Fertility

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The treatment of infertility with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dates back 2,000 years. These ancient, time-tested techniques improve fertility rates and support a woman’s whole body, unlocking unlimited potential for health, healing and childbearing.

Studies reported by The American Pregnancy Association suggest that the most effective fertility treatments involve a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and traditional medical interventions. However, conception does sometimes occur without traditional medical interventions when acupuncture and herbal medicines are used alone.1

Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York reviewed recent studies and concluded that acupuncture helps to:

  • Increase blood flow to the uterus, which improves the chances of an ovum implanting on the uterine wall.
  • Reduce anxiety and stress. The hormones that are secreted during stressful situations can significantly decrease fertility.
  • Normalize hormone and endocrine systems that regulate ovulation, especially in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.
  • Positively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, which plays a key role in fertility.
  • Regulate menstrual cycle.2

In a 2007 study, researchers found that acupuncture may improve the quality of life in patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). It was also found that women receiving acupuncture reported significantly
less abdominal pain, other pain, nausea, and stress two hours after
oocyte aspiration (egg collection) compared to women receiving conventional analgesia.3

In 2008, the British Medical Journal published research which
concluded that acupuncture can be offered as a significant, clinically relevant adjunct to IVF, relaxing the uterus and increasing blood flow
for the successful implantation of an embryo within the uterine lining.4

An acupuncturist’s approach to fertility.

According to the theories of acupuncture and TCM, infertility is caused by an imbalance of Qi (pronounced “chee”) and blood affecting the healthy functioning of one or more of the organ systems. When Qi, also known as our vital energy, and blood are circulating freely throughout the body, every cell, tissue and organ is properly nourished and can function well. Acupuncture and TCM can raise the fertility potential of women by effecting the quality, quantity, balance and flow of Qi and blood (keep in mind that the organs described reflect Chinese medical theories and philosophies).

Kidney Organ System. The release of an ovum is controlled by the kidneys. The kidneys also create a substance called Jing Qi, which is required in order to have a healthy body, mind, and pregnancy. If an imbalance exists within the kidneys, Jing Qi may be inadequate in supply and may be a cause for infertility. Chinese herbal medicine, along with acupuncture, can nourish and support Jing Qi and overall kidney health.

Spleen Organ System. An adequate supply of blood is required by a woman’s body to sustain a normal menstrual cycle, a growing fetus, and a healthy pregnancy. Disharmony within the spleen can result in an inadequate supply and imbalance of blood. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can build and nourish blood in order to promote a healthy flow
of blood to the uterus.

Liver Organ System. In order to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy, it is important to have a free flow of Qi and blood throughout the body. The liver is in charge of facilitating this function. When it is out of balance, areas of the body will not receive the required supply of Qi and blood. This imbalance can lead to depression, anxiety, stress and increased possibility of infertility.

Acupuncture and TCM provide a safe, effective, drug-free, and natural approach to treating infertility and enjoying a healthy pregnancy. Here are a few reasons to try acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine:

  • An acupuncturist does not treat just symptoms and signs, but instead activates the body’s natural healing potential by treating
    the root causes that have lead to the problem or disease.
  • Acupuncture and TCM are completely natural. No drugs are ever used. Invasive procedures and drug therapies that are used in the Western treatment of infertility can cause undesirable side effects and accumulated toxicity in the body.
  • Acupuncture and TCM can be used to strengthen, support, and balance overall health and well-being, therefore can increase the effectiveness of other procedures.
Also consider acupuncture during your pregnancy and birth. According to the World Health Organization, acupuncture has been found useful for relieving labor pain, nausea, vomiting, and significantly reducing the duration of labor. There is also strong evidence that acupuncture can help with a breech birth.5,6
  1. American Pregnancy Association. http://www.americanpregnancy.org/infertility/acupuncture.htm.
  2. Five ways acupuncture can boost fertility. Prevention.com. 2002.
  3. Alternative Therapies, May/June 2007, Vol. 13 No.3.
  4. Manheimer, E., et. al. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: systematic review and meta-analysis. British Medical Journal. February 2008;336:545-549.
  5. World Health Organization. www.who.int/medicines.
  6. A Manual of Acupuncture. Deadman P. & Mazin Al-Khafaji. Eastland Press, 2007. Page 326.

Reviews:

I am pleased to extend my gratitude to Dr. Zhao for my infertility treatment for 4 weeks. Dr. Zhao has been very attentive, gentle, and care about her patients.

