How Does Chinese Medicine Optimize Fertility?

Acupuncture and herbal medicine: 

  • Regulate Menstrual Cycle
  • Increase Blood Flow to the Ovaries and Uterus
  • Improve Quality of Ovulation
  • Decrease Physical and Emotional Stress
  • Reduce Likelihood of Miscarriage 
  • Regulate Hormones
  • Reduce Side Effects of IVF medication (and stress/overwhelm)
  • Heal and Regulate Uterus and Menstruation, Post Miscarriage
  • Reduce Anxiety

Natural Fertility & ART

While IVF and assisted reproductive technology (ART) help many struggling couples to conceive, the unerlying condition or imbalance preventing pregnancy is sometimes not addressed. From a Holistic approach, infertility arises when there is an imbalance in one or both partners (in a nutshell). With natural fertility treatment we adress this imbalnce with acupuncture, herbal medicine and dietary therapy. Some of these women conceive naturally, and others via IVF. In the case of IVF or with a history of miscarriage, it is recommended to receive routine acupuncture through the first trimester. This helps to support pregnancy. 

  • Research has shown acupuncture in conjunction with IVF improves chances of conception. The newest research also suggests that acupuncture treatments prior to day of embryo transfer increase IVF outcome. 

Call to inquire about our onsite treatments- pre & post IVF transfer at Oregon Reproductive Medicine and OHSU.


What does Acupuncture feel like? Does it hurt?

A trained practitioner often inserts needles painlessly. Generally speaking it is not painful. Once the needle is inserted people often feel a sensation. This sensation is associated with the needle reaching the point or the Qi (chee). People describe this sensation in varying ways. A few common descriptive words include: tickle, heavy, weird, deep massage, and vibration.    

How many treatments will I need? 

Chinese medicine is holistic and individualized. Treatment plans will be created after an assessment of your health, during your initial intake. For chronic conditions it is common to receive treatment once or twice a week for four weeks and then re-evaluate. Often times for acute conditions (UTI, cold, flu, etc.) one to three treatments in a single week ill effectively reduce the symptoms.

Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been used during pregnancy for thousands of years. There are herbs and acupuncture points that are not recommended during pregnancy which is why it is important to see a trained practitioner to receive the best care. Katherine has completed four years of Chinese medical school and went on to complete advanced training in birth preparation, labor and delivery. She is skilled and committed to offering you the best care.

What will it cost? Will my insurance cover it?

In the state of Oregon many health insurance companies cover acupuncture. When you schedule your initial visit feel free to call us to inquire about the coverage of your specific insurance. 


What is Acupuncture and How Does it Work?

Acupuncture is a holistic medicine that has been used to diagnose, treat and prevent illness for 3,00 years. Acupuncture focuses on what is called qi (pronounced chee). Qi is the vital energy in all living things. Qi flows through pathways, called channels and meridians nourishing and energizing the organs and entire body. When the body is healthy and the emotions are balanced there is a free flow of qi and blood, which nourishes the body. When there are biological heath conditions, poor diet, emotional instability, trauma and stress the free flow of qi and blood become impaired, resulting in illness.

Acupuncture uses pre-sterilized, disposable needles to stimulate different points. These points each correspond to a specific organ in the body. When these points are stimulated they strengthen and harmonize qi, therefore balancing the organs and unblocking areas of stagnation (where qi and blood is stuck, often times causing pain or discomfort). Stimulating points along the meridians restores balance and improve the body’s natural ability to heal.

There are many theories to explain this ancient medicine. Some people conceptualize this flow of qi with the analogy of water ways- you can picture what happens when a dam is created in a river. The water takes a new route and may not make it to the far away creek. The creek may dry up or the water may rise and rise until the dam is forced open causing the water to go crashing down the river. All of these scenarios disrupt the ecosystem. This imbalance is similar to what happens within our bodies. 

Acupuncture's mechanism of action is unknown. Volumes of research do show a correlation between the insertion of acupuncture needles and the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain relievers. It is also believed that acupuncture increases the levels of serotonin and histamine which promote a healing response. Another commonly accepted theory is that by inserting the needle a nerve is stimulated, causing the release of neurotransmitters, therefore influencing communication between cells within the body.