Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in Asia to boost fertility and address the kinds of medical problems that prevent a couple from conceiving. Recently it has become a popular adjunctive treatment to IVF after studies have showed that it can increase the efficacy of IVF by 50%. Read
The characteristic qualities of the Stuck type include physical stress manifested in sluggish digestion, hormonal shifts within the menstrual cycle and extra care in promoting healthy blood flow in menstruation. For these women, Jill suggests a diet that creates internal balance which means sourcing and cooking fresh, whole foods with a daily profile of 60% vegetables and fruits, 30% complex carbohydrates and 10% protein. Read
Men make new sperm every day and those sperm come to fruition withing 72 days. This is good news for men who want to give their fertility a boost, because it means that within three months they can make a big difference to the reproductive health. For more detailed information it is worth checking out our book Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility where Dr. David and I give specific advice to men based on their fertility type. Briefly though, here are five simple things men can do that have a big impact on sperm quality and quantity.
1. Keep them cool
It’s important that the testicles are 1- 2 degrees cooler than the rest of the body and so taking hot baths or sitting with a lap top on your knee can be contributing to diminished fertility. Likewise men who sit at a desk all day can become overheated so at the YinOva Center we advise them to get up a move around once an hour to air off their private parts.
2. Eat right
You will find more information in Making Babies about how to eat right for your fertility type but all men can benefit from eating a wide range of colorful fruits and vegetable, whole grains and lean protein. Poor intake of vitamin C and E and the minerals zinc and selenium can affect sperm quality and would-be fathers with borderline sperm counts might want to consider supplementation. Finnish men have some of the highest sperm counts in the world which is thought to be due to the amount of oily fish they eat. For this reason at the YinOva Center we suggest men use a fish oil/omega-3 supplement.
3. Limit your exposure to toxic chemicals.
In Making Babies we discuss how the average sperm count for American men has plummeted over the past few decades. Dr. David and I believe that environmental toxins and the main reason and so advise men to eat as much whole food as possible and to avoid processed foods. I have blogged about this here.
4. Drop some bad habits
Smoking, whilst it does not reduce sperm count, does damage sperm DNA which can lead to a greater chance of miscarriage. Excessive alcohol use can affect hormone levels and lead to atrophy of the semeniferous tubules, loss of sperm cells, and an increase in abnormal sperm. Marijuana use has been shown to reduce sperm and semen volume. If you need help dropping unhealthy habits come on in to the YinOva Center. We are happy to support you.
5. Get checked out for hidden infections.
Infections such as chlamydia or urea plasma can impair fertility and also lead to early miscarriages. Men should ask their doctors for a semen culture to make sure that they are not infected.
Chinese diagnosis is based on identifying patterns of disharmony so an acupuncturist will look for signs that have meaning when seen in relation to each other. Two of the most common patterns in women with unexplained infertility are Liver Qi Stagnation and Kidney Yang Deficiency. In our book, Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility , Dr. David and I called these the Stuck Type and the Tired Type. You can identify your type by taking this quiz and you can find out more about the fertility types here.
The Stuck Type describes someone who manifests stress physically. Often they have tension headaches or nervous stomachs, which are signs that they have become tight like a pressure cooker and qi is not flowing smoothly. This lack of flow can lead to unsmooth hormone transitions resulting in symptoms such as PMS. At the YinOva Center we give these patients a very well known Chinese formula called Xiao Yao Wan and treat them with weekly acupuncture to move qi. We know they are getting better when they no longer have PMS and many of them then go on to get pregnant.
The Tired Type describes someone who has metabolic issues that effect their reproductive hormones. They usually complain of fatigue, feeling cold and weight gain. At the YinOva Center we put them on a warming herbal formula and suggest they eat warming foods. We give them weekly acupuncture often with moxibustion, a warming herb. We know that they are getting better when they tell us they have more energy and that their hands and feet are not cold anymore. At that point many of them go on to get pregnant.
Both these types can result in problems that can be identified by conventional medicine. Women who are the Stuck Type can have elevated prolactin levels and women who are the Tired Type can have low thyroid hormone. However in many cases the imbalance is sub-clinical and not picked up by medical testing. That is a great reason to seek out an acupuncturist and herbalist in order to correct patterns of disharmony that may be minor but are subtly impeding your fertility.