Many couples understand the importance of a healthy mind and body before they begin trying for children. Unfortunately, there is such an overload of information out there on what to do (and what to avoid) to give yourself the best chance at conception, that many of us simply get overwhelmed.
The practitioners at Qi Medicine acupuncture have a very special interest in boosting fertility, plus working with pregnancy and women’s health. Below are our top three practical ideas to help you conceive naturally.
Eat your way to healthy hormones
The health of our uterus and ovaries is deeply connected to the health of other internal organs. The reproductive organs are sandwiched between the gut, kidneys and the bladder, so it’s inevitable that any inflammation in the surrounding organs will affect the reproductive organs also.
This relationship explains why so many gynecological issues are found in conjunction with other inflammatory disorders, such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), recurrent bladder infections, endometriosis and much more.
Treating the gut with a good diet is one of the best and easiest ways to manage a good hormonal balance. A woman’s body goes through hormonal changes every cycle, and so our dietary needs are different throughout the month as well.
Following a phasic diet can be a great guide to know what to eat at different times of your cycle. For example, in the follicular phase (first two weeks of the period from day one of your bleed) your body needs more iron and protein, whereas in the luteal phase (last two weeks of the cycle before menstruation) zinc and magnesium are more important.
Stress is a contributing factor to infertility. The human stress response was designed to save us from dangerous situations, such as being chased by a lion. When we are in a state of stress our extra blood supply diverts from the internal organs to our skeletal muscles, so we can get ready to run very fast from that lion. This process is great in a life-threatening situation, but when we maintain high levels of stress for long periods it can become a problem.
Biological functions that make the female body ready to make a baby; digesting healthy food, or creating a thick and healthy lining of the uterus for implantation, are impaired in constant stress. For many women, the lion has been replaced by deadlines, bosses, traffic, bills, relationship stress and so on.
It’s more important than ever for women to manage their stress levels appropriately. Yoga and meditation are great, but it could be something as small as taking a hot bath, getting your hair done, walking the dog, reading a book or just catching up with loved ones, that can really bring down those stress levels. Identifying what methods work for you, and implement one every day.
Exercise smarter, not harder
Many of us love to hit the gym six days per week, and many more of us haven’t set foot in a gym in years! Our mad lifestyles can lead us to be a little bit ‘gym junkie’ or with no mojo to go at all, and both of these extremes can put a dampener on our fertility.
Overexercise often leads to amenorrhea, or no or infrequent periods. This is because the body is directing so much energy into producing and maintaining muscle and cutting fat, that there is nothing left over for the uterus, and a healthy home for a baby to reside in. Conversley, little or no exercises can lead to weight gain and a host of health problems, which can impact hormonal health and fertility.
The key is moderation and consistency; find something you love and do it regularly, 2-4 times per week. Mix it up between yoga, running, classes, swimming (or whatever gets your motor running) and make it a habit. Your brain will probably thank you for the downtime from your work and home worries.
Know where to get help
In Australia, an alarming number of couples struggle with infertility. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive naturally after 12 months. As of 2017, 1 in 6 Australian couples will experience infertility. Of these cases, 40% of the problem rests with the male, 40% with the female, 10% with both partners and in the remaining 10% of cases the cause is unknown. Because of these statistics, more and more couples are looking to improve their health with Chinese medicine.
In the imperial court of the Song dynasty in ancient China, from the year 960 A.D, gynecology and fertility acupuncture first became a distinct discipline. In the modern era, many practitioners recommend acupuncture and herbal medicine as an adjunct therapy to fertility treatments. There is ongoing research providing evidence that Chinese medicine treatment may assist in supporting specific fertility treatments, such as IVF, and there is also broad agreement by Chinese medicine practitioners and other health practitioners that acupuncture can be used as an adjacent therapy to IVF.
Find out more about how Qi Medicine approaches natural fertility
If you are interested in finding out how Chinese medicine may apply to your individual circumstances, then contact the clinic today to either book your initial consultation online, or request a chat to one of our practitioners. You can also find out more about how we address fertility issues here.