Infertility Acupuncture Cairns and Fertility Acupuncture Cairns
Infertility Acupuncture Cairns and Fertility Acupuncture Cairns
One in eight couples in the United States has trouble getting or staying pregnant one in three couples in which the woman is over and one in two in which the woman is over 40. And these figures have been on the rise for decades. Right now, more than nine million American women seek treatment for fertility issues every year, and their partners need treatment, too.
If you are reading this book, you are likely one of them. Or maybe you’re just planning to get pregnant and want to be as well prepared as you can be. In any case, you are certainly not alone, and you are facing an amazing frontier. Vestern medicineis standing by > eager to assist with every technological tool available, spare no expense. Just about from your grandmother and your neighbor to your yoga teacher and the celebrity you read about in People, has advice for you: Do it every da/- Do it every other day. Douche. Don’t prink Mountain Dew. And, the classic, “Just relax!” (Right, no problem.)
You want to do everything you can, but you want to be smart about it. You don’t want to rush into expensive treatments with their inherent risks and side effects. You don’t want to waste your time any more than you want to waste your money- You don’t want to be guided by unproven old wives’ tales, but you don’t want to dismiss something that just might work either. Truth be told, you’d try just about anything meant having a babyThis is just the position our patients are in. No matter whether they’ve sought out a reproductive endocrinologist and microsurgeon (Sami) or a Chinese medicine practitioner and integrativemedicine expert (Jill), they need both optimistic messages (there are simple and effective strategies
You will learn from our patients who got pregnant after pursuing one or more of the following strategies:
I Taking antibiotics to clear up a common, asymptomatic infection in the man s sperm
I Gaining a few pounds and using herbs and acupuncture to rebalance hormones
I Thickening the endometriumith herbs and acupuncture
I Thinning cervical mucus with an over-the-counter cold remedy
• Lowering the temperature of the man’s daily bath by four degrees
I Taking progesterone to stop extremely early miscarriages
• Restoring regular cycles and ovulation in a case of polycystic ovarian syndrome with a very low-carb diet and the elimination of coffee and alcohol
» Decreasing the intensity of daily workouts to limit endorphin rushes contributing to repeated extremely early miscarriages
• Douching with baking soda
I Improving sperm motility and morphology from poor to perfect by cutting out alcohol and overhauling dietary choices I Having sex more often # Having sex less often I Taking steroids to block an allergic reaction to sperm I Using herbs and acupuncture to prepare for I Vp/only to conceive naturally before the day of the IVF appointment even arrived And of course much more. But you get the idea.
THE CHINESE VIEW
Chinese medicine considers menstruation to be essentially yin. The period—the shedding of the endometrhim-requires the movement of blood. Follicle building also requires yin. And endometrium building requires blood and yin. Nourishing yin governs phase 2 as well. The estrogen predominating is considered to be a yin hormone. Yin promotes growth (of follicles} and building (of the endometrium). The production of fertile cervical mucus also requires yir*. Developing follicles require good blood flow as well as yin. The quality of yin affects the quality of the egg itself, as well as the growth of the follicle around it. Preparing the uterine lining also requires blood and yin,as well as iina At mid-cycle, vin cedes its dominance to the yang energy required by the hormonal transformation necessary for ovulation. Reflected in the changing of the dominant hormone from estrogen to progesterone. This hormonal changing of the guard requires an even flow of qi and blood to occur smoothly andin a timely fashion. Qi also guides the release of the egg and its progress down the fallopian tube. In Chinese medicine, the luteal phase (our phase 4) is dominated by Vang energy, which is warming and energizing. The body needs yang energy to sustain progesterone levels, if you are deficient in yang (or pro* gesterone), your BbT may climb too slowly in the luteal phase, or drop too soon, making implantation less likely. Generally, women’s bodies are warmer in the luteal phase, and for thousands of years doctors of Chinese medicine have stressed the importance of a warm uterus for implantation. Implantation also relies on a good flow of blood to the uterus to create a strong endometrium. If you are not pregnant, your progesterone level drops in this phase. To negotiate this transformation smoothly* your body needs qi and blood to flow smoothly. Vhen they don’t, the result is PMS symptoms, including mood swings, breast tenderness, bloating, food cravings, fatigue, and headaches. Yang energy flows once again into yin on the first day of your period, a significant transformation in theChinese medicine view of things.
