Though rarely spoken about in conversation, miscarriage is much more common than most realize. It can be one of the most heartbreaking and emotionally devastating times for women trying conceive. While feelings of guilt and fear for a subsequent pregnancy are common, they are often invalid. By far most miscarriages are caused by genetic abnormalities expressing themselves early in the developing fetus. Most women who have one or even three miscarriages go on to have normal healthy pregnancies.
When looking deeper into why some women have recurrent miscarriages, certain things need to be ruled out. An ultrasound looking at the inside of the uterus can tell you if there are any structural abnormalities present such as fibroids, polyps or an unusually shaped uterus. Blood tests can look for certain immune system markers that may predict a clotting disorder. Increased age can mean that a woman’s eggs are more susceptible to chromosomal abnormalities and can more easily result in miscarriage. While these are not common causes, they are part of the bigger picture of miscarriage for some women. It is a good idea for you to obtain as much information as possible in order to rule out these things mentioned above.
What can Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine do for miscarriage?
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine concentrates its focus on preconception health. Both partners in a couple need to be at peak health when they merge their cells to produce a baby. Acupuncture can specifically increase blood flow to the reproductive organs so that eggs and sperm are bathed in nutrient-rich blood while they are maturing. Better quality eggs, endometrial lining and sperm lead to better quality embryos and healthy implantation.
If hormone levels such as low progesterone are a factor for women, acupuncture can help strengthen the quality of the follicles so that they are better producers of progesterone after ovulation. Likewise, concerns with very light periods and thin endometrial lining can be treated by increasing blood flow to the uterus and working to balance hormones.
Herbal medicine can be used in some cases if necessary but it is usually best if the body can operate fully on its own during conception. In the months leading up to conception we may use herbs to help build the blood or increase good quality cervical fluid if it is lacking.
How many treatments will I need?
It is important to take a health and reproductive history and then determine a treatment plan tailored for each patient’s specific needs. A typical plan would be to treat once a week the first three weeks of a cycle (day 1 is considered the first day of your period) and then take a break for the last week and during a period. When pregnancy occurs, we will treat either once a week or every other week during the first trimester.
What other tools am I given to ensure my treatments are effective?
The health of eggs and sperm directly reflect your general health. If you are leading a very rushed, hectic lifestyle and grabbing your meals on the go while your sleep schedule suffers, you really can’t expect your body to have extra energy to commit to building a baby. You have to slow things down, give your body adequate rest and healthful food during acupuncture treatments for optimal results. Your acupuncturist will go into more detail with your particular needs.