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Cervical Fluid & Fertility Part I

From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO…

CERVICAL FLUID OPTIMIZATION

Last week we discussed basal body temperature charting and how it can help couples conceive naturally as well as help trouble-shoot common menstrual cycle issues.  If you are basal body temperature charting or just trying to conceive naturally without using any tools, there may be one detail to consider.

When considering optimizing fertility, much emphasis is placed on two important factors: healthy sperm and a healthy egg. However, cervical fluid is the third and key factor in assisting conception as well as increasing your fertile window each month. Due to hormonal changes, the quality of cervical fluid will change as your menstrual cycle progresses each month. As your body approaches ovulation, rising levels of estrogen change the quality, quantity, and consistency of your cervical fluid in an effort to create an optimal environment for sperm. Spinnbarkeit is the term to describe stretchy, clear, fluid-like cervical fluid (often described as looking like raw egg-whites) optimal to providing sperm both nutrients and protection so they can survive as they wait for an egg to arrive (ovulation). Women can have anywhere from one to five days of cervical fluid prior to ovulation. Optimizing the quality and quantity of cervical fluid can increase your odds of conceiving each month by increasing the length of time that sperm will be able to survive in advance of ovulation. Below is a list of several factors that can help to improve your cervical fluid.

  1. Stay hydrated.
  2. Avoid caffeine or drink less than 300 mg (approximately 1 cup) daily
  3. Avoid antihistamines and decongestants
  4. Eliminate any feminine products especially those using scents, perfumes, or bleach. This includes tampons, pads, toilet paper, lubricants, douches etc..)
  5. Vitamin C Intake:  Less than 750-1000mg daily can improve fertility but anything in excess of that amount has the potential to decrease cervical fluid
  6. Increase Essential Fatty Acids: Fish Oils, Olive Oils, Evening Primrose Oil, Flax Seed Oil, & Grapeseed Oil. When purchasing oils, make sure to choose items that are stored in dark or amber-colored bottles and store these products in the refrigerator to prevent the oils from becoming rancid.
  7. Include alkalizing foods in your diet including dark greens and cruciferous vegetables to optimize the pH of cervical fluid for sperm survival. Additionally, eating one clove of raw garlic daily can increase the quantity of cervical fluid.
  8. Include arginine-rich foods or an L-Arginine supplement in your diet
  9. Preseed: This is currently the only manufactured lubricant available that does not affect sperm and may assist couples in trying to conceive. Do not use any other lubricants (including saliva) as they can be less than hospitable to sperm and increase the acidity of cervical fluid.
  10. Guaifenesin: Guaifenesin is the ingredient contained in many cough syrups. Guaifenesin causes all secretions in your body to become more liquid-like in their consistency. If you find that none of the above options to be effective, try this method for one month to test the results.

Have more questions about BBT charting or trying to conceive naturally? Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit your health this year.  Email jlmolleur@ombecenter.com for more details.

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO

Licensed Acupuncturist

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Jessica founded OMBE to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. The center’s green philosophy reflects her commitment to the environment.

Basal Body Temperature Charting Part II

From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO…

In January, we started to talk about basal body temperature charting and some basic tips to get started.  Basal body temperature charting is one of my favorite non-invasive tools to help patients conceive naturally and determine potentially undiagnosed fertility issues.  I wish that I had made copies of every BBT chart that had led to a pregnancy from the start of my practice-it would make quite an art collage for the office!