I found out about Dr. Zhao when I searched for acupuncturist nearly my area from Google. I read the testimonies from other patients on the website and it gave me courage to make a phone call and set up an appointment for consultation on that same day. In addition to that, her office happened to be very close to where I work so it is very convenient.

Dr. Zhao is indeed a true professional. During my consultation session with Dr. Zhao, I was not expecting a lot; however, the way she explained things and communicated with me gave me confidence and assurance that this treatment could work together with my IUI treatment.

After my 7th visit with Dr. Zhao, I finally got a positive pregnancy test. My journey is certainly far from over but I thank God for giving me a chance to be treated by an expert like Dr. Dr. Zhao.

Grace W.


My wife and I have been trying to conceive for a year. We tried naturally and later sought the help of a fertility clinic to help us achieve our little miracle. At the same time, we realized the stress we were both feeling as we were going through fertility had put a lot of anxiety on us both mentally and physically. We decided to find an acupuncturist to help us relax as we go thru the fertility treatments. My wife found Dr. Zhao at Dragon Acupuncture on the web which has great reviews with Dr. Zhao specializing in fertility treatments.

We were delighted to meet Dr. Zhao. We both found Dr. Zhao to be a very caring, compassionate and kind doctor that wanted us to be successful in starting our family. We started going to see Dr. Zhao twice a week for about a year and she helped us tremendously in calming our mind and body.

In addition Dr. Zhao also said that she could use acupuncture to help with some of my fertility problems. Semen analysis done at the fertility clinic showed that while I had a high count, my mobility and morphology was low. After about 6 months of receiving treatment from Dr. Zhao, both my mobility and morphology had doubled.

After trying fertility treatments a number of times, we decided to try to conceive naturally. With Dr. Zhao’s help, she was able to help both of us relax and naturally conceive after trying for 3 months.

We both appreciate and thank her for everything she has done for us and would recommend Dragon Acupuncture for anyone that is looking for help in starting a family.

Richard and LeAnne Y.


I am new to acupuncture and chose this office based on the positive reviews. I was going through the IVF process and read that acupuncture can improve implantation. I went once to try it before my transfer procedure. It was very relaxing. I went again directly after my procedure  and I ended up getting pregnant.  Not saying it’s only because of acupuncture but I believe it helped. They are fast and professional and will answer any questions. I will continue to came here throughout my pregnancy as well. I also love that I can send a text to schedule my appointment!

Kelly A. Santa Clarita, CA, Yelp reviews on 7/24/2015


“My husband and I tried for 4 years to get pregnant. We saw several doctors who could find nothing wrong, and therefore, did not know how to help us. With herbs and acupuncture, Dr. Zhao strengthened my system and helped prepare my body for pregnancy. Six months later, I was pregnant. ”

Gena


Dr. Zhao is an expert acupuncturist. I can say that because I’ve treated previously with another acupuncturist for approx. 9 months and in comparison, he was not as skilled as Dr. Zhao, at least when it came to my medical issue. I am 40 years old & treating for infertility. Dr. Zhao not only brought my FSH down to the normal levels, but she also brought my estradiol level down to normal levels, as well as improved the lining of my uterus which of course helps with the implantation of the embryo! This was all within approx. 2 months. Dr. Zhao explained that cramping during periods means that the lining of the uterus is not healthy and cannot easily support implantation of the embryo. With her treatment, ALL my PMS symptoms went away. The previous acupuncturist also brought down my FSH to normal levels, but that caused my estradiol level to go well above the normal levels which in turn almost made me ineligible for IVF. From my research and in talking to my physician, if the FSH or estradiol or both are above normal limits, it means that the quality of the eggs is not good and chances of pregnancy are slim.

Back to Dr. Zhao, she is a true professional who really cares about her patients whole health. When I had unrelated problems with my neck and shoulders, diarrhea (had it for almost 2 months with frequency of 2-3 x a day. She made it go away within a week of treatment & herbs), cold with cough, sore throat (she made it go away in just one visit!), and muscle twitch in my left calf, she treated them all as part of my overall treatment for infertility without charging extra.

When she initially examined me, she also noted that my tongue was black and she said its because of very poor blood circulation, and this would be a major barrier for pregnancy. I did not believe her since I’ve had this black tongue from childhood. But after a month of treatment and herbs, my tongue is now a very healthy pink! After 40 years of my life, I find out that I actually have a pink tongue! She makes sure the depth of the needle is just right. She monitored my condition at each visit and adjusted the herbal teas according to my IVF schedule, and she took my financial situation into consideration. At my initial visit, when I told her I could not afford to buy the herbal teas from her, she gave me the herbal prescriptions and even told me where I could go to fill them at a much affordable cost. I was really impressed by this because my previous acupuncturist insisted that I could only buy my herbal medicine from him at a very steep price. This was a turning point for me because it made me realize that she wasn’t in it for only the money, but she truly cared about the health & well being of her patients and to give them the best care available.

