Here are Some Women’s Health Concerns to try Acupuncture
Acupuncture can help women conceive naturally, or help them during the process of fertility treatments with a reproductive endocrinologist. Based on the cause of infertility (and many times the cause is unexplained by the fertility doctors) and other signs and symptoms, a treatment protocol is set up to work on the underlying imbalances causing trouble conceiving. Many of the reasons people seek acupuncture for infertility (and not just women, men too) are for irregular periods, age related fertility issues, high FSH, endometriosis, PCOS, recurrent miscarriage, low sperm count, poor responder to the medication, anovulatory cycles, and more. While going through fertility treatments, such as IVF treatments will be catered around the fertility treatments to maximize each patient’s success at conception. Also, acupuncture helps tremendously with the emotional aspect of the fertility process, such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia, as well as the side effects of some fertility medications such as headaches, mood swings, and bloating. Acupuncture is a natural and invaluable way for women to boost their chances at a successful pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Postpartum Support
Acupuncture, when done by a qualified and trained acupuncturist, is completely safe to receive during pregnancy. Many women come in first to help with symptoms of the first trimester such as morning sickness, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, and body aches and pains, but then continue throughout the remainder of their pregnancy for other reasons. General health and well-being, pain, allergies & sinus congestion, migraines, and immune system building are all reasons women come in during pregnancy, but the two biggest reasons I see women in the third trimester are to turn a breech baby (this is done with moxibustion, the burning of the herb moxa) and to induce labor. After labor and delivery women often continue to receive acupuncture treatments to rebuild their Qi and blood, increase milk supply, but what might be the biggest reason new moms seek acupuncture is for treating postpartum depression. Acupuncture is a natural and safe option for women experiencing depression, as well as anxiety, in the postpartum stages.
Endometriosis can cause women to experience backache, severe cramping, heavy bleeding, sciatica, urinary frequency and pain, vomiting, trouble passing stool, abdominal pain and swelling. Untreated, endometriosis can also become a cause of female infertility . Acupuncture looks at the symptoms and other signs the body shows and treats accordingly. In Chinese medicine, pain and endometriosis is usually caused when the blood and the Qi are stuck and not flowing smoothly. The imbalances which cause these stagnations can be caused by many factors, physical and emotional stress are the mot common. With regular acupuncture treatments most women see improvements in their symptoms in the first or second menstrual cycle. It is a wonderful thing when women can have a menstrual cycle with little to no symptoms, no longer need western drugs to get through each month, and not have the other symptoms that appear with endometriosis.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS):
PCOS is a condition that is affecting more and more women every year, affecting, on average, about 10% of women of child bearing age. PCOS can manifest differently for each women, but is often a leading cause of infertility. Some of the symptoms of PCOS are ovarian cysts, irregular or absent menstrual cycles, weight gain, facial and body hair growth, and insulin resistance. Acupuncture is a drug free, safe, option for helping women with PCOS. By looking at a full health history, as well as the tongue and the pulse, acupuncturists can determine the underlying imbalances in the body that can lead to PCOS. With regular treatments and sometimes herbal therapy if necessary, women see a decrease in symptoms and most will see their menstrual cycles regulate themselves. Many women can continue to treat their PCOS naturally and avoid medication for PCOS, as well as medication for trying to conceive.
Menopause and Perimenopause
Perimenopause is the time in a woman’s life when her body is preparing for menopause and generally when she will start to experience symptoms and signs of this shift in hormones. The most common symptoms are hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, anxiety, insomnia, lowered sex drive, depression, fatigue, palpitations, and weight gain. With acupuncture, most women report feeling more like themselves, have more energy from better sleep, especially while not being interrupted by night sweats, and a reduction in the other emotional and physical symptoms. Menopause is a natural process the body goes through, but with acupuncture, many women can feel relief from the symptoms and it can help them transition relatively easily without much disruption to their day to day lives.