Pelvic Pain Relief for Pregnant Women British Medical Journal, published online March 17, 2005
A new study shows acupuncture and strengthening exercises may help relieve pelvic girdle pain experienced by pregnant women. The pelvic girdle is a complex of bones that connects the trunk and legs. Pain in the pelvic girdle is very common among pregnant women. The study authors explain this pain inhibits the ability to stand, walk and sit, but there is no cure. Standard treatment consists of a pelvic belt and a home exercise regimen. However, the effectiveness of these options is questionable. So, researchers in Sweden set out to investigate whether acupuncture or strengthening exercises could help manage the pain.
They divided 386 women into three groups. One received standard treatment, another received standard treatment plus acupuncture, and the third underwent standard treatment plus stabilizing exercise that improved mobility and strength. These women recorded their pain levels every morning and evening and were examined at the end of the treatment period.
Both the acupuncture group and the stabilizing-exercise group had less pain than the standard treatment group in the morning and evening. The acupuncture group showed the greatest reduction of pelvic girdle pain. The study authors conclude acupuncture or these specific exercises prove beneficial in addition to standard treatment for pelvic girdle pain.
Acupuncture for low back pain in pregnancy–a prospective, quasi-randomised, controlled study. Acupunct Med. 2004 Jun;22(2):60-7., Guerreiro da Silva JB, Nakamura MU, Cordeiro JA, Kulay L Jr.
This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of acupuncture in low back and pelvic pain during pregnancy under real life conditions, as compared with patients undergoing conventional treatment alone. A total of 61 conventionally treated pregnant women were allocated randomly into two groups to be treated or not by acupuncture. Twenty-seven patients formed the study group and 34 the control group. They reported the severity of pain using a Numerical Rating Scale from 0 to 10, and their capacity to perform general activities, to work, and to walk. We also assessed the use of analgesic drugs. Women were followed up for eight weeks and interviewed five times, at two-week intervals. All women completed the study. In the study group the average pain during the study period showed a larger reduction (4.8 points) than the control group (-0.3 points) (P < 0.0001). Average pain scores decreased by at least 50% over time in 21 (78%) patients in the acupuncture group and in five (15%) patients in the control group (P < 0.0001). Maximum pain and pain at the moment of interview were also less in the acupuncture group compared with the control group. The capacity to perform general activities, to work and to walk was improved significantly more in the study group than in the control group (P < 0.05). The use of paracetamol was lower in the acupuncture group (P < 0.01). These results indicate that acupuncture seems to alleviate low back and pelvic pain during pregnancy, as well as to increase the capacity for some physical activities and to diminish the need for drugs, which is a great advantage during this period.
Halt Your Pain! Call 646-504-2251 to schedule an appointment with Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac.
Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs * 32 Union Square East, Suite 615N * NY, NY 10003
Source: Central European Journal of Public Health 2003; 11: 63-7
Investigating the impact of vitamin C supplementation on IVF outcomes.
Vitamin C supplementation may have a direct, favorable influence on IVF outcomes, but this beneficial effect appears to be attenuated by smoking, say researchers.
Prof. Igor Crha and colleagues from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, studied the influence of vitamin C on infertility treatment in 76 women undergoing IVF embryo transfer cycles. Thirty-eight women were assigned to receive vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in a daily oral dose of 500 mg, while the control group received no supplements. In each group, half of the women were smokers, and half non-smokers. Urinary and follicular fluid levels of ascorbic acid were measured at baseline, and at the time of oocyte retrieval.
After treatment, ascorbic acid levels in the follicular fluid were significantly higher in women who had received vitamin C supplements than in those who had not, indicating a local effect on the ovaries. In addition, the pregnancy rate was significantly higher in the vitamin C group than the controls (34 percent versus 24 percent). However, this effect was significantly more pronounced in non-smokers than smokers.
The findings support the benefits of vitamin C supplementation during IVF treatment, but the negative effect of smoking may be “a reason for asking women to cease smoking prior to infertility treatment,” say the researchers.
IVF and Acupuncture:
On October 20, 2004, a study presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine confirmed that Acupuncture used before and after embryo transfer results in higher pregnancy rates. Half of the women in the study received acupuncture and the other half did not.
The results showed:
The Acupuncture group had a 51% pregnancy rate compared to only 36% in the control group.
The Acupuncture group had only an 8% miscarriage rate compared to 20% in the control group.