As as a quick review, basal body temping is one of the least expensive (the cost is zero unless you need a new thermometer) ways to determine a significant amount of information about your body and your menstrual cycle without subjecting yourself to any invasive testing. A BBT chart can help you time conception, determine whether you are ovulating or pregnant, as well as trouble shoot common issues related to your cycle or conception that many have gone unnoticed or undiagnosed.  For patients determined to conceive naturally or trying to troubleshoot their cycle, I recommend that they pick up a copy of Toni Weschler’s book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

Here’s a list of the basic tips to help you get you started:

  • Take your temperature at the same time each morning
  • Take it before you get out of bed, move, talk, or use the bathroom
  • You must be sleeping for at least 3 hours to get an accurate temperature reading
  • Note that your temperature will rise every ½ hour as you sleep later
  • Heating pads, electric blankets, fevers, and drinking alcohol the night before will raise your temperature
  • Note on your chart if there was any reason that you thought your temperature may not be accurate
  • Circle your temperature on a graph each day or use one of the current smartphone apps
  • Continue to take your temperature for the length of your cycle, beginning Day 1 of your menstrual period until the beginning of your next period
  • Note on your chart when you start your period, have spotting, or cervical fluid

After a month of charting, you should be able to connect the dots to see the outline of a curve formed by a series of low points prior to ovulation and a series of high points following ovulation.  This pattern should help you determine a significant information about your cycle including when you ovulate, the length of your luteal cycle (important for implantation), and whether you have fertile-like cervical fluid prior to ovulation as outlined in TCOYF.

If your BBT chart is difficult to decipher, I highly recommend that you take your chart to an acupuncturist or other medical professional familiar with trouble-shooting basal body temperature charts.  Our bodies do not perform like robots, therefore, it is normal to have temperatures that are outliers but still considered part of a normal pattern.  Someone that has looked at hundreds or thousands of basal body temperature will help you determine whether something is abnormal and eliminate the guess work for you.

Next week, we will discuss the wonderful world of cervical fluid and how it related to basal body temperature charting.  Until then, happy charting!

Do you have more questions about BBT charts or acupuncture?  Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more.  Email jlmolleur@ombecenter.com for more details.

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO

Licensed Acupuncturist

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Jessica founded OMBE to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. The center’s green philosophy reflects her commitment to the environment.

Basal Body Temperature Charting Part I

From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO…

Many patients ask me about basal body temperature charting and whether they should try keeping a chart at home when trying to conceive.   Basal body temping is one of the least invasive and least expensive (the cost is zero unless you need a new thermometer) ways to determine a significant amount of information about your body and your menstrual cycle without subjecting yourself to any invasive testing.

A BBT chart can help you time conception, determine whether you are ovulating or pregnant, as well as trouble shoot common issues related to your cycle or conception that many have gone unnoticed or undiagnosed.  It’s hard to believe that so much information can be determined just by using a thermometer and a piece of paper.  If you have any doubts, pick up a copy of Toni Weschler’s book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

What is BBT charting?  It’s the act of simply taking your temperature at approximately the same time every morning to help you chart your menstrual cycle.  By doing so, you create a series of points on a graph that form a pattern helping you or a health practitioner familiar with BBT charts determine your best window to conceive.  Even if you’re not trying to conceive, creating a BBT chart for yourself can help to put yourself in tune with your body in a way that you haven’t been before.  Once you have a sense of your pattern, you can predict peak fertility times in your cycle and use this information to help conceive or avoid pregnancy.  To make it even easier, there are several smartphone apps to help you along the way including one from Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

If you’re just getting started, here are some basic tips to get you started:

  • Take your temperature at the same time each morning
  • Take it before you get out of bed, move, talk, or use the bathroom
  • You must be sleeping for at least 3 hours to get an accurate temperature reading
  • Note that your temperature will rise every ½ hour as you sleep later
  • Heating pads, electric blankets, fevers, and drinking alcohol the night before will raise your temperature
  • Note on your chart if there was any reason that you thought your temperature may not be accurate
  • Circle your temperature on a graph each day or use one of the current smartphone apps
  • Continue to take your temperature for the length of your cycle, beginning Day 1 of your menstrual period until the beginning of your next period

 

Next week, we’ll discuss what to look for on your BBT chart and how to analyze the data!

Do you have more questions about BBT charts or acupuncture?  Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more.  Email jlmolleur@ombecenter.com for more details.

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO

Licensed Acupuncturist

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Jessica founded OMBE to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. The center’s green philosophy reflects her commitment to the environment.

