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Functional Medicine & Fertility

What is functional Medicine?

Functional medicine practitioners use detailed hormone testing to assess the levels and ratios of various hormones. Once imbalances are identified, functional medicine practitioners develop personalized treatment plans to restore hormonal balance.

How Functional Medicine Can Support Fertility

Hormonal imbalances are one of the most common underlying causes of infertility in women. Hormones regulate the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and the environment in which a fertilized egg implants and grows. Even minor hormonal imbalances can have significant effects on fertility.

Functional medicine takes a comprehensive approach to understanding and correcting hormonal imbalances. Your doctor will address lifestyle, nutrition, supplements, Chinese herbal tonics and acupuncture techniques for a total personalized plan.

Identifying Hormonal Imbalances

Functional medicine practitioners use detailed hormone testing to assess the levels and ratios of various hormones, including:

  • Estrogen and Progesterone: These hormones are crucial for regulating the menstrual cycle and preparing the uterus for pregnancy. An imbalance can lead to irregular cycles, anovulation (lack of ovulation), or luteal phase defects (issues with the second half of the menstrual cycle).

  • Testosterone: While often associated with men, testosterone plays a role in women’s fertility as well. Elevated levels can be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common cause of infertility.

  • Thyroid Hormones: The thyroid gland influences many bodily functions, including metabolism and reproductive health. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) can disrupt menstrual cycles and ovulation.

  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH): These pituitary hormones regulate the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries. Imbalances can indicate ovarian reserve issues or other reproductive disorders.

  • Cortisol: Chronic stress can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which can interfere with the balance of reproductive hormones and negatively impact fertility.

Correcting Hormonal Imbalances

Diet & Nutrition for gut health

Proper nutrition is vital for hormonal health. A diet rich in whole foods, healthy fats, and specific nutrients can support hormone production and regulation.

  • Eliminating inflammatory foods: Reducing intake of processed foods, sugar, and trans fats.

  • Incorporating fertility-boosting foods: Including foods rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and flaxseed help reduce inflammation and support hormone balance. Foods rich in zinc and vitamin B6 can also be beneficial for progesterone production

  • Personalized nutrition plans: Based on food sensitivity tests, gut health assessments, and nutrient deficiencies, your doctor will draft a specific nutrition plan for you.

  • The gut microbiome influences many aspects of health, including fertility. Poor gut health can lead to inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and nutrient absorption issues. Functional medicine practitioners focus on:

  • Probiotics and prebiotics: To promote a healthy gut flora.

  • Targeted Supplements: Based on individual needs, supplements like magnesium, vitamin D, and antioxidants such as CoQ10 may be recommended to support hormonal health and improve egg quality.

Chinese Herbal Formulas: Some commonly used formulas include:

  • Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan: May be used to improve blood flow and reduce fibroids

  • Ba Zhen Tang: Supports overall reproductive health by nourishing blood and Qi

  • Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan: used to treat patients of more advanced age by tonifying both the yin and yang of the kidneys.

  • Jia Wei Xiao Yao San: Helps to relieve stress and support liver function, which can indirectly benefit hormonal balance.

Lifestyle Modifications:

Chronic stress can significantly impact fertility by disrupting hormonal balance and menstrual cycles.

  • Mind-body practices: yoga, meditation, and mindfulness can all lower cortisol levels and thus improve fertility.

  • Adrenal support: Using adaptogenic herbs like in your Chinese herbal formula, and adapt your lifestyle to give you more energy. Prioritize adequate sleep, regular exercise, and relaxation techniques.  Acupuncture, cupping, massage and bodywork can all be beneficial in relieving stress and promoting fertility.


Helping the body eliminate excess hormones and toxins can support hormonal health. This may involve liver support through specific nutrients and herbs, as well as promoting regular bowel movements and adequate hydration.

  • Detox protocols: Supporting the liver and other detoxification pathways with specific nutrients and herbs.

  • Reducing exposure: Advising on avoiding harmful chemicals in personal care products, household cleaners, and food.

  • Supporting elimination: Ensuring regular bowel movements, adequate hydration, and sweating through exercise or saunas.

Benefits of Acupuncture & Functional Medicine on Fertility

Correcting hormonal imbalances can have a profound impact on fertility. Benefits may include:

  • Regular Ovulation: Balanced hormones promote regular ovulation.

  • Improved Egg Quality: Proper hormone levels support the development of healthy eggs

  • Healthy Uterine Environment: Balanced estrogen and progesterone levels ensure a healthy uterine lining

  • Enhanced Overall Health: reduce symptoms like fatigue and mood swings, and increase the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy.


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