You long to start a family or add to your existing one, but, try as you might, you and your partner are unable to conceive or carry a child to term. You aren’t alone. Up to 15% of US couples experience problems with infertility, and the root causes are equally divided among men and women.
The team of licensed and board-certified acupuncturists here at Family Wellness Acupuncture understands the many problems that lead to infertility, and we’re here to help.
The best way to understand how acupuncture can help with fertility issues is to review what we’re up against. With that in mind, here are a few of the more common drivers of infertility in men and women.
A long road
Before we break down infertility by gender, let’s first review the incredibly complex journeys that must take place for conception to occur.
First, a man must have an ample supply of healthy sperm that can be expelled properly. Once the sperm enter the vagina, they need to have the strength and speed to make their way through a woman’s cervix and into her Fallopian tubes, where they, hopefully, encounter an egg that’s ready for fertilization. Assuming they’re able to connect, the fertilized egg then needs to make its way into a woman’s uterus for implantation.
As you can see, a problem anywhere along this chain can disrupt your ability to conceive.
Infertility in women
In approximately one-third of infertility cases, the problem lies with the woman (another one-third is with the man, and the final third rests with both genders or for reasons unknown).
Some of the more common reasons why women may be infertile often involve problems with ovulation, which include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Hormone imbalances
- Premature ovarian failure
- Thyroid issues
Outside of ovulation disorders, women can also experience infertility because of certain reproductive problems, such as:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Untreated sexually transmitted diseases
- Uterine fibroids
Lastly, fertility problems in women may be a function of age — egg quality tends to decline after age 35.
Infertility in men
When it comes to infertility in men, the problem often lies in inadequate sperm, which can include:
- Low sperm count
- Low motility (rate of movement)
- Misshapen sperm
Even if your sperm characteristics are satisfactory, you may have an issue that’s preventing your sperm from entering a woman, such as a varicocele (swelling in your testicles).
Improving fertility with acupuncture
When you seek our help for fertility issues, we tailor a treatment plan to your unique circumstances and goals, and this plan often goes beyond acupuncture and includes herbs, nutritional counseling, and lifestyle changes. Our goal is to optimize all areas of your wellness to encourage fertility.
Another reason why our clients have found success through acupuncture is that we’re able to resolve many of the underlying issues that may be contributing to infertility. For example, through acupuncture, we can work toward rebalancing your hormones, which can improve both ovulation and sperm production.
Another great example is the role that stress reduction can play. Stress can very much impact your ability to conceive, and we often see heightened stress levels as a result of the fertility problems. Through acupuncture, we can destress your body, allowing your systems to function optimally.
The bottom line is that we approach your fertility issues from many different angles through acupuncture to increase your chances for success. To learn more, contact our office in Irvine, California, to set up a consultation.