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What is "unexplained infertility" & what can acupuncture do?

All the labs are "normal", all the ultrasounds and exams are "normal" and yet... baby is not coming.

The reproductive endocrinologists and fertility clinic gave you the diagnosis of "unexplained infertility", which means we do not know what is going on.

This has to be the most frustrating diagnosis there is ! Thankfully, there is no such thing as unexplained in Chinese medicine.

Fertility & Chinese medicine

Unexplained infertility doesn't really exist

It just means doctors can't find what is wrong. Often it's something simple which western medicine doesn't think of.

In Chinese medicine theory, unexplained infertility is often caused by lifestyle factors such as:

  • stress, lack of sleep

  • improper diet & exercise

  • deficiency of energy, overwork, burnout

  • lack of blood flow to the uterus

All patients with infertility that we see at taproot have other symptoms, like digestive issues, irregular periods or insomnia for example. We treat them accordingly.

An integrative treatment that combines fertility acupuncture & herbs with a Western medical treatment often yields the best possible results.

Chinese medicine diagnosis for unexplained infertility

Most cases of unexplained fertility present some form of deficiency.

  • Jing: your vital essence

In Chinese medicine, we often attribute the ability to reproduce to the energy reserve stored in the Kidneys, called the "essence". It is the vitality reserve you are born with, and which gets naturally depleted with age. A hectic lifestyle, overwork, overindulgence and lack of sleep all contribute to a faster decline in the energy reserve. (read more here about preserving your essence)

  • Kidney & liver deficiency: the regulators of your cycle

As we age, we also naturally lose some energy in each of our vital organs. The ones that play the most important part in cycle regulation, periods and egg maturation and release (ovulation) are your kidneys and your liver.

A woman with more Yang deficiency will be on the colder side, and even maybe present a "cold womb". Typical symptoms include feeling cold, looser stools, pale complexion, fatigue and a slow pulse.

A woman with more Yin deficiency runs hotter and drier, and can have symptoms such as shorter cycles, scantier periods, night sweats, above average levels of thirst, a thin pulse etc.

Your acupuncturist will assess these details often overlooked by western medicine and establish a diagnosis

  • Blood stagnation

Painful periods, clots, cramps, darker menstrual blood.... those are all signs that are ignored by wester medicine unless there is an official diagnosis of endometriosis, adenomyosis or polyps. But in Chinese medicine they reflect "blood stagnation" which can be helped with acupuncture and herbs. When the blood flows better to the reproductive organs, your chances of pregnancy also increase.

3. Acupuncture for unexplained infertility

Generally, the typical treatment for unexplained infertility is in-vitro fertilization, which acupuncture can also help tremendously with.

Improving IVF chances

Because acupuncture is a holistic practice, it views you (and your partner) as a whole, and will target many different aspects: the nervous system, the endocrine system, the digestive system etc.

  • Acupuncture has been proven to increase IVF chances

  • Acupuncture reduces risks of miscarriage

  • Acupuncture can offset the side effects of IVF medications

  • Lifestyle tips will help you increase chances too

Trying naturally

Acupuncture will support you if you prefer continue trying on your own

  • Acupuncture reduces stress and appeases the nervous system

  • Acupuncture has anti-inflammatory effects


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