10 Apr Improving your ovarian reserve with Chinese Medicine; Part 2
This is a follow on from previous post Improving your ovarian reserve with Chinese Medicine; Part 1
So let’s continue……
Low number of follicles
So these are women who when undergoing a stimulation cycle have low numbers of follicles at all, let alone responding well to the stimulation ready for collection. Unfortunately this is the hard of the two ovarian issues to work with, as this is often linked with low ovarian reserve and age related fertility issues.
In Chinese Medicine terms age is literally just a number and actually has very little to do with your ability to conceive. However we have a unique view of fertility as explained below;
“In Chinese Medicine we have three sources of energy: the air we breath, the food we eat, and the inherited essence (Called ‘ Jing’), which is stored in our Kidney (adrenals). It is the later which supports our growth in our mother’s womb until we are born, and then continues until we are more or less fully grown. This Jing then turns into our own reproductive energy. It can be described as a family trust passed down from the generations, intended to be preserved and increased, the Jing should be employed only for reproductive purposes or emergencies, while we live day to day on our ‘income’ – the air and food we take in.
We, like rich kids bedazzled with our wealth, spend beyond our income, and simply bower from our trust fund whenever we need more energy – or simple want a ‘buzz’. This in fact is the tell-tale sign that we are borrowing from our Kidney Jing; instead of the normal feeling of quietly sufficient energy, we get the fine tremor, the ‘rush’ and even occasionally palpitations and insomnia when we really overdo it. Coffee and other stimulants do not give us energy, the simply facilitate a loan from the trust fund.”
So what does this mean in our modern lives?
- Burning the candle at both ends
- Drinking too many coffees or other stimulants
- Not getting enough sleep
- Trying to do everything
- High stress lifestyles
All of these are considered depleting and taxing on our bodies, mentally and physically. So what can we do?
Starting by following the advice given in Improving your ovarian reserve with Chinese Medicine; Part 1 as quality becomes very important when we are working with low numbers. We must also make sure our bodies are maintained at peak efficiency and health. Other things that are important to implement;
- A healthy well balanced, nutrient rich diet and working on your digestive health. Digestive health has recently shown links to hormonal imbalances.
- Stress reduction again stress can affect your hormones
- Exercise gently
- Good quality sleep
- Drink wheatgrass – Although no scientific proof there is plenty of antidotal evidence. However it is high in antioxidants and vitamin C so won’t do much harm
- Take a very good quality multivitamin – at the clinic we prescribe Eagle Tresos Natal as it has folinic acid appropriate for those with MTHFR
- Find out what is your fertility type and follow the recommendations
Working with low numbers doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get pregnant but it might take time and above all perseverance. Although trying to increase numbers is very hard by optimising your health you can get the best quality that your body can provide. In Chinese Medicine we have a saying that “For the seed to be planted, the field as well as the seed must possess the conditions of fertility”.
It is also important to consider your options. For example IVF may not be your best option, its time to talk to your specialist about plan B. For some of our clients plan B is trying naturally, where that 1 follicle counts but for others plan B could be a donor cycle. I truely believe fertility is a personal journey and each woman’s path to motherhood is different but we a blessed by the opportunity.
- Xiao Yao XingZhe; The Latern
- Emma Cannon (2010) The baby making bible; simple steps to enhance you fertility and improve you chances of getting pregnant, Rodale
About the author
Lauren Surridge is the Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and owner of Balanced Life Health Care. Lauren has a bachelor of Chinese Medicine and specialises in Women’s health, gynaecology and infertility. She has a passion in educating women in the basic lifestyle changes that they can make at home to improve their health, hormonal balance and fertility. To find out more about Lauren click here and to make an appointment to see Lauren at her clinic in Ferntree Gully click here