The above mentioned study confirms the results of a German study, published in April of 2002 in Highlights in Fertility and Sterility (Vol. 77, No. 4, April 2002), which indicates that using acupuncture with IVF treatment significantly increases the chance of successful pregnancy.
At Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs in NYC, Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac. works with female fertility patients in a variety of circumstances. Many women like to try Chinese Medicine alone before trying other fertility methods such as Artificial Insemination or In-Vitro Fertilization/IVF to achieve true Fertility Success Stories.
Regardless of which route you choose, our patients are offered a program including most, or all of the following treatments; acupuncture, diet and nutritional health counseling, lifestyle counseling and Chinese herbs and nutritional supplements to build Fertility Success Stories regarding Fertility Acupuncture NYC.
“I’ve had acupuncture in Japan and was looking for someone in NYC to help me through my IVF process. Juliette was wonderful. She is an experienced mother and just has positive energy!! Happy to say that I am almost 8 months pregnant thanks to her help”!! -Chie, who delivered a healthy baby boy who breastfeeds like a champ. Read more patient endorsements HERE.
Call us at 646-504-2251 for an Appointment for Fertility Acupuncture NYC
How often you come for fertility treatments depends on which method you chose and your health history. If you want to go all natural, and both you and your partner are under 35 and relatively healthy, our patients tend to become pregnant between 3 and 9 months. Several of our patients have become pregnant as soon as 3 months! We also need to make sure that your partner does not have any fertility problems. Both partners should seek out a physician who specializes in fertility testing and bring your results to us. During IVF or artificial insemination, we like to work with you the whole way through, but it is essential that we give you acupuncture treatments before and after the medical procedures (Click here for Fertility Research Briefs). You can also just come in on the day of your IVF procedure. We need to treat you before and after the procedure.
Traditional fertility treatments can be extremely expensive. A single cycle of IVF could cost $10,000-$20,000. So couples are looking for other options that can possibly give them a greater chance at success. Fertility Acupuncture NYC treatments have the potential to save you $10-15,000 which can be better spent on your new bundle of joy.
Fertility Success Stories regarding Fertility Acupuncture NYC — Just to name a few.
A female patient, age 29, came to us after her medical doctor urged her to start an IVF cycle immediately. Her sister had recently undergone several IVF treatment attempts (without acupuncture), but after watching what her sister went through, both she and her 31 year old husband decided to try a natural method first. Even though the husband’s fertility tests were fine, he had seven acupuncture treatments and took Chinese herbs. She and I worked together using acupuncture once weekly, Chinese herbs and diet. She became pregnant within two and half months. She continued acupuncture and herbs through out her pregnancy as needed.
A 42 year old female patient, who had never been pregnant, came in seeking fertility treatment with her second IVF procedure. This second procedure was only a few weeks away. I advised that her prognosis would be better if she used acupuncture and herbs for three months before her next procedure, but that I was willing to work with her current plan. She wanted to stick with her plan and didn’t want to take herbs with the hormonal treatments so we just used acupuncture and diet. Unfortunately the IVF failed. She decided that she wanted to accept my advice before a undergoing a third IVF round. Not only did she get acupuncture weekly and take herbs for three months, but she even took herbs during the hormone treatment. She became pregnant during the third IVF cycle.
My 32 year old female patient, who was being treated for another complaint, told me that she wanted to stop taking the Birth Control Pill because she and her husband were ready to start a family. She was concerned that, like many women, she would have fertility problems after she stopped taking The Pill. We worked together using acupuncture, Chinese herbs and dietary therapy. She became pregnant within two months. She continued acupuncture treatments as needed during the pregnancy and for a few treatments post-partum for her “new mommy” neck and arm pain caused by looking down at her beautiful baby girl while breast feeding.
A 31 year old female sought out my help for natural fertility. She had one two year old child with her 47 year old husband. They tried to achieve pregnancy for four months before coming to my office. She took acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatments. We worked together for several months, but she still did not become pregnant. I believed that her fertility was healthy so I suggested that even though she and her husband had successfully conceived a child three years ago that he be tested for fertility. His test results showed fertility problems. Eventually, she opted for treatment with acupuncture, herbs and IVF. She became pregnant after only one round of IVF.
