Category Archives: Fertility

Uterine Fibroids

I know this isn’t in the UK but so interesting … Cx

Reproductive Wellness
Acupuncture and Functional Medicine Clinic, believe fibroids are caused by an obstruction of blood flow into and through the uterus. Acupuncture near the site of the firboid has been seen to reduce the proliferation of the abnormal cells. We use Chinese herbs and nutritional supplements to restore optimal blood flow to the pelvic organs.

Maya Abdominal Massage (MAM) helps to manually breakdown the tissue and aid the body in recovery. By incorporating all of these therapies we can see results in a shorter period of time.

To learn more about natural techniques & Uterine Fibroids:

Fertility awareness methods

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Fertility Awareness Methods are Hotter and Healthier than Hormonal BC | Holly Grigg-Spall

The birth control pill is a leading cause of lowered sexual desire and pelvic pain. It’s also known to cause loss of lubrication, vaginitis, and vulvodynia….[more on this on her full post; link below]

[Yet] a sex-positive attitude is becoming synonymous with “set it and forget it” long acting hormonal methods of contraception. But it struck me that sex-positive advocates should be the biggest fans of fertility awareness methods. Here’s why:

• The love of barrier methods. Never have I seen such all-out enthusiasm for condoms, nor such in-depth knowledge of brands, styles and types. Did you know that you can get them in black and that that’s sexy, not creepy? If you practice fertility awareness then barrier use only during your fertile phase has been shown to be 98.2% effective at preventing pregnancy. If you choose to use a condom every time you have sex then add spermicide and fertility awareness and you have a highly effective form of birth control. If you’re single or a swinger or just want to use condoms all the time then doubling-up with hormonal birth control is overkill that could be doing your health and well-being harm in the long term.

• Libido peaks at ovulation. If sex-positive becomes synonymous with long-acting hormonal methods like Mirena and Implanon then women will be forgoing the time of the month when they most want to have sex. Suggesting women avoid sex during their fertile time could be considered cruel and unrealistic – however having a good reason to skirt “penis in vagina” sex in favor of another kind might not be so bad. Being sex-positive is about exploring your sexuality and not adhering to mainstream models – fertility awareness demands you think outside of the box (pardon the pun) once a month. Knowing about your cycle’s peaks and troughs also allows you to understand you don’t have to be “on” all the time. If you don’t feel like having sex one week, there’s no need to dash to buy out the Pleasure Chest to rectify the situation.

• Looking for worry–free, no-strings, uninterrupted sex? Then what’s more confidence-boosting and anxiety-relieving than knowing for sure because your own body tells you so that you’re definitely not fertile and can not get pregnant? Sure, you can get this reassurance with Mirena or Implanon – but you might also get the side effects of depression, anxiety, and low libido so that would defeat the purpose. You can choose to have the sex with your date on the day you know you’ll only need to worry about whether to call him three days or five days later.

• Using hormonal contraceptives messes with our instincts when it comes to physical attraction. It makes sense if you think that all of our five senses are meddled with when we stop the body’s hormone cycle like sense of smell and acuity of touch. It’s not very sex-positive to disregard these biological signals that provoke our physical response to our partner. Attraction isn’t just about pheromones but they do play their part.

• Being sex-positive should be about more than knowing what gets you off. Body literacy through cycle awareness can help you keep healthy physically and emotionally. Good sex doesn’t occur in a vacuum. If you feel good (and you don’t have a deadline, the dishes are done, and your cell phone stops ringing…) then having good sex will come easier (again, pardon the pun). If being sex-positive is about respecting your body and feeling no shame, then why shut down your body’s integral hormone cycle?

• If your’re sex-positive why would you want to submit to the pharmaceutical and medical industry when it not only thinks that it’s okay to make contraceptives for women that kill libido (and won’t make contraceptives for men for the very same reason) but also can’t wait to diagnose women with “sexual dysfunctions” in order to create a market for a female Viagra – as illustrated in the great documentary ‘Orgasm Inc.’?

