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Many couples having fertility issues or trouble sustaining a pregnancy, decide to receive help from hormonal treatments in reproductive health care. Some also turn to holistic medicines known as alternative, natural, integrative and complementary medicines. Natural therapies have been used for centuries all over the world to improve fertility and they are gaining more and more attention today. The aim of natural therapies is to stimulate the healing power of the body and treat the underlying cause of disease to restore health.

How can natural medicines support the fertility process?

It is important to understand that conceiving is not only a physical process but implies a huge mind-body connection. Besides the absence or unbalance of spermatozoids or ovules, the most common reasons for infertility are related to stress, sleep deprivation, weight issues and cycle confusion, to name a few. Conception is a hugely complex hormonal process (and still to be fully understood) and therefore some imbalances in your body will have an important impact on the success rate.

Natural medicines help restore balance, to create a healthy properly functioning body. This in turn makes conceiving possible, leads you through a good pregnancy, and above all aids in the development of a healthy baby.

In the conception phase, the therapy would typically include advice on changes in lifestyle and diet, use of vitamins and minerals, acupuncture and if necessary herbal medicines and Bach flower essences. It is a gentle approach, non-invasive, and has no side adverse effects. It can be done solely or in addition to a hormonal therapy.

How can Traditional Chinese Medicine help with conceiving?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. Diagnosis and treatment in TCM are based on studying the purpose, flow, and impact of energy in the body. It includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs, moxibustion and cupping, to name a few. The basic foundation for it is that Qi, or life energy, flows through the body. This energy flows in channels also known as meridians that connect all of our organs. According to Chinese medicine theory, illnesses and imbalances arise when the flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked.

In the treatment of fertility issues, acupuncture is said to

  • regulate the female cycle which is a precondition for conceiving.
  • balance hormones, so that ovulation happens or is increased.
  • improve the quality of sperm cells (quantity, motility, morphology) and ovules.
  • support the blood supply to the uterus.
  • increase the thickness of the endometrium.
  • lower stress and anxiety.
  • help with sleeping disorders and weight problems.
  • reduce the side effects of hormonal therapy.
  • improves the chances of successful implantation on the day of embryo transfer.
  • overcome sexual difficulties e.g. impotence, pain during intercourse, etc.

Why is optimising the nutrition important to boost the chances?

Dietary considerations based on Chinese medicine for men and women can significantly increase the chances for a pregnancy. A healthy digestive system allows nutrients to be absorbed and used well. Optimal nutrition provides a high quality of sperm and an optimal ovarian environment for the eggs during the maturation process. It also contributes to an ideal condition in the uterus for implantation of the embryo and development of the baby. Other factors that will be addressed include: being overweight or underweight, digestive issues such as reflux, bloating, bowel disorders, chronic constipations, cravings or low and high appetite. Chinese medicine offers dietary advice with regard to your individual constitution and situation. Sometimes vitamin and mineral supplements will be added.

How can Bach flower essences support the process?

Often while trying to conceive a myriad of emotions are experienced: depression, anxiety, worry, sadness, resentment, jealousy and fear. Dr Bach, a physician and homeopath, discovered and developed a system of 38 flower essences in which each flower relates to a particular characteristic or emotional state. You will receive a unique blend of a combination of flower essences that will address your personality, your emotional needs and goals.

Why do meditation and yoga increase your chances to conceive?

Meditation is the process of quieting the mind through different methods e.g. single-pointed concentration and breath techniques. Scientific studies proved that regular meditation lessens stress, worries, anxiety and supports balanced hormone levels in men and women. Through regular yoga practice cortisol levels will  decrease and consequently the monthly level of luteinizing hormones will increase, leading to healthy ovulation.

Yoga postures are selected based upon your personal condition, and can aid e.g. to balance hormone levels, to improve the blood circulation of the uterus and to support the healing of digestion and sleeping disorders. These postures are a great way to prepare your body for pregnancy as well as lead you through pregnancy in optimal shape. Practicing yoga can also reduce or avoid e.g. miscarriages, the retention of water, tensions and pain syndromes.

What can you expect from a first consultation?

During the first appointment we look at your personal situation, medical history and lifestyle habits. Following is a treatment and we will finish with a discussion about how to proceed and whether herbs are necessary and advice on nutrition and lifestyle.

About the author Carina Greweling

She is a state-approved naturopath from Germany who studied after her exam Chinese medicine, craniosacrale therapy and Bach flowers and deepened her knowledge of meditation and yoga while she was living in India. She offers in her practice in Paris tailor-made treatments and is specialised in women’s health. In regular workshops and yoga retreats she proposes to gain deeper knowledge and inspiration about a healthy body and mind. She also gives online consultations.