by Ann Zimmerman, LAc.
Many women get pregnant easily and many do not. Research estimates that 1 in 6 couples in the US struggle with getting pregnant. Optimizing the likelihood of getting pregnant and staying pregnant is an area where the tools of Chinese medicine have something special to offer. Rather than looking at fertility challenges as simply a problem with ovaries, or a specific hormone, Chinese medicine approaches fertility as a women’s natural state of balance. Compromised fertility results from imbalances within the network of organs, hormones, and energy systems of the body.
It is very common these days to combine Western and Eastern fertility treatments. Women and men often look toward Western medicine first believing that there must be something really wrong with them and sometimes there is. The bigger the barrier to getting pregnant the more successful Western treatment tends to be: for example with blocked fallopian tubes, prolific endometriosis, or very compromised sperm the diagnostics and surgeries offered can greatly enhance the outcome. In cases if ovulation issues or symptomatic menstrual cycles fertility drugs can make drastic impact. The assisted reproductive technologies of IUI(intrauterine insemination) and IVF(in vitro fertilization) can be the answer for couples with greatly compromised sperm, same sex couples, or simply successful when nothing else works for no known reason. The cost and side effects of these treatments are significant, rarely covered by insurance, and plain stressful.