Today more than 6 million women in the United States struggle with infertility.
Sadness of not being able to conceive a child naturally breaks any cultural and idealogical boundaries, and very often both Western medicine and Chinese medicine have to work together to make a dream come true for couples. While the two approaches are different in their core, each has its own merits.
When it comes to fertility treatment, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners pay special attention to the quality and quantity of cervical mucus, especially if sperm number and motility are low.
The changes in vaginal discharge signify changes in the level of fertility. There are four types of mucus produced by specialized glands in the cervix according to the level of fertility:
G-type (thick and impenetrable, produced during infertile times),
L-type (more liquid),
S-type (egg-white-like and has elasticity, produced as ovulation approaches),
P-type (rich in potassium, extremely lubricative, during the ovulation).
It has been observed by some acupuncturists including myself that the mucus produced by the cervix in women, who have been taking contraceptive pills, is mostly the G-type, even though ovulation may be occurring. Since the G-type mucus is thick and impenetrable, the sperm can not get to the cervix. This unfortunate condition might last for more than a year and might be accompanied by other post-pill imbalances.
It has been also noticed that different types of prescription drugs might change either quality or quantity of fertile mucus and thus contribute to the difficulty getting pregnant. Specifically, antibiotics might impair fertile mucus by provoking an overgrowth of vaginal candida; antidepressants sometimes reduce the number of days fertile mucus is produced; and antihistamines can dry fertile mucus.
There are acupuncture protocols and Chinese herbal formulas, which address the issues of inadequate fertile mucus. It is also seems beneficial to explore different options when it comes to using prescription drugs for contraception, depression and other issues, if we plan to become parents in the nearest future.
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