“My husband and I were trying to get pregnant when we first saw Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac.. We had been trying for well over a year and had just begun to see specialists about the root of the infertility. We underwent 3 rounds of IUI and a round of IVF without any success. Juliette was treating us during this period, but continued to emphasize that there was another way to deal with this problem and the experts might be wrong about the root causes of the infertility (low sperm count and ” bad egg quality”). She told us to give her a few months to see if we could work this out. We had nothing to lose, so before our second round of IVF, we put everything on hold and followed Juliette’s advice and protocol. We changed out diets, started taking herbs and came in for weekly sessions. We went and saw a specialist that she recommended who agreed with Juliette that there were natural ways to deal with this issue and that we didn’t have the ” problems” everyone said we had. Only a few months later, we were pregnant. Naturally! 9 months later we welcomed our baby. It was an easy pregnancy and birth all helped along the way by Juliette. It seems to good to be true, but it’s true. There is no way we could ever repay Juliette for the warmth, knowledge and courage to guide us through this journey. She has become a friend and mentor and my go-to person on everything. We continue to see her and will continue to do so as long as she is around. There is absolutely no one better!” -Lauren, Age 29
Chinese herbal therapy has been used for nearly 3,000 years to treat fertility problems.
Modern day research statistics suggest that 35 to 40 percent of infertility problems are caused by male conditions, another 35 to 40 percent by female conditions, and the last 20 to 30 percent a combination of the two, plus a small percentage of unknown causes.1
Many approaches to treating infertility focus solely on the woman, wrongly assuming that female conditions are always the cause.
But these statistics make clear that in order to treat infertility; male conditions need to be explored.
If you have been trying to become pregnant without success for over one year, have both contributors to the baby -making process checked out by an MD to see how healthy things are overall.
I prefer to treat both contributors because Traditional Chinese Medicine does such a wonderful job at regulating, improving, and preparing the body for the pregnancy process for both the male and female.
Infertility can also create more stress in one’s partner’s life, and acupuncture and herbal therapy can help greatly with reducing that stresses to help better support the partner in treatment.
“Six months ago, after feeling uncharacteristically lethargic for several weeks, I was diagnosed by my physician with low testosterone. My doctor suggested that I try testosterone replacement, which was an unappealing option for me. Luckily, a Google search connected me to the acupuncture practice of Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist. Within one session I had a treatment plan that was tailored for me.
Juliette used a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, heat lamps and aromatherapy. We also discussed which foods, according Chinese medicine, that I needed to incorporate into my diet to would help my situation and nourish my energy. I felt that I was in caring hands. My energy level was back to normal in about three weeks. And when I got my lab results six months later they confirmed not only how I was feeling but that I had made a very good choice in turning to Juliette Aiyana for my care because the lab test proved that my testosterone levels rose”. -Male Patient
Common Causes of Male Factor Infertility
Sperm Count – How many sperm are in one’s ejaculate.
Sperm Motility – The ability of one’s sperm to move independently, swiftly, and in the correct direction.
Sperm Morphology – The shape and structure of the sperm.
Seminal Fluid – Mixes with the sperm before ejaculation. Pathologies include the volume of semen, pH of the semen, and fructose level of the semen that mixes with the sperm.
Traditional Chinese Medical Theory about Sperm & Male Fertility
In Chinese medicine theory, the sperm are pure essence (jing) of the male. A person (male or female) is born with their overall essence, or pre-heaven qi. This essence is stored in the kidney and is gradually used up throughout one’s life until it expires and life ends. One can protect his/her essence by eating when hungry, sleeping when tired, and acting moderately and appropriate in life.
In this way, one uses more of the qi of the outside world to live daily and therefore can preserve the essence. Essence is like your savings account; qi of the outside world is like your checking account. You use your checking account to pay most of your daily and monthly expenses and only tap into your savings account when the checking account balance is getting low.
When one is not eating healthily, not sleeping enough, or living to excess (drinking too much, having too much sex, etc.), the essence is tapped into and utilized for daily living, which could result in infertility and could shorten one’s life in the long run. Sexual regulation should change as one ages.
Overall, this reasoning applies directly to male infertility. In general, sperm is more viable for egg fertilization when a man ejaculates once every other day, rather than daily. Additionally, many other lifestyle attributes have been connected very closely to male fertility.A younger man can typically have sex and ejaculate without damaging jing more times in one week, than a man of older age. The older one gets, the more moderate and gentler one’s lifestyle should naturally become including the frequency of sexual activity which can tax one’s energy and tax the jing.
