Fertility and Acupuncture: Tonifying the Yin Phase of the Cycle
Written by Andrea Maxim, Naturopathic Doctor
Fertility issues are commonly treated using a number of modalities that help to regulat hormones, rebalance any nutritional deficiencies and ensure that all the aspects of healthy conception are in place. Using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture has repeatedly been shown to be effective at improving fertility in both males and females. The following series of blogs will be highlighting the key aspects of fertility treatment using TCM philosophies.
The female cycle is broken up into two phases: Yin and Yang as described below:
YIN PHASE (Day 1-14)
YANG PHASE (Day 15-28)
Follicular / Estrogenic / Proliferative Phase
Luteal / Progesterone / Secretory Phase
– Egg development
Typical Menstrual Cycle = 25-35 days, but 28-29 days in length is best
Typical amount of blood loss during menses = 30-40mL (>60mL may cause anemia)
Clots should be minimal and very easy to pass
Tonfying the Yin Phase
Yin represents the cooling, moistening and nourishing energy. The Yin phase is most important phase of the cycle and usually the phase that requires the most attention. During the first phase of the menstrual cycle, the Yin energy represents the ability to develop a healthy follicle that will give rise to a viable egg. Yin also develops and maintains a healthy uterine lining to allow proper implantation of a fertilized egg, and provides women with healthy fertile mucous, which allows sperm to easily make contact with a viable egg.
YIN DEFICIENCY signs and symptoms
- Symptoms of overall dryness
- Scanty vaginal or cervical mucous (women), ejaculate (men)
- Thinner uterine linings
- Scanty periods
- Early (follicle has not matured) or late ovulation (egg may be over-ripe and can cause increased risk of abnormality and miscarriage)
- Mood changes: anxious, restless
Premature aging skin
- Natural decline with age, especially after the late 30s
- Overwork without time for oneself
- Poor diet and eating habits
- Inadequate sleep and/or exercise
- Heavy periods
Multiple pregnancies, including aborted/terminated ones
TREATMENT – Completed during the first phase of the cycle. REST and RELAXATION are the most important and the "best bang for your buck" aspects of treating Yin energy.
- Yin building diet, herbs and acupuncture
- Developing a regular routine, that is easy to follow and decreases stress levels
- Developing regular sleep patterns!! (commonly overlooked by most busy women)
- Try to be realistic with your time – cramming something into every minute of the day will leave you feeling stressed, rushed and overwhelmed. This also includes rush to conception.
- MOST IMPORTANT: Create a relaxation routine that allows your entire mind and body to rest – no stimulating TV shows or movies – learn to appreciate silence
Naturopathic doctors are highly skilled at helping support and develop Yin building strategies that can help anyone reach their health goals, especially if conception is one of them! Follow along here to learn about the Yang Phase of the TCM Fertility Cycle.
If you are interested in learning more about acupuncture or if you want to start getting this done at our clinic, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Maxim today to MAXIMize on your Hormones and Fertility goals!
Lyttleton, Jane. (2004). Treatment of Fertility with Chinese Medicine