On an ending note, I thank the Good Lord, Jesus Christ, for leading me to Dr. Zhao. She has done her part as she promised me at our initial meeting. And I know that Christ will breathe the gift of life to the embryos transferred recently – “With God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26.

Neelam R.


I first came to Dragon Acupuncture as a Type 1 diabetic looking to gain better control of my diabetes, as well as looking to conceive a baby. Upon my initial consultation, Dr. Zhao gave both my husband and I a thorough evaluation to find the best ways of working with us based on our specific needs. I began treatment immediately, twice a week. After only one month of treatment, not only did my sugar levels decrease and stabilize tremendously, but I also found out I was pregnant! I would definitely recommend Dragon Acupuncture. I found Dr. Zhao to be extremely professional, very knowledgeable in her field as well as a pleasure to work with, as she would also frequently call to check up on my health and progress. I look forward to also continuing my treatment throughout the duration of the pregnancy as well as in the future.

Jenine S.


Infertility

I tell everyone about this place. I’ve been coming here for over 6 years.  They helped me get pregnant with my now 5 year old son and they got rid of my morning sickness in one treatment. They also, made a believer out of my 70 year old mom who had a bowler’s hip problem. Three treatments managed her pain for 6 months when she went back to Michigan. I’ve even taken our son for cupping when he was ill. That’s how much great healing work they perform.

 Gloria H.  Santa Clarita, CA, Yelp reviews on 10/28/2010 


I had been searching for a doctor with good grasp on both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine, which led to my discovery with Dr. Zhao, who not only fulfilled my quest and also became my very trusted doctor for the past three years. Dr. Zhao is very knowledgeable, patient and really cares for her patients. She has helped me through my wellness & fertility journey and continued caring for me after I became pregnant. The office staff is also always very courteous and helpful. Highly recommend this place!


Dr. Zhao helped me with my infertility problem and I was able to conceive within six months. I had a very stressed out life at the time. She was very patient while treating me and sincere while giving me the advice on adjusting my diets and routine. She gave me positive feedback to ease my stressed mind. I totally recommend acupuncture for treating infertility because it really worked for me and I totally recommend Dr. Zhao.


I had a great experience with Dr. Zhao. She helped me to conceive my second child after I had multiple miscarriage and a failed IVF. She’s so warm and caring. Excellent bedside manner and her staff is very nice and friendly. Would highly recommend her! She knows what she’s doing. I’m proof of her great work!


If you are experiencing fertility and/or hormone issues, I cannot recommend Dr. Zhao enough. My husband and I were trying to conceive for 4 years before coming to Dr. Zhao. I had been to multiple acupuncturists, but none compared to Dr. Zhao. I am now nearly 17 weeks pregnant! While we did do several things (change diet, remove harmful household/beauty products, physical therapy, yoga) I think Dr. Zhao’s hormone treatment is one of the key reasons it finally happened for us.

– She really (like really) pays attention to your cycle. I’ve seen many acupuncturists and none of them asked to see my temperature at each appointment. She asks every time and she can tell, by your temperature, if there are irregularities and can make recommendations. I found out that I was ovulating very early in my cycle due to her comprehensive and consistent analysis over multiple cycles.
– She is able to also recommend Chinese herbs. I have had recurrent ovarian cysts, and I saw clear evidence that the herbs that I was taking were balancing my hormones (was the only change I made and cysts disappeared and/or shrunk). She also noticed my temperature was very low, and I believe the herbs/hormone balancing helped raise it to a point that supported implantation.

Dr. Zhao is also generally a lovely person that is truly invested in this work. If you do go this route, please enter with an open mind and be willing to really listen to recommendations and to drink some gross-smelling herbs, if recommended! Acupuncture isn’t always enough, but acupuncture + herbs can change your life.

