Imbalanced Immune Function
When women get pregnant, their immune function has to be suppressed to a certain degree to allow the fetus to grow inside their uterus. If a woman’s immune function is not balanced, her body will attack the fetus in the very early stages of pregnancy, causing unsuccessful implantation, miscarriage, or, in some cases, cessation of fetal growth with the heartbeat stopping around 6 to 8 weeks. If you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system is out of balance, and you are more likely to have infertility or problems during pregnancy.
When women take birth control pills (BCP) for many years, they tend to have repetitive miscarriages because their progesterone level is much lower than optimal. They can get pregnant easily, but the insufficient progesterone level leads to an imbalanced immune function. They tend to develop different allergies such as hives, sinus problems, and allergic rhinitis. Therefore, they probably take anti-histamine regularly for their allergies, which can cause more developmental problems for the fetus. Estrogen dominance, caused by BCP, can also lead to hypothyroid conditions, which can cause abnormal development of the fetal brain. The following are tips for balancing the immune function of you and your partner three to five months before you are trying to conceive.
What can tip the balance of the immune system?
1. Improve your ovarian and adrenal gland function with electrical acupuncture 3 to 5 months before you are planning to conceive. You will find that when your progesterone is sufficient, you will have fewer allergies and fewer reactions to stress because progesterone helps you relax, so you can cope with stress much more effectively. Furthermore, an optimal level of progesterone can make you sleep more deeply, so your immune function can rejuvenate better.
2. Strengthen your adrenal function with moxa on the acupuncture points Kid3(in the depression between the tip of the medial malleolus and Achilles), CV4 (on the anterior median line of the lower abdomen, 3 cun below the belly button), Kid16 (on the middle of the abdomen, 0.5 cun lateral to the center of the belly button) Your partner can also do the same to optimize his sperm production and quality and testosterone level. We mentioned before that cortisol helps suppress immune function. If cortisol is too low due to depleted adrenal function, women can produce antibodies that attack the fetus. Caffeine, high stress, and lack of sleep are known to drain adrenal function.
3. High prolactin can sensitize the immune system. High stress, tumors in the pituitary gland, and breastfeeding for a long time can lead to high prolactin. Recent studies done by a Chinese scientist, X.Y. Liu, and published in Zhong Guo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi, showed that electrical acupuncture can lower the prolactin level in rats and increase the pregnancy rate. Chinese herbs, including malt barley sprout, Bai Zi Ren, Gou Teng, and He Huan Pi, can lower prolactin level, the mechanism of which may be associated with lowered stress levels since all of the above herbs have a calming effect. You can cook herbal formulas, which include the above herbs to lower your prolactin level.
4. Imbalance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system enhances immune function, whereas the parasympathetic nervous system can suppress immune function. If you drink too much coffee, do too many intense exercises, or sleep only 3 or 4 hours a night, your sympathetic nervous system can overact. You may not get the cold or flu very easily, but you may also not get pregnant so easily. You need to relax and balance your immune function so the baby can grow inside of your uterus safely. Many professional athletes do not have regular periods because the majority of their energy goes to their muscles and certain brain areas.
5. Too much alcohol can influence your immune function by changing your chemical balance. If you plan to get pregnant within a few months, you should limit your alcohol consumption to one drink once a week or no alcohol at all to balance your immune function. Alcohol also aggravates estrogen dominance.
6. If you are stressed out about your work and infertility, maybe take a break from all IVF procedures; just enjoy life without thinking about pregnancy. Getting acupuncture treatments to improve your health can also help you look 10–15 years younger than your age. Once you are relaxed, your immune function is more balanced and you should be able to get pregnant more easily.
7. Practising gentle yoga, taichi, and meditation will help balance your immune function and nervous system.
8. Avoid multitasking to reduce your stress level instantly, so you can have optimal level of progesterone.