Our ability to create life is one of the most beautiful and incredible aspects of our world. For many, however, the act of conception proves to be very difficult, which can be the cause of much distress and frustration. A couple is considered to have fertility issues if they have been trying to conceive for a year with no success. This difficulty with conception may affect up to 25% of all couples planning a child.
Treating the Root of Infertility
Unfortunately it is common for couples having difficulty conceiving to be led directly to Assisted Reproduction Technologies (ART) such as In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). As I see it there are a couple of problems with this approach:
- Unaddressed Health Imbalances The likely culprit is often some sort of health imbalance that is not being addressed. These imbalances run the gambit from uncontrolled stress to immune dysregulation to hormonal imbalances to nutritional factors (even if taking a multi-vitamin).
- Male Causes of Infertility Often when dealing with fertility issues, one finds the woman in the relationship rushing to the clinic at 7 am before work, footing much of the work and taking on much of the responsibility herself. Statistics show, however, that infertility is often almost as likely to be male factor as it is female factor. This is one area to which western medicine often pays too little attention. The male factor often needs to be much more closely scrutinized, as there is a lot more to a man’s ability to conceive than just a normal semen analysis.
- Healthy Children Start with Healthy Parents Whatever the underlying physiological issues are, they can likely be addressed with lifestyle, acupuncture, herbs, and functional nutrition. Once the body is brought into better balance one will feel much healthier in addition to having a healthier baby. There are several research studies that show the health of a baby begins in utero.
Bringing the body into a healthier, happier state also underlines another reason I advocate trying the functional health approach prior to jumping straight into procedures such as IVF. Chinese Medicine and Functional Medicine aims to treat the root causes of infertility itself. Though the data is controversial, there have been several studies that show a higher rate of birth defects in IVF. (albeit small 1.5% vs 1%). This leads me to wonder whether these defects are due in most part to the fact that the root cause of the infertility is not addressed throughout the ART procedures. Perhaps this leaves the body inadequately prepared for an optimally healthy pregnancy. Whatever the truth is here, it is just another reason to see how your body can improve through complementary health options before jumping straight into ART options.
Examine Your Options
Western ART medicine certainly has its amazingly beautiful place in helping couples conceive, since many cannot without the technology. However couples should know that it does not have to be their first treatment choice. Functional nutrition, herbs, and acupuncture can actually treat the imbalances that exist in the body, thus treating the root cause of infertility. The idea is to create healthy babies and healthy parents. Using these holistic approaches, couples not only conceive, but will also experience a healthier pregnancy and postpartum once it is brought into the world.
I am Board Certified in Reproductive Medicine. If you are having troubles conceiving please contact me for a free fertility consult to determine if I can support your reproductive health toward having a successful and healthy pregnancy.
If you have any questions call the office 978-461-2001 and I will be happy to meet with you for a free consult about your specific fertility challenges.
In July 2007 I was diagnosed with PCOS and recommended hormonal treatment by my gynecologist. As I did not feel ready to go this way, my husband and I decided that I should to try acupuncture.
In November 2007 I began acupuncture treatment with George Mandler. For 2 1/2 months I had weekly appointments, which were not only relaxing and enjoyable but also helped me get back into a good balance. After having had irregular periods for almost a year, they came back – the combination of the acupuncture and George’s knowledgeable advice for dietary changes worked tremendously. I appreciated his calm and reflective approach to Eastern medicine and Western science, as well as the peaceful atmosphere in the clinic.
I became pregnant in Feb 2008 and I am feeling fantastic.Margaret D., Cambridge, MA
Yours In Health,
George Mandler CNS LDN LicAc
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