Fertility acupuncture, frequently combined with Chinese herbal medicine, has been used for centuries to treat various causes of infertility. I worked with Dr. Robin Poe-Zeigler and Dr. Christian Perez to help improve the IVF, IUI success rate. The following are just some of the cases in my practice.
Case 1: Female, late 30s
The patient is a physician who had never been pregnant before. After being married for three years, she and her husband finally decided to try In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). As a patient in a local reproductive medical center, she knew that acupuncture could improve the success rate for IVF, so she decided to try acupuncture during the IVF process outside of the medical center.
After three acupuncture treatments, she told me that lab testing showed the eggs’ quality and quantity were all improved. She was very excited about the results and hoped her first IVF would succeed. Unfortunately, the lab test result turned out very disappointing.
She still came back for acupuncture because acupuncture had already helped her to have better eggs. I told her that, from a Chinese medicine perspective, her body may need a little bit more time to respond to the natural intervention, so it would be better for her to wait three months before trying the second IVF. She was worried about her age; after each passing day the chances of success became slimmer for her. She could not wait so she scheduled her second IVF.
One day I got a phone call from her. She sounded very excited over the phone and said, “I have some good news to share with you. I will see you in half an hour.” When she came in the door, she said happily, “I am pregnant, I cannot believe it. It is a miracle. I’ve never gotten pregnant before…and it’s all because of acupuncture!” She never had to try the second IVF.
Case 2: Female, mid 30s
“T” is an interesting person. After an unexpected miscarriage and a failed IVF, she decided to try something natural. She bought a book about how Chinese herbs help infertility issues and circled all the symptoms she had from the book. During the first visit, she asked me if I could do something to help her. After asking a few questions, taking her pulse, and inspecting her tongue, I gave her my explanation about why she had a hard time getting pregnant, which was due to a pretty common problem in women: “kidney deficiency.” I suggested she try acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy altogether. I also let her husband do moxa on her. After four treatments, she went on vacation for a month. One day I got a phone call from her. Over the phone she told me she was seven weeks pregnant.
Case 3: Female, early 30s
“J” had two miscarriages after two successful IVFs. She was referred by “T” in Case ②. I convinced “J” to try acupuncture, herbs, and moxibustion. She did everything I suggested, and she got pregnant after six acupuncture treatments. It is always the patients who follow the instructions who will have the best results!
Case 4: Female, mid 20s
“L” had a failed IVF due to the lining of the uterus not being thick enough. She was referred by her doctor to try acupuncture. After six weeks of acupuncture treatments, she tried IVF the second time. She got pregnant.
Case 5: Female, late 30s
“K” originally came in for anxiety. I noticed that she had some infertility issues. I explained to her that anxiety and infertility are both related to kidney energy deficiency and that I could add two points to help her infertility at the same time as treating her anxiety. She agreed. After six treatments (once a week), she was pregnant.
Case 6: Female, late 30s
“K” has tried IVF four times but with no success. For the fifth time, she decided to try acupuncture one month prior her IVF. After seven treatments (twice a week), she had a successful IVF.
Case 7: Female, early 30s
“J” tried IVF twice with no success. After her second IVF failed, she came for acupuncture treatment. After five acupuncture treatments (once a week), her period was delayed for seven days. She told me after her first IVF failed, the period was still on time. So she felt something good might happen this time, but she was too nervous to do the pregnancy test. I told her, “You are still young, the chance to get pregnant is still very good. There is nothing to be worried about. Do not let this bother you anymore. Go home and do the test.” She did the test and the result was negative. She scheduled an appointment with her doctor to see what was wrong with the delayed period. The doctor told her the blood test showed positive. She was pregnant.
Case 8: Female, mid 30s
“M” got pregnant after eight fertility acupuncture treatments.
