Infertility care is usually thought of as helping couples become pregnant. The other side of that coin is pregnancy loss and helping couples stay pregnant. Miscarriage is a very difficult part of the infertility journey, often very private and without many answers. While there can sometimes be a diagnosis related to the cause of a miscarriage, more often it is unknown. Unfortunately, this uncertainty adds more stress and pain around what is supposed to be the joys associated with conception.
Acupuncture has long been a component of care surrounding miscarriage and can be an invaluable tool in helping decrease the anxiety and stress involved. Initially we do a thorough intake and help decipher any lifestyle or nutrition modifications that might increase chances of a successful pregnancy. Pregnancy loss itself is very depleting and the emotional toll can lead to suboptimal eating and sleeping routines. Making sure the diet is helping the body build back and if not, making sure the right supplementation is happening can ensure a smooth recovery and set things up for trying again.
Some women experience recurrent pregnancy loss, known as RPL, and this becomes even more distressing. If a cause can be found through testing hormones and clotting factors or evaluating the uterine lining, then couples can proceed with more confidence trying to conceive again. If no cause is found this leaves women in a scary and precarious situation early in their next pregnancy. Regardless of cause or no cause, acupuncture is great support for navigating the journey of RPL. There is even research data that shows acupuncture as supportive care for unexplained RPL in a subsequent pregnancy improves live birthing outcomes.1
A large percentage of our infertility patients have had multiple miscarriages. If you or someone you know is struggling with miscarriage or RPL, we are here to lend support. We have fertility specialists in our Raleigh clinic, 919-854-7311, and in the Chapel Hill clinic, 919-933-4480. We are always here for you!
1.Acupuncture as a therapeutic treatment option for threatened miscarriage
Debra Betts,corresponding author1 Caroline A Smith,1 and Dahlen G Hannah2
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012; 12: 20.
Published online 2012 Mar 22. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-20