The COVID19 Pandemic, Fertility, and Chinese Medicine

By Jen Ward /

The COVID19 Pandemic, Fertility, and Chinese Medicine

When your body is in balance, you may not notice. But when an imbalance occurs, it shows up as symptoms. In Chinese medicine, we can often determine a woman’s health by looking at her menstrual cycle. Is it regular? What is the flow like? Does she have premenstrual syndrome? Is she ovulating? What is her mood? Is there any history of fibroids or endometriosis? 

Instead of fast-tracking assisted reproduction, have the conversation about imbalances and what can be done about them in three-, six- and nine-month plans. Do you truly understand how your cycle works?  What is a normal cycle?  How long they should last, what type of flow is healthy, are cramps normal, and more (all of these questions are answered by our colleague, acupuncturist Kris Gonzalez in this YouTube webinar). 

Acupuncture and herbal medicine are designed to assist women’s health: regulate menses (or menstrual periods), preconception, pregnancy, postnatal care, perimenopause, menopause. 

THE PANDEMIC AND ITS AFFECT ON FERTILITY

The news continues about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted-reproduction treatments. Many fertility clinics have put procedures and patients' hopes on hold. In some cities worldwide there may be no new ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination, fresh IVF or frozen embryo transfer cycles. Some clinics are unable to perform investigations such as semen analyses, blood tests or ultrasound scans. 

This can be deeply disappointing for women who have a deep desire to conceive, and who have put endless time, energy, and money - adding to even more stress and causing even more imbalance.

Ancient wisdom to the rescue

The wisdom of acupuncture, herbal medicine and lifestyle change may just be the ticket to help modern women conceive. 

The toxic environment outside, and for many in their homes as well, can affect hormones. Some women have done all they couldeat only organic food, follow doctors’ orders, quit their jobs, whatever it takesbut still face difficulty. 

Let’s look to ancient cultures and generations for help. It’s time to think about ways we can take back the power of our bodies. Fertility is more than the act of becoming pregnant. It’s the relationship with ourselves. It’s the relationship with our partners. On a soul level, have you taken time in silence to think what it means to shift into parenthood? This is an opportunity to start new together. 

Chinese medicine prescribes allowing emotions to flow, so it’s important to recognize anger, grief or emotional heaviness. For women, the womb is a strong emotional center. When you’re still and listen, what messages come to you?

How to support your fertility during the pandemic

Spend this time of rebirth giving to and nurturing each other. Consider weekly dates even if you spend everyday together. Have fun and let joy flow. Communicate openly, practice the art of listening. Connect with nature. Pay attention to the moon. Sleep in the moonlight. 

Chinese herbal medicine can support Western medicine treatments (always be sure to check with your doctor).

Whether for fertility planning or to provide a more natural, peaceful and predictable monthly cycle, the Women’s Monthly Kit by DAO Labs pairs two Chinese herbal formulas, for two phases of your cycle.

  • Use Emotional Balance during the luteal phase, or second half of your cycle, to reduce stress, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and to move liver qi and support the blood and spleen.
  • After bleeding ends, use the Women’s Formula for five days to build blood for better energy, natural replenishment and regularity as you progress into your next cycle.

Tracking is key. Track your moods, desires and intentions in addition to your cycle and physical symptoms.

Reduce stress. Stress can shut down the pituitary, hormonal center of the brain, that sends the messengers to the ovaries so you ovulate. Constant stimulation from the stress hormone cortisol puts the nervous system on alert. As a result, the body conserves its resources for the perceived threat, suppressing fertility.

Make simple lifestyle adjustments, such as:

  • Eat nourishing, warm foods such as congee.
  • Cut down on caffeine and alcohol. Studies show fertility decreases by 60% when these substances are consumed regularly.
  • Check your tongue. Is it pale? This can be a sign of blood deficiency. 
  • Learn Mayan abdominal/arvigo massage, self-uterine massage, from a practitioner to do daily or every other day.
  • Schedule a Virtual Wellness Consultation with one of our practitioners who can help support your fertility journey.  At DAO we are all passionate about Women's Health, and recognizing the unique challenges each women faces.

Other articles you may be interested in:

How Chinese Herbs can Support Fertility

A Chinese Medicine Recipe for Fertility

5 Ways to use Women’s Monthly Kit for Better Women’s Health

Jen Ward combines Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Functional Medicine and Integrative Health Coaching and Pilates to help you achieve optimal health. By applying ancient wisdom to a modern lifestyle, Jen helps you balance your body by uncovering the root of your imbalance and explore your constitutional health, your nature within. Jen offers individualized support and incorporates the appropriate health tools to help you achieve your health goals. She is also the Business Development Director at DAO Labs. Reach out to her at jen@mydaolabs.com to learn more.

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