Lifestyle Tips to Increase Fertility
from the Mayo Clinic about how you can increase your chances of producing more viable sperm2:
Take a multivitamin. A daily multivitamin can help provide selenium, zinc and folic acid – trace nutrients that are important for optimal sperm production and function. A multivitamin also usually contains antioxidant vitamins such as C and E, which may help protect sperm from damage.
Reduce stress. Researchers are investigating whether stress might interfere with certain hormones needed to produce sperm. Stress can also impair sexual function.
Get regular exercise. Physical activity is good for reproductive health as well as your overall health. But don’t overdo it. Men who exercise to exhaustion show a temporary change in hormone levels and a drop in sperm quality.
Watch your weight. Too much or too little body fat may disrupt production of reproductive hormones, which can reduce your sperm count and increase your percentage of abnormal sperm. You’re most likely to produce lots of high-quality sperm if you maintain a healthy weight.
Watch out for toxins. Experts think certain workplace and household substances might have an effect on sperm quantity and quality. These include heavy metals, and pesticides and chemicals in solvents. When working with toxic substances, ensure proper ventilation, and wear protective clothing and face masks to reduce the risk of absorbing such toxins.
Quit using tobacco– smoked and smokeless. The sperm of men who smoke may be misshapen and may move more slowly than those of nonsmokers. Smoking can also damage your sperm’s DNA. Experts suspect such damage could even affect fetal growth and development and increase a child’s chance of having certain health problems, including cancer. And chewing tobacco isn’t safe either – it also may cause low sperm counts and damage. As if that weren’t enough, tobacco use can increase erectile dysfunction.
Limit or remove alcohol. Heavy drinking may reduce the quality and quantity of sperm. Limit alcohol to no more than one or two drinks a day. The combination of tobacco and alcohol is particularly harmful to male fertility. Research shows men who both smoke and drink alcohol have lower sperm counts and motility than do men with either habit alone.
Steer clear of recreational drugs. Marijuana can decrease sperm density and motility and increase the number of abnormal sperm. Cocaine, heroin and other opiates can contribute to erectile dysfunction, and amphetamines can decrease sex drive.
Skip the hot tub. To maximize the quality and quantity of your sperm, avoid hot tubs and baths. Spending more than 30 minutes in water 102 F (40 C) or above may lower your sperm count. Saunas and steam rooms may have a similar effect.
Avoid hormone havoc. Anabolic steroids, usually taken illegally, can shrink the testicles and drastically reduce fertility. Anti-androgens used to treat prostate enlargement and cancer interfere with sperm production. Testosterone supplements also decrease fertility.
Stay cool. Increased scrotal temperature can impair sperm production. Experts know that hot work environments, tight-fitting underwear (choose boxers instead of briefs!), prolonged sitting, and use of laptop computers placed on the lap can all increase scrotal temperature.
Avoid lubricants during sex. Personal lubricants, lotions, and even saliva can create a hostile environment for sperm and interfere with sperm motility . However, Emerita and PreSeed brands makes safer lubricants sold in most health food or online stores.
Experiencing Fertility Difficulty? Call us at 646-504-2251 to schedule an appointment.
Patterns of Energetic Disharmony
Typical patterns of male infertility generally fall into two broad categories: repletion and vacuity.
Repletion patterns usually manifest in younger males who have a taxing lifestyle. They can really respond well to lifestyle changes including herb therapy and acupuncture.
The vacuity patterns tend to show up in older males who have naturally used up more jing/essence because they have lived longer lives than the younger males.
This being said, there are repletion patterns that show up in older males and vacuity patterns that show up in younger males. Sometimes there is also a combination pattern of repletion and vacuity in the patient. Acupuncture treatments and herbal therapy are tailored and unique to each patient depending on the pattern present.
Treatment with Chinese Medicine & Research Studies
New sperm production in the testicles takes about 90 days.3 Then the sperm is ready to be utilized and is integrated into ejaculation. The sperm that have been affected by the TCM treatment of herbs and acupuncture will be ready to fertilize after a minimum of three months.
I present this information in order to stress that male patients need to be receiving acupuncture and be stringently compliant with herbal medicine for at least 3 continuous months.
