by Dr. Pamela Langenderfer
Naturopathic Physician, Licensed Acupuncturist
Fellow of American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine www.Lakeside Holistic Health
Hormones are funny little things, you can’t see them but they have a very powerful effect on our day to day well being. When a woman’s hormones are out of balance she may experience symptoms such as PMS, fatigue, irregular periods, infertility, or depression, to name a few.
Naturopathic medicine and acupuncture can offer a safe natural way to restore balance. Chinese medicine is the oldest continuous recorded medical system, dating back over 4,000 yrs. Chinese medicine is not about stimulating your hormones but restoring them and your body’s natural balance. Chinese medical treatments are designed to work with nature rather than against them. Restoring optimal health permits the natural fertility state.
Acupuncture by itself can increase fertility rates by 60%. Acupuncture can improve fertility and pregnancy rates in several ways:
- Improve ovarian function to produce better quality eggs
- Regulate hormones to produce a greater number of follicles
- Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining
- Relax the patient and decrease stress levels
- Prevent the uterus from contracting
- Lessen the side effects of drugs used in IVF and gynecology
- Strengthen the immune system
- Improve the sperm count and motility to produce better quality embryos
- Decrease and prevent the chances of miscarriage
It is generally recommended to prepare the body for pregnancy for 3 months before becoming pregnant. This usually entails herbs, nutritional supplements, weekly or biweekly acupuncture, exercise, and a healthy diet.
Acupuncture and naturopathic medicine are also great noninvasive choices for postpartum women. Herbs are used to nourish the body after birth which can help with energy and postpartum depression. Optimizing hormones at all phases of life is important for women especially when planning to conceive.