Updated: Apr 16, 2018
Acupuncture can increase fertility by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system, according to several studies and medical research.
“The goal of an infertility treatment from a Chinese medicine perspective is not just to get pregnant, but to stay pregnant and to have a healthy baby,” says Deb Davies, LAc. Among many other benefits, acupuncture can provide better blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, creating a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term.
Acupuncture is based on a system of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Fine needles are inserted at points around your body to help it achieve homeostasis, increase the blood flow, reduce inflammation and stress by activating the release of oxytocin - the hormone that regulates the parasympathetic nervous system, increasing body’s ability to heal. (see article on Hugs to understand more the benefits of oxytocin)
Acupuncture is such a popular treatment for infertility, most IVF clinics either have acupuncturists working in their clinics, or they’re keen to refer you to a local trusted practitioner, as it’s generally accepted that acupuncture can increase your chances of success during IVF treatment.
Acupuncturists aim to rebalance your energy flow and prime your body for fertility, with studies showing it may boost female fertility by doing three key things:
· Regulating hormone function
· Increasing blood flow to the ovaries and uterus and helping to relax your muscles which can improve the chance of an embryo implanting.
· Tackling the causes of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – a common cause of infertility
· Generally helping to relieve stress and make you feel more relaxed
Not just for the Girls..
While 40 percent of infertility is caused by problems in the female, another 40 percent is caused by problems in the male, such as low sperm count or motility. The British Acupuncture Council confirms there’s evidence to show acupuncture increases sperm motility (how fast the sperm swim), as well as increasing levels of the male sex hormone testosterone and lowering the temperature of the scrotum (where sperm are stored), creating a better environment for keeping them healthy.
“Chinese medicine can help support a woman through this important time in her life—whether that is emotionally or physically, acupuncture can help with much more than just conception. It can help with morning sickness, nausea, aches and pains (low back pain, for example), anxiety preparation for birth, and insomnia, among many others,” explains Davies.
This natural, time-tested treatment used by eastern cultures just might provide you the path to having a healthy baby.
Eca Brady is a fully licensed physician of Chinese Medicine BSc(Ac) MBAcC PGDip(CHM), practicing from Harley Street, London. She would be happy to help personalise a treatment plan for your condition, to read more about Eca click here.
Excerpts from the Original articles by British Acupuncture Council and a Tel Aviv University study.