A recent study showed that uterine lining health may be more important than egg quality in creating a healthy birth weight baby and carrying to term. (Click here for the Time article about this published research). This was a large study out of Baylor that reviewed over 300,000 IVF cycles with specific interest in birth weight and gestation. What they found was that IVF cycles that stimulated the uterus (which is the majority) had lower birth weight and less chance of carrying to term than ones that were unstimulated such as donor egg, surrogate or frozen transfer.
A healthy uterine lining can absolutely be helped by acupuncture as demonstrated clinically and in published research studies showing that it increases uterine blood flow:
* Chang R, Chung PH, Rosenwaks Z. Role of acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility. Fertil Steril. Dec 2002;78(6):1149-1153.
* Stener-Victorin E, Waldenstrom U, Andersson SA, Wikland M. Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture. Hum Reprod. Jun 1996;11(6):1314-1317.
Acupuncture as well as shiatsu abdominal massage can increase blood flow to the uterus. This is most likely one of the mechanism whereby acupuncture helps increase the chances of conceiving via IVF. Of course natural conceptions are also helped by incorporating acupuncture treatments which can also normalize a women’s cycle.
How can you tell if your uterine lining is healthy? In Chinese Medicine terms the period should be:
- Flow should be moderate and healthy red color.
- Little to no clotting.
- Little pain or cramping
- Regular cycle of 27-31 days.
`Acupuncture is a very safe, relaxing and effective treatment to help a woman gain hormonal balance and proper uterine blood flow. However some conditions such as fibroids preventing implantation are best handled surgically by Western medicine so do make sure to rule out these conditions with your GYN should you have severe symptoms.
Gaining balance of your cycle is an important step towards a successful pregnancy.
Yours In Health,
George Mandler CNS LDN LicAc