Q&A on Women's Health
Cailey Halloran, L.Ac., Dipl.O.M.
Q: Would you say you specialize in OB/GYN?
A: I would! I decided to study acupuncture because of its benefits for women’s health. Women’s health encompasses teenage years all the way through menopause. At the time, I did not realize women’s health would cross over into men’s health as well. When we work with fertility, we work with both men and women to help them achieve their goal - pregnancy and children. I chose to study in Boulder at Southwest Acupuncture College because there is a strong emphasis on OB/GYN.
Q: Do you treat other conditions as well?
A: Yes! In Chinese Medicine, we look at all aspects of health. We find sleep, digestion, pain, and other symptoms a patient experiences can contribute to both male and female health concerns.
Q: What about men?
A: I love to treat men for male health issues. Chinese Medicine can be very helpful for testicular pain, erectile dysfunction (ED), low libido, and so much more. When we work with fertility specifically, we always ask and hope that both partners in a relationship will get treatment. When dealing with men’s health and fertility we look at sperm motility, morphology, and count. There are studies showing acupuncture can improve the overall quality of male sperm, which helps to achieve and maintain pregnancy. We want the healthiest egg and sperm possible for our patients on their fertility journey.
Q: What kind of training do you have in fertility?
A: Aside from OB/GYN class at Southwest Acupuncture College and clinical rounds in OB/GYN, I have recently completed two great courses in female health. Treatment of Infertility with Jane Lyttleton - 19hrs and Treating Infertility with the Eight Extraordinary Vessels- Yvonne Farrell and Laura Erlich - 14 hrs.
Q: You recently took a course in women's health, what are some of your major takeaways? A: There is a correlation between stress and infertility. Chinese Medicine happens to be wonderful to relax the nervous system and promote the parasympathetic (or rest and digest) system to encourage a successful pregnancy. I also learned more details regarding the IVF process as well as new innovations in the field. At our clinic, we frequently support patients who are referred to us by reproductive endocrinology (fertility clinics) to use an acupuncture protocol shown to improve the success rates of IVF by increasing blood flow to the uterine lining, improving blood flow, and supporting the implantation of a fertilized embryo.
Q: If someone is trying to get pregnant, how often should they come to acupuncture? Why? A: Whether they are coming solely to our clinic, or using acupuncture as an adjunct to working with a fertility clinic, we always ask our patients to come for at least three menstrual cycles; this allows us a fair amount of time to make significant changes. Also, many people do not know the sperm a man ejaculates today is seventy days old; this means any changes we suggest for men will be reflected in a few months. We want both partners to arrive at their optimal fertility at the same time. Ideally we treat weekly, this means an average of twelve treatments. If we are working with an IVF clinic, research shows bi-weekly treatments for three months achieves greater fertility outcomes; in this case, we suggest twenty-four treatments.
Q: What would you like people to know about women's health and fertility?
A: There are a lot of small adjustments women and men can make to improve their health and fertility. As acupuncturists, we offer both lifestyle advice as well as acupuncture treatments and herbal formulas to help both men and women achieve their health and fertility goals.
Q: What do you enjoy about working with Women's Health and Fertility?
A: As a sufferer of PMS and former horrific menstrual cramps, I love being able to help women regulate their cycles and decrease PMS symptoms. With acupuncture we frequently help cramps dissipate and menstrual cycles become very tolerable. Just like going to the gym, a body-builder will not have glamorous muscles with one workout, the same applies with acupuncture. If you have had it for a lifetime, it takes time to change a pattern. I love having acupuncture as a part of my monthly wellness routine and would highly suggest it to any patient looking for long term health and wellness with their menstrual cycles, support in fertility or menopause, and general hormone regulation.