How Long Is It Going To Take For This Acupuncture Stuff To Work?
We live in a world of on-demands. Neflix drops whole series at once, texts and emails are answered immediately and if we wait more than 5 minutes for an uber we're like, is there a lyft closer by?
And the "quick-fix" for infertility is said to be IVF, right?
Well according to The Center For Human Reproduction, IVF is not quite a sure-thing when it comes to getting pregnant fast. Not even close. In the United States, the live birth rate for each IVF cycle started is approximately as follows:
41-43% for women under age 35.
33-36% for women ages 35 to 37.
23-27% for women ages 38 to 40.
13-18% for women ages over 40.
So patients who don't want to take a $20,000 risk on a <50% chance come into my acupuncture clinic and ask: How long will it take for acupuncture to get me pregnant?
Which is a great question with a multi-part answer.
Here we go, friends:
Acupuncture works on fertility by
1. Regulating hormones
2. Building blood to nourish the tissues of the uterus and ovaries.
That said, nature can't be rushed. But it can be studied and categorized. Patterns emerge. You can predict how long it'll take a patient to get pregnant based on where her pathologies arise. I break them down into 3 categories:
1. Blood: lack of nourishment to the reproductive organs
2. Egg-Hormone Axis: miscommunication between eggs and hormones.
3. Quality of Egg: aging, pcos issues
1. Blood: 120 days
Did you know that red blood cells live in circulation for about 100 to 120 days. It takes about 4 months for fresh blood to stream through your bod. Knowing that, after 4 months of treatment, blood cells influenced by acupuncture and herbs will have replaced weak or damaged red blood cells throughout the whole system. If you suffer from blood or nourishment problems including recurrent miscarriage, endometriosis, unexplained infertility or those issues that are separate from egg or sperm quality you can expect to need once-a-week treatment for 4 months. (16 treatments)
2. Egg-Hormone Axis: 180 days
Ever wonder how one egg is chosen over another in your ovary? I'm sure you've heard of the "dominant follicle:" the predestined egg-of-the-month that is selected to be jettisoned into the fallopian tube. But did you know that the selection of that follicle as the "it egg" starts a full 365 days beforehand? Called, folliculogenesis, eggs develop within follicles, and only the best and brightest survive the negative events that operate to destroy the other follicles by atresia.
The mechanisms regulating follicle development are under the control of ever changing concentrations of hormones. If your hormones are out of wack, the process of selecting the best follicle is compromised. Acupuncture regulates hormones so that over the course of 6 months consistent signaling from hormone-to-egg corrects the selection process, and the most viable egg is singled out. Patients with hormone imbalances can expect to need 6 months of treatment. During that period, its fun to watch your hormone values on each month's lab workup change over weeks of treatment.
3. Egg Quality: 365 days
If the actual quality of a woman's eggs are compromised, then recruitment at the very beginning of folliculogenesis is imperative, not just hormone regulation throughout it's journey. As stated above, it takes a full 365 days to fully develop a follicle. Women with low ovarian reserve or PCOS can expect six months to a year of treatment in order to ensure that the highest quality egg is selected and the process of development is smooth and without hormonal fluctuations.
Of course with that said sperm quality and counts should always be checked before the process of treatment begins, as it Takes Two To Tango.
If you have further questions on acupuncture or treatment lengths don't hesitate to get in touch with me on Instagram @The.Fertility.Guru