Finally was able to schedule my first acupuncture session. I have been wanting to do this for a while… In a previous post I talked about Acupuncture for Fertility, and I am all about giving new things a try. You never know what will help.
I am very excited and nervous all at once. I am not exactly sure what to expect, but I am going in open minded and ready to take in the whole experience. Only wish my husband wasn’t deathly scared of needles so he could be there by my side.
I have decided to try acupuncture! I have spoken with an acupuncturist in Portland and I am getting ready to scheduling my first visit… where they are going to go over my symptoms and get a better understanding of my history and let me know what my treatment would consist of and begin my first treatment.
Since my main reason for infertility is amenorrhea (is the absence of a menstrual period in a woman of reproductive age) and Anovulation (An anovulatory cycle is a menstrual cycle during which the ovaries do not release an oocyte. Therefore, ovulation does not take place.) There is a high chance that they will be able to help! I would much rather try an natural healing before inducing a cocktail of medications into my system.
“Acupuncture for infertility is an holistic type of fertility treatment that is proven to be a very powerful, effective and viable option no matter what condition is causing your issue. If you have been diagnosed with a condition that is affecting your fertility, or even if your fertility condition is labeled “unexplained” Acupuncture for infertility has been proven to provide the following benefits:
- Regulating the menstrual cycle, stabilizing hormone levels
- Facilitating production of more follicles and healthier follicles
- Increasing blood flow to the uterus, providing a nice, thick endometrial lining
- Increasing blood flow to the ovaries, improving egg quality & providing a healthy and timely ovulation
- Reducing stress, anxiety and tension -facilitating ovulation and implantation of the embryo
- Reducing chances of miscarriage
- Preventing postpartum depression
- Strengthening the immune system and your overall health
- Helping you absorb nutrients better and maintaining your ideal weight during pregnancy
- Improving sleep patterns
Acupuncture for fertility has been proven to be an effective means of achieving pregnancy. Acupuncture is a medical system that has been used to diagnose, treat and prevent illness for over 3000 years. Acupuncture for fertility is performed by inserting fine, sterile, painless needles into points along the body (mostly the abdomen, arms and legs), stimulating the flow of the body’s vital energy known as Qi. These acupuncture points for fertility connect to the network of meridians that flow beneath the surface of the skin, where they flow into the major organs. When the flow of Qi is disrupted, the body’s systems become imbalanced. This is frequently experienced as illness or pain, and can appear in women as period irregularities, menstrual pain, and even infertility. The goal of acupuncture for fertility is to remove these disruptions and revitalize the flow of energy in the meridians, allowing a woman to achieve pragnancy naturally without the use of harsh fertility drugs.
Acupuncture for infertility is probably the most popular and commonly recognized alternative treatment for those trying to get pregnant. The media seems to report on research related to acupuncture and fertility every few months, and more and more fertility clinics offer or recommend acupuncture services along with conventional fertility treatments like IVF and IUI.”
A study found that auricular acupuncture was capable of producing results comparable to those of drug therapy in the treatment of infertility. I. Gerhard and F. Postneek, [Possibilities of Therapy by Ear Acupuncture in Female Sterility], Geburtshilfe Frauenheilke 48, no. 3 (March 1988): 165-71. A study examined the effects of moxibustion and acupuncture on 30 cases of infertility in women ranging from 24 to 37 years of age. Results showed that after just one course of treatment 9 women conceived, with another 8 conceiving after 2 courses of treatment.
– The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Natural Healing by Dr. Gary Null
In China, acupuncture has been used in the treatment of infertility for centuries. The first published account of this is seen in medical literature dating back to 11 A.D. The Chinese look at five principal organs – the liver, spleen, heart, lung, and kidney – and use acupuncture to release blockages from these systems so that energy or chi can move freely. This helps the body return to good health. Promoting fertility is one benefit that can be obtained. Acupuncture to kidney points releases psychological blocks that interfere with reproduction.