Immune Empowering Diet Part II: Why Eating the Rainbow Helps Sperm

From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac. DNBAO…

This past week we have been writing and talking about New Year’s resolutions including ways to improve your health with every-day foods.  Although many of us strive to eat healthier, I think it’s always easier to make a change when you feel strongly motivated or have a specific reason to do so.  Improving IVF outcomes is a strong reason to motivate any couple to change their diet.  Last week we talked about Immune Empowering Diets  as well as Diet & Fertility  as it relates to women.  Today’s post is all about immune empowering carbohydrates and how they relate to male fertility.

Carbohydrates are an important macronutrient and source of fuel for your body.  When we think major diseases that affect Americans today such as heart disease, allergies, asthma, autoimmune disorders, or osteoarthritis they are seemingly unrelated.  However, they have a common culprit: inflammation.  Foods that contain high levels of antioxidants, minerals, and essential fatty acids can all help to reduce inflammation, boost your immune system, as well as benefit your health in unexpected ways.

In a study completed 10 years ago, the antioxidant supplement, Menevit, was found to reduce oxidative stress in sperm and improve IVF outcomes.  What was in the supplement? Lycopene (found in tomatoes), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, zinc, selenium, as well as a few other antioxidants.  Foods with dark pigments have high antioxidant levels.  So when you think of eating carbohydrates, think of eating from the rainbow-reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, and purples.  Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, kale, blueberries, and grapes.  Who knew that choosing the right carbohydrates could improve your immune system and give sperm a boost?  Similarly, eating carbohydrates without color (pasta, bread, white rice, etc…) have the potential to increase levels of inflammation.  Choose quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat instead.

Want to learn more about immune empowering foods or acupuncture?  Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit your health this year.  Email jlmolleur@ombecenter.com for more details.

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO

Licensed Acupuncturist

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Jessica founded OMBE to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. The center’s green philosophy reflects her commitment to the environment.

Immune Empowering Diets

From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO…

This time of year is a natural time to take a closer look at the foods we tend to eat and not eat.  One reason to do so is in the name of your immune system.  Acupuncture is a powerful tool to help support the immune system and decrease levels of inflammation in the body and so are certain food sources.  Your diet can have a profound impact on your immune system, endocrine system, energy levels, and how efficiently your body functions. The right diet can help your body reduce inflammation, cope with stress, survive cold and flu season, and be an important tool in coping with a myriad of health issues. The following recommendations are based on the idea that the one thousand plus meals you eat each year can be a powerful form of medicine.  We’ll discuss fats today as well as other macro and micro nutrients throughout the rest of the week.

Good fats affect mood, behavior, and levels of inflammation in the body.  High, chronic levels of inflammation in the body burdens the immune system. We know through research that supplementing with essential fatty acids can also decrease depression in women postpartum and decrease pain due to osteoarthritis.  What are essential fatty acids (EFAs)?  They are essential because the body does not produce them, therefore, we need to include them in our diet. The two essential fatty acids are known as linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3).  Sources include: salmon, herring, mackerel, cod, olive oil, flax oil, seeds and other nuts such as almonds or walnuts, and avocados.

Want to learn more about acupuncture or an anti-inflammatory diet?  Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit your health this year.  Email jlmolleur@ombecenter.com for more details.

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO

Licensed Acupuncturist

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Jessica founded OMBE to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. The center’s green philosophy reflects her commitment to the environment.

Diet & Fertility

From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO…

Although I have posted my Diet & Fertility worksheet that I review with many of my fertility patients, I felt that it deserved another post this week given the theme of a healthy new year.  Although I customize these diet recommendations for my patients, these general rules have the potential to benefit many health conditions. Give it a try!

 

The following recommendations are based on the Nurses’ Health Study, which began in 1989 and followed more than 18,000 female nurses anticipating a pregnancy of the duration of the eight-year study. Visit www.nurseshealthstudy.org to learn more details about the study and participants.

 

  1. Eliminate fast foods from your diet & avoid all other trans-fats.

 

  1. Stop smoking.  Smoking has been linked to abnormal oocytes and heavy metals in follicular fluid. Smokers have been found to take longer to get pregnant and are more likely to miscarry.

