Acupuncture for Female Infertility - Treatment Protocols

General Approaches

Acupuncture For Female Infertility - Treatment Protocols

Acupuncture treatment protocols are generally directed towards the deeper root of a persons set of health issues, not at each individual issue. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, treatment is generally directed towards the individuals diagnostic pattern(s) and their primary issue is only a part of the information required to approach the correct patterns to treat (see "treating the cause vs. the symptoms" for an introduction to this process.).

In designing an acupuncture protocol for infertility, one might find one or a combination of the following patterns: blood stagnation, kidney jing deficiency, kidney yang deficiency, kidney yin deficiency, liver blood deficiency, spleen blood deficiency among many other possibilities and possible combinations.

Below you will find some of the more common tcm diagnoses and acupuncture treatment protocols for female fertility issues. There are many ways to approach the treatment of this condition within TCM. Our presentation describes foundational approaches that would need to be further tailored in most cases to be effective for a given individual.

Note:When treating infertility cases it is imperative that the male partner receive a sperm analysis. Regardless, it may be beneficial for both partners to receive regular treatments.

Etiology & Pathology:

  • Etiology:
    • Constitutional Deficiency - women with congenital KD deficiencies which may have arisen from being born prematurely or having had an unhealthy mother.
    • Excessive Sexual Activity - particularly around puberty, but also in women who have had multiple child births a/or chronic deficiencies of Jing and Blood - can lead to malnourishment of the Bao Mai and Uterus.
    • Cold a/or Damp - may arise from KD Yang Deficiency or chronic exposures to cold/damp during menstruation - can disrupt the Uterus.
    • Stagnations of Qi a/or Blood, possibly with Phlegm/damp - can block the Uterus.
  • Differentiation:
  • Cold in the Uterus - Excess Condition
    • Signs & Symptoms:
      • Patient will likely appear pale, delayed menstruation w/dark dilute flow, pain a/or coldness of the lower abdomen which improves with the application of heat, aversion to cold, cold limbs, may also have weak back/knees a/or profuse clear urination
      • Tongue: Pale
      • Pulse: Deep, slow
    • Treatment Points:
  • Blood Stagnation w/Phlegm - Excess Condition
    • Signs & Symptoms:
      • Patient is likely to be overweight, irregular menstruation w/clotting, delayed most likely, chest a/or hypochondriac distention, irritability, palpitation, dizziness, profuse sticky leukorrhea.
      • Tongue: White greasy coat w/purple spots
      • Pulse: Deep, wiry
    • Treatment Points:
      • Valaskatagis Point Selection:
      • CV 3 - resolve damp in lower abdomen
      • ST 30 - regulate menstruation
      • KD 13 - important point for infertility, influence chong mai
      • ST 40 - resolve phlegm
      • SP 6 - tonify SP, move lower abdomen
      • If discharge - SP 9
      • If profuse leukorrhea - UB 32
      • If hesitant flow - SP 8
      • Chest/hypochondriac distention - LV 3 w/PC 6
      • Maciocia Point Selection:
      • Maciocia differentiates this as Damp in the Lower Heater
      • CV 3 - resolve damp in lower abdomen
      • Zigong Xue - infertility
      • ST 28 - exces damp in the lower warmer
      • SP 9 - resolve damp
      • SP 6 - tonify SP
      • CV 9 - move stagnant water
      • LU 7 w/KD 6 - yin qiao ren mai
      • ST 30 - regulate menstruation
      • KD 14 - influence chong mai
      • UB 32 - move excesses in the lower warmer
      • TH 5 w/GB 41 - yang wei dai mai
      • Treatment for Blocked Fallopian Tubes
      • Use electrical stimulation from positive CV 4 to negative UB 32
  • KD Yang Deficiency
    • Signs & Symptoms:
      • Irregular menstruation w/scanty pinkish Blood, weak back a/or knees, fatigue, dizziness.
      • Tongue: Thin white coat
      • Pulse: Deep, thin, particularly weak in the KD position
    • Treatment Points:
      • Valaskatagis Point Selection:
      • This is a general treatment for KD Deficiency (i.e. not strongly Yin or Yang)
      • UB 23 - KD Shu
      • KD 13 - important point for infertility, influence the chong mai
      • KD 2 - fire point, usually used to disperse empty fire rising causing sore throat, here it is used w/moxa to strengthen and warm the Uterus
      • KD 3 - tonify KD
      • CV 4 - tonify Qi, Blood and Yin
      • If dizziness a/or tinnitus - TH 17
      • If weak back a/or knees - KD 10
      • Maciocia Point Selection:
      • KD 13 - important point for infertility, influence the chong mai
      • KD 3 - tonify KD
      • UB 23 - KD Shu
      • UB 52 - tonify psycho-emotional aspects of the KD
      • KD 6 w/LU 7 - yin qiao ren mai
      • CV 8 - strongly tonify Yang
      • CV 4 - tonify Yang
      • GV 4 - tonify Yang
  • KD Yin Deficiency
    • Signs & Symptoms:
      • Irregular menstruation, sore back, constipation, mallor flush, night sweats, heat in the 5 palms, insomnia, dry throat, dizziness, vertigo
      • Tongue: Red w/no coat
      • Pulse: Floating, empty, rapid
    • Treatment Points:
  • Blood Deficiency
    • Signs & Symptoms:
      • Delayed menstruation w/scanty, pinkish flow, emaciation, sallow complexion, fatigue, dizziness, may also have palpitations a/or insomnia if HT Blood is deficient
      • Tongue: Pale, possibly swollen
      • Pulse: Deep, thin, weak
    • Treatment Points:

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience. The following lecture notes were consulted within this section:

  • St. John, Meredith: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes
  • Valaskatgis, Peter: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes

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