Read more from this *excellent post* from Holly Grigg-Spall, author of the upcoming book Sweetening the Pill: How We Got Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control

Art: “Blue Clitoris” by Lauren Cleaver

☾ Katharine Krueger ~ Occupy Menstruation
Consultant, trainer and guide,
Girls’ Empowerment and Coming of Age

My new website is *so* close to completion, or at least the basic framework. I am sooo happy. It will still be at Eventually there will be tons of resources including links to articles, FB pages and groups offering menstrual-and-womb positive ideas and services, and all things Red Tent-y. Altho really I ought to coordinate with all the Red Tent Movement people including The Red Web Foundation on that. Plus I want to include info about all the Girl Empowerment and Coming of Age for Girls groups around the World. And I am very excited to be able to offer my own “Moms and Mentors Training for Circling with Girls” as well as “Intentional Parent Workshops” which hopefully will be live video conferences so we can really connect. And I hope to create plenty of space for people to express themselves, ask questions, share stories, etc. And for menstrual mavens and Red Tent activists and FAM educators to write articles and/or lead online workshops. You can visit the old page to request to be added to the e-list.

Men’s Fertility Myths debunked


By gk00001, Community Contributor5:17 p.m. CDT, June 10, 2013

In honor of Men’s Health Month this June, Fertility Centers of Illinois is debunking 11 common male infertility myths for men nationwide.

Approximately 2,000,000 men per year are diagnosed with infertility in the United States, but through simple lifestyle changes, many men can improve their fertility significantly.

For male infertility issues that require fertility treatment to achieve pregnancy, men should rest assured that these issues are highly treatable with great success.

“Many men don’t think about their fertility, and avoid learning more due to a fear of the unknown,” explains Dr. Christopher Sipe of Fertility Centers of Illinois. “Learning about basic male infertility helps take the fear and confusion out of conception.”

To help men understand fertility, Dr. Sipe has dispelled 11 male infertility myths:

Myth: Age does not affect male fertility.

A recent study published in the journal Nature has shown that paternal fertility decreases with age. The study found a direct link between paternal age and an increased risk of autism and schizophrenia. The study also shows that fathers pass on as many as four times more genetic mutations when compared to mothers. It is important that men are aware of their age and fertility potential during conception. If you plan to delay fatherhood, preserving fertility by freezing sperm is a relatively inexpensive way to “freeze” your fertility in time. If you are older and looking to conceive, a semen analysis evaluating shape and motility will provide valuable insight to fertility potential.

Myth: Only women need to take supplements to improve fertility.

It has long been known that women should take folic acid while trying to conceive, as well as during pregnancy to prevent certain birth defects, but folic acid is now known to be an important supplement in male fertility. Researchers at the University of California found that men had a higher rate of chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm when their diet was low in folic acid. Coenzyme Q10 has also been found to increase sperm count and sperm motility, while Vitamin E also improves low sperm count.

Myth: Smoking doesn’t affect male fertility.

Statistics don’t lie. Smoking increases chances of male infertility by 30 percent. Cutting out cigarettes is an obvious health advantage, but many don’t realize how harmful cigarettes can be to fertility. A report by the British Medical Association showed that smokers may have up to a 10-40 percent lower monthly fecundity (a.k.a. fertility) rate. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has estimated that up to 13 percent of infertility may be caused by tobacco use. The effect is dose dependent on the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Smoking as few as 5 cigarettes per day has been associated with lower fertility rates in males (and females).

Myth: Cell phones, laptops, hot tubs and bicycles don’t have an effect on semen quality.

Heat in extreme amounts can damage the testes and decline semen quality. A recent study by Fertility and Sterility found that the heat created from laptops can affect sperm motility and cause DNA damage. Cell phone emissions can also cause sperm damage, so keep phones in the back pocket and put a fan under your laptop. Men should be careful of putting too much time on the bike or lounging too long in a hot tub. Not to worry – semen quality typically declines only in extreme use or regular exposure. Enjoy your life and simply be aware and moderate in your habits.

Myth: Only hard drugs can affect male fertility.

Hard drugs affect fertility – and most importantly, pose a threat to your life. But it isn’t just hard drugs that can affect fertility health. Prescription drugs, antibiotics, blood pressure medication and even exposure to lead and mercury can affect the quality and quantity of sperm. Frequent marijuana use has also been known to cause similar problems.

Myth: In a healthy male, all sperm are healthy.

In an average male, only 14% of sperm by strict morphology have a normal shape, size, and ability to move properly. While this may seem low, remember that you only need one sperm to fertilize an egg and become pregnant.

Myth: Male infertility is genetic.

While male infertility can be genetically passed down, there are several different factors that can cause male infertility. A cancer diagnosis or injury can result in male infertility, while repeated infection or immunity problems can decrease male fertility. A multitude of lifestyle choices such as diet, nutrition, smoking habits, drug use, exercise habits and body weight can decrease male fertility.

Myth: There is no common diagnosis with male infertility.

