Acupuncture for miscarriage
If you have threatened or recurrent miscarriages,
or the after effects of miscarriage, acupuncture may be able to help
Miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 23 weeks.
Occurring mostly before 12 weeks, they happen for a variety of reasons and is relatively common, with an estimated 1 in 6 pregnancies ending in miscarriage. The main sign is vaginal bleeding which may be followed by cramping and pain in the lower abdomen.
Any bleeding, other than spotting, during pregnancy may be considered a threatened miscarriage.
Bleeding during pregnancy is alarming, but is common. About 20% of women will have some bleeding during the first 12 weeks and as long as a scan shows a healthy heartbeat, most pregnancies will be fine.
From a Chinese medicine perspective it is important for the body to hold your blood in your body and for your blood levels not to get depleted. Not doing so can create a situation that leads to miscarriage.
Acupuncture for miscarriage works by strengthening the aspect of your system that holds your blood in the vessels, reducing cramping and increasing circulation to your uterus to increase your body's ability to support an early pregnancy.
Recurrent miscarriage is usually defined as having had 3 or more miscarriages in a row, even if you have had a healthy pregnancy before. About 1 in 100 women in the UK experience them.
From a Chinese medicine perspective there are several systemic patterns that can cause this to happen. Some a due to weaknesses and some are due to congestion. Both can cause issues with your eggs and within your uterus.
Acupuncture for miscarriage aims to diagnose and strengthen any weaknesses and resolve any congestion. These can take time to do depending on the severity of the underlying pattern.
Acupuncture during and after miscarriage
Acupuncture for miscarriage can help when a miscarriage is unavoidable. Specific points move blood within your uterus to clear it, remove any retained products of conception (RPOC) and rebuild a smooth uterine lining for implantation. It can also aid in the recovery from a dilation an curettage (D&C).
The changes in hormone levels can feel devastating and are often underestimated. Acupuncture for miscarriage can help to balance your system physically, mentally and emotional.
For those who have struggled with getting pregnant or who have had recurrent miscarriages, this can be particularly hard. As the bond that exists between mother and her pregnancy, if often very strong, very quickly. An early stage miscarriage can have the same emotional weight as a later stage one and support can be less available, for a variety of reasons. Also, your partner may or may not experience the same strong feelings of loss, as they were not connected to the pregnancy physically.
How can acupuncture for miscarriage help?
Chinese medicine has techniques for diagnosing imbalances in your system that can cause threatened and recurrent miscarriages, and the physical, mental and emotional after effects of miscarriage.
An understanding of the nature of the imbalance is established through discussion, looking at your tongue, checking your pulse and palpating your abdomen and the channels of your arms and legs.
How much treatment would I need?
The first step is to diagnose the pattern of imbalance and to work out why it has developed. We then advise a course of treatment and use a combination of acupuncture, moxibustion (warming needles with a herb) and diet to help your body resolve these patterns.
After this course we reassess how your system is responding and discussed what is needed, as it can take time to resolve issues. Treatment is always tailored to your individual needs, as everyone is different.
Where do the needles go?
We generally use mostly 'distal' points with some 'local' ones. 'Distal' points are on your arms and legs, generally below your elbow and knees. 'Local' points for gynaecological issues are mostly on your front and back around your abdomen, often just above or below your navel.
I will always discuss what points I am going to use first and make sure that you feel comfortable with these.
How much treatment do I need?
At the initial consultation we go through your medical history and any notes or test results that you have, and combine these with a Chinese medical diagnosis to understand what we can do to help reduce the likelihood of threatened or recurrent miscarriage.
Treatment is generally advised every 1 to 2 weeks, for as long as is necessary, but everyone is different and as money is always an issue it is important that we find a sustainable approach to treatment for you.
Sometime it is beneficial to treat both partners and I will discuss this with you and, if so, we can work how best to divide up treatment between you.
About Rick Mudie BSc (Hons), BSc (Oriental Med), MBAcC
Rick is a traditional Chinese acupuncturist with over 20 years clinical experience & is a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC).
He is a Course Leader, Clinical Supervisor and Lecturer at The International College of Oriental Medicine (ICOM), the UK's oldest acupuncture college. He lectures and teaches Gynaecology and Obstetrics at ICOM.
He has been using fertility acupuncture to improve conception rates and reduce the likelihood of miscarriage since 2004 and has worked within and alongside The Agora Gynaecology and Fertility Clinic, in Hove, since 2010.
Read more about Rick.