body can dedicate its precious resources to make and nourish your baby. Live healthfully until you conceive and carry your child to term.
9. Maintain an ideal weight.
It is well documented that body fat content has an effect on your fertility. Too high or too low a body fat content accounts for 12 percent of infertility cases in the United States.
10. Reduce stress-the fertility killer
The physiological and psychological stress can present a significant barrier to
conception. Stress can increase the cortisol hormones and other neurochemicals and selectively redirects the blood flows. Stress can be triggered by an endless number of situations-overwork, environmental pollution, emotional factors, worry, and so on. Unfortunately, the stress response preferentially redistributes blood flow away from the gastrointestinal, endocrine, and reproductive systems. Therefore, the body doesn't produce the right balance of hormones needed for a healthy menstrual cycle. And the poor uterus and ovaries are ignored altogether. In addition, the hormone adrenaline, which is released by the adrenal glands during condition of stress, inhibits the utilization of progesterone, one of the key hormones of reproduction.
A study concluded that women with the highest rated life stress level undergoing IVF were 93 percent less likely to become pregnant than women who scored lower on the stress scale.
In conclusion, if you take good care of you body, mind, and spirit, all three elements of the wellness will help you mitigate the effects of stress.
As you add these elements to your health regimen, you will create an environment in which conception can occur naturally or make your any ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) procedure, including IUI (Intrauterine Insemination), GIFT (Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer), and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), etc., more successfully.
A Special Note for Men
Make similar dietary and life style adjustments as women.
- Avoid environmental estrogens and dietary sources of free radicals including saturated fats, hydrogenated oils, and trans fatty acids.
- Stop or reduce all unnecessary medications, especially antihypertensives, antineoplastics, and anti-inflammatory drugs, which call impair sperm production.
- Increase consumption of legumes and soy (which is high in phytoestrogens and phytosterols), and include vitamin C, E, and B-12, beta-carotene, folic acid, and zinc, and herbs such as ginseng, which increases production of testosterone and help with sperm production.
- Supplement with the amino acids L-arginine and L-carnitine, which are especially associated with enhancing sperm production. (Chinese medicine classifies arginine as a kidney yang tonic, while carnitine nourishes the yin and blood).
The Infertility Cure – Randine Lewis, Ph. D.
Little, Brown and Company, New York Boston 2004