Case 9: Female, early 30s
“K” got pregnant after six months of acupuncture treatment:
She states: “I was diagnosed with blocked tubes and now I’M PREGNANT!!!!!!!! I was diagnosed with blocked fallopian tubes by my OB and before trying other methods I went to Luke for treatment. He is so amazing! I was diagnosed in September of 2009, and I found out in early January 2010 that I was pregnant, naturally!! I received treatments one to two times a week and they would vary based on where I was in my cycle. Luke is such a dedicated practitioner and he really made my problem his own. As a matter of fact, I called him the night I took the pregnancy test! I recommend anyone who is considering acupuncture, for any reason, go to Luke. He is so compassionate and puts all of his effort into his patients. He is extremely honest and I will be forever grateful!”
Case 10: Female, early 30s
One day I got a phone call from Paula. Paula is in her 30s; she and her husband Shawn have been married for several years. Paula had been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), so it was difficult for her to conceive a child. Recently the couple was happy to find out Paula was pregnant and in her first trimester. They were very excited and hoped everything would go smoothly. Yet a problem had arisen. Paula’s doctor discovered she had a 10 cm hemorrhagic cyst on her left ovary. Her gynecologist highly recommended surgery; however, it could result in a miscarriage. The couple did not want to risk the chance of a miscarriage so they looked into alternative medicine. She called because she wanted a consultation with me.
During the consultation, Paula asked me if I could treat her with the Chinese medicine. I felt her pulse and inspected her tongue and eyes then gave her a diagnosis from a Chinese medicine perspective. The cyst was caused by blood stagnation. I thoroughly discussed the treatment options, which included the use of blood-invigorating herbs to enhance the circulation to help shrink the cyst. I explained to her that there was a slight chance of a miscarriage, but that I was confident my diagnosis was correct and a miscarriage would be unlikely.
Paula decided to take the chance and give my treatment a try. I performed acupuncture around the belly button, which is normally taboo during a pregnancy, but in this case it was necessary. Then I prescribed an herbal formula for her to take for two weeks. Just a few days later, Paula went to the doctor for an ultrasound and the cyst had already began to thin. It is now much smaller and no longer a concern to her gynecologist. Paula was thrilled and could not believe it had begun to work in such a short period.
Six months into her pregnancy, the doctor discovered Paula had developed gestational diabetes and prescribed Glyburide. She suffered awful side effects and once again called me for help. I explained to her that gestational diabetes is normally caused by a kidney deficiency and that using herbs to strengthen her kidneys would help. After two weeks of taking Chinese herbs, she no longer has to take Glyburide.
(Little Shanta was born in September 2010. Isn’t she cute!)
Case 11: Three females in their 30s
“K” (Female, mid 30s) had a successful IVF (2nd time) after 13 fertility acupuncture treatments.
“V” (Female, mid 30s) had a successful IVF (3rd time) after 16 fertility acupuncture treatments.
“K” (Female, early 30s) had a successful IVF (3rd time) after seven fertility acupuncture treatments.
Case 12: Female
“S” was diagnosed with PCOS. She got pregnant after seven fertility acupuncture treatments.
“S” states: “ ‘It only takes once!’ That’s what I clearly remember Ms. Smith saying in my 9th grade sex ed class, ‘Remember that, kids, it only takes having sex one time for you to get pregnant.’ ”
“Fast-forward 13 years later and suddenly, ‘It only takes once’ seems to only be true when you are 16 and in the backseat of car. I’m now married, with a steady job, and ready to start a family. At 5’2” and 120 pounds, I swim laps for 30-minutes every morning before work, aim to eat my five fruits and vegetables, don’t smoke or drink (not even coffee or soda), and I feel healthy—never a broken bone or even a cavity. So why has it been a year and we’re still not pregnant?
“In Jan 2009, I was diagnosed with PCOS, which helped to explain a lot. I was put on Metformin and watched my diet more closely. More trying and waiting. And in January 2011, I searched the internet for acupuncturists in the area and found Luke Sui.
“Luke was wonderful. At my first appointment, he asked me questions about why I had contacted him, took my pulses, and took my history. He recommended a treatment plan and had a few needles placed that afternoon. I was sent home with a small packet of Chinese herbs and instructed to take them twice a day.
