Commentary by Dawn Krueger-Sherin |
In the 1990s valuable medical research began to appear on using acupuncture and Chinese herbs, along with patients doing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). What was known for thousands of years with patients not having Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is that Chinese medicine increases a couple’s chance of getting pregnant. With a German study being published in 2002 they found that it increased the patients success up to 60 percent. After this study many countries, including America, have conducted their own studies. Over and over again the results are the same. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs increase the percentage rate of a woman’s chance in getting pregnant.
Every great fertility endocrinologist across the country now works with a medical practitioner who specializes in Chinese medicine or they will recommend acupuncture. It is very exciting for those of us who wanted to specialize in fertility treatments. I started school in 2002 with the goal of helping those increase their chances of getting pregnant. Unfortunately, during my internship I had no fertility patients. I had some great gynecological cases, but no takers in wanting to get pregnant. After I had graduated I set out to find a couple to work with pro bono.
I found a couple through a friend. They had been trying for three years to get pregnant and were unsuccessful. They were told by a doctor that they would never get pregnant on their own. This is something that in my opinion should never be told to anyone who has all the working parts to get pregnant. I look back on that time only knowing little to help, but very confident that Chinese medicine would make a difference. I quickly took more continuing education on the subject and was able to come up with something unique that I thought would work. Six months total of treating this couple she was pregnant on her own. It was a miracle and I was amazed by it all.
The truth is Chinese medicine alone can help increase a woman’s chance of not only getting pregnant, but staying pregnant. There is much of a comparative reduction in cost using Oriental medicine and acupuncture rather than an IVF procedure. Many couples simply don’t know that they have these options. I have passionately studied both fertility bio medicine and Oriental reproductive medicine over the past 10 years. The protocols that I have implemented for my patients is weekly acupuncture treatments with herbs and food therapy. I have the patients give me the results of all their fertility testing they have done. I then may recommend them to get a few more tests with their doctor. If the patient gets pregnant I will then implement half-hour treatments twice a week that prevent miscarriage and help the baby develop. We sometimes give them a safe herbal formula that helps prevent miscarriage and nourishes the body. I usually will treat them through their first trimester. The goal is not just to achieve a pregnancy, but to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby in the end.
Over and over again I see results with treatments just based on my patients gynecological imbalances. If a woman is having lots of cramps with their periods, breast tenderness and PMS, this will go away in a few months. If a woman had cysts in her uterus or around her ovaries — they diminish. If a woman is not ovulating within one or two months they are now ovulating. If the patient does not get pregnant then I usually recommend them to doctors I work with to try a little medication and maybe an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). Still a lot more inexpensive than an IVF procedure. Although for some, IVF is the only option. In that case, I always encourage my patients to wait it out at least three months prior to the procedure to get treatments and allow their bodies to relax and balance.
I now have a wall full of pictures of children that I like to call my acu-babies. Babies born with the help of Chinese medicine and acupuncture. My website is full of testimonials of not only fertility successes, but a babies life saved. Last year, I treated a patient who had recurrent miscarriages. She had six previous miscarriages by the young age of 25. I had no experience in this area, but decided to take her on as a patient in her seventh week of pregnancy. I quickly realized that she was blood deficient even though her labs showed different. Immediately, I prescribed her food therapy, a custom Chinese herbal tea. She received acupuncture treatments twice a week. It was a success. She just recently had a healthy baby girl. It amazed me that Chinese medicine not only helps to increase people’s quality of life, but it actually saved a life. I was so honored to be a part of that experience.
In the future I am hoping more studies are conducted in the area of Oriental medicine and all aspects of obstetrics and gynecology. An interesting observation is that older moms who use acupuncture and herbs for a period of time to conceive have healthy babies. Acupuncture and herbs increase the blood flow to the uterus and fallopian tubes. Because of this it increases both the quality and quantity of the egg. When the quality of the egg increases the chance for birth effects goes down. I have asked other practitioners about this subject and they report no Down syndrome in their older patient’s children. This is at least not to their knowledge. I am making no claims here, but would love more research done in this area. Although Down syndrome children are so precious and light up our world, it is a big fear among older mothers-to-be. A fear that may even stop them from trying to conceive.
I have been blessed to observe many miracles in my profession. The ones that pertain to woman who are trying to conceive have been the most precious. It is an ever increasing problem with rates of sperm counts going down over the years. Although life will go on with the increase of knowledge that there are safe, natural options. The increase of science that studies these options. The studies of ART show us new innovative ways for couples to conceive. I will never get tired of seeing the joy on a woman’s face who for years wanted a baby and is now pregnant. The joy that she is not only having a baby, but she herself is healthier and balanced to take care of her family. To find out more about fertility and Oriental medicine, go to www.heavenlyqi.com.
• Dawn Krueger-Sherin is an Oriental medical practitioner in Ahwatukee Foothills. For questions, reach her at www.acupointehealing.com.