HOW TO HAVE SEX
Here again, we’re going to presume you pretty much have a handle on this. But there are a few things you need to know to enhance fertilityFirst, don’t forget the foreplay. Just because you have a job to do now doesn’t mean that you should make this too much like work, for one thing, you want to try to keep sex from becoming a stressor. For another, sexual stimulation improves cervical mucus and increases the flow of hormones, which in turn increases fertility. In addition, one study found that men who were turned on by a partner had higher sperm counts than those who masturbated by themselves. It’s in your best interest not to give sex short shrift by letting it become too goal oriented. Second, the missionary position is the best one to use when you are trying to conceive. Any other time, you should of course use whatever position (s) you enjoy. But right now, you need to be a little more task oriented, and your immediate icthose sperm just as far along their journey as you can. The missionary position allows for penetration closest to the cervix. After sex, stay put for ten to twenty minutes-especially if you’re woman. (Though wouldn’t this be a nice time to cuddle for both ofyou?) I (Jill) once had a patient, a yoga devotee, who used to stand on her head after intercourse to maximize the effects of gravity. This is not necessary. Just don’t make the sperm fight gravity along with everything else. You may also have heard that the woman should lie with her legs a wall. That’s certainly not going to hurt anything, but it isn’t necessary either. Just stay lying down. If you’re one of those women just dying a pee after you’ve had sex, please don’t withhold urine so long that you give yourself a urinary tract infection. But you’ll be fine for fifteen minutes, if you can manage to hold it.
Here’s one good way to get pregnant: have lots of sex. Forgive us if it seems we are stating the obvious, but we think it bears repeating. We Ve both had plenty of patients focused like lasers on the exact day of the woman’s cycle when they should have sex to conceive, having sex on that day and one day just before that as well* then not having sex for the rest of the month. And we’ve had lots of patients who’d read on the Internet all about letting sperm build back up between ejaculations and were limiting sex in some kind of rationing effort.
Unless the male partner has been diagnosed with a low sperm count or low semen volume, you can pretty much feel free to have all the sex you want. (It is a good idea to keep it to once a day.) Not only won’t it hurt anything, but it will greatly increase your chances of conceiving> Of course? It s fine if you’re not inclined to have sex every day, but every other day around ovulation is important. And if a postcoital test (see page I977 > done twelve to eighteen hours after intercourse, shows dead sperm, you do need to have sex every day at mid-cycle to maximize your chances of concei vin gResearch has shown that couples who have sex about once a week have a 1S percent chance of conceiving in any given cycle, while those having sex every day kick up their chances to SO percent. One study found that only 12 percent of couples reported having intercourse five times a week or more, but for those who did, there was no negative impact on fertility. Another study, looking to advise couples in which the fertility issue had been traced back to the man on how long to abstain before collecting semen for ARTs, found that sperm and semen quality peaked between one and three days of abstinence, with significant decreases in quality as the period of abstinence stretchedAlthough the sperm count went the older sperm started to deteriorate. Note that this was in men a diagnosed fertility problem. But the study found that the official guideline most commonly followed, to go two to seven days without ejaculating before collecting sperm, did not serve the couples’ best interests. Men with no reason to maximize their sperm counts surely have even less reason to limit the amount of sex they have. If you are working with a sperm count that’s low or low normal > might want to keep ejaculation to every other day to give the count a chance to build up a bit, at least around the time of the woman’s peak fertility. But there’s no need to limit it any more than that, and in fact there seems to be a benefit to not abstaining any longer.
It’s All in the Timing
If you and your partner are healthy and have no particular fertility chalIenges, the single most important thing you can do to help this process along is to know when to have sex. Which is to say, you need to know when you ovulate and to time the swimming of the sperm accordinglyWell get to the particulars of how to predict ovulation in a minute. But once you know when you ovulate, the key is to have sex ahead of time. Once they’re in your body, the sperm will hang out for a bit, just swimming around»looking for something to do-just waiting for an egg to debut. The egg will not lollygag, soif you wait until you think it’s on , you have a very short window of time for the sperm to catch to it. Having sex on the day ovulation is about to occur may be ideal, but better the day before than the day after, when it will be too late. Think of boarding a cruise ship. Sometimes you can board a couple of days before launch, but once it pulls away from the dock, you are out of luck. That ship has sailed, and you’re just going to have to wait for the next one. Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences studied more than two hundred healthy women planning to get pregnant. They tracked their estimated ovulation and the days on which they had intercourse. Conception took place only when intercourse occurred in the six days leading up to ovulation, and the likelihood of conception increased dramatically the closer sex was to the actual day of ovulation. Only a small number of pregnancies were due to sperm that were three or more days old, and none occurred with sex after the day of ovulation. Erm generally live for seventy-two hours-that’s three whole days-as long as they have good, alkaline cervical mucus to sustain them, and they can sometimes make it for up to seven days. An egg* meanwhile, is fertilizable for only twenty-four hours, and that time frame may squeeze down to just twelve hours as women get older. So your best bet is to have the sperm ready and waiting for the egg when it is released, and that means the best time to have sex is on days 12 through 14 of a standard twenty-eight-day cycle, where ovulation is on day 14, You’ll have to get to know your own cycle to get the timing exactly right, and just how to do that is coming up next.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU ARE MOST FERTILE
To know most accurately when you ovulate, the following three strategies will serve you well: chartingyour BBT (see page 40), monitoryour cervical mucus, and feeling for changes in the position of your cervix.
