Optimizing Male Fertility

Sometimes I think we miss the boat on male factor infertility. Patients, and sometimes their doctors, forget about the husbands or partners of our female factor infertility patients. Seems that most times, the female half of the couple is the one seeking care. Statistically, male factor infertility is clearly involved in at least 40% of infertility cases, just like female factor infertility. The remaining 20% are unexplained infertility issues, and logically half of those are male factor. In many cases, both the male and the female in the couple have issues. And yet, 80% of our patients are female. I think it is important to remember that just because one person in a couple has a diagnosable issue, it does…
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Use of Herbal Medicine in Pregnancy

Has your doctor or midwife told you to stop taking herbs or to not use herbs, especially Dang Gui (sometimes spelled Dongquai) during pregnancy? There are instances where herbal medicine can be safe and beneficial. However, it is best to only use herbs or herbal formulas recommended by a licensed acupuncturist or certified herbalist that specializes in treating women during pregnancy, as they are the only ones with enough expertise to understand the proper application and dosage. Every patient is different and is treated based on individual constitution, health history, and current presentation, and whether the patient is taking medications has to be taken into account. If a patient is on other medications, that is taken into account as well.…
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A word about acupuncture, IVF, and early pregnancy care

Recently, a patient of ours was given a recommendation to discontinue her ongoing acupuncture treatment leading up to embryo transfer and during the 1st trimester of pregnancy. The patient was apparently told that she could be “over-stimulated” by acupuncture and to avoid it until after her first trimester. While we recognize that occasionally what patients hear and how they interpret it may be different, we did want to take an opportunity to clarify this point. To the best of our knowledge, there is no medical evidence that acupuncture has produced an “overstimulation” in a patient undergoing a frozen embryo transfer, or otherwise. We have used, and continue to use, the protocol established by Elisabet Stener-Victorin, et. al., in 1996 (Human…
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Postpartum acupuncture and Chinese medicine

Any mom will tell you that the most beautiful and most difficult time of a woman’s life is immediately after the birth of a child. At Acupuncture Fertility Specialists, we are experts at relieving the difficult so the new mom can enjoy the beautiful. We believe that every new Mom is different and presents to us with unique needs. At Acupuncture Fertility Specialists, we tailor each woman’s therapy to her individual needs. We also believe that there is a deep spiritual connection that occurs between the new parents and the baby that is established during this very special time. Acupuncture, traditional Chinese herbal medicine and dietary therapy are part of a multifaceted approach to recovery during the postpartum period of…
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Does acupuncture have a role in the treatment of threatened miscarriage?

Findings from a feasibility randomised trial and semi-structured participant interviews Abstract: Threatened miscarriage is a common complication of early pregnancy increasing the risk of miscarriage or premature labour. Currently there is limited evidence to recommend any biomedical pharmacological or self-care management, resulting in a ‘watchful waiting’ approach. The objective of this study was to examine the feasibility of offering acupuncture as a therapeutic treatment for women presenting with threatened miscarriage.  Read the entire study here.

Management of Stress in Fertility Care

“Just relax, Honey, and you will get pregnant.” “You’re too stressed out to get pregnant!” “You just need a vacation so you can get pregnant.” Any patient who has been dealing with infertility for any length of time has heard one, if not all, of the above. While the person saying this means well, he or she has no idea most of the time what a fertility patient may need or not need. All of these statements are, at least for most of my patients, annoying, frustrating, and downright offensive. If all you needed to do was relax, you probably would be pregnant by now, right? So, let’s take a minute and examine this whole stress thing. I believe that there…
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Walk of Hope

The Walk of Hope is an annual event put on by RESOLVE in multiple cities across the country. RESOLVE is a national infertility association whose aim it is to raise awareness about infertility and provide support groups for the various aspects of dealing with infertility. Click here for more information and to find a support group near you for your specific needs. The Sacramento and Roseville chapters of RESOLVE just put on their 3rd annual Walk of Hope held at the steps of the state capital building on September 19th. Our office had a tent and table setup where we served organic lemonade and seed cycling treats (a natural way of helping regulate a menstrual cycle, but also, just a…
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Can Acupuncture help PCOS?

What is PCOS? Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is an “umbrella term” for a women’s endocrine disorder that affects the reproductive system and fertility. PCOS may or may not present with actual multiple cysts on the ovaries, may or may not present with insulin resistance (blood sugar issues), but will present with a hormonal imbalance. This imbalance looks like: elevated testosterone levels elevated DHEA-sulfate high LH to FSH ratio (~2:1) PCOS affects approximately 5 million women of childbearing age in the U.S. and can have a negative impact on egg quality and the ability to conceive. This condition can cause anovulation, irregular menses, and amenorrhea (lack of a menstrual period). If you think you may have PCOS based on these…
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Question about tongue diagnosis

I always notice that my acupuncturist looks at my tongue when I come in for acupuncture treatments. My acupuncturist (Jennifer Horton)  told me before that acupuncturists use tongue diagnosis.  I would like to know more about this. thanks, Tammy Tammy, You may have been surprised the first time your acupuncturist asked you to stick out your tongue! In fact, one of the more common questions I get in clinical practice is: “What does the tongue tell you?” Within the confines of Chinese medicine a practitioner can gather quite a bit of information about you and your condition just by a quick exam of the tongue. When we look at the tongue, we are looking at the shape, color, size, coating, and positioning or movement of…
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