Many women with high FSH (Follicle Stimulation Hormone) and /or POF (Premature Ovarian Failure) are told there is nothing that Western medicine can do to improve their chances of conception. However, utilizing acupuncture in conjunction with Chinese medicine can reduce FSH levels and improve egg quality by ensuring optimum health, increasing blood flow, and balancing reproductive hormones, as well as reducing stress-another common factor in infertility. Therefore, many of Dr. Zhou's patients are becoming pregnant naturally and healthily after treatment, including those undergoing ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology).
The quality of the egg to be fertilized is highly dependent upon the health of the body and hormonal balance. Acupuncture can help a woman move gently and naturally to a state of overall health and well being, which will ensure that her egg-bearing follicles are nourished with a constant, uninterrupted supply of hormones and nutrients, so they will flourish and be of the best quality.
Dr. Zhou's clinical opinion, based on her extensive clinical experience, is that high FSH and poor egg quality reflect a poor state of health, rather than the inability to conceive. A healthy more balanced body will conceive more naturally, and be able to carry a healthy baby to term.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can build strong, nutrient-rich blood and promote a healthy flow of that enriched blood to the ovaries. This same blood flows throughout the body sending nutrients to every cell and supplying the woman's menstrual cycle. More enriched blood flow means more oxygen and nutrients available to nourish the ovaries making them more capable of producing better quality eggs and strong healthy embryos.
Studies showed that acupuncture influences ovulation and fertility by normalizing the function of the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian Axis. (Fertility and Sterility vol.78, No.6, Dec. 2002). This improves ovarian function creating more follicles, and better egg production. Acupuncture does not directly alter female hormones or falsely repress FSH levels, but rather it gently regulates and improves hormonal balance. As a result, the body becomes more sensitive to its own hormone secretions, and improvement in hormonal status can occur over time.
Our body will not conceive under high levels of stress. Stress and other negative emotions disrupt hormonal communication between the brain, the pituitary and the ovaries, which causes an imbalance in hormonal function. Such imbalances can lead to irregular cycles, lack of ovulation and high FSH. In addition, stress over stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which causes constriction of ovarian arteries and shifts blood flow away from reproductive organs, and results in a shut down of egg production in the ovaries.
Studies indicate that electro-acupuncture stimulates the sensory nerve fibers and may inhibit the sympathetic outflow at the spinal level (Fertility and Sterility vol.77. no.4, April 2002). Additionally, acupuncture increases the production of beta-endorphin, which is a natural chemical in our body that helps reduce anxiety and tension, improve sleep and increase resistance to stress. So the patient becomes calmer and more at ease.
In order to build a healthy, naturally fertile body and balance deeper underlying causes, Dr. Zhou highly recommends that her patients commit to at least 3 months of acupuncture and herbal treatment, allowing her to bring your system back to its optimal function. Since follicular development takes three cycles to be mature, and in order to ensure good egg quality, it is better to start treatment at the primary stage. Remember, nature cannot be forcibly rushed into balance, having enough preparation time is essential for the body to adjust and for conception to succeed.