In a recent study, a general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the structural integrity of sperm, was seen after ongoing acupuncture treatments.4 In another controlled study, 16 infertile males were treated with acupuncture twice per week for five weeks. Compared to the control group, patients receiving acupuncture had increases in total functional sperm fraction, percentage of viability, total motile sperm per ejaculation, and overall integrity of the tail of the sperm.5
In these studies, acupuncture was received more than one time per week, and the use of herbs, which is used frequently in China to treat male infertility, was not analyzed or discussed. Herbal medicine can exponentially increase fertility in males. Acupuncture appointments will usually be one time per week for male infertility.
Herbs will be taken everyday as an ongoing treatment that the patient can utilize during the time between acupuncture treatments. It is like homework for the mind and body. The herbal formula is tailored to fit the different patterns that we talked about earlier of repletion and vacuity.
Diet analysis and modification is also extremely important because the food that you eat will help to treat the TCM pattern that is creating an infertile environment in the body. A balanced diet which focuses on eating a variety vegetables, can improve your sperm overall and increase your chances for conception.6
Other men’s health issues may coexist with infertility such as prostate enlargement, pelvic inflammatory disorder, impotence, etc. These issues will also be addressed using acupuncture and herbal therapy when we treat the infertility because the treatment goal is to create overall health to improve chances of conception.
Acupuncture and herbs can help you successfully achieve fertility and conception, call us now! Here’s to good health!
Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs 32 Union Square eAst, Suite 615N New York, NY 10003 (646) 504.2251
Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and Chinese Medicine For Infertility
It can be extremely useful in all stages of gynecological and obstetric care.
For thousands of years, women have been treated for help conceiving, through all stages of pregnancy, and during and after childbirth. At Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs, Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist has been helping women become pregnant for over a decade. Below are more details on specific aspects of care with Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has been shown to increase blood circulation to the ovaries and uterus and hence increase the capacity for fertility and conception. Chinese medicine can be used to increase the chances of conceiving naturally or alongside medical interventions.
Women who experience irregular cycles, painful periods, PMS, or complications such as cysts or fibroids may be less fertile due to energetic imbalances causing those symptoms. Acupuncture along with Chinese herbs and Chinese Medicine can help balance and regulate the menstrual cycle, thus improving fertility levels.
Some patients that have been diagnosed with infertility are advised to undergo fertility treatment such as IUI (intra uterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilization). It is quite useful to have the support of acupuncture and herbs through the ups and downs of assisted reproductive technology as well.
Studies have shown that IVF combined with acupuncture is 40%-60% more successful than IVF alonei. Results from another study showed a pregnancy was twice as likely to occur if acupuncture was used on the day of the embryo transferii.
Additionally, many couples have difficulty achieving pregnancy due in large part to the stress in their lifestyle. Stress can be a major factor involved in health problems and acupuncture treatment can significantly reduce the stress response in the body. Relaxing the body and mind allows the body to carry out a natural process like conception more smoothly, and often pregnancy is achieved in a healthy couple more quickly once tension and imbalances are removed.
“Years ago, I saw Juliette when I wanted to be come pregnant. A fertility specialist told me I needed IVF, but after 3 months of acupuncture, I was pregnant. Since then, she has helped me though morning sickness, colds, and allergies. Each time, I’ve found her comprehensive and effective. She takes time with her patients and you always feel as if you are being well cared for”. -N.C. READ MORE HERE
Try Acupuncture. It Works!
Call (646) 504.2251 to schedule an appointment .
Pregnancy – 1st Trimester
Acupuncture can provide relief for some of the most common complaints in early pregnancy, such as nausea, vomiting, exhaustion and headaches. Treatment can also help support appetite and energy, and avoid medications for ailments like allergies, colds, and pain syndromes. In addition, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and Chinese Medicine can reduce the chances of miscarriage, which is at highest risk during the first trimester.
Pregnancy – 2nd Trimester
Though most women are feeling relatively healthy during the 2nd trimester, continued treatment will support fetal growth and healthy development through balancing and strengthening the mother’s energy systems.
Pregnancy – 3rd Trimester
Acupuncture helps ease many of the discomforts of the 3rd trimester, such as back pain, sciatica, swelling, and insomnia. Treatment can also gently prepare the body for labor by ensuring smooth circulation of blood and energy to all tissues and organs involved. Patients who get acupuncture treatments throughout the pregnancy, especially the third trimester, report faster and less complicated deliveriesiii.
