Posts Tagged ‘ovarian response’

Femoral Reproductive Massage (Fertility Massage)

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Herb-005 Tonify Kidney Qi: Luteal Phase Support and Luteal Phase Defect

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

A luteal phase defect is when the uterus does not adequately respond to progesterone to hold the typical 14-day luteal phase. Progesterone output from the corpus luteum may be adequate, but the tissues are unresponsive. Thus, progesterone administration rarely cures luteal phase defect. At ties, the uterine lining does not exhibit the proteins that are necessary for implantation to occur. Sometimes, the immune system reacts against an implanting embryo, and lowers the response to progesterone. Occasionally, the endometrium thins and sheds before menstruation, which does not allow an implanting embryo to remain.

Chinese medicine views the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle energetically. We see that the kidney essence must be adequate to produce progesterone and hold the heating aspect of the menstrual cycle. Spleen qi must be able to “hold” the energies that allow implantation. The qi and blood must be unobstructed, without excess heat or dampness.

HERB-005 Tonify Kidney Qi: Luteal Phase Support helps the body encourage progesterone production by strengthening corpus luteal function. It encourages your body to develop the vascularization, glandular development and proteins necessary for implantation, and hold the kidney energies. This formula may be used following any follicular phase formula. It may be used alone or can be combined with Vitalize Spleen, Resolve Stagnation, and Invigorate Blood formulas.

Soaking your feet in a warm Epsom salt bath each night can also help tonify the kidney energies. Eating walnuts,, pumpkin seeds and yams can also help build up the energies that support progesterone production.

I do not advocate limiting your activities during the luteal phase, unless you tire easily. Any mild exercise that you enjoy during the first half of the cycle is appropriate for the latter half of the cycle. Throughout history, nature did not intend that you even know that you might be pregnant until a period was missed. Nature wasn’t mistaken. I think the wisdom of nature was well aware that if the human psyche got involved in thinking we could control implantation, our own stress mechanisms would make it worse. Relax. It’s the best thing you can do for your fertility. Live your life as if your future child was evaluating what life with you would be like. Would they want you to be stressed? Neurotically trying to control their entrance?

I had some luteal phase issues, and the one month I thought there was no chance I could be pregnant, I stopped supplementing with progesterone. I stopped taking my herbs. I went on a ski trip that I never would have gone on if I thought I might be pregnant. Nature knew better. That was the month I let go, and all of the things that I had been doing (acupuncture, meditation, qi gong, and herbs) were finally allowed to take hold. The one missing ingredient was that I was trying to control all of these things. When I let go the energies opened up and allowed a pregnancy.

HERB-004 Invigorate Blood: Uterine Health Formula

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Endometriosis is a laparoscopic diagnosis. Endometriosis is suspected when the individual presents with mild to severe menstrual cramps, pain on intercourse, and may experience dark, clotty menstrual blood. A laparoscopy is performed to confirm the presence of endometrial cells outside of the uterine cavity, to which the body has mounted an inflammatory reaction. The affected tissue can be “burned” off with a laser, although this is not curative. Another medical approach for endometriosis is to induce a temporary state of menopause with hormonally suppressive drugs such as Lupron. This is also not curative. The presence of endometriosis may also affect ones fertility. Occasionally scar tissue can develop which can impede the ability of the ovary to release the egg and be received appropriately within the fallopian tube. The degree of inflammatory reaction, however, is the greatest indicator. When the inflammation triggers the involvement of the immune system, the body can be programmed to view its own uterine lining as foreign and dangerous, and immune cells are mounted to destroy the endometrial cells and anything that might be implanting in them.

Fortunately, Chinese medicine has found curative relief for endometriosis. Herb-004 Invigorate Blood: Uterine Health Formula is based on a Chinese remedy to revitalize patterns of static blood in the uterus, reducing the inflammatory reaction and immune involvement.

I do not find it particularly valuable to know if one has been diagnosed with endometriosis. If there are symptoms of menstrual pain; blood clots; sticky black, brown or dark purple menstrual flow; and/or painful intercourse, it is an indication that the static blood needs to be enlivened so implantation can be allowed. This process often takes many months (3 – 9) to calm down, depending on its severity.

In addition to Herb-004 Invigorate Blood, I also recommend the following adjunctive treatments for endometriosis:

-       application of castor oil packs to the lower abdomen and uterine massage

-       follow the spleen qi diet, reduce red meat and animal fat

-       supplement with USANA essentials, proflavanol, and visionex

-       OPC, 250 mg/day

-       Wobenzym, taken between meals on an empty stomach

-       Nattokinase, take as directed

This regimen has been found curative. I have treated patients with Stage IV Endometriosis, who, after a few months on this plan, on repeat laparoscopy, had no evidence of endometriosis. Of course, the symptoms subsided as well.