Your temperature alone is not enough to tell you when you are most fertile. It will tell you whether or not you are ovulating at all-good to know!—and will give you some other helpful information, includpatterns that can help determine your fertility type or your fertility diagnosis. But the fact remains that your temperature rises after ovulation. Since the name of the game is knowing when you will ovulate, just charting your temperature won’t tell you what you most need to know. This is why we begin with a section on getting to know your cervical mucus. If you use only one of these three strategies, this should be it. And though all of these approaches are pretty simple, this is the easiest one of all. Although we give you an overview of these fertility signs and how to track and interpret them, the acknowledged master in this area is Toni Weschler, author of the classic Taking Chargeof Your Fertility. If you mrvt more detailed guidance in this regard, we enthusiastically recommend her book.
paying attention to the cyclical changes in your cervical mucus (your vaginal discharge) is your single best guide to ovulation. Yet cervical mucus is rarely discussed. Your doctor is no more likely to mention it than is your best girlfriend (despite the details you might get about her period). And so most women know next to nothing about it and the messages it carries about their fertility- The normal ebbs and flows in this mucus are open to misinterpretation for the same reason, and more than one woman has become convinced that she has a yeast infection when what she’s really experiencing is an increase in cervical mucus at ovulation. Learning how to hear what your body is telling you is really quite simple. What you’re looking for is fertile cervical mucus-fluid that will be the most hospitable to sperm, helping them along their journey toward the egg. This section is about’how to recognize it when you see (and feel) it, how to know when to expect it, and how best to take advanof the opportunity it signals. As you are getting to know your body’s rhythms in more detail, you may want to jot down your observations in a »r diary for a few months to help you pinpoint your personal pattern. If you keep a BBT chart (see page 40), that’s a great place to record notes on cervical mucus as well.
Next comes the fertile cervical mucus you’ve been waiting for, thinner and transparent. It will be slippery and very stretchy; many people it looks like raw egg white. Usually it is clear, but it can be pink c blood-tinged. It may also be watery. Your vagina will feel very wet and lubricated. The discharge will now form a round, moist patch on your underwear (there’s more water in it); it will show up more clearly on dark underwear. Fertile cervical mucus won’t dissolve in water like the in the toilet bowj. You’re most likely to see it after a bowel movement, when you’ve been straining a little.
You are at your most fertile during this time. Fertile cervical mucus lasts three days on average. Young women have up to five days of it; older women may have only two days, or even just one. (This is one reason young women get pregnant more easily.) Higher estrogen levels create the fertile mucus. Vhen estrogen levels drop and progesterone appears, the fertile mucus dries up within a day* Your peak fertility is the last day this egg-white mucus. Most women are pretty consistent from month to month as to how many days of fertile mucus they have, so once you’re familiar with your pattern, you’ll be able to target the very best day to have intercourse. For example, if you usually have three days of fertile mucus, on the first day you can make a date for the day after tomorrow. Feel free to throw in the rest of the days, too, of course; it can only help (so long as your partner’s sperm count is normal). If you don’t experience egg-white mucus as we’ve described it, try having sex on the last day of the wettest cervical mucus you do observe. Vc call the egg-white stuff fertile mucus because besides marking for you when ovulation will occur, it is in and of itself a great boost to fertil. Cervical mucus is the equivalent of semen in men. Men are fertile all time, so they produce seminal fluid all the time. Women are fertile only once a month, so they produce fertile cervical mucus only once a month.