Whether you’re thinking of adding a bundle of joy to your life or if you have been actively trying to conceive for a while, ancient wisdom from traditional Chinese medicine could be helpful to improve your fertility.
Thousands of years ago, Taoists in Asia looked at nature to explain balance in the body. Looking at patterns in heat, cold, dampness, and dryness in the outside world helped ancients understand the patterns of blood, fluids, and qi or energy inside the body. We now know this traditional wisdom was, and still is, effective at balancing hormones, stress, circulation, inflammation, and sleep cycles.
Using tips from traditional Chinese medicine can help bring male and female bodies into harmony to improve fertility for successful conception.
Our feet are a source of many potent acupuncture points and nerves. When trying to get pregnant, it is recommended that we keep our feet warm. I work with many women who have very cold feet, especially in the winter. I suggest taking 15 minutes at the end of the day to soak your feet in warm to hot water. For extra relaxation, try to add 3-5 drops of lavender essential oil or Epsom salts to the water, and breathe.
Eat Warm Foods
Our digestive system controls so much of our circulation, hormones, and mood and it likes to be warm. Most women trying to conceive can benefit from ditching the salads and sticking to cooked foods like soups, especially during cold, winter months. Here are some great crockpot recipes to keep the body warm.
Keep Your Lower Back Warm
Notice a trend here? Chinese medicine is huge on keeping the body warm to improve fertility when trying to conceive, and that makes sense to me. We don’t try to plant a seed into cold, frozen soil, we wait for the warm, fertile soil of the spring to plant seeds. Our lower back is the source of nerves that connect to the uterus, affecting circulation. Keeping the sacrum and lumbar region of our back, which is located above the tailbone to the hip bones, warm with extra blankets, layers, or a hot water bottle/heating pad for 15 minutes per day may help when trying to get pregnant.
No longer is acupuncture on the fringe of medical care. There are many, many high-quality studies out there demonstrating that acupuncture works to help with conception and many reproductive specialists recommend it. Seeing a licensed acupuncturist, and even better, one with specialty fertility training, is the way to go. Acupuncturists evaluate each patient individually and provide acupuncture and herbal care specific for each client’s condition. We can help increase success rates with IUI and IVF, help with recurrent miscarriages, or help the body prepare for pregnancy with general balancing. Find a licensed acupuncturist near you here.
Keeping blood sugar stabilized is a great idea to improve fertility when trying to conceive. This requires regular, intentional eating. I like the reminder of using my hand- because our stomach is approximately the size of our first. This is a great thing to think of when choosing portion sizes. Then, open your hand to further see an ideal meal plan- the palm is the size of the protein source, the thumb is the size of the fat source, and the fingers are the size of the vegetables. Then, use the fingers to remember- we benefit from 5 meals per day. Smaller, more frequent, and balanced meals can help keep the body in balance when trying to get pregnant.
Learning about the menstrual cycle and intentionally timing intercourse is very important for conception. There are great apps out there to track menstrual cycles and calculate a fertile window, but these apps are not foolproof. To learn the optimal timing for intercourse, use an ovulatory predictor kit which has at-home tests to measure Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in your urine or estrogen levels in your saliva For more information check out the FDA sites:
I hope these fertility tips from Chinese medicine are helpful in your baby-making plans. I’ve used them myself and also for over 200 babies that were made while I’ve had the great pleasure of providing acupuncture to moms and dads preconception.