More information: http://thefertilesoul.com/shop/herbs/chinese-herbs

HERB-003 Resolve Damp: Ovarian Stimulation Formula

Monday, November 28th, 2011

This herbal formulation was prepared for those with PCOS, and directs the body’s reproductive energies toward removing obstructions to ovulation. PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance are viewed as “damp” disorders through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

If you view the connection between the pituitary gland and the ovaries as a river, disorders of sugar regulation could be likened to sludge in the river bed, reducing the flow of communication between the messages from the pituitary gland and how quickly they are received and responded to by the ovaries.

One particular herb in the formulation, gleditsia spine, has been reported to reduce the waxy capsule around the ovaries that can hinder the release of the egg during ovulation. Gleditsia spine is not to be taken during pregnancy, which is why we stress taking this formulation prior to ovulation only.

Women with delayed ovulation may find ovulation coming earlier and earlier with continued use of this formulation during the follicular phase. It does not have this effect in women whose ovulation occurs during the expected mid-cycle range.

Women who have disruptions in sugar metabolism that impact ovulation can also benefit from supplementing the diet with NAC, chlorophyll, chromium picolinate, inositol, fenugreek, and bitter melon.

Sylvia had no formal diagnosis of PCOS, insulin resistance, or glucose intolerance. Yet, she always felt a little light headed when she was hungry, and craved sweets most of the time. She felt sluggish and tired and had a few immunologic markers. Her physician started her on Clomid, and prescribed Glucophage, although her glucose levels were within the normal range. These drugs made her feel even worse, and she did not become pregnant. Before proceeding with the suggested IVF, Sylvia removed sugar, refined carbohydrates, gluten and cow’s dairy from her diet. She supplemented with antioxidants, NAC, and chromium picolinate, and took the Resolve Damp formulation during the follicular phase followed by the Vitalize Spleen Qi formulation during the luteal phase. Immediately she felt the results. Her energy improved, her cycles shortened, ovulation came earlier each month, and she became pregnant in less than six months.

More information: http://thefertilesoul.com/shop/herbs/chinese-herbs

HERB-002 Kidney Essence: Follicular Health Formula

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Herbal formulas are focused on gently correcting underlying imbalances; either building up deficient energies or removing obstructions. It is easy for misunderstandings to develop with Chinese herbs. The formulations are complex, to help the body do what it is intended to do. With fertility formulations, most are focused on directing the body’s energies to the reproductive system.  The Fertile Soul herbal formula blend HERB-002 Kidney Essence: Follicular Health Formula is based on an ancient Chinese formulation to build up the “essence” of the reproductive system. It is intended to be taken during the follicular phase (after menstruation until ovulation) of each menstrual cycle, supporting the energies that encourage follicular growth. Unlike ovarian stimulating drugs, this formulation does not overstimulate and therefore deplete the reproductive energies, but nourishes the kidney yin and blood, while resolving any excess stagnant energies. They have no hormones in them, but encourage your body to produce its own hormones.

This nourishing formula may even be used concurrently with ovarian stimulation, with your doctor’s approval. This formulation has been shown to lower FSH, encourage folliculogenesis, raise AMH values and encourage ovarian response. I encourage its use in women with premature ovarian failure, poor ovarian response, advanced maternal age, or to build up the reproductive energies before or after a stimulated cycle.

More information: http://thefertilesoul.com/shop/herbs/chinese-herbs

10 Ways TCM Enhances Fertility

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Studies consistently demonstrate acupuncture’s benefit for a range of fertility-related issues. In one landmark study, pregnancy rates were 43% with acupuncture and 26% without it.

 1.     Improves ovarian response – better egg production.

2.     Increases ovarian and uterine blood flow – better ovarian response.

3.     Helps prepare the uterine lining – increased implantation rates.

4.     Improves sperm count, motility, and morphology.

5.     Lessens the side effects of hormone treatments.

6.     Regulates hormones of the hypothalamus, pituitary, and gonads.

7.     Decreases reproductive immunologic reactions.

8.     Decreases uterine contractility at implantation.

9.     Resolves stress to promote relaxation.

10.  Reduces the incidence of miscarriage.

Chinese medical therapies consist of acupuncture, herbal medicine (with your doctor’s concurrence), nutritional and dietary modifications, and exercises to increase pelvic circulation.