– Get Healthy Now with Gary Null: A Complete Guide to Prevention, Treatment and Healthy living by Gary Null
The women treated with acupuncture? Twenty-two pregnancies (and no side effects). Finally, a study at the Fertility Clinic Trianglen in Denmark concluded that “acupuncture … significantly improves the reproductive outcome of IVF (in vitro fertilization) and ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) compared to no acupuncture.” Best of all, acupuncture for infertility is truly a “whole person” treatment that looks at the woman as much more than just a dysfunctional reproductive system. “People come into my office and they’re completely unprepared for conception,” Lawrence told me.
– The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What Treatments Work and Why by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.
In a preliminary trial, women who did not ovulate were treated with acupuncture 30 times over three months. Effectiveness was determined by a combination of measures indicating ovulation was returning to normal. Acupuncture treatment resulted in a marked improvement in 35% and slight improvement in 48% of trial participants. The beneficial results achieved with acupuncture may be due to alterations in the hormonal messages from the brain to the ovary. Auricular (ear) acupuncture has been studied in a preliminary trial and compared with standard hormone therapy for treatment of infertility.
– The Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Natural Treatments for Common Health Conditions by Alan R. Gaby, M.D., Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., Forrest Batz, Pharm.D. Rick Chester, RPh., N.D., DipLAc. George Constantine, R.Ph., Ph.D. Linnea D. Thompson, Pharm.D., N.D.
Infertility = Disease
On November 30 2009 – the World Health Organization stepped forward to declare for the very first time that infertility is a disease.
Here’s the press release headline, and an excerpt:
WHO Releases Glossary of Terminology in Assisted Reproduction, Defines Infertility as a Disease
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies released a new international glossary of ART terminology. Appearing simultaneously in the journals Fertility and Sterility and Human Reproduction, the glossary is an important step towards developing common nomenclature and understanding in assisted reproduction.
Significantly the glossary defines infertility itself as “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.”
Now that the information is out, we need to start treating it as one.
It is not a disease that people can see your suffering. It is classified in the same category with plastic surgery… a want not a need! It is not a life threatening disease, but it does threaten your way of life!
It is not a disease that people understand or see the symptoms. It comes with so much more than the inability to bear a child. Depression, feeling of loss or being inadequate.
Of the 50 states in America currently only 15 states have laws requiring insurance coverage for infertility treatment.
- Number of women ages 15-44 with impaired fecundity (impaired ability to have children): 6.7 million
- Percent of women ages 15-44 with impaired fecundity: 10.9%
- Number of married women ages 15-44 that are infertile (unable to get pregnant for at least 12 consecutive months): 1.5 million
- Percent of married women ages 15-44 that are infertile: 6.0%
Yet 1:10 women have some kind of fertility related issue. About 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “According to the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth by the CDC, infertility affects about 12 percent of the reproductive-age population. In the United States, this includes 7.3 million women and their partners.“
It is a growing epidemic in America that people need to be aware of and be prepared to deal with. Infertility is a real life medical problem that needs to be addressed as such. We need more research, more medical funding. There needs to be more information that is readily available.
Experts from a great article from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38311820/ns/health-womens_health/t/many-couples-struggle-infertility-silence/#.UBmq0WmXTk4
“One in eight American couples will experience infertility, and 1.1 million women will undergo treatment this year. That most won’t talk about it makes it that much more painful: A recent survey of infertility patients reveals that 61 percent hide the struggle to get pregnant from friends and family. More than half of the patients included in the survey, conducted by pharmaceutical giant Schering-Plough, reported that it was easier to tell people they didn’t intend to build a family rather than share their troubles.” – msnbc.com
“Having difficulty getting pregnant can cause as much grief as losing a loved one, says Linda D. Applegarth, Ed.D., director of psychological services at the Perelman Cohen Center.”
“Women’s silence hurts more than themselves. It ensures that infertility remains an anonymous epidemic, with less funding and research than other common medical problems receive. Infertility activists, a beleaguered few, struggle to find allies. “We can get only a handful of our own volunteers to speak out, because of the shame,” says Barbara Collura, executive director of Resolve, the national infertility association in McLean, Virginia. “Because we have so little patient advocacy, we have so little progress.”
