According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 13% of women of reproductive age in the United States suffer from infertility. And, while it’s less commonly talked about, men can contribute to infertility issues, too, especially men over age 40.
Fortunately, men and women have options when it comes to treating infertility.
At Central New Jersey Acupuncture & Wellness, Yuliya Chernyak, DAOM, can help you at her practice in Hazlet, New Jersey, which also serves Old Bridge, Holmdel, and Matawan. Dr. Chernyak is a licensed practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, and she can help your body become a more hospitable environment for pregnancy through the use of acupuncture.
How do I know I’m dealing with infertility?
In women under age 35, infertility is defined as an inability to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sex. For women over age 35, that time span is reduced to six months. Infertility in men and women can be caused by a number of factors, including the following:
Infertility in men
Infertility in men can be due to a variety of issues. For example, trauma to the testes can affect sperm production. And medical conditions, such as varicocele, can also contribute to fertility problems.
Varicocele is a condition in which testicular veins are too large. This can cause the testicles to overheat, which, in turn, can affect the number and shape of sperm.
Furthermore, other conditions, such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and kidney and hormonal disorders, can also contribute to fertility issues. And, while men produce sperm throughout their lives, the number and quality naturally decrease with age.
Infertility in women
Most cases of infertility in women are caused by problems with ovulation. During ovulation, a woman releases one or several eggs. During this time, sperm are able to reach an egg and fertilize it. Ovulation issues are often caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, which is a hormonal disorder that can interfere with ovulation.
Another common cause of infertility is primary ovarian insufficiency, in which a woman’s ovaries stop working properly. Other causes can include blocked fallopian tubes due to pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis. Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection in the reproductive organs, and endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus.
Other causes of female infertility can include physical issues with the uterus and uterine fibroids, which are clumps of noncancerous tissue that develop on the walls of the uterus.
Can acupuncture help my fertility?
Dr. Chernyak offers acupuncture treatments to women and men who are struggling to have children. Acupuncture has been shown to provide a variety of benefits when it comes to helping fertility, including the following:
- Decrease stress
- Rebalance reproductive hormones
- Increase blood flow to reproductive organs
- Improve the thickness and quality of the uterine lining
- Help nourish eggs and stimulate their growth
- Improve the quality and motility — which is the ability to move — of sperm
However, while acupuncture and other types of holistic care can assist you in your quest to conceive, Dr. Chernyak advises that her TCM treatments be used in conjunction with treatments from a doctor who specializes in fertility. While acupuncture can be helpful in setting the stage for a pregnancy, you’ll likely still need reproductive treatments from an OB/GYN.
In addition to getting acupuncture and seeing an OB/GYN, it would also be beneficial to learn how to manage any chronic conditions you may have and live a healthy lifestyle, which would include eating a healthy diet and exercising.