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  • Heather Wheeler L.Ac.

A Gentler, Effective Treatment for Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR)

If you have been struggling with infertility issues and diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), be encouraged and know that you can still get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy – naturally.

Infertility and diminished ovarian reserve can leave you frustrated, heartbroken or hopeless as you struggle to get pregnant or have multiple miscarriages. The trauma that comes with infertility can cause marital distress, an inability to function well at work and major financial stress.

But here at Wheeler Acupuncture & Functional Wellness, we’ve seen clients use acupuncture to improve results with traditional infertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). More exciting, we have seen several clients conceive and birth healthy babies with the help of acupuncture and some lifestyle changes (and without the invasive traditional treatments).

First, let’s get a clearer understanding of diminished ovarian reserve.

Causes and Symptoms of Diminished Ovarian Reserve

If you have been diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), this means the quantity and quality of the eggs your ovaries produce is lower than usual for your age, which means you have lower chances of becoming pregnant. As fertility declines, your chances for miscarriage increase. This added stress is not healthy for you or the fetus and can dampen the unique joy that comes with pregnancy.

DOR Causes and Contributors

Aging is the most natural cause of diminished ovarian reserve, but age alone should never be considered your cause of infertility or DOR. Other factors that can cause or contribute to DOR – some obviously related to your reproductivity and others that aren’t – include:

  • Endometriosis

  • Family history of early menopause

  • Having a single ovary

  • Pelvic infection

  • Prior ovarian surgery

  • Tubal disease

  • Autoimmune disorders

  • Chemotherapy

  • Radiation therapy

  • Smoking

DOR Symptoms

Difficulty getting pregnant is the most obvious symptom when you have diminished ovarian reserve. But difficulty getting pregnant does not automatically mean you have DOR. Other symptoms of DOR can include:

  • Heavy menstrual flow

  • Late or absent menstrual periods

  • Menstrual cycles shorter than the average 28 days

  • Miscarriage

It’s advisable for you to be tested for diminished ovarian reserve if you have been unable to conceive:

•after trying for a year and you are under the age of 35 OR

•after trying for 6 months and you are 35 years or older.

If you experience several of the other contributing factors, you could also be proactive and get tested for DOR.

How to Know If you Have DOR

Your wellness professional can help determine whether you have diminished ovarian reserve through simple blood tests for certain hormone levels: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) luteinizing hormone (LH) and estradiol (E2) levels.

Treatments for Diminished Ovarian Reserve

DOR and infertility can cause a great deal of emotional trauma. But please feel hopeful and encouraged even if you have been diagnosed with DOR. It’s been proven in many studies that stress and negative attitude hinder your health and ability to get or stay pregnant. And many people have proven that DOR does NOT mean you won’t succeed in having a baby!

Conventional ways to overcome infertility issues due to DOR include in vitro fertilization (IVF), sometimes along with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). You can also freeze healthy eggs for future use. But these treatments are expensive and can cause a great deal of stress and emotional distress.

Know that if you do choose to try IVF or PGD, acupuncture can greatly improve your chances of success with those treatments.

Better yet, a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional changes, stress-reducing techniques and exercise can help you have a healthy pregnancy and baby without the physical and emotional strain you might experience with IVF or PGD.

How does acupuncture for DOR work?

Acupuncture for DOR

Proper blood flow to your ovaries helps improve the quality of the eggs you produce. If you have diminished ovarian reserve, you might have low blood flow to your ovaries. Also, increasing blood flow to your uterus will support a healthier uterine lining and better preparation for embryo implantation.

Much like acupuncture works for pain, it can also work as a natural infertility treatment. Acupuncture reduces inflammation in your body, increases your blood flow and restores proper function.

In cases of diminished ovarian reserve, acupuncture helps by:

  • Improving production of better-quality eggs.

  • Regulating your hormones to produce larger quantities of follicles.

  • Increasing chances for successful implantation.

  • Enhancing conception in ART cycles: IUI, IVF, FET, Surrogacy.

  • Decreasing miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy rates.

  • Promoting a healthier pregnancy and postpartum period.

For more information about how acupuncture aids with infertility in both women and men, read this blog.

Wherever you are in your quest, don’t let your diminished ovarian reserve diagnosis diminish your hopes to get pregnant! You can get pregnant, enjoy a healthy pregnancy and hold that precious healthy baby in your arms with the gentle help from acupuncture, natural supplements and some simple lifestyle changes.

Visit us at Wheeler Acupuncture & Functional Wellness – we’d love to help you with your DOR. You will feel welcome, safe and comfortable in our clean space. We will create a personal treatment plan based on your needs and health. And we will support you through your baby’s birth and beyond!

Start by scheduling your free consultation by visiting this link.

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