While the specific cause of male infertility can vary greatly, the most common diagnosis associated with male infertility is low sperm count.

Myth: Separate health problems do not affect male fertility.

Chronic conditions such as diabetes and liver cirrhosis can cause abnormal male ejaculation due to nerve damage and retrograde ejaculation. Muscles in the bladder normally close during ejaculation, preventing the entry of semen. During retrograde ejaculation, the semen is redirected into the bladder when these muscles fail to activate. If you are concerned that a chronic condition may be impacting your fertility, reach out to a physician to learn more.

Myth: Weight does not affect fertility.

Extra weight presents a multitude of health issues, and can wreak havoc on male fertility. Obesity causes elevated estrogen and low testosterone levels, which can cause sperm count to decrease. Overweight males also experience a decreased libido. The simple solution is to calculate your Body Mass Index, which provides a healthy numerical range based on height and weight, and work towards it. Exercise will increase energy, decrease weight, and equalize testosterone and libido levels.

Myth: Diet does not affect male fertility.

Quite simply, you are what you eat. Men who consume high-fat diets have been found to have a decreased sperm count. Conversely, a mostly plant-based diet has been found to improve fertility and overall health. Fill your refrigerator and pantry with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables while avoiding thick cuts of meat and refined carbohydrates such as white bread and cookies.


Improve Fertility with Acupressure points

I have worked for many years using acupressure points usually in a pregnancy / labour scenario so it’s great that I have found this article on Acupressure points for improving Fertility.

Combining these with the Fertility support programme we offer is going to be very powerful and hopefully will help some of our clients.


Copied from article as so interesting & quick reference point.  Thank you Natural Fertility Info


The Benefits of Acupressure for Fertility:

  • Acupressure is not harmful to fertility
  • It costs nothing
  • It is a great way to connect with your partner
  • It can be used while on medications in preparation for IUI, or IVF
  • It is a great way to prepare the body for pregnancy
  • It may help alleviate pain associated with many fertility issues
  • Aids in regular natural detoxification of the organs
  • May help improve hormonal balance
  • Stress relief

Who Can Benefit from Acupressure for Fertility?

Are you experiencing any of the following?

  • Infertility Diagnosis
  • PMS
  • Painful menstruation
  • Absent Periods
  • Conditions associated with pelvic stagnation such as Endometriosis, Uterine Fibroids, Ovarian Cysts, PCOS
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Women preparing for pregnancy
  • IUI/IVF Preparation
  • Hormonal imbalance

How to Apply Acupressure

Acupressure for Fertility1. Apply pressure with your finger tips or thumb to the point of your choice (see corresponding images below). Press only hard enough that you feel pressure, not pain or discomfort. If you want to try out points on your back side, you will need to have a partner help you.

2. Stimulate the point by slowly moving the finger/s in a clockwise motion, pressing as deep as comfortable. Do this for one minute.

3. Release and move to a new point.

Note: It is best to use fingers that have short nails, be sure not to scratch the area.

Acupressure Points for Fertility

Now that you have learned the benefits and how to do it, let’s learn about the specific points shown to support fertility.

Important: For women who are preparing for pregnancy, but have yet to begin actively trying to conceive, it is fine to stimulate these points all month long. For women who are trying to get pregnant naturally or through IUI, only stimulate these points prior to ovulation. For those preparing for IVF, it is fine to apply acupressure up to the day prior to embryo transfer. Do not stimulate these acupressure points if you are pregnant.

Acupressure Points On The Front Of The Body

Epang II: Located on the scalp, just above the hairline, on the outer side of the eyebrow. This point is used to decrease painful menstruation and promotes regulation of the menstrual cycle.

Yintang: Located in the center of the face, between the eyebrows. Stimulates the pituitary gland for hormone regulation and balance. May also help reduce anxiety.

Lv 14: Also known as Liver 14. Located below the breast, two ribs below the nipple, 4 inches midline. Improves liver and digestive health which may aid in hormonal balance, PMS, breast tenderness. It is also used to improve libido and sexual energy.

Ren 14: Located approximately 2 inches below the sternum, 6 inches above the belly button. This may vary depending on the woman’s body type. Known as the “Gateway to the Heart,” this point is supportive of heart health. Revitalizing and supportive for the heart for depression, anxiety, fears, worry and stress associated with any fertility challenge: miscarriage, infertility, failed IVF, IVF preparation, struggling to get pregnant. This point runs along the conception meridian.