 

  1. Use more unsaturated vegetable oils and make sure to include omega-3 fats such as fish oil, olive oil, walnut oil, flax oil, and canola oil.

 

  1. Eat more vegetable protein such as beans and nuts and less animal protein.

 

  1. Choose whole grains and other sources of carbohydrates that have lower, slower effects on blood sugar and insulin rather than refined carbohydrates.

 

  1. Drink a glass of whole milk or have a small dish of ice cream or full-fat yogurt everyday; temporarily trade in skim milk and low or no-fat diary products… for their full-fat cousins.

 

  1. Get plenty of iron from fruits, vegetables, beans but not from red meat. Iron plays a key role in DNA replication and in the maturing of the egg in advance of ovulation. Research shows that women who get enough iron cut their risk of ovulatory infertility by about one half!

 

  1. Take a multivitamin that contains iron, folic acid and other B vitamins. Studies show that regular use of a multivitamin decreases the risk of ovulatory infertility. Multivitamins have been shown to benefit men’s fertility as well, increasing sperm count, quality and motility.

 

  1. Beverages matter: Remove sugary drinks and sodas from your diet.  Drink coffee, tea and alcohol in moderation. High intake of caffeine is linked to infertility due to tubal problems or endometriosis but was not associated with ovulatory infertility. Water is great.

 

  1. Overall-maintain a healthy weight:  Losing or gaining 5-10% of your body weight can have a significant impact on ovulation.  Women with a BMI between 20-24 were found to be least likely to have experienced ovulatory infertility.
  1. Aim to eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day, choosing from a variety of all colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple).

 

SOURCES

 

  1. David, Sami S. M.D., Blakeway, Jill. Making Babies. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, 2009. 121.
  2. David, Sami S. M.D., Blakeway, Jill. Making Babies. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company,2009.115.
  3. Chavarro, Jeorge E. M.D., Willett, Walter C. M.D. The Fertility Diet. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. 2008.143

 

Want to try acupuncture this year?  Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit your health this year.  Email jlmolleur@ombecenter.com for more details.

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO

Licensed Acupuncturist

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Jessica founded OMBE to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. The center’s green philosophy reflects her commitment to the environment.

Male Fertility: Top 10 Things to Do Now!

From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO…

Male infertility affects one in twenty men, contributing to half of all infertility issues.  The following is a summary of recommendations based on recent research and findings.  The general goal of these recommendations is to increase circulating levels of antioxidants and reduce free radical stress.  Infertile men have been found to have a higher concentration of free radicals in their semen as compared to fertile men.  High levels of free radicals within semen have been shown to cause damage to the sperm membrane and DNA.  Studies suggest that 30–80% of infertile men have oxidative stress-related infertility.

  1.  Seek medical advice early in the process to rule out infections, varicoceles, blocked ejaculatory ducts, thyroid disorders, celiac disease, or other known causes of male infertility
  1.  Avoid excessive heat especially near the scrotal area including waterbeds, heating pads/blankets, saunas, hot tubs, using laptop computers (on the lap), or wearing tight clothing (biking shorts, jock straps, etc…) that will result in a temperature increase
  1. Do Not Smoke.  Smoking and exposure to environmental pollutants are linked with excess free radical production, which in turn damages sperm DNA.  Smoking has also been shown to decrease sperm motility, sperm morphology, and cause erectile dysfunction.
  1. Do not use marijuana, steroids, performance enhancing drugs, or other recreational drugs.  Marijuana stays in the testes for up to two weeks meaning that habitual use can affect sperm function.
  1.  Limit caffeine and alcohol to moderate intake levels.  Excessive caffeine and alcohol intake is linked with poor fertility. The general consensus is that 300 mg or 2-3 5 oz. cups of coffee and no more than 2 glasses of alcohol per day for men are considered a moderate levels of intake.
  1. Maintain a healthy weight and check your BMI. Overweight men are 50% more likely to have fertility problems as well as having lower testosterone levels and lower sperm motility.
  1. Exercise regularly and moderately: 30-minutes, 5 times/week.  Consider increasing your activity level if you are inactive. Similarly, consider cutting back on your training regimen if you are training for a marathon, triathlon, or other long-distance sport.
  1. Improve your nutrition status by improving your diet in the following three categories. Fats: Reduce your saturated fat intake and increase your omega-3 fatty acid consumption.  Proteins:  Reduce animal protein sources, and increase vegetable protein sources.  Carbohydrates:  Decrease “white” foods such as bread, pasta, rice, bagels etc…, and increase your foods of color (red peppers, carrots, squash, kale, blueberries, grapes).
  1. Take a Multivitamin:  Antioxidants help reduce the effects of free radicals.  Eat antioxidant rich foods and take a multivitamin to help counter the effects of free radicals.
  1. According to a recent research study, a multivitamin containing the following ingredients had benefits for sperm counts all across the board. Check to see if your multivitamin contains the following ingredients/dosages and supplement accordingly:

