Fertility, Pregnancy, and Post-partum support with acupuncture, Chinese herbs and homeopathy

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by Dr. Melinda Nickels ND, LAc

These days it feels like the waiting room in our clinic has been filling up with pregnant ladies, or those on their way to pregnancy, both Hayley (Hayley Gardner LAc) and I (Melinda Nickels ND, LAc) love doing acupuncture for pregnancy and fertility. Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Naturopathic Medicine can be extremely helpful treatments for before, during and after pregnancy. Our approach is friendly and non-judgmental, we know you will make the best choices for yourself and your family around fertility, pregnancy, labor and delivery and after. We are here to help and support you.

pregnantWomanHow it works
Chinese medicine works by recognizing patterns of imbalance in the body, then working to correct those patterns and bring the body into a state of greater balance. Acupuncture, herbs and homeopathy can help regulate hormones and the menstrual cycle and improve ovulation and endometrial health. Very importantly, acupuncture can reduce stress–which is both a cause of infertility and hormonal imbalance and often times a result of the process of trying to conceive. As the body and mind come into a greater state of balance, and as ovulation and the menstrual cycle become more regulated, fertility naturally improves and it becomes easier to conceive. Acupuncture and herbs can also help men as well as women, increasing sperm count and motility.

Underlying conditions
The causes of infertility may be varied. Sometimes it may be functional, with no obvious underlying conditions, but in some cases conditions such as endometriosis or PCOS interfere with fertility. Given time and thoughtful treatment, acupuncture and herbs can help treat these conditions and improve fertility.

needling2Acupuncture and Herbs as an Adjunctive Therapy
Acupuncture can be used by those undergoing conventional fertility treatments and by those undergoing IVF. Acupuncture is a wonderful way to support fertility treatments and many conventional physicians will recommend it to their patients. To avoid herb-drug interactions, the use of Chinese herbs may be more limited at certain times during the cycle.

Duration and frequency of treatment
Because we are trying to regulate the menstrual cycle and hormonal balance to promote fertility, treatment usually yields results on the order of months (often 3-6 months) versus weeks. Weekly treatment is ideal, or bi-weekly in some cases. With weekly treatment, each phase of the menstrual cycle (follicular, ovulation, luteal and menses) can be supported and regulated.

Treatment during pregnancy
Acupuncture can still be helpful after conception, especially if there is a history of miscarriage. It can also be very helpful for morning sickness and fatigue during the early stages of pregnancy, and for relieving aches and pains and improving circulation as pregnancy progresses. Acupuncture can also help with turning breech babies, preparing for labor, and building up your body again after labor and delivery. Homeopathy is also a great treatment for these conditions, it is very gentle and yet powerful, and can treat your health needs without negative impact on your baby.

More resources on fertility and acupuncture:
Acupuncture and fertility: http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/features/ancient-art-of-infertility-treatment
Acupuncture for nausea of pregnancy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11843784
Acupuncture for pelvic pain during pregnancy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16521674

Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Rain and Shine Holistic Healthcare is located in Southwest Portland, in the beautiful Lair Hill neighborhood. We are just south of downtown and right off of I-5 in a quiet area with plenty off-street parking. We share our building with our upstairs neighbors at Gudmestad Yoga and Physical Therapy.


Rain and Shine Holistic Healthcare LLP

3903 SW Kelly Ave, Suite 101
Portland OR 97239


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