Trying to have a baby is not always as straight forward as it may seem for a lot of couples. Couples are often faced with a minefield of emotions and life changing decisions, not to mention the financial burden of fertility tests and IVF. Acupuncture has a long and successful history in reproductive medicine and as a supportive therapy alongside assisted conception techniques such as IVF.
Research has shown that acupuncture for fertility can be effective in regulating the menstrual cycle, improving blood circulation to the reproduction organs, improving the lining of the uterus and improving egg quality. Acupuncture can also be effective with women who have specific gynaecological conditions, such as, endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome. For males, acupuncture can help improve the quality and quantity of sperm.
Having acupuncture regularly can help reduce stress and anxiety which is often a big factor in a couple’s difficulty to conceive. Stress can affect hormonal balance and the menstrual cycle. Acupuncture helps to reduce stress due to its beta-endorphin release and sympathetic calming effect, as well as boosting blood flow to the reproductive organs.
Acupuncture helps to improve general well-being, therefore creating the correct environment for fertility and pregnancy.
Treatment of fertility also includes Chinese dietary advice which includes specific foods to enhance your overall health based on your Chinese Medicine diagnosis.
Acupuncture and IVF
Acupuncture for fertility is a valuable complement to IVF for both men and women helping to substantially improve the chances of success. Acupuncture is used to treat each individual as a whole and can help to maintain a calm mind and healthy body throughout the IVF cycle.
When undergoing IVF, regular weekly treatments are recommended. This will help to address any underlying health issues that may be affecting fertility, as well as treating through the cycle to maximise hormonal balance, follicular and endometrium development, stress, as well as any side effects from medication.
Research results show a positive association between acupuncture treatment and increased success rates with IVF. An article published by the British Medical Journal in March 2008, suggests that women undergoing IVF, who have acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer, have a much higher chance of conceiving that those who do not.
Acupuncture during Pregnancy
Acupuncture can be used to support a woman through her gestation period. It can help with:
- Breech presentation
- Delayed labour
- Morning sickness
Acupuncture and Postnatal Recovery
Acupuncture can also be used to help new mothers too. The early weeks and months following the birth can be very demanding both emotionally and physically. Acupuncture can be very beneficial to relieve back ache, exhaustion, as well as to help you to relax and rebuild your energy levels.