Acupuncture for Ovulation
Let’s find out how to induce ovulation naturally
A woman’s ability to ovulate plays a key role in her fertility and it therefore follows that irregular or non-ovulation can negatively affect her ability to have a baby. In this article we will find out more about ovulation and its relationship to a woman’s fertility and how acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatments provide a gentle and natural solution to correcting ovulation disorders – maximising a woman’s chance of having a baby.
What is ovulation?
Ovulation describes the process by which an egg is released from your ovary and passes into your fallopian tube. This usually takes place around 13–15 days before the start of your period. The development and release of an egg is intricately linked to your hormone levels – if these are not perfectly in synch then ovulation may not take place in the way that it is meant to.
What can disrupt and delay ovulation?
Ovulation is impacted by numerous factors including nutrition, stress and lifestyle factors such as smoking. Medical conditions such as PCOS and thyroid disorders can also prevent ovulation. Western medical approaches to treating ovulation problems include medication and surgery – Many women are understandably reluctant to go down routes such as these without exploring the alternatives. Luckily Acupuncture and TCM are here to help – at GinSen we have decades of experience of using natural medicine such as acupuncture for ovulation!
An exploration of ovulation from a TCM perspective
In TCM ovulation describes the moment where Yin (the nourishing, egg development and oestrogen dominant stage) switches to Yang (the growth and progesterone dominant stage). Yang energy quite literally bursts out of the follicle and the egg commences its journey along the fallopian tube. When imbalances occur between Yin and Yang energy, pain and ovulation dysfunction occurs. A Yin and Yang imbalance can occur for a number of reasons: Qi or Blood Stagnation, a deficiency in energy or Cold in the uterus
Many women experience irregular or non ovulation because of a stagnation of energy – or Qi – and poor circulation. Qi flows through the body along circuits of energy known as Meridians anda blockage somewhere along the meridian can result in reduced Blood and Qi flow to the ovaries and eggs. When the ovaries receive insufficient Qi they do not release balanced levels of hormones. Through the use of Chinese herbs and acupuncture it is possible to remove these blocks, to nourish and stimulate the ovaries. This leads to better regulation of the menstrual cycle, balanced hormone levels and improved fertility.
How do we decide what treatment is best for you?
An experienced TCM practitioner will be able to interpret the state of your ovary health by considering a number of different factors: They will ask you to provide detailed information about your menstrual cycle including how regular it is, whether you experience any pain and also how long you have tried for a baby. In addition they may well check your pulses which are located on your wrists and look at your tongue. To the skilled observer both of these will provide information about the underlying causes of the problems with ovulation.
Acupuncture for ovulation – How to induce ovulation naturally
Research demonstrates that acupuncture treatment is helpful with different aspects of your menstrual cycle and is helpful for women who are finding it difficult to become pregnant either naturally or via assisted techniques such as IVF.
Having regular acupuncture treatments in the months before you start to try for a baby can be very helpful to boost the flow of blood around the body, including your ovaries and eggs. Your practitioner may well use a combination of acupuncture treatment together with moxibustion – a gentle warming therapy – to create subtle shifts in the flow of your body’s energy. Your practitioner will take time to understand your cycle and may well prescribe acupuncture treatments around day 4-5 of your cycle, when fertility hormones (FSH) start to rise – Having acupuncture around this time can can help with egg growth and maturation. They may also prescribe specific points around the ovulation phase in order to help maturation of the egg and aid blood flow to the uterus lining. Points used here will typically be found along the Earth meridians – those of the Stomach and Spleen. It is essential to effective ovulation that these meridians are well nourished – they play a key role in the ripening of a woman’s eggs.
Can acupuncture bring on ovulation and regulate ovulation?
Can acupuncture stimulate ovulation? The answer is positive. A study in 2013 found that, in lean women with PCOS, regular acupuncture sessions increased ovulation frequency and were more successful.
By improving blood flow to the ovaries to facilitate the development of a healthy egg, acupuncture may encourage ovulation. The LH (Luteinizing Hormone) spike that causes the egg to be released from the dominant follicle on the ovary may be aided by acupuncture.
Acupuncture is used as ovulation stimulation treatment. It can encourage the body to produce the required reproductive hormones for conception by balancing the amounts of hormones. By regulating the menstrual cycle and enhancing the communication between the brain and the ovaries to promote ovulation and normal hormone production. Acupuncture can help bring on ovulation.
What about Chinese herbs for Ovulation?
Chinese herbal ovulation induction treatments are safe, gentle and effective. The aim of herbal treatments are to gently assist the body to re-balance its hormone levels and to produce high quality follicles. Certain single herbs have been shown to have a strong stimulatory effect on uterine and ovarian blood flow, which is necessary for follicle maturation and implantation.
Agnus Castus (Chaste Tree Berry) is a popular herb to balance the menstrual cycle. It is thought to act on the pituitary gland in the brain, increasing the strength of the Luteinising Hormone (LH) surge, which triggers ovulation.
Cinnamon – can improve fertility in both men and women. In Chinese medicine, we use cinnamon bark to warm the interior and nourish yang energy, which needs to be abundant for fertility.
Tribulus terrestris can be helpful to boost female fertility, and is particularly helpful for women with irregular ovulation. This herb can help to normalise the cycle and to create predictable ovulation.
How to induce ovulation naturally with diet and lifestyle
Eat your greens!
Getting a well-balanced diet of proteins, complex carbs, fresh fruits and vegetables is the cornerstone for health in general and particularly important when trying to balance your hormone levels. Try to eat as naturally as possibly, avoiding take aways and food that has been overly wrapped in plastic – believe it or not this can play havoc with your hormone levels and in turn inhibit ovulation.
Let’s stay calm…
Stress reduction is also very important for regulating the menstrual cycle. Stress can cause the release of certain chemicals in the body which can interrupt the release of hormones. Learning relaxation techniques may be appropriate for some people struggling with chronic stress or anxiety. Acupuncture also has a very relaxing effect on the nervous system and most patients leave our clinic feeling very calm…
Get your Zzzzz
Good sleep is also critical for hormone balance which is essential for ovulation induction fertility. If you are not sleeping well, your biorhythms will be out of synch and your reproductive system will be unable to stay on track. Try to keep electronics out of the bedroom, wear an eye mask to prevent light from spoiling your sleep and don’t drink caffeinated drinks past 4pm – all of these will help you to drift off naturally.
A healthy balance between rest and exercise is ideal during ovulation. When exercising you want to feel energised not drained or exhausted at the end. A gentle walk around the block or a yoga practise is enough, pick an exercise you enjoy. Whatever it is stay active during ovulation.
Agnus Castus is a popular herbal supplement used to treat a variety of health problems related to the Menstrual Cycle such as Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). This traditional Agnus Castus Chasteberry herb is primarily used to support women who are transitioning through menopause and relieve PMS symptoms such as menstrual cramps, breast tenderness, bloating, irritability and mood swings.
GinSen’s Ovary Maintenance works to achieve good ovarian health and reduces symptoms of PCOS by maintaining regular ovulation and hormonal balance. It also reduces swelling of the ovaries, relieves cramp pain together with discomfort caused by blocked energy channels and blood flow.
For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you with ovulation, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.