In this Video:
How infertility is categorized in Western Medicine and prevalence of infertility in the US
Male vs Female unknown infertility, prevalence and causes
When individuals seek acupuncture and/or Chinese medicine and how that can work with Western Medicine
A case study of a patient with unknown cause of Infertility
Infertility based on Western medicine:
To look at it from an age standpoint; if you're a female under 35 years old, you would be considered “having infertility problems” if you’ve been actively trying for a year and have not conceived. If you're over 35 years old it would be, actively trying for six months and not conceiving, and then also in that category is recurrent miscarriages or not being able to retain a pregnancy. In the United States right now, it's quite amazing; 9 million people are having trouble conceiving, and it could be either you, or someone you know. The chances of that happening is one in eight.
Statistically when you're looking at how much of this is a female factor, how much of this is a male factor, how much of this is unexplained, the statistics show that 35 to 45 percent of all cases are due to female fertility problems. 15 to 35 percent are due to male and 15 to 25 percent are due to a combination of male and female issues.
The female might have an issue with growing follicles or implantation. The male might have an issue with their sperm quality the way it moves or the amount he has. Then 10 to 20 percent of all cases are identified as unexplained. They really aren't finding an answer as to why these two people can become pregnant.
The female is healthy, the male is healthy, there's just no answer, and that is a lot of times when people might move on to acupuncture, Chinese herbs, assisted reproductive technology, like artificial insemination and in-vitro fertilization. I've seen many patients get pregnant with acupuncture and herbs alone, but many times we have to combine with Western medications. Sometimes it's as simple as, they need some progesterone to start their cycle, so that we can get their cycles back on track. Sometimes they may have to go farther, because they aren't ovulating and we can do treatments to help trigger ovulation, but sometimes their body needs a little push. The really exciting thing about going through acupuncture combined with Western medicine or alone and getting pregnant that way, is many times after one pregnancy the body kind of figures it out, and then once the couple wants to try again, if they do, a lot of my patients have gotten pregnant on their own. Just that whole working with the body balancing it, and then the body knowing oh that's what I was supposed to do okay let's do that again and it works out great.
There's a really great case study for that [example]; a patient who, there really was nothing wrong with either of them, nothing that could be found, perfect body type, perfect situation to get pregnant. She was, however, under a lot of stress, because fertility can be incredibly stressful thing to deal with, however she did go in and get a little bit of endometriosis removed, which sometimes the littlest bit can cause a problem. As her doctor was looking around she saw the vein supplied to her ovaries, and she says, “wow, those veins are really, really small but they're pumping quite hard.” My patient said that I just came from acupuncture! The Doctor told her “Oh, that makes sense!” Finally, through a few rounds of assisted reproductive technology we had to do IVF - In Vitro Fertilization combined with acupuncture, also doing a before and after treatment, it can be very, very, successful. A lot of times these success rates go from 20% to 60 to 70 when you're combining acupuncture and Chinese medicine.