Acupuncture and Herbal Support for Infertility and Pregnancy

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be used as a natural approach to fertility without the use of Western medical interventions. The goal of treatment is to enhance a couple’s, or singles overall reproductive health, allowing for natural conception and pregnancy to be possible. It is preferable to treat both partners, as most fertility issues affect both males and females.

For those undergoing Western fertility treatments, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers support on both a physical and psychological level, and treatment increases the success for many Assisted Reproductive Techniques.

At Scarsdale Acupuncture, we invest wholeheartedly in our patients’ well-being. We work in conjunction with local fertility centers and Reproductive Endocrinologists, including Dr. Jeff Klein of RMADr. Anate Brauer of Greenwich Fertility Center, Dr. Melvin Thornton of CT Fertility, Dr. Staci Pollack of Montefiore, and Dr. Rachel Bennett of WRM to help treat patients undergoing ART. Many doctors have begun to recognize the effectiveness of an integrated Eastern/Western approach to their patients’ fertility. Although it is not a requirement, patients planning for a future IVF cycle should ideally begin preparatory treatment with TCM three months prior to beginning their hormonal treatment.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help you maintain a healthy pregnancy. The combination can treat many of the symptoms that arise during pregnancy including nausea & vomiting, high blood pressure, fatigue, constipation, headaches & migraines, back pain, carpal tunnel, sciatica, heartburn, stress, anxiety and insomnia. Acupuncture can help strengthen the lining of the uterus, as well as the immune system, which helps to prevent miscarriage.
Moxibustion, also known as moxa, is a Chinese herb that has been processed and formed into a cigar-shaped stick which burns very slowly and gives off penetrating warmth. It has been used empirically for centuries in China to turn breech babies. This involves burning the herb (mugwort) at one acu-point location (near the end of the little toe on either foot) to stimulate the baby’s movement. It is most successful when used from 32 to 34 weeks.
Acupuncture treatments leading up to birth have proven to increase the likelihood of delivering on the due date, reduce time in labor and substantially reduce the need for interventions and caesarean sections. Certain points are known to help the cervix soften and dilate and others aid in helping the ligaments relax and loosen for the easy passage of the baby. One acupuncture treatment per week (beginning at weeks 37, 38, 39, 40) is recommended to prepare your body to be strong enough to endure labor and delivery.
Acupuncture can also be a safe and effective method for inducing labor in a woman who is nearing or past her due date. The treatment provides greater body relaxation, allowing for progression of effacement and dilation. Specific points are used to also stimulate the uterus and encourage a downward movement of energy. Most women will feel increased fetal activity during the treatment and may even experience contractions. Typically, labor can start 12-72 hours after treatment. If you know ahead of time that your doctor will want to induce you by a certain date, you may consider acupuncture as much as a week in advance to allow time for the treatment to take effect or for follow-up treatment if necessary.

After the joyous arrival of your baby, it is important to protect your own health like that of your precious newborn. Immediately following birth, a woman’s constitutional resources have been depleted during delivery and throughout her pregnancy by the demands of her growing baby. This depleted constitutional state throws the body into an energetic pattern of deficiency, which can cause a multitude of mental and physical postpartum symptoms to arise, including:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Hot flashes
  • Pain (backache or pain of the vaginal tissues)
  • Insufficient lactation or excessive milk production
  • Mastitis
  • Urinary difficulty
  • Incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help your body to recover and regain strength during the postpartum period.

Testimonials

I began seeing Andrea for fertility issues and can say without a doubt that her work with me led to a successful first pregnancy. While pregnant with my second child, I learned that the baby was breech at 35 and a half weeks. I immediately sought out Andrea to try to turn the baby and avoid a c-section. Through four sessions of acupuncture and moxibustion, I learned at 37 and a half weeks that the baby had turned head down…miraculous at such a late stage! Andrea is patient and kind, and took the time to get to know me as a whole person. She put me at ease throughout some very anxious times and was always available for any questions and concerns I had. I am happy to recommend her.
— Lisa, New Rochelle, NY
Isla Rose was born on May 19th, 2015 weighing 8 lbs. 14 oz.

I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) by a fertility specialist. After several cycles of Clomid and one IUI, I conceived my daughter. One year later, my husband and I attempted to conceive again using Assisted Reproductive Therapy. After five failed attempts, we were told the next course of action would have to be IVF. This was not covered by our health insurance and we were not prepared financially to pursue it on our own. In addition, we were uncomfortable with the increased odds for multiple births. During this time, I began to hear of and read about acupuncture as a means to successfully achieve pregnancy. I began my treatment with Andrea and was immediately impressed by her knowledge of acupuncture and its uses to treat infertility. Throughout my treatment, I came to regard her as a kindred spirit who carefully considered my emotional and psychological well being as we traveled this journey together. She recommended that I incorporate Chinese herbal teas and after four months of regular acupuncture treatments, herbal teas and small lifestyle changes, my husband and I conceived our second daughter naturally! Andrea is a highly talented and compassionate health care professional.
— Cindy, Pelham, New York
Kathryn Josephine was born on June 2, 2008 weighing 8lbs. 7oz.

My husband and I assumed like all other couples in their mid thirties that we would get pregnant immediately. After several thousand dollars with an attempt at IUI and four failed IVF’s I had reconciled with the idea that I would never be able to bear children. I felt defeated and hopeless. But, something told me to exhaust all possible means. My friend referred me to Andrea and from there on, I was on my way to success! During the initial consultation I could tell the concern and compassion she held for her patients. I could not believe the depth and proficiency in which she examined my medical history. She addressed concerns that were never discussed by prior medical professionals. The office visits were peaceful and I started looking forward to the next one. Unbeknownst to me, each appointment was a stepping stone towards my quest for motherhood. After a month and a half of treatment (acupuncture twice/week and herbs daily), I got pregnant! We just celebrated our beautiful baby’s first year. There is not one day that goes by that I don’t think of Andrea and the miracle she blessed me with. Motherhood is everything I had hoped for with my son. I am forever grateful!
— Carolina, Port Chester, New York
Gage Taren was born on January 24, 2008 weighing 8lbs. 5oz.

My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for about two years. Both being in our early forties, we had been told that our odds were not all that good. I first tried acupuncture for infertility about 9 months ago, and while I did get pregnant (with IUI), the pregnancy ended early (probably due to genetic problems) and I did not feel that the acupuncturist was well versed in infertility. My doctor then recommended Andrea. I knew immediately after meeting her that I had found the right person. She reviewed my history, explained the treatments, and was in communication with my doctor. Andrea is not only well studied in the treatment of infertility, but has a caring and gentle spirit. After about two months of acupuncture, we went ahead with IVF, and I am happy to report that I am now 10 weeks pregnant and everything looks great! I have no doubt that acupuncture played a role in this success. Andrea, thank you again for all of your help and support.
— Liz, Bedford Hills, New York
Jacob Robertson was born on August 26, 2007 weighing 8 lbs. 10 oz.