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What is Infertility?
Infertility can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal imbalances, genetic disorders, and problems with the reproductive system. Common causes of infertility in women include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and blocked fallopian tubes. In men, infertility can be caused by low sperm count, abnormal sperm shape, or problems with sperm motility. Infertility can be treated through various methods such as medication, surgery, assisted reproductive technology (ART) like IVF, and lifestyle changes. It is important to seek help from a fertility specialist if you have been trying to conceive for over a year without success, as early intervention can increase the chances of success.
What Causes Infertility?
Infertility is a common issue that affects many couples trying to conceive. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to infertility, including:
- Stress: High levels of stress can affect hormone levels and disrupt the menstrual cycle, making it difficult to conceive.
- Hormone imbalances: Hormonal imbalances can affect ovulation and sperm production, making it difficult for fertilization to occur.
- A decrease in sperm quality: Factors such as age, alcohol use, and poor diet and nutrition can lead to a decrease in sperm quality, making it difficult for sperm to fertilize an egg.
- Age: As women get older, their fertility decreases and the risk of miscarriage increases.
- Alcohol use: Excessive alcohol consumption can decrease sperm count and harm sperm quality.
- Poor diet and nutrition: A diet that lacks essential vitamins and minerals can affect fertility.
- Being over/under weight: Being either underweight or overweight can affect hormone levels and disrupt ovulation.
- Failure to ovulate: Some women may not ovulate regularly, making it difficult to conceive.
- Problems in the menstrual cycle: Irregular menstrual cycles can make it difficult to predict ovulation, making it difficult to conceive.
- Structural problems of the reproductive system: Blocked fallopian tubes, uterine fibroids, and other structural problems can make it difficult for sperm to reach the egg.
- Infections: Certain infections such as parasites, candida and viral infections can affect fertility.
- Eggs failing to mature properly: Some women may have eggs that do not mature properly, making it difficult for them to conceive.
- Implantation failure: Even if fertilization occurs, the egg may not implant properly in the uterus.
- Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of it, affecting the fertility.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that can affect ovulation and fertility.
- Idiopathic: Some cases of infertility have no known cause.
- Uterine fibroids: Uterine fibroids can affect the ability to conceive
- Autoimmune disorders: Some autoimmune disorders can affect fertility
- Thyroid disorders: Thyroid disorders can affect ovulation and fertility
It is important to consult a fertility specialist if you have been trying to conceive for over a year without success. Early intervention can increase the chances of success.
How Can Infertility be Treated Naturally?
At Ananta Health, we use BioScan SRT testing to determine a treatment plan that can consist of traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and herbs, and dietary and lifestyle changes in order to help balance hormones, reduce stress, and decrease inflammation. Each couples treatment plan is individualized and based on each persons clinical needs.
Can Acupuncture Help with Fertility?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. According to preliminary research, Acupuncture can help with infertility by:
- Increasing blood flow to the uterus: This can lead to an improved endometrial lining, making it easier for a fertilized egg to implant.
- Reducing stress and anxiety: Stress can create anovulation, reduced blood flow to the uterus, and/or hormone imbalances within the body, making it more difficult to conceive. Acupuncture can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can improve overall fertility.
- Improving ovulation for those with PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common cause of infertility. Acupuncture can help regulate hormones and improve ovulation in women with PCOS.
- Improving sperm count and quality: Acupuncture can improve the quality and quantity of sperm, which can increase the chances of fertilization.
- Encouraging hormone regulation: Acupuncture can help regulate menstrual cycles and ovulation by promoting hormone balance.
(1)Bushnik, Tracey et al. њEstimating the prevalence of infertility in Canadaќ Human reproduction (Oxford, England) vol. 27,3 (2012): 738-46. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3279129/
(2) Cochrane, Suzanne et al. њAcupuncture and women's health: an overview of the role of acupuncture and its clinical management in women's reproductive healthќ International journal of women's health vol. 6 313-25. 17 Mar. 2014, doi:10.2147/IJWH.S38969 Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3962314/