Lycopene 6 mg

Vitamin E 400 IU

Vitamin C 100 mg

Zinc 25 mg

Selenium 26 μgm

Folate 0.5 mg

Garlic 1000 mg

Want to try acupuncture this year?  Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit your health this year.  Email jlmolleur@ombecenter.com for more details.

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO

Licensed Acupuncturist

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Jessica founded OMBE to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. The center’s green philosophy reflects her commitment to the environment.

The Benefits of Acupuncture in Pregnancy

From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO…

It is a continuous joy to have former trying-to-conceive patients return for treatment for new and often challenging prenatal complaints.  Acupuncture has benefits for both those trying to conceive and for women during all three trimesters.  I’ve included a research summary here for those interested in the benefits of acupuncture during pregnancy:

ACUPUNCTURE BEFORE AND AFTER EMBRYO TRANSFER RESULTS IN HIGHER PREGNANCY RATES

Overview: The research, done at Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Centre in Colorado Springs, studied 114 women undergoing IVF.  Half of the women received acupuncture and the control group did not.

Outcome: The acupuncture group showed improved outcome in the following ways: 1. The acupuncture group had a 51% pregnancy rate compared to 36% in the control group  2. The acupuncture group had an 8% miscarriage rate compared to a 20% in control group. 3. Acupuncture also was found to reduce the risk of tubal pregnancy and increase the live birth rate. The live birth rate for each IVF cycle was 23% higher than the cycles for the control group.

MANUAL ACUPUNCTURE REDUCES HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM (SEVERE VOMITING & NAUSEA)

Overview: Hyperemesis gravidarum, severe vomiting, develops in about 1-2% of all pregnancies. Acupuncture on the point PC6 above the wrist on the palmar side has been found to prevent some types of nausea and vomiting. The purpose of the present study was to see if acupuncture, in addition to standard treatment, could hasten the improvement of hyperemesis gravidarum. Thirty-three women with hyperemesis were evaluated in a randomized, single-blind, crossover comparison of two methods of acupuncture, active (deep) PC6 acupuncture or placebo (superficial) acupuncture. The women estimated their degree of nausea on a visual analogue scale (VAS).

Outcome: The daily number of emesis episodes were documented. Crossover analyses showed that there was a significantly faster reduction of nausea VAS and more women who stopped vomiting after active acupuncture than after placebo acupuncture. This study suggests that active PC6 acupuncture, in combination with standard treatment, could make women with hyperemesis gravidarum better faster than placebo acupuncture.

 PELVIC PAIN RELIEF FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

Overview: A new study shows acupuncture and strengthening exercises may help relieve pelvic girdle pain experienced by pregnant women. The study authors explain this pain inhibits the ability to stand, walk and sit, but there is no cure. Researchers in Sweden set out to investigate whether acupuncture or strengthening exercises could help manage the pain. They divided 386 women into three groups. One received standard treatment, another received standard treatment plus acupuncture, and the third underwent standard treatment plus stabilizing exercise that improved mobility and strength. These women recorded their pain levels every morning and evening and were examined at the end of the treatment period.