Acupressure_Front_NFI_centerRen 12: Located halfway between the belly button and the sternum, 4 inches above the belly button, below Ren 14. Associated with the spleen and stomach. Supports proper fluid balance, mucous production. May help to reduce fluid buildup in the uterus or fallopian tubes and support cervical mucousproduction.

Ki 16: Also known as Kidney 16. Located 1 inch on either side of the belly button. This point is directly stimulating for the kidney, which is considered the seat of fertility health. Stimulation of this point is also used to improve immunological response, which may be useful for those with autoimmune related infertility issues. Supportive for general fertility health, boosts fertility for those with lowered fertility.

Ren 6: Located 1 and a half inches below the belly button, midline on the lower abdomen. This point is supportive of overall body vitality and energy. Useful for those who feel exhausted, ready to give up, or need more energy. Supportive for overall health of the body.

Zigong (Rn 3): Located 4 inches below the belly button, 3 inches from the centerline of the body, just at the ovaries. Stimulation of this point is promotes healthy circulation to the uterus and ovaries. Supports proper function of the uterus and ovaries. Improves the menstrual cycle and may be used for those with irregular menstrual cycles or even absent menstruation.

Ren 4: Located midline, along the conception meridian, 2 inches below the belly button. Stimulating to the uterus, bringing circulation and energy to the uterus in preparation for implantation.

Ren 3: Located on the midline, 4 inches below the belly button. This point is considered to be the “Central Pole” of the conception meridian. Stimulation of this point may be used to help regulate menstruation, strengthens kidney qi, the seat of fertility. Helpful in reducing pelvic inflammation. May improve implantation when stimulated prior to ovulation when trying to conceive.

St 30: Located 5 inches below the belly button, 2 inches from midline. Stimulation may improve function of the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus. May aid in regulation of ovulation and overall function of the entire reproductive system.

Acupressure Points On The Back Of The Body

UB 44: Located 3 inches to either side of the 5th thoracic vertebra. This point promotes deep relaxation, supportive just prior to going for IVF, or for those with very painful menstruation or very high stress levels. This point may also stimulate uterine contractions, which may be strengthening for the uterus, but should not be done after ovulation in case of pregnancy.

Acupressure_Back_NFI_centerUB 15: Located 1.5 inches from the spine at the 5th thoracic vertebra, on both the right and left side of the body, almost in-line with UB 44. This is a great point for those with hormonal imbalance and/or irregular menstrual cycles due to sleep disturbance. This point supports restful sleep. Also may support the body during times of anxiety and mood swings.

UB 17: Located at the level of the lower edge of the shoulder blade, at the 7th thoracic vertebra. Supportive in moving the blood, cooling inflammatory conditions of in the reproductive organs. Has also been used to improve the menstrual cycle in those with abnormal menstrual bleeding (spotting, heavy menstruation, light menstruation, mid-cycle bleeding).

UB 23: Located at the level of the 2nd thoracic vertebra, in the area of “kidney energy,” 1.5 inches on either side of the center of the spine. This point is supportive in reduction of abnormal vaginal discharge, irregular menstruation and menstrual cramps in the lower back. This point is also used on men with impotence.

DU 4: Known as the “Life Gate” on the Governing Meridian, this point is located midline on the spine, at the 2nd thoracic lumbar vertebra. Used to support the uterus and infertility. This point improves energy to the reproductive organs and kidneys.

UB 31, UB 32, UB 33: These three points are supportive for lower back pain associated with menstrual cramps, infertility and irregular menstrual cycles. They also increase circulation to the reproductive organs for improved fertility.

LI 4: Located in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger; press against the forefinger bone. Improves circulation to the uterus and stimulates uterine contractions, which may helpful for toning the uterus in preparation for pregnancy. Avoid after ovulation if trying to conceive. Helps the uterus to work smoothly and efficiently without spasm, which may help prevent menstrual cramps.

GB 30: Located in the center of the buttock, in the dimple area. Pressing this point may help to relieve menstrual cramps, especially those that radiate through the hips and down the thighs. Also helpful for irritability and the feeling of frustration.

B 60: Located on the inner ankle between the inner ankle bone and Achilles tendon. Traditionally used to help a woman through a difficult labor, this point may also be helpful for women with very painful menstruation known as dysmenorrhea. Not to be done during pregnancy, unless performed during true labor under the guidance of a practitioner.

Acupressure As Part Of Your Fertility Plan

Acupressure is a great way to help improve fertility when combined with a healthy diet, regular exercise and stress management. For an added benefit, you can apply acupressure after Self Fertility Massage! Acupressure is also safe to do with IVF medications.