I was diagnosed with a thin endometrial lining, can acupuncture & Chinese medicine help?
spence — Fri, 06/17/2011 - 15:38
One of the major causes of infertility and IVF failure is a thin uterine lining, inadequate blood flow to the uterus, i.e. poor uterine artery pulsatility index. Treatment to increase blood flow is essential to improving fertility and reducing chances of miscarriage. It should be noted that stress, lack of exercise, not enough rest, lack of joy, and certain foods all can inhibit blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. Click here to read a short testimonial of how acupuncture improved the thickness of a woman's uterine lining 75-100% in just 2 treatments immediately before an IVF. The following are effective treatments for a thin endometrial lining;
Acupuncture. An area of research, as well as my own experience, has shown extreme effectiveness with acupuncture and its affect on the increase of blood flow to the reproductive organs (uterus, ovaries, testis). This may very well be a primary reason that acupuncture displays benefit to women going through IVF fertility treatments in Vancouver. Simply, blood bring the medications to the ovaries and uterus, and if the flow is unimpeded, then more IVF medications arrive at their intended destination which results in better responses and positive outcomes.
Chinese herbal medicine. Many of the herbals in the Chinese medicine pharmacy have the effect of increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs. Many are said to 'quicken and invigorate blood'. Others 'nourish and build blood'. Science is now showing that many of these herbs have the identical physiological effects of Viagra (Sildenafil), a drug well known for its effect on erectile health. This drug, and the mentioned herbs, simply increase blood flow to the uterus, ovaries, and penis (causing erections) via the increase of Nitric Oxide release, a substance that dilates blood vessels.
The following are recommended to do at home to help increase blood flow to reproductive organs and optimize your endometrial lining & fertility;
Castor Oil / Moxa Pack Treatment
Administer for 10 days in the follicular phase of your menstrual cycle (i.e. day 3 to 12). A castor oil / moxa pack is placed on the skin to increase circulation and to promote elimination and healing of the tissues and organs underneath the skin (i.e. ovaries and uterus). Recommended to do in the evening at the same time as hot water foot soak (below). Moxa packs can be purchased at Qi Integrated Health.
METHOD: Castor oil / moxa packs are made by soaking (not dripping wet) a small piece of flannel/cotton (i.e. facecloth size folded) in castor oil and placing it on the skin immediately above the pubic hair line. The cloth then is covered with a sheet of plastic (plastic bag cut out), and then a moxa pack is placed over the plastic to heat the oil for 30-60 minutes each night (while you are doing a warm foot bath is optimal). Be sure and rest while the pack is in place. After removing the pack, cleanse the area with a dilute solution of water and baking soda. Store the cloth in a covered container in the refrigerator. Castor oil should not be taken internally. It should not be applied to broken skin, or used during pregnancy and breastfeeding. *NOTE: if using moxa packs to wear throughout the day (they stay warm for almost 24 hrs) with the included belt, please be sure to have at least 1 layer of clothing between the pack and your skin.
Hot Water Foot Soak
Research shows that hot water foot baths (49 degrees celsius) is potentially very beneficial to a woman's fertility. So every night before bed, especially during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, women should give the feet some warm love! Run your hot water tap for 1 minute, most water furnaces are set to 49 degrees celsius (if it feels WAY too hot, check the temp on your hot water heater), and fill a container large enough to fit both feet, then kick back and relax for 15-20 minutes. This is a great time to do your castor/moxa packs as well (above).
Perform from end of menses to ovulation or retrieval date if undergoing IVF. Do 2-3 times each leg (separately), 1-2 times per day. This massage increases the blood flow to the pelvic organs, providing more nourishment to the uterus and ovaries, testes and penis. Compress the femoral artery with your fingers, fairly heavy pressure will be required. When you feel the flow has ceased, hold for 30 seconds. The femoral artery can be located level with your pubic bone, just beneath the crease in your groin between your thigh and lower abdomen. The blood will then back up and increase the pressure gradient in the iliac arteries which forces more blood into the pelvic arteries. This floods the pelvic organs and genitals with more blood. When the hold is released, you should feel a sensation of warmth rushing down your legs as the blood supply returns to the lower extremities. Do not perform this exercise if you: are pregnant, are post-transfer during an IVF cycle, have high blood pressure, have heart disease or circulatory problems (aneurisms, varicose veins, phlebitis, thrombosis), have a history of strokes, or detached retinas.
Food. Here are a few dietary principles you can implement to help create a thick uterine lining; Avoid sour food when bleeding (yogurt, vinegar, pickles, grapefruit, currants, and green apples. Eat more blood nourishing foods when bleeding such as eggs, carrots, spinach, dates, & goji berries. Consume more blood invigorating foods when bleeding such as fish, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric. Click here to watch a short video about foods that help and hinder blood flow to the uterus and can help in the treatment of a thin endometrial lining.