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Acupuncture for Fertility: Recurrent Miscarriage, Blood Clotting Factors, and How Chinese Medicine Helps

If you’ve gone through the horrible experience of multiple miscarriages, then you’ve probably been tested for blood clotting factors.

While western medicine doesn’t really have any great treatments for this, Chinese medicine really excels at helping this condition.

That’s because we recognize the underlying cause as an imbalance that we commonly treat every day: Blood Stagnation. And we have very effective ways to address it using both acupuncture and herbs.

I’ll get back to that later, but first, I want to go over 2 types of Factors that affect miscarriage.

Genetic and Immune Factors and why they’re important to fertility

 

Genetic Factors/thrombophelias

  • Prothrombin
  • MTHFR hypercysteinemia
  • Factor V

Immune:

  • Auto-immunity
  • APA: Antiphospholipid Antibodies
  • Antinuclear antibodies
  • Natural Killer Cells
  • Cytotoxic B cells
  • Blocking antibodies

I could devote numerous long blogs to each one of these factors, but since google has a wealth of information on each topic, for this post I’ll just list some of the ways these factors impair fertility, then I’ll move to how we treat it in the clinic.

The summary is that these factors interfere with blood flow, increasing miscarriage risk

They:

  • Attack blood vessels
  • Cause blood clotting, which interferes with microcirculation in the reproductive organs
  • Attack the “glue” for the placenta to form, impairing its growth
  • Impair implantation, affecting the establishment of pregnancy

How do we address this with acupuncture and herbs?

As I mentioned before, “Blood Stagnation”/“blood stasis” is an issue acupuncturists work with every day. Even without western tests to alert us to issues with clotting factors, the body gives us a wealth of signs and symptoms to tell us that we need to help this problem.

Women with blood flow issues often have these common symptoms:

  • Bad menstrual cramps
  • Large clots in their menstrual blood, that are usually brown or purple in color, or black in extreme cases
  • If they have headaches or other body pain, the quality tends to be sharp stabbing
  • They might be prone to moles or other skin discolorations
  • Their tongue diagnosis will reveal a purplish hue, and there might be dark dots on it
  • Their Basal Body Temperature (BBT) often doesn’t drop right when their period arrives.

How I work with miscarriage in fertility treatment

If I ever see a fertility patient with these symptoms/signs, and especially if she’s already had miscarriages, I STRONGLY caution her against trying to get pregnant until these signs and symptoms have improved. The chances of miscarrying again are extremely high unless these issues are corrected.

Unless she receives treatment to correct the blood stasis, each time a woman miscarries due to immune factors her chance of miscarrying again increases exponentially.

Rates of miscarriages caused by Immune Factors WITHOUT TREATMENT
After:
Chance of having live birth
3 miscarriages30%
4 miscarriages25%
5 miscarriages5%

As you can see from the chart, we want to do everything possible to prevent another miscarriage.

Since Chinese medicine is excellent at correcting this issue, I’ve seen many women with multiple miscarriages go on to have healthy babies.  IF they postpone pregnancy until we have good reason to believe that the issues are resolved.

There are even some acupuncture fertility experts who require their patients to sign a contract agreeing to do everything possible to NOT get pregnant for usually 3 months, so they have time to help prevent another miscarriage. And they refuse to take them on as patients if they won’t agree to delay pregnancy attempts.

I don’t go that far, but sometimes I wish I did. Because however heart wrenching it is for me to see my patients go through yet another miscarriage, it’s of course even worse for her. The fact that she was forewarned doesn’t make it any easier.

So I do my best to encourage delaying attempts at conception when I see these Blood stagnation issues.

Do you have any of the blood stagnation signs and symptoms and you’re just starting your attempts at pregnancy?

If you recognize yourself in any of the symptoms listed above, then you’re probably at a higher risk of having blood stasis related pregnancy issues. It would be a good idea to address those issues before attempts at pregnancy.

Whether you’ve had miscarriages or you’re just starting your fertility journey, if you’d like to get started working on potential Blood Stasis issues, you can schedule your first appointment by clicking the button below

Schedule an Appointment

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