“I continued to see Luke once a week for acupuncture and religiously took my herbs. And in March, my husband and I were thrilled to have a positive pregnancy test! A few weeks later, we saw our baby’s heartbeat on the ultrasound and both of us could not believe our eyes.
“If you are struggling with starting a family like we did, I’d encourage you to give acupuncture a try, too. Best of luck to you, and a big thank you to Luke!”
Case 13: Female
“J” got pregnant after 20 fertility acupuncture treatments.
Case 14: Female
“J” got pregnant after eight fertility acupuncture treatments!
Case 15: Female
“L” got pregnant after 11 acupuncture treatments.
“In July 2011 I suffered a miscarriage after trying to conceive for a year and a half. After countless tests, dollars spent, and tears shed at multiple fertility centers, I decided enough was enough and my husband and I decided to stop the roller coaster. I wasn’t 100% convinced that I needed IVF to carry a pregnancy, and on a whim I called Luke who was referred to me by a mutual friend. I thank God every day for my blessing that my husband and I have thanks to Luke.
“For as long as I can remember I’ve had cold hands and feet. My hands and feet have remained a normal temperature since my first visit.
“If you are struggling with becoming a parent, my advice is take a deep breath, open your mind, and call my friend Luke, who made it possible for me to become a mom.”
(She is such a happy girl!!!)
(Little Rose was born in April 2012!)
“After three miscarriages with no known cause, I was being empirically treated with progesterone and medication for suspected but unconfirmed PCOS. On the advice of friends, we also turned to Luke for acupuncture. He quickly offered a solution and I began acupuncture and herbal treatments after my third miscarriage. He asked us not to try to get pregnant again for three months but…oops…I got pregnant right away. I continued to see Luke for acupuncture and herbal treatments through week eight, when we had to move cross country.
“My daughter was born in April, 7 lbs 8 oz, and is such a healthy and beautiful baby girl! We are thankful for Luke as part of the team that helped us have a successful pregnancy and full-term delivery!”
Case 17: Female
“K” got pregnant after nine fertility acupuncture treatments.
Case 18: Female
“L” got pregnant after eight fertility acupuncture treatments.
Case 19: Female, mid 20s
Sara (age 26) got pregnant after eight acupuncture treatments. She continued to come until the end of her first trimester.
“After a year and a half, which included a miscarriage and chemical pregnancy, it took Luke only eight sessions and I am now pregnant with my baby boy! Unlike other local offices I had contacted first, Luke was happy to accommodate my busy schedule and see me at a time that worked for me! Thank you, Luke!”
~ by Sara
Case 20: Female, mid 30s
Alison (age 36) got pregnant after eight acupuncture treatments. It seems that “8” is a good number to get pregnant.
“I was hesitant to see an acupuncturist and very skeptical of the entire process, but after dealing with infertility for a couple years, I decided to give it a try. Luke takes time to go through your history with you and is very patient and kind. Within only a few months of seeing him, I got pregnant! I have also struggled with migraines my entire life. Since being pregnant they had only gotten worse. After having one for three days, I was desperate for some relief and afraid to try medication with the pregnancy. I went to Luke and my headache was gone the next morning.”
~ by Alison
Case 21: Female, late 30s
Maria (age 39) got pregnant after four visits! So happy for her.
Case 22: Female
“39 weeks pregnant with my second child and hoping for a VBAC, I went to Dr. Luke for acupuncture to help bring labor on so that I would not need induction. My third treatment was on my due date at 4 pm and by 10 pm that night contractions started!! This was a Sunday night and I delivered her early Tuesday morning. It was a long labor because with my son I had an emergency c-section, so this was my body’s first time being in labor. Dr. Luke was so kind, and I know that with his help I was able to go into labor on my own and deliver the morning I was supposed to be induced! Thank you, Dr. Luke, for everything.”
~ by Amy
4 month old Layla. She smiles like an angel.