Bonny P., Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA, Yelp reviews on 9/13/2020


Dr. Zhao is an expert acupuncturist. I can say that because I’ve treated previously with another acupuncturist for approx. 9 months and in comparison, he was not as skilled as Dr. Zhao, at least when it came to my medical issue. I am 40 years old & treating for infertility. Dr. Zhao not only brought my FSH down to the normal levels, but she also brought my estradiol level down to normal levels, as well as improved the lining of my uterus which of course helps with the implantation of the embryo! This was all within approx. 2 months. Dr. Zhao explained that cramping during periods means that the lining of the uterus is not healthy and cannot easily support implantation of the embryo. With her treatment, ALL my PMS symptoms went away. The previous acupuncturist also brought down my FSH to normal levels, but that caused my estradiol level to go well above the normal levels which in turn almost made me ineligible for IVF. From my research and in talking to my physician, if the FSH or estradiol or both are above normal limits, it means that the quality of the eggs is not good and chances of pregnancy are slim. Back to Dr. Zhao, she is a true professional who really cares about her patient??s whole health. When I had unrelated problems with my neck and shoulders, diarrhea (had it for almost 2 months with frequency of 2-3 x a day. She made it go away within a week of treatment & herbs), cold with cough, sore throat (she made it go away in just one visit!), and muscle twitch in my left calf, she treated them all as part of my overall treatment for infertility without charging extra. When she initially examined me, she also noted that my tongue was black and she said it??s because of very poor blood circulation, and this would be a major barrier for pregnancy. I did not believe her since I’ve had this black tongue from childhood. But after a month of treatment and herbs, my tongue is now a very healthy pink! After 40 years of my life, I find out that I actually have a pink tongue! She makes sure the depth of the needle is just right. She monitored my condition at each visit and adjusted the herbal teas according to my IVF schedule, and she took my financial situation into consideration. At my initial visit, when I told her I could not afford to buy the herbal teas from her, she gave me the herbal prescriptions and even told me where I could go to fill them at a much affordable cost. I was really impressed by this because my previous acupuncturist insisted that I could only buy my herbal medicine from him at a very steep price. This was a turning point for me because it made me realize that she wasn’t in it for only the money, but she truly cared about the health & well being of her patients and to give them the best care available. On an ending note, I thank the Good Lord, Jesus Christ, for leading me to Dr. Zhao. She has done her part as she promised me at our initial meeting. And I know that Christ will breathe the gift of life to the embryos transferred recently – “With God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26

Neelam R. June 08, 2009

This review is long overdue. Dr Zhao came highly recommended to me by a different doctor and I loved that she had an impressive training and experience in both Chinese and Western medicine – which is very rare.
Dr Zhao is extremely kind, gentle and knowledgeable.

I came initially to treat acne I had from getting off of the pill and for pain in one of my arms. After one session, the pain was gone! I was about to try getting pregnant for the first time and asked Dr Zhao for her guidance and help to boost our chances. Dr Zhao was brilliant and helped me figure out my cycle quickly. I saw her twice a week and she prescribed me herbs. Within 2 cycles, I was pregnant (and it cleared also my skin)! I kept seeing Dr Zhao through half my pregnancy and would have the whole time if I had been able to. I live in Los Angeles and drove all the way to her Irvine office. Dr Zhao helped maintain a stronger pulse and was a tremendous help through all pregnancy’s discomforts and stress. Dr Zhao’s calm and experience were extremely reassuring, and I always felt much stronger after our weekly sessions.

For my second pregnancy, there was no doubt I was going to see Dr Zhao again! I became pregnant again in the second cycle. I saw her both times on ovulation day which I am sure tremendously helped. For my second child, I actually took a pregnancy test that looked negative but Dr Zhao told me she really thought I might be from my pulse and everything. And she was right!

Both my pregnancies went smoothly thanks to Dr Zhao. I cannot recommend Dr Zhao enough if you are trying to get pregnant, for helping keep baby and you healthy during pregnancy, for pain or anything. She is exceptional and so professional !

On the logistics side, her office is very modern, clean and convenient with tons of parking. Her front desk team was always friendly and helpful in scheduling or rescheduling if needed. Amazing experience all around !

Mary P., Los Angeles, CA, Yelp reviews on 9/23/2020


I am so grateful to be treated by Dr. Zhao. She is such a knowledgeable, experienced and intuitive acupuncturist. I came to her for fertility acupuncture after seeing 2 other acupuncturists prior. From my first meeting with Dr. Zhao, I knew that I would be in the best care. Her empathetic, calming presence and experienced hand helped prepare my body for and through IVF treatment and now through 11 weeks of pregnancy.

The office is very clean and the appointment reminder texts are helpful. I highly recommend Dr. Zhao to anyone looking for quality care.

Anna K. Santa Monica, CA, Yelp reviews on 12/17/2019

 

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