Diminished Ovarian Reserve & Acupuncture

Diminished Ovarian Reserve & Acupuncture: A Beacon of Hope

Navigating the complexities of fertility can sometimes feel like a solitary and challenging path, especially when faced with a diagnosis like Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR).

It’s understandable that such news can bring a host of emotions and questions. But it’s essential to remember, you’re not alone.

Today’s blog aims to shed light on how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture can offer a supportive hand in your fertility journey, backed by both ancient wisdom and modern research.

Understanding Diminished Ovarian Reserve

Diminished Ovarian Reserve (aka: DOR or low ovarian reserve) can be defined as the reduction of normal reproductive potential of the ovaries. Over time, ovarian reserve naturally declines with age resulting in age related diminished ovarian reserve.

Diminished Ovarian Reserve may also occur due to other causes not related to age such as:

  • genetics
  • previous medical treatments
  • injuries
  • endometriosis
  • and other reasons

Unfortunately, DOR and reduced egg quality tend to go hand in hand potentially leading to infertility and an increased risk of miscarriage.

From a Western medical viewpoint, DOR is a pivotal concern in infertility, and various treatments may be suggested by reproductive endocrinologists such as medicated timed intercourse, IUI and/or IVF.

Diminished Ovarian Reserve is diagnosed by using a combination of labs and imaging. A transvaginal ultrasound is used to determine Antral Follicle Count (AFC) and bloodwork is used to check labs such as Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH), Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH), and estradiol.

While Western medical approaches serve as a beacon of hope, they can also be physically and emotionally taxing. This is where the gentle, yet potent, support of TCM begins to shine through the uncertainty.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective on Diminished Ovarian Reserve

TCM views health and fertility as a balance of energy and bodily functions. When it comes to Diminished Ovarian Reserve, TCM practitioners look at the harmony of specific organ systems, considering factors like kidney energy and blood flow to understand the roots of the condition. It’s a holistic framework that envelops your entire being — body, mind, and spirit.

“Every woman’s health tells a story,” as noted by TCM practitioner Jane Lyttleton, “and in TCM, we aim to understand that narrative fully to guide her towards overall well-being and improved fertility.”

Acupuncture as a Supportive Ally

Acupuncture has come to the forefront as a valuable support system for enhancing fertility. It’s intricately designed to not only promote better blood flow to the reproductive organs (thus protecting ovarian reserve and enhancing egg quality), but also to harmonize the energy flow, or Qi, fostering a more conducive environment for conception.

According to Randine Lewis, another renowned voice in the field, “Acupuncture is a twofold blessing. It acts as a standalone therapy and yet harmoniously complements Western treatments like IVF, elevating both the physical and emotional resilience of our patients.”

Frequency and Application

Often, a strategy involving regular treatment sessions is recommended to maximize benefits. A Diminished Ovarian Reserve diagnosis tends to benefit from consistent acupuncture treatments averaging from once to twice weekly. Based on where an individual is on their journey, acupuncture may be recommended alongside actively trying to conceive or in the months leading up to and alongside trying to conceive (this may include trying to conceive naturally, gearing up for egg freezing and/or all ART treatments).

This being said, every individual is unique and requires a detailed health assessment and TCM diagnosis prior to being prescribed a definitive treatment plan. Oftentimes TCM herbal formulas, in addition to supplement, lifestyle and dietary recommendations, are also encouraged and provided. Whether your path includes natural conception efforts, medicated timed intercourse, IUI cycles or IVF, acupuncture is tailored to work synergistically with your chosen approach.

A Journey Filled with Hope

The pursuit of fertility is deeply personal and occasionally arduous, yet you can find solace in knowing that there’s a wealth of knowledge and support at your fingertips. At the heart of our practice lies a commitment to nurturing hope and providing expert, compassionate care.

“The confluence of TCM and modern fertility treatments represents a frontier of untapped potential,” says Lee Hollander Rubin, echoing a sentiment of optimism and empowerment for those on this path.

The presence of research-backed TCM methodologies — and specifically acupuncture — in the realm of fertility, offers a promising avenue that’s been embraced by many seeking additional support. Our practitioners are not only educated and informed but are genuinely invested in your fertility journey, ready to stand beside you with empathy and expert guidance.

In Summary

Diminished Ovarian Reserve doesn’t mark the end of the road; it’s simply a curve that requires careful navigation. With the integrative approaches of TCM, including the beneficial application of acupuncture, you are illuminated with additional avenues towards achieving your dream of parenthood.

Our practitioners are here, equipped with knowledge and a deep understanding, to walk with you — step-by-step — on this profoundly personal and life-affirming quest. There is healing, there is hope, and above all, there’s a community rooting for your success.

Are you ready to explore how TCM can complement and enhance your fertility journey? Reach out to us; your story of growth and transformation awaits.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services.

Lokahi Acupuncture
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