Acupuncture used to increase chances for pregnancy
By Karen Caffarini For Sun-Times Media
Dr. Sarah Paun, chiropractor and licensed acupuncturist
You’ve probably heard the story of a woman who tried to get pregnant for years to no avail, then conceived soon after adopting a child. And had another baby a short time later.
This isn’t urban legend. It does happen, according to Dr. Sarah Paun, a Highland chiropractor and licensed acupuncturist who believes it’s a case of stress hormones interfering with reproductive hormones.
Paun helps relieve that stress and improve women’s reproductive cycle through acupuncture treatments, which has resulted in a number of births since she opened Paun Family Chiropractic and Wellness five years ago.
“(Acupuncture) has an effect on calming your nerves, which has a huge effect on your reproductive hormones,” Paun said.
She said one of her most difficult patients was a woman who had been trying to get pregnant for eight years. She’d been through the whole gamut of fertility treatments and finally became pregnant with triplets, only to lose all three in her sixth month.
“I (later) saw her twice a month and then she became pregnant,” Paun said. After successfully having her first child, the patient was able later to have a second child without treatments.
Paun said the patient was never given a diagnosis as to why she could not conceive, but Paun believes stress played a large role.
“After all, she was trying to conceive for eight years,” Paun pointed out.
She said about 50 percent of the women who come to her had already been through some fertility treatments and decided to give acupuncture a try.
Paun said she has only found one published research article on the effect of acupuncture on fertility, and that article stated women who had difficulty getting pregnant had a 40 percent higher success rate with acupuncture treatments than those who didn’t have them.
But Paun doesn’t use her needles to just help women with fertility problems. She also helps those with irregular menstrual cycles and provides pain management during delivery.
She said one of her patients was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a health problem that can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, ability to have children, hormones, heart and blood vessels.
“She had been doing fertility treatments and decided the side effects from hormones weren’t for her. After seeing me, she began having more regular cycles and fewer side effects. Two months later, she was pregnant,” Paun said.
If a mom is interested, Paun can also help with pain management in delivery and to help with breach babies. She said she is more likely to assist during home births.
Paun said she uses between six and 15 needles for pain management, depending how far into labor the patient is. With fertility treatments, she starts with eight needles and increases to 20 to 30 needles. Once pregnant, she uses just six needles.
Paun sees patients about twice a month for both fertility and pain management. Unlike with some pain medications, Paun said there are no side effects with acupuncture. She said the needle feels like a mosquito bite going in, then is very relaxing.
“It’s neither painful nor uncomfortable,” she said. “I tell people to do their Zen thing during treatment; it could be prayer, meditation, whatever.”
Paun also does treatments for other types of pain management cases, including migraines, post-injury and physical therapy.
She said 40 percent of her patients are covered for acupuncture treatments under their insurance carrier.
“When you consider the astronomical cost of modern fertility treatments compared to the cost of acupuncture, it’s a no-brainer for insurance to cover acupuncture. I had women who sold their home to get pregnant,” Paun said.
Paun Family Chiropractic and Wellness, 2022 45th St., Highland, is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday and one Saturday a month. For more information, call (219) 227-4033.