Infertility is a common condition around the world. In the UK, infertility is affecting 1 in 6 women and men. The causes vary but ‘unexplained infertility’ is the most common diagnosis in both sexes and often leaves couples feeling hopeless. However, many couples who think they are infertile are able to bring happy and healthy babies into the world with the right treatment.
At AcuMedic, Clinic Dr. Lily Hua Yu and her team of specialists have been very effective in treating infertility in hundreds of patients for over 20 years with success rates currently at just fewer than 60%. She uses acupuncture, Chinese herbs and lifestyle medicine to provide men, women and couples with holistic treatment tailor-made to naturally boost fertility by improving health and treating various medical conditions which could be making natural conception difficult.
Here Dr. Lily shares her top 10 tips for what you can do right now to boost your fertility:
1. LOOK AFTER YOUR KIDNEYS – Your reproductive health is primarily influenced by the health of your Kidneys, according to Chinese medicine. The Kidneys store essential energy which feeds the reproductive organs and maintains their health. “If the kidneys become weak, then the sexual health of the person declines.”
For example, men start to lose their sex drive and sperm production becomes less efficient. Women also lose their sex drive and their ability to conceive, which eventually causes menopause.
To find out more on how to improve kidney health, please read on.
2. THINK POSITIVELY– When trying to have a baby, it is important to remember that not everybody is the same. Many women treated at AcuMedic clinic fall pregnant within six months and some have conceived within weeks of treatment.
“Keep in mind that most causes of subfertility (fertility problems that are unexplained in Western medicine) are actually treatable and reversible conditions. These conditions might not be directly related to fertility at first glance, but they do affect the body’s overall health and when treated, your ability to conceive will be boosted significantly.” Even couples for whom IVF has failed have been able to conceive naturally after treatment from Dr. Lily.
Putting your body under stress will only make things harder. According to Chinese medicine the Liver is the organ directly related to emotions and therefore during periods of emotional pain or stress, the Liver will weaken, which will in turn weaken the Kidneys. The Liver is also responsible for smooth circulation of body’s vital energy which is critically important during ovulation and menstruation. As mentioned above the Kidneys are vital to your ability to conceive and give birth to a baby.
3. TREAT YOUR BODY AS A WHOLE – “Our bodies need to be kept balanced, in harmonious environment, so that the vital organs – including the reproductive system – can work at optimal level.” The majority of fertility problems are caused by conditions which relate to the bigger picture of the body’s overall health and balance.
During treatment Dr. Lily will assess the entire individual and does not isolate infertility from the body’s other functions such as digestion and circulation, neither does she disregard problems relating to diet and lifestyle. As Chinese medicine believes every part and function of the body is interrelated, she will give consideration to small signs and symptoms that Western medicine may regard as irrelevant. Dr. Lily will then prescribe Chinese medical treatment based on your own individual health needs at the time, and, provide personalised lifestyle advice.
4. AIM FOR BALANCE – When treating subfertility, your Chinese medicine doctor will seek to completely rebalance your body. By making simple changes to your everyday life and keeping everything in moderation, you improve your chances of fertility by encouraging a strong body and a healthy mind. “Avoid stressful situations and slow down your pace of life as hectic lifestyle can exhaust the vital energy necessary for fertility.”
5. EAT RIGHT – A poor diet will cause your Spleen to overwork and this will also weaken the Kidneys which are vital to fertility. “The Spleen is involved in the production of blood that nourishes the Uterus.”
Avoid foods high in sugar and fat as well as caffeine and carbonated drinks such as cola as these can contribute to excess weight and insulin resistance which can harm your fertility. A diet high in trans-fat can damage sperm quality (especially sperm motility) and lower the sperm count by as much as 30%. A sufficient intake of omega-3 fats (found in fish and certain vegetables) can improve sperm quality.
Eating more whole foods (unprocessed and unrefined) can have a good effect on female fertility by reducing the C Reactive (CRP) protein levels. Seeds are also an example of good fertility foods as they contain proteins necessary for a new life.
6. BUILD QI AND IMPROVE BLOOD FLOW – Qi (气, pronounced chee) is the vital energy that makes you a living, breathing creature as opposed to a pile of lifeless atoms. Stored in the Kidneys and circulating to power your body, Qi is one of the most important substances in the organism and directly affects your emotional and physical health.
Eat healthy food and drink loose leaf tea (dandelion, raspberry leaf and jasmine tea) to get Qi into your body. Exercise regularly in fresh air to get your Qi circulating properly. “Avoid physical overwork and excessive sexual activities which deplete this vital energy.”
Blood is fundamentally important because it is the substance which carries Qi and delivers it throughout your body. Therefore a good circulation of blood means vital nourishment to your entire body, especially the female reproductive system.
7. GET ACTIVE and MAKE IT ENJOYABLE – Exercise is essential for well-being. Doing a suitable amount of exercise each week will get your Qi moving, improve your mood and relax the body. Exercise can also benefit fertility by promoting good blood flow, counteracting stress, maintaining hormone balance and managing weight. It can also improve sperm motility.
Don’t overdo it by attempting too much vigorous exercise. “Sometimes gentle exercise such as Tai Chi or Yoga can help to gather your energy and calm your mind without stressing the heart.” An appropriate amount of exercise prescribed by Dr. Lily can help your body to produce more of the vital Qi and blood necessary for fertility.
8. CONSIDER HEREDITARY FACTORS – “Your Qi (stored in Kidneys) is vital to your health and fertility, but a big part of it is inherited from your parents.” This prenatal Qi, also known as Jing, is absolutely precious and fixed. The Qi you inherit will shape your constitution as well as your ability to produce children. It gets used up during the course of the life, and especially during a crisis or a serious illness so you must protect it and develop it by maintaining a good diet and avoiding overwork. Chinese medicine can help you protect your inherent Qi by tonfying your body’s key internal organs.
9. OBSERVE THE ENVIRONMENT – “Remember that people around you, the weather and the air you breathe in can profoundly affect your well-being and therefore your fertility.”
Note that sperm are extremely sensitive to the presence of chemicals in the air and their effects on the body. Scientists have detected the damaging effect of certain chemicals in the environment on sperm and identified a link between the damaged sperm and miscarriages.
The chromosomes of the egg in woman are also sensitive to toxic chemicals in the environment and are vulnerable to damage which can lead to miscarriage.
10. And most importantly… “Have fun! Loosen up and don’t stress.”