“I have been coming to Juliette on an off for 4 years. Each and every experience amazes me. Not only is her treatment incredibly effective but I’m also calmed the moment I walk through her door. Juliette has helped me flip a breach baby late in pregnancy, cope with kidney stones when no other treatment was possible, and helped me achieve a successful VBAC. I can’t recommend her work enough! She is truly an amazing healer”. -Jacqueline
Pregnancy – End Stage
Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture and an adjunctive technique, moxabustion are quite effective in turning breech babies, especially between weeks 32-37. In a 1998 Italian study, 130 women with breech presentation had daily moxabustion treatments during the 35th week of gestation. The study showed a 75% success rate in turning the breech babies head down. In a Japanese study conducted in 2000, 357 women had daily moxabustion, with a very impressive 92.5% correction rate. For specific research check these studies.
Induction and/or Labor
Treatment with acupuncture has been shown to be helpful in preparing the body for labor as well as shortening the duration and minimizing the intensity of pain levels. It can also assist with relaxation of mind and body in this potentially stressful time.
Acupuncture is also a safe method used to induce labors that are overdue and start contractions without the use of drugs. Some patients receive acupuncture for pain relief during labor if the doctor, midwife, hospital or birthing center allow it. Acupressure at certain acupoints on the body during labor has also been shown to provide relief.
“HOORAY + thank you !!! My water broke…we took our time getting to the hospital, and she was born [11 hour labor total]. 3 pushes and she was out! It was an amazing birth.. better than I could have hoped for…. I owe it all to you (and the gods above to be sure). It was literally night and day from [our older child’s birth] which was so stressful, in the dead of a cold, snowy, February night. This was filled with light and warmth and the beauty of spring… I was and am in a state of total bliss! I really cannot thank you enough, from the [acupuncture support through] IVF treatments, through the sciatica and helping me gently coax her into this world [we avoided a medical labor induction with acupuncture], I am forever in your debt. My family is complete and I am filled with gratitude. My little lady is such a piece of heaven.. i’m so in love!” -S.M. Age 38
Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and Chinese Medicine have been used for centuries to help mothers recover from delivery. Childbirth is an experience that drains energy, and Chinese herbs especially can provide a much-needed boost to combat the blood loss and fatigue most people experience. A quick recovery by the parent means the best care for the new baby!
Further, treatment can help if there are imbalances causing lactation problems or other nursing disorders. It is also possible to speed recovery from cesarean section and reduce the appearance of scars with acupuncture.
Acupuncture can also be used to treat emotional imbalances such as anxiety, post-partum depression or other mood disorders.
Many mothers who had acupuncture at times during or throughout their pregnancy report especially beautiful babies! This speaks not only to appearance (aren’t all babies beautiful?) but also to temperament- the baby’s disposition is often peaceful and happy!
Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs 32 Union Square East, Suite 615N New York, NY 10003 (646) 504.2251
– – – – – – – iLiang, Lifang, OMD, PhD, Lac. Acupuncture & IVF – Increase IVF Success By 40-60%. September 2003, Boulder CO. iiAcupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial, April 2006; Westergaard LG, Mao Q, Krogslund M, Sandrini S, Lenz S, Grinsted J; Fertility and Sterility; May 2006 (Vol. 85, Issue 5, Pages 1341-1346) iiiAcupuncture: Review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials, World Health Organization, Geneva, 2002. www.who.int/medicines
Samantha was dismayed at the options for birth control because of the side effects of the pill, the chemicals used with the diaphragm, the unreliability of the rhythm method and the yeast infections from using latex condoms. Jean and Greg were longing for a baby, yet having difficulty conceiving. The Fertility Awareness Method was just what they all were looking for.
The Fertility Awareness Method for Natural Birth Control or Pregnancy Achievement is a way for a woman to track her fertility day to day. She checks and charts her cervical fluid and basal body temperature to determine each day whether she is potentially fertile. Information about the fluctuations in cervical fluids and basal body temperatures at various phases of the menstrual cycle can be used to plan or prevent a pregnancy.
Myth: The Fertility Awareness Method for Natural Birth Control is the same as the rhythm method.
