Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after one year of unprotected intercourse. There are two types of infertility: primary infertility, which is infertility without any previous pregnancy, and secondary infertility, referring to cases in which there has been a previous pregnancy.
Common Causes of Infertility:
Diagnosis of infertility begins with a complete medical history and physical exam. The healthcare provider may order tests, including the following:
Natural Approaches to Treating Infertility
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Treatment of infertility will depend on the cause. In western medicine, treatment for female infertility may include:
The following are some side effects of western medical treatments used to illicit ovulation:
As a general guideline, the following steps can be taken to prevent some cases of female infertility:
Western (Allopathic) Treatment of Infertility
Acupuncture for Infertility
Depending on the cause of infertility, natural approaches can be very useful and should be tried before proceeding to drastic medical intervention, especially if you are in your twenties. Natural approaches to promote fertility include:
The Treatment of Infertility in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Some less common causes include uterine problems, endometriosis, previous tubal ligation, previous vasectomy and drugs.
Preventing Female Infertility
Functional related infertility is often stress-related, and is most common among women who work or live in stressful environments. In Chinese medicine, acupuncture is used to decrease stress in the body by regulating the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. The treatment also addresses possible hormonal imbalances and circulatory problems.
If you choose to undergo IVF, be assured that recent studies have concluded that acupuncture performed immediately before and after IVF significantly increases the chances for a viable pregnancy (ongoing studies confirm these findings.) Acupuncture reduces uterine contractions, which may contribute to the failure of IVF treatments, before, during and after IVF. Acupuncture can also increase blood flow to the uterus, which creates a very favorable environment for pregnancy to occur. Minimally, a treatment should be performed 1/2 hour before implantation and 1/2 hour after. In order to achieve maximum benefit, weekly treatments are recommended at least two months prior to the start of IVF.
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