The importance of the inclusion of Chinese herbs into your fertility acupuncture cannot be overstated. In addition to completing my masters in acupuncture and Chinese medicine I lived, worked, and studied in China for two years so you can take this as a statement of fact and not merely my opinion or feeling on the subject. If a person is sick in China they can elect to go either to a western medical hospital and/or a Chinese medical hospital. In the western medical hospital they will have access to all of the pharmaceutical drugs and surgeries that we have available here in the United States and there will even be a small acupuncture department there for an integrated approach. If the patient chooses in combination or separately to visit the Chinese medicine hospital and goes to the Gynecology department she will be sent upstairs for blood work, downstairs for ultrasound, and her husband will be asked to do a semen analysis. In the Chinese medicine hospital minor surgeries will be performed while larger surgeries will be referred to the western hospital. As doctors of Chinese medicine are more trained in western medicine than their counterparts here in the United States, a gynecologist practicing at the Chinese medical hospital will also perform pelvic exams and may even write a prescription for a drug such as Clomid to help you ovulate. You may be surprised to learn that after all of these exams and tests are run that the doctor is not going to perform acupuncture, but will instead after carefully considering all of the information you present will instead write an herbal formula prescription for you. You would then take the doctors herbal prescription to the hospital’s herbal pharmacy and they would give you one of two things: bags filled with sticks and twigs and leaves which you would take home and soak, boil, cook twice or the hospital would cook the herbs for you and you would take home a bag filled with liquid filled pouches. That is to say that for certain things, say pain management, trigeminal neuralgia, sequela of stroke etc, acupuncture is primary treatment and the herbs are the assistant. For Chinese medicine as it practiced in China treating infertility is primarily an herbalist’s specialty. Why then do we do acupuncture for you? We do acupuncture to help enhance your fertility because there is a growing body of evidence/research that demonstrates acupuncture is an effective treatment or supportive treatment or those couples wishing to conceive naturally at home the old-fashioned method, and for those undergoing treatments such as IUI or IVF.
Wherever you are in the process of trying to get pregnant you can benefit from combining the herbs with your efforts. There are no problems taking Chinese herbs in combination with your IVF or IUI medication, I have not experienced a single case of this happening for my patients. Sometimes because of lack of information or experience working with an experienced reproductive acupuncturist herbalist your gynecologist or reproductive endocrinologist may ask that you not take herbs during their treatment cycles. Remember every doctor takes a solemn promise to first do no harm, I respect that but its best not to give advice about something you have little knowledge of. This is very unfortunate as they are not qualified to make this decision. I do not tell my patients to avoid taking this drug or that drug as western medicine is not my specialty, likewise I think its bad medical practice to tell a patient not to do something that may very likely benefit you. I feel very fortunate to see patients from all five of Atlanta’s fertility centers and that after so many years of focusing in this area more and more doctors are becoming supportive of acupuncture for infertility. Generally speaking there is at least one doctor at each fertility center that is supportive of your wish to take herbs and I’m extremely happy to say that Georgia Reproductive Specialists has 3 doctors that are all fully supportive of not only the acupuncture but also the Chinese herbs.
So do you have to take herbs? No, you do not, but you can see I’m very passionate about them and believe that they are very important to helping you accomplish your goal of getting and staying pregnant. Do the herbs taste good? No, they certainly do not taste good…. I’d even embellish and say they taste terrible…..but you know Pepsi cola says, “taste great!” Well perhaps Pepsi is tasty but certainly drinking a lot of it is probably not in your best health interests. So with a smile I say, ” the herbs taste terrible which obviously means the herbs are really good for you!”. The Chinese are very clever people and have been at this for 3000 years but even they haven’t figured a way to make the herbs taste good. They think its alright to drink/taste bitter to get sweet…they also say the more bitter the more better for you.
If you have further questions about how acupuncture and herbs can help increase your fertility visit our contact page and give us a call. We like to take about fifteen minutes to collect a little background information and make time to answer any questions you may have.