“It’s a strange dichotomy: How can a health issue that gets so much ink be shrouded in silence? We’ve read about the “Octomom” freak show and how the proliferation of multiples, linked to the rise in fertility treatments, drains the health care system. But rarely is the average person made aware of the frustration that 12 percent of women of childbearing age endure trying to make a baby. Nor do most people realize that a majority of infertility treatments fail; in 2006, 57 percent of IVF cycles using women’s own eggs failed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)”
“Infertility is not cancer. But it is debilitating. And some activists argue that infertility desperately needs the kind of awareness effort that helped bring cancer out of the shadows two decades ago. Breast cancer has its pink ribbon. AIDS has its walks, multiple sclerosis its bike-a-thons. Resolve does sponsor an awards gala honoring achievement in the field, but it draws primarily doctors and other professionals from the infertility world, not patients, and most important, it raises no money. Complains one Resolve member who walked out of last year’s event, “Everyone gets up and tells their success stories. Infertility treatment isn’t always about success. And that’s the problem with how infertility is being handled; as with any other disease, some people won’t be cured. That’s why it needs more recognition and funding, so people can get help. But no one wants to recognize the failure.”
“Because no one wants to discuss infertility, “nothing gets done about it,” says Lindsay Beck, founder of Fertile Hope, a program run by the Lance Armstrong Foundation in Austin, Texas, that supports cancer patients whose treatments threaten their fertility. “Infertility is where breast cancer was in the 1970s — completely in the closet.”
“Even the health care providers and pharmaceutical companies that support infertility patients struggle with the best language to use and whether to label infertility a disease — something that conveys its seriousness but could make some patients feel more stigmatized and broken. There are any number of reasons some women don’t conceive easily: age, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome and their partner’s low sperm count, to name a few. Yet regardless of the why or how, “infertility is a disability,” says William Gibbons, M.D., president of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and director for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “For too long, those suffering from infertility have had their condition slighted or even ignored.”
“The World Health Organization in Geneva brought some clarity when it defined infertility as an actual disease. “Part of the problem is that the insurance industry considers infertility akin to cosmetic surgery; having a child is deemed by many insurers to be something men and women would like, but it’s not necessary for their health”
“Infertility treatments can be so intense that even when money is not a factor, “the stress can be too much to continue,” says Alice Domar, Ph.D., director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health at Boston IVF. Last year, researchers at Harvard Medical School found 34 percent of patients younger than 40 with insurance for at least three IVF cycles dropped out after only one or two; 68 percent of patients older than 40 gave up before exhausting their coverage.”
“Where are the tens of thousands of patients affected by this disease?” Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D–Fla.) asked the group of Resolve members gathered on Capitol Hill for Advocacy Day in June 2009. Wasserman Schultz was the last speaker of the day, and at least half of the 90 women who had come to lobby their legislators had already left. But still, said the congresswoman, there should have been more people there in the first place. “Where are your numbers?” she challenged them. “If you’re not going to fight for yourselves, how is anyone else going to fight for you?”… “When you have an issue that impacts millions and you can’t muster even 100 people to the Hill on a day that belongs to them, it becomes hard as a member of Congress to commit to putting energy into that issue,”… “There is a stigma to infertility that somehow you are less of a person, and that stigma has to come off completely,” she says. “Patients need to start shouting from rooftops. And their doctors need to step up with resources and advocacy, because they are the ones with the means to organize.”
The CDC report paved the way for the federal government to develop a National Action Plan for infertility, says Maurizio Macaluso, M.D., chief of the women’s health and fertility branch of the division of reproductive health at the CDC. He hopes this project will create newfound awareness that will “reduce the concern that [infertility] is a punishment or fate — or that it cannot be altered.”
With all this information out there, why is not being covered. Why are the right people not aware. We need to make a change! We need to raise our voices and make people aware! It starts with you, make a difference!