Fact: The Fertility Awareness Method is much more reliable for birth control than the rhythm method. The rhythm method uses a mathematical formula based on past cycles to predict future fertility. The Fertility Awareness Method determines days which are potentially fertile by the fertility signals in a current cycle. The success rate of the rhythm method is estimated around 50%. The Fertility Awareness Method, on the other hand, is 98% effective when followed precisely, according to Contraceptive Technology. In practice, various studies place the effectiveness rate of Fertility Awareness around 85%.¹ The effectiveness of Fertility Awareness depends on how diligently the couple follows the birth control rules and whether they choose to abstain or to use a barrier method of birth control during the woman’s fertile phase.
Myth:A woman ovulates on day 14 of a 28 day cycle, so to prevent pregnancy, you simply need to avoid intercourse around that time.
Fact: There is a wide range of days that a woman may ovulate, even in a cycle that lasts 28 days. For example, ovulation could occur on the day 8 or day 20. And she does not know whether she will have a 28 day cycle until menstruation signals the end of the cycle. It is quite common for a woman to have unexpectedly short or long cycles, even if she is usually “like clockwork.” During those short or long cycles, ovulation day can vary widely. In addition, when a woman is fertile, she produces cervical fluid which is designed to keep sperm alive until ovulation. Sperm can live in this fertile fluid for up to five days. That means that intercourse on Monday can lead to conception on Friday. For this reason, the Fertility Awareness Method includes careful observations of cervical fluid before ovulation.
Myth:A woman cannot get pregnant during her period.
Fact: While it is true that a woman does not ovulate during menstruation, she can begin producing fertile cervical fluid (masked by blood) during her period. This can keep sperm alive for up to five days, when ovulation may occur. Certain days of menstruation may be considered infertile with Fertility Awareness, which involves charting your cycles to acquire additional information, including, but not limited to, basal body temperature and length of cycles.
Myth: Couples who are infertile should use ovulation predictor kits to optimize the chances of conception.
Fact: Ovulation predictor kits let you know ovulation is occurring only if used on the very day of ovulation, and even then, the results are often misleading. Most kits (which cost around $30) contain only 5 to 9 days of tests, which is often not enough to cover the range of days ovulation could occur, especially for women with irregular cycles. Many couples who are having difficulty conceiving find Fertility Awareness an invaluable tool, with less hassle and less expense. By observing the cervical fluid, a couple can pinpoint the best days to make love to optimize their chances of conceiving. Charting body temperature can also help an infertile couple determine whether the woman is still fertile in a given cycle, whether her luteal phase is long enough for implantation, or whether she is ovulating at all.
Fertility Awareness is not for everyone. It requires a high level of commitment, discipline, and communication. Those women and couples who practice it find that the high level of personal responsibility enhances their lives by deepening relationships and increasing self-awareness.
By Corinna Wood, who has opened the hearts of thousands to the wisdom of the plants and their own bodies. She is director of Red Moon Herbs, an herbal medicine company focusing women’s health and fresh, local plants. Corinna’s background includes a B.S. in biology and an extensive apprenticeship with Susun Weed. Corinna is certified as an Herbalist, a Fertility Awareness Teacher, and also in Permaculture Design. Corinna lives with her family at Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC. She can be reached at (828) 669-1310 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women love to use essential oils on the skin, in baths and body oils for perfume, beauty, health and relaxation.
If you are pregnant, congratulations! Now is the time to take very special care of your body. Below are lists of oils to help you relax, avoid stretch marks as well as oils you should strictly avoid during pregnancy. Never apply essential oils directly on your skin.
In a bath use a few drops of a single oil or combination oils with each other from the following: Chamomile, lavender, rosewood, geranium.
Stretch Mark Prevention
Choose a base oil like almond, grape seed, safflower or sesame. Add 5-6 drops of a relaxing essential oil or rose, sage or tangerine oil.
Massage the oil mixture all over your body once daily. Do not apply to your face. I use these oil blends everyday, and my skin stays remarkably smooth, supple and young looking. In other words, this daily routine is a great way to care for skin even when you are not pregnant. In addition, you can add several drops of a mixture into baths to add moisture to skin. Try making several different ready made blends to match different moods, one flowery, one earthy, etc.
Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy
Most of the following herb oils and herbs have been known to cause uterine contractions which may lead to miscarriage. Also avoid taking these herbs as teas during pregnancy. Never use these oils to induce a miscarriage because they may lead to serious hemorrhaging. This list is not exhaustive so always talk to your healthcare practitioner before using any oils not mentioned in this article.