Outcome: Both the acupuncture group and the stabilizing-exercise group had less pain than the standard treatment group in the morning and evening. The acupuncture group showed the greatest reduction of pelvic girdle pain. The study authors conclude acupuncture or these specific exercises prove beneficial for pelvic girdle pain.

 MOXIBUSTION TREATMENT OF BREECH PRESENTATION

Overview: Breech presentation was successfully corrected by stimulating acupuncture points with moxibustion or low-frequency electrical current. Only patients with breech pregnancies at the 28th week or later were entered into the study. With moxibustion treatment, the control group had a spontaneous correction rate of 165/224 (73.66%), and the treatment group had a correction rate of 123/133 (92.48%)

Outcome: It was confirmed that stimulation of acupuncture points used in Eastern medicine is very effective in correcting breech presentation. During the present studies, this therapeutic modality was also found to be effective in treating imminent premature birth.

 

ACUPUNCTURE FOR CERVICAL RIPENING AND INDUCTION OF LABOR AT TERM

Overview: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether acupuncture at term can influence cervical ripening, induce labor and thus reduce the need for postdates induction.

Outcome: Acupuncture at points LI4 and SP 6 supports cervical ripening at term and can shorten the time interval between the estimated date of confinement and the actual time of delivery.

INFLUENCE OF ACUPUNCTURE ON DURATION OF LABOR

Overview: The aim of this case control study was to evaluate the  influence of acupuncture (AP) on the duration of labor. Fifty-seven women with AP treatment (group A) were included in our study after spontaneous vaginal full-term delivery. The control group included 63 women (group B). Median duration of the first stage of labor was 196 min in group A and 321 min in group B (Wilcoxon 2-sample test, p < 0.0001). Median duration of the second stage of labor was 57 min in group A and 57 min in group B (Wilcoxon 2-sample test, p = 0.82). Thirty women had a premature rupture of the membranes (PROM), in group A 66.7% and in group B 33.3% (chi2 test, p = 0.02). Women without AP (group B) received significantly more often oxytocin during the first stage of labor compared with group A women (85 and 15%, respectively, chi2 test, p = 0.01) as well as during the second stage of labor (72 and 28%, respectively, chi2 test, p = 0.03).

 

Outcome: Our study suggests that acupuncture treatment is a recommendable form of childbirth preparation due to its positive effect on the duration of labor, namely by shortening the first stage of labor.

SOURCES:

  1. Highlights in Fertility and Sterility (Vol. 77, No. 4, April 2002)
  2. Manual acupuncture reduces hyperemesis gravidarum: a placebo-controlled, randomized, single-blind, crossover study.  Carlsson CP, et.al., J Pain Symptom Manage. 2000 Oct;20(4):273-9.
  3. Pelvic Pain Relief for Pregnant Women.” British Medical Journal (2005): n. pag. Web. 18 Jul 2011. <http://www.acubalance.ca/Pelvic_Pain_Relief_for_Pregnant_Women>.
  4. Moxibustion Treatment of Breech Presentation, Yoichi Kanakura, et.al, American Journal of Chinese Medicine, Wntr, 2001
  5. Rabl M, Ahner R, Bitschnau M, Zeisler H, Husslein P., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Vienna, Austria.
  6. Zeisler H, Tempfer C, Mayerhofer K, Barrada M, Husslein P., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Vienna, AKH, Austria.

 

Want to try acupuncture this year?  Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit your health this year.  Email jlmolleur@ombecenter.com for more details.

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO

Licensed Acupuncturist

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Jessica founded OMBE to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. The center’s green philosophy reflects her commitment to the environment.

Endometriosis & The Environment

From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO….

Many physicians and patients know that acupuncture is a great tool for women suffering from endometriosis including those trying to conceive.  Did you know that there is a link between endometriosis and the environment?  In addition to lifestyle modifications that I discuss with my patients about diet, nutritional supplementation, as well as other therapies, we also talk about chemicals that may have a role in endometriosis and other pelvic inflammatory conditions.  The following is a list of recommendations for chemicals to avoid:

These chemicals have been know to mimic estrogen, become stored in fat cells, and disrupt the endocrine system.  In the early 1970s, a group of rhesus monkeys were exposed to dioxins and PCBs.  Endometriosis developed in 79% of the those that were exposed and 33% of the monkeys not exposed. According to a 2003 report, more than 60 hormone-disrupting chemicals and 27 pesticides were found in samples taken from 120 homes in the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts.

  • Dioxins: Found in non-organic beef, poultry, and dairy products.  Also found in bleach and chlorine products, bleached toilet paper, sanitary napkins, and tampons.
  • BPAs: Water bottles, baby bottles, canned food, and more.  BPA increases insulin resistance and mimics estrogen.
  • Xenoestrogens: Found in plastic bottles, wraps, and food storage containers.
  • Parabens: Found in perfumes, bath and body products, make-up, and anything listed with a “fragrance.”
  • PCBs: Pesticides, paints, fire retardants, and wood floor finishings.
  • PVCs: Found in plumbing fixtures, rain gear, shower curtains, vinyl flooring, and toys.
  • Pesticides & Fungicides: Choose non-chemical treatments whenever possible.
  • MSG/Aspartame: Found in the great majority of packaged foods, chewing gum, diet sodas and other diet beverages, “sugar-free” treats, some candies, and more.

Want to learn more about endometriosis and acupuncture this year?  Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit your health this year.  Email jlmolleur@ombecenter.com for more details.

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO

Licensed Acupuncturist

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Jessica founded OMBE to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. The center’s green philosophy reflects her commitment to the environment.

More Relaxing Rituals from OMBE

From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO….

We began 2017 with a few relaxing rituals to help you start of the New Year.  Check out yesterday’s blog for more ideas to help you reduce your stress levels for the upcoming year.  Here are a few more to help you add a little more zen into your day:

 

 

7.GET OUTSIDE & PLAY

Have you ever heard kids complain about the cold weather? Take a lesson from children and get outside to play this winter. Equip yourself with the right clothing and pick up a winter sport-snowshoeing, skiing, or winter photography are just a few. You’ll be surprised at how energized you may feel after braving the cold! 

8.FORGIVE & LET GO

Forgiving and letting go may be difficult but it is even more draining and stressful to carry grudges. You can symbolically let go by writing a letter expressing how you feel and explaining why you need to move on. You don’t need to mail the letter but it may help in just expressing yourself. You can burn the paper or cast it away somewhere when you are really ready to say goodbye.

9.TEA FOR ONE

Take a vacation in your kitchen. Cultivate your tea sense and keep a personal kettle, tea cup and your favorite teas on hand. Sit quietly alone or share this old ritual with friends. Hot tea may just warm up your body this winter or your spirit!

10. GET IN TOUCH

No matter how stressful your day is, try to put things into perspective by reaching out to a friend or family member that may be struggling a bit more this season. The winter can be an especially lonely time and even depressing for people feeling isolated.   Give them a call or even better-invite them to dinner.

11.BE S.M.A.R.T.!

How many times have you made and broken resolutions for yourself? This year, look at goal-making in a different light. Write down a list of areas in your life-family, health, personal, work, financial, educational or spiritual. Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound.

 12. EXERCISE!

Need motivation? Ask for help or try something new. Stepping outside your comfort zone can be liberating and inspiring. It may be that single class, training session or spa treatment that helps you turn a page in achieving your best health.

Want to try acupuncture this year?  Schedule a complimentary consult here or email jlmolleur@ombecenter.com for more details.

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO

Licensed Acupuncturist

Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Her training also includes a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. She is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture Orthopedics. This orthopedic specialty certification is held by fewer than 300 acupuncturists in the United States. Jessica founded OMBE to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine. The center’